Thursday, October 9, 2008


PROLOGUE: I was with Saint Claremont last week. Yes, THE Saint Claremont. I bumped into him while hunting for the Punisher. (!)

EPISODE 1: I heard Puny was getting ass-wiped by this medicated undead dude. It’s not often you see Puny ass-wiped. Blame the MAX series for the glorified macho bull shit. Time was, Frank Castle got ass-wiped. Time now, I still get wiped. It was a bruising week. Imagine a rugby game where you are up against Juggernaut, Deathlok, Savage Hulk and other such bruisers. My kinda week. So I recovered to a comic shop where I was told superheroes gathered. No spandex guys seen when I entered but this sour she-receptionist who looked like a science experiment gone wrong. My futile attempt to convince undead comics shop staffs that there exist trade paperbacks of ass-wiped Puny by Jim Starlin was rewarded with – “There is no such title.”

Exit comics store.

a refuge from morons

EPISODE 2: Claremont & Puny. In a used-bookstore. Now, why is that a damn fine idea? Every kid born today should be infected, when still in primal state, to have an addiction for used-bookstore. Used bookstore. Heaven for those who have lost hope. Junk shop for those who have no idea. I was in several such bookstores last week. That there is where superior comic craft and other such stuff are found. Many hopeless grunts have become educated because they once stood inside one such store. And got educated. Education. They don’t come like they used to. Now yews is expected to pass dem exams for the sake of passing dem exams. Time was, yews fall in love with the adventure of finding out education for yourself. That there is true education. That there is also Claremont and the sainthood of comicdom. Saint Claremont had a simple goal in mind when he writes comics: "To enjoy the book and the characters." TO ENJOY. Now why is that so rare these days? Why do comics readers of the Kino type mutate so badly that even an Ellis X-title pale like Kitty Pryde’s shadow compared to their exercised-moronic-quotient. (EMQ – the new assessment tool for today’s moron. Also usable to test yesterday’s moron’s. Can be kept for testing tomorrow’s morons also. Discard after a moronic encounter.) (EMQ - Be suspicious of anyone with a B. Sc [honk!] who can’t help but remind everyone he likes, dislikes or slept with that he is has a B. Sc [honk!]) (EMQ – “There is no such title”) (EMQ = MORONS!!!) But enough. TO ENJOY. Comics, as Saint Claremont espoused are superior-crafted stories that readers will ENJOY much. Especially rare finds inside a used-bookstore. Beyond the intellectual musings of storylines and stylized art, Saint Claremont preached the simplicity "To enjoy the book and the characters."

To savour the discovery of a comic just because its hidden inside the boxes. (Batman, a Joker story with poster inside.)**

To relish the yellowed pages of a single issue Punisher (War Zone #1!!!) that is no longer in print. Did I say Embossed cover? Embossed cover!!!**
To pull out a long lost X-Men Archangel singles and be teleported to apocalyptic heavens because the story links to the latest Angel mini. (!!!)

To laugh silly at Wolvie #7 & #8 because Buscema thought Madripoor was Chow Kit and Fixit was from Ipoh. (Comic of the year!)

They don't draw covers like they used to!

EPILOGUE: "Every issue is a delight, in no small measure because it looks to me like the penciler himself is having a helluva lot of fun. Better yet, impossible as it sounds, each issue is better than the one before." – Saint Claremont

* Parents, send your kids to used-bookstore if you don't want them to grow up morons.

**Hey Fats, your copies on the way.


Uncle Screwtape said...

Jim Starlin wrote some damn fine Punisher tales. I had his two-parter "The Blood of Innocents" (two prestige format TPBs). Frank tried to take down the Kingpin but some innocent kids died in the process and he then questioned his whole crusade.

That was Starlin after his "cruel streak" (in the late 1980s), following "Batman: The Cult", "Batman: A Death In The Family" and "Cosmic Odyssey". At that time, Starlin was the ultimate nihilist in comics. He literally *worshipped* death (like his creation, Thanos). Hundreds of homeless dying in "The Cult", Robin II (Jason Todd) beaten cruelly to death in "A Death In The Family" and an entire galaxy dying in "Cosmic Odyssey" (featuring art by a young Mike Mignola).

Thankfully, his visions became more refined with the "Infinity Gauntlet" stuff later on. Still on to nihilism but more refined. Thanos killing the entire universe. Starlin was back recently with "Death of the New Gods" (see the continuing "death" theme?). But thankfully still more refined rather than the cruel streak he was on when he wrote the above stuff.

Best of luck tracking down "The Blood of Innocents".

You found the Chuck Dixon / John Romita Jr. / Klaus Janson classic "Punisher: War Zone"? That's been reprinted in a TPB actually.

pltypus said...

BREED. Jim Starlin first independent comic. I saw it selling the first time I started buying X-Men. So I was at this very moronic used-bookstore called ironicallly 'Angel Bookstore' that actually have the no.1 issue of Breed in a box, in black embossed cover with a red blood stained knife, not unlike Miller Sin City. No luck finding a complete collection. Embossed covers rocks! I also took note a Volume 2 of Starlin Punisher, Blood of something...

Ask the store lady how much for the comics and was told that 'these' were original comics, direct import, and so, original pricing... Tried to explain to her these were comics from ancient times ago but was slammed. "We don't sell old comics..." She's a skrull. Confirmed. (In need of wild sex...)

Saw the WARZONE TPB & the BREED TPB. Saw a WAR JOURNAL TPB today. Capitalism is for the dogs.

Your comic on the way via the usual courier service. Disinfectant not included.

Uncle Screwtape said...

The War Journal TPB collects the comics that got me nuts about Punisher and Wolverine in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Earliest Jim Lee works. Carl Potts wrote and even did the layouts - he couldn't trust that Korean kid to go it alone on the art until several issues into the run. Claremont noticed Jim Lee's Wolverine in these issues (first time the Canucklehead tangled with Punny) and seduced him to come onto Uncanny X-Men. The rest, as they say, is history... :)