“Bleedhounds Kin Find Anythin’!” COMICS! Sometimes They Are Assorted!

John Kane

So, you know how it should go: 1) Read comics 2) Think about comics  3) Write about comics 4) Post writing 5) Fret about having upset someone. Rinse and repeat.
Well I did 1) and forgot to do 2) so that shivved 3), 4) and 5) right in the kidneys didn’t it? So all you get is what I read last night. I’ll try and do better next time.

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Also: Don’t forget the 100TH PODCAST BY GRAEME MCMILLAN and JEFF LESTER is due THIS WEEK! It will be MONUMENTAL! It will be ASTOUNDING! It will be the BEST THING EVER!

No pressure, guys!

SPACEMAN #9 (of 9)
By Risso, Azzarello, Mulvihill, Robins, Johnson, Doyle and Dennis
VERTIGO/DC Comics, $2.99 (2012)
SPACEMAN created by Risso and Azzarello

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In which all things come to the usually inconclusive and possibly clever but certainly unsatisfying end most of Azzarello’s work casually bellyflops into. Recasting a standard crime tale in sci-fi (S-F!) trappings turned out not to be enough. Possibly it turned out to more hobbling than helpful. Azzarello seems to actively avoid clarity in his storytelling at times, possibly confusing complication with complexity. Fair enough but then factor in his Footcha-Speek and the reader ends up trying to figure out the simplest of things while momentum and interest dissipate softly but noticeably out and away, like the sly fart of a dog under the Sunday dinner table.

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The Futcha-Spik wasn’t all that good either, I’m not expecting Orwell’s Newspeak but I am at least expecting an effort on a par with Jack (Under-Rated) Womack and I’m certainly expecting it to be more than an excuse to force in more terrible puns (Real-Tee!). Also, I have a strong suspicion all this stuff just served as a distraction from the fact the end made no sense. No one went, “Actually, he didn’t do it.” No one? How convenient. Luckily Risso and Mulvihill’s work remains visually sumptuous, engaging and altogether too good for the material at hand, thus raising it up to GOOD!

AMERICAN VAMPIRE: LORD OF NIGHTMARES #4 of 5
Drawn by Dustin Nguyen
Written by Scott Snyder
Colours by John Kalisz
Letters by Steve Wands
VERTIGO/DC Comics, $2.99 (2012)
AMERICAN VAMPIRE created by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque

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They held off quite a while didn’t they? You do have to give them that, but in the end all Vampire roads lead to Vlad. Here they’ve plumped for the spooky baldy Murnau version; respectful but a mistake I feel. This comic could really have done with Gary Oldman’s Jack-cool-AH! livening up its sadly lifeless pages. Sometimes this thing just makes less sense than an extraordinarily senseless thing, like a clam in a coma. After doing a load of hair pulling and garment rending about how super awful a threat Dracula is the strip then seems to suggest a train crash would finish off Dracula like he was some luckless commuter on a particularly ill-fated 6.45 to Basingstoke. It also thinks having our cast trapped on a plane bickering is of interest, yet since much of the cast is made up of spooky humanoids this just ends up being like reading about the argumentative occupants of a flying supernatural pet shop.

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What happened to Dustin Nguyen? Has he had an accident? His art is usually lovely but here it looks like he did it during a bumpy bus ride and the bus was one of those with crates of livestock on it, some of which kept getting loose and flapped right up in his face while he was engaged in his act of creation. Look, this is a series in which the Big Threat is revealed to be a chair, so yeah, it was EH!

FATALE #7
Drawn by Sean Phillips
Written by Ed Brubaker
Colours by Dave Stewart
IMAGE, $3.50 (2012)
FATALE created by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

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I know they don’t need any encouragement here but this would make a great TV series. Every week a special guest star could stumble over Josephine’s wall with an item of wider relevance to whichever decade the series was currently set in. So you could have Jim Belushi as Richard Nixon fall into Josephine’s bougainvilleas sweatily clutching a Watergate tape to his chest. He would find her attractive. She would wonder why she, an attractive woman, had such power over him, a clearly foolish man. It would be a real mystery. Only a supernatural solution would suffice. The gardener would get all shirty. She would help him out and find another clue to the central mystery of the story which is so ill defined I can’t even remember what it is. Richard Nixon would die and be sad. Josephine would be sad he had died. Then she would look out of her window to find Charlie Sheen as Elvis falling into her poison Ivy clutching the proof that Colonel Tom Parker was an illegal immigrant. And on and on and on. Robert DeNiro in Angel Heart has already shown up, although he’s now wearing those eggs he kept peeling as eyes.

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As far as horror goes the most horrific thing about the book is when Sean Phillips draws people in the middle distance. They start to bloat and their proportions subtly shift from those of a human to something more akin to a Robert Aickman phantasm. Unfortunately he’s just drawing normal people but his skill with scenery and faces ensure the art is still the second best thing here. Dave Stewart’s colours being the first, check out the lovely felt-tippy green on that Green Door, Shakin’ Stevens! I have no idea why the critical reception of this book is so orgasmic but then I didn’t think CRIMINAL having flashbacks drawn like ARCHIE comics was exactly warming my face with the Promethean fire. I’m probably just a demanding prick so take my verdict of EH! With a pinch of salt.

Show me I’m just a big old partypooper by buying FATALE #7 from HERE. Remember – the more copies you buy the more you’ll be showing me how wrong I am! Knock yourself out!

POPEYE CLASSIC COMICS #2
By Bud Sagendorf
YOE Comics/IDW $3.99 (2012)
POPEYE created by E.C. Segar

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These are POPEYE comics from the ‘50s by Bud Sagendorf and if you have been paying attention to me then you know how I feel about that! If you have not been paying attention to me, why NOT? Jesus Christ, you know I only do this for the attention! Yes, only for the heat of your Love I feel through the screen do I do this thing! And the money. Anyway, these comics are mental and there are about twice as many pages as in a normal comic so that offsets the fact you’re paying 3.99, I feel. In case that was a concern. I really like the way they retain the original colouring because there’s something to be said for those halcyon days when upon reaching the age of 60 every citizen was forcibly taken to a warehouse where they were chained by the ankle to an enormous table and here, amongst ranks of equally liver spotted and doddering companions, they threw carcinogenic inks in the rough direction of where their cataract occluded eyes guessed the pictures were.

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Nowadays it’s all done by computers and I think we’ve lost something there, something real, something human, something magical. As great as the contents are (and, yes, they are great) the cover is awesome as, if we take the Freudian view of firearms, it portrays Popeye punching a man so hard in the cock he ends up wearing his foreskin like a sleeve. Fuck you, Johnny Ryan, Bud Sagendorf rocks! It’s POPEYE by Bud Sagendorf and is, clearly, VERY GOOD!

POPEYE CLASSIC COMICS can be bought from HERE!. It’s just like buying it from Bouncy Brian Hibbs! Except you don’t get to go to San Francisco (“The World’s Favourite City!“). But you do get a good comic instantly in your PC! Swings and roundabouts, people!

I hope you had a good weekend, y’all! I also hope you enjoyed some COMICS!!!

6 Responses to “ “Bleedhounds Kin Find Anythin’!” COMICS! Sometimes They Are Assorted! ”

  1. Yeah, those are pretty much exactly my feelings on Spaceman. The art was gorgeous, as always, and the story had real promise – but god, that dialogue had me grinding my teeth at every page. And the ending – dammit, Azzarello, you can’t just shrug this shit off, if you want to do your dark, crimey-noir bad-guy-wins downer ending that’s great, but you have to actually work for it – the bad guy’s master plan has to be more than just crashing onto the scene and shouting “hey, I’m a good guy!” and counting on the fact that no one else will go “nuh-uh!”

  2. @moose n squirrel: Oh dear, not just me then. Goldarn it all! I know they don’t do sub-plots anymore but It’s a bit rum when even the plots start looking like a bit of an afterthought. Art and colours were good though! Cheers, sir!

  3. I can’t read those comics NO MoRE!

  4. I was just angry Spaceman had NO SIGN of Chris Parnell. What the fuck, Azzarrello.

  5. “momentum and interest dissipate softly but noticeably out and away, like the sly fart of a dog under the Sunday dinner table”
    Total agreemence. I didn’t mind the fut-spek myself, but this thing was running on vapours by the halfway mark – just long enough for me to stick it out ’til the end, even if I couldn’t muster the energy to understand the thing when it arrived.

  6. @mateor: There just ain’t no satisfakshun in ‘em! Arf! Arf!
    @Dan Coyle: I got that one!
    @James W: Agreemence indeed! Get out Risso! Get out now!

    Cheers, me little swee’peas!

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