4tlocamy

For The Love Of Comics – 2017: The Year of the Bastard

sb_coverI’ll be damned if Southern Bastards didn’t just one-up itself AGAIN!

Shawn’s Favorite Albums of 2016

david-bowieWhat a year, eh? While 2016 was easily the most devastating year I’ve seen in my 40 on this planet. To kick things off David Bowie died before the damn News Years clock had hardly even stopped ringing. Follow that with Prince, Richard Lyons, Sharon Jones, Phife, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard and just before the closing bell, George Michael. That’s not even all of them, but it’s more than enough to illustrate that the Universe had A LOT to make up for. Ying and Yang, right? You cut down a tree, you plant one in return. Well, I don’t know if the scales balanced, but I certainly found a ton of great new music this year. A heaping helping of it it is published by the wonderful Felte Records, so you may want to bookmark their website and keep an eye on them. Also, my two main gatekeepers/curators at this point are Heaven is an Incubator and Part Time Punks, two more great tools for finding amazing new sounds to make your ears happy.

4tlocamy

For The Love Of Comics

saw-viper-coverI was a HUGE fan of Larry Hama’s GIJOE comic, published throughout the 80s by Marvel. The title actually continued on into the early 90s as well, but by then it was well past its prime. I remember I checked out at some point when Claremont’s X-Books overtook Joe in the battle for my allowance and my attention span, somewhere around issue #119 or so. But even then, in 1991 at 15 years old I had a serious case of fan inertia with the book. Conceptually I still loved GIJOE, not the toy but some of the bigger ideas Mr. Hama floated through the book. Many of those ideas were personified by the Ninja characters and arcs of the book, but also things like the town of Springfield – state unknown – where Cobra had an entire American small town under its influence. Or strange serendipity that coated characters like Cobra Commander, his son Billy and various other peripheral characters, many of whom suffered some pretty messed up fates, not in a gross or graphic way, but in a way that made me psychologically wonder about the world I lived in. A great example of that was the Commander himself, who went through several diametric changes over the course of the book, and may have been my first encounter with a non-black and white bad guy in a comic, even if he eventually did kind of get reset into a very black and white caricature. But despite all this, I’d be lying if I didn’t say the main impetus for my aforementioned checking out was the infamous issue issue #109, where, after what I’d imagine were endless complaints over the years of Joe members surviving situations simply because the editorial bullpen seemed hesitant to kill off any characters with corresponding action figure equity, the book suddenly introduced a new character that kills a large dose of JOEs in one fell swoop. And wouldn’t you know it, all older, out-dated and admittedly kind of ‘blah’ characters to begin with. The way I’ve always looked at it in hindsight is Hama being pushed and pulled between killing and not killing, finally receiving a editorial edict to kill some and then just basically putting up his middle finger and saying ‘fine, you want me to kill a bunch of ‘unimportant characters?  Fuck you, there it is” way.

4tlocamy

For The Love Of Comics – Southern Cross Returns!

southerncross_07-1Back in early 2015 I wrote about how I almost didn’t continue reading Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger’s Southern Cross after the first issue.

Wheww. That was a close one.

At the time I was absolutely flooded with new books, ongoing books, books to re-read, etc. and I was so overwhelmed that I don’t think I even really read that first issue. I mean, I read it, but I think at the time I was so hesitant to add another book to the monthly pile that I didn’t really pay attention. Self-sabotage.

The Joup Friday Album: C.O.C. – Blind

coc-blindThere is, of course, a very specific reason I chose to post Corrosion of Conformity’s Blind for this week’s Friday album. I’ll leave it at that.

I found this record in a Record Town in 1991. I was a Freshman or Sophomore in High School and I was looking for bands beside the big ones I was already devouring – metallica, megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. C.O.C. or Corrosion of Conformity looked interesting. And I’m not gonna lie – they seemed dangerous in a way. Shortly after buying the record I returned to the same store and purchased a C.O.C. t-shirt that had the statue of liberty on the front and FREE DOPE AND FUCKING IN THE STREETS in big old letters on the back. It was my middle fingers to ‘the establishment’.

The Joup Friday Album: Moderat – II

moderat-iiThere is most definitely something about the electronic music I like that induces in me an ‘altered state’. I suppose the same can be said about any music – well, okay, not any; certainly not most pop – but the deep, bass-driven, keyboard covered drones of a hybrid artist such as Moderat and an album such as II absolutely carries me into a lighter, calmer state. This state is not extraneous – it is not “outside” my head. They are inside, the places where I go, where this record takes me. Moderat is very similar to several other artists I listen to, chief among them perhaps Underworld, in that the music they make brings down an easy veil of night even in the midst of the day (definitely need to drape the windows for that, but I’ve long maintained, in my most goth-like moments, that night, like Halloween, is a state of mind more than it is an actual physical time.

4tlocamy

For the Love Of Comics – NEGAN!!!

negan-bw-style_1024x1024For this particular piece I feel as though I should change the name of the column to “For the Love of Negan” because, well, today I want to talk about how much I LOVE Negan’s character in The Walking Dead.

Spoilers: Some spoilers for the comic continuity lay ahead so if you’re not caught up stop and come back later. Also, I am NOT talking about the show here. I don’t watch the show and feel fairly certain – perhaps unjustly but oh well – that the neutered portrayal on AMC’s show is only going to frustrate me (as a rule I have avoided watching the show since its third season but my girlfriend is a huge a fan and I will most likely see some of the episodes this season. Wonderful what we sacrifice for love, eh?).

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