July 21, 2014
A story from the good old days, when costumes could just be a banana hammock. Did I say good? I meant stupid.
(Open on Linkara sitting at his Futon)
Linkara: Hello, and welcome to "Atop the Fourth Wall", where bad comics burn. And I cannot believe I even still remember that this series exists!
(Cut to an earlier episode of the show, when Linkara was much younger)
Linkara (v/o): Two thousand eight was an innocent time for this show. It had a humble beginning, no theme song, no opening greeting, and no memes about proclaiming my gender. No, all I had was a crappy comic and minor interruptions to try to promote "Revolution of the Mask". Yeah, I really need to get around to releasing issues 3 and 4. But anyway, yeah, "Sinnamon #11" – it sucked!
Linkara: Although, looking back on it after reviewing stuff like "Marville" or "Bimbos In Time" or "Nova Girls" or "Cry For Justice" or "Holy Terror" or any of the many, many other horrid comics I've reviewed, was it really that bad? OH, DEAR LORD, YES!!
(Shots of the Sinnamon comics are shown)
Linkara (v/o): I'm not even sure how to describe it these days, not helped by the fact that I was basically reviewing the comic near the end of its run. Sinnamon is apparently a superheroine and potentially a minor, despite the fact that the comic seems dedicated to showing off her nipples through her outfit. And she fights a reawakened Communist supervillain named Terror-Dawn. Terror-Dawn herself has her history explained in a back-of-story, where we learned she had a redneck Communist boyfriend, who spouted this bit of insanity: "I love you, darlin', but I love Stalin more."
Linkara: (singing as redneck Commie) "I don't know how to loooove hiiiim!"
Linkara (v/o): The comic was also chock-full of TV cameos like Mulder and Scully and Boris and Natasha. Hell, I actually missed one: Terror-Dawn attacks a Pamela Anderson lookalike on the beach. There may have been more references than that, but unfortunately, I can't double-check that because I don't have a copy of "Sinnamon #11" anymore.
Linkara: I'm guessing I destroyed it at some point in some sort of rage-induced blackout and I just can't remember. Either that, or I sold it at a convention to some poor fool who now has that inflicted upon them. Either way, I sadly don't have the comic anymore to double-check. I had to rewatch the episode to remind myself of what happened, and I HATE watching my old episodes, so I'm in an even worse mood now!
Linkara (v/o): But the question now becomes, how did all this stupidity start? What's the full story here?
Linkara: Well, let's dig into (holds up copy of...) "Sinnamon #1" and see if we can discover the secret origin of this truly memorable character, who was last seen... (awkward pause) nowhere.
(The theme song plays, followed by the episode's title, accompanied by "Polka Face" by Weird Al Yankovic. Cut to the cover for "Sinnamon #1", showing the title character showing much cleavage through her outfit – such as it is)
Linkara (v/o): So, in this issue of Playboy... er, I'm sorry, I got confused for a second with this cover. Actually, a better joke would be, "this issue of Vampirella" (a shot of a Vampirella comic is shown in the cover briefly) since that's where Sinnamon's outfit seems to draw the most inspiration from. And that's being generous and saying there was an inspiration beyond, "Man, I wanna draw porn, but I don't want the social stigma that might come from that." So instead, we have Sinnamon on a dark background with kind of a purple-y glow around her. All hail the Glow Cloud! I'll give credit to the cover in that she's not pulling the Subway sandwich thighs look while she's flying, but that's assuming she's flying and not doing some kind of bizarre dance.
(Cut to a clip of Captain N: The Game Master, showing Captain N and Princess Lana dancing a weird dance with equally weird music playing in the background. Back on the cover, it is revealed that the comic is labeled: "Catfish Comics - Sinnamon 1 - $2.50 U.S. $3.10 CAN - Mature Readers")
Linkara (v/o): Don't even know why it isn't just porn. It's already labeled as being for mature readers. You've made her outfit two straps and a thong – just give in already! What the hell is even her expression here? Is she a superheroine, or is she just an expert at modeling with her mouth half-open and her eyes half-closed?
(Cut to the second page of the comic, showing Sinnamon's closeup and an announcement for the comic, which Linkara reads...)
Linkara (v/o): "CATFISH COMICS is pleased to present the pulse-pounding, power-packed, potentially perverse, pulchritudinous premiere issue of: SINNAMON"!
Linkara: Agh! You screwed up the alliteration! Either use S words, or call it "Pinnamon"!
Linkara (v/o): Also, I have to censor this page because they drew her nipples through the red tape she was wearing. Classy.
(He opens to the first proper page of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): We open with Sinnamon flying through the air, and before shortening makes it appear as if she's bending her body into a U-shape, what with her front perfectly upright while her legs are also up in the air behind her.
(As always, Linkara provides the voices for the dialogue and narration of the comic)
Narrator: The Golden Valley Chamber of Commerce has a pamphlet which describes the city as having a magical combination of big-city sophistication and small town quality of life.
Linkara: (as narrator) But then again, they were very drunk when they wrote it.
Sinnamon: That's as far as you go! Drop that man, or I swear I'll boot your butt into orbit!
Narrator: Time to re-write the pamphlet.
Linkara: Zounds! She said "butt"! Clearly, there is no sophistication in this place!
Linkara (v/o): Sinnamon is talking with some other woman [Infama] who doesn't believe in wearing a bra, what with her cleavage-exposing combination jacket and leotard. She's just robbed a bank and is holding a guy's head between... giant glowing pliers... Okay...
Infama: Okay cute stuff, show me what you've got. Make it quick – I've thought up a new twist on bobbittizing I'm eager to try out on this fellow!
Linkara: If you mean using those giant pliers, I think you were going for the wrong head, lady.
Linkara (v/o): It seems this villain has some kind of power to manipulate or create matter, since the pliers disappear and she unleashes some energy ribbons at Sinnamon.
Infama: You know, I bet you'd make a lovely present. Let's see how you look with a bit of gift-wrapping!
Linkara (v/o): And indeed, the ribbons have formed into actual ribbons with a bow tied around her, too.
Linkara: (pretending to struggle in being wrapped up, strained voice) Did... you... keep... the... receipt?
Linkara (v/o): However, Sinnamon manages to burst out of the ribbons and fire some concussive blasts, forcing the villainess, named Infama, to create a giant comb to lash onto Sinnamon's hair and pull her away.
Sinnamon: Ow! When I get loose – OW! I'll bust you – Ow!
Linkara: (as Sinnamon) You're – Agh! – not... fixing my – Agh! – split ends!
Linkara (v/o): After some more back and forth hitting between the two, Infama forces Sinnamon to let her go by holding a police car over the heads of two officers, saying she needs to save them or else she'll drop the car on them.
Police Officer: (under car) Groan – I should have stayed a shoe salesman!
Linkara: From shoe salesman to police officer – a natural career path.
Linkara (v/o): After Infama flies off on a giant paper airplane... So she was Yarmulke Riedman this whole time? ...Sinnamon berates the police officers for getting in her way. Apparently, she forgot that she's the only vigilante around here. Also, it's not their fault that Infama lifted a car over their head. However, the police officers don't seem to mind.
Police Officer #1: (as Sinnamon takes off) What a babe! I'd love to give her the best five minutes she'll ever have!
Linkara: (laughs) You'd think you'd last five minutes!
Police Officer #2: Same here...
Linkara: Yeah, she should've let the car drop on you.
Police Officer #2: ...but you know something? Other cities have heroes who like to help cops and innocent bystanders.
Linkara: And I'm sure they have cops who aren't lecherous and useless.
Linkara (v/o): Later, Sinnamon is returning to her apartment in a big trenchcoat.
Sinnamon: I just wish there was some way I could go straight to my apartment without anyone seeing me.
Linkara: (frustrated) YOU DON'T WEAR A MASK!
Linkara (v/o): A man comes up behind her and grabs her, holding a knife up and threatening to cut her throat if she doesn't come along with him to "have some fun". Naturally, Sinnamon is pretty pissed about this, flips the dude over her head, and– CRIMINY!! She crushes his hands so much it spurts blood!
Linkara: Ah, so we finally found the inspiration for the unaired Wonder Woman pilot! Pants to be darkened, indeed!
Linkara (v/o): She holds him up by one hand, which is pretty impressive, since he looks to be taller than her, but he's at least several inches off the ground, and says scum like him shouldn't walk the street. But all he does is scream in pain and horror, apparently also getting his leg broken by her, too. And her response to his screams of pain... is nothing except this expression on her face. (said expression is of smugness)
Linkara: (looking excited) Oh, man, we have ourselves another soul as gentle as the Fixer.
Linkara (v/o): We cut to the police station, where Sinnamon tosses his bleeding, beaten body.
Sinnamon: We've a vigilante who ships us her handiwork. No idea what this guy's done, of course.
Police Officer: Whatever he did, I bet he won't do it again! Right, scum? Sinnamon knows how to deal with your kind!
Linkara: (as police officer) Things have worked out so well for us ever since we abandoned due process of law.
(Cut to a commercial, hosted by King Arthur)
Arthur: Hello, my friends. While we wait for these commercials to pass, I will entertain you all with a song.
(Go to real commercial; upon return, return to King Arthur)
Arthur: And now we're back. I hope the song... entertained you.
(Cut back to the "Sinnamon" comic)
Sinnamon: See what I'm up against?
Linkara (v/o): Well, it looks like bras, judging by those nipples poking through. Speaking of nipples, we cut to Sinnamon, naked in a bath. Naturally, Batman is watching somewhere, and I have to censor this. Also, her bathtub apparently sits in some kind of gray, featureless void, and it's too small to fit her without lifting her legs up into the air. Anyway, she's thinking about her failure against Infama.
Sinnamon: She's the first super-powered foe I've ever met – my first true test – and she got away!!
Linkara: Well, whose fault is that? You're the one who can't catch up to the woman escaping on a friggin' paper airplane!
Linkara (v/o): A guy enters the bathroom, whom Sinnamon recognizes... and she fires at him, but all it does is shred his clothes and reveal a muscular physique, although no nipples, because, of course, Sinnamon used up the nipple quota for this comic. And with that overreaction done, all we learn is that this guy is making her an offer, she refuses, and apparently they've been supplying money to her anyway.
Man: I can see none of the money we gave you went towards furnishing this place...
Linkara: And I see that no money went to the artist to draw furniture.
Linkara (v/o): And we learn Sinnamon's real name is Cindy. I can't recall if we learned that fact from the other issue I reviewed, nor do I particularly care. Smooth move, having your superhero name match your real name. Still nude, she approaches a mirror and tells herself she doesn't want "their help anymore".
Cindy: Why would I go back? Why would I want to replay... ...the ...past?
(Cut to a clip of The Spoony One)
Spoony: That was the past!
(Cut back to the Sinnamon comic, as she punches her mirror, shattering it)
Cindy: NO! NO!!
Linkara: (raising his fist in the air) Damn you, ironic mirrors!
Linkara (v/o): A few days later, Cindy is looking at her mailbox while a guy talks to her, since he just moved in. Naturally, Cindy is not interested and just walks off.
Man: No rings on her fingers and I've never seen her come in with anyone. She seems shy, but if I work at it, I could hit the jackpot!!
Linkara: Dude, considering how her interactions with people have gone so far in this comic, your insides are going to end up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting.
Linkara (v/o): Another guy in the apartment just happens by with his boombox, tuned to Plot Convenience News, which informs Cindy that Infama is attacking a highway.
Narrator: One swift but discreet costume change later...
Linkara: I don't really know how discreet it needs to be when literally her outfit can be hidden underneath a T-shirt and jeans. Hell, it could be a low-cut and it'd still be difficult to tell she had it.
Linkara (v/o): Sinnamon and Infama engage one another, with Infama even summoning up a barrage of various hammers, including Thor's hammer, it would seem. Lots of Thor's hammers. Maybe she's supposed to be the woman who's going to be the new Thor.
Linkara: (holding up his hand) To the people of the future, I apologize for that joke, which was topical at the time of this video's release, but is now extremely dated. (beat) Also, what's the future like? Do we ever get another Star Trek TV series?
Linkara (v/o): Aaaand the almost-plagiarism is interrupted by Sinnamon rushing in and grabbing her by the throat. Sinnamon notices a jewel at the base of her neck and tries to pull it off, but simply grabbing it causes Infama to gasp and wheeze as if she can't breathe.
Sinnamon: What the--?! Is that gem part of you?
Linkara: (as Infama) Nah, it's just a decoration for my tracheotomy.
Linkara (v/o): Infama manages to recover quickly and then creates an anvil that drops on Sinnamon's head.
Infama: Way cool! All that's missing are the wild sound effects!! Beep beep!!
Linkara: What cartoons did you watch where they used (makes "finger quotes") "beep beep" for an anvil dropping?
Linkara (v/o): With Sinnamon unconscious, Infama stands over her.
Infama: And for my next trick...
Linkara (v/o): Your next trick no doubt being to just look at the reader instead of the person you defeated. Also, is it natural for an unconscious person to lift their leg up like Sinnamon is doing? Aaaand then Infama leans down and starts making out with Sinnamon's unconscious body?
Linkara: Sexual assault! Thanks, comic.
Linkara (v/o): Sinnamon wakes up and decks Infama, sending her flying.
Infama: Geez - try to show a little affection instead of the usual mindless violence and look where it gets you!
Linkara: So I'm assuming the name "Infama" comes from the word "infamous". Yeah, I believe it, since I'm sure you're a registered sex offender, lady.
Infama: Some people are just waaay too uptight!!
Linkara: And some people should be smothered by that giant pillow you've created. Guess which category you fall into, Infama!
Linkara (v/o): Sinnamon, pissed off at what has happened, punches Infama in the back... and... she's fine in the next panel. Gotta love sequential art where one panel doesn't accurately follow another. Sinnamon takes a piece of steel and wraps it around Infama's neck, blocking the jewel and, I presume, her powers, though beats me if that's how it works. After another punch to the stomach, Infama's down and out and tossed inside the police station, knocking off the doors.
Police Officer: Geez! We just fixed that door* this morning!
- NOTE: It's actually "those doors".
Linkara: Well, credit to the installation team: that's really damn fast.
Linkara (v/o): And so our comic ends with the police taking Infama into custody, also realizing that the metal band around her neck is blocking her powers.
Infama: Well, you've won this round, my uptight foe.
(Cut to a clip of Scrubs)
Dr. Cox: No means no, pep squad, now beat it.
(Cut back to the comic)
Infama: But the sisterhood will free me soon enough, and then we'll see who gets the last laugh!
Linkara: Certainly not me. (holds up Sinnamon comic) This comic sucks!
Linkara (v/o): A few positives I'll give: despite some hiccups here and there, I actually do like the artwork, at least in terms of realistic-looking people. Well, sure, everybody looks like a model, but points for resembling human beings and not Rob Liefeld-esque rubber band bodies. Still, this continues to raise the question of why this isn't just a porn, because it really seems like it wants to be, what with the nudity and the nipples. And at least in this one, we don't have tons of unnecessary cameos from other series.
(Cut to the last pages of the comic, showing off a copy of a paper called the Golden Valley Gazette)
Linkara (v/o): Another positive I can give is the last few pages of the comic, ostensibly pages of the Golden Valley Gazette that helped shape the universe a bit. There's even a personal section that, according to the letters page, hints at a few future storylines. I admittedly do not care enough to try to learn what those are, but I appreciate that kind of effort regardless.
(Cut to shots of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): The writing is bland and we really know nothing about Sinnamon, other than vague hints. There isn't a number-zero issue or anything to explain her origins like where her powers come from or why she evidently doesn't like helping innocent bystanders or cops. We didn't even get a name from the guy who visited her. Also, what the hell is this writer's fascination with having people molest Sinnamon? It is, quite frankly, creepy.
(Cut back to the letters page of the comic)
Linkara (v/o): Speaking of the writer, in the aforementioned letters page, he talks about the nude scenes, saying he had misgivings about them, but then seems to get very contradictory about why they exist: to keep it out of the hands of children, which that mature readers label should do just fine, and that too many kids are reading books they shouldn't be reading. Then why don't you make it all ages? He also admits he has no misgivings about using sex to sell the book: "If you're going to use sex, what's the deal with the super-tight outfits and the discreetly shaded dis-robing scenes? How can a costume be tight enough to show off belly buttons, but not nipples?"
Linkara: Um... we saw plenty of those in this comic. I'm not sure you're paying attention.
Linkara (v/o): "Our response to all that pussy-footing around? 'Here's Sinnamon! Now she's naked! There!' Come to think of it, that may not have been the most rational way to make our point. But this is comics."
(Cut to a clip of The Princess Bride)
Westley: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
(Cut back to the letters as Linkara finishes reading the one)
Linkara (v/o): "Third, Mike likes to draw naked women."
Linkara: Why the hell didn't you just say that to begin with? Ugh! Now I remember why it's taken me almost 300 episodes to look at this series again.
(Linkara tosses the comic down on the couch in disgust, gets up and leaves; credits roll)
(Cut back to the letters page of the Sinnamon comic)
Linkara (v/o): The artist had a few things to say as well, stating that the nudity in the book is basically there because he wanted his comics to be realistic and realistically, people would have sex. "I believe that as the comic audience matures, so should the medium mature if it is to survive."
Linkara: (holding up comic) Oh, yeah, and there's so much maturity on display in this comic, I can tell you.
Linakra (v/o): "But if you don't like it, don't read it."
Linkara: (shrugs) Okay. (tosses comic aside and leaves again)