Saturday, July 5, 2008

In The Chapel Of Moloch: Another Arkansas First

Kevin was nowhere to be found after giving me that long explanation about sacrificing fake pltypuses. Did the fake pltypuses get to him as well? Did they leave their fake paw-prints all over his ugly mug to exorcise him of his genuine devotion to the "pagan" Egyptian deity? Maybe the fake pltypuses ripped out his "pagan" heart in order to silence him? We may never know.

Whatever it was, I didn't stay around to find out the answers. I was busy yesterday. There was this huge event two blocks away from Dalia's apartment. Moloch's Chapel (actually a local mall, if you believe the advertising) was having a forum on the history of a dark horse. Being an equestrian, I went for the event. Didn't have any money to pay the entrance fee but the guard was nice enough to let me get by before I bore him to death with my knowledge of horses. For some strange reasons unknown to me then, he was sniggering when he let me pass.

It turned out that it was a meeting with artists who worked for a company called "Dark Horse". Meaning, the event had nothing to do with horses. I was half expecting to see the "Equus" play so I was mildly disappointed. Now I know why the security guard was sniggering. Anyway, the event was well-attended by people who looked like extras from either "Napoleon Dynamite" or "Shaun of the Dead". The most interesting forum was about the beginnings of the "Legend" imprint. In the early 1990s, Image's in-your-face art and flashiness, along with the interminable "X-Men" mega-crossovers were ruling the four-colour industry. Dark Horse got together an army of *real* creators to start an imprint that would bring about a much-needed revival in the quality of what was flooding the market at that time. Everything is seen from a retrospective perspective today but I think we can say that the "Legend" imprint more or less succeeded in its mission: Frank Miller's "Sin City" and "300" (and other collaborations with Geof Darrow), John Byrne's "Next Men", Art Adam's "Monkeyman & O'Brien", "Paul Chadwick's "Concrete", Mike Allred's "Madman" and my favourite, Mike Mignola's "Hellboy" and "B.P.R.D."! Pltypus told me time and again that he picked up a book based on the quality of the art. Me? I'm a junkie. I pick up books based on a moronic fannish devotion to the soapy-continuity of the whole shebang. Yesterday, I decided to take up Pltypus' advice. I ran all the way back to the apartment, begged Dalia for twenty bucks, ran all the way back to Moloch's Chapel and picked up "Hellboy Library Edition Volume One". By the time I was back, Mike Mignola already left so the book was unsigned. But that's okay because the biggest pay-off that day was getting to see Olivia Munn in her "Slave-Girl Leia" outfit for the Star Wars forum (see pics below):

While I was ogling lovely Olivia, this silly nerd next to me (his name was Mike) kept trying to explain to me that "Seed of Destruction" was really an expose of the secret Nazi Occult Underground. I actually had no idea what he was talking about. Then he pointed at my "Hellboy Library Edition" book and told me that "Seed of Destruction" was the first story inside the book. Being terribly protective over my treasure tome, I refused to allow Mike to get his greasy fingers on it. "I believe you, ok? So, what about this secret Nazi thingamabob?" Stupid question. That was the opening that Mike was waiting for! He went on and on about how the Nazis were trying to contact beings from "the other side" and that there was this whole Aryan-Hindu connection to it all. I wasn't paying much attention to him. Olivia was leaning on Jabba (and at that moment, I wouldn't mind being Jabba the Hutt - besides, Pltypus teased me about looking like Jabba for years already anyway!)

Anyway, Mike rambled on and on. He was so taken up with the subject that he obviously didn't even notice that my attention was fully on lovely Slave-Girl Olivia. He then slapped me on my shoulder and produced a book by some guy called Ravenscroft or something. It was about the Spear of Destiny (or the Spear of Longinus, depending on who you talk to about it). I looked at the cover. It looked like another of those paperback conspiracy shit that people with half-a-brain read. Then he took out another volume by Colin Wilson. I told Mike, "My dear conspiracy-theorist brother, I really, really appreciate what you are telling me but can you leave me to my ogling for 15 minutes? I promise that you will have my full attention tomorrow morning. We'll meet on the rooftop of my apartment and discuss this whole Nazi thing as long as you want to, ok?" All this Nazi stuff. This was more La Tey's domain. He's been into it since picking up Ian Kershaw's biography of Hitler many moons back. Me? I'll probably take some notes and share it with him the next time we meet up. Anyway, Mike took down my address (actually Dalia's apartment block number) and we agreed to meet up the next day. But that is a story for another day. I returned to ogling Olivia Munn and he went off to look at some Star Wars books. Spaced-out freak...