Welcome to Comic Relief #5. To see the previous installments, go to the Comic Relief Index. 🙂
This time we’re going to take a brief detour. There are several more Lady Satan comics to talk about, but I’ll get to those later. For now, I want to talk about another, rather different comic. There are times when you come across a comic, and as you read it you can’t help but giggle like a school girl at the thought that this comic actually exists and was written unironically. This is one of those times.
Today’s comic was published in 1973 by Spire Christian Comics. That right there should be a clue about how fucking ludicrous it’s going to be. It was intended to convert readers to Christianity. But like most Christian propaganda, it actually couldn’t possibly appeal to anyone who hadn’t already swallowed the Bible pill whole. While it purports to be converting non-Christians, it actually could do nothing more than simply reinforce what Christians already believe. And, unintentionally, be a perfect crystalization of everything that is absurd, appalling, authoritarian, ignorant and simpleminded about conservative Christian beliefs.
You wonder why I would divert myself from Lady Satan, a character I love, to talk about some other comic? Well, you will wonder no more once you see the cover of today’s unholy clusterfuck of a comic.
Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
Bear in mind, this comic is nothing but unreflective pro-American and anti-German (and anti-Russian) propaganda. It came out almost 30 years after the war ended. And yet, that cover looks like it could have easily been seen on news stands in Berlin in 1942. We’ve got a beautiful young Aryan-looking girl with (count ’em) eleven swastikas forming a fucking halo around her head as proud German soldiers stand behind her adoring Adolf Hitler, who is right in the line of her blissful, enraptured sight. This comic will attempt (and, disturbingly, fail) to convince us of how evil the Nazis were, but you would never guess that from the cover.
And if you think that this must have been produced by some lonely hack making insane comics with crayons and used toilet paper in his mother’s basement, please allow the advert on the next page to disabuse you of this notion.
Do any of those titles stand out to you? And, no, I’m not talking about The Gospel Blimp. Of course I’m referring to all the Archie titles on the list. These were in fact licensed by Archie Comics, as the creator of Spire Christian Comics was a writer at Archie and had enough power and influence that he could actually convince the company to let him publish his own Archie Comics under his own company’s name. Imagine Marvel or DC letting some other company publish Spider-Man or Superman comics under their own imprint, and for an explicitly ideological purpose. How much influence would you have to have to convince them to do that?
Our story follows Hansi, an adorable little pug-nosed teenage girl who lives in rural Czechoslovakia during the period where the Germans invaded and overran the country. In the very first panel we get a taste of just what kind of character we’re gonna be following.
Yep. She’s a fucking moron. And her stupidity only increases as the comic progresses.
But don’t hold that against her. Stupidity is her virtue. This is a Christian comic, after all.
Books are eeeeeevil. Note that this comic at no point mentions the fact that the Nazis banned and destroyed numerous books, including works on Darwinism. That fact is just a wee bit inconvenient for Spire Christian Comics.
Hansi, though, has found her dream. Reading her Nazi books, she hopes to ascend up the Nazi ranks and become a Hitler-endorsed Nazi youth leader. Hey, it worked for Pope Palpatine. (Until he pulled a Sarah Palin and quit his job, that is.) Eventually, her dream is realized, and she is awarded a place in a prestigious Nazi school in Prague, an event which alarms her know-nothing mother.
Nope. I’m gonna say this right now. The best thing you can do is forget Jesus. Failure to do so might result in you producing something like this comic, and we just can’t have that.
Hansi goes off to her new Nazi school, which is in a large estate near Prague. On the doorstep, she meets another student, and we get one of the few acknowledgements of the Holocaust that this comic ever makes.
Please, allow me to quote directly from Hitler’s Mein Kampf:
“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”
“His [the Jewish person’s] life is only of this world, and his spirit is inwardly as alien to true Christianity as his nature two thousand years previous was to the great founder of the new doctrine. Of course, the latter made no secret of his attitude toward the Jewish people, and when necessary he even took to the whip to drive from the temple of the Lord this adversary of all humanity, who then as always saw in religion nothing but an instrument for his business existence. In retum, Christ was nailed to the cross, while our present-day party Christians debase themselves to begging for Jewish votes at elections and later try to arrange political swindles with atheistic Jewish parties — and this against their own nation.”
Hitler was Christian. He claimed killing Jews was what Jeebus wanted. It’s right there in the quotes.
But that doesn’t stop certain fundamentalists in America from constantly haranguing us with the false notion that he was an atheist. This is part of a broader pattern of their behavior in which everyone they dislike is associated with everything that’s bad, and everything they like is associated with everything that’s good. Atheists are child-molesting immoral Nazi Muslims while Christians are wholesome, virtuous American patriots. (Oh, and science is evil.) This comic will not provide any counterexamples to this frequently observed fundamentalist prejudice. Throughout the whole thing it’s America good, Other Countries bad. Jesus good, science and learning bad. Christians good, hippies bad. (Yes, we’ll encounter hippies later.)
Hansi joins the Hitler Youth, and page 5 gives us this image:
That’s 22 swastikas in one panel. In fact, counting the cover, there have been 58 swastikas in this comic so far, and we’re only on page 5! We’re averaging over 11 swastikas per page. Just in case you ever forget that this story is set in Nazi-occupied territory, the artist will smear swastikas all over every nook and orifice of every god damn page to remind you. Leni Riefenstahl would think they’re overdoing it with all the swastikas.
This is the comic that loved the swastika.
Our swasti-comic continues with Hansi relishing her new life as a little Nazi Barbie. Basically it consists of people complaining about how conditions are deteriorating under German rule, and Hansi countering by regurgitating something about how much she loves Hitler and Nazis and Germany. Wash, rinse, repeat. She has completely drunk the Nazi Kool Aid, and can think of nothing other than how much she loves Hitler. Seriously, I would think she just wants to fuck Hitler, except for the fact that quite suddenly she apparently has a boyfriend. He comes out of nowhere, his name is Rudy, and he’s serving on a German submarine. Hansi communicates with him via letters.
Rudy proposes, she accepts, but his parents refuse to allow it because they are rich and Hansi is just a peasant girl. This is some real Romeo and Juliet shit going on here…if Romeo and Juliet were badly written Christian propaganda. Hansi decides she doesn’t want to tear Rudy’s family apart, so she leaves him and joins back up with the hair-helmeted girl from the Hitler Youth, who’s boyfriend is still away on duty.
That’s Hansi, just regurgitating what this author would have us believe is what the Nazis believed. No thought. No reflection. Just angry reaction. Fucking idiot.
And really? All the soldiers want is Bibles? Food or medicine or, for that matter, porn aren’t on the list, too? This is the kind of cheesy glurge that some fundamentalists just gobble up. It’s the kind of stuff that gets passed around in viral emails full of apocryphal stories that people who rarely engage their brains like to get all mushy about. And this comic is more than happy to keep shoveling it up.
Note how when they want to portray Christian soldiers in the Nazi army, suddenly those ubiquitous swastikas are nowhere to be seen.
The war is drawing to a close, and the Russians are advancing on Czechoslovakia. Rudy tries to convince Hansi to flee the country with him, but our cute-as-a-button-on-a-kitten-snuggling-with-a-baby little moron protagonist won’t hear of it. She insists on staying in Prague and supporting the Nazis to the end. This brings us to my favorite single panel in the whole comic.
It’s about time someone pointed out what a fucking imbecile she is. This was starting to turn into one of those comics where one character is completely fucktarded in every way imaginable and yet somehow no one seems to notice. Good for you, Rudy. I’m on your side now. But please don’t make me regret saying that in the very next panel…
What the fuck??? God fucking damn it, Rudy. Yeah, she’s an idiot, but rape threats are a bit of an overreaction, dontcha think?
And when the hell did this comic get so dark? Yeah, it’s about Nazis and all. But for ten pages up to this point, it’s just been about a blonde girl who mindlessly parrots Nazi gibberish and hates the Bible. You know, fun light-hearted stuff. Now all the sudden we’ve got her boyfriend saying he hopes she gets raped by Russians!
What fucking weirdo shit is next?
She actually gets fucking raped??? Rudy, you have the most heinous fucking jinx-powers in the universe. Remind me never, ever to have a beer with you if I’m ever in Prague.
So, yeah, gang rape. That’s where we are right now. Hansi boards a train, gets captured by Russians, taken to a labor camp, and is subject to nightly gang rapes.
Except for one thing. After the scene above, we see all the women crying, and one of them says, “You’re lucky you’re skinny, Hansi! They don’t want you!” That’s right, the comic immediately pusses out and assures us she wasn’t actually raped, because she’s…skinny? Since when did that ever stop a rapist? I guess Russian rapists like big girls. Because they are from Russia! Where the men are Men! And the women are Men!
Well, no. The actual reason they don’t have her get raped is because they just didn’t want their protagonist to get raped right after her boyfriend told her to go get raped to teach her a lesson. Hey, writers, can I give you a hint? If you don’t want your main character to get raped, don’t write your story this way!
Oh, and this might also be a good time to mention that, if Wikipedia is correct, this story was written by a fucking woman. Un-fucking-believable.
All the rape and mayhem makes our protagonist decide that she and Hair Helmet need to escape. And so they do. It’s just that easy. They crawl under the barbed wire and GTFO.
For now, we’ll leave it at that. This post is getting long, and I’m not even halfway through the comic yet. It’s just that there’s so much insane and disturbing shit in this comic that I feel the need to comment on almost every single panel in detail. For now let’s sum up the first 12 pages like this: Nazis were Christian whether this comic likes it or not; Hansi’s a nincompoop; Rudy’s a fucking asshole; Russians are rapists; and this comic blows my fucking cock like no other.
I’ll be back in a few days with part 2! 🙂
UPDATE (7/10/13): For Part 2, click here.