The blurb on the upper right-hand corner of the cover to The Adventures of Kool-Aid man (a one-shot produced by Marvel Comics in 1983) indicates that the book in question constitutes something along the lines of a "sixty cent value," which I suppose is a claim best left to the philosophers of a future age. I paid a quarter, I think most people got it for free. Perhaps it's got sixty cents' worth of sentimental value attached to it. I can only imagine it was possibly a lesser luminary's slightly beloved comic, like if Mother Teresa's big-hearted second-cousin fondly recalled finding a soaking wet, half-torn copy of this book washed up on the shore of the lake where he received his first kiss during a languid summer of his youth. A memory worth sixty cents. Tops.
|What part of him is she kissing, exactly? |
Is that a cheek, a boob or an armpit?
What The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man actually describes is a pair of conflicts between giant-sized troubling urine specimen and enthusiastic spokesjar of Kool-Aid brand powdered kids' drink The Kool-Aid Man versus a coterie of tongue-dangling, sizzling hot fiends from outer space known as The Thirsties. Let's stop for a moment and genuinely appreciate internet culture for bringing us a new slang term which makes The Thirsties ten times funnier even in the abstract.
The Thirsties resemble what it might look like if the Muppets had anuses which were, themselves, Muppets, complete with feet, eyes and arms. Kool-Aid Man, as you know, is the legendary Holy Grail and is filled with the blood of Christ. That's why he busts through walls - his father's house is not a house of parched throats!
Populating the rest of the world caught in the brutal war between the Kool-Aid Man and the Thirsties across the two stories presented in this issue are two individual sets of anonymous suburban children, which is all of them. Specifically, each of these quartets contains the boy who is also a nerd (Sigmund Smart/Warren Wilkinson), the boy whose job it is to be the girl (Cynthia Crystal/Jean Stevens), the kid who has no personality but no one thought to tell to shut up already (Gloria Greene/Scott Stevens) and a ethnical type (Mickey Richardson/Maria Lopez).
|I remember watching the last helicopter leaving|
Number One Kool-Aid Plaza right at the end of
the Vietnam War...
In the first story, having routed the Thirsties' attempt to wreck a kids' baseball game by closing the nearest snack bar (call in the SWAT!), the Kool-Aid Man brings some of the kids back to his secret headquarters, which happens to be the only secret HQ I've ever seen with a parking lot attached. It's also shaped like a giant pitcher of Kool-Aid, so imagine if you had a sanctum sanctorum which resembled a blown-up version of your own headless, limbless torso from the hips up. Erotic, right? I thought so.
Having kept the kids at his weird body house until well after dark, just like Michael Jackson used to do, Kool-Aid picks up his assault against the Thirsties the following day at the baseball game. While the sun-spiked beasties literally burn their way through human flesh, Kool-Aid waits for his cue before busting in and throwing them all in a lake. Branding is everything.
|This man is dead now.|
The manner in which The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man closes -- with a full page, inside back cover ad for a kid-centric motion picture -- is where the real eye-raising begins. "Kool-Aid salutes 'Kidco,' a motion picture in the spirit of free enterprise..." says a cheery Kool-Aid Man, having crammed his huge red ass into a director's chair. The tagline reads "There's no business like kid business!" and describes the film as "an exciting motion picture about a small business, big government, and a great idea!" Uh-oh. Kool-Aid Man's going full Galt.
For the record, Kidco is about kids who work at a horse ranch and who start a side business selling horse manure as fertilizer, and then get bent out of shape because they have to pay, like, the same business taxes everyone else does. Sounds like one of those movies they make you watch at a school assembly -- you know, fun AND mandatory.
There are only three posters I could find for Kidco; one, a trio of sweaty, exhausted kids leaning on shovels in front of bags upon bags of horse manure; the same shot of those kids and the manure but a giant smiling kid in a suit and sitting in a leather chair towering over them all, because god forbid the boss should get his hands dirty; and a crying girl covered in horseshit and getting laughed at by another kid. Kool-Aid Man ain't wrong, this movie sure does capture the essence of capitalism...