Tuesday, February 26. A dog day in the month of love.
Cupid’s come and gone, sweet first blush has turned to red-faced anger, text messages have gone unanswered, and all that’s left of chocolate gifts are their shredded wrappers.
Have no worries, pet. As alone as you may feel, someone’s always got it worse than you. Why, we here at Biff Bam Pop! have been celebrating the swoon of tainted love all month long! We’ve covered the subject in film (here, here and here), prose (here) and comic books (here, here and here).
But if you’re somehow still under the thrall of adoration’s venomous poison, let me introduce you to comicdoms most famously tainted love affair, that of the unbeknownst three-way between the hauntingly beautiful Abigail Arcane, the crusty con-man John Constantine, and the muck-encrusted monster known as Swamp Thing.
Love, I’m afraid, never ceases to surprise. Or sicken.
What do you do if you know you’re dying and that when you die, you know that you’re going to hell?
If you’re the conniving yet charismatic rogue mage John Constantine, you do the only thing that can be done: you hasten the inevitable.
That’s sort of the premise behind the famous comic book character’s story arc in the 2005 film called, appropriately enough, Constantine. Directed by Francis Lawrence, his big screen debut after making a name for himself in music videos, and starring Keanu Reeves as the titular anti-hero, Constantine wasn’t all that well received by either critics or fans upon it’s debut. But in the seven years since it’s release, a near-cult audience has embraced the film and hope, an emotion not necessarily synonymous with the character himself, abounds in terms of a sequel being made.
That time may soon be upon us. Until then, there’s still the original to affectionately watch and discuss.
Hellblazed Reading – An Era Comes To An End With DC/Vertigo’s Cancellation Of John Constantine: Hellblazer
A week ago, DC Comics announced the cancellation of Hellblazer.
Bullshit was my first thought.
There are certain instances where, in comics, because you’ve read a particular title for so long, because you’ve enjoyed the stories so much, you grow an affinity for a character as if they were, well, a friend. That’s how I felt about John Constantine, the English protagonist of the series. And there are many other Hellblazer comic book readers out there that feel the same way.
Hellblazer – nay, John Constantine: Hellblazer, the publication’s true, long-form title – is currently the longest running, uninterrupted, monthly series from either of the big two comic book publishers, DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Indeed, it’s the longest running title from Vertigo Comics, DC’s mature imprint, in the history of that offshoot. That’s something the company, the editors, and the various writers and artists on the series, should be quite proud about. And in many ways, it’s not damn well surprising.
Every other week, Jason Shayer will highlight an issue or a run of issues pulled from the horde of comic book long boxes that occupy more room in his house than his wife can tolerate. Each of these reviews will delve into what made that issue or run significant as well as discuss the creative personalities behind the work. “Long Box” refers to the lengthy, white cardboard boxes most comics find themselves stored within – bagged, alphabetized and numerically ordered.
Today’s guest Tales From The Long Box columnist is JP Fallavollita.
“Gone, gone the form of man, rise the demon Etrigan!”
Fresh from a memorable guest appearance within the pages of Alan Moore’s critically acclaimed Swamp Thing series – an appearance that served to rejuvenate the character – the demon known as Etrigan received his own four-issue mini series in late 1986. Written and illustrated by Matt Wagner, at that time best known for his independent comic book work, this Demon series followed directly from the Moore interpretation: a gothic-inspired, vicious, manipulative…and rhyming demon!
Find out more about The Demon after the jump!
Hoax Hunters, Mad Men, Swamp Thing And The Art Of The Origin Story With Guest Blogger Michael Moreci
All this month at Biff Bam Pop we’re looking at Origin stories – from films and comics and debut albums, to authors and their work. As part of this, writer Michael Moreci has written about the origin of his new series Hoax Hunters (you can read our previous interview with Michael here). For all you aspiring comic book creators out there, this is great insight into one artists’ creative process. Without further adieu, take it away Michael:
Origin stories are boring.
There, I got that off my chest (and I even mean it, in a way).
The necessity of origins stories is an unusual thing, I think, because it’s so exclusive to comics. Not to say other mediums don’t incorporate origins into their narratives (they do), they just don’t have the same level of devotion as comics do. Let’s face it: Comics are obsessed with origins. Year One, Earth One, Season One, reboots, secret origins, on and on. It never stops.
Now, before getting any further, let me preface what I’m about to say with a simple disclosure: I will never, ever be the creator who tracks down reviewers and confronts them about a bad review. Unless the critic gets something egregiously wrong or insults a member of my family, I won’t dissuade—or worse, bully—them from holding whatever opinion they have. So there. That said, I can express some frustration I had over a few reviews of Hoax Hunters #0 in a general way for the sake of this topic.
Despite the recent chill across much of the northeast of this continent, spring is still upon us. There’s landscaping to be done in the backyard and those colourful impatiens are now showing through. Warmer weather, I’m sure, is just around the corner.
So is the local comic book shop.
And that’s where we should all find our green thumb today – as we hit up something exotic. Something, oh, I don’t know, in the form of the beautiful and delicate orchid?
A black orchid, to be precise.
Need a few ideas on what to get your thirty-something comic book geek for the holidays? Look no further. I’ve compiled a list of this year’s top 10 hardcover books reprinting classic 1980s comic books.
1. Walt Simonson’s The Mighty Thor Omnibus. Weighing in at almost 10 pounds, this omnibus will require you to purchase an accompanying lectern to hold it while you read it! It’s big and beautiful and lovingly restored and recoloured. Its 1,200 pages reprint Simonson’s full run from Thor #337-355, 357-369, 371-382 and Balder the Brave #1-4. Price tag: $90