Let us share our insane juices

Rereading Paradax by Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy.  In every medium there are pieces of art ignored at the time that become enormously influential. The Velvet Underground are the obvious example in music; according, disputedly, to Brian Eno, everyone who bought their first album formed a band. Paradax is 32 pages long – four eight-page … Continue reading

What it’s like for real people

Rereading New Statesmen Epilogue and Prologue by John Smith, Sean Phillips and Jim Baikie. There was a time, about 10 or 12 years ago, when the DC universe was dominated by a new generation of its marquee heroes. Grant Morrison’s JLA had Wally West, Kyle Rayner, Connor Hawke, Steel, Zauriel who was intended to be … Continue reading

A headful of loose change

Rereading New Statesmen chapters 7-12 by John Smith, Jim Baikie and Duncan Fegredo.  Comics have never made it far enough into the cultural mainstream to become studied objects, to be tested against the -isms. They’ve been working too hard to catch up with literature and movies to worry about where they stand with modernism, with … Continue reading

Paradax lost

I’d planned to cover Paradax, the short-lived Peter Milligan-Brendan McCarthy high fashion superhero, after I’ve finished writing about New Statesmen but I can’t locate a scanned copy of Paradax #2. I have #1, which features one adventure of Paradax alongside other stuff, but need a scanned copy of either #2 of the two-issue Vortex series … Continue reading

A big gaudy picturebook

Rereading New Statesmen chapters 1-6 by John Smith, Jim Baikie and Sean Phillips. Things that were hot, post-graphic novel revolution: limited series. Painted comics. British writers. Bloody violence. Character deaths. Morally ambivalent protagonists. Straight up nasty protagonists. First-person captions. Sex and sexual deviance. Real-world political angles. Corruption in high places. Pseudoscience. Literary techniques. Literary allusions. … Continue reading