Part 1 here

Back to this, then.

Maybe I was too hard on Geofferson Aerojohns in my first post. Maybe “Bollocks” was an appropriate response to a room covered in blood and the stink of the supernatural. Bollocks might often carry with it a low level sense of levity, but then John Constantine has had to weather some pretty terrible things in his time. Things worse than a few pints of the red stuff and a black magic chaser. Perhaps, for Constantine, a bit of sardonic humour helps him manage his emotions. Perhaps he just doesn’t respond to scenes of hideous violence in the way that you and I would, his emotional responses deadened after one too many trips to Hell.

What is magic, treacle? Find out over the jump

Yes, there is!  We talk about Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library # 20, also known as Lint.

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Then there’s some rambling chat about Mark Millar, Marvel Ultimate stuff, The Authority, Bryan Hitch, Warren Ellis, Freak Angels, The Boys, Garth Ennis, Unknown Soldier, Jesse Custer’s hair and white jeans,  Peter Milligan and Hellblazer. Then the battery ran out and we all went home to bed and it was all a dream.  Or was it?  Of course it wasn’t, you can hear it here:

Click to download

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Of course, neither myself nor anyone writing inside the walls of this blog are going to have a problem with nonsense, be it outright nonsense, stupid nonsense, or nonsense for nonsense’s sake. It’s a Marvel comic, nonsense is what it does best, and it is the best there is at what it does. But what about nonsense mad enough to think it’s Important? Or nonsense sane and brittle enough to knows it’s nonsense but try to pass itself off as Important? Are both of those things not high art crimes?

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M is the British comic creator’s surname initial par excellence.

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You are nine months into the nineties revival! Do not let these pamphlets decieve you!

Hellblazer #267 by Peter Milligan and Stefan Camuncoli

There is a pointed alchemical pseudo-mcguffin at the beginning, where a silver sliver of redemptive light presents itself, that we might beg to come back to later. There is a weakness in the reader, a clearly mistaken belief that despite the dimly-remembered arguments of 20 years ago the ‘anti-’ bit of ‘anti-hero’ should basically be swapped out to form ‘grumpyhero’. That every chain-swinging, chain-smoking, cheyne-stoking gritmeister from the last generation’s reboot of the comicbook protagonist is a mere modern gloss on the Gawainian pureheart formula. As was frequently reiterated even in Garth Ennis’ last, ultra-black run on the character, even the type’s posterboy Frank (in my house we call him Frank because ‘The Punisher’ is not a word that you want coming out of the mouth of a three year old girl) is basically a well-intentioned softy, dealing with a very nasty case of PTSD but whose faith in the innocence of sweet children is strong and clear enough to drag him back from the edge of brain damage every six issues or so.

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Smellementary my dear

Phonogram Book 2: The Singles Club #4, by Keiron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson

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Not, by the way, going to allow this review to be coloured by how annoying those Pipettes at the next table in the cafe on Saturday were. Didn’t really notice myself, to be honest, I was wrapped up thoroughly in my weekly dose of Wednesday wonder (it’s the comic it’s OK to read in public! Best Aquaman ever!), but when I looked up my betrothed had her homicide face on, filled me in on the details later. One Pipette telling off another Pipette for not being Pipettey enough. Read: first rule of Pipette club – do not be a better singer than lead Pipette. Another line-up change on the horizon? How 2006.

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Which I think is big of me

Heck as like

April 24th, 2009

Hellblazer 251-253, by Peter Milligan, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Landini, Jamie Grant

David Peace (& Derek Raymond’s ghost) aside, Peter Milligan has to be the last best hope for finding John Constantine’s ideal writer. So far he’s had a promising, indicative five-pager in the Christmas Special Issue #250, and these three issues, comprising a single arc – SCAB. (And a new issue came out this week – will have a look at that over the weekend maybe.)

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Take the wide road you big pig’s wank

Or: why David ‘Red Riding‘ Peace would be my perfect Hellblazer writer.

I really just want to post some of these pictures off the telly, they’re smashing:

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Never ‘appen, lad

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John Higgins is a stalwart of the American and British comic industry. He has worked with some of the most prominent creators in the field, and worked on legendary characters like Judge Dredd and John Constantine, worked on film properties such as The Thing From Another World and The Hills Have Eyes, and provided colour for the groundbreaking series Watchmen.

We tied him up in a cellar and beat his shins with spanners until he answered our questions. What a gent!

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