What a week it's been - terrible dramas, sleepless nights. I know how many slits there are in how many vents in the ceiling of the waiting area of the local hospital, and that's all you get to know about that, stranger - but things are stable, knock wood, and I'm back to work again. Onward!
Gordon Lightfoot died this week, and he sang a lot of songs that spoke to me, so we'll intersperse these musings with a few of them - a sampling, barely scratching the surface, really - starting with "Early Morning Rain".
WHAT'S OUT THIS WEEK?
Venom Volume 3, that's what!
The full title, apparently, is VENOM BY AL EWING & RAM V VOL.3: DARK WEB, which is both a mouthful and not long enough, since it robs Bryan Hitch and Andrew Currie of their time in the spotlight as our art crew, not to mention Clayton Cowles on letters and Alex Sinclair on colors. This marks the end of sixteen straight issues on the trot from Bryan - an incredible feat in this day and age, especially since every page is gold. And the writing ain't too shabby either - I had a lot more fun rolling with the various punches of Dark Web than I thought I would, and it shows on the page. A favorite issue is #13, featuring Eddie in Limbo, piloting a teeny tiny glob of symbiote goo in a demon's laboratory. It's fun comics - why not pick it up if you haven't?
"If You Could Read My Mind" is a great favorite of mine. I'm a sucker for a certain quality of twentieth-century masculine sadness, a particular mix of the poetic expression of feeling, the carefully-weathered stoicism that's expected - and at the bottom of it all, the mundane business of just getting through the day. There are some uncut diamonds of the genre found here. You know that ghost is me.
(Fun fact - there's a disco cover of this that was my introduction to the song and to Lightfoot in general. It does the disco thing of dancing the pain away in wonderful style.)
MARVEL COMICS PANEL BY PANEL
Okay - am I the only one feeling a sense of acceleration here? I know we're doing a panel every week and only most weeks at that, but it feels like Horton's suddenly sick of dancing around this crap and wants to get right to the flaming man already. Look at his finger, jabbing out in hot desperation to push the button that will move things into the realm of visual spectacle! "Something went wrong with my figurings somewhere" - all science is just jabber now, just a bunch of figurings, because do you want to know how the synthetic Horton cells chemically react to the oxygen molecules of Earth's atmosphere or do you want to see a dude go on fire? Horton's not even getting into why he named a robot "the Human Torch" - look, he contacts oxygan in the air, he goes on fire, you have got to see it dudes you will absolutely freak my dudes.
Meanwhile, the journalists have morphed into an 80s electronica band. I mean, those are the Communards, surely. That's Jimmy Somerville. No wonder Horton's so eager to cut to the chase, these two have to go sing You Are My World on Top Of The Pops.
Why don't they sing about famous shipwrecks instead? Here's "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzegerald."
AND THAT'S THAT
I'm out of juice, so I'm going to call it there. We got through another newsletter, so this is still the place to find me. Love and strength to all who need it, and I'll play us out with "Too Many Clues In This Room", by - who else? - the late, great GORDON LIGHTFOOT.