ATC Week : “All-Time Comics : Blind Justice” #2

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

And so here, at the end, it all comes together : everything Josh and Samuel Bayer have been aiming for throughout the course of the first “season” of their sprawling, multi-faceted project “clicks” into place with All-Time Comics : Blind Justice #2. Is it flawless? No. The highs and lows aren’t so much smoothed out as they are — assigned to their proper positions. And the end result is, finally, a comic that filters “Bronze Age” sensibilities through a modern “alt-comics” lens, and vice-versa — simultaneously.

It’s a tough balancing act, to be sure, but Josh B. has a much more firm handle on his character (who I still don’t think is blind) this time out, and so when he sends him out of Optic City and into the hills to track down his villainous prey, readers feel as our protagonist does : a stranger in an even stranger land…

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ATC Week : “All-Time Comics : Crime Destroyer” #2

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Andrew Buck pulls out all the stops to deliver an eyeball-melting cover for All-Time Comics : Crime Destroyer  #2, the fifth (I know, at this point things are getting a bit confusing) installment in the first “season” of Josh and Samuel Bayer’s resurrection of “Bronze Age” aesthetics through a post-modern (or, if you prefer Kim O’Connor’s designation for many of the creators involved, “Post-Dumb”) lens, and certainly the ultra-violence in depicts is thematically in line with the book’s contents — but the comic itself is relatively free of the gruesome and gory, truth be told. You should not, however, take that to mean the story isn’t kinda, well, sick.

As was the case with All-Time Comics : Atlas #1, the issues that find Benjamin Marra in the creative driver’s seat (he pencilled and inked this one, and co-wrote it with Josh Bayer) are decidedly more vicious and morally…

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ATC Week : “All-Time Comics : Blind Justice” #1

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

I’m just gonna call it : Victor Martinez’s cover for All-Time Comics : Blind Justice #1 (the fourth release in this Josh and Samuel Bayer-helmed project) is the coolest thing to date about this entire enterprise. Rendered in a style highly reminiscent of old-school airbrushing (hell, it may even be a piece of old-school airbrushing for all I know), it’s atmospheric, evocative, and just plain bad-ass.

Too bad the interior contents can’t live up to the dramatic standard it sets.

Not that it’s a bad comic, mind you — more just another very mixed bag from a series that excels at creating them. The premise is agreeably absurd : a patient at an Optic City psychiatric facility who appears to be more or less comatose is actually the bandaged, club-wielding vigilante known as Blind Justice (or maybe it’s simply “Justice,” since that’s what most folks seem to call him…

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ATC Week : “All-Time Comics : Atlas” #1

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

It’s hard to know where to even begin with this, the third comic released as part of Josh and Samuel Bayer’s All-Time Comics project, but if I had to describe All-Time Comics : Atlas #1 in just one word, that word would be — nuts.

Seriously, this is one of the most batshit-crazy comics I’ve read in a long time. On the one hand, it would be easy enough — and probably accurate — to view it as a particularly amoral and mean-spirited approximation of the “internal struggle” narratives churned out with regularity by “Bronze Age” scribes like Steve Gerber and Don McGregor, emptied of any degree of charm (however accidental, and perhaps visible only in retrospect) those authors imbued their work with. On the other, though, it’s not hard to see it as the kind of comic those guys would have loved to write. At this point, I’m sure…

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Music Video of the Day: Ride Like The Wind by Christopher Cross (1980, directed by Bruce Gowers)

Ride Like The Wind tells the story of an outlaw who has been convicted of multiple murders and condemned to hang.  He is now trying to outrun the posse and reach Mexico where, apparently, the posse would have no jurisdiction.  The plot sounds like something from the Doobie Brothers so it’s appropriate that Michael McDonald provides the backing vocals.

Christopher Cross wrote this song while on acid and traveling between Houston and Austin and it went on to become the lead single off of his debut album and one of his biggest hits.  Cross would later go on to win an Oscar for writing the theme song for Arthur but, by his own admission, neither Cross nor his music were a good fit for the network that came to dominate pop culture in the 80s, MTV.

Speaking of MTV, the video for Ride Like The Wind clearly comes from a time when music videos were viewed as being a novelty.  If the video had been made a few years later, it probably would have dramatized the song’s story.  Instead, like many early music videos, it’s just a performance clip.

As for Cross, he’s still recording and performing and Ride Like The Wind continues to be a soft rock staple.  It was most recently covered by Belgian DJ Laurent Wery.