Good evening all,
After the recent article discussing Kaylee, I chatted with its creator RedFireD0g. RedFireD0g was curious what I would think of another comic, called “Girl’s Night,” so I agreed to review it. (FULL DISCLOSURE: RedFireD0g provided review copies.) Girl’s Night is about women crushing and eating people for fun so this analysis will include mature themes and morbid subjects.
Girl’s Night was a collaboration between RedFireD0g and Jack of Bullets. It is focused on three giant women: Adele, Becky, and Cynthia. Of note, the initial previews on DeviantArt gave different names:
Cynthia is the main character. RedFireD0g told me she “… becomes a very different person by the end of it, for better and worse.” The ladies go out for a girl’s night in a city populated by human beings much smaller than themselves. It has been years since the three of them last hung out together and this was going to be their last night together before going their own separate ways. Accordingly, they hope to “… make it a night to remember!” Unexpectedly, their plans don’t involve fancy cocktails or dancing at a nightclub with cute guys, but instead involves murdering small humans. Adele and Becky are psychopaths who are comfortable with and indeed enjoy killing the tiny inhabitants. In contrast, Cynthia was initially reluctant. After some teasing and having her eyeglasses broken, Cynthia gives up her reluctance and joins the other two in their bloody celebration. There was also some sex acts. Overall, the narrative was straightforward without surprises.
In general, the art was pretty decent and the women were attractive. Their figures were realistic. They did not possess the exaggerated breasts given to ladies in other RedFireDog comics, such as Sophie in Sugar Pills:
There was a strange image of a man who according to the caption was “… slipping his pants off and tossing them aside.” Yet, he wasn’t actually wearing pants on that page. Maybe he had an old sports injury and chose that moment in time to rub his left knee? <shrug>
Additionally, at least one person was unexpectedly low-resolution compared to the others:
Lastly, certain business signs are often reused in RedFireD0g comics. These are older and thus of lower resolution than the character models. If you view the PDF at regular zoom, meaning 1:1 or 100%, the signs become a bit jagged or pixelated, but still legible. At first, my assumption was that the image had been zoomed in beyond 100%. That would have explained the pixelation but no, it was just 100%.
Now that the artwork has been described, let’s explore what the themes might be. To me, Cynthia represents the common phenomenon of someone who espouses principles of equality and fairness, but surrenders those principles at the first sign of resistance.
Let’s dive into that point in a bit more depth. At the beginning, Cynthia expresses concern for the people in the city. In response, her companions state that tinies aren’t really people. At one point, Cynthia wonders if she should just head back. However, Becky tells her not to be lame. This “persuasion” from Adele and Becky did not feel like it should have worked. If Adele and Becky were close friends with Cynthia then it would have been more influential. Ergo, if the three regularly saw and planned to continue associating with each other in the future than it would make sense that Cynthia would value their opinions.
However, that wasn’t the situation. It was stated on Page 11 of Part 1 that they had not hung out together in years and that this would be the last night they would see each other. So, the narrative stated explicitly, without ambiguity, that Adele and Becky were not close friends that Cynthia regularly spent time with. Therefore, to put this question bluntly, why the hell did Cynthia care what they thought?
Continue with that line of reasoning, let’s do a thought experiment. For this experiment we’ll assume that Cynthia had left instead of staying. As a result of her departure, Becky thinks Cynthia is lame. Additionally, as was already established, they will not see each other again. So, Cynthia would have to live with the fact that someone she wasn’t close to thought she was lame. Speaking personally, I have had to deal with much tougher situations in life. It was a weak reason to change one’s principles.
For comparison, let’s discuss another story in which a person turned from good to evil. We will revisit the arc of the Star Wars prequels and the progression of Anakin Skywalker to the dark side! He began life a slave which, to put it mildly, is not an easy life. Furthermore, Anakin underwent traumatic events including the death of his mother, his only parent, and then the death of his wife. That trauma gave him motivation to become a murderer. In “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” a viewer may question why did Anakin kill several Tusken Raiders? The answer would be those Tusken Raiders killed his Mom. That was a strong and understandable motivation. Many of us have a close connection to our parents (or a singular “parent” if like Anakin you were the product of a virgin birth) and would take drastic steps to avenge their loss. We may not slaughter a tribe on Tatooine, but we would take action.
In contrast, someone who Cynthia will not see again was going to have an unfavorable opinion. That was an anemic and difficult to understand motivation. It could have been stronger. For example, let’s assume that Cynthia’s father worked for Becky at the same corporation. Becky could have taunted Cynthia by saying: “If you don’t eat that tiny then I ‘ll tell my Dad that your father made a pass at me.” Cynthia would be mortified! That alleged event did not happen, but upper management may still believe Becky. Cynthia’s father could lose his job and only source of income. Without that income the family might lose their home. Weighed on the scales of justice, Cynthia should still refuse to kill a tiny. However, Becky’s threat would test Cynthia’s resolve. Is she strong enough to endure hardship or will she capitulate and suffer immense guilty? Instead, Cynthia compromised her stance when presented with the disapproval of girls who were more like strangers (they haven’t hung out in years and won’t see each other again) than close friends.
Next, I want to briefly discuss how fictional alien and fantasy races are often used as metaphors for racism. In January 1969 the original Star Trek television series aired an episode entitled “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.” That focused on a pair of extraterrestrials called Bele and Lokai from the planet Cheron who were engaged in a deadly conflict. They were half-black and half-white. However, Bele was black on the right and white on the left, while Lokai was the opposite.
When told of this distinction, Commander Spock stated “I fail to see the significant difference.” However, Bele considered Lokai’s opposite skin coloring to constitute “obvious visual evidence” that Lokai was an “inferior breed.” A statement which sounded ridiculous to the bridge crew of the Enterprise and to viewers at home.
Additionally, it’s more than just TV shows, science-fiction movies also provide metaphors for discrimination and prejudice in examples including, but certainly not limited to, 1972’s “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” 1988’s “Alien Nation,” and 2009’s “District 9.”
Of course, other mediums of expression, such as comic books, do the same. Marvel Comics X-Men involves mutants with super powers. Their metaphorical use was explicitly pointed out in 2018’s “Deadpool 2” by Deadpool, a.k.a. Wade Wilson, himself:
My point is that creators use fictional beings like super-smart apes, humanoid aliens like Alien Nation’s Newcomers, and District 9’s sentient shrimp-like Prawns to discuss real-world issues of prejudice. Even if the directors and writers only wanted to showcase cool aliens and did not mean to make a statement, people will still read into the material. It’s impossible to prevent people from interpreting art. Such interpretation can be a good thing. People may sympathize with the Newcomers and think that humanity should treat them better. They may then have an epiphany and realize that they could also treat folks (who speak a different language, practice a different religion, or look different) better in real-life. After all, if a human cop can work together with an alien cop to defeat a criminal, then how much easier would it be for two humans to join in common cause? Humans are much more similar to each other than humans are to Newcomers.
Therefore, my argument is that the dynamic between giants and tinies (like the dynamic between humans and Newcomers) can be interpreted as references to real-world racial dynamics, whether that is desired by the creators or not. This cannot be negated by stating authorial intent. An author cannot mandate that a particular reading is invalid while another reading is the only valid one. For example, the 1998 drama “American History X” was intended to present a negative view of Neo-Nazis and Skinheads. According to an article in Variety, ex-Skinhead T.J. Leyden interpreted the film in that manner. Nonetheless, an alleged anti-Semitic extremist (on trial for murder, see this Philly Voice article) took inspiration from it and mimicked the infamous curb stomp scene on social media. Therefore, despite the original intent, some people view American History X differently.
If authorial intent was the only way to understand art then let it be know that my own works are meant to highlight our shared humanity, not to obscure the overwhelming similarities which connect us. If only it was that easy to control the public’s interpretation! In a similar vein, Wizards of the Coast will no longer use the term “race” to describe the fantasy beings in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. This was done to prevent the association of nonhuman species with racist stereotypes. (Click here to read about that.) Whether or not Wizards of the Coast will be successful in this effort remains to be seen.
So, when considering theme, the best fit seems to be that Cynthia was a person who lacked the strength of her convictions. She did not fight for her espoused beliefs. (NOTE: The act of being shoved which left no bruises or drew any blood, having her eyeglasses broken, and enduring mild teasing did not constitute a proper “fight.”)
Returning to the Kaylee review, a commenter stated, in part:
“The comic tries to be realistic and has different angles which makes me curious to what happens next.“
In one sense Girl’s Night was realistic. Whenever there were mass injustices there were also many bystanders that disliked what was happening, but took little action because they lacked the strength of their convictions. To put that more succinctly, cowards outnumber heroes.
Furthermore, it could be argued that stories like Girl’s Night are unique. Historical dramas, such as “Schindler’s List,” are made about Oskar Schindler, and not about the numerous other Germans who turned against their Jewish co-workers and employees. That’s not to claim that Schindler was a flawless moral paragon, but he was more heroic than most of his peers. Cynthia resembles one of Schindler’s peers, a German citizen who at first objects to the treatment of Jewish citizens, but then listens to Nazi propaganda, far fetched and difficult to believe as it was, and becomes convinced that it is valid.
Let’s look at some propaganda-like dialogue from Part 1. Initially, Cynthia was reluctant to be in city of tinies, saying:
“If we party, aren’t we going to hurt a bunch of them?“
In response, Becky dehumanizes them:
“Aww, it’s so cute the way you still worry about the tinies like they’re real people!“
After Cynthia accidentally hurts a man and suggests finding a doctor, Becky makes another ludicrous statement:
“I don’t even know if tinies have doctors!“
That sentence was far-fetched and difficult to believe. As if any civilization could advance to the point of making large (compared to themselves) cities without stumbling upon the concept of medical professionals at any point in their development. Our world is full of numerous different cultures and every single one, regardless of their level of technology, had members of their culture who served as doctors or healers.
Following Becky’s earlier statements, Adele expresses a similar sentiment at multiple points:
“… you really need to remember that they’re not people. They might look like people, but they’re just tinies, okay?“
“I know you’re a little on the short side, but come on, Cynthia, have a little self-respect. At least you’re a person, not a tiny!“
It’s not difficult to find hatemongers throughout the ages who used similar language. Extremists try to strip vulnerable groups of their status as people to remove any desire to protect them.
To draw another comparison between Cynthia and real-life historical examples, how many white Americans in the antebellum South stood idly by while African-Americans were enslaved? Mini-series, such as “The Good Lord Bird,” feature people like militant abolitionist John Brown. They don’t feature concerned citizens who refused to take direct action in the years before the Civil War. People, like Cynthia, who oppose the suffering of others, but were unwilling to put effort behind their beliefs.
Those comparisons made, I will ask you the reader a question. What do you think about Cynthia?
I have some suggestions that, in my opinion, might improve such comics. The trope of mean giantess kills hapless people without any significant resistance feels played out in 2022. RedFireD0g has produced at least 10 separate series based on that idea. Therefore, it’s time to mix things up! Let’s re-imagine how this narrative could have played out:
Instead of the pant-less guy (he was called Charlie) on Cynthia’s palm cowering in fear, he acts defiantly. Charlie knew that he was condemned to die the moment the giantesses noticed him. Thus, recognizing that the end was near, he goes out in style. Whips his dick out, pisses on Cynthia’s face, flips her the bird with both hands, and laughs like a madman screaming “FUCK YOU!” at the top of his lungs. Sure, he will still be crushed or swallowed, but no one can deny he lived with pizzazz. At minimum, the interaction would be more memorable.
Turning up the tension, Charlie’s father is a firefighter. He sees that they murdered his boy. An only child. They crushed Charlie, like he was nothing but a bug! That firefighter already lost his wife, Charlie’s mother, to cancer. Since then he has been distracted, unfocused. His lackluster performance means his career has stagnated. Other firemen who went through the academy with him have been promoted to Lieutenant and Captain, but not Charlie’s Dad. Now that Charlie is gone, the Dad doesn’t have anything to live for, except vengeance. So, he grabs an axe and a Scott Air-Pak self-contained breathing apparatus.
The Dad is swallowed by Cynthia. Sure, if she was paying attention she might have noticed the weapon behind his back or wondered why he wore an air mask and oxygen tank. However, we’ve already established these ladies weren’t attentive. For instance, it’s difficult to believe that there was not one clinic or hospital sign in the tiny city. So, Cynthia sends him down her throat and into her belly. A fate that anyone else would want to avoid, but not him. It’s what he wants. Inside the young woman it is pitch dark, hot, and her stomach acid is eating away at his protective gear. None of that matters. He is where he wants to be. He swings the fireman’s axe. He can see nothing, but that’s alright. He is content to keep swinging blindly until his dying breath. Enough swings will do the trick. Thwack! The axe sticks into the lining of her stomach. Cynthia gasps in pain. Thwack! This second blow hits the same spot as the first. Thwack! Cynthia cries out “Something is wrong!” Thwack! The sharp tool begins to penetrate the stomach wall. Thwack! The blade breaks out and nicks her large intestine. Capillaries and veins are damaged; she bleeds internally. Bile and ichor flow into places where they should not be. Thwack! The giantess claws at her abdomen. Long fingernails digging crimson ditches in her skin. Thwack! An artery is cut. Her so-called friends are useless. That middle-aged firefighter will perish inside her gut, but Cynthia will never leave his city alive. Tinies do have hospitals, but the nearest giant hospital is just too far away.
That re-imagined take would give the murderer a painful death and feels appropriate.
As should be obvious by now, fans of evil giantesses should appreciate Girl’s Night. Nonetheless, even if keeping a malevolent theme, I hope similar comics see some innovation in the near future. Time to shake up the tired old formula! It’s going to be tedious if future iterations are “In this comic, a guy with an off-white, eggshell-colored t-shirt is swallowed. WAY different than the last one in which a guy with an off-white, alabaster-colored t-shirt was swallowed.“
Overall, Girl’s Night was not my cup of tea, but it is good to have spaces in which such stories can be published and then discussed.
RedFireD0g plans to do a follow-up to wrap up Sugar Pills “… maybe relatively soon.” I enjoyed most of Sugar Pills and would love to review the final installment. Here’s hoping that I haven’t burned bridges with this article! Regardless, my goal is to give an honest opinion.
That’s it for today folks. Until next time, keep growing!
This review was written by SolomonG and is protected under Fair Use copyright law.
All Rights Reserved.