On the surface, Chicken Outfit may seem to be nothing more than the crazy story of two bumbling office-workers falling headlong into a series of bizarre circumstances. Not so, dear reader. The hours of thought and research that have gone into this series has been pretty extensive – more than necessary in a lot of cases. (Yeah I know, this is why it takes so long to come out and why it doesn’t sell as much as I’d like.) Regardless, in this series of posts, I’m going to discuss subtext you may have missed either because you didn’t care or we weren’t clear enough.
You may have noticed that the back cover normally includes a parody of a classic horror or sci-fi film. They’ve also appeared on postcards we’ve handed out at conventions. Parodies include; “Videodrome“, “Dawn of The Dead“, “Suspiria”, “Maniac (1980)” and recently, branching out into non-genre films like Taxi Driver.
The reason for this is two-fold. One, these films had a huge influence on my life as an artist. Secondly, it’s a commentary on the “Artists’ Alley Scandals” that have plagued comic conventions. Artists who have some talent and cannot come up with a comic of their own will setup shop at a convention and draw characters that are unlicensed to them, trying to cash in on the massive popularity of super hero comics. Some people don’t see this as an issue and yet, I can’t help but think it muddies the water in an already over-saturated comic market.
One other thing. People of my generation will, more often than not, catch the first-level joke, here. Unfortunately, a lot of today’s kids haven’t even seen the films I’m using as parody and will not understand the subtext. Some have though, and kudos to them. We’re living in a bizarre backward nostalgia bubble at the moment it seems and anyone who is into VHS and vinyl or an ’80s film devotee should be able to appreciate our work and spot many little jabs and barbs we’ve strategically placed within Chicken Outfit.