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February 21, 2008

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Isaac Cates

It's not too large a leap from Habitat as you describe it to something like the Forest of Arden: a "state of nature" removed from (but more civilized than) the metropolis. That's very much part of the Hippy mythology, isn't it?

My sentimental favorite Kirby "cityscape" of this vintage might be Happyland, though -- the amusement park that's actually a torture chamber (and also still an amusement park).

CharlesWHatfield

Isaac, great to hear from you here, and, yes, I think the whole notion of Habitat is part of Kirby's riff on Hippydom. It's an expression of what, in my book-in-progress, I call Kirby's technological-pastoral (you can see this too, I think, in Kirby's depiction of the Black Panther's Wakanda). I like your comparison to the Forest of Arden; I should think further about that, about Shakespeare's forests as utopias.

Happyland is such a magnificently twisted, nightmarish episode; I love that whole sequence in The Forever People, wickedly underrated and worthy of a long, long ramble... you recall, of course, the scene in which Darkseid takes a casual stroll through the park? Grim and funny and knowing.

Isaac Cates

Yeah: I think the thing that I love about Happyland is that there are people attending the park and having a good time, watching the people who are trapped or being tortured there through filters that make the screams sound like laughter. That's just terrific.

And, yeah: Darkseid laughing at the people in the park: that's a great moment, worthy of Dr. Doom or any other top-caliber villain.

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