True Love, True Need, “True Friendship Now”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

I love a good challenge, but few things have taxed my feeble mind more in recent weeks than figuring out just how the hell I was going to approach this review. The work of Isabel Reidy (or, if you prefer, Izzy True) is always breathtakingly and wondrously open to interpretation, it’s true, but their self-published mini from a few years back, True Friendship Now, is probably the most ambiguous of the bunch : a rumination of sorts on exactly what its title implies, certainly, but also on identity and its boundaries and on absorption, even cross-contamination, of people (or, as is customary with Reidy, creatures), ideas, emotions, realities.

If it sounds like a lot to mull over, rest assured that it is, but that doesn’t mean the book itself is a rough slog by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a brisk enough read on the surface, as…

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Life’s Rich Pageant : Keiler Roberts’ “Chlorine Gardens”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Somewhere in between life’s big moments is hidden, I’m told, its secrets, its power, its richness. The literal “little things that make life worth living.” I humbly submit that no cartoonist around these days captures the often-bittersweet character of those “little” things than Keiler Roberts, and her latest Koyama Press collection, Chlorine Gardens, is the best evidence yet for this assertion.

Not that the book doesn’t chronicle huge, life-changing moments and do so with a kind of quietly vigorous poignancy : the birth of her daughter Xia, a fixture in her strips for years now, is related by means of both “emotional memory” and “just the facts” experiential narrative; her grandfather’s death is told as part rumination on the importance of familial ties, part philosophical treatise on mortality as that which well and truly unites us all; her continuing struggles with bipolar disorder give her ample opportunity to hone…

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Rockin’ in the Film World #19: Bob Dylan in DON’T LOOK BACK (Leacock Pennebaker Films 1967)

cracked rear viewer

“…some people say that I am a poet… ” 

– Bob Dylan, in the liner notes from the 1965 LP “Bringing It All Back Home”

Bob Dylan has been put under the media microscope, bisected, dissected, and trisected for the past six decades, with everyone and their mother trying to interpret the essence behind the enigma. Documentarian D.A. Pennebaker doesn’t go that route in DON”T LOOK BACK; instead, his cinema verite, free form style adheres to the old adage “show, don’t tell”, as he and his camera crew follow the troubadour on his 1965 tour of Great Britain, culminating in his historic set at the Royal Albert Hall. This would be Dylan’s final tour as a solo performer with guitar and harmonica – the album “Bringing It All Back Home” would soon be released, featuring electric and acoustic sides, and later that year he’d plug in with his band…

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Music Video Of The Day: If I Killed Someone For You by Alec Benjamin (2019, dir by Christian Lanza)

Would I love you if you killed someone for me?

Well, it would probably depend on who you killed and what the exact circumstances were.  For the most part, I’m against killing but I also support self-defense.  If you killed someone who was about to kill me, I would at least be appreciative.  I can’t guarantee that I’d love you but I’d probably allow you to take me to a movie.

Of course, Alec Benjamin isn’t actually offering to kill anyone in this song.  Instead, he’s singing about changing who he is to please the person to whom he is singing.  He’s willing to “kill” who he has been and become someone new.  That’s really not the best way to go about a relationship, of course.

As for the video, it’s got a nicely ominous atmosphere.  A truck stop is always a good place to have an existential crisis.