Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

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Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby Lollipop4598 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:27 pm

Maybe this is picky, I love Joes work, but I don't quite see eye to eye with him on how animals are to be treated. I noticed it big time in "Heart Shaped Box". But I really didn't like that Nina not only allowed but encouraged Bode to take fireflies and put them in a glass jar. That is very cruel. I am sure for Bode its all good fun and nature appreciation, but you are taking a small creature and slowly killing it by a combination of suffocation(even if you make holes in the top, which I didn't see) and starvation. I would never let my child do that. I would explain that while they are beautiful, its not right to imprison and kill an animal for fun. How exactly does Joe see animals? I must say I am disturbed by this.
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby Lollipop4598 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:39 pm

Maybe that came out too harsh. It just bothered me in an otherwise excellent work. Iknow people see these things differently. I would like to appologize if it sounds like a major condemnation. Its just that it goes against stuff I have always thought. And I realize that err..no actual fireflies were harmed in making the comic!
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby Shane on Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:26 pm

I like the follow up you made here, since it's easy to lose sight of tone over channels like this, and I wouldn't want people to misinterpret your feelings as bashing rather than what you meant.

The thing to remember here is: Joe's writing a series of characters. They are certainly made up and not based on any one person, and not wholly imagined either, but probably amalgamations of several influences until they take off and then become themselves fully to Joe. With that, Joe's personal take on animals isn't one that you should apply through the actions of Bode, much in the same way that you shouldn't feel or imply that Joe feels murder is fine, because some of the other characters in L&K have committed a few. You know?

Bode, as a character, is an inquisitive and imaginative little boy, who is curious about the world directly around him -- hence, the discovery of the keys in a place where everyone else is distracted. He's the accelerant in many ways for the story's progression, but he's just a little kid, and a lot of little kids are attracted to bugs and animals.

But more importantly to remember, though we disagree somewhat on the morality of kids and animals, it's most necessary to remember that he's a character, and not at all ascribed 100% to Joe or his own personal agenda/principles.

-- my 2¢
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby Lollipop4598 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:25 pm

No, of course no character is the embodiment of the author. But all characters, particularly the protagonists are an aspect of the the writer. That I do believe. And writers usually make it quite clear what they think of the actions of their characters when they write. Its not Bodes actions that make me sad. It's the familys. Sure most kids don't know any better. Some have more empathy, and some have less empathy, but in most cases they just want to play and don't realize animals feel like we do. But the mom and older siblings actually encourage him to be cruel to the animals. That bothered me. Just because a work is fiction doesn't mean it can't condone some bad stuff. I dont think Joe really thought about it one way or the other, and I know different people see animals in different light, but the fact that he has a nice, caring family encourage a kid to be cruel to an animal was just something I felt maybe should be pointed out. If for no other reason then that I won't be the only one that balks at stuff like that. I am not criticizing this to be mean. I really gave it a lot of thought, and I sort of hated to point it out, but its something I thought should be.
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby Shane on Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:35 pm

Fair enough.

I guess we just disagree on what is cruelty to animals, that's all. And, that's perfectly fine, too. Just you see capturing fireflies in a jar as something to be condemned and I see it as a potential rite of childhood-during-summer.

Now, if Bode captured them to tear their wings off, or put them in a glass of vinegar... well, I'd see it different.

*shrugs*
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby demorganakamark on Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:29 pm

slot of people caught fireflies as a kid. I talked to alot of people and they all think that its natural thing for a kid to do.
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby NewEnglandGothic on Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:36 pm

Actually, when I first read issue #5, I was wondering what the scene of Dodge releasing the firefly from the broken jar meant at the end? "Fly away". Now upon reading Head Games #4 with Kinsey's inner demons trapped in the bottle, I wonder if it was Joe giving us some sort of foreshadowing about Dodge being uncomfortable with things trapped like he/she was in the well?
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby Betsy_Boo on Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:13 pm

Ooooh! I'll bet he's gonna let Kinsey's fear & sadness out of the soda bottle! YIKES!
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby Stephanie on Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:24 pm

I caught fireflies in a jar - there was no sadism behind it, it was more like just trying to catch magic. Then again, I eat veal and listen to punk rock music. So . . . .

That being said, even if Bode was burning ants with a magnifying glass or some such, while out of character, I don't think that would be a reflection on Joe Hill or his view on the treatment of animals. I mean, c'mon.

Speaking of Kinsey's fear (New England Goth & Betsy), don't you love how it was depicted - like a little demon version of Kinsey herself? Such great artwork.
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby NewEnglandGothic on Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:50 pm

Yes Stephanie, I loved how the creators depicted Kinsey in leaky pipework because she is crying all the time and evil Kinsey with the forked tongue.

I used to try to catch fieflies too, but they were too fast.

I agree there is no sadism behind it. I rescue stray neighbor kittens at 33, a hobby, so I didn't turn out that bad. I even got bit by one, got rabies shots and went back out for it after so it could get a family, before the cold weather got it.
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby grasking on Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:55 pm

I remember as a kid my cousins and I would catch fireflies. We were being kids. Kids, as we all know, are inquisitive. They want to know how things work, why the sky is blue and why and how do bugs blink? It's not like Bode was tearing the legs or wings off one by one.

I still go out catching "lightning bugs" occasionally with my nieces and nephews. But don't worry it's a catch and release program.
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby grasking on Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:05 pm

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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby joe_hill on Sat May 02, 2009 10:49 am

Lollipop,

I always assumed that Bode and Kinsey would catch & release... the kid just wanted to look at some fireflies up close.

As far as Bon and Angus in H-SB, I thought it was clear they were loved and respected by the man who owned 'em, even if his treatment of them was occasionally callous. As for the author's treatment of them... I can only say I've written about far worse being done to humans.
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby NewEnglandGothic on Sat May 02, 2009 4:43 pm

joe_hill wrote:Lollipop,

I always assumed that Bode and Kinsey would catch & release... the kid just wanted to look at some fireflies up close.

As far as Bon and Angus in H-SB, I thought it was clear they were loved and respected by the man who owned 'em, even if his treatment of them was occasionally callous. As for the author's treatment of them... I can only say I've written about far worse being done to humans.


Lollipop, I agree with Joe on a child's curiousity toward nature and on his treatment of his troupe of characters. I mean the first thing I thought when I read your question was did you see what Sam Lesser did to the busload of passengers in issue #4 or what Sam did to Kinsey with a flashlight in issue #5 among other poor souls who crossed paths with Al Grubb and Sam Lesser :shock: ??? The fireflies got off easy. I still believe it's another aspect of Dodge's personality, helping us get the feeling of being trapped for so long in the well house, and his/her/it's fear or disgust, with Joe/Gabe trying to show us with a different point of view of that helplessness.
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Re: Animal treatment? The firefly"Hilton"?

Postby Betsy_Boo on Sun May 03, 2009 10:49 am

I find this discussion really interesting, beyond what the characters are doing to animals or humans (good point Joe & NEG). It is really cool that people get so into stories that the characters come alive. We are talking about Kinsey, Bode, Jude...etc., like they are real people! That's part of the magic of stories and why I love to read. When you think about it, this whole discussion is a huge compliment to Joe & Gabe on the the power to engage their fans.
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