Weekly Reading Round-Up : 06/24/2018 – 06/30/2018, Happy Endings?

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Four series I’ve been following from their inception  — in the case of two that means for a couple/few years now, for the other two just a handful of months — wrapped up this past week. But did they wrap up succesfully? That is the question —

Okay, it’s probably a cheat to include The Beef #5 in this column given it hit shelves the Wednesday before last, but my shop didn’t get their copies until this week, so it counts as a “new comic” as far as I’m concerned — and it’s an awesome one, at that. Things don’t go so well for our guy Chuck — in fact, hopefully it’s not giving too much away to call him “Ground Chuck” at this point — but that doesn’t mean his alter ego doesn’t live on. This issue was grotesque and unnerving even by this series’ standards, but it…

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Existential Exploitation: BOBBIE JO & THE OUTLAW (AIP 1976)

cracked rear viewer

I discussed filmmaker Vernon Zimmerman in a post on his UNHOLY ROLLERS back in January. Zimmerman wrote the script (but did not direct) for 1976’s BOBBIE JO & THE OUTLAW, which on the surface is just another sex’n’violence laden redneck exploitation film. Yet after a recent viewing, it seemed to me Zimmerman was not just delving into exploitation, but exploring something more: disaffected youth, gun culture, the cult of personality, and violence in America, themes that still resonate today.

Former child evangelist turned rock star turned actor Marjoe Gortner is Lyle Wheeler, a drifter who enters quick draw contests and idolizes Billy the Kid. Lyle’s a hustler, as we find out as he pulls into a gas station and steals a Mustang from a travelling salesman. Lyle outruns a police car hot on his tail, causing the cop to go off the road, and revs into the next town, where…

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Portraits In Everyday Hopelessness : “Troubled Mankind Of The Modern South”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

It’s hot down south.

Hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, they tell me. Hot enough to melt the ice pack wrapped around little Jimmy Bob’s broken shoulder. Hot enough to send those armadillos scurrying across the blacktop really fast. Hot enough to make you do something crazy.

Veteran cartoonist Jeff Zenick, who’s made a habit of turning up in interesting places doing very interesting things when you least expect it, is probably the perfect person to capture the essence of what makes those run afoul of the law in Dixie do what they do simply because his astute observational skills not only capture every detail of a person’s face, but also what informs every line, every wrinkle, every cut, every bruise on it — in short, he draws real people that have been through some real shit. There is a tinge, I suppose, of the exotic…

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