This Webcomic Profile Of Canada's Royalty Is Fake—But Still Fascinating

In an alternate universe, Canada has its own royal family, one whose tradition subjects its members to grotesque rituals and incarcerating fashions. This short faux anthropological comic by Michael DeForge may describe a people who don't exist, but who are so bizarre we can't look away.

DeForge is the creator behind Ant Comic (probably NSFW), which is at once brilliant and leaves readers with a sense of "What the hell did I just read?" I highly recommend picking up his collection Very Casual, or at the very least read his Spotting Deer comic, a surreal and strangely affecting spin on nature documentaries.

Canadian Royalty: Their Lifestyles and Fashions is a bit like Spotting Deer in that it describes something that is only slightly too weird to exist. DeForge describes the apparent cruelties that Canadian royals are subjected to from childhood and the dubious—sometimes horrifying—honors adults may receive upon their ascendancy. And there are brief dips into the history of individual royals and former royals that offer hints of an even larger picture.

By making his account of these imaginary people both stark and lurid, DeForge seems to critique royal-watching, celebrity culture, inherited roles in modern Western society, and the exoticization of other cultures in some anthropological accounts all at once. And by placing his royal family in a Western culture, he is able to suggest aspects of his alternate history through enticing clues—names, titles, modes of dress—forcing his reader to use their own cultural knowledge to fill in the details of his world. The end result is that the world of the Canadian royals feels at once alien and oddly familiar. And the Spotting Deer even makes a few appearances along the way.

You can see a full directory of DeForge's available online comics at his website.

Canadian Royalty: Their Lifestyles and Fashions [King Trash]