Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Love and Rockets: She didn't remember me just now

The return to Palomar is Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets comics in recent years is oddly free of nostalgia, but it is still reassuring to see the fictional town is surrounded by violent, weird shit.

Poor fucking Diana - she lost her sister in an awful tragedy years ago, and now she's lamenting a young daughter who drowned while away at summer camp. And while Luba might not be able to remember who Diana is because she was abducted by aliens, but it's still cutting to see her dismissed like that.

And she can't wander around her old running haunts without getting dragged into some kind of weird political violence, with dudes getting blasted in the skull and shot in the ass.

The violence is always funny in Beto's style, with wide eyed craziness and bendy bodies getting contorted in horrific bodily violence. It's always a laugh. 

Palomar is a town of warmth and humanity - it's surprising that Tipin' Tipin' is still wandering around with a shovel, unless he's one of the town's many, many ghosts - but it's also had some dark shit going down, especially around the edges of town.

In Beto's comics, the cycles of violence aren't just confined to that small town somewhere south of the border - Luba's half-sister is still masking up and beating the shit out of various scum in the streets - but as a small town that has frequently served as an apt metaphor for all the fucked up shit in the world, it's never lost its power to make the point. 

Monday, May 27, 2024

Comics in the sick bed

Getting stuck in a sick bed for a day or two is never anybody's idea of fun, but comics can make it a tiny bit better. Comics can always make things a tiny bit better, if you let them in.

I've always liked to read comics when I've been feeling crook - they usually don't take up a lot of brainpower, it's easy to dip in and out of the story when you can see what panel you're up to, and if the head is feeling particularly clogged up, you can just look at the pretty pictures.

Ever since I got my tonsils out when I was 5, and was insanely jealous of another kid in the ward who had Fantastic Four comics and I just had a bloody Beano or something, comics were there when I felt ill. 

Later in hospital for the one asthma attack I had, my Mum came in with the issue of 2000ad with the Mean Team debuting on the cover, and that was the best present anybody gave me during that stay, and reignited a long-burning obsession with the galaxy's greatest comic, one that is still burning.

Sometimes it can backfire, and can be a bit traumatic - during my last serious hospital visit a decade ago, I read the book about the making of From Hell, and I still haven't been able to crack it open again without smelling antiseptic and existential dread of physical woes.

It's not usually that serious, and I always read comics on my sick bed at home. I can still remember having the first issue of GI Joe on hand during one childhood dose of the flu, and getting through that lurgy with a dose of US military might.

The most recent dose of Covid in our house had me lying around in misery for a few days, and this time it was a reread of old Hellblazer comics that helped get me through it. The cheap thrill of reading these issues and reminding me of a time when I truly thought John Constantine was the best character in comics really did help, and seeing Constantine deal with all the legions of hell with style and wit is one way of getting over my own misery.

What else am I going to do? Just lie there? Not when I can read a comic book, and get away from it all for a while.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

I think this song will never end.

Doctor Who is 61 years old and I have been obsessed with it for two-thirds of that time, and I have not seen anything like this ever. Roll on, Doctor.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Life is so much easier to deal with when you are dead!

Peaky Blinders was often a deeply miserable experience, but always sparked into life when Tom Hardy's Alfie Solomons showed up, even after he got shot in the bloody head.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Then you went and gone.

Don't be stupid, I couldn't pick just one scene from the greatest 48 minutes of television ever.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

The lowest point of a disappointing career.

Slow Horses is a lot of fun on many levels, but nothing beats Gary Oldman giving his colleagues a pep talk.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Do ye want me to hole punch yer face?

I know technically this is from the movie of the TV show, but it's also got Spider-Builder!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Fuck off with your ginger chips, Shaun.

Even the dopiest arseholes in a Shane Meadows series have more personailty than anybody in a thousand blockbusters.

Monday, May 20, 2024

From the very beginning.

Covid had come calling at our household again, and all I want to do this week is curl up into a ball and watch my favourite bits of British television. Come join me! (For the telly, not the virus.)