April 16th, 2016
Here, the map is the territory.
This is about to get seriously earnest, adjust your sets… I’ve read Grant Morrison comics from the age of 7, on and off (I was too much of a wimp for 2000AD as a teen and Batman: Gothic shat me right up), starting with this one and pretty much consistently every one for the last near twenty years (I didn’t get Final Crisis: Secret Files, a decision which haunts me still, and haven’t been keeping up with 18 Days, which is just barely a Grant Morrison comic), since semi-rediscovering him through The Invisibles.
“Yeah. I guess the fighting never ends, does it? It never ends.”
That’s a mid-1986 copy of Spider-Man and Zoids, no. 18 to be precise – as an aside, the time is completely ripe for a boutique Zoids comic, in the style of yer Copra or Scioli Transformers/GI Joe, get Farel Dalrymple and the Study Group lads to do it or something. Anyway, the point is this: it’s impossible, or nearly impossible, to have that kind of relationship – thirty years(!!) – with an author outside of comics; maybe I could have had with Alexander McCall Smith or something, he writes kids’ books, he writes gentle mysteries in Botswana and Scotland – could maybe have worked, seems a bit mimsy to me. Accept the premise, move on.
April 6th, 2016
Or: We are all of us in the shadow of the dicktree – by Kelly Kanayama/Maid of Nails
“Imagine out of all the gigs in town, right? You’re thinking — how hard can it be to stare up at the stars every night for a living?”
Those are the opening lines of Nameless, the most unsettling comic I’ve ever read (including a bit of Crossed, which didn’t unsettle so much as rub garbage all over your soul).
With the introduction of an astronomer who murders his family and scrawls mysterious words on the wall in their blood, we soon find out exactly how hard it can be to stare up at the stars every night. The stars, where J’onn J’onzz made his home, where the guardians of Oa hold court, from which Superman crashed into our world to help us believe a man can fly. Staring up at the stars is an act of hope, and in Nameless, for the most part, there is none.
You think, for instance, that people are dismembering each other with their bare hands, faces smeared with blood and human filth.
The doctors explain it was only a dream; it was all in your head.
What happened outside your head — when you were outside your head — is much worse.