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Easter Sunday Massacre
Easter Sunday Massacre
March 20, 2024

Ranfren and It’s Controversy

Ranfren and It’s Controversy

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Randal’s Friends, also known shortly as Ranfren, is a dark comedy webcomic published by Captain Howdie on January 1, 2011. The comic started out as comic strips of the characters we still know today; Randal Ivory, a young teenage boy who we follow and experience his everyday life in Canada with his friends. A slice-of-life genre including some surreal weirdness and humorous plotlines, it makes the novel interesting and enjoyable to read. The webcomic is still actively being updated by Captain Howdie on Neocities; an online site, where you can create your own website. Captain’s website has a lot of things in store: Illustrations, holiday comics, animations, mixed media (art), and lastly, handmade merch of his characters. The novel itself has reached its 2nd volume. As earlier said, it is still in development, but the comic’s release has gained a large amount of popularity throughout the years.

The author of Randal’s Friends has had some controversies. Some of the most common are his old comics created before the official release in 2011, which have vulgar language. Slurs as such and offensive characters. There were also some implications of illegal relationships/ships. Ships are; characters being in a romantic relationship with one other for fan service or the creator implying it. But in this case, Randal, a teenage boy is being shipped with his older brother, Luther. It is confirmed that Randal is a self-insert by the author. There was evidence of these being true, as linked here… Are these pieces of evidence still relevant? It has been almost a decade since these drawings were created. Racism should not be justified, and it’s an example to not draw or do anything remotely offensive, or it’ll come back to possibly change how your community thinks of you.. There’s hardly any evidence of the creation dates but it’s clear they were made before the Ranfren was published, meaning these were “Beta” designs. Beta designs are examples of something before the finalized idea. There is a finalized-designed character who is introduced in the beginning of the novel, who is clearly has a design heavily inspired by a Japanese girl named Tsuji Natsumi who had murdered her classmate in the year 2004. 

It wasn’t rare to see artists draw murderers in the early 2010s, but it doesn’t make it right at all to make the topic open for everyone to see as a “positive” thing. Most drawings from Captain were erased from Deviant Art, so there’s hardly any evidence of when those were made. By visualizing, the art style is very different from what we see today in Captain Howdie’s art.

Randal’s Friends opens with Randal Ivory on a playdate with his friend, Scarecrow Kid. They both hear an Ice Cream truck nearby, so they both decide to go out and get some ice cream. Afterward, we get introduced to Randal’s older Brother, Luther, when Randal asks him for money for the ice cream. Unfortunately, Luther had lost one of his catmen. Who we learn are humanized versions of cats, who are humans, (for what it seems) wearing cat-like characteristics: Whiskers, cat hats, tails. This adds to the funny surrealness surrounding how the characters are so content with their surroundings with no problems or questions. Later, the mysterious ice cream man in the truck asks for Randal’s and the Scarecrow kid’s order after getting some money from Luther. Randal orders a “Rabbit flavor” ice cream from the seller. Whoever, after the Scarecrow kid ordered a “Nebraska flavored” ice cream, he did not have enough money. This results in the Scarecrow kid being captured by the ice cream man’s henchmen, and so it is up to Randal to get more extra money from Luther once again. This time, Randal accidentally falls asleep, due to the ice cream he was consuming, basically never giving him the chance to get some money. Soon enough, Randal wakes up and realizes that the Ice cream truck disappeared. Finally, it is revealed that the mysterious ice cream seller was the one who had captured Luther’s catman in the beginning, including the Scarecrow kid.

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About the Contributor
Gyselle Nieto is a 10th-grade student who goes to Forest Grove High School. She loves drawing, listening to music, and playing video games. She also has two guinea pigs; named Rosie and Oreo. Her goal after high school is to create comics or make an animation.

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