July 27, 2007
If the odes to sex and junk and the suggestions that Jesus enjoyed threesomes weren’t enough to have Middle America frothing at the gums the cover of the album would. Having been burned by the reaction to Nothing’s Shocking, compromise was off the cards. Framed by an altarpiece adorned with semi-voodoo relics of the Santaria religion, Perry had constructed three papier-mache sculptures depicting him, Casey and Xiola naked in a menage a trois. A powerful heartfelt work of art, it nevertheless ensured the album was banned in thousands of stores nationwide. Disgusted, the band issued a version with a cover simply consisting of the text of the First Amendment of the Constitution promising ‘freedom of speech’ as a God-given right to all American citizens. Darran Anderson on Jane's Addiction's Ritual de lo Habitual.
July 24, 2007
Created by Pat Mills, one of the old Bolsheviks of the British comics revolution, Slaine is a subversive but reverential reinterpretation of the old myths and an alternative to the sci-fi model that had previously dominated the comic. Dark, violent, grimly funny, sexy even, it is built according to Mill’s astonishing Golden Bough-level knowledge of ancient Celtic customs, religion and warfare (the series was littered with arcane references to concepts like haruspicy and entities like the Morrigan). At a time when anti-Irish prejudice in Britain was endemic, exploring the full breadth of ancient Gaelic culture in popular form was a commendable act. There the heroism ceased. Following our interview with former editor David Bishop, Darran Anderson bids a fond farewell to our 2000AD retrospective with a last look at the best of the best.
July 19, 2007
I was bitten on the arm by some kind of bug the arm swelled and I fretted about cancer yesterday I woke with a headache and I knew it was cancer some kind of brain cancer I worried about death but also smiled longingly at the idea of a morphine drip. By Tony O'Neill.
July 11, 2007
Finding great new writers is so much harder. It’s much harder for writers to introduce their talent, their voice. Artists can go to life drawing classes, but writers just have to write. They need to produce so much material before they produce anything worth publishing, but where are they going to do that? British comics have unearthed one great new writer a year for the past thirty years, if that. There’s a limited amount of work around and you’re up against the likes of John Wagner or Pat Mills, men with shelves laden with awards and thirty years experience. It’s a problem not easily solved. The best thing would-be writers can do is hook up with an artist and self publish, get some material under their belt before approaching the likes of 2000AD. Learn the craft, learn to walk before running to Tharg for a job. Darran Anderson interviews David Bishop.
July 9, 2007
Behind it all, there seems to be a sort of frustrated, purgatorial talent, meaning the book comes across as the history of the movement according to its Iago. Sometimes arrogance can come across as endearing or humorous (in moments here it succeeds in both those respects) but all too often it falls flat. You wonder about the need for the braggadocio, perhaps it’s an over-compensation for being sidelined. It feeds into a wider disenchantment with the movement, a belief that it was at best a marriage of convenience, at worst a tabloid-deployed snare to trivialise the lot of them. It doesn’t help that he refers to “this angry young men nonsense” and claims to have “had nothing whatever in common with Wain, Amis, Osbourne or John Braine,” at which point you’re tempted to ask why are you writing this book? Darran Anderson reviews Colin Wilson's Angry Young Men.
July 7, 2007
In Snyder’s case, let’s just say we’re privy to a helluva lot of him. I mean, he spouts an endless stream of babbling books. Why isn’t he wandering the wilderness like the Buddha boy, taking his measure in the carved-out hulk of a tree? We have every reason to believe the Buddha boy wants to be left alone. But the caravan of gawkers simply won’t let him be. His reluctance seems authentic. Then again, how the hell do I even know about him? Damn, I thought I’d sent my suspicions into a brief abeyance. The fact that we still hear from Snyder is cause for profound skepticism, especially in this age of hell-bent commoditisation. I don’t trust loquacious mystics. The undiminished desire to take up pen belies a still-restless ego. Norman Ball on Gary Snyder.