This list mostly consists of dark, underground, horror-y graphic novels as I’m not really into the whole superhero thing (well, okay, that’s a giant lie, but let’s just say that I prefer these types of comics…)
Biologic Show #1 – Al Columbia
Sigh. It is pretty much im-fucking-possible to find this issue anywhere, so I’m not holding out my hopes of being able to get my hands on a copy anytime soon. Thankfully, because the internet rules, my friend Izzy and I located a download online – and so it is saved on my hard-drive forever. I might print it all out and make a make-shift version of the comic, but it’s not the same thing…
I own Issue #0 of The Biologic Show, amazingly, and it’s the most gnarly thing I’ve ever read. It touches on elements of necrophilia, beastiality, incest … etc etc … it’s fucking disturbing but REALLY GREAT. It’ll probably give you nightmares but it’s well worth a read if you can find it. Knowing how much I adore #0, you can imagine my delight at finding #1 and getting to read it (even if it was through the computer screen…..pffttt).
#1 is even creepier than #0, too! Hail Al Columbia.
Art & Beauty Magazine – R. Crumb
I first stumbled across the amazing Robert Crumb via an issue of the ‘Weirdo‘ anthology I own (I think it’s #8, you can purchase a lot of the ‘Weirdo’ series via my favourite online zine/comic store, WowCool). He is an interesting artist; one of my favourites – his work is distinctive for his criticism of the mainstream and the very revealing and confessional way in which he writes (just go read ‘My Troubles with Women‘ for an example). Anyway, I haven’t read Art & Beauty yet, because it’s out of fucking stock everywhere I try online… I’m going to have to visit eBay or Amazon and buy a second-hand copy, but it looks right up my street:
35 portraits of Crumb’s ideal feminine forms, each accompanied with annotations regarding that woman’s beauty
I love anything like that. I can’t wait to eventually get my hands on this, I’ll write a review after.
Uzumaki #1 – Junji Ito & Annette Roman
I OWN THIS, I KNOW I DO. I BOUGHT IT OVER THE SUMMER. WHERE THE HELL IS IT? I CAN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE. It may be an icky manga, but I was recommended this comic to read, so I bought it, AND I DON’T KNOW WHERE IT’S GONE?! I DIDN’T EVEN GET TO READ IT PROPERLY! Apparently it’s really fucking gross and creepy. I’m getting annoyed at myself now. I remember it fucking arriving in the post and everything. Where the hell could it have gone?! I need a fucking book shelf.
But yup, another creepy black-and-white horror comic. Do you see a pattern forming here?
Warning: after reading this comic, you may become a little paranoid about spiral shaped things. Yay!
The story concerns the inhabitants of the small Japanese town of Kurôzu-cho that seems to be cursed by supernatural events surrounding spirals. Many people become obsessed or paranoid about spiral shapes, which starts resulting in several gruesome deaths
The Tale of Brin & Bent And Minno Marylebone – Ravi Thornton & Andy Hixon
Look at the cover art! Yay for creepiness!
Brin and Bent are poolkeepers at The House for the Grossly Infirm. Their days are spent abusing the House residents with bleach and chlorine, spying on them through holes they have drilled in the walls. They do not know that someone else comes to the pool at night: Minno Marylebone, a child like no other.
I was meant to buy this thing when it first came out this past July, but for some reason never got round to it. Ravi is a British author, relatively new to the world of comics, and seems to be a deep thinker who has written an immensely dark, disturbing, yet heart-achingly touching story. She says;
It’s the tale of two broken characters who find their mend in the form of a heavenly child. I hope that the readers enjoy it as such. It’s also a metaphor for the strange rationalisations that a damaged mind makes in order to survive a great pain. Perhaps some of you will feel the story in that way – and to those I send out my heartfelt embrace.
Grit Bath – Renée French
Earlier on today, I was nerding out with my Twitter-comic-book-writer-friend Luke Flaherty about comics -duh – and when I suggested he check out Biologic Show by Al Columbia, he hit me back with Grit Bath by Renée French. “It’s like if David Lynch and Eli Roth wrote comics” Luke told me. Say no more. I need this comic. I googled it, and turns out it’s out of print (lol, just my luck) but it was published by Fantagraphics (who not only also published Biologic Show and a ton of other Al Columbia work, but who are one of my favourite publishers). So yeah, the dye’s sort of been cast, and I need to get my hands on a copy. Somehow, someway.
Zero Zero #12
Zero Zero is an alternative comic anthology which was published by Fantagraphics.
I own the September 1997 issue, #20, which is an absolute gem, and contains a centre-piece by – lol, guess who? – Al Columbia called ‘Amnesia‘ which is REALLY FUCKING CREEPY AND AWESOME… but there are some of my other all-time favourite pieces in there as well such as a chapter of Dave Cooper’s ‘Crumple‘ and the eerily-delightful “Maxwell and the Mechanical Brides” by Glenn Head. Sorry, I’m blabbing on. Below is the cover of #12 which I really want solely because it has Johnny Rotten in it. And another chapter of Crumple. And the back cover is by Dan Clowes (duh, Ghost World).
Anyway, I think that’s enough comic book talk for one night. If any of my real-life friends are reading my blog I’ve probably alienated the shit out of them because it’s sort of unknown to a lot of people that I am in fact a genuine nerd.
If you’re into the same kind of stuff, drop me a comment or leave me some recommendations or let’s fangirl over Al Columbia or something.