GRAPHIC DEBATE WITH ALFRED & JARVIS
BY GRACE RANDOLPHGRAPHIC DEBATE: (from inside her desk) I cannot believe I’m still stuck inside this desk! Mystique trapped me in here and then took over the show, then tried to assassinate Jonathan and Martha Kent but Superman saved them – only he didn’t bother to look for me! So, whatever… Man this sucks.
(Grace quiets down, stuck. Suddenly Alfred Pennyworth enters and begins to dust the desk. After a moment, he checks his watch. Puzzled, he looks off-camera.)ALFRED:
I say, isn’t Graphic Debate supposed to be on the air at this time?GRAPHIC DEBATE: What - ?! Yes! Yes it is!
(Alfred backs away from the desk, surprised.)ALFRED:
Miss Randolph?!GRAPHIC DEBATE: Alfred Pennyworth! Thank goodness! I’m stuck inside this desk – get me out!
(Alfred puts away his feather duster and leans down to lift the desk, but alas cannot.)ALFRED:
Gracious this is heavy. And here I thought prop furniture was of an insignificant nature.
(From the opposite side of the stage, Edwin Jarvis enters.)JARVIS:
In need of assistance?ALFRED:
(somewhat awkward) Uh, yes, if you could…JARVIS:
(Both butlers lean down and are able to lift up the desk enough for Grace to scurry out. A bit of mess but very relieved, Grace takes a seat.)GRAPHIC DEBATE: I thought I’d never get out of there! Oh – hi, Jarvis! Gee, I guess now I know how many butlers it takes to lift a desk, huh?
How very droll. Now if you’ll excuse me –GRAPHIC DEBATE: Wait! How often does one find the two most iconic butlers in all of comicdom in the same place? Can I interview you guys?
Oh I’d be delighted!
(Jarvis takes a seat but Alfred is reluctant.)ALFRED:
I’m flattered at the invitation, but I have several duties I must attend to –JARVIS:
Come off it, old chap! I’m sure Batman can manage ro pour his own tea for one afternoon –ALFRED:
I do far more than pour tea, thank you very much –GRAPHIC DEBATE: Then why not take a seat and tell us all about it?
I suppose it would be advantageous to alert readers to the less glamorous yet equally vital professions in graphic literature –GRAPHIC DEBATE: Glad to hear it! Let’s get started!
(Alfred sits next to Jarvis while Grace gets into position and turns to the camera.)
Welcome to “Graphic Debate”! This is a forum where comic book characters fight evil in a very different form: the competitive marketplace. A lot of titles are going to hit the shelves this week and – just as movie stars hit the publicity circuit to tell you about their latest films – we here at “Graphic Debate” offer comic book stars the opportunity to tell you, the readers, about their latest titles.
With us today is Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth and Tony Stark’s butler Edwin Jarvis, who also assists The Avengers. Now, you might think the rich have it all, but unfortunately the price for all that wealth is a surprisingly high mortality rate. What happens to their children? They become the responsibility of the butler and then, apparently, they are inspired to fight crime. Butlers raising rich kids to become playboys with a sense of righteousness and a death wish – join us as we explore the phenomenon! ALFRED:
(chuckles) I feel as if I’m back on the stage with all these theatrics.JARVIS:
But I couldn’t agree more! There’s no denying we’ve had a profound effect on our boys’ lives.ALFRED:
I don’t wish to take, nor deserve, any credit for Master Bruce’s exploits. I promised his parents I would care for him, and I strive to do so to the best of my abilities. (icily) And not just by pouring him tea.JARVIS:
Tony takes his tea with a shot of whiskey.GRAPHIC DEBATE: Seriously?! Alcoholics Anonymous didn’t take, huh?
No, but I’m not surprised. Tony could never be anonymous –ALFRED:
I don’t really think Master Anthony’s drinking habits are of anyone’s concern.GRAPHIC DEBATE: (ignoring Alfred) Y’know, I had Tony on here a few weeks ago and he did seem pretty out there.
Most definitely! The stress of running S.H.I.E.L.D., being turned into a female version of Ultron…it’s taken its toll –ALFRED:
Sir! I forbid you to casually toss about the most private aspects of Master Anthony’s life! Have you no sense of loyalty?!GRAPHIC DEBATE: Dude, relax. It’s not like Tony Stark is a private person. And besides, we read all about Tony Stark’s secrets every week, just like we read about Bruce Wayne’s secrets.
If Master Anthony and Master Bruce want to allow Marvel and DC Comics to chronicle their personal lives, that is there business. But I see no reason to contribute to such gossip.JARVIS:
Easy for you to say, Pennyworth. Everyone is aware of you, but what of me? Tony’s secrets are the only leverage I possess.ALFRED:
Don’t be absurd, Jarvis. Readers are familiar with you.JARVIS:
I don’t need your pity. (to Grace) Am I correct in my assumptions, Miss Randolph?GRAPHIC DEBATE: Afraid so. I never really knew anything about you until I Wikipedia’d you.
Ahhh! Don’t mention that infernal internet device to me! How the Wikipedia torments me! I’m not even worthy of a picture. (glares at Alfred) He
has a picture!ALFRED:
My God, man, don’t sit there and pretend you’ve never Googled yourself!ALFRED:
I most certainly have not!JARVIS:
No?! Even with all that time sitting at the Bat-Computer?!ALFRED:
I don’t have idle time to “surf the net” –GRAPHIC DEBATE: Jarvis! Alfred! Cool it! Look, Jarvis, I feel bad you feel so neglected, but there’s no need to take it out on Alfred.
(Pause. Jarvis hangs his head, ashamed.)JARVIS:
Apologies, chap. I suppose I’m simply jealous of your character arc. You’ve moved beyond mere comic relief to become a fully developed persona in your own right. Meanwhile, I’m still lecturing Wolverine on table manners and courting Aunt May. Aunt May! Do you know what it feels like to take Otto Octavius’s sloppy seconds? ALFRED:
Thankfully, I do not.JARVIS:
And you wield a shotgun! (sighs) I doubt it will be long before you have your own title.ALFRED:
(flustered) Why that’s preposterous!GRAPHIC DEBATE: Hey, that’s a great idea! I’d read an Alfred Pennyworth comic!
Would you?GRAPHIC DEBATE: I sure would!
I – Well – That’s certainly unexpected. My own title…JARVIS:
Perhaps we could do a crossover! Butlers In Arms!
I don’t think that would be wise.GRAPHIC DEBATE: Alfred, it was Jarvis’ idea for you to get your own title –
Hardly! He was merely stating the obvious! (to himself) Perhaps “Alfred: Year One”? Yes, that’s the ticket!
(Consumed by thought, Alfred gets up and wanders off-stage.)ALFRED:
We could begin with my boyhood days in England and explore my own training, much as Master Bruce’s training has been documented…
(to Grace) Any tips on how I could reinvent myself?GRAPHIC DEBATE: Hmm… You could become gay.
JARVIS: Mark Millar
already tried that in the Ultimate Universe
and still nobody cared.GRAPHIC DEBATE: Oh yeah. And didn’t the Black Widow blow your head off?
Indeed. And still…no one cared
.GRAPHIC DEBATE: I dunno, man. I guess you can stick around here. Be my Ed McMahon or Andy Richter. You kinda look like them anyway.
Could I?! How gracious of you! I think I shall!
(Jarvis happily settles into his seat while Grace turns back to the camera.)GRAPHIC DEBATE: That’s it Graphic Debate! Be sure to check out the many Batman titles as well as Nightwing, Robin, and many more featuring butler extraordinaire Alfred Pennyworth. To follow Edwin Jarvis’ adventures, check out – uh, check out… (thinks) – check back here next week when Jarvis joins me as my sidekick on Graphic Debate!
is a comedic actor and writer in NYC. Her issue of Justice League Unlimited #41
for DC Comics
is out now and her upcoming projects are Nemesis: Who Me?
new Shining Stars
program, and the manga The Adventures of CG!
magazine. She's also the host/writer for TitanTV's
"RevYOU" which gets the genuine pulse
of the week's new film releases from real moviegoers who've just stepped out of the theater! Go to www.TitanTV.com
to watch the latest episodes. Grace also studies and performs at Upright Citizens Brigade
. To learn more please visit her website, www.gracerandolph.com
, which is highly informative, not to mention awesome.
Brian Andersen is a super, major, comic book nerd who loves to write and draw. He's totally creates the fabulously fun indie comic called "So Super Duper", which is about an everyman superhero who just might be gay, even though he doesn't know it yet. Check out the cute book at sosuperduper.com. Yay! Brian lives in San Francisco with his sexy boy toy of six years, their five plants, and many, many long boxes filled with comics!
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