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Thursday, October 9, 2008

What I’m Reading Now: A Special Edition of Turds… OOPS! Sorry… Words & Stuff (In which Dayron is played by Captain Cletus Whiteheart)

John Constantine, Hellblazer: Original Sins TP

Writer – Jamie Delano
Art – John Ridgeway & Alfredo Alcala

The year was 1984 and I was not born yet but looked 4 yrs old. Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben who happened to be Police fans were putting out a wonderful book called Swamp Thing. A fellow by the name of John Constantine, who looks a lot like Sting, (Bellboy Sting not tantric sex machine Sting) appears out of nowhere talking crazy magic mumbo jumbo and the rest of the story is still unfolding, monthly. John appears in Swamp Thing # 25 but his official outing was in issue # 37. I ask you, have you ever seen a credit like John Constantine created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben in any book? Just wondering. Nonetheless, I would recommend Swamp Thing to anyone who loves great stories. Don’t let them movies cloud your judgment.

Up until this point I had only read the Brian Azzarello trades and monthly since Andy Diggle took over. That includes the two-issue punk rock story by Jason Aaron. Then one day I spied a used copy of Original sins on the shelf at the shop and had to have it. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting too much out of it but was left pleasantly surprised. This story is out of he mid/ late 80’s, which, don’t ask me why I wasn’t expecting much, because Vertigo was putting out some pretty great stuff at the time. So, I get around to reading it and at first I felt that the writing seemed a little forced. Now, Jamie Delano was telling an interesting story but maybe a bit too descriptive. (if you know what I mean.) Jamie definitely finds his stride within this trade. I am half way through the 2nd trade called The Devil You Know and I believe if you read Original Sin you should read number 2, as well.

John Constantine is a full time chain-smoking magician and part time wanker. He is cursed with causing horrible things happen to anyone he’s around. His heart is in the right place… well it is some place, but his means are unique. Original Sins opens with a lot of familiar faces, since I’m reading the Diggle stuff. Obviously, with this being a story of an Englishman you can expect a little football. I hope John knows Man U. is the greatest team in the premiere league. (Giggsy, John, Giggsy!) We even get a Mucus Membrane name-drop within these pages. Jamie did a great job of introducing the cast and giving you an over all accurate account of who the Laughing Magician is. John Ridgeway did a fantastic job portraying the stories being told. His art is incredible, especially, for that era of comics. (In my opinion, of course) Original Sins collects Hellblazer issues 1 – 9. The Devil You Know collects issues # 10 – 13, Annual 1, The Horrorist 1 & 2 and both can be found at any comic shop anywhere. (I assume but I’ve been known to make an ass out of myself) I do know it can be found at my comic shop, which is The Fantasy Shop in St. Charles. It is surely worth a read. Now, I personally have not read these books but my hero Rob has and he enjoyed them. Since, he is my master and I do whatever he says I will tell you I recommend these stories. You should check them out, if you like good comics… that is. I am going to check them out fo’ sho’ because I am on a never-ending quest to be like my pal Captain Clet. – Lil’ Captain Dayron

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