Flaming Carrot Comics
caption="Flaming Carrot Comics" #01 (2005)
debut="Visions" #1 (1979)
Mystery Men, Junior Carrot Patrol
relatives=Uncle Billy, Dr. Heller
powers=Atomic Powered Pogo Stick, Tornado in a Can, Plungers, Surrealism|
"Flaming Carrot Comics" is a
surrealist comic bookby Bob Burdenoriginally published by Aardvark-Vanaheim, then by Renegade Pressand Dark Horse Comicsbetween 1984and 1993. The book was relaunched in 2005with Image Comics.
The title refers to the protagonist, “The Flaming Carrot.” He wears a costume that consists of a giant carrot mask, a white shirt, red pants, and flippers on his feet (in case he has to swim). The mask has a continually burning flame at the top and a secret compartment containing a nuclear powered pogo stick. Flaming Carrot also wears a crime fighting utility belt, but unlike that of the
Batman, his is filled with silly putty, rubber bands, random playing cards, sneeze powder, and other similarly useless items (which nonetheless can become lethal weapons in his hands). He is not averse to the use of firearms, and can be seen from time to time brandishing a semi-automatic pistol. The Carrot lives in Palookaville, a neighborhood of Iron City(a working-stiff sort of town like Akron, Ohioor Pittsburgh).
The origins issue (issue 7) states that "having read 5,000 comics in a single sitting to win a bet, this poor man suffered brain damage and appeared directly thereafter as - the Flaming Carrot!" Several hints within the various issues have led many to speculate that the Flaming Carrot is, in fact,
Jim Morrisonof the Doors. Fact|date=February 2007
Flaming Carrot can be seen as a
parodyof various aspects of the superherogenre (though his origin story is much the same as that of Don Quixote). Most of his dialogue is disjointed, but sometimes thought provoking in a Zen Koanfashion. Odd pop culture references and random non-sequiturs abound throughout the stories. He is portrayed as a womanizing, hard drinking, two-fisted, mentally unbalanced individual (calling to mind the gritty anti-heroes of the 1980s), whilst at the same time almost inexorably being on the side of The Establishment, with at least one instance of telling the audience to "avoid between meal snacks and brush after every meal" similar to the very clean cut, all American comic characters of the Golden Age. However, the series contains more depth than a superhero parody. Reflections on philosophy, the absence of meaning in modern life, why someone would choose the life of a superhero, and the effects of waking up from a night of heavy drinking with a speaker surgically implanted in one's chest abound.
To date, Flaming Carrot has staved off at least three alien invasions, a
Communisttake over of Iron City, flying dead dogs, the Man in the Moon, Deathitself, and a cloned horde of evil marching Hitler's boots. Possessing no real super powers, the Carrot wins the day through sheer grit, raw determination, blinding stupidity, and bizarre luck.
Flaming Carrot was also a founding member of a superhero group called
Mystery Men. The story of this group was later made into a movie. Flaming Carrot himself did not appear in this film, although a handful of characters like Mr. Furious, the Shoveler, and Dr. Heller did.
* [http://www.rotten.com/library/culture/flaming-carrot/ Rotten Library] Article on Flaming Carrot
* [http://www.flamingcarrot.com Bob Burden's Flaming Carrot homepage]
* [http://www.toonopedia.com/fcarrot.htm Don Markstein's Toonopedia Flaming Carrot page]
* [http://www.i-mockery.com/shorts/flamingcarrot/default.php Instructions for making a Flaming Carrot costume]
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