Ahh… 2015, another fantastic year for comics. I read a lot of comics this year, mostly indie or creator-owned, not a dud amongst them (though there were a few I stopped following after having done so for some time. Budget cuts). The only book I felt at all disappointed in was Sandman: Overture, which despite breathtaking art by JH Williams III, had a story that felt as though it’d been conceived with a glass to the wall of the office where Marvel’s Secret Wars was being spit-balled. I can’t say this enough: going forward, no more universe-ending apocalypse cataclysms for me. Can’t do it. Sick of ‘em. Especially in Sandman, a book that in its previous incarnation was purely character driven. To see Morpheus tasked with saving the Universe was, well, more disappointing than I can possibly describe. Are apocalypse stories Zeitgeist? Doesn’t matter.
We will return to our regularly scheduled feature, The Joup Friday Album next week, when Katie promises to give us a good hangover album for New Year’s Day. In the meantime, here’s the holiday classic by master jazz composer/musician Vince Guaraldi. I don’t know about you, but as far as Christmas music goes it really doesn’t get much better than this, album-wise. Sure there’s a few songs that I have to touch base with every year – chief among them Fairytale of New York from the classic 1988 record If I Should Fall From Grace With God by The Pogues – but when I’m looking for something to put on for a length of time that will allow for baking cookies, commiserating with friends or just working my way through a couple of beers and some quiet reading time, this is the one I go for.
My favorite ten of the year, #1 being the pinnacle of what I heard in 2015. It was a good year and as usual, I didn’t even get to hear everything I wanted to yet.
Have you ever had one of those days? One of those weeks? Months? Well, about three Wednesdays ago I was having a day. My cat Tom had been stricken with an unexplained ailment that saw his rear legs cease to work properly (he’s since recovered). I’d spent the night before at the vet, where I’d received no real conclusive answers despite the $500 I spent, and ended up coming home and basically crying myself to sleep while holding my cat. It continued to the next day as I woke up at 4AM for work, exhausted both mentally and emotionally and was treated to especially brutal doses of LA traffic on the dreaded 405. The day elapsed in a sad daze, and as I drove home in that hellwater traffic I had an epiphany and said f*ck it: I’m stopping at the Comic Bug. It was #NCBD and I figured I had just enough cash left over from the vet to pick up the new issue of TMNT, as well as issues 2-4 of my new obsession We Can Never Go Home. And as always, the moment I walked through the door of my favorite shop in CA everyone working there and several of the regular customers made me feel fantastic as we sank into the rejuvenating confines of passionate discourse.
About three weeks ago I walked into The Comic Bug to pick up my pull list and peruse the shelves when Ben – one of the employees there that has a pretty good feel for the type of books I dig – sauntered up to me and slapped a copy of We Can Never Go Home #1 into my hands.
“Check this book out. Think you’ll dig it,” he said and walked stoically away. I looked at the art, the clip-art style image of a cassette on the inside front cover that said “1989” and had a feeling. It’s that feeling I get when expectation meets intuition. This was going to be a great book, I could literally just feel it.
Whatever you are doing, stop. No really, STOP. Go to the windows and carefully pull down the shade or shut the blinds. Did anyone see you? No? Are you sure? Because there are eyes and ears everywhere. Well, not eyes and ears per se, but there are people watching. Well, not people per se. Not people but ROCKS.
F$*K YOU ROCKS!
So says Professor Buck Stone, the one man who stands between humanity and a malevolent, invading force of rocks! They’re everywhere, all around us, and they’re tired of taking our shit! Now the rocks are going to make us pay and…
It takes something really special in the, ahem, Zombie ‘genre’ to get on my good side because at this point not only has almost everything conceivable been done with Zombies: comedies, Romcoms, adventure/sci fi takes, big budget, low budget. Has there been an Elmo meets the Living Dead? Oops. Too soon?