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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Blog Log # 2 (Out of the Milkcrates: Here’s Another Blog Log For The Fire… I Reckon.)


Written by: Brian Azzarello

Art by: Marcelo Frusin, Werther Dell’Edera (is that right?), and Dayron’s boy Danijel Zezelij

Whelp folks, I finally get it. It took a little while but now… now, I get it. Loveless was very much a book I enjoyed monthly but had the side effect of hoping nobody would asked me what was going on in it. Come to find out, I never ran across anyone who told me anything about Loveless that lead me to believe I knew the big picture. Turns out I was right. (Surprise… surprise.) What I experienced a few nights ago was something I could have never expected, not in a gazillion, not even in a zillion years.

Like I said before, I read this book up monthly, that doesn’t mean I fully understood it or that I didn’t enjoy it. I am an Azzarello fan, so why the hell wouldn’t I pick it up? Not to mention, it being a Western set in a little Missouri (I’m sorry Missoura, I’m a native, and I have the right, not to mention the privilege.) town in the 1800’s called Blackwater. F.Y.I for you unknowing folks, Blackwater lays west, off Highway 70 in Cooper County, closer to Kansas City than it is to St. Louis. This story is set two years after the Confederate Army lost the war for their way of life. (“Your Goddamned right,” says the Yankee in me, with added a mocking rebel yell.) But, let us not forget that those below the Mason Dixon had an abrupt change to their way of life. No matter their skin tone.

Now, me saying this book was set two years after the Civil War (America’s not Marvel’s) is not exactly accurate. You see this story is told using literary tools such as flashbacks, foreshadowing, mysticisms, and of course my good friend, words. It is a tale of love; mystery, vengeance, gun slinging, lynching, and racisms with a hard look at how the good old days really were. Those of you who are hip to Azzarello understand his talent of laying out an epic story with a pace that is fast to read but takes time to unfold. As great as Azzarello story telling was, I truly believe that at least half, if not more, of this book was told by the artists and their amazing panels. It is apparent that this book would have only gotten better with time. Now, don’t act like I said it wasn’t a complete story because that is slander. All I mean is that, in my humble opinion, this book could have gone on for longer and only become even more of another Missoura great folktale. You know, fine wine and all that jazz?

I remember when Loveless was coming to a close and I couldn’t wait to know what I had been reading for 24 months. (Give or take a few, you know how comics work.) So there I was all excited and what I got was a, what appeared to be a self-contained story set in the late 1920’s. What the hell is that about? But, hey we got two issues left. And guess what. The same thing happened, both times. Needless to say, I wouldn’t have described myself as a happy camper or happy as a clam. Little did I know that roughly a year later I would pick this book up and see what it was all about. What was it all about? The only answer I have is, many things but mostly hardcore badassery.

Loveless is 24 issues of an emotionally rollercoastering journey of what it must have been like to be a citizen in Azzarello’s Blackwater. There is joy and sadness, love and madness, and for me a great amount of tingling and gladness. Plus, in my mind, a new look at what it must have been like to live in a Rebel town under the control of the Yanks. And folks, by the end of this story I felt it was easy to roll along with and the connection were clear. If you have any interest in westerns, history (alt or otherwise), great story telling and great, fitting art here is your next read. Obviously, you can gather that this book has no choice but to be gritty and that’s what all parties involved delivered. So, Dayron check this out, your boy Danijel Zezelij was great in this book. And yes, I said great. He gave us exactly what we needed in this run of comics that everybody should get into or at least give an honest shot. Here's to you Vertigo and the Loveless team, thank you.

* If you do not own it and would like to with out hunting done issues you can find it collected in trades. They are as follows.

A Kin of Homecoming
ISBN 1-84576-337-8
Loveless #1-5

Thicker than Blackwater
ISBN 1-84576-453-6
Loveless #6–12

Blackwater Falls
ISBN 1-40121-495-9
Loveless #13-24

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