MISC: Super Stomach Girl #4 - You Knew the Job was Dangerous When You Took It
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Wed May 24 19:40:18 PDT 2006
Tom Russell wrote:
> Now, I'm not saying that SUPER STOMACH GIRL would be better suited to
> one of the sex stories newsgroups. It's not a porno story.
It is and it isn't. Change the word "transform" to "orgasm" and you
have this girl, Roz, who reacts very favourably to torture.
> Obstentiably, it's about Roz (Super Stomach Girl) who, when empowered,
> has an invulnerable stomach and can deliver super punches (but only to
> the belly). But Roz only becomes empowered after sustaining massive
> and painful damage to her stomach (upon which is helpfully emblazoned a
> target). And it just so happens that her voyeuristic friend Kara loves
> to see women with flat, hard tummies; and the one thing that especially
> makes her mouth water is to *punch* those tummies, hard. The thing she
> fantasizes, longs for, and obsesses about, the thing that brings her
> incredible panty-dampening knee-clanging joy is to punch Roz's stomach
> over and over again, as hard as she can. And this is basically what
> the story is about. A fetish for seeing women punched and pummelled
> and otherwise punished right above the naval.
Yeah. I read the first three issues and thought they were good but I
started feeling a bit uneasy when the focus shifted to Kara. Now, I
have no personal problems with Kara's voyeurism except that it IS
illegal and if it had been a guy watching her then Roz might not have
been so forgiving. That's not the only double-standard: if a guy were
watching other guys taking a shower then you'd say he was gay but Kara
says she isn't a lesbian just because she likes to watch muscular women
take showers. Right. There's nothing sexual about that. Even you say
that she's experiencing "incredible panty-dampening knee-clanging joy".
Roz accepts that Kara is not a lesbian because if Kara is getting some
kind of sexual satisfaction from all this and Roz is a willing
participant then does that make Roz a lesbian? Women don't seem to
worry so much about this: they can go all the way with another woman
and call it "experimenting". I'm not saying this is a bad thing. In
fact it makes one wonder if there is such athing as a clear distinction
between lesbian and straight women or if they don't just go for
whatever strikes their mood. But that's a whole other discussion.
It wasn't the sexual aspect that turned me off. In fact, truth be
told, the sexual tone of the story turned me ON. Kara wanted to see
how many times Roz would "transform". Roz ended up "transforming"
three times. I was on the verge of "transforming" myself reading that.
(Too much information?) No, what bothered me were the unanswered
questions. If Kara saw the second attack, did she see the first? Why
didn't she call the police? At the very least she could have called an
ambulance. Perhaps, as it was implied, Kara was responsible for these
attacks, that she pays street gangs to hit girls in the stomach and
kill them. Um, that would make her the villain, not a sidekick. Maybe
Jerry was deliberately trying to throw people off when he describes
Kara as a "sidekick". Jerry's made it quite clear that Kara isn't
taking a subordinate role to Roz. In fact, most of the time it is Roz
who is the submissive one and Kara who is dominent. One wonders what
sort of "training" Batman and Robin endure. But that's a whole other
Is this a parody of comics? Maybe Japanese comics. I grew up in
Canada and if there were American comics that involved sadomasochistic
beatings then they might never have come out in Canada. One could
argue that Batman and the Joker, neither of whom have any real
superpowers, are like sadomasochistic lovers. That may have been a
subtext to Miller's The Dark Knight: the Joker smiles when he learns
that Batman is back in action. It's like he can't wait to get back
together with him and get another beating. Perhaps if Kara turns out
to be the villain and Roz will have to fight her for real then the fact
that they both enjoy getting beaten will be subtext here too. Except
that sadomasochism is no longer a subtext at this point in the story,
is it? Roz even wondered if Kara was going to use whips and chains
but, as it turned out, Kara went no further than rope bondage and
> While it's true that Roz is happy to find someone willing to punch her
> in the stomach, if the story continued from her point of view, it's
> more likely that she would comment on how strange Kara's fetish is.
> That would make Kara the loony. The weirdo. It would write her off
> and she would cease to be an interesting character.
Well, I just compared Kara to the Joker and I really think that this is
where the story is going so perhaps Jerry shifted from first person to
third person so as to not give too much away. As you say, by showing
things from Kara's point of view, she still seems centered, still seems
sane, even though, come on, she gets off by hitting people in the
stomach (or seeing people getting punched in the stomach). It's
interesting how Kara doesn't seem to like getting punched in the
stomach herself but, rather, will hide the pain so that Roz doesn't
know how much it hurt. This is so that Roz won't give up, I think.
Kara is willing to get punched in the stomach herself so that Roz will
continue coming. Compare that to the sort of thing you'd be willing to
do to get a blow job. Me, personally, I wouldn't like the taste of
menstral blood. Ew.
> I don't share Kara's fetish. It's a little extreme for my tastes. But
> I understand Kara, I understand her fascination, and I accept her for
> who she is. Basically, Jerry Shaw and SUPER STOMACH GIRL (at least so
> far) has managed to do what David Cronenberg and CRASH failed to do.
> At least, as far as this reader is concerned.
Again, I think this is the point. By seeing things from Kara's point
of view, you are more accepting of them. She likes to watch. She
likes to hit. Imagine that this, like Speak!, were told in second
person. "You like to watch women take showers. You like to hit women
in the stomach. You sick bitch."
> In the first issue, early on, there's a metaphor that doesn't really
> work for me: "like a TV channel going off the air from a direct nuclear
> strike." And the reason why is that it failed to engage my own
> every-day experience. I've had the television click off abruptly
> (power outages) and I've had sudden static and technical difficulties,
> but I've never experienced a channel going off the air from a direct
> nuclear strike. I can't quite get a handle on it.
I did a double take here too. But the line "like a TV channel going
off the air due to a power outage" wouldn't quite work either. It's
not an everyday thing. Yet, at the same time, it's no big deal and
doesn't suggest the same level of urgency. On the other hand, most of
us have probably learned about electromagnetic pulses from movies and
we know that this is no minor occurance.
> One other thing, which is certainly going to sound weird coming from
> the guy who writes HAIKU GORILLA-- slow down! Posting four issues in a
> single night is going to turn a lot of people off.
It was posted May 8th. It is now May 25th. That's more than two
weeks. I put off reading it because four issues is a lot to read at
once and then, when it was no longer at the top of the queue on google,
I had to look for it. I might never have read it. In fact, I rarely
do read stuff that isn't LNH, LNHY or 8FOLD. On the other hand, the
fact that it was four issues meant that I could be certain the story
was going somewhere and that it wasn't going to be a one shot. I hate
that: somebody writes a story, I crtique it and then they don't post
again. Did I say something wrong? I'm sorry to be so blunt. It's
just that if I were to write a story and somebody were to come back
with "Great story! Write some more!" then I'd feel good but I'd wonder
if the reviewer had even read my story because they didn't actually
write a critique. :)
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