It’s a beautiful day in the swamp, and here at Grim Manor, Mr. Kittycat Jackson is seated in his Christmas box, behind his big box, eager as ever to preside over the weekly haul. And here’s what’s in the stash today…Lobster Johnson, arguably the best spinoff of Hellboy, returns with a new story. The DC Universe Rebirth one shot, I don’t know that I’ll be following much of this relaunch, but this issue is oversized, at normal price, and contains Gary Frank art, so they got my money. Afterlife With Archie returns with #9 after an absence of something like 18 months. I never grew up with the Riverdale gang. In fact I am older than the printing press, but that’s getting off topic. An old fiend of mine worked for a time in the taxidermy department of Archie Comics, and convinced me to get the first issue of Afterlife a few years back, because we were both fans of artist Francesco Francavilla. Nine issues later, I’m still reading it. Francavilla’s incredible art and storytelling enriches a beautifully sad and tense horror comic. It wears it’s influences on it’s sleeve, but is a fantastically Stephen King style character-driven tragedy that’s a lot more fun and less punishing to read than say, The Walking Dead.
Since that’s kind of a light haul, I thought I’d throw in my two other finds today. One being Fantastic Four Masterworks Vol. 9, which I got at a criminal discount, because the first three pages look like this:
They seem to have been glued into the binding, which is an incredible shame, but the problem stops promptly at page 1 of the first story, and since that carved a few shekels off the price, I was happy for the find. I don’t know if I’ve ever carried on about Jack Kirby on this website, but he was the greatest artist to grace the Earth with his talent since my old neighbor Gorlock the defacer painted those bulls on the walls of our high school classroom in the Lascaux caves. Watching his style evolve is a thing to behold, and you can see the sweep of it through the microcosm of his career that his tenure on Fantastic Four presents. This collection includes examples of his abstract photo collages, as well as one of my favorite covers, depicted below.
Lastly I swiped that Record in the top photo from a local music shop, where I was confronted with the same droning, condescending middle aged record store cashier we’ve all known since time immemorial. But it was worth it for John Carpenter’s Lost Themes II. Carpenter, on top of being a criminally underrated movie director, is also a sacrilegiously underrated film composer. The fact that his name doesn’t follow Phillip Glass’ when we talk about minimalist composers is more disgraceful than anything I’ve seen or done at the Lunar Equinox rituals. This album is the second he’s produced in the last two years, all original tracks composed by him, and performed by he and his son. In particular, I could not stop listening to Hofner Dawn all week. In fact I posted it on this very website a few days back and the numbers tell me NONE of you filthy heathens clicked that link, for shame. Actually, You’re allowed to like or dislike anything you please, this is America, and I’m not going to shame you like that record store guy, but I love that track. It reminds me of Early Tangerine Dream, and some older Prog music, like Camel. I’m sure I will talk at length about John Carpenter in some future post, so I can stop boring you here, but if you like that track at all, go listen to the rest of it for free, then buy it, the man has earned your money. Also go watch The Fog again and pay attention to his beautifully sparse score in that film, easily one of the greatest movies about Fog of all time, let alone Ghost Pirates.
That’s all for today, boils and ghouls. I’ll see you in Hell.