Friday, December 18, 2015

Violent Monsters As Kiddie Friends

The Hulk.  Green and mean.  A rampaging muscular mass who destroys all in his path.  Uncontrollable fury.

So do you think someone could teach him to be polite?

That’s the basis for the illustrated children’s book, Please and Thank You, featuring Spider-Girl and the Hulk sitting in a tree house, eating hamburgers.

The Hulk grunts, telling Spider-Girl to give him the ketchup.

Spider-Girl explains to the Hulk that it’s polite to use “please” and “thank you.”

The Hulk responds:  “Hulk?  Rude?”  He thanks Spider-Girl for teaching him how to be polite.

That’s not the Hulk I know.  I think the encounter would play out like this:

“Spider-Girl has cooties.  Hulk smash!”

And there’s Godzilla, a 30-story tall dinosaur known for his dance move, the Tokyo Stomp.  With a sweep of his cyclopean tail he can taken out an entire village.  Missiles and bombs don’t slow him down.

When you look at the cover of the kids’ book, Godzilla Likes To Roar, you assume it is intended to calm down young brats tripping on too much sugar.  Roaring like Godzilla the kids burn off excess energy and mercifully fall asleep.

Maybe that works but the story is deceptive.  Godzilla lives on Monster Island with his dinosaur buddies.  They play and frolic and never hurt anyone.

When Godzilla gets hungry he eats some tasty coconuts.  There’s no mention of the peaceful natives that lived on the island before he made it his home.  He’s no vegetarian.  Upon his arrival he stomped on the natives and then cooked them to perfection with his thermo-nuclear death breath.  Flame-broiled human burgers.

So what will they think of next?  How about a Vlad the Impaler plushie doll for the kids to hug while sleeping?  Complete with a plushie stake.


Terry the Censor said...

No Vlad plushies, but loads of Draculas.

Even a Nosferatu plushie!

X. Dell said...

Tis' the nature of folk culture. Many items of lore have changed meaning given enough time. The only difference here is that we have many means (electronic and otherwise) for storing and maintaining previous versions of narrative.