San Futuro Chronicles

The Vertiginous Abyss

It’s an odd feeling, there I’ve been getting the “best” half dozen (subjectively speaking) DC titles and thus showing refined “taste”. So wadda they go and do??? Go and give those titles their own imprint thaz what. Now I just get (nearly) all the Vertigo titles… pah!! Ah well, at least I should do them some justice and mention them here…

Animal Man
Once a superhero, then he died, then he came back as a demon-type creature from a stegosaurus egg, then he was born again as a human. Now his wife’s in New York avoiding rape and getting pulled in as a hooker. Errrmmm… I guess we aren’t in Toto anymore Kansas.

Doom Patrol
Wow. This one has a really original basic theme. Group of people with super-powers go round defeating the bad guys. Well, it’s actually a tad more original than that. One of the team is “Danny the Street”, who’s a… errrm… street. The group base themselves on the street and try to do good. Things don’t work out quite as they should though, as most of the “team” seem to be psycho’s. Recently the head of the group died, after killing one of the main characters. Something weird I guess, but a little too superhero for my liking.

Death: The High Cost Of Living
Ahhh… this is more like it. Less of the superheroes and more of the cute-if-blackly-dressed babes in skimpy tops. However, this babe (Didi) is really the personification of death. Once a century, she gets to spend a day on Earth mingling with the mortals without taking life… and this is what this three issue mini-series is about. Only one more issue to go, but it’s good stuff so buy it. P.S. as a follow-up tale to the TC cover someone had tattooed a while back… TC has a scoop on getting people to have secret Death tattoos… Honest, it’s not our fault that we know a load of weirdos.

What is there to say that hasn’t already been said a thousand times… How about “Don’t buy the current story-line ‘cos the artworks crap”? Next issue may actually have an artist again instead of someone who does a wonderful impression of a 5 year-old with a crayon, so have a look as it may be back to the good old days.

Sandman Mystery Theatre
Gosh! What now? A new title? Well, yes actually. In fact it’s sort of as return to the olden days of “Golden Age” Sandman – before he went all creepy and Endless, when he was just a bloke in funny clothes that was into spraying stuff at bad guys. So far, so bad. Now for the good news… It’s written by Matt Wagner, and seems to have a huge lack of superheroes! Yippee!

Shade – the changing (wo)man
Well, there was this alien called Shade, then he changed into a woman (growing bits & losing bits & all that), then he realized he was dead, and so tried to recreate himself, this didn’t work, so he went away and came back in the head of an empty body that was wandering around a lunatic asylum. Meanwhile, his girlfriend had shacked up with one of her (girl) friends and was staying in a nearby hotel. The girlfriend got captured by a psychopath who uses pain to get into his “garden” and Shade’s giving his girlfiend’s friend a quicky. Errmmm… but that’s not quite what’s going on or summat. Maybe the next issue will explain it (and maybe I ought to have the comics I’m “reviewing” on hand so I know what I’m waffling about).

Another new title! Tada! This one’s an eight issue mini-series. Weird art and a weird plot. It’s got something to do with a superhero known as the Enigma (very appropriate considering how enigmatic he’s been in the first two issues!) and a chap who goes around with a straw sucking peoples brains out through their noses. The chap with the straw is somehow related to a cute little lizard that people keep finding… but buggered if I know what’s going on. Not that I’m thinking of giving it up… there’s only six more issues, and it can’t get more confusing.

John Constantine – Hellblazer
So, he’s defeated lung cancer & demons at a stroke, he’s shacked up with an Irish bird, and now he’s getting up the nose of a bunch of National Front types who have plans for the archangel Gabriel. Signs of a return to good old-fashioned blood & guts horror for JC here. I’m actually quite looking forward to the next issue of this at the moment.. we’ll just have to see how it develops.

Swamp Thing
You’ve heard it all before, so I won’t waste time & space on it here. Suck it & see, it may be just your thang.

That’s it… well, that’s the titles that are currently in the Vertigo line-up. They’re all that bit off the wall, and they’re all worth a look. The only thing that I find myself wondering is just how will they decide which titles are Vertigo worthy, and which are just plain old DC ? The obvious things are that the current Vertigo titles are vaguely outside the standard “DC Universe” – not many of the characters have much by way of cross-overs (well, excluding John Constantine, but he generally just pops up in Swamp Thing anyway), and the few occasions that the standard DC characters have popped in it’s been a pretty blatant ploy to boost sales. Hopefully those cross-overs will now be a thing of the past… hopefully. Let’s wait and see.

Back to the (sur)real world…

Tod McFarlane has finally called in the heavy mob to write for him. Not that Spawn necessarily needed much assistance, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens. The up-coming special guest writers are… Alan Moore (for issue 8 – out now!); Neil Gaiman (9); Dave Sim (10); and Frank Miller (11). Each of these issues will also have a “poster” by someone-or-other… actually just a glossy centre-spread (roughly A4 size), but I’m sure someone’ll be overjoyed at their presence.

Twisted Image – Loompanics collection
Good selection of Ace Backwords’ strips. Including quite a lot of funny ones. Includes some of his more “underground” (i.e. crude lewd and generally rude… but still funny) work. Well worth a look, but the chances of spotting it around are low. Then again, I spotted it so why shouldn’t you!

This is finally coming out in full after having been abandoned by Eclipse after 3 issues. The basic story-line is pretty standard fantasy stuff – elves and a big bad evil critter and all that. However, the artwork is good, and the story showed promise in it’s initial issues. Hopefully it’ll get to finish this time!

Oooh… this is fun, innit? Brian Lumley original story about Vampires & psychic powers and drowned women. I haven’t read any of the books, and don’t think I’d really like to – but the comic definitely works… or so I reckon.

Sap Tunes.
Cool shit. Just a couple of weird black and white tales per issue with cool art & a load of style! Probably completely unsuitable for TC readers…

Ren & Stimpy
As raved about by Jim, and now in their own comeek book… The weird humour of Krisfaluci lives on, even if the animated version has had his plug pulled… and the comic has a completely different author! The comic keeps faith with the original series – Powdered Toast Man, the Space Yak and Muddy Mudskipper Meals all feature and it’s even got adverts for Log in it. What more can we ask. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Faust – The Movie
Errrm… this is more Jim’s area… apparently Stuart “Reanimator” Gordon is looking at making a movie out of the sickest, most violent comic-book of the past few years. Ahhhh… what a blissful idea… However, if the comics can’t get through Customs, what’s the chance of the film not getting chopped to shreds by the BBFC. Faust vs. the BBFC, maybe that’d make a good sequel… hehehehehehe…