It is no secret that in the early 90’s The Ren and Stimpy Show was a cultural phenomenon. Launched by Nickelodeon in 1991 alongside other notable, less-risqué shows like Rugrats and Doug, Ren and Stimpy soon became a favourite for children and adults alike. Despite much controversy, the series continued for a successful five seasons. And, what do marketing companies do with anything moderately popular? Sell the hell out of it! Leading to Marvel Comics printing The Ren and Stimpy Show comic in 1992.
The book was surprisingly much more popular than many cartoons turned comics, much ado to the creative team. The Ren and Stimpy Show comic was scribed by then, little-known writer, Dan Slott. Today Dan Slott is one of the most recognisable names in comics, mostly attuned to his 9+ years as the author behind Amazing Spider-Man. But, during most of his early career, Slott was placed on minor comic issues, and an assortment of cartoon-inspired comics including work on Animaniacs, Cow and Chicken, and Looney Tunes. He managed to take what was given and put forth great content, leading to his now influential position at the House of Ideas. Most notably with his efforts on this particular series.
The Ren and Stimpy Show comic book carried many outstanding issues including a first issue that came with an “air fouler”- as appose to ‘freshener’- and, the #6 issue featuring Spider-Man vs Powdered Toast Man. Today, I decided to pull out a simple, but a fun issue, that encapsulates the joy of the series, and Slott’s ability to transform established characters into enjoyable books.
… um yeah? Usually, I like to analyse a cover before we get into the story but, we can just leave this one as is…
I dunno, is it?
The Ren and Stimpy Show
Cover Price: $1.75
Today’s Worth: $1 – $3
Written by Dan Slott
Pencils and Ink by Mike Kazaleh
Lettered by Brad K. Joyce
Coloured by Ed Lazellari
Edited by Carlos Lopez and Fabian Nicieza
This issue begins with our heroes taking on another new career as pest control. I am not certain what these powerful lasers will do to one cockroach; it feels a bit like overkill.
Ren begins to introduce us to some of their weaponry that they have created for their new jobs-
Then they receive their first call to action. Note Slott’s ability to transcribe Ren’s strange accent, putting his voice in your head as you read.
On their way, the boys come across a man being eaten alive by-
Wait, more of this AdventureVision? I honestly do not remember it changing the world?
Okay… so it is a VHS roleplaying game I guess? What the heck is hyperReality? This looks terrible. Let’s YouTube it!
Seriously? A five-page spread on this game? This is literally the only advertisement in this issue; they put a lot of eggs in this basket that no one ever heard of.
Make that a six-page spread…
Ren and Stimpy arrive at their first paid gig and begin to use their sophisticated technology to analyse what pests are infesting this home.
Good thing they have all these gadgets to isolate what the issue is-
At their next job, this mans home is overrun-
Enter Stimpy’s latest invention-
This looks kind of fun actually-
The boys are even kind enough to deal with the mess afterwards-
But, what will they do with these liquefied bug carcasses?
Then it is time for the signature Ren and Stimpy sign off-
But, Ren is uncharacteristically kind to his old pal-
Yeah, that makes sense-
And ends how you would expect-
In a quick piece, Chef Stimpy is here to teach us a recipe-
A tar pit of chocolate syrup. Looks fun. I wonder if Slott invented this recipe himself?
In the next skit, the boys change careers yet again, now playing lifeguards.
When a familiar man shows up-
Yeah, no one is going to save this man-
In the pool Stimpy is showing off with his “under-leg noises”-
Ren shows him how it’s done. As much as he gives Stimpy a hard time, Ren can be just as disgusting.
And, he is a surprisingly astute lifeguard-
Especially when he combines his natural skills-
Stimpy gets the urge to play some Marco Polo with his best friend-
Ren plays along. He can be a sucker for his pal-
But, Stimpy pulls a pretty magnificent trick-
Ren survives his polar bear attack and makes it back to the pool just before passing out-
Ren does not like the lame joke, but Thirst-aid is not here to play-
And the story goes full circle-
Oh, I didn’t realise such cool kids were playing AdventureVision. That kid is kneeling- damn. The kid pretending to lean on the wall is probably the most influential thing I have seen in my life, I have to play now.
Geez, you eediots! We already established it’s a VHS role-playing game. Ten pages of advertisements for this is overkill.
Thanks booknerds, I will be playing some AdventureVision now. It is a totally rad game that will change the world! Check out AdventureVision! It’s a game and a video! It’s AdventureVision. A movie you can play! Have you heard of AdventureVision guys? ADVENTUREVISION! Buy it! It’s a game-