Breaking the Fourth Wall

We live in a three dimensional world. Our perceptions of everyday space are bound by these three dimensions. We crawl, spit, slumber and slog within these three walls which contain our labile and fluid reality like a glass containing water.

Dead PoolNow my life is joke, a joke so funny that one can make an award winning sitcom out of it. My life is so tragically weird that one can make a graphic novel on it. Things have played and un-played themselves in a fashion as to make my life the way it is. And yes, I have realized what’s going on. I realized it when I was talking out loud; shaking my fist in an empty room saying, “Do you think this is funny? Are you folks laughing now?” Those of you who are reading this may call me a basket case, but let me tell you I just became aware of the fourth wall. I became aware of the fact that I am actually inside a comic book and behind this fourth wall (which so few of us can perceive) is another audience entertaining themselves by watching me go about my daily life. The guy who takes out the next edition of my life-issue has ended things in a pretty dramatic fashion in this particular issue. I am expecting a super-size with a free pull-out poster next month.

However, I am not the only one who has become aware of his fictitious (meta-fictitious) existence. The fourth wall was originally a theatrical term used to define the imaginary wall in between the actors on stage and the artist. The stage was a world of its own. I think that bard Shakespeare also became aware of the fourth wall; wasn’t he the one who said, “All the world’s a stage, and men and women are merely the players”, or something like that?

Some of the folks at Marvel and DC know of it too. Deadpool (the ultimate loose-cannon and king of wisecracks) openly acknowledges the fourth wall, leaning on the panel borders and touching his text balloons. He loves the way his dialogues appear in yellow boxes. Deapool has been known to provide his own narration to a particular edition of his comic, just to confuse his enemies listening to their radio. He even thanks his writers for making him visit exotic Greece (Volume 2, Issue 16).

She Hulk

She Hulk is another path breaker (pun intended) when it came to breaking the fourth wall, acknowledging its existence on her solo issue. In Joker’s Asylum, our eponymous lovable rogue turned to the audience to drop lines like, “Don’t try this at home” and “Better not miss this”. Scores of characters, such as DC’s Goth-biker looking Lobo; Cartoon Network’s Ed, Edd n Eddy and characters from Looney Toons cartoons, have acknowledged this wall like I have. Some may say that our lives are just too weird for us to handle and we question if it is real. Others may say that we are nutcases. But if you ever have a weird day and you are found talking to an invisible audience or if you ever react in accordance with you being constantly watched by other-worldly folks chewing on pop-corn, and try to jump off these panels and pour out your version of reality into a martini shaker (doing something excessively crazy, cause let’s face it, we are inside a comic book) then you are breaking this fourth wall Brick by Brick.