Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? Seriously, at this point I will pay you; nothing else is working. Now see this is where the Salutation Street Bunch would talk to us about ENCOURAGEMENT. But unfortunately today’s previously scheduled episode will not be airing. Because in a world where anything can and probably will eventually end up for sale, influence is everything. Brace yourself children, have we got a story with a message for you. Are you ready? It’s time for Survival Street.
Survival Street # 1 (of 4)
Script: James Asmus; Jim Festante
Art: Abylay Kussainov
Colors: Ellie Wright
Letters: Taylor Esposito
James Asmus and Jim Festante’s Survival Street # 1 inhabits a universe similar to Happytime Murders. However, the only thing killed seems to be self-respect; core to a model some might agree with. The corporations in this comic may disagree, but if you need to acquire things to get respect, then the type you seek is not “self”; just self fulfilling. The opening panels give readers a timetable how quickly things can turn. It shows what happens when competition comes before COOPERATION - even if that is how it is in the dictionary, right Lionel?
The most depressing part of Survival Street is the neighborhood readers witness in the beginning. Abylay Kussainov gets only a few panels to make readers remember. Remember why you couldn’t wait for the clock to strike a certain hour. Irma, Birdie and Corporal Fairness are the only - and I mean this in the best possible way - puppets we see on Salutation Street. Happy and most importantly free; to be and for us to watch. As the new order sets in, the show is shut down mid-production; the soldiers words indicate some beloved characters face uncertain fates.
Ellie Wright’s colors defy the reality in which this story takes place. Though the sunny days are gone the colors the artist uses brighten each panel. Even though things in the story take an immediate dark turn it feels like the cast is unwilling to let the lights go down on the show. Like the classic shows that inspire it, Survival Street’s artwork is teaching a lesson on being POSITIVE.
Of course as with any change in “rights”, some cast members manage cinch a way into favor with the new boss. Technically, that is still COOPERATION. Later a brief interaction between two former “performers” hints this may not be the first time they have felt each other. It’s moments like this that remind us of the world we as adults inhabit; more importantly why these spaces — these neighborhoods exist. A space that connects us all.
Amazingly, despite the immediate change in tone of the story things never take a truly dark turn in terms of colors the artist uses keep the comic from feeling dark. Maybe this is a way of If there is any indication of clouds it comes from Abylav Kussainov’s ability to any indication, here comes the rain again. The sunny days are gone from this reality. Which leads to the formation of a team consisting of the remaining Survival Street Bunch. With a mission of exposing the dirty hands that are pulling the strings in our society. But their job won’t be easy, there are idle hands at work. Even worse there are idle minds since no one is teaching the children.
These television edutainers have given so much to kids for decades. A comfy retirement isn’t too much to ask; even some residuals. Or for those like Crazy Harry and Gonzo, some hazard pay perhaps. But to question their agendas, after all this time is absurd. Still, I guess when even the letter of the day is for sale what can you expect?
No magic word will work this time. You’re gonna have to learn to make it ; alone. Figure it out by yourself. This is Survival Street.