With The Wicked and the Divine out, we look at some other comics that touch on music, or have music at their core, as well as ranting about publishing and hearing about the time Dave nearly had a breakdown in a supermarket when Avril Lavigne came on the radio.
Did you ever have a place you always went to on family holidays? Passing landmarks and well-worn jokes in an over-hot car on the way, running down to a beach, making a campfire like you always did, seeing those friends you somehow never wrote to in the autumn?
No, nor did I. Or at least, never quite. But it’s a powerful image. That familiar childhood holiday; lazy, comfortable little memories repeating in rose-tint, until this one summer.
I love that cadence. The tone of the title hits it spot on, and it’s carried through on the voice of the book – This One Summer, when…
When what, exactly? The lazy version would be “when childhood ended”, and plenty of coming-of-age reminiscence tales give us that. But This One Summer ducks the temptation, playing out instead the little heartaches and explorations of its childhood scenes against a more conventional drama. The big stuff, the sex and death stuff, happens around the protagonists, and we see it largely as they do, like some half-expected storm over the beach.
My tickets for Thought Bubble arrived today. It’s five months away, but I’m already childishly excited. Heck, I booked tickets as soon as I saw they’d been released.
The short answer: because it kicks enough arse to win a mid-to-heavyweight, quantitatively-measured arse kicking contest. Really: a lot of arse is getting kicked here. Non-trivial amounts.
This week we’re missing Lucy, but those that remain are joined by the fragrant and delightful Graham Sleight, who brings a certain air of professionalism not usually found in our parade of dick jokes. We’ve all been to see the Comics Unmasked exhibition at the British Library, as well as taking in ELCAF and a spot of light reading. Read On…
This week we look at Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios’ Pretty Deadly in depth, as well as the recently-reissued gay/civil-rights graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby. This week we were all sober. This week you might occasionally hear the crude verbal seepings of a mind come untethered from decency and reality. Read On…
Dave’s been in The Canada, attending TCAF, so we talk about comics and comics shows and Canada. We also talk quite a lot about everything that is wrong with society, and some things that are wrong with Star Trek. Read On…
With a title like Pregnant Butch, you can probably guess that this is a memoir taking a decidedly non-majority perspective on a pretty common event.
Now, I haven’t looked up the proportion of the population that will at some point vent live young from their undercarriage, but it’s going to be high. High enough, in fact, to lead to one of the most interesting aspects of Pregnant Butch – a world in which everyone has a very solid expectation of what the protagonist’s experiences should be; a world that has to be lived in by that protagonist – regardless of how little she agrees that this is what her experiences manifestly are.
Consequentially, each aspect of the experience (pregnant, and butch, if you like) become a kind of contrast medium that lets a reader inspect what’s odd about the other. This is a book about cultural (and medical) attitudes to motherhood, about butch identity and female masculinity, about queer experience in a heteronormative domain, and about the isolation of feeling personally at odds with all of those things while in a situation the world demands that you find wonderful.
Yeah. There’s a lot in here.
CRIME IS EVERYWHERE. Well, there’s a bit. There’s a lot in comics too! We take a detailed forensic look at some of our favourite pulp and noir comics, talk about some real life crimes that may or may not have happened. They’re pretty exciting crimes! Plus the usual filth and nonsense. Read On…
We’re back on myth this week, looking at comics that create their own myths and discussing 19th century vs. contemporary mythic theory while swearing like troopers. Tell us you get that anywhere else. Liar.
We also set about tackling new some new releases, and generally being terrible people.
Uzumaki (spiral) was on our reading list for the horror comics podcast, and for a putative future edition on Manga. It’s a collection of short but connected horror stories by Junji Ito, centring on the town of Kurouzu-cho, which has been “contaminated with spirals”.
It’s been available in English, on and off, since 2001, and I remember leafing through the early Viz Media editions back when I was shifting comics and manga for a loose approximation of a living. The 2013 “3-in-1 Deluxe Edition” collects all the stories for the first time, and is a genuinely handsome piece of publishing.
That cover and binding are where the nice things about Uzumaki start and stop. This is a creepingly unpleasant book – a taut and unsettling one-volume lesson in how comparatively simple words and pictures can be deployed to make you want to sleep with the lights on.