Lady Gaga 1
April 11, 2011
Let's play a love game instead of reading this. ...Please?
(Linkara is on his green futon, addressing a shocked and appalled look to the camera. He pulls up today's comic and glances at it with the same expression. He doesn't say his usual catchphrase out of sheer shock at the comic's contents.)
Linkara: WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?! NO, REALLY! WHAT THE HOLY HELL IS THIS THING?! (cooling off) Look, let's get something out of the way here. I'm a Lady Gaga fan.
(cut to clips from Poker Face music video)
Linkara (v/o): That's not to say that I love every single song she shoves out there, but I like "Poker Face", I like "Bad Romance", and I have them on my MP3 player. Her music is catchy, the videos stylistic and cool, and I've got no complaints as far as I know.
Linkara: When I first heard about a Lady Gaga comic, I expected, "Oh yeah, it's gonna be another stupid and boring biography comic." Of all the things I anticipated from this thing,... well, what we got was nowhere close to my expectations.
Linkara (v/o): And no, I sure as hell didn't buy this thing when it first came out. Just because I'm a fan doesn't mean I'm an idiot. Like I said, I figured it would either be a boring biography comic or just some moronic attempt to transform her into a superhero. At best, goofy stupidity that you could laugh along with, that's the kind of effort you expect out of this company, Bluewater Productions. This is the same company that publishes those ridiculously dull political biography comics. This company produced a comic about President Obama's dog. They made a comic about Stephanie Meyer for crying out loud.
Linkara: I probably wouldn't have even bothered with this thing, but then I actually read somebody else's review of it and... (can't put words to express his reaction to the whole thing) Ugh. Let's just dig in to Lady Gaga Number 1. Well, okay, technically FAME Number 1, but trust me. It's Lady Gaga and... WOW!
(Title card; Music plays: LoveGame by... well... Lady Gaga)
Linkara (v/o): You might be confused because I didn't give Lady Gaga's biography in the introduction. Well, that's because Lady Gaga is not actually in the comic until the very last page. Yes, in fact, the story is not about HER, but a FAN of hers, a creepy, creepy fan of hers.
Linkara: That's even dumber than giving her a comic where she gets superpowers or something. If I am paying money for something that has LADY GAGA right there on the side, I expect LADY GAGA!
Linkara (v/o): There are a number of alternate covers to this, but today we're focusing on Cover A, or Cover Purple. It appears to be an image of Lady Gaga that's been Lightboxed and repainted, truly work worthy of Rob Granito. You don't know who that is? Do a quick Google Search and you'll probably also find him under, "jackass who traces other people's work and then sells it as his own." Anyway, cover sucks and lies to us about Lady Gaga being in this thing. We open to some people I don't recognize singing on TV. Since I'm not hip with what the kids are listening to, I have no idea who these people are. We then see the guy who's watching this.
Bill: They call this music? Where's the pizzazz? Where's the glam?
Linkara: Todd in the Shadows: Forty Years Later...
Linkara (v/o): So yeah, we're just seeing this asshole sitting in a green chair and making snarky comments.
Linkara: Why would anyone find this entertaining? Just watching an overweight jerk in a hat sitting in a green sofa and making rude comments about other people's work and I think I'll shut up now.
Linkara (v/o): But yeah, this is our main character, Bill. We're introduced to him as he sits in his chair groaning about the state of music and wearing a shirt featuring a silhouette of... What is that, Frank Zappa? Freddie Mercury? The Master?
(clip from an episode of MST3K: Manos: Hands of Fate)
Tom Servo: Ohh, I get it.
Linkara (v/o): His wife comes in and asks him to take out the garbage since he can just change the channel when Nickelback comes on.
Bill: No, Babe. The batteries are dead.
Linkara: And it would just be impossible for you to take the tape off and replace the batteries. Seriously, are there any other main characters available that we can have? This one's defective.
Bill: These bands today, they don't have any of the style that our bands had.
Linkara: Or, to put it in another way, (whiny voice) "Everything was better on MY Earth."
Bill: Bowie, Freddie and Queen... Even friggin' Blondie could outplay any of them.
Linkara: Are you dissing Blondie? Because I'll tell you, buddy. I'd sure as hell would prefer listening to Heart of Glass right now than read this.
Linkara (v/o): By the way, comic, you don't get to talk about good music when your little "Fame" line also contains a book about the musical talent behind (Showing cover to Fame: Justin Bieber comic) "Eenie Meenie Miney Moe Lover." Anyway, while Bill's wife keeps telling him to take out the garbage, he then suddenly hears Poker Face on the TV.
Bill: What is this?
Linkara: MTV playing music videos? When the hell did they start doing that?
Wife: That's some new one. Lady... something.
Linkara (v/o): Bill is now hypnotized by the strange music video by some woman he's never heard of before... or possibly he's wondering how his chin got replaced by a golf ball. And the wife decides she'll take out the trash herself instead of yelling at her husband to get off his fat ass. The next day, Bill is at a music store where he inquires about Lady Gaga.
Clerk: Yeah. Only like every other record store in the country. She's selling like hotcakes. Doesn't seem like your kind of music though, bud.
Bill: Yeah. Well, It's not for me. It's for my niece. She likes that bubblegummy crap.
Linkara: Again, maybe it's because I'm not hip on what the kids these days like, but, to me, Aqua is bubblegummy. (points up to the ceiling. The song playing is "Happy Boys and Girls") Lady Gaga, on the other hand... (points to ceiling again. "Love Game" plays) Am I missing something?
Linkara (v/o): Nearby, there are two teenage girls talking.
Girl 1: Did you see Pink's new video? I don't get it. At all.
Girl 2: Yeah, she's so weird.
Linkara: Is this all taking place in some weird parallel universe? What's there not to get Pink or her videos?
Linkara (v/o): Especially considering that this comic was released around May or June of 2010 – it's honestly hard to tell; there's no copyright date on this thing and my web searches have been unfruitful – meaning that the music video they're referring to is either "Glitter in the Air," which isn't a music video, but a live performance, or "I Don't Believe You," a black and white music video about a broken wedding.
Linkara: And yes, I know I'm harping on this, but in a comic that's all about musicians and singers, they should know what the hell they're talking about.
Bill: (thought bubble) What do these kids know about music? They weren't even alive when Ziggy Stardust came out.
Linkara: So, in other words... (curmudgeonly old man voice; shaking his fist) Damn kids! Get off my lawn!!
Boy: Lady Gaga?
Girl 2: Get your groove on, guy.
Bill: (thought bubble) Little brats. Probably go home and listen to Menudo.
Linkara (v/o): Our hero, ladies and gentlemen! An elitist snob! And for some reason, this thought just makes him start sweating profusely. Umm, why? Does he get hot and bothered when he thinks of Menudo? Or wait, is he sniffing the CD case? What is up with this comic? So our hero is walking home and talking to his wife on his cellphone about how he's late for dinner. However, he's distracted by a woman walking down the street wearing a Lady Gaga shirt and then turning and running into another woman wearing one.
Linkara: Okay, he's only listened to one song and already he's (quivering in fear) seeing her everywhere.
Linkara (v/o): At home, he's watching Lady Gaga music videos on YouTube, making me wonder why he wasn't just doing this to learn more about her instead of buying a CD when he had only heard one song before.
Bill: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta... Lady Gaga is much better.
Linkara (v/o): Oh, dear god, I don't want to be this close to this guy's face, especially since the way he's smiling and looking at her just makes him look like he's drooling at her. And why is he wearing sunglasses while he watches a YouTube video? And it's not like it's a prescription thing for the monitor being too bright or anything. Later, we see him looking at a computer screen without them. They exist solely for this creepy shot where we see Lady Gaga reflected in the lenses. Aaaaaaand it's right here where this officially loses any hope of making this guy likable or this comic realistic. Now you see right here that I'm only zoomed in on him dreaming of something and him drooling. That'd be unattractive enough, but now let's take a gander at what he's dreaming about, shall we?
(the comic pans from left to right as the dream sequence occurs above Bill's head starting with the first panel)*
- NOTE: Bill's dream is a parody of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" music video, Linkara seems to not notice this.
Linkara (v/o): First up, he appears to be making out with Lady Gaga. Okay, fair enough. Dreaming about making out with an attractive celebrity. It's not all that attractive considering what we've seen of this guy, but nothing tooooo-- (second panel) What the hellllll?! Is he pushing her over the ledge?! What the hell are we supposed to take from this-- (third panel) WHAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!
(Linkara is horrified and repeatedly looks at the comic, then looks up at the camera; he screams for a sustained period of time)
(Cut to a technical difficulties logo, showing a drunk Simpsons-looking man operating a TV camera)
(Back to Linkara calming down and taking a few deep breaths; he picks up the comic, reads it, and screams again)
(Cut to the same technical difficulties logo again)
Linkara (v/o): WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COMIC?!! WHY IN GOD'S NAME DID THEY THINK IT WAS A GOOD THING TO PUT IN THIS?! THIS MAN'S HEAD ON TOP OF LADY GAGA'S BODY?!! IT'S NOT EVEN LIKE HE SECRETLY LONGS TO BE A WOMAN OR THAT HE'S ACTUALLY A CROSSDRESSER OR SOMETHING! THIS IMAGE JUST COMES STRAIGHT THE HELL OUT OF NOWHERE!! GOOD GOD, HIS DREAMS FEATURE HIM MAKING OUT WITH LADY GAGA, KILLING HER, AND THEN REPLACING HER HEAD WITH HIS OWN!!
Linkara: THIS IS THE STUFF OF SERIAL KILLERS, PEOPLE!!
Bill: Did you know that I consider myself bisexual? There's something about a beautiful woman that really inspires me.
Linkara: (horrified and worried) TO EVERY GLBTQ INDIVIDUAL IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, I APOLOGIZE FOR THIS COMIC!!
Linkara (v/o): And then, in his dream, he hits the ground and he wakes up.
Bill: Crap, just a dream. It's always a dream. And I wake up.
Linkara: Hey, Norman Bates called. He said you're really kind of a weirdo.
Linkara (v/o): Is this a frequent thing of his, dreaming about having his head on someone else's body? Does he fantasize about cutting off Miley Cyrus's head and putting on his own? Later, he checks the comments on his blog called "Jellyfish Rulez"... Great, on top of everything else, he believes poor literacy is cool. ...and he gets a spam comment. And now it's time for another right turn into "What is this?! I don't even...": he and Lady Gaga as little kids talking to each other. This is where the comic gets close to its biography roots, and I admit it's better than what we saw in the Mickey Mantle comic. This features a character actually talking about their backstory, as opposed to it just being narrated to us. However, since I know this is happening in this psychopath's head, it's not helping. Oh, and you know what else isn't helping? He's imagining himself in a schoolgirl's outfit!
Lady Gaga: I was never into sports. I wanted to play guitar for Led Zeppelin, not bounce some ball around all day.
Bill: Again, I felt the same way. Amazing.
(Cut to a clip of Doctor Who, showing the Eighth Doctor)
Eighth Doctor: I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there.
(Cut back to the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Now we see him waking up again, having apparently fallen asleep in front of his computer while watching the "Bad Romance" music video. His wife takes it remarkably well when she sees he's watching a video of a woman half his age dancing in her underwear. At work, we see he's a data entry drone – and I do mean "drone"; everybody is wearing the same dark blue shirt – and is singing "Bad Romance". He gets a call from his wife who invites him to have lunch with her at McDonald's. By the way, is it just me or did this artist actually draw his wife with the exact same face he uses for him, but with lipstick? That adds about ten layers of creepy to this whole thing. His wife teases him about him liking Lady Gaga, but says it's no big deal since everyone has their fantasies.
Linkara: Admirable, but most people don't fantasize about MURDERING CELEBRITIES!
Bill: I'm your fantasy, right?
Linkara: What, you're allowed to dream about younger women, but she's not allowed to dream of anyone but you?! Double standards, much?
Bill's wife: Oh, yeah. You or Rick Springfield, I can't decide which.
Bill: Oh, lord. Jessie's Girl?
Linkara: You don't like Springfield? (scoffs) You are a snob.
Linkara (v/o): Just to further the look into this weirdos psychosis. As his wife talks to him how she thinks it's great that he's finally liking a singer from the present, her head starts transforming into Lady Gaga's. At least I think it's supposed to be her. Frankly, it looks more like Gwen Stacy. Also, why is his hand so huge? And I'm pretty sure McDonald's does not serve any sandwiches large as your head. Back at work, he's singing again while he works and his co-worker asks him to quiet it down since it's hard to concentrate, leading him to start singing louder. Yeah, thanks comic. It's not enough that he's a serial killer in the making, but he's also an annoying douchebag. Thanks to this he's talking with his boss.
Mr. Simmons: Do you know how many of your co-workers hit the wrong keys, Bill? We're a data entry company. When people hit the wrong Keys it's like having the fire department putting out a fire with kerosene.
Linkara: Human lives depend on this data entry, Bill! You cat just hit the back button and type it in again!
Bill: I understand, Mr. Simmons. But I was holding that in my whole life, you know. I had to let it out.
Linkara: You were holding what in? The lyrics "I don't want to be friends"? You are deranged!!
Linkara (v/o): And then, completely out of the blue, he starts talking about Lady Gaga. I'm not kidding.
Bill: Do you know Lady Gaga? Top pop star. She got her start performing at bars, after she was dropped from her first label without ever writing a record.
Linkara: (unconvinced) You are so fired and I have zero sympathy for you.
Linkara (v/o): Remembering that tidbit about Lady Gaga inspires our quote-unquote "protagonist." Bill walks into a crowded McDonald's with a blonde wig a stereo and a microphone and says the following:
Bill: Lady Gaga once said that she is obsessively opposed to the typical. I'd like to think that she and I have that in common.
Linkara: Hey, you know who else was opposed to the typical and whom you have a lot in common with? Ed Gein!!
Linkara (v/o): So, now Bill, fully embracing his insanity, imagines that Lady Gaga is with him in the McDonald's and the two are singing Poker Face to a bunch of stunned onlookers. His wife also walks in and, instead of being horrified by this, records her husband on her cell phone doing this. The Gaga illusion tells him that she'd be honored to have him in the "Haus of Gaga," which I don't think the writer even knows what that is. According to Wikipedia, it's her creative production team.
Bill: I always knew this day would come. It was only a matter of time before someone recognized my artistic soul.
Linkara: You are dancing in a wig to someone else's music! How is that artistic or creative?! Not to mention it wasn't your idea anyway!
Linkara (v/o): His wife recording it breaks the illusion for him, but now we have the final straw for the entire comic. See, it's finally time for Lady Gaga to actually appear in the comic as herself. You ready? (showing the final image of the comic) Here's what she looks like, according to this artist. I have no idea who the hell this person is supposed to be, but she sure as hell does not look like Lady Gaga, with pale brown skin, positively ginormous hands, hair that is in no way styled, and apparently very muscular abs and legs. And so our comic ends with someone offscreen showing her the video of Bill dancing around to her music that his wife posted up. What's better? She describes it thusly...
Assistant: "My sexy husband, the most creative soul in the universe."
Linkara: You live in a pretty tiny universe, lady.
Linkara (v/o): Lady Gaga says that it's weird enough.
Lady Gaga: Just weird enough. Let's find this guy./ There's always room for one more in the Haus of Gaga.
Linkara (v/o): You know, I'm pretty sure this where the comic officially gave up. Ignoring even the bad artwork itself, does Lady Gaga usually walk around with a microphone on her hand as if she's singing, dancing around and standing in front of a gradient background? I'd almost venture a guess that this was some still image the artist drew and he just gave up halfway through and they decided to use it anyway to try to give this thing a happy ending.
Linkara: This comic sucks and I don't even know how to properly describe what it is.
Linkara (v/o): The artwork is horrendous, ranging from passable to disturbing to just having an ugly color scheme to it. Because, you know, if there's one thing you get from (Cut to "Paparazzi" music video) Lady Gaga's music videos, it's a lack of bright colors. (Cut back to the comic) The story itself is bland, incomplete, and requires leaps in character development without any real rhyme or reason. The protagonist is a creepy psychopath who at the end is one step closer to murdering Lady Gaga. Oh, and, on top of all of that, he's a jerk and a music snob.
Linkara: I, on the other hand, will admit to liking a wide variety of music, even stuff that others may find unlikable. See, I can like Queen and Pink and Lady Gaga and David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen and all the same stuff as this guy and still like other stuff. Hell, I actually like Nickleback.
(Linkara then gives an irritated look at someone teasing him. We then see that the guy teasing him is Spoony)
Spoony: Hah! Loser. You like Nickelback. I am so much more cooler than you now!
Linkara: Yes, indeed. You know what else? (He takes out a remote and pushes a button)
Spoony: Hey, uh, If you're looking for more posers to add to your music collection, I'm pretty sure I can get you a deal on some Limp Bizkit CDs...
(The ground shakes as Spoony jumps from his chair)
Linkara: I HAVE A SPACESHIP!!!
(Puts the comic down and walks away)
Had this comic been ABOUT a guy coming to terms with himself as a crossdresser or as bisexual thanks to Lady Gaga's music, it actually would have been very clever, but I honestly don't think that's the angle they were going for with this.
Also, yes, I'm aware that the dream is referencing the music video to "Paparazzi." The fact that he puts himself in the roll [sic] of the one pushing her off and because he says he keeps having the dream is what makes it creepy to me.
Anyone ever stop to think that one of Poker Face's lines only works because of bad grammar? After all, no one says "Bluffing with my Muffing."
(Post credits, Linkara leans in from the side)
Linkara: That reminds me. I still need to name that thing, don't I? Next week.
(Linkara leans back up)