Fukitor can feck off

page from Fukitor

Jason Karns, the creator of Fukitor, the comic shown above, wants you to know that these are not lazy Muslim/Arab terrorist stereotypes you see, they are CARTOONS:

First off, the word “muslim” is never implied. Second, the terrorists aren’t real. They are cartoons based loosely on the fact that there are people on this planet who will kill you because you don’t believe in their imaginary god. Again, they are CARTOONS. It’s complete fantasy.

The fact that the villians here are all brown skinned, bearded and wearing what certainly looks like stereotypical Middle Eastern clothing and come from “Ufukistan” — sheer coincidence. Also, you shouldn’t complain about these images because in the same issue Martians are also treated badly.

panelsfrom Fukitor 9

But anyway, even fantasy CARTOONS should be realistic says Jason:

I mean…are YOU serious?? Are you suggesting that cartoon terrorists shouldn’t be depicted as something that’s relatively close to reality? You do realize it’s not a stretch, right? Maybe you don’t.

So it’s not real, but it is realistic. Gotcha. Jason Karns’ defence so far has hit most of the expected points: it’s only a story, it’s not real, actually, it’s taken from real life, pointing out racism is the real crime, criticism is censhorship, what about the Martians, but it doesn’t excuse the Planet of the Arabs imagery:

So why do sensible people like this comic? Jim Rugg explains and doesn’t ignor its flaws:

It’s even more insanely racist than it looks, and also it is insanely misogynistic, exploitative, misanthropic, nihilistic, antisocial, funny, engaging, shocking, dynamic, beautiful, inspiring, scary, and well-designed!

It’s the kind of comics that scared a generation into burning comics in the 50s.

These comics feel genuinely dangerous and entertaining like slasher movies and cheap, violent 80s action vehicles. I’ve never seen any other comics like these. I was happy to see comments that mentioned Crumb, Johnny Ryan, and Vigil’s Faust. This is divisive, complex work. It’s not for everyone. But it’s a reminder, like other great comics, of why I love the comics form. Images and drawings can be powerful. I think many cartoonists do not focus on that aspect of the form.

To be honest though, there was a lot of shitty comics being burned in the fifties as well. The grossout horror and real crime stories could actually be transgressive back then because comics were about the only medium not censored into pablum, largely beneath the notice of the censors, until Wertham found a way to sell more books. Karns’ work takes place in a completely different media environment, one in which anything goes and there’s nothing transgressive or radical about blood and gore, especially not when done by white dudes to brown villains.

Rugg’s comparison to “slasher movies and cheap, violent 80s action vehicles” is telling, because under the gore, violence and the occasional bare titties, these were some of the most conservative movies in the world. Slasher movies always killed off the girl who actually enjoyed sex first (but not after the topless shot, natch) for being a slutty slut who sluttily enjoys slutty sex, while eighties action movies were all about re-establishing American dominance over all the world villains, be they Russians, Cubans, East Germans, Arabs, Vietnamese, or, in Chuck Norris flick Invasion U.S.A., all of them. There’s nothing “dangerous” about imitating them, nothing of Karns I’ve seen so far that looks any more interesting than what Barry Blair did in the eighties black and white boom.

Even without the racism Karns work looks dull, a thirtysomething’s idea of what a thirteen year old would like; with the racism it just leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. It may have struck Tom Spurgeon as weird that you’d “dismiss the transgressive nature of something at the same time you’re trying to shout it down in some fashion“, but just because it annoys people it’s not transgressive, or all muzak ever would be. Nor are people necessarily trying to shout it down in the first place: criticism, even harsh out of hand dismissals, are not censorship. Karns has the right to make the comics he wants to; the rest of us have the right to think less of him for what he created.

If he really wants to shock and be radical and trangressive, why not have the same comic, but with the heroic defenders of Fukistani values defeating the evil forces of the godless west? Show some gleeful, lovingly dismemberment of US soldiers while Osama Bin Laden quips one liners? That would still be dull, but slightly more brave than just putting the boot into your country’s official enemies once again.


  • JayMeister3000

    January 14, 2015 at 2:32 am

    To answer the questions posed in the final paragraph:

    Because it’s fun. It’s entertaining. And it’s all a fantasy. It’s fun to read a wild fantasy. I’m sure you’ve had wild fantasies in your life. Karns said fuck it and drew them out with precision and it is absolutely brilliant.

  • Martin Wisse

    January 15, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    It’s boring is what it is, about as entertaining as a Chuck Norris movie.

  • Gene

    February 8, 2015 at 9:04 am

    They are competently drawn, true. But who needs this kind of stuff when you have S. Clay Wilson?

  • Mark Thibodeau

    February 28, 2015 at 9:32 am

    If it’s so boring, then why won’t you shut the fuck up about it?

  • Martin Wisse

    March 1, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Hey, you’re the one responding to a years old post.

  • Barry Freed

    March 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Sick burn.

  • Glenn Garrison

    August 5, 2015 at 1:37 am

    The Arts (literal art,theater,movies,music) are all all subjective but everyone wants to be a critic it seems but sometimes I feel that some people aren’t really qualified.
    But a critique is really just an opinion right? Here it is based on content only without regards to some really important artistic elements and the general satire. So it seems a bit convenient for your particular belief system.
    Reminds me of when The Beatles invaded America and the Rolling Stones! OMG!!!!! Demonization was the order of the day for so many people. I can only laugh when I think about if my mother (No longer living) had been forced to watch an Iron Maiden concert!!!
    What kind of response?

    Batman…Spiderman…intended for children. Fukitor is ADULT entertainment. Fukitor is shaking the foundation of mainstream ideology, but actually there are a number of “Gore” publications that are more successful and MORE offending that have been around for some time. They appeal to a small audience.

    Fukitor is great ADULT entertainment and artistically it demonstrates great panel flow,not overly verbose,not complicated, really good composition is used and great art style. I think when you shake up people you know your doing something right.

    It seems to be much of a historical fact in the comic art world!

    Glenn Garrison for Comics Kyushu~

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