Your Drums, Your Love

(Sung in sweet, dark soul voice) There comes a ti-ime, in every compilation, to take it down, take it deep down… (end of soul voice) to use an easy trick, really, of following a banger with a quiet one. Using that blank three seconds to switch frame, to radically challenge what the ears are expecting, … Continue reading

The target doesn’t actually matter

Rereading Grendel: The Devil Inside by Matt Wagner and Bernie Mireault.  You piece. Verbs for you. A lot of you guys. I am not weak. Leering. How deep does the darkness run? Like a cancer. Where I got this cloth. Theater ghosts. The mask burned. Knock knock. The guy with the eye. Only my love. … Continue reading


What is it called, this new music? The sound that’s taken over, the transatlantic collision between European dance and American hip hop and R&B that’s ruled the radio for the last what, three years at least. The David Guetta sound, the Calvin Harris sound, the Torqux sound. Does it have a name? Or are names … Continue reading

New societal deviant

Rereading Grendel: Devil’s Legacy, by Matt Wagner, the Pander Brothers, Jay Geldhof and Rich Rankin. Grendel, the comic as opposed to the character, did a lot of things first – or, if not first, close enough – that others would follow. Owning your own costumed character a decade before the Image mob. Creating a legacy … Continue reading

I Love It

If pop music doesn’t succeed, it gets stomped. An artist can be killed after one unsuccessful single or forced to switch direction to find an audience. But success can be just as problematic. Success can also destroy. I was late coming to I Love It. Everyone was late coming to I Love It. The can’t-miss … Continue reading

The wolf and the man

Rereading Grendel: Devil by the Deed by Matt Wagner and Rich Rankin.  One of comics’ accessibility problems is that it’s best not to begin at the beginning. If you’re reading Cerebus, begin with High Society; if you’re reading Fantastic Four, best to skip Doctor Doom as Blackbeard. As a medium in which work is most … Continue reading


I like a female rapper the same way I like piano, the particular sound effortlessly hitting a predetermined sweet spot in my brain. And I like a dirty female rapper best of all, spitting out cooly metered filth to the beat. Princess Superstar, Azealia Banks, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Nicki Minaj when she’s being an … Continue reading

The very first telling of this story

Rereading Grendel Archives by Matt Wagner and Reggie Byers.  What is it that makes the earliest work of comic artists all look the same? What characteristics do they share? Because the first three-and-a-half issues of Matt Wagner’s Grendel share something, something both on the surface and at the core, with work as diverse as the … Continue reading

Kick, Push

Music is mnemonic for me; it brings back the time and the place when I heard it even if there’s nothing memorable about that time and place. For example: I first heard Kick, Push about a year ago, late for work again in the low winter sun, driving along the A5 in the East Midlands … Continue reading