"Always Prepared. Always Ready." BOOKS! Sometimes You Get What You're Given And Just Make Do

Okay, let's stop pointing fingers, dry our eyes and just accept it’s a BONUS SKIP WEEK! (Bonus Booo!). Caught me on the hop a bit, I’ll admit. Unfortunately I haven’t anything in my head about comics but there are a couple of books I’ve been thinking about. Why not, eh? You never know your luck in a raffle. So, it’ll be a bit rough and ready this time out (yeah; no change there then) but I’ll probably find my flow after a couple of dozen words. Anyway, this…  photo SkySleepRedB_zpse518c49a.jpg

THE WIDE, CARNIVOROUS SKY AND OTHER MONSTROUS GEOGRAPHIES By John Langan Hippocampus Press, 2013 £15.00 (Kindle: £4.02)

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It’s refreshing to find an author who not only knows the difference between Sabretooth and Wolverine but also mentions John Byrne’s Alpha Flight. He mentions the latter in the back matter which he provides for each story. And I know you comics lot like your back matter. It’s in the back matter that he chattily unpacks each of the short stories herein so that you know exactly what he was up to. Turns out what he’s up to is reinvigorating all the old horror tropes; the ones as familiar as that dream where someone makes you eat your own face. Yes, my little chubby cheeked chums, all the old favourites are exhumed once more; zombies, vampires, ghouls, werewolves, Lovecraft, Poe and so on and so forth, yea until the stars come right again and the Old Ones rise.

Which would be worthy of little remark were it not for the stylistic panache with which Langan executes each of his macabre modernisations. You know, speaking plainly, this was by the far the best book of (modern; no one beats Aickman) horror stories I read this year. And I read a lot of short horror stories; you didn’t know that did you? Mysterious creature that I am. Anyway, it was the best book of horror stories I read because John Langan writes like a real son of a lady and no mistake. He’s a bit of a stylist is John Langan; a bit of a shit hot stylist as it turns out. He’ll keep you on your toes and wide awake with his magnificent ability to inventively riff on concepts which looked dead only seconds before. Langan playfully pressgangs Thonrton Wilder’s Our Town into imbuing the listless zombie trope with a real sense of horror again. He beautifully uses the backdrop of a Cthullu scoured Earth to play out an emotionally flensing one hander concerning how it feels when your child moves on and away. There’s even a post-mod lyric to lycanthropy that loses none of its savagery amongst the stylistic trickery. Somewhere in there he also throws in the weight of autobiography, although probably not in the one about the Iraq War vets up against a very different vampire indeed. It’s a clever book, it’s a moving book, it’s an entertaining book which, all in all, I guess, makes it a VERY GOOD! book.

RED OR DEAD By David Peace Faber & Faber, 2013 £20.00 (Kindle: £7.79)

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Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.” Those are the first three words of David Peace’s new book and they are both a statement of intent and a warning. Those three words are the book. The entirety of the book is encapsulated in those three words; no, that one word. Repetition. (Repetition. Repetition.) Because Red or Dead is a book about Bill Shankly and how Bill Shankly took Liverpool Football Club to success. Peace takes the brave and unfashionable tack of shunning mythologising and renders down the story of Bill Shankly’s success to its essence. To its basics. This is the portrait of a man. Bill Shankly had insight and Bill Shankly had talent but mostly Bill Shankly had the guts for the long haul. Tedium and slog. Slog and tedium. These are the things that got Bill Shankly results. That got Bill Shankly’s team the results. The results for their supporters. Results for the people of Liverpool. For the people. Always, always for the people. Working for the greater good. Toiling for the larger whole. And as the pages pass, as the years die Peace’s subtle subtext shimmies into view. For as the pages pass, as the years die Bill Shankly’s world slips into the past. The England of people like Bill Shankly. And a new England is born. An England not about the people but about the person. An England not about society but about the self. An England in which people begin to ask what have I got and why have they got more than me? An England in which people end by asking what have I got and why have they got anything? England: before the match, after the match. England: before The Thatcher, after The Thatcher. This book is work. This book is hard work. No, no, no. This isn’t working. This isn’t working at all. Half time whistle. Oranges and a re-think…

…Okay. Look, that’s all very well and good, all that up there; it’s nice I get to pretend to write all proper like in my little half-arsed way, but I’ve read the reviews. A lot of people seem unhappy about this book. So let me speak plainly for a change; this book is a fucker. It could not give less of a shit what you want from it. Huge swathes of it are repeated. (Repeated. Repeated.) It will bore you. You will be bored. To get through this thing boredom is something to be mastered. Or befriended at least. This is not a mistake. It is not an accident. David Peace is not a numbskull. It is a device. A literary device. To understand Bill Shankly, to understand Bill Shankly’s achievements, Peace puts you in the same position as Bill Shankly. Tedium and slog. Slog and tedium. These are the things that will get you results. And at first the results are small (the simple switch from players’ surnames to forenames is weighted with emotional import). Then after the slog, after the tedium come the real results. The last third of the book portrays Shankly after success, after retirement. The last third of the book is where your heart gets a work out. The last third of the book is where the results come in. The last third of the book is the pay off. But to get to the pay off, to get to the result you have to put the hours in. You have to put your back into it. You have to work for it. Look, I’m not fussed in the slightest about football and I was a near blank about Bill Shankly but it still paid off. Red or Dead is not for everyone. But if it’s for you it’s VERY GOOD!

DOCTOR SLEEP By Stephen King Hodder & Stoughton, 2013 £19.99 (Kindle: £5.70)

 photo SleepB_zps9d406f7b.jpg I like the total uselessness of the quote on the front of the book: "Hugely anticipated”. Yeah, and…? My dinner is hugely anticipated; getting in out of the rain is hugely anticipated; the next episode of The Spoils Of Babylon is...the gist you are getting, yes? I’d have thought Stephen King writing a sequel to The Shining would merit a bit more, I dunno, oomph in the blurb department. Maybe they didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up too high. Because this is no way the equal of The Shining. Now, I’ve not looked so I don’t know what the consensus is on this one is but I’d guess it’s mixed? Doctor Sleep’s got a strong start and a solid finish but the bit in-between lacks conviction, and there’s a lot of in-between here. The Danny Torrance bits which start, finish and weave through the book are great (and we’ll swing back round to that later), but they’re sandwiched around an idea more suited to a short story than the length of this brick. I mean, having old people in RVs being evil kid killers and eating schadenfreude is a droll and smart way of talking about the sick way we (“we” as a society; not me and you, we’re awesome. It’s everyone else; It’s always everyone else.) process tragedies these days together with the dangers of assumptions. But it isn’t smart enough or droll enough to carry something this hefty.

Unfortunately because the bulk of the book is less than gripping King’s late period tics stick out quite a bit. There’s the momentum sapping return to an earlier already documented event but in even more deadening detail (as though excessive attention to tedious minutiae as will effectively balance the fact we’re talking about psychic vampire eldsters); the failure to invest the mundane with menace (“She had a top hat which sounds stupid but really it was proper spooky, honest.”); the kind of attempt at a quick descriptive pop that misfires into flatness (“She had a single yellow tooth like a tusk” Annnnnd?); the interminably dull reporting of a character’s internal decision not to say something (“Chad decided not to tell Betty-May about how the world had cooled and fish had left the seas to become people and how those people had built cities and societies, and how all those cities and societies fell but history and humanity never stopped moving until here they were, today, next to the roto-rooter section in Target.”) And just like all the stuff in brackets prevented that sentence from flowing smoothly through your mind all those aspects constantly scupper King’s momentum.

But Doctor Sleep is still worth reading; it’s still worth your time, and that’s mostly because of how well King deals with addiction. There’s no horseshit here about dancing through the fire and being a better man for it; King knows that if you’re an addict you’re never through the fire and you don’t dance through it you trudge; King knows that most of the time the only reward for not drinking is that you didn’t have a drink. And eventually you don’t want to drink anymore because eventually you’re dead. You know, there’s probably a reason people talk about recovering addicts but no one ever talks about recovered addicts. The fact that a man who has been there and bought the t-shirt but is now a multi-millionaire and who lives behind a wall can still understand all this so well and, better, can communicate it so directly and sympathetically is an impressive feat of empathetic writing. Due to his mind beggaring popularity King is often given short shrift as a writer, which is a tad unfair. Because somewhere along the way Stephen King became a writer good enough to handle the horrors of reality head-on without the ghoulish gee-gaws of plastic fangs and rubber bats and it’s when he trusts himself to do so that Doctor Sleep is at its best. It is then that Doctor Sleep is better than GOOD!

Next time on Words From My Head: COMICS!!!

"Where's My CAKE?!" COMICS! Sometimes They Are A Bit Like Films (CREEPSHOW)!

There came a day pretty much like any other day, except sales of Godawful Tony Parsons books went up. The Day of The Father! Photobucket

I hope you got yours a cake, kiddies! We Dads can hold a grudge for a long, long time! Heh. Heh. Heh. CREEPSHOW Art by Bernie Wrightson with Michele Wrightson Based on the motion Picture presentation CREEPSHOW directed by George Romero and written by Stephen King Plume/New American Library, $6.95 (1982)


A big old "COVER BY JACK KAMEN" - now that's treating creator's right!

Were I to open the nicotine stained and age crisped pages of my 1985 copy of Danse Macabre by Stephen King to page 36 I would find this:

"As a kid, I cut my teeth on William B. Gaines’s horror comics – Weird Science, Tales From The Crypt, Tales From The Vault – plus all the Gaines imitators…These horror comics of the fifties still sum up for me the epitome of horror…"

If I had time to continue reading I would find that King then goes on to describe, detail and analyse these fetid throwbacks up to page 39 of his illuminating non-fiction survey of horror. He may even go on about them later on in the book, but I wouldn't have time to check that. Hypothetically speaking, of course. Fact is, Stephen King loves him some old-timey EC horror schlockers. Hardly a bone jolter then to find that CREEPSHOW is a celluloid homage par excellence to such tales. Particularly as George A. Romero is behind the camera and, although I’m not as familiar with the man behind the ever enlarging glasses I’m pretty sure his genre work points to a familiarity with the same foul floppies.

CREEPSHOW, then, is an EC comic made film. This hardly makes it notable as in 1972 there was Tales From The Crypt and, in 1973, The Vault of Horror. These were Amicus productions, although they are often mistaken for Hammer films as, to be honest, for a viewer there isn't much between the two studios. Amicus were a bit tattier, perhaps. Amicus produced a few such anthology films although the trend for horror anthologies was popularised in 1945 by Dead of Night.


Tales From The Crypt poster Image taken from britposters.com.

These films are often referred to as portmanteau films. “Portmanteau” is French and thus makes everyone feel that bit classier about watching a film where, say, Roy Castle and Kenny Lynch face off against a Voodoo demon in a chilly British back lot passing for the West Indies, or a film where a scientist removes his pipe and gravely intones, “Why, a plant like that could take over the world!” Basically such films consist of a framing sequence, although that bit can be optional, with some connection to the handful of short, sharp shocks which then follow. They were pretty camp stuff, I’ll be bound. Sadly, at this remove it’s hard to tell if the campness is intentional. The sight of Tom Baker screaming in beige flares might once have been chilling for reasons far removed from his fashion choices or the damage he’s inflicting upon the concept of “acting”. The final stake through the heart of this enjoyably daft stuff came in 1980 with The Monster Club, a film that fails so badly as horror that the scariest part is a musical performance by B.A. Robertson. By 1980 then all that remained was the camp and that wasn't enough.


Art by Berni(e) Wrightson and words by Stephen King

In 1982 Romero and King inflicted CREEPSHOW upon the world. CREEPSHOW, while being a bit camp, is so technically adept and innovative as a film that the fact it came only 2 years after The Monster Club is pretty startling. I’d love to talk about all that but, since I haven’t seen it for about 20 years I can’t. That’s right, the clock has just struck amateur hour! Still, as unprofessional as I am I’m willing to bet a toffee wrapper and some lint that technically it’s still impressive. Impressive as a homage to the comics themselves and the films inspired by those comics, but this is a comics blog so how does the adaptation fare?

It does a pretty great job, thanks for asking. In terms of form it’s a step back for Berni Wrightson. Wrightson (who at this point isn't putting an “e” on the end of his name so I've had to do two tags, thanks Berni(e)!) had of course been a keen and active participant in the Warren magazines Creepy and Eerie. Those brought the EC formula bang up to date for the stinking Seventies and the emaciated (early) Eighties. Which mostly meant being (slightly) more horrible and having less narrative text, because the EC stuff was already pretty awesome, thanks very much. The worst elements of the originals were their overwritten nature, where a text box would describe what the artist was illustrating. Since the artist was probably someone awesome like Jack Davis or Graham Ingels, the largely redundant words would be putting a serious crimp in how much they could fit in one of the cramped panels. This was less than ideal for fans of fantastic art. CREEPSHOW the comic dials back a bit on this narration but the amount of speech still overwhelms the images at times. So, it’s a kind of compromise, I guess, and it does work for the most part. It certainly reads like an EC Comic; slightly better in fact due to the narrative nips and tucks.

Photobucket From "'Taint The Meat...It's The Humanity!" in Tales From The Crypt #32 (EC Comics, 1952). Art by Jack Davis and written by Al Feldstein. My All Time Favourite Bad Pun Title!

Where it doesn't quite catch the EC essence is in the horror. It just isn't horrible enough. I haven’t read a lot of EC Comics but what I have read has quite often been really quite foul. That’s okay, it’s a horror comic so that kind of comes with the territory. The five stories by King presented here have horrific elements but the campness is turned up just that bit too loud and dulls the impact of the atrocities on display. Strangely, it comes across as a nostalgic view of the material. One that surprises by flinching away from the tasteless stuff that defined it in the minds of its readers, such as Stephen King, in the first place.

Photobucket Art by Berni(e) Wrightson and words by Stephen King

Oddly the adaptation drops the movie’s framing device, I guess page limits acted as a kind of budgetary constraint here. It does mean Joe Hill doesn't get to see himself in a comic by Berni(e) Wrightson, but he is on the Jack Kamen cover. And how loudly does the fact that Jack Kamen’s credit is so large speak to the love of the creators for the source material? Loudly indeed. Speaking of the thespian Kings, possibly the best thing about the comic is you don’t actually have to experience Stephen King’s performance as Jordy Verrill, which is a bit like having to watch Kenneth from 30Rock do a 20 minute experimental play. Sometimes I wonder why CREEPSHOW is never on TV, and part of me can’t help but wonder if Stephen King’s family haven’t got something to do with that. The likeness of Jordy suggests Berni(e) Wrightson had never seen Stephen King as do many of the other depictions of folk such as Ed Harris, Ted Danson and E.G. Marshall. He does a cracking Hal Holbrook though. Maybe Berni(e) Wrightson just really dug drawing Hal Holbrook? Each to their own. Although the adaptation benefits from the lack of Stephen King, er, acting it does suffer from the lack of, say, E.G. Marshall’s horribly convincing performance as a massive sh*t bag. But then adaptations always suffer from the lack of the human element that brings so much life to the material on the big screen. For me, that’s where the artist comes in. His, or her, performance is going to make or break an adaptation. And when it comes to Berni(e) Wrightson, for me, the guy’s a maker not a breaker. Nice work, Berni(e) Wrightson!

Photobucket Art by Berni(e) Wrightson and words by Stephen King

So, while it isn't the first EC type comic to stain the cinema screen CREEPSHOW is the first(?) to actually attempt to create the experience of reading a comic through the medium of film. And the comic CREEPSHOW is an attempt to replicate the experience of watching the film based on those comics but mostly the comics themselves. It’s all a bit confusing really, but it remains GOOD!

So, yeah, I spent Father’s Day with some COMICS!!!

How about you?

Larkin About With The King (i.e. Stephen not Jack Kirby)

Sorry, I've been a bit light on the old comics reading front this week. I did read some books without pictures (they still make ‘em!) so rather than have everyone think I’d fallen off the face of the earth I thought I’d write about them instead. One of the books features this poor doomed b*stard who briefly starred in the John Byrne/Roger Stern 12 issue series MARVEL: THE LOST GENERATION in either #4 or #9 (it’s complicated):


After all if I can’t give you bad reviews of comics I can at least give you bad reviews of books.

Okay, it’s a little bit cheeky and I’ll try not to do it again. Anyway…

 11.22.63 By Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton, £19.99)

In King’s latest pound cake of a novel Jake Epping, an English teacher and King Everyman, gets the chance to go back and stop the Kennedy assassination. Not exactly a groundbreaking premise there as I’m sure you've noticed. Still,  King manages to make it sit up and dance by concentrating on his usual strengths and investing it with duelling undercurrents of anger and forgiveness. He paints a pretty picture of The Past but doesn't neglect the shabby unsettling bits that eat away at the picture postcard perfection like surreptitious silverfish. Sure, cars and root beer were better but if you weren't an educated white male life sure had its drawbacks. Heck, even if you were an educated white male Life still had its drawbacks because, after all, it was still Life. And that’s what the book, I’d say, is really about; life and the living of it. Bad things happen and maybe they happen for a reason and maybe they don’t; the important thing is to accept they have happened and keep on moving forward. Because moving forward is the only kind of time travel we have and this is the only life we have. Yes, I am aware of how trite that sounds thanks for asking but I reckon it’s true and it’s the first thing to be forgotten when the machine full of whirling teeth snags your sleeve and pulls you in.


It’s a big book and like all King’s big books it has flaws but it’s surprisingly easy to forgive them here. The sometimes wearying repetition is, after all, built into the thing by design and the surprising ease of Jake’s eventual flight could be interpreted as The Past trying to eject him like the troublesome foreign body he is (weirdly this isn't made overt despite King being way too explicit about many of the other “rules” of time travel) and I’m never too pleased by King’s tendency to demonise the mentally ill but that’s one of his pets and its served him well so it would be unlikely for him to have it put down now. The prose is largely functional (and whoever edited it missed at least one sentence caught in a word search transition from the third to the first person) but when you transmute prose into poetry as deftly as King does on more than one occasion (most memorably with “Dancing is life.”) that’s more than enough.

Although 11.22.63 sags a little at times it is a surprisingly tense and moving affair that is far more rewarding than the unpromising premise might lead you to believe. It’s a big book but it’s got a big heart and so I’d go ahead and say it is VERY GOOD!


PHILIP LARKIN POEMS: Selected by Martin Amis By Philip Larkin (Faber and Faber, £14.99)


Such a blunt title. And why not? It tells you all you need to know. As long as you are familiar with Larkin and Amis and don’t hop like scalded cat away from any mention of poetry it does anyway. Philip Larkin (1922-1985) is one of England’s most widely regarded and best loved poets. Sure, there has been some attempt since his death to topple him with accusations of racism and misogyny fuelled mostly by “evidence” in his letters. This attempt at usurpation seems largely to have been initiated by the kind of Literary Sorts who continue to regard Martin Amis as an “enfant terrible” despite the biological fact of his being some sixty-odd years old. Happily after a brief wobble his reputation has stabilised for as Amis says in his (worth the price of admission alone) introduction: “writer’s private lives don’t matter; only the work matters.”(p.xix) And this work? While I’m certain it was work for the author (he was hardly banging this stuff out at a rate of knots) it’s certainly anything but for the reader.


Amis is ideally placed to offer up a retrospective such as this and it has little to do with the fact that Larkin was a friend of Martin Amis’ father (Sir Kingsley Amis). That certainly makes his introduction sparkle and throb with life but the success of his selection depends wholly on the fact that Martin Amis knows words. Yes, Martin Amis knows words. When it comes to words Martin Amis has form. He knows what he’s on about. It helps that he unsentimentally believes that as Larkin went on he got better. So there’s a smattering of the early stuff but the bulk of the book is the later stuff. All the smash hits are here:“They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad” (This Be The Verse), “Groping back to bed after a piss” (Sad Steps) and, the eternal Christmas Number One, “Sexual intercourse began/In nineteen sixty-three/(Which was rather late for me)” (Annus Mirabilis).

Stuff it, they are all preposterously good  it’s just that some work a quieter number on the head than the more immediate stuff. He’s got Life's number alright, that Philip Larkin. From the quiet despair we hope no one ever suspects us of, through the tedium of the toad work and the eternal magic of being strapped for cash right up and out to the joy of music and Love. Can there ever be a better testament to the effect of a piece of music on a person than “On me your voice falls as they say love should,/Like an enormous yes…”(For Sidney Bechet) Look, quoting Larkin is the act of a berk, better to just give someone the whole bloody book. And can there be any higher recommendation for a book? I doubt it because PHILIP LARKIN POEMS: Selected by Martin Amis is EXCELLENT!


Once again, I apologise for the Non-Comisy-ness of this and its general poor quality. Can I wish you all a nice weekend and we can call it quits?

If I do get chance I’ll stick something up about comics but it’s unlikely because Christmas is a coming and it ain't stopping for no one!

Now, like Stephen King’s belief in brevity – I’m GONE!

Brian tries to be cheerful (or... blame Joe Keatinge)

It is weird, after reading ARSENAL a couple of weeks ago, I feel like a straw broke somewhere for me -- I don't want to READ bad comics any more, let alone say snarky things about them... Aw, let me put a jump in here, this might be long?

I *think* it is just a temporary aberration, because comics (even awful ones) are in my blood, like printer's ink, but twice I've sat down to write something here and twice I thought "why am I wasting my time talking about things I don't actually care about?"

We can also lay a little blame at Joe Keatinge's feet, as he's leaving SF for Portland (man, a lot of people do that!), and he doesn't want to move everything he owns. We got to talking about prose, and Stephen King, and I mentioned that "The Dark Tower" was the only bit of King's output that I've never devoured -- I had read book one a decade or more back and pretty much hated it (a rare response for me with King), and never read the rest of the cycle.

Joe is, as I said, moving and doesn't want to carry stuff, so he said, "Here, let me just give you my collection of DT books, they're great"

That was a week and some 1600 pages ago, and I'm THOROUGHLY absorbed in Dark Tower right now.

Book one? Still not-so-good, though better than I remembered it to be -- I *think* I read the "original" version of DT v1, and what Joe gave me was the "revised and expanded" version, which reads better. Not great, but better.

But with book 2...? Whoa, now I liked that shit, yes I did!

I've got about 10% of book 5 left yet, and I'm really looking forward to devouring 6 & 7, and then maybe my mind will really be ready for comics again.

You know what's weird? DARK TOWER reminds me, in a lot of ways, of everything I liked about LOST -- there's a TON of (surface) similarities: people torn from their lives to deal with crazy weird stuff, there are flashbacks that tie back into current insanity, there are strange occurrences of numbers, there are mysteries which will be revealed, but "a little later", there's strange things going on with pregnancies, and heroin junkies, and raids from Others, and even a character in a wheelchair... and a sense of, in many ways, of things being made up as they go along, but I have a better sense that King will have it all actually make a certain amount of sense at the end of the day.

So, yeah, digging that, and not digging comics all that much the last two weeks.

I started to read some more comics last night, from this week's stash, and I find that I don't really want to talk about BATMAN #700 or whatever -- I only want to talk about things that make me feel like "Wow, comics are wicked awesome!", and of the 12 or so things I read last night before giving up and going back to Roland and his Ka-tet, almost none of them touched me.

In fact, the only thing I liked, really even a little, was YOUNG ALLIES #1...

It wasn't even that I even loved it all that much, but it made me think of, dunno, NEW WARRIORS or something -- a new title that no one really has any faith in, featuring characters that no one would really say "that's my favorite!", but that delivered a solid base-hit of entertainment regardless. the difference between YA and NW is probably more that I have no faith (none), that YA will still be published in a year -- the market is all wrong for a comic like this right now, buried in Brightest Days and Heroic Ages and Avengers relaunches... in fact, the single worst week they could have possibly released a book like YA was this week where Marvel is also launching AVENGERS ACADEMY #1, which has a number of (surface!) similarities, but ties into the Avengers franchise.

Given a choice, THIS reader would rather see YOUNG ALLIES make issue #24, than AVENGERS ACADEMY, though I kind of don't think either of them is going to make it that far, naturally.

YA #1 had *zero* preorders at my store, and that's a REALLY bad sign because, right now, virtually no one is looking to add new titles to their pulls, and if you don't catch them right out of the box, the chances of them coming along a few issues later is extraordinarily small.

I *could* push and promote and really talk up YA (though, actually, it isn't really THAT good to warrant the full-court-press -- like I said, solid base-hit here), but mathematically, there's not a great return that is going to pay off into -- as a comic book retailer, who reads the market pretty well, thankee-sai, I'd be shocked if it made it to issue #13. It is a condundrum.

I thought YOUNG ALLIES was a fairly GOOD comic, and you might like it as well, but if it is unlikely to last out a full year, I'm not sure there's much point into telling you that? I don't know, flip through it at your local store -- it isn't sexy, but it's more solid than a lot of other launches lately.

Hopefully, something a bit later in the stack will light me on fire, but I think Roland's world is where my loyalty will stay for the rest of the week.

Still, I am, I think, genetically predisposed to a certain amount of snark, so this was the one that hit me when I was unpacking the box yesterday...

I wish I had the mad photoshop skills, because all I could think was....


"Pencilneck G!"? HAHAHAHAHA, man the mind just fucking boggles, doesn't it?

That's still not The Sensational Character Find of (June) 2010 -- that one might go to "Freight Train" in this week's issue of OUTSIDERS, who proclaims:

"Choo-Choo, mother--" "Freight Train!"

Yes, the mind boggles, and thankee-sai.

What do YOU think, anyway?