Is the cartoon character Ozymandias gay

Calvin and Hobbes fansite

"Ozy and Millie" is a beautifully drawn and at the same time funny and thought-provoking webcomic by David Craig Simpson in the style of "Calvin and Hobbes" that has been updated several times a week since its launch on January 1, 1998. On April 24, 2008, Simpson announced that he would discontinue the comic strip at the end of the year.

On the official website you can not only see the latest strip, but also all the strips ever published in the strip archive. In the meantime this should be around 2,000 pieces! However, a warning must be given against the not always accurate German translation of various strips from Simpson's early creative period, even if the original sometimes requires a very good knowledge of English.

The two ten-year-old foxes Ozy and Millie are the eponymous main characters of the comic strip, in which exclusively anthropomorphic animals appear. They live in the fictional American town of North Harbordale and have to face the adversities of everyday school life at their elementary school. The comedy of “Ozy and Millie” is primarily based on the contrast between the often absurd behavior of the comic characters and the serious moral and philosophical issues that are addressed at the same time.

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Table of Contents

  1. Characters
  2. statement
  3. Content aspects
  4. Drawing technique and style
  5. miscellaneous
  6. Albums

Characters

Ozy

Ozy lives with his 10-year-old girlfriend Millie in the fictional American town of North Harbordale. Ozy is an arctic fox, but according to the draftsman it was originally intended to represent a wolf. However, after David Craig Simpson was shown some photos of young arctic foxes in November 1999, he changed his initial classification due to the great similarity. The different species of protagonists are practically never mentioned in the comic strip.

Ozy's full name, Ozymandias J. Llewellyn, goes back to the poem Ozymandias about the Egyptian King Ramses II (1304 - 1237 BC) by Percy Bysshe Shelley:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! "
(German: “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings!
See my works, you mighty ones, and despair! ")

Simpson chose Ozymandias as a name primarily because the central message of the poem, the transience of being, is also one of the leitmotifs of Zen Buddhism practiced by Ozy. Other central motifs of the poem, such as the arrogance of power and the artist's often ambivalent relationship to his creation, are occasionally taken up in “Ozy and Millie”.

Ozy's trademark is his big black top hat, which he received from his father Llewellyn when he adopted him at the age of one. Ozy wears no pants, which despite the fact that this also applies to some other characters such as Avery, is often the trigger for a pointed remark on the part of Millies.

Ozy is a thoughtful, calm guy and thus represents a grateful sacrifice for the other students. Nevertheless, he never shrinks from a witty or caustic comment. While he lets Millie's pranks on himself, he suffers greatly from the stalking of the school thug Jeremy. Every now and then he at least manages to take Millie the wind out of her sails with a pointed remark about the madness of her behavior. Under the guidance of his father Llewellyn, Ozy practices the art of Zen, or rather a funny variant of it, the principles of which are almost always formulated as an antithesis: “It has been said that, while knowledge is acquired by learning ... Wisdom is acquired by unlearning. "(German:" It means: Knowledge is gained through learning, wisdom through unlearning! ")

Millie

"I act weird because I figure, hey, I''m gonna be an outcast anyway, so I might as well do it with style." - Millie
(German: "I act so strange because ... well, no matter what I do, I'm treated like a leper anyway; at least that's how I do it with style.")

Ozy spends a lot of time with his best friend Millie, a red fox. Millicent Mehitabel Mudd, as her full name is, is just as intelligent as Ozy, but unlike him, he is never at a loss for apologies when it comes to avoiding work. With her strange ideas, she also keeps getting herself and Ozy into trouble.

Millie rebels against any form of authority, which of course cannot be tolerated either by her teachers or by her otherwise understanding mother, Ms. Mudd. Her anarchist-destructive attitude is also evident on many other occasions, with which she not only gets herself into trouble, but also Ozy again and again. Millie speaks what others think and does what others would never dare to do for fear of the reactions of others. She is not ready to simply resign herself to living in an unjust world where only superficialities count. The fact that her rebellion against the establishment is mostly limited to annoying her mother, playing pranks on Ozy and breaking school rules is due firstly to her age of only ten years and secondly to the medium of the comic strip.

Still, Millie's naughty behavior shouldn't be understood as serving Ozy as a funny sidekick. On the contrary, she's the most complex character on the whole comic strip; once clumsy and cheeky, another time thoughtful and melancholy. Just like Ozy, she often goes to herself to think about moral or philosophical issues. What distinguishes “Ozy and Millie” is that the melancholy mood that arises is ultimately always resolved with a surprising punchline, so that “Ozy and Millie”, in contrast to the classic comic The Peanuts, is still funny even when more serious topics are addressed become.

Llewellyn and Ms. Mudd

"Whatever does not kill me makes me stranger." - Llewellyn
(German: "What doesn't kill me makes me stranger.")

Ozy's adoptive father Llewellyn is a red dragon whose behavior, true to the above quote, can only be described as strange. When he's not running for president of the Zen Party by not running for the American presidency, he's giving his son more or less wise advice for life while soaking in banana pudding. Even if his bizarre lifestyle drives others to white heat again and again, he always remains a gentleman when faced with hostility.

Llewellyn has a platonic relationship with Millie's single mother, Ms. Mudd, whose first name is known only to begin with the letter M. Llewellyn and Ms. Mudd are portrayed as loving parents who always encourage their children to create their own thoughts. In particular, Ms. Mudd, who works as a lawyer, has to keep showing her crazy daughter her limits.

Avery, Timulty and Stephan

"Look, if dignity were cool, Jimmy Carter would have groupies." - Avery
(German: "If dignity were cool, then Jimmy Carter would have had groupies.")

Avery is a raccoon who goes out of his way to be "cool." In his quest to convince other "cool" students of his own "coolness," he overlooks that it is doomed to fail because it is It's just not "cool" to try to be "cool" with all your might. What is surprising is that Avery is still often with the computer geek Stephan, undoubtedly the "uncool" character of the whole comic strip. Avery is deeply materialistic and sent his wish list in a strip to Tommy Hilfiger instead of Santa Claus. Although he constantly rebukes his younger brother Timulty for his naivete and sometimes even turns against Ozy and Millie when it seems opportune to him, Avery is one of the most popular characters on the comic strip. On the one hand, because as a loser type he offers identification opportunities, on the other hand, because he at least occasionally shows the insight that friendship with Ozy, Millie and Stephan is more important than being recognized as "cool" by an anonymous crowd.

"Who better than a little naked raccoon child to announce that the emperor has no clothes?" - David Craig Simpson on Timulty
(German: "Who would be better suited than a naked raccoon puppy to announce that the emperor is not wearing any clothes?")

Avery's younger brother Timulty, in contrast, embodies the purest form of childlike innocence as described by William Blake. In some of the best strips, it is Timulty who, with his childlike naivete, takes his brother's senseless pursuit of recognition ad absurdum or holds up a mirror to society.

Stephan, an aardvark, is a typical geek. When he's not playing video games with Avery, he tries in vain to convince the other characters of the genetic superiority of the geeks; even if the collapse of the New Economy in 2001 gave him a serious shock. Stephan tends to fall miserably in love with girls who don't want to know about him; neither Felicia nor Isolde and Stephanie returned his love.

Since the beginning of 2004 at the latest, Avery, Timulty and above all Stephan have only appeared sporadically, which is regrettable because the comic strip has lost some of its variety.

Felicia and Jeremy

"You totally should try to be less of a dork, you know." - Felicia
(German: "You know, you should really try not to always act like a fool!")

Felicia Laine, the school's most popular girl, is almost always with two friends from her clique, who serve as her cues. Her whole thinking revolves around branded clothing and boy bands, so it is not surprising that she and Millie have an intimate enmity. Felicia accuses Millie of either being too individualistic or simply acting like a fool. Contrary to what you might think, Felicia is anything but stupid and knows how to assert herself in a verbal argument with Ozy or Millie.

Jeremy Studley, on the other hand, has in his fists what he has not in his head. Jeremy is a typical "bully" who beats up weaker classmates for fun. Ozy, Millie and Stephan are among his favorite victims and he likes to stuff them into the nearest trash can.

Just as it is not a coincidence that Ozy's father Llewellyn is a good-natured dragon and the school principal Beau Vine is a cow, it is not a coincidence that Felicia and Jeremy, the two main antagonists of the heroes, are a sheep and a rabbit, respectively. With the reversal of the usual distribution of roles between predatory and prey animals, common clichés are avoided and at the same time initial starting points for comedy are created.

More characters

If Ozy or Millie overwork the patience of their class teacher Ms. Sorkowitz, they will either become school psychologist Dr. I. Insane or sent straight to Headmaster Beau Vine. In order to prepare the students for the hard life after school, Beau Vine tries to educate the students with various, pedagogically questionable methods to adapt behavior. The fact that this is in stark contrast to the posters preaching individuality that hang everywhere in the school building doesn't bother him. Dr. I. Wahnsinnig, on the other hand, is very committed to Ozy and Millie and regularly criticizes the school principal for following every trend and also supporting the amoral behavior of Jeremy and Felicia.

Ozy's cousin Isolde, like all members of the Llewellyn family, which has their ancestral home in an old castle in Idaho, is involved in several conspiracies. Isolde, who remained rather pale as an independent character despite numerous appearances, supported Llewellyn, among other things, in his two candidacies for the American presidency.

Captain Locke, the ten-year-old captain of a pirate ship, lives in a parallel world that is connected to this world via a dimensional gate in Llewellyn's living room sofa. As one learns in a story published in the summer of 2002, Locke is also Millie's father, which can be explained by the fact that one is born old and dies young in his homeworld. Despite logical inconsistencies with previously published Strips, the story of Ms. Mudd and Locke's meeting received only a few criticisms. But my personal opinion is that the story is the absolute low point of the whole comic strip.

statement

“Ozy and Millie” as an appeal for more tolerance

In a commentary on a previously published strip, the illustrator of “Ozy and Millie” pointed out that, like many other comic artists, he wasn't about how children express and behave, but how it feels to be a child to be. Ozy and Millie are symbolic of all children who, because of their "otherness", are avoided by their classmates or encounter other forms of incomprehension.

Ozy and Millie don't just suffer from the repressive behavior of the other students; the pressure to adapt that is acting on them is even increased by the authoritarian order embodied by the school principal Beau Vine. Although this fact is always pointed to extremes and thus exposed to ridicule, the end of such a dispute is usually not the "victory" of the heroes over their adversaries. Rather, they have to admit that not only children, but also many adults Reject reasonable arguments and are unwilling to tolerate behavior deviating from the social norm, making it even more difficult that this seems to apply especially to adults who would have the power to fight against such abuses in society.

In contrast, the character of the school psychologist Dr. I. It is insane, who is not portrayed as a mere vicarious agent of the school principal, that "Ozy and Millie" should not be understood as a general criticism of the school system or other authoritarian institutions. Rather, the main message of the comic strip is that all people should be allowed the freedom to live the way they want, as long as they do not harm anyone.

Criticism of consumerism and capitalism

After Ozy and Millie suffered mainly from Jeremy from 1998 to 2000 after the start of the comic strip, Felicia later took on the role of the heroes' first antagonist. As the strip of January 15, 2001 becomes clear, the argument between the anti-authoritarian Millie and the superficial status symbols, especially Felicia, is intensifying.

David Craig Simpson's critical attitude towards unbridled consumerism and capitalism is also evident in many of the strips in which Felicia does not appear. The excesses of the New Economy during the turn of the millennium, the increasing commercialization of Christmas and the socially irresponsible behavior of large corporations are repeatedly addressed by him. It is not uncommon for Timulty to demystify the empty promises of advertising with an innocently naive but nevertheless astute comment.

Annoyed by the increasing commercialization of the comic strip as an art form, David Craig Simpson also repeatedly attacked the illustrator of the Garfield comic strip, Jim Davis, and the press syndicates, who, in his opinion, place too much emphasis on the marketability of the comic strips and too little on their quality : "Well, I don''t want to give up on it, even if Jim Davis is a prostitute and the syndicates which could bring me to a much wider audience are more interested in being his pimps." that Jim Davis is a hustler and the Syndicates prefer to hire themselves as his pimp than to get me a bigger audience, I'm not going to give up so easily. ")

Political Commentary in "Ozy and Millie"

Although the social interaction between the characters is the main plot element of the comic strip, the current political situation in the USA is thematized in numerous strips. David Craig Simpson always rejected criticism that these two different emphases would not fit together. Nevertheless, this can be viewed as problematic for the simple reason that reference is sometimes made to personalities or events that are virtually unknown outside of the USA. Even a relatively large number of non-political strips are difficult to understand without sufficient knowledge of the facts portrayed, which is perhaps the comic strip's greatest weakness.

Since the 30thJanuary 2004 David Craig Simpson draws a second, purely political comic strip entitled I Drew This, in which the staunch liberal, among other things, strongly criticizes the American government under George W. Bush. As a direct consequence of this move, the number of political strips in "Ozy and Millie" decreased significantly, which was welcomed by most readers. In the later strips, reference is made less and less to American events or celebrities. Incidentally, the concept of Intelligent Falling goes back to an I-Drew-This-Strip published on May 16, 2005, which is a satirical answer to the concept of Intelligent Design, which is mainly represented by American Christians.

Content aspects

Narrative style

"Ozy and Millie" doesn't differ much from other comic strips in terms of narrative structure. The strips usually consist of three or four panels, with independent strips alternating with those in which a coherent story is told over several days. Conceptual changes to the comic strip were made several times in such story arcs, for example Isolde was introduced as a new character in the story from June 22, 2000 to July 19, 2000. As a webcomic, “Ozy and Millie” is not tied to the publication cycle of American daily newspapers with six weekday issues, which is why the stories are sometimes much longer. The longest connected storyline in which Millie found out who her father was spanned 31 strips from July 13, 2002 to August 23, 2002.

Although the plot is fixed due to the small number of different characters, there is only one real running gag in "Ozy and Millie", namely that Ozy loses his fur once a year due to a curse on the Llewellyn family.

Autobiographical Approaches in "Ozy and Millie"

On various occasions, the cartoonist, David Craig Simpson, spoke of the autobiographical approaches in "Ozy and Millie". For example, Jeremy was named by him after a former classmate whom he was bullied by himself. Ozy's father Llewellyn, on the other hand, was supposed to be the exact opposite of his own father; according to his own statement, an arch-conservative, albeit principled, small mind. Simpson describes himself as a very serious and thoughtful person. Character traits that also characterize Ozy. During his childhood, however, he found no one to share his thoughts with, which is why he dreamed of a friendship like the one between Ozy and Millie at the time. It is also undisputed that Simpson tries to express his own liberal worldview through "Ozy and Millie" (see section on the statement of the comic strip).

Anthropomorphism in "Ozy and Millie"

"Ozy and Millie" is a comic strip in which only anthropomorphic animals appear, that is, the animal characters behave like humans and not according to their species. Since ancient times, stereotypical, easy-to-understand characters have been represented in fables and fairy tales by humanized animals. In modern comic strips that are no longer explicitly aimed at children, this aspect fades into the background. Instead, cute cartoon animals are a good way for the draftsman to use them to express uncomfortable truths that lose their sharpness. With regard to “Ozy and Millie”, however, there is the problem that the real objects that are addressed in the comic strip do not fit consistently into such an anthropomorphic scenario. In the context of the suspension of disbelief, however, most readers are prepared to accept such logical inconsistencies to a certain extent.

Aging cartoon characters

Although the seasons in the comic strip are the same as in the real world, with reference to annual holidays as well as past events, the comic strip characters in "Ozy and Millie" do not age as time progresses. With a few exceptions like Baby Blues, this applies to almost all comic characters.

When David Craig Simpson stopped drawing new strips for a month in April 2000 to instead revise the appearance of the characters, he broke this rule. If Ozy, Millie, and the other students were eight years old and in third grade in their elementary school before the revision, they were ten year old fifth graders afterward. The reader is only informed about this fact later and more casually, which makes it clear that this step did not involve any drastic changes to the concept of the comic strip. Apart from that, some readers are of the opinion that the characters look more grown up at this point in time than they did in 2000 due to the gradually evolving drawing style. The question of whether he intends to let the characters age again has always been asked by the draftsman denied.

Similarities with other comic strips

Both the character traits of the comic characters, the drawing style and, last but not least, the ironic undertone of many of the strips are reminiscent of the globally successful comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Watterson. There are other similarities with “Calvin and Hobbes” in terms of the critique of consumerism and capitalism, which is repeatedly taken up in the comic strip. The House Rules Parcheesi, played by members of the Llewellyn family, is also reminiscent of the chaotic Calvinball. According to David Craig Simpson, the comic strips Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed and Pogo by Walt Kelly also had a major artistic influence on his work as a comic artist.

Drawing technique and style

Drawing technique

Until recently, David Craig Simpson drew all strips in landscape format on special smooth paper measuring 38.1 cm * 11.4 cm or 41.9 cm * 21.6 cm for the Sunday strips. On September 24, 2007, however, it switched to a portrait format. After an initial phase of experimentation with the new format, Simpson returned to the standard four individual panels for the new strips. David Craig Simpson uses crayons to write the text in the speech bubbles and to draw other fine lines; He paints the outlines of the comic characters, the panel frames and other large areas with Indian ink with a thin brush of strength 1. He then colorizes Sunday strips with the help of the Adobe Photoshop image processing program. Due to the large amount of time it takes to color the Sunday strips, David Craig Simpson has drawn fewer than four Sunday strips a year since 2002.

Drawing style

David Craig Simpson's drawing style is in some ways reminiscent of the drawing style of Bill Watterson, the draftsman of "Calvin and Hobbes". Perhaps the most striking thing they have in common is the unframed panels, which are used in more than every second strip. In “Ozy and Millie”, shadows are not colored with the appropriate gray level, but are imitated by black and white line drawings, which in some cases creates interesting optical effects. David Craig Simpson often hatches the upper or lower area of ​​the corresponding panel in order not to have to make elaborate background drawings when taking close-ups of the characters or to leave the drawing field completely white. Occasionally, it also completely blackens the background and interior of the objects, so that the objects are only represented by their white outlines.

“Ozy and Millie” is therefore one of the most lavishly drawn webcomics that appear several times a week, which almost comes close to the drawing class of “Calvin and Hobbes”. Since the first Strips published in 1998, there has also been a constant further development of the drawing style, especially with regard to the appearance of the comic characters. Since the months of drawing break from August 23, 2003 to January 22, 2004, critical voices have repeatedly arisen that the characters no longer look as cute as they did in 2000 and that Ozy's proportions in particular are no longer realistic. Since Simpson Ozy stopped drawing so thinly, this criticism has largely fallen silent again.

miscellaneous

Publishing

“Ozy and Millie” was originally conceived as a newspaper strip and not as a webcomic, which can be recognized on the one hand by the typical landscape format of the strips, on the other hand, the scenario should not only appeal to a limited target group such as computer gamers or science fiction fans. The most important reason for the publication of the first strips on the Internet was rather to build up a first base of readers and to receive suggestions from them. It quickly became apparent, however, that the big press syndicates like Universal Press Syndicate, from which the American daily newspapers get their comic strips, were not interested in a comic strip in the style of "Ozy and Millie". The subcontracting of "Ozy and Millie" was rejected on the grounds, among other things, "Ozy and Millie appeals to fans and comic book readers." It was also criticized that only animal characters appear in "Ozy and Millie", because although a lot of comic strips have one or more anthropomorphic animal main characters, there are only a few successful comic strips entirely without human characters.

According to an estimate by the webmaster of the official website, "Ozy and Millie" was read by between 10,000 and 50,000 readers in 2003. The comic book publisher Plan Nine Publishing, which has apparently gone bankrupt, had published five albums by 2005, in which most of the strips published up to that point were printed. If you would like to read “Ozy and Millie” in print, you don't have to starve, as all previous strips are now available in the albums published by Lulu.com. is now available at Lulu.com (see below). Unfortunately, “Ozy and Millie” was never a commercial success and David Craig Simpson is probably living mostly on his life partner's salary right now. (He is gay.)

Composition of the following

Large parts of the following of “Ozy and Millie” consist on the one hand of Calvin and Hobbes fans who see “Ozy and Millie” as a worthy spiritual successor, on the other hand of so-called furries who appreciate anthropomorphic comic strips. Even people who suffered from failing to conform to the social norm during their school days are increasingly addressed by the comic strip scenario. The question of what makes "Ozy and Millie" so special was answered by a fan in a forum post as follows:

"[Ozy and Millie is a] gorgeous contrast between the playfully cynical and the helplessly serene in an earnest quest to not be trampled by authority; in the form of cute fox kits, no less. "- Doctor Fred
(German: "[Ozy and Millie lives] from the adorable contrast between playful cynicism and helpless cheerfulness in the sincere striving not to be oppressed by the authorities - in the form of cute little foxes. No less.")

“Ozy and Millie” was translated by fans into other languages ​​such as German or Russian over different periods of time, although the pun in the original, which was written in very demanding English, was lost in many strips, at least in the German translation.

Awards

"Ozy and Millie" was one of the finalists in the 1998 "Scripps-Howard Charles M. Schulz Awards" for the best comic strip. In 1999, “Ozy and Millie” received the “College Media Advisers' Award” for the best comic strip and in 2002 the “Cartoonist's Choice Award” as the best anthropomorphic comic strip. Another nomination for Millie as the best female main character for a "Cartoonist's Choice Award" in 2001 was rejected by Simpson, among other things on the grounds that a popularity contest between Millie and "big-breasted anime chicks" (German: "Großbusige Anime girls ") is absurd. In 2007, "Ozy and Millie" was voted best anthropomorphic comic strip at the "Ursa Major Awards" after several nominations in previous years.

Albums

The following albums published by the book-on-demand service provider Lulu.com each contain all Ozy and Millie strips of the specified period and also various artwork:

  • D. C. Simpson, "Prehistrionics: Ozy and Millie, 1997-2000". Lulu.com, 2006, ISBN 978-1-84728-773-1
  • D. C. Simpson, "The Big Book of Ancient, Semi-Coherent Wisdom: Ozy and Millie, 2000-2001". Lulu.com, 2006, ISBN 978-1-4303-1505-6
  • D. C. Simpson, "Zen Again: Ozy and Millie, 2001-2002". Lulu.com, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4303-1508-7
  • D. C. Simpson, "Perpetual Motion: Ozy and Millie, 2002-2003". Lulu.com, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4303-2116-3
  • D. C. Simpson, "Tofu Knights: Ozy and Millie, 2004-2005". Lulu.com, 2006, ISBN 978-1-84728-772-4
  • D. C. Simpson, "Closer to the Void: Ozy and Millie, 2006-2007". Lulu.com, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4357-0504-3

The following albums published by Plan Nine Publishing are no longer available:

  • David Simpson: "Ozy and Millie". Plan Nine Publishing, High Point, NC 2000, ISBN 1-929462-11-5
  • David Simpson: "Ozy and Millie II: Never Mind Pants". Plan Nine Publishing, High Point, NC 2000, ISBN 1-929462-20-4
  • David Simpson: "Ozy and Millie III: Ink and White Space". Plan Nine Publishing, High Point, NC 2001, ISBN 1-929462-43-3
  • David Simpson: "Ozy and Millie IV: Authentic Banana Dye". Plan Nine Publishing, High Point, NC 2002, ISBN 1-929462-56-5
  • David Simpson: "Ozy and Millie V: Om". Plan Nine Publishing, High Point, NC 2003, ISBN 1-929462-69-7