Weekly Reading Round-Up : 08/11/2019 – 08/17/2019, Recent First Issues


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

My reading pile is a bit all over the map these days — some stuff from the current week, some stuff from previous weeks, and some back issues are all vying for my attention (whatever that’s worth). As things shook out, I ended up reading four new “number ones” the other day, and since we talk about “number ones” a hell of a lot in this column and I’m writing it at 5:30 A.M. and have precisely no mental energy to come up with a different theme, we’re gonna stick with what we know —

Batman : Curse Of The White Knight #1 is the start of what I believe to be a six-parter that sees Sean Murphy return to his “alternate universe” Gotham for another go-’round between Batman, a once-again-evil Joker and, I guess, Azrael, this time under the auspices of DC’s purportedly “prestigious” Black Label imprint. Murphy’s art…

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“Tat Rat” #8 Is All That


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Whatever happened to the real underground, man?

You know the one — it specialized in lurid, obsessively-detailed depictions of squalor, depravity, perversion, and societal collapse. It not only embraced decay, it reveled in it. And it was definitely more than a little bit dangerous — back when it was around.

But perhaps rumors of its demise have been exaggerated. Yeah, you’ve gotta look harder  to find it now that high-brow art comics have swallowed up all the territory that falls outside the mainstream, but a small number of die-hard cartoonists either didn’t get the memo, or tore it up and threw it in the trash where it fucking well belongs.

Which brings us to the Forsley brothers, Cameron and Christopher, and the eighth and most recent issue of their irregularly self-published series. Tat Rat.

Everything about this comic is just plain intense — hyper-detailed woodcut style illustrations, rich inky…

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Music Video Of The Day: Club Michelle by Eddie Money (1984, directed by ????)


You have to feel for Eddie Money in this video.

Years ago, he met the girl of his dreams at the Club Michelle but now that he’s back in town, he can’t find her.  Not in the bars.  Not on the street corner.  Not anywhere.  Instead, he’s reduced to asking his cab driver if he’s seen her.  I am not sure where this music video is taking place.  If he’s in New York, he’s never going to find her.  He can’t even find the club again!

As a performer, Eddie Money’s popularity was due to being a rock star who still came across as being a total doofus.  Listeners could relate to him in a way that they couldn’t relate to some other rock stars.  If Mick Jagger said he couldn’t remember where the club was, you’d never buy it.  But Eddie Money?  You would be shocked if he didn’t get lost in New York.

Enjoy!

Wasn’t Born to Follow: RIP Peter Fonda


cracked rear viewer

It’s ironic that on this, the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival, one of our biggest counter-culture icons has passed away. When I saw Peter Fonda had died at age 79, my first reaction was, “Gee, I didn’t know he was that old” (while sitting in an audience waiting for a concert by 72 -year-old Dennis DeYoung of Styx fame!). But we don’t really think of our pop culture heroes as ever aging, do we? I mean, c’mon… how could EASY RIDER’s Wyatt (aka Captain America) possibly be 79??

Be that as it may, Peter Fonda was born into Hollywood royalty February 23. 1940. Henry Fonda was already a star before Peter arrived, thanks to classics like YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, JEZEBEL, YOUNG MR. LINCOLN, DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK, and THE GRAPES OF WRATH (released a month before Peter’s birth). Henry has often been described as cold and aloof, not…

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Several Miles Beneath The Underground : Max Clotfelter’s “Andros” #8


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

The welcome news that Max Clotfleter, the enfant terrible of the Seattle cartooning scene, will finally be seeing the first comprehensive collection of his comics coming out later this year — courtesy of Birdcage Bottom Books and bearing the title Rooftop Stew (the cover of which is pictured near the bottom of this review) —shouldn’t obscure the fact that he’s been been cobbling together much of his work from parts various and sundry for several years now in the pages of his self-published series Andros, the eighth and most recent issue of which is probably as fine an example of “Clotfelter in microcosm” as you’re likely to find. Assuming, of course, that finding such a thing would be of interest to you.

And hey, who are we kidding? It certainly should be. There’s no doubt that much of Clotfelter’s sensibility emerges from the “confessional/autobio” tradition — see, for example…

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