Tag Archives: Daria

Dr. Doom on the Riviera

I went browsing the one-dollar back issues at Carol & John’s Comic Shop, yesterday, as my “Black Friday” shopping. I didn’t find a lot to interest me this time. I spent eight dollars plus tax, but this was a dollar well-spent:

Super-Villain Team-Up issue #15, reprinting a 1970 story from Tales to Astonish issues #4-5.

The plot of this one is basically: the Red Skull and some tag-along z-listers invade and conquer Doom’s kingdom of Latveria while he’s away, then he returns and routs them. It isn’t bad. Journeyman work from Stan Lee’s journeyman brother Larry Lieber.

The highlight of this one, however, is that Dr. Doom visits the Riviera, basically just to kill time while conscripted labor is rebuilding Castle Doom.*

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Daria’s Inferno

This past week I enjoyed a little blast from the past: Daria’s Inferno, a 16-year-old video game based on my favorite TV series ever.

Yes, I really did this.

Daria's Inferno on CD-ROM

Somehow I wound up with, apparently, the game CD and case in original shrinkwrap

For what it’s worth, I found this product delightful. The key, here, is that I am a pretty big fan of the show. I have difficulty imagining many people who don’t fit that description giving any thought to this game, particularly long years after it was released. But just in case, well, I would agree with generally negative online reviews that the game doesn’t have much else going for it.

I didn’t care. This was a Daria video game… probably the only Daria video game that will ever exist… and in that regard I think it was mostly awesome.

In some ways I was reminded of one or more Sherlock Holmes video games I’ve played, in that I found a great deal of fun in merely exploring the character’s world. Finding everything in the Baker Street flat, exactly as it should be. Recruiting the services of the Irregulars, or Toby the sleuth-hound. Etc.

Much of the fun in Daria’s Inferno is like that, I submit, except taken even further. This basically was an interactive episode of the show, as much as probably any video game adaptation has ever been.

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“Is it Fall Yet” at 15

After 15 years, I think I have finally come to a rounded appreciation of the Daria sub-epic which climaxes in “Is it Fall Yet.”

I hated this story when it was new. I know that I was not alone, either. “The whole Tom thing,” i.e. the soap-opera romantic triangle of Daria, Jane Lane and Tom Sloane, upset more than a few fans. Who was this tosspot, what about Trent, and most of all, what happened to the cool Daria who mocked life’s absurdities rather than becoming a performer in them? I considered this departure from the early seasons’ approach to be a sellout and a travesty.

Gradually my opinion has shifted, particularly since I acquired the complete series on DVD a few years ago. I think I have mellowed a bit toward fiction, generally, for one thing. With an opportunity to reexamine later seasons at leisure, I also found more quality writing than I had remembered from spotty exposure during the initial broadcasts. I think “Fizz Ed” merits inclusion among a discussion of the series’ best, in particular.

As it happens, that was also the episode which finally persuaded me that Tom has redeeming qualities; at her insulted best, Daria is meta-complaining about how everyone thinks she does nothing but complain, upon which Tom looks up from the TV and very casually asks “…what are you bitching about now?” That’s just too perfect. For that alone, Tom could probably be forgiven for intruding upon everything after all.

So I kind of settled to the swerve of season four, and I think I began to feel that this whole storyline was part of the characters, and the canon, and that its absence would feel wrong, now, if only because of the nostalgia that the series has accrued for me. After watching “Is it Fall Yet” once more (along with its lead-in episode), however, I have as noted found a deeper appreciation of the story and its place.

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Cynical Girl

I think it’s time to write something relatively cheery, again. At least, it’s time to try. But can I do it? Can I come up with something that is not informed by negativism, can I actually just be happy about something for even a moment?

These may be destined to remain open questions, I suspect. Because there’s probably a little yes and a little no in posting a warmhearted celebration of…

CYNICAL GIRL

Our hero.

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