Over a year ago I posted this exact same blog in a different spot. The reactions have been more negative than anything. I don't know where I stand with this stuff at this point, I am still working on it in my head. Currently I am doing a complete HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE takedown. When I finish, I will revisit this subject armed with a grip of new thoughts.
I have taken to posting some of my musings and a whole lot of Ranx pictures in the Mediasaurs forums. I invite you to click through and check it out. Log in if you have a comment. I have some links in there that lead you to Liberatore and some of his other art. It is worth your time.
Below is the original posting. I have also included all of the original links and my add-ons as well:
Let me tell you about an android created from spare Xerox machine parts that scared the hell out of me. He was ugly, buffed, oversexed and living a life of strange sex and violence.
I was a child when first exposed to this thing, and let me tell you something else: Ranxerox was a big part of me putting childish things away and facing reality.
Ranxerox hails from Heavy Metal Magazine here in the United States. As an adult, I don't completely comprehend what Heavy Metal Magazine is. I have had my mitts on many issues but the grand definition of the stuff defies me. I suppose that it is comic books for adults. I also suppose that the bulk of the stuff is not done in America. It always seemed to me that Heavy Metal stories were more about the lack of explanation to the carnage on-panel. Bodies are ground up. Sex is served in strange fashions (including stuff that would and should make kiddie porn enforcers stand up).
Ranxerox was a celebration of carnage, hedonism and drug use. His girlfriend, Lubna swears that she is 18 but she has the body of a 12 year old.
Once again: This stuff scared the hell out of me. I had not seen the world portrayed as such a bleak place in any of my travels at the time. Yet here it was. In all of its perverse glory.
Throughout the rest of my life, I stumbled across people who looked remotely like Ranx, but other than that, no contact with the concept.
I don't know what triggered it, but recently I started thinking about things in my past with have really gotten under my skin. Some I will go back to and master, others I won't. An example of something that I don't want to master is LIPSTICK starring the Hemingway girls. I saw it, I was too young to be watching such trash, and I am good if I never see that piece of tripe again.
Casson informed me about a year ago that Chris (Windowlickin) Cunningham is on tap to deliver the Ranxerox film to the big screen. In the back of my head, I have always thought that Ranxerox was cool and that I just never understood it/him. I figured that if it was going to be a movie, it should be directed by someone as frapped in the head as Cunningham.
But this all called me to the vortex. I circled it for months and I can finally say that I have gone into through and beyond this thing that scared the living vittles out of me.
I can also say that as an adult, I find it pretty much as offensive as I did when I was a kid. Yes, the art at the top of this post is beautiful stuff, and that is the Ranxerox sell. The art is wonderful. Staggering painted frames that capture grit, sinew and texture like few things do. The concept however, remains perverse to the core. The things that are supposed to be funny are mean-spirited. Dare I say: there is no redemption in this comic book/whateverthehellitis at all.
I double-dog dare you Mr. Cunningham to bring this to the big screen. It will be the end of you and your career of filth.
What is so offensive you ask? Well I already mentioned the Lubna angle. Ranx also gets it on with her friend who looks like she too is about 12 (in all of the graphic glory that Heavy Metal is famous for). He hangs out with a fetishist who likes to shoot pictures of dead people, so there is a graphic accident that I remember from my childhood where someone has a chunk out of their head and they are part of the scenery. There is copious drug use. Everyone is on heroin. There is a comedy sodomy scene in a bathroom with a tied up 30-something swinger woman. Ranx also hangs a hanky out of his back pocket and some violent homosexuals think that he wants to be fisted, and it goes downhill and further downhill. There is also a strange passage where he is slightly reprogrammed to think he is Fred Astaire and there is a disturbing dance routine Ranxerox does with a minimalist g-string that I can only cite as beyond minimalist when it comes to g-strings. There is more, but seriously...what the hell.
I have tried hard, damn hard to stiffen up my old wounds, nerve and intestines in order to accept this Ranxerox character as something cool and fun. I have tried to macho myself out and wear Ranx as a badge, but I can't. This is a mountain that I can't climb. I was beaten down on the subject back when I was a kid. Now I just can't find anything redeemable about it. I dove into the vortex and for the moment, it looks like I get nothing out of it.
I have been considering Ranxerox hard for the past bit here. I made the above picture my wallpaper on my computer and on my Blackberry. Furthermore, I made it my avatar for my Facebook account. I joined the Ranxerox Facebook page and came in with bluster and excitement hoping to get more information on this concept. It has all been lacklustre though. I haven't been able to land the fish that I am after. As a kid, Judge Dredd wrecked me too. I was on a Judge Dredd kick a few weeks ago and I landed the fish. After I was done diving back through that vortex, I felt like I had accomplished something. I comprehended the consciousness of it all, and I liked it. However, after meditating on this perverted Ranxerox concept for the past two weeks, I come out even more befuddled. I don't know who could possibly dig on this stuff seriously. If there is a person out there who really digs on it, I would love to have them explain to me what I am missing.
Such is Heavy Metal Magazine for that matter. I suffered through the first horribly animated film starring John Candy's voice, and I didn't get it. I don't get it. It doesn't matter how old I am or how scarred I am emotionally. Look at the picture below. This is the cover for Ranxerox in New York. That isn't Lubna he is holding. As a matter of fact, the woman he is holding is nowhere to be found in the story. If I might be so bold, she looks like she is probably a prostitute. So what is the purpose of this picture? I saw this picture first when I was in 10th grade in high school and I didn't get it. I recognized the sleazieness of it, but I didn't get it. Here I am years later recognizing the sleaziness of it and still not getting it. I suppose that there are things out there...pop culture things that are just beyond me.
*There has been a LOT of traffic to this particular Blog. I have opened up a thread on the subject at the MEDIASAURS forum. I encourage anyone who feels strongly on the subject to log in over there and continue the conversation.
I plan on dropping all things RANXEROX into that thread until I have successfully put this concept to bed in my mind. It could be awhile, I have been tripping on this guy since the metal-soaked 80s.