The whole point of Suzy Spreadwell, down to her name, is that the most sexually repressed people, like "Purity" Christians, are not only the most sexually obsessed, and the most vulnerable to temptation, but the ones that no matter how hard they try always sound the most perverse, and like a pimple, the more they try to get rid of it the bigger and more painful they make it, till it bursts whether they want it to or not. If you think about something all the time, even negatively, you will be it. You'll just hate yourself and others for it, that's all.
The Moral Uplift of Jonathan Kent Clark's dad always smelled like fear. "So, what did the metallurgist say to people when he found something that rare?" "Oh, he won't be telling anyone with a slit throat." "WHAT? You killed someone?--" "After the first one it gets easier" "WHAT?" "Whatever it takes. I explained this. I'm willing. You can tell them I protected you when the time comes." "Huh? What time?" "Son, all I know is you were sent here for a purpose. And I just want the Elder Gods to kill me first as a reward for preparing your way." "Dad, you're freaking me out." "All I can do is submit and obey, son. I'm just one man and I mean nothing, and I know that, and I've taught you that too, that people mean nothing. Because I love you and don't want you to feel guilt on the day you rain destruction and chaos and fire till all the earth is rubble and skulls." "..." "I wish I didn't have to see it. I can pray for some great whirlwind or something to take me and kill me before it happens, but that would be too much to hope for." He choked back tears of anguish for the future. "I'd save you!" "Hm" ___________________
Nixon Invented the War on Drugs as a War on Black People: Larry Wilmore, Mike Yard, & Joe Morton Explain And following the last post with more to make you angry from the past! Although not even past.
Sometimes when you hear previously unrevealed information about famous people after they die, it humanizes them. It makes them seem better somehow in our eyes. In Nixon's case everything you find out about him only gets more damning each time. There was no bottom to the conscious evil of this man. I recommend Rick Perlstein's NIXONLAND and THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE as the most up-to-date and complete history; I read them last year and found things I never came across in my dead father's library of 70s books on the subject. Yes, when my dad died I found he obsessively collected Nixon books. Mostly in hardback. And there were a lot of them in the 70s. Anyway: As you may have heard, it was revealed this week that, as has long been suspected, Nixon deliberately and consciously concocted the War on Drugs--and it was continued by subsequent administrations, most especially Republican ones Reagan forward--to wreck the black and left communities. But let Larry Wilmore, Mike Yard and Joe Morton explain better. And also remind you why this is especially relevant (TRUMP) now as well. Read more »
...or certainly it was considered an amusing idea, based on the cumulative evidence of their films, ads and TV. Here's a startlingly glaring example: the "button defense" scene in HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE.
Rise & Fall of the Clash (2012) - A Brief Reaction Regarding Authenticity In Rock
Watched THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CLASH, a pretty fascinating documentary from 2012 that examines the last years of the Clash, when the band kind of went crazy and steered itself, hard, into a ditch. Read more »
This right here is the precise moment Cerebus turned irrevocably
serious. Despite the "no poetic license" punchline. That it turned away from humor is not a criticism in
the slightest by the way: it simply grew beyond it for a while. I fucking love JAKA'S STORY and with
HIGH SOCIETY it's the most directly influential on my style, especially
LULU, of all the Cerebus books. Though CHURCH & STATE is my actual favorite. It was JAKA'S STORY, along with my background in theatre, that taught me talking heads can be dynamic in comics. Also: no movie could do this. Here's an example of what intrinsically comics bring to an action scene and what it can do dramatically
a film can't. You're looking at three, maybe four points of view, and
foci of drama, built architecturally in front of you in time. All there
simultaneously, paced together. Only Roeg ever did anything
approximating this (like PERFORMANCE and most especially THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, without which WATCHMEN would not exist) and even then, it's impossible for film to present
simultaneity in quite this way. And with as much real impact. You STOP
on this page, you study it, it sinks in. You would not freeze a film the
same way, and it wouldn't register the same.
It's also a good example of what a double-page spread does best, but in the age of the internet and landscape screens that may be less distinct. This was brought to mind, by the way, by this post including the image, about the Cerebus Oversize Project. Click here to find out more about that.
HIGH-RISE - Clint Mansell Complete Soundtrack (2016) A movie I cannot wait to see of my favorite Ballard novel. (I'm not sure ATROCITY EXHIBITION counts as a "novel" in the same way) Here's a playlist of the complete soundtrack by Clint Mansell, whom you may know as a frequent collaborator of Darren Aronofsky. Read more »
SUZY SPREADWELL: Print 2.1 - Thus Was Satan Confounded
Yay! Just in time for Easter! That was actually accidental! But anyway! As I also need inking and color practice, I might do more of these. A fully rendered inked & colored version of this preparatory drawing of Suzy & her boyfriend Greg from earlier this week. I think it's a warmhearted illustration for the young people that Jesus is always there.
"Wait--why a watery life?" "Aquaman needs a bride." "But--" "--it's the 50s. Don't fight the Code." "But--it doesn't move! It's just one solid piece of gold!" "I found it myself from sunken galleons all over the world." "WAIT" "You will swim" SPLASH "Hm." "Aquaman? I missed Lois falling out the window and she disappeared. Seen her?" "Who?" "God, you're useless." "Yes, useless"
Anyway, I penciled a couple of pages of a favorite sequence with Red Sophia in vain hopes of inclusion. I've heard nothing about the project proceeding, but this is one page of three I'd do if given the chance. In any event, I just felt like finishing it. As I just finished a big project, I'm mostly just practicing, sketching and prepping right now, so this is mainly an exercise for fun.
As I mentioned in the essay above, Dave Sim redrew a VITRIOL page (which I must have lost in a move at some point, and it pisses me off) with an improved layout as a constructive critique of how I could approach it. So here's this inadequate tribute back, though I followed Dave's layout as exactly as I could. There's no attempt to draw like Dave here though: it's that page done in my style, for better or worse. But a style heavily influenced by Sim, so... (click images to enlarge)
And here's the pencil...
And here's the original from CEREBUS vol. 1, p. 212. Which is still funnier. I just couldn't do that wicker crosshatching though. It all looks like Mysterio in there.
My former town Chicago did itself proud today by shutting down a Donald Trump fascist-fest. And that guy who took the podium by the way has some serious balls. Seems a good moment to relate a story that might clarify just how Chicago feels about Donald Trump. This was 2005, when the Trump International Hotel & Tower was completed. People in Chicago, who are justly proud of their usually world-class architecture, had not wanted this ugly piece of shit built, but Trump got it built anyway.
At the time, I was working the front desk at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. You may know them from their famous boat tours of Chicago's buildings along the river (one of which famously resulted in the Dave Matthews Band tour bus dumping human waste onto one of the boats) We would often have various luminaries in the world of architecture give talks.
Trump came in to speak one day. The subject was the new building, and his office--who are just about as dickish as he is, or were at the time--were adamant on one major point: we were not to inform the press.
So we didn't. And the people who had been invited to listen came. And no one else did. So far so good, right?
Not so good! Next thing you know, the talk is delayed while the Donald paces around the lobby--looking around to see if anyone recognizes him--loudly ranting to someone on his cell phone "WHY ISN'T ANYONE HERE?" and more to that effect. I watch this from behind the glass wall separating my office from the lobby. Usually you could hear little through it. He was pretty loud. It was bad. I was a bit worried hearing this; hadn't they told us not to inform the press? And indeed that had been the case. We'd done our job, or else he'd have been yelling at us. No, that wasn't the problem.
The vast marble CAF lobby
The Donald was appalled because the press had not found out anyway, on its own. Because nobody in Chicago gives much of a fuck about Donald Trump. His assistant, I assume, then called the press and once press started showing--still not much of it--an hour late, his talk began. He didn't look too thrilled when he left, but that was hardly our fault. So if you wonder what Chicagoans think of Trump: they want him to fuck off back to New York, keep ruining that, and leave Chicago alone. (Chicago can ruin itself just fine, thanks)
Incidentally, I saw The Hair. What it is: it's a three-way combover, all of it originating from the back of his head. Three long combovers some poor bastard has to weave together into the orange gopher on his head every day. He ducked in his head and adjusted it in a mirror. I told him it looked fine.
It didn't. That was why I told him that. ___________________
SUZY SPREADWELL: More Prep Sketching - Suzy & the Reverend A brief break from the next chapter for more development of a later chapter with Reverend Swiver, and an exploration of the anti-censorship powers of cloth. Click image for larger version. And get the current chapter in print in full color in THIS SICKNESS #8!
The Greatest Photo In The World: Stefania Casini with THIS SICKNESS #8! Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest picture in the world. The one and only Stefania Casini (my Lulu model, as you may already know) here, with THIS SICKNESS #8. (that's her in Molly's cover) Side note: her bookshelves back there are way cool.
One of those "I-can-die-happy-now" moments. I love her.
Here she is from a few years back talking about BLOOD FOR DRACULA and Warhol. I think I've posted this before but what the hell.
"The Belly of an Architect" (Peter Greenaway, 1987)
Nearly 30 years old, wow. This is my second favorite Peter Greenaway film, next to the Cook the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, and with that one of my very favorite films ever. Also another film in which we see my Lulu model Stefania Casini in all her glory. Watch it before they take it down; I have no idea how the complete version ended up on YouTube.
SUZY SPREADWELL - Prep Sketch: Making Out Continued Another prep sketch for the next chapter of SUZY, depicting Suzy and her hapless boyfriend Greg delighting at least one onlooker. Click image to enlarge. As always, sketch available for $25 postpaid via Paypal (to john[dot]roberson[at]gmail[dot]com) and the first chapter of SUZY in full color is available here in THIS SICKNESS #8.
SUZY SPREADWELL - Chapter 2, More Preparatory Sketching More Suzy Spreadwell sketching prep for the next chapter. Didn't realize till now but kissing is really hard to draw and something I'll have to practice more. Drawing. Yes. Click image for full size, and be sure to check out her debut, in full color, in THIS SICKNESS #8! Also, this sketch available from me for $25 postpaid via Paypal.
Usually I do a page right after I break it down, but this time I've been trying to do the whole story before starting pencils. This week I broke down about 9 pages, and the drawing impulse is getting itchy, so I expect I'll be too impatient to do more and will start penciling actual pages soon. And of course, the current chapter is already out in print at Amazon and digital at Google Play in THIS SICKNESS #8 in full, lovely color, so be sure to catch up now! ___________________
UNCLE CYRUS @MartianLit: "Deadliney Doom" - Conclusion + CYRUS & LULU Art at Bargain Price! Last page of the exclusive THIS SICKNESS #8 excerpt at MartianLit. Click image for full page. And click here to buy the whole thing--as well as a whole lot more in black & white and color (like SUZY SPREADWELL, LULU, the utterly insane paintings of Emily Kaplan, and more topped off by a lovely new cover by my pal Molly Kiely) in print and Kindle. Also at Google Play Books till the censors get wise. Last week it hit #121 in comics anthologies on Amazon. Get yours now!
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson