By Carter Glace, Staff Writer
I’m a male geek on the internet. Of course I was going to find a way to talk about Rick and Morty. Take a few paragraphs about why Cartoon Network’s acclaimed adult animation is brilliant from any website you want and that probably captures why I love the show.
Anyway, perhaps my favorite moment from the show’s third season came from the episode “Morty’s Mind Blowers,” where Rick reveals that he has an entire vault of Morty’s memories that his grandson begged to have removed. As we prepare to watch the first of these memories, Rick turns to the camera and states “And we’ll be doing this instead of Inter-dimensional Cable.” Inter-Dimensional Cable was the ‘Anthology Episode’ of the two previous sequels, where we were treated to a series of absurd, improvisational gags based around the universe’s weirdest programing. But perhaps fearing diminishing returns, the creative team decided that there would not be a threequel this season.
But did you know that there has already been a third Inter-Dimensional Cable adventure? Well, there has been. In print form!
Issue 28 of Omni Press’ Rick and Morty finds the pair hiding out on an alien planet after being labeled as terrorists. Barricaded in a motel room, they decide to kill time with some television. While I wish I could tell you that this issue is as fun and unique as the previous two anthologies, the comic serves as evidence that the series’ creative team made a good choice giving the concept a rest.
Perhaps IDC is a concept that only works in an audio medium. The episodes were almost a performative art, as voice actors ad-lib whatever concepts they could think of while animators try and capture those words in drawing. When you apply the IDC idea in written form, it ultimately is reduced to writers brainstorming the most absurd concepts of which they can think, and some of the wizardry is lost.
Though, even without that gimmick, I feel like the ‘channels’ here are rather weak. Most of them could be described as ‘cute’ or ‘witty,’ little visual gags with no escalation or build up. There’s another Gazorpazorpfield bit—come to think of it, for a series defined by absurdity and infinite possibilities, there are an awful lot of running jokes and memes in Rick and Morty—and not a single gag rises to even the more forgettable ones in either television episode. The one bright spot is a gag where the murder in an NCIS-style show depicts the victim impaled by a giraffe.
The comic is not bad. It has some bright moments and the framing device is actually very fun. It just serves as a reminder that no concept stays fresh forever. During the aforementioned NCIS joke, Morty complains about shows falling into formulaic structures and similar themes. Even the writers of this comic knew Inter-Dimensional Cable is running out of steam as a concept. But just pointing out what your doing is stale does not make it fresh. So, fortunately, it doesn’t look like the TV series lost a potential gem.