Brewster Rockit to the rescue

[revised version]

From David Preston, yesterday’s Brewster Rockit comic strip, in a male character attempts to mansplain mansplaining to Pamela Mae Snap (aka Irritable Belle):

(#1) (Note strategic use of speech bubbles in the third panel.)

Today’s follow-up:

(#2)

[Notes from David Preston on Facebook:

[Rockit’s alias is] Short Attention Span Avenger. He’s blond. I’m not sure if Mansplainer is a previously introduced character, or if he’s just a random member of the crew. Usually it’s Ensign Kenny who gets injured. He’s the equivalent of Ricky Redshirt in Star Trek.

Brewster Rockit appears in #4 below.]

On the comic, from Wikipedia:

Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! is a satirical retro-futuristic comic strip created by Tim Rickard. It chronicles the misadventures of the dim-witted Brewster Rockit, captain of the space station R.U. Sirius, and his crew. Many of the comic’s characters and elements are derived from the Star Trek franchise, American science fiction films of the 1950s, and science fiction comics of the 1940s and 1950s. It debuted on July 5, 2004, and is nationally syndicated by Gracenote.

The weekday strips usually feature extended serial storylines, often running several weeks at a time. The Sunday strips are stand-alone, self-contained gags which are often more elaborately illustrated and action-oriented than the dailies, and are sometimes presented in medias res style. The comic’s humor includes satire, metahumor, slapstick, dark humor, running gags, word play, and puns.

Two central characters:

Captain Brewster Rockit: The lantern-jawed and squinty-eyed captain of the R.U. Sirius. He is brave, optimistic… and dumb as a rock. His strong leadership skills are complemented by a boyish sense of humor (and childlike mindset). He graduated from the Air Force Academy and then served in NASA as a space shuttle pilot. However, he failed his intelligence exam because he kept eating the pencils. He originally had the intelligence of an average person, but excessive memory wipes from alien abductions caused him to lose it. According to Pam, he has an obsession with ham.

Lieutenant Pamela Mae Snap [aka Irritable Belle]: The tough and pragmatic second-in-command aboard the R.U. Sirius, Pam is usually the one responsible for keeping things running, despite the collective idiocy of her shipmates. She sometimes has a hot temper and an attitude that gets her into trouble. She is also the mother of two young kids from a bad marriage that she doesn’t talk about. She has shown to have a “thing” for bad boys, having dated Dirk Raider, Brewster’s nemesis, as well as Karnor [a visiting alien given to eating people; he’s tall, green, and has a crush on Pam].  She enjoys killing things.

On mansplaining (and straightsplaining) on this blog, see this 9/20/14 posting. On the condescension in such explanations, see this Minnesota Public Radio site, with this illustration:

(#3)

Men mansplaining mainsplaining has become something of a trope on its own.

Back in the Brewster Rockit world, Capt. Rockit and his guys are also given to manfixing — “I’ll fix that for you, ma’am” — as in this 8/4/14 strip:

   (#4)

The two other characters in this strip:

Cliff Clewless: The station’s engineer – a position for which he is completely unqualified. He got his position through his computer-hacking abilities by hacking into NASA’s computer and upgrading himself from “programmer” to “engineer”. He believes himself to be popular with the ladies. He is fat and is invariably shown sporting a cap and sunglasses.

Dr. Mel Practice: The station’s conniving science officer (and mad scientist, though he prefers the term, “sanity-challenged scientist”). He often creates monsters and machines (killbots), but inevitably fails in his plans to conquer the universe. One of his craziest inventions was a “Procrastination Ray”, which sent troublesome objects into the future, so one would have no choice but to deal with them later. He is bald and wears a white lab coat, black gloves, and spectacles.

Irritable Belle. Out of the great pile of jokey names in the strip, I’ll comment on just this one, a play on irritable bowel, as in irritable bowel syndrome. On IBS (and the pun irritable vowel syndrome) on this blog, see this 4/11/17 posting.

The play in Irritable Belle can be taken one step further, to give the portmanteau name Irritabelle. And it has been. From an Adweek article of 4/14/16, “Ad of the Day: Meet Irritabelle, Your Irritable Bowel Sidekick, in Campy Ads for Viberzi: Actress Ilana Becker tells us why she loves the character” by David Gianatasio:

   (#5)

Take a bowel, Ilana Becker! [The puns just keep coming.]

The actress and comedian tells Adweek that portraying “Irritabelle,” the personification of a stomach ache with diarrhea, in campy ads for IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome With Diarrhea) medication Viberzi, has been a dream come true.

“I wanted this job from the moment I laid eyes on the copy,” she says. Originally hired to provide voiceovers when the work was in its animatic/storyboard phase, “I remember thinking how much fun it would be to be able to bring Irritabelle to life.”

Fashioned by Arnold Worldwide for pharma giant Allergan, the campaign broke nationwide last week, starring Becker as a kooky colon who makes life difficult for her owner. Clad in a jumpsuit decorated with a goofy digestive-tract illustration, her hair and lips painted atomic red, Becker makes a distinct impression in “Home,” the 60-second launch spot.

The site has several ads featuring Irritabelle.

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