February 18th, 2014
I’VE GOT AN UNCONTROLLABLE URGE…
Hello camp councilors Welcome to Camp Spam! I’ll be your resident favourite lumbering backwoods maniac, Disembodied Slashbot X-15735! Are you ready for a long hot summer of canoodling, light drug use, and half-baked attempts at childcare…? There are just a few ground rules to keep in mind however; make sure you do don’t get separated, don’t run around in your skanties, don’t make fun of the locals, don’t mock urban legends or local superstitions, don’t diddle each other on a haunted native American burial ground, don’t run off into the woods trying to entice your boyfriend or girlfriend into a bout of impromptu midnight streaking, and whatever you do DON’T BE FEMALE!
Other than that we can all look forward to a happy summer of carefree kicks and denim hotpants. So settle down round the campfire while we tune our radios to Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die and the latest edition of SILENCE! I’ll just nip off and sharpen my machete…*ahem* I mean fetch the marshmallows…
<ITEM> A glorious longform admin, with sponsordrizzle, and a discussion of both Harvester restaurants and The Chapman Brothers
<ITEM> A song in our hearts and we’re through, through, through to the Reviewniverse…taking on allcomers with reviews of Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Juice Squeezers, Stray Bullets, Walking Dead, Punisher, Wolverine, Fred Savage, How I Met Your Mother, The Royals: Masters of War, Batman: Black & White, Batman, Astro City, Secret Avengers, Justice League of America, Captain America, and Jason’s Hey Wait…
<ITEM> Just time to detach the Reviewniverse, for the Beast to big up his new favourite site Dc Comics In The 80s, the brief tease of Gary Dimbleby and The Beast Must Dimbleby, and then it’s lights out…for summer.
(RIP Bob Casale:
December 18th, 2013
Special “Two years late and several thousand Bitcoins short” Edition!
People still do linkblogging, right? I mean not here, not recently, but elsewhere. Feels like a holdover from the “internet as big magazine” approach to broadcasting into the void, and given that I’m too scare to commit myself to any other model that suits me just fine!
EMBARRASSING ENTHUSIASM DEPT: You read it somewhere else first, but we’re in a celebratory mood in Mindless HQ anyway, so fuck it – STRAY BULLETS IS COMING BACK!
It’s too early in the day for me to get totally shameless on this, so you’ll have to go read that interview to find out about the massive collected edition of the first forty issues, the continuation of the old series, and the launch of a new one. Suffice it to say that Stray Bullets is the best, most unsettling crime comic out there, and that we’re glad all those kittens weren’t sacrificed in vain.
If you’ve not red the series before, issues #1-4 are apparently free to download right now, and Zom (or “Ad Mindless as he now likes to be called) wrote a piece about issue#1 that should set the scene just nicely:
A car speeding into the night, a lonely county road, as an establishing shot it’s hardly setting a precedent. But the first panel in SB #1 transcends its over familiarity by actually saying something meaningful about the book and all that follows it. This is a story that will make good on the panel’s familiar metaphorical properties. What we need to keep in mind here is that this road is black, to see anything we’re going to need a torch, and that things probably lurk in those woods. For that matter, things probably lurk in that car – what’s it doing out there in the dark, anyway? The world of Stray Bullets is a dangerous place, and the road travels on until you die.
We should also consider the notion that Lapham doesn’t want to simply transcend cliché, that he’s keen to set-up certain expectations in the reader. So later, when the tires on the car blow out and that familiar scene with the cop and the dead body in the trunk rears it’s head, we shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of novelty on offer. What’s interesting about all these little genre ticks is that, by issue 2, you could be forgiven for forgetting you were reading a crime comic in the first place, and that’s a recurring pattern throughout the series. The effect being that just when you think you know where you are Lapham pulls something entirely unexpected out of the hat, and suddenly definitions like ‘crime fiction’ start to feel inadequate or in serious needs of revision. If I was hunting around for words to describe Stray Bullets #1 I’d eschew genre definitions and settle on adjectives like macabre and gothic.
MISSING PERSONS DEPT: Free Batman/set Batman free.
For serious though: this is the best(/most horrible) Batman comic I’ve read all year, the tactically deployed evil of Batman Incorporated notwithstanding. Twitter account here, if you’re interested.
November 6th, 2009
Nope, not that either. Tucker’s got that one covered too. Was a total beaut though. Moar violence and unpleasantness than any right thinking comic fan could hope to gulp down on a comics Thursday without, a short while later, having to swallow the tiniest bit of bitter upchuck
This came out and a millionty one fans finally got to let out some very stale breath, ’cause new Stray Bullets is finally, finally upon us. Alright yeah, there was some other good stuff in there, some talent on display, but really give a fuck. I’ve waited… I dunno… about 5 years for minty fresh Stray Bullets and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be distracted by Brubaker, Motter, Grist and Lemire. They could’ve encrusted their entries in solid gold magic sex flavour and I still would’ve flicked straight to the front of the book, that’s how much I needed my dose of David Lapham’s signature work.
October 25th, 2009
Lady Lactus and myself have recently moved to a larger spaceship. This was an exciting development as my collection of floppy ephemera had been wrapped tightly in bin liners in the attic of our previous vessel for over two years. Now I could unleash them all on my unsuspecting shelves!
February 14th, 2009
July 17th, 2008
So David very kindly agreed to do an interview with Mindless Ones, as we’re all tremendous fans of his disturbing, enthralling and brilliant comics.
That’s one way to put it.
Another would be this. Posing as travelling Bible salesmen, we drugged Lapham up to the eyballs, dressed him up like a little girl, and tied him to a chair. Then we set Mr Stairs, our resident knife-wielding monkey to work on that pretty face of his.
After a few hours with Mr Stairs, he was very keen to answer our questions. There’s lovely!
April 29th, 2008
Crime comics, genre, anxieties about, that’s stuff you should leave at the door. I want to talk about a dead girl and a tragic young man.
Stray Bullets #1 is that rarest of beasts in the dark woods of serialized fiction, a first issue that’s on a par with the best of the run. David Lapham doesn’t need to find his stride, he hits the ground running, in fact his biggest problem as the series progresses is sustaining the quality, and perhaps the purity, of the early issues. I’d argue he’s largely succeeded, but that’s a topic for another post.
Here be spoilers…
April 11th, 2008
Man, no-one writes assholes and losers like David Lapham. His merciless dissection of Middle America’s underbelly easily matches Dan Clowes or Chris Ware. Plus he has tonnes more fights and dancing. In fact fighting and dancing is a nice way to sum up Young Liars his new ongoing from Vertigo, seeing as how the first issue begins with a band about to start a riotous gig before cutting immediately to a girl’s fist smashing into a bouncer’s nose.