Is anyone else creeped out by Kevin and Kell?

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Postby Nanda on Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:23 pm

The Neko wrote:So yeah, don't write someone off right away for registering an opinion about a comic.


Yeah, wait until they post some artwork first and then tear them to shreds. I find this all incredibly ironic.
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Postby The Mortician on Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:25 pm

Aren't we being a little Nanda. :shifty:
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Postby Kisai on Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:37 pm

Honestly, I don't find kevin and kell interesting enough to read daily, I'll come back to it after months. It only has two simple appeals, computer/nerd jokes and "how can I do the same joke only with animals" with an consistant continuity that you don't usually see in joke comics.

But generally I didn't care about the animals-eat-animals aspect because that is what animals do. Humans eat other animals too and that's why we have crazy PETA people who kill more animals.

Personally, I find that if you can't separate reality from fiction, stop reading fiction. Nobody is forcing you to read it. Furries aren't real, despite the countless people who buy fursuits and goto conventions together.

How is this any different from "defeating" bad guys when they look human in any childrens/teens animation?

It does somewhat bother me when <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy">people take cartoons seriously</a> to the level that they believe there is some ill intent or it's propaganda to <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/02/reid_wants_child_law/">brainwash people. </a>

A cartoon does not use real people.
A cartoon is only drawn by a real person.
A cartoon at it's lowest level represents what the artist wants to draw. Just because animals, possibly humanoid animals die in furry strips, does not mean the author is a serial killer. Just because an author draws a comic featuring children, does not make them a pedophile. And just because a comic makes one crack at a religious figure, does not mean the person is possessed by a devil.

To put the shoe on the other foot. If you read a book, there's no pictures, it's your imagination, if that book tells you about people being killed... it's your imagination that determines how graphic it is. Just because you visualize someone being blown to bits a bloody mess, and the next person's imagination did a cut away instead, does not make you a sick freak.
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Postby Nanda on Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:37 pm

The Mortician wrote:Aren't we being a little Nanda. :shifty:


I can't help being a little Nanda, I was born this way. :(
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Postby Centurion13 on Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:52 pm

Specifically, http://www.kevinandkell.com/2007/kk1122.html

That's what made me snap. I'd been tracking it all along - critters important enough to lampoon and feel superior to, but not that critical 'too much'. For then we might identify with them as 'people' - and thus, with families and friends who will miss them every bit as much as the K+K family would miss one of their own.

Can you imagine if someone parodied K+K and took the viewpoint of the prey? The children of that badger finding out that one of Kevin's offspring did the dirty deed? I wonder how Kell would feel, moseying down the aisle in the grocery store, only to come upon Kevin's head in the display case, courtesy of the badger's son.

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, would be comedy gold.

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Postby Centurion13 on Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:05 pm

Kisai wrote:But generally I didn't care about the animals-eat-animals aspect because that is what animals do.


But humans don't eat humans, and when they do it's revolting, even if they have to do so to survive (why does the Donner Party fascinate after all these years?). And all of Holbrook's critters are rational creatures, indistinguishable from humans in their behavior and ethical choices.

Kisai wrote:Just because an author draws a comic featuring children, does not make them a pedophile.


But if you catch an author with pictures of naked children in suggestive poses, he is reviled by the community, sent to prison, and rightly so. It isn't the fact that they're furries - it's that they lay claim to being rational just like us and with the same concerns as regular humans (gay characters, global this and that). And yet, when it comes to violating the basic taboos humans have, they suddenly get a pass because 'they're cartoons, silly'?

I cry foul. And I'm not alone, as I've seen.

Kisai wrote:Just because you visualize someone being blown to bits a bloody mess, and the next person's imagination did a cut away instead, does not make you a sick freak.


I'm not suggesting it makes you a sick freak. I'm stating that revealing it on the Internet indicates you are obsessed with violent, messy death, and that most folks who discover this about you would avoid you like they would... well, a sick freak.

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Postby Stinkywigfiddle on Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:12 pm

Personally, I think having all animals being sentient but still acting like animals is an interesting concept. They can't all be herbivores and the carnivores still have to eat.

And I don't think Centurion was necessarily being a troll, but it was very opinionated for a first (was it a first?) post and it escalated quickly. I'd like to tell everyone to just calm down, but then I might be attacked for that.
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Postby Nanda on Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:22 pm

stinkywigfiddle wrote:And I don't think Centurion was necessarily being a troll, but it was very opinionated for a first (was it a first?) post and it escalated quickly.


Yeah, now that things have come as far as they have, I can see that. It was the escalation that prompted my first comment. (I've also become a mod at another forum within the last 5 months that is much more heavily moderated than CG, so my knee-jerk is a bit more fine tuned than it used to be.)

I'd like to tell everyone to just calm down, but then I might be attacked for that.


How about we compromise and I just attack you calmly?
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Postby The Mortician on Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:29 pm

It is an opinion, people are entitled to give it... but at the same time, Cent13 should realize even bad publicity is still publicity. So he's not stopping it, just drawing more attention to it by crying fowl.

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Postby Centurion13 on Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:45 pm

The Mortician wrote:but at the same time, Cent13 should realize even bad publicity is still publicity. D:


Not shooting for publicity. Gawrsh, I went through all of this back in the old days, when the BBS was.... well, exactly like the forums of today (we even got cool 'nyms). And the debate raged then, as well.

That was twenty years ago. I still recall playing games cracked by Syntax2000. The crack ads were better than the games.

No, been through all this already. I just didn't have time to soft-peddle the whole thing and figured dropping it in would get me results quickest.

It did.

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Postby Kisai on Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:45 pm

Centurion13 wrote:
Kisai wrote:But generally I didn't care about the animals-eat-animals aspect because that is what animals do.


But humans don't eat humans, and when they do it's revolting, even if they have to do so to survive (why does the Donner Party fascinate after all these years?). And all of Holbrook's critters are rational creatures, indistinguishable from humans in their behavior and ethical choices.


So doctors and medical research staff must all be fascinated with death? I wouldn't say Holbrooks critters are indistinguishable from humans because humans live in houses, not trees, they goto work and do paperwork, not hunting others. It seems to me his entire comic is simply "what if animals instead of people ruled the world", and logically by that, some animals have to eat meat. I would put the question to Bill "so at what point do creatures goto jail for murder?"

http://www.kevinandkell.com/about/faq.html

<i> Why shouldn't a prey species be willing to use a weapon? If I were prey I would be thinking, "I might appear to be incompetent, but at least I wouldn't be eaten."

Bill says :

The mindset of any prey species is, "Let 'em try. My (speed, camouflage, quills, safety in numbers, etc.) will protect me."

Chris Kolher, the webmaster of kevinandkell.com, has summarized the predator/prey relationship in the two 'Prime Directives' :

THE PREDATOR RULE: "As a predator, you may kill and eat someone as long as they are not in any way related to you. You must completely devour them, or leave the rest to be completely devoured by scavengers. Disobey either of these two rules and it's considered murder."

THE HERBIVORE RULE: "As a herbivore, you may defend yourself from predator attack. If, during an attack, a herbivore were to kill an attacking predator, the herbivore would be spared a murder charge, as long as they could prove it was "self defense". Any herbivore who kills cannot eat the individual they killed and be spared a murder charge, since herbivores are not subject to the Predator Rule." </i>

aka, kill for food/survival, not just to kill. Reality frowns upon killing for sport. Reality gets you a murder sentence to kill people for sport.

Centurion13 wrote:
Kisai wrote:Just because an author draws a comic featuring children, does not make them a pedophile.


But if you catch an author with pictures of naked children in suggestive poses, he is reviled by the community, sent to prison, and rightly so. It isn't the fact that they're furries - it's that they lay claim to being rational just like us and with the same concerns as regular humans (gay characters, global this and that). And yet, when it comes to violating the basic taboos humans have, they suddenly get a pass because 'they're cartoons, silly'?

I cry foul. And I'm not alone, as I've seen.


Then you are taking things too seriously. No harm has come to real people, nobody is being inspired to kill people. No most people who kill other people had lots of warning signs, from the "going postal" to the "parent of 4 die in triple murder suicide." I do not see Bill's killing off animal characters as a desire to go out and commit animal cruelty, since it's not graphic, it's not usually specific, and it's not long and drawn out.

To use the same analogy about cartoonists who draw lolicon stuff, I do not believe that it makes them a pedophile. The media wants us to believe that people who can think of this stuff all have the desire to go out and defile children, when the people usually convicted of this stuff are people in position of trust (priests, teachers, neighbours, and close family members )

A work of fiction does not a criminal make. The laws do not reflect the difference between someone who consumes illegal content and someone who produces it. (Otherwise we'd see the RIAA, MPAA and BSA advocating nuclear war with China) It's common sense. Parents may cry foul about hentai, but it was not produced for children, and likewise common sense would say to review anything given to children before they are given in.


Centurion13 wrote:
Kisai wrote:Just because you visualize someone being blown to bits a bloody mess, and the next person's imagination did a cut away instead, does not make you a sick freak.


I'm not suggesting it makes you a sick freak. I'm stating that revealing it on the Internet indicates you are obsessed with violent, messy death, and that most folks who discover this about you would avoid you like they would... well, a sick freak.

Cent13


I don't see any indication that Bill is obsessed with death, that is the nature of animals. Leave two cats alone in a house for an hour, and they will fight with each other with claws. Come home and the loser will come running to the human to protect them from being hurt. If it was a cat and a mouse, more often then not, the cat will kill the mouse. That is what animals do. Leave two children alone in a house for an hour, and they are more likely to play with each other, or leave each other alone. Not get out the sharp knives and attack each other.

What I'm saying here is that if you don't like it, stop reading it, and don't try to raise a lynch mob.
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Postby Ataraxia on Sun Dec 16, 2007 9:24 pm

Kisai wrote:Personally, I find that if you can't separate reality from fiction, stop reading fiction. Nobody is forcing you to read it. Furries aren't real, despite the countless people who buy fursuits and goto conventions together.

This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with confusing reality and fiction. I haven't read the comic in question (read a few strips, got bored, never came back), but I can see how the combination of cannibalism with regular life/family/tech jokes could easily knock one's suspension of disbelief way out of the ballpark.

It's all a matter of coherence. A cartoon wolf eating a cartoon rabbit isn't very shocking, even if both the wolf and the rabbit are wearing pants. We can accept a fairly high amount of violence in simple cartoons. Likewise, a realistically drawn wolf eating a realistically drawn rabbit isn't shocking either. That's the way nature works. However, when you have a cartoon wolf and a cartoon rabbit with detailed backstories, character development, and who act very much like 21st century humans, having one of them eat the other suddenly becomes shocking. It goes against the reader's expectations. If done poorly, it can result in a schism between the portrayal of the characters as virtual human beings and the portrayal of the characters as cartoon animals. One can either see this fictional world as a place where animal characters have jobs and families and go about their regular lives, or a place where survival of the fittest rules and life is cheap. Trying to maintain both at the same time is a tricky business.

I can't say if this applies to K&K or not, since as mentioned above I haven't read it, but it is a definite danger in writing this kind of story.

Here's an idea to illustrate the above: Suppose you had a Peanuts/Family Circus style strip about childhood and family life. The one difference is, in this strip a ferocious mountain squid lives in the sewer in front of the family's house. Once every couple of months the squid grabs one of the children, kills it, and leaves its body parts strewn across the front lawn. The family cleans up the mess, orders a new child from a developing country, and continues to go about their happy life apparently without being too affected by the presence of the squid. This must be accomplished without the slightest hint of irony. Would such a strip work? I have no idea, but now that I've written all that I kind of want to draw it.
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Postby Dr Neo Lao on Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:35 am

Did I miss something? Obviously I did since I don't read K&K either.

Are there any strips where a rabbit eats a rabbit or a wolf eats a wolf? A wolf eating a rabbit (or even a rabbit eating a wolf) is not cannibalism. It's predation.

Frankly, I found death of a snowflake more disturbing than Carmaggedon-style running down of pedestrians and leaving them on the street to be eaten by vultures.

Maybe I'm just too jaded from seeing too much on the 'net...
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Postby Noise Monkey on Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:53 am

What I find the most disturbing is that the strip in question isn't even well done. I mean, it asks that you make too many leaps to get to the punchline, which is really poor storytelling. I'm guessing that he was trying to avoid some of the more unfortunate aspects of the comic (such as making the conclusion C13 came to obvious to everyone), but if you can't do a comic right because you don't want to destroy the tone of the rest of the series, then it doesn't belong in the first place. He could've gone and done the strip right and suffered the fallout, but doing it the way it was done is just weak and probably shouldn't have been done in the first place.
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Postby Redtech on Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:32 am

ataraxia wrote:Here's an idea to illustrate the above: Suppose you had a Peanuts/Family Circus style strip about childhood and family life. The one difference is, in this strip a ferocious mountain squid lives in the sewer in front of the family's house. Once every couple of months the squid grabs one of the children, kills it, and leaves its body parts strewn across the front lawn. The family cleans up the mess, orders a new child from a developing country, and continues to go about their happy life apparently without being too affected by the presence of the squid. This must be accomplished without the slightest hint of irony. Would such a strip work? I have no idea, but now that I've written all that I kind of want to draw it.

Anything can be done, the real question is whether it can be done well. TBH this seems to be another example of moles gaining new mountainside apartments. Yes, the subject matter is an odd twist to a set theme (the very fact the OP defines the eating as "canibalism" demonstrates the norm) but at the end of the day, it's down to the artist and writer to create a universe that is consistant to THEIR ideals. I find it more pretentious that there needs to be an faq demonstrating the carnivore/herbivore self-defense act.
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Postby LibertyCabbage on Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:53 am

There's a decent logical basis to the predator/prey relationship in the comic, but the stupid part that screws things up is how the comic presents a society fundamentally parallel to our own despite being the result of a radically different social structure. Compare this to, say, Communist China, which is substantially different from the West despite sharing a common humanity.

You can't just completely restructure the way people relate to each other and then input those values into modern civilization without having some sort of a conflict.
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Postby Kisai on Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:26 am

I think the point of this thread is being missed. Original poster says "I used to read X comic untill the Author of X did something I find offensive and now I won't read it anymore, who's with me?"

My response is more along the line of
"If you don't want to read it anymore, nobody is forcing you to"

I respect that artists should be allowed to draw whatever they want without someone beating them over the head with a moral high horse. Ask Ghastly what he thinks of critics, and he'll draw them naked. Even If I morally disagree with the content, I am not going to do anything that will cause them harm. It is NOT real.

Again, ask Ghastly and Hard(Sexylosers) what happens when someone disagrees with their content and tries to cause as much harm to the artist as possible.

Kevin and Kell is a comic strip, it has anthropomorphic animals with no humans and jokes using that context of that world. The comic is utterly boring unless you are into comics that talk about technology, or just a fan of everything furry.

For all that happens in it, it's the same 'ha ha, animals on two legs and speak english' content what Looney Tunes have been doing for the last 60 years.

There is stuff that is now <a href="http://www.songofthesouth.net/faq/index.html#2">companies have buried</a> that "used to be okay" decades ago, and the only reason it's hard to get now is because it's not politically correct and the company wants to bury them to give them a clean moral image instead of just sticking a Adults Only/Nc17 label on it with a "Warning, may contain racist and sexist content that some viewers may find offensive"

So again, please realize that encouraging others to tell artists not to create things is a bad thing. If you don't like it anymore, please find something else.
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Postby Jekkal on Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:29 am

Noise Monkey wrote:What I find the most disturbing is that the strip in question isn't even well done. I mean, it asks that you make too many leaps to get to the punchline, which is really poor storytelling. I'm guessing that he was trying to avoid some of the more unfortunate aspects of the comic (such as making the conclusion C13 came to obvious to everyone), but if you can't do a comic right because you don't want to destroy the tone of the rest of the series, then it doesn't belong in the first place. He could've gone and done the strip right and suffered the fallout, but doing it the way it was done is just weak and probably shouldn't have been done in the first place.


The question isn't that the comic isn't well done; I'd dare say, with newspaper syndication, books, and everything else Bill's got invested in the series, even if the work itself is a little shoddy he has at least 'done well' for himself.

The concept of animals eating other animals the way they're portrayed in this strip is a little hard to swallow, but then again, it's a comic, and one best suited to gag-a-day at that. There isn't time for people to wonder.

Now, if someone actually ate one of the main rabbits and Bill proceeded to make a big deal out of it, we'd see some serious inconsistency there...
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Postby IVstudios on Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:05 am

I only skimmed this thread so if this has already been brought up please ignore me.

From what I gather, Centurion13 was disturbed by the idea that human-like animal characters in a comic killed and ate another character for a joke.

I was wondering, would it still be disturbing if they weren't human-like animals, but just humans? If a comic with human characters made a cannibalism joke would it also be offensive? (not saying it shouldn't be, just wondering what your line is)

I personally don't really find it offensive either way. If something's funny, it's funny (not that K&K is funny, but speaking generally...) and just because the joke plays on an idea that would be disturbing if it were to actually happen doesn't diminish the joke in my eyes. Often the joke hinges on the fact that the idea is disturbing, that's what makes it a joke.
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Postby Noise Monkey on Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:26 am

jekkal wrote:The question isn't that the comic isn't well done; I'd dare say, with newspaper syndication, books, and everything else Bill's got invested in the series, even if the work itself is a little shoddy he has at least 'done well' for himself.


That's something else entirely. And it doesn't relieve him of his QC responsibility. And a quick read through the newspaper funnies will reveal that syndication is hardly the yardstick of quality.

And deciding what is and isn't appropriate for one's strip is at the heart of the issue. C13 is essentially saying that the strip violated that. It crossed a line and is hoping that no one noticed. There's plenty of time to wonder, but no resolution to it. It's entirely out of place.
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