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  • Suggested for mature readers…

    ...is mainly a blog about the last 30 years of mainstream adult comics, looking at them in the context of their times and today from the perspective of a lifelong reader who, like some 60s bore with the Beatles, grew up right there with them.
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Finally, I have seen the day…

Rereading Grendel: God and the Devil by Matt Wagner, John K Snyder, Jay Geldhof and Bernie Mireault.  Science fiction, the genre of new ideas, has a telling weakness for old ideas. It spans galaxies while locked in colonialism; invents new weapons to fight old Manichean wars. And it’s weakest of all for the aristocrat. The … Continue reading

Comics Unmasked at The British Library

I went to see the Comics Unmasked exhibition at the British Library last week. Along with my kin; a couple dozen bearded geeks ogling original pages from Watchmen and V For Vendetta, marvelling that the cult pamphlets of their disregarded past had become respectable history. I was surprised, perhaps foolishly, at how little original art … Continue reading

DJ

Of all the foulmouthed female rappers out there that I treasure, Amanda Blank is my favourite. That’s based, really, on a handful of songs – her remix of Britney’s career pinnacle Gimme More, a track on the NASA album, and Spank Rock’s songs Bump and Blow, which both made it onto one compilation because I … Continue reading

Fade

Britpop is 20 years old, and Kurt Cobain is 20 years dead, and I have specific memories about both those things. But I also, like every other middle-aged man being sold a media package that claims to be his youth, have objections. Britpop was far from everything. It was important – I still remember my … Continue reading

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Thump boom clang click

Rereading Grendel: The Incubation Years by Matt Wagner, Hannibal King, Tim Sale and Joe Matt. The subtitle of Scott McCloud’s classic Understanding Comics, which you should read now if you haven’t read it already, was The Invisible Art. Referring to the medium of comics which, for all its popularity with TV and movie producers right … Continue reading

Simon Says Dance

Every rose has its thorn. And every compilation has its flaw, a song that isn’t as good as the others. The aim is for every song to make you lean forward and exclaim “Yes!” and reach for the volume. The other end of that aim is for nothing to be skippable, for no song to … Continue reading

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Tell him it’s the “Forks of Fate”

Rereading Grendel: Devil Tales by Matt Wagner. You can compare comics to most other art forms. They can be movies on paper, they can be visual poetry, they can be fine art or illustration or design, they can be literature. My personal view is that they are, as Will Eisner argued, part of the literary … Continue reading

She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)

In my teenage years the vilified ones, the poster boys for musical evil, were Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Hugely successful as a production team for an army of pop artists, they were Sauron for the generation of indie kids and authenticity addicts that believe everyone’d listen to their chosen miserablists if all that pop stuff … Continue reading

Move

Success can ruin pop music. What about lack of success? When work that’s commercial, that’s intended to reach a large audience, doesn’t get anywhere does that mean it’s failed artistically as well? Does that affect our individual appreciation of it? Over in the rock canon there’s a well-established procedure for music that doesn’t get the … Continue reading

Forever

I worry about Haim. Given that I’ve previously confessed worrying about Iggy Azalea, it’s fair to think I expend too much concern on successful pop stars. But with Haim, it’s worry tinged with guilt; they do know what we’re like, don’t they? Somebody has told them? Because they’re an American act who found their first … Continue reading

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