Thursday, October 19, 2017

the Annotated Sons of God, Issue 3

Issue 3 March 2014     “Unspeakable Tragedy”

(Same “deadly virtue” theme as Issue 1 and Issue 2 (part 3 of a 3-story arc based on the deadly virtue Chastity/vice Lust))

Disclaimer, credits:    sons of god issue 3 march 2014   story and art patre et filio        all images, characters, and the entire English language are copyright Bathtub Comics (on facebook: sons of god comic book)    any resemblance between characters or deities living or dead is completely in the eye of the beholder… don’t you think?

Front Cover: The Cosmic Salmon! One of my favorite characters is back! (And he’s heading our way…)
The symbols are mostly from Alchemy, marking the creator-fishy’s return to our galaxy, his old spawning ground (Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, male, female, water, etc) and just for fun, I hid Jojo and John in alchemical-type letters. The latin sayings are “imaginatio vincit vera,”: imagination conquers reality (instead of “Vera vincit imaginatio,”); and “Ex somnium ut animadverto”  or “from dreaming to reality”.
Logo: The new letter on the title logo is alpha (from “s”). so it’s alpha next to omega now.
Page 1 Back to our  good old favorite stand-by turn of the century Newspaper, the Chicago Daily Tribune: there’s just something unsettling about it: like every story they write has eldritch roots… here the newspaper calls out more attention-grabbing headlines, at the expense of the innocent (and so do we!) with the issue’s title “Unspeakable Tragedy!”.
We see Dany is crossing back across his old tracks past the alley (which now has a police-line). Authentic Chicago PD car in background, (number 666 of course…). Dany is carrying the exceedingly rare 1611 King James Bible Stan gave him in Issue 2, but now we see the back cover. Not surprisingly, we see that the old Bible printers also put “blurbs” on the backs of their books: “1611’s runaway best seller” (because Bibles were the biggest sellers in the early days of printing). And “Thou shalt… steal this book!” Using Abby Hoffman’s famous exhortation (Steal this book) to make light of the 8th (or some say 7th) commandment “Thou shalt not steal”.
Also in Issue 2 Stan gave Dany a candle and told him to read the bible at night, if he wanted more crazy nightmares.
Story and art patre et fīliō. Still playing around with latin declensions, trying to find the best case (“of the father and son? By the father and son?”) that still sound like the good old latin mass (with fond memories of those hour and a half sweltering rituals in catholic churches growing up…)
Also I mock copyright statements: so if I claim something, it belongs to me? Mine?! Well then…
“All images, characters, and the entire English language are copyright Bathtub Comics”
Back to monthly disclaimers: “any resemblance between characters or deities living or dead is completely in the eye of the beholder… don’t you think?” so, if I recite that stupid little phrase before or after a movie or book, I’m off the hook for any thing I say or do or write… wooHOO!!!
Page 2  this is the first of several times we will see these people’s 3 different vantage points: watching the news from inside a bar, from inside an insane asylum (cuckoo’s nest) or from the Gods’ luxury apt in the sky.
Panel 1  “Joe’s Bar”: of course. So the bottled beer menu is made of real (but toney) beers available in Chicago bars (Emmet’s victory pale, where lizards dare, 5 rabbit 5 lizard, Gandy Dancer Honey (mead), Goose Island Fleur, Daisy Cutter Pale, Half Acre Over Ale, Flying Pig Imperial IPA, Lucky Monk’s Fallen Angel beer…) but in the background, the beer taps are fanciful (Miller After Life, Bud Whalen after an old friend of mine who does not deserve any further mention, “666 beer”, etc. Not sure why JOjo said “Moole Beer”…) and on the wall we used real liqueur bottles and wine bottles, but couldn’t resist putting in all hell-related puns and word games (give em hell, bat hell, hell on wheels, holy water, hell-o, hell’s bells, living hell, hell 2 pay, hell on earth, from hell, hell wid dat (?), what the hell, raise hell, go to hell, aw hell, see you, in hell, all hell, broke loose, come hell, high water, and “Woman Scorned”. The bartender’s rag, of course, is raggedy andy. The TV shows ongoing coverage of deep, scarring, personal tragedy: just the ticket for big ratings!
Page 2 Panel 2 yes! Duvel Beer commercial rocks!  my favorite beer commercial EVER (where the Devil himself is trying to get him some beer). So we switched it to Devel of course. This room is of course the famous communal TV lounge in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. We’ll see it again as a recurring commentary on the insanity and inequity of society.
Page 2 Panel 3 4 mysterious silhouetted strangers, drinking some kind of scotch and water from a very fancy apartment… hmm… of course, the networks are finding ways to use violence to sell ads (for Cialis: sex and violence are the right and left hand of the devil…) also, the top tv is our old (but still working 30 yrs later) Motorola, the second is my memory of our old black and whites, and the bottom is our old Samsung, here changed to Samael.
Page 3 went to some trouble to keep the Chicago TV stations more or less accurate. We used the Three TV’s to show 3 ongoing viewpoints. As we’ve seen earlier in issue 1 and 2, Carl Bobson is actually the reverend Bob Carlson, from Bangor (see references from Bangor Daily News Stories). We get a little more of the story of how he was mostly eaten by the leech-monster nuns, after his heart was cut out for a weird ritual to bring the Leviathan’s millions of babies to life (to overrun the world and bring pre-creation level chaos). In panel3 we see Reverend Bob’s crucifix, clearly the same one Dany was wearing, (laced with LSD by Bobson’s evil church, for crazy nightmares every night).
In panel 4 we hear more about the infamous “S.C.U.M.” : the Sisters for Cutting Up Molesters, a secretive fringe religious vigilante group formed by Sister Mary Todesengel, D.C., K.S.J.   D.C. Knights of St. John (Daughters of Chastity and the Knights of St. John) daughters of Job and the knights of saint john. From our notes: “They are dedicated to tracking and hunting down child sex abusers who have hidden from the registered sex offenders data banks; they are rumored to be under investigation over several missing sex offenders in the greater Chicagoland area. S.C.U.M. members are known to use LSD and other hallucinogens in their bizarre sacred rituals which last all night, and are rumored to involve buckets of blood, drum and bass, and horrifying dance sequences.”
“todesengel, blutsauger, meerunge heuer: Death angel, blood sucker, sea monster”
Panel 5 is the actual Registered Sex Offender map for this area of Chicago (not hard for the Nuns to use to find Bobson).
Panel 6, if this doesn’t sum up our book for you…: just some nuns partying with buckets of blood at a laser lightshow. That is all.
Panel 7: ever wonder where all the bird’s eye views come from in comic books? Who the heck is there filming these intimate and unpredictable moments? Look on the screen, and you’ll see the google glass video icon and the time stamp “1:01”: these scenes were filmed by, who else, Stan himself with his cool Google Glasses (nice how he risks the boy’s life to take the time to document his cool rescue… for his own gain and his own obscure purposes…) notice how the time signature going from 1:01, to 1:30, up to 3:11. I believe these numbers were all biblical references, but I can’t recall which (eg. The first 1:01 is from Genesis In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth., the last 3:11 is from Matthew 3:11New International Version (NIV)
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”)
Again, Chicagolanders call it “Michigan Ave Bridge”, not the “DuSable Bridge”
Panel 8 again with the S.C.U.M.: Sisters for cutting up molesters. This is a take-off on Valerie Solanas’ SCUM (understood to mean Society for Cutting Up Men).
Panel 9  this section is all based on the sad story of “Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker” a young man named Caleb Lawrence McGillvary. Sure as you’re born, as soon as this hatchet thing happened back in feb 2013, everybody on Facebook loved it, like tit was the coolest thing they ever saw: Smash, Smash SSSSmaasssshhh!” and sure as you’re born, I said right off the bat “There’s something dreadfully wrong with this media blitz, with this whole story, and obviously with this young guy.” Just look at his eyes. This was where I officially hung-up on “the media”, when it first became clear they were all just out to get eyes, clicks, ads, etc. and not just the big TV and newspaper and magazines: all media was pushing their own agenda (maybe NPR PBS, etc a little less so…).
Page 4 Panel 1 Homeless Hero: Kai called himself “Home-free”
p.s. john 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. 
Panel 2 live-tape-delay shot from the cloudgate (mandatory Chicago location, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris) This is a reprise of the “If you repeat something over and over again…” which is a running theme of the book… I had this little argument I had running in my head for a while: a self-fulfilling argument about the new bullying tactics of baldly repeating something, loudly, authoritatively, in public, over and over, till it sounds real to people (and it’s corollary for the rest of us…) stan likes paradoxes and is of course, tricky by nature…
Panel 3 this dialogue is based directly on Caleb’s famously exploited viral video, of his interview after the hatchet-wielding incident2, 3 . in Caleb/Kai’s video from the scene, you can see he is wearing a read sweatshirt with “Fox racing Inc. sports technology” so stan’s red sweatshirt is based on this, but changed to a Wolf logo (“Wolf Ram and Me” a take-off on Wolf, Ram and Ewe” from Joss Whedon’s “Angel”). Caleb’s sad little Canadian accent still comes through with his surfer lingo.
Panel 4 Continuing dialogue based on Caleb’s original viral videos. But here Stan’s “straight outta H-town”: ie Hell. He’s so poor, he can’t afford all the letters in his name: and he’d like to buy the other vowel someday, Pat. Obviously the missing letter is another “A”, another early clue for readers.
Panel 5 More bad messages for kids listening at home “See kids? It pays to pick up a hitchhiker…” more pure Stan logic “Of course not: the Chicago River runs backwards!” It actually DOES run backwards, a marvel of modern engineering accomplished (see issue 6 for more info) but this is still a non-sequitor…)
Panel 6 yes, most people assume nuns are all Sisters of Mercy or Sisters of Charity. But here, of course, they are Sisters of Chastity. This introduces the running theme of one of the 7 Deadly Virtues for each issue (approximately). This also speaks to what seems to some as an unhealthy denial of basic human feelings/emotions/needs/pleasures. It used to be said a girl was “saving herself for marriage” ie not having sex till on her honeymoon, and this makes the “Saving themselves for Jesus” metaphor all the more icky. (just like all the lamb/bride bible imagery: eeewwww…)
Panel 7 Around this time, it was very popular to say God and Religion were somehow embedded in our DNA. That religion has a pleasure-sensor reaction in our brains, etc. meanwhile it always seemed to me that if there’s some omnipotent Creator, after bringing forth vast immense ecosystems and galaxies, God would not give a shit about what we did or didn’t do. He’d be long gone, moving on elsewhere, doing his creatorly thing all over the place, all day every day. He’d be a cold, all-powerful force of all forces, not some medieval white-bearded emotional head-of-the-household.4
Panel 8 so stan is messing with this guy’s whole value system, belief hierarchy, etc (and all the viewers as well, sewing doubt and uncertainty): “So God is a fish?” to which stan replies “God is NOT a fish?” this is the punchline to the old joke about the pilgrim arduously crawling up MT Everest, to find the Tibetan master at the top. And he asks the master “what is the meaning of life?” “Life is a tree…” “Master, Life is a tree?” and the monk, mystified,  replies “Life is NOT a tree?”
I wanted to keep going on the many bizarre gyrations people go through to tell everyone else how God acts, how God is, what He wants, what he believes, etc by interpreting the tea-leaves of vague religious hearsay, oral tradition, religiosity, etc… and much of it based on a strange ancient novel called the Bible. They take a few vague generalities or truisms (“Well of course, everyone should behave in a Christian manner, even to the poor, or the third world people…”) and try to retrofit or extrapolate  (actually to “backfit”) current society norms by peering through a solar-eclipse cardboard viewer at the concept of God from old oral and written tradition: like us trying to interpret a 4 D tesseract passing through our 3 dimensional world. We can maybe see a vague reflection (or projection) of the 4D entity as it passes through us, but it’s all just tomographs; none of us can interpret the dots and dashes that flood past. Basically, Stan is still just messin’ with us, trying to get everyone to listen to the big Hero’s message (who doesn’t want to be the Hero?)
Panel 9 SO here’s Stan’s message, over the next pages: the image is how silly we all are, fighting for our little piece of dirt: square vs triangle vs circle; primal color vs primal color; ; ancient people (cavemen) with clubs, vs meso American people (kokopelli with his flute) vs modern people with their atom bombs… but their all on the same twister board.
Page 5 Panel 1 Global Warming is apparently generally agreed to be called Climate Change now. Here the thermometer (a deaths head) represents the third and second world today, with more heating yet to come5 .  That’s the famous news photo of a child crouched, eating crumbs off the ground
Panel 2 The ongoing war in the middle east. (And yes, I know the black and white tv is now showing color: it’s a miracle!)
Panel 3 Stan’s manifesto continues: how we hold all the cards and INSIST on much smaller weaker countries following all our rules (all stacked to give us every tactical advantage, with our superior force, military, resources, but now also our superior “outrage” and “righteous anger” when we are sold/persuaded that our country/soldiers/nation has been slighted/attacked/challenged by some foreign foe (all trumped up by the media). And yet… if we turn an objective eye on some of the terrible things America has done/ is doing, (like Abu Ghraib here, or drone bombings, etc.)what mental/moral gymnastics do we have to perform to believe these things are alright or justified?
Panel 4 This is from my notes for the TV sequence: “War in Afghanistan, and now Syria is at the flashpoint, Incomprehensible escalating use of drones to destroy people and sites in the Middle East, many of them innocent men, women and children… US continues record shattering prosecution of spies, leakers; prosecuting reporters for refusing to reveal sources…”
Panel 5 This is Chelsea Manning (back when she was Bradley Manning) deploying drones as if playing video games. (I really like ctr/alt/delete as the command to annihilate Syria and Afghanistan…) we’ll have to ask jojo about the tiny words on Manning’s uniform: “pcowh? andnoja?”. That’s our old dell keyboard

Panel 6 Heartbreaking photo of a mother and her dead baby. Just nightmares…
Panel 7 And in contrast to the carnival of madness, Stan bows out chirping “Well, Goodnight, everybody!”
This is a joke from “A Mighty Wind” where the boys are trying to stretch and fill when a performer is missing, with a bloody story of civil war… till the other performer suddenly appears and they scamper off-stage: “We have a song we'd Like to do called "The Skeletons of Quinto." We don't often do encores, and this is why. It has to do with a time that I often think about...when this time of year rolls around. A time of conflict and bloodshed. The Spanish Civil War. But our group historian, Mr. Mark Shubb, knows more about that than I do.
“Thank you very much, Alan. In the Late 1930s of the Last century, Spain was wracked by civil war.
In the Late summer, early fall of the story goes behind this particular the green hills just outside the city of Barc---Good night, everybody! -Good night. Thank you very much.”
Panel 8 but then Stan always has a little more to say… so as an afterthought he condenses his real message down to a few words (sound bites)
Panel 9 we decided to try to make sound effects just the way we wanted. Stan puts on his sunglasses and makes his getaway. My brother used the old Jim Morrison getaway line once or twice when he was in a jam. More “subtle” clues here about Stan’s real identity: Of course, these are all names and pseudonyms for Lucifer : “the morning star, the shining one, the bringer of light”
Page 6 Panel 1 Stan disappears in a blinding supernova of light…
Panel 2 but we see this is really just from the blinding strobe light/ search lights from the armada of news helicopters sining on the polished steel surface of the CloudGate.
Panel 3 “Our top story…” Stan
Panel 4 “In other news, war, death, ongoing pre-deluvian/pre-Noah’s Arc behavior of a doomed world. Good night, Everyone!”
Panel 5 This is another madhouse version of a sad story: The Death of dental hygienist Miriam Carey. She was a young mother with postpartum depression and probably more psychiatric illnesses, who for some reason wound up driving herself and her baby into restricted areas around the whitehouse, then being chased and driving recklessly to escape, until she was shot 5 times from behind and killed by officers (the baby was somehow miraculously missed).  While this awful story got very little (and mostly one-sided) coverage in the news, ridiculous, trivial stories continued to get enormous, coast to coast coverage… if a celebrity was involved (like Charlie Sheen), if it would sell papers or get viewers or clicks…  this is Miley Cyrus, crawling out of Miriam Carey’s actual car/license plate.
Page 7  Famous artists Test: now this page came at a spot where I thought it would be funny (or unsettling) to break the atmosphere, with a creepy advertisement, like the famous ticking-clock break in “10 Little Indians”. It came at a page turn (odd numbered page) where you get a surprise or a scene change when you turn the page: essentially a whole separate story here. So I originally asked Kablam to put a KaBlam Ad exactly on page 7 (also, it gives you a break in the cost per issue if you use their ad). But when the book came back from the printers, they had put their ad someplace else, and completely undid the separation between the two parts of the story (Stan’s meeting with the press, and Dany’s story getting the 1611 Bible back to his home). It ruined the effect, so I stopped trying to put ads in, and instead made up my own ad a few months later (during a break in making issue 5). I doubt that more than a handful of the original copies with the Kablam ad exist anymore (rare! Big bucks! Collectors!)... So I went for one of the old ads I used to always see in comics and kids magazines: the artists test. And yes, I automatically went to even more broad social satire here: I guess I was just in that place still, with Stan’s manifesto… This is of course, the “Famous Artist’s Test” from the Famous Artists School in Connecticut (founded by Norman Rockwell and Albert Dorne), and I always wanted to take this test (or the matchbook cover tests like “Draw Winky the Deer!” or draw the pirate, etc. but I never even started one or tried to take one… the format here is a pretty exact parody of the test, except I couldn’t really make out the words from old magazines and comics very well… “do the same thing in the box provided with the slim htr. objects…” sorry, I was in that place… I made myself laugh out loud with these bad transliterations) Now in retrospect, I can probably guess the words I couldn’t read, but I like the garbled instructions better. Of course I had to make this page a test of biblical torture and suffering, based on the plagues of Egypt6 from Exodus (and their varying modern and ancient interpretations): they are all trials faced by poor, innocent African populations back in 2014.
From left, US bombers such as in the Vietnam war with the bombers and the napalm and the flamethrowers: this is the 7th plague: the storm of fire (with Munch’s the scream); below this, that is of course the then-current African plague of Ebola (the words are from REM’s “E-bow the Letter” : “aluminum, tastes like fear…”) with more madhouse hallucinations: Koolaid Man crashing the scene again, (I imagined a young artist trying to copy the ebola drawing but adding their own cartoon touches). Moving to the right, the first plague (#1) is “Water into Blood”. Ebola causes hemorrhagic (bleeding) fevers. “Tiny blood vessels burst everywhere and you begin slowly to bleed to death. The whites of your eyes turn red, your vomit and diarrhoea are now charged with blood and large blood blisters develop under your skin. You are now at the peak of infectiousness as Ebola virus particles, ready to find their next victim, pour out of your body along with your blood.”7 The second biblical plague is “Plague of Frogs”; Here the artist must choose between Kermit and Keroppi (the irresistibly cute frog from Sanrio, the house that brought us the irresistibly cute Hello Kittay and countless other irresistibly cute farking animals…). The next plague is the third plague, lice, gnats, and fleas. The fourth plague is the plague of flies (with the upside down fries logo). Next is the fifth plague : diseased livestock. Fruit bats are the natural hosts of ebola virus, and African nations banned the eating of bat meat  to try to stop the outbreak.   The sixth plague is the plague of boils; children and adults get painful, bloody blisters under their skin (nice going, all-loving Jehovah!) Plague number 8 was the Plague of locusts (and more scream-guy). Ninth Plague is the Plague of Darkness: all of “The Dark Continent” suffers from this plague, forced upon them by the wealthy white continents, right up to this very day, this very second… “Oh, it’s an ungovernable, uncivilized, unorganized black hole…” (Nothing to do with black skin color, though…) and the tenth plague? The plague of firstborns…
(insert picture here of artists test Chicago and issue 3)
The bottom half of the page is of course, the omnipresent advertising for “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Oh my God, from February 2014 (first trailers shown on tv, over and over) straight through july 21st, it was all guardians all the time. It was a nice movie, but why did we need constant gotg transfusions for month after month? The byline is teasing the apocalyptic showdown that’s yet to come in October 2014 (we’ll learn more about the Jehovah’s Witnesses predicted End of Days on October 2, 2014 in upcoming issues: stay tuned!) but this was just a hidden subliminal message: we tried to hide these Armageddon references in graffiti, on walls, in messages (The end is waaaay near; only 6 months to go; only 5 months to go; etc) So theyah. Yessah. (p.s. we asked people to send in drawings, but we never got one…)
Page 8 panel 1 now the turning page and the ad make more sense: we’ve shifted back to the beginning of the story: back to the first scene we see in issue 1: the old slaughter house stockyards in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. We keep coming back to this spot, and if you look closely, you can notice some important clues in the footprints. In issue 1, there was only one set of adult footprints, going from Dany’s house along the tracks into town. Now we see a set of child’s footprints had followed the adult footsteps into town, and now came back home from town (and down to an abandoned building below the tracks). Hmmmm… this will all become more clear at the end of issue 6… I promise…) And how could there still be cows here, if the stockyards closed back in the 70’s?
In panel 2, we see Dany  trudging back through the snow with the rare and priceless (and extremely lethal) Bible Stan gave him. The green sign is “S of G”. (in Sand H Greenstamps fashion). (I like the “crunch crunch crunch” sound effects swirling forwards and backwards mirrorlike through the air). The symbol on the walls marks the presence of Danyael in this place:
(Insert image Danyael c of g pictures)
This is of course from one of my favorite movies of all time: Prophecy 3, the Ascent! (If you look closely, you can see that there is a condemnation notice on the building, we’ll see it closer in the next issue.)
Panels 2,3,4 Dany’s Uncle. What a shpos8. Poor Dany.
Page 9 Panel 1 The Uncle’s drinking Mad Dog, eating Heinz Boston Beans, and smoking Fortuna’s, the poor people’s ciggy (cheap cigarettes and smoke shops disproportionately hurt the poor and disenfranchised… it’s a crime…)
Panel 2 Jesus with the loaves and fishes: when Jesus fed the hungry crowd with just a few loaves and fishes
Panel 3 The classic old Chicago parent’s warning : “You behave or you’re going to Dunning!” Also you can see we kept trying new ways to make nice-looking fire.
Panel 4 Jojo’s favorite comic at the time was Spawn (the old MacFarlane/Capullo ones). All the comics here represent the theme of Hell: of course, Marvel’s “Son of Satan” (Daimon Hellstrom); DC’s “Lucifer” (Samael Morningstar); Image’s “Spawn” (Al Simmons); and Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s “From Hell” (Sir William Gull).
Panel 5 We put a lot of Jojo’s things in Dany’s home: spawn comics, Caleb the baby doll, blankets with smooth borders, (“feely things”), the green walls, the door with no doorknob… it was a way for us to get inside the serious issues of poverty, child abuse, etc that were in these issues, maybe making them more real and less scary for him.
Panel 6 That’s the candle Stan gave Danyael back at the end of issue 2, and those are Stan’s words.
Panel 7 a lot of the bible pages in these issues are straight from the original 1611 King James Bibles (scanned by rare book collections in universities and museums). The one page here was altered from “Booke of Psalmes” to “Booke of Rape and Death” (a much more apt title for another disgusting, sickening Bible story)
Page 10 panel 1 When you realize Dany was being abused by religious people, it hardly seems very nice for Stan to give him this cursed old King James Bible to distract himself at night…
Panel 2 The front page blurb “From God’s mouth to your ears!”. The back cover blurbs are now “90 bazillion people can’t be wrong… (can they?)”, and “Thos shalt Steal this Book!” Yes, I’m aware these are a little different from the back cover on page 1… it’s kind of like they’re alive, like an ongoing bulletin board, being constantly rewritten by the Bible’s PR department… still trying to sell this wonderful, insightful, meaningful booke for all the world to base their lives and laws and morals on: hooray!
Panel 4 The Bible, after this indefensible piece of garbage parable, tells us readers,“Consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds”… ironic, as it seems they are warning Bible readers NOT to read nor tke to heart this kind of crap…
Page 11 back to the good olde vintage Chicago Daily Tribune again. Back with the heavy sarcasm mocking the media’s exploitation of victims, and even more alliteration. “Blood on the Bridge: Valentine’s Massacre 2”, “homefree hitchhiker hatchet hero helps half-pint”; “How could so much killing and maiming happen in such a nice city as Chicago? On Valentine’s Day?” (eg on feb 14th 1929…)
Of course, we’re also making fun of ourselves for swooning so hard for viral internet sensations, memes, heroes-du-jour, etc. sickening things like “The Knockout Game” or “The Syrian War Cannibal”.
“Said internet fame expert Caleb McGillivary…” aka Kai the hitchhiker himself
“Real wrath of God type stuff: Human sacrifice; dogs and cats living together; mass hysteria” This line is, of course, from ghostbusters.
And of course we also mock how politicians jump on brief hero-fame/worship/adulation for their own ill-considered benefit (like Chicago’s own Barak Obama and Rahm Emmanuel)
See more ghostbuster quotes at the bottom: “40 years of darkness the traveler has come choose and perish…”
On the side, the partially hidden “teaser” text says :
sex, blood
child rap
Rev. Carl
blood smea
cult Sisters
young child
heart remove
alley on
grisly rem
Bridge a
throw the
child into
the icy water
waters belowS
Sister Mary
“Stan” as
risked his own
life to save
the young boy
boy fromcertai
certain death
death at
hands of
LSD, and
blood at
their bizarre
And just below this, the words of the beautiful little song “Jesus blood never faied me yet”10!  
Page 12 an interior page with graphics based on our paper “The Bangor Daily News” (putting their pretend straw votes in the paper is just panem et circus to make people read the page: “Not a scientific survey”, and you can see it adds up to 101%... then we see the teaser once again “Unspeakable Tragedy”, but this image is covered by the front page: we’ll see the whole image and it will explain the real meaning of “Unspeakable Tragedy” in the next issue… let’s just say this real-life story is buried on page 5, because nobody famous or sexy was involved…
“Chicago Street Tribunal” there is no such section of man-on-the-street interviews and opinions, but there should be… the passers-by interviewd for the paper are all caught up in the sensational story: (As always, I love these people, but I make merciless fun of them nonrtheless. Everyone is fair game for scrutiny.
1) Oprah; 2) Mr. A (Steve Ditko’s vigilante hero, where Ditko went right to the heart of the whole hero-worship/political correctness debate, and in so doing also jumped straight off the deep end, paving the way for… 3) Frank Miller, back with his epic rant about the Occupy Wallstreet people living in their parents’ basements11… 4) Anton LaVey (also paradoxically attacking himself “Don’t follow any real messaiahs: this guys is an anti-messiah; ergo I will follow him”) 5)Alan Moore: somehow, we had to cut off most of Alan’s self-implicating rant as well here: Alan Moore (the other hand of DC’s 1980’s double-header of Watchmen and Dark Knight, got all over Frank Miller after Frank’s bizarre rant. But I like to point out how all sides are equally pathetic and preachy and self-serving (myself certainly included). Here is Alan Moore’s interview 12:
TRIBUNAL:  Polls show the viral vigilante is more
                 popular than Jesus. For or against?
I’m a little skeptical about how overboard everyone is going on this guy. A comic book vigilante running around axing bad guys? Of course Frank M. and his lot are in favour of it! Am I the only one who’s concerned about the mental stability of a vigilante with a weapon, meting out justice on the streets? Maybe I’m alone on this, but what’s say we let police carry the weapons… This guy’s obviously got some serious medical issues, and TV, the News, the Press, you’re all exploiting his mental illness to get more ratings, more views, more hits.
It’s never all “black and white”. We have to see the nuance in every moral position. Behind our beliefs are ideas, and ideas are bullet-proof. I would rather die than choose the death of my principles: we can’t have it both ways.        Alan M.
TRIBUNAL: So, he should have left the child
                  to be sacrificed by the nuns?
Wait, maybe I do want it both ways…     Alan M.
TRIBUNAL: People everywhere have taken Stan’s
                     “message for America” to heart...
I’m afraid if they listen to this guy, somebody innocent is going to get burned…   Alan M.  (foreshadowing…)
Back inner sleeve here is the WIP sketch by Jojo for the upcoming cover to issue 4
Back Cover: More subtle parody. We really do love the creators we skewer on the back covers, but also like to shoot down their unassailable status, take them to task. Never take anyone’s work or words as gospel… especially the gospels… Alan Moore in full curmudgeon mode back in the early 2000-teens, shooting down other peoples’ work… these Watchtower back covers are of course parodies of the Watchmen covers, even trying to keep with the original color schemes when possible, if it matched with our color-scheme theme (the colors of the virtues and vices).  It is based on the classic watchtower formats, and this issue goes on a typical JW rant against the whore of Babylon, and not mixing religions, (or stories or genres or cultures here, etc.)  Alan Moore loudly protested the use of Watchmen in movies, prequels, etc. back at the time: any other format that wanted to use his stories or “his” characters. Meanwhile, Alice Liddell (Alice in wonderland) and Dorothy Gale (the wizard of Oz’s Dorothy) were of course famously used and abused by Alan, as well as by many others (to say nothing of “the Extraordinary Gentlemen”…)
You can see the running count of souls who have made it up to heaven so far to rule with Jesus is at 143,990. This ticks down each month until the “little flock” reaches 144,000 (in October 2014…!)
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Similarly, recreating the JW’s tone and Alan Moore’s tone, to deflate their self-importance, we also mock ourselves stuck here in the other flock: what the flock?
(This is also a little nod to the movie “2010”: “Something is going to happen… something wonderful”)

KAI: I’m one of the heroes.

JR: Can we talk to you? Do you mind?

KAI: What do you want to talk about?

JR: What happened today.

KAI: Wuu, went straight out of dogtown. Skateboarding, surfin’ it up. Before I say anything else, I want to say no matter what you done, you deserve respect. Even if you make mistakes, you loveable, and it doesn’t matter your looks, skills, your age, your size, or anything, you’re worthwhile. No one can ever take that away from you.

Now, this stuff right here, I was driving and I uh bfff – I was in the passenger side of this fucker’s car, and he comes over on there. He was over by the recycling center. He says, “Oh, when I was in the Virgin Islands, thirty years old on a business trip, I I uh I fucked this fourteen year old.”

I was like, “You what?”

He’s like, “I raped this fourteen year old.” He starts crying, gives me a big hug.

He’s like this fuckin’ three hundred pound guy. I’m like, “Holy Shit! He must be fuckered, man. Like, what’s he talking about?” I didn’t take him seriously at first.

He comes driving down this way, he’s like, “You know what? I’ve come to realize, I’m Jesus Christ, and I can do anything I fucking want to, and watch thi . . .” Bam! And he smashed into this fuckin’ guy right there, pinned him in between that fuckin’ truck, and so I fuckin’, I hop out, I look over, the guy’s pinned there.

I mean, like, freight train riders know this, like, if you get pinned between something, do not fuckin’ move that shit, otherwise you bleed out. Like, motherfuckin’ I ran in, I grabbed the keys. He’s fuckin’ sitting there like nothing even happened, and, like, fuckin’, like that.

If he had started driving that car around again, man, there would have been a hell of a lot of bodies around here.

Fuckin’ I hop on out, and so, I grab the bag. I threw it over by that pole right there, and then fuckin’ buddy gets out and there’s these two women are trying to help him. He runs up and he grabs one of them, man. Like a guy that big can snap a woman’s neck like a pencil stick.

So I fuckin’ ran up behind him with a hatchet. Smash. Smash. SU-MASH! Ye . . .

JR: The lady said you saved her life.

KAI: She was the one who got grabbed by that fucker. And you know what? Fuck is cool. That guy ain’t. Shii . . .

JR: How’d you, how’d you get in his car? How are, how did you . . .

KAI: I was hitchhiking. I was, well, good thing I was hitchhiking. Yeah, people say “Don’t hitchhike. Well, this is what happens.” Well, yeah, well, at least I was here.

JR: So he did this on purpose.

KAI: Dude! That guy was fuckin’ kooked out, man. Like, he’s beyond howlin, like, I don’t even see any breath in him. You know what I’m saying?

JR: Can, can I get your name? And where you’re from, if you don’t mind.

KAI: I’m Kai. Straight outta dog town.

JR: Can I get the spelling . . .


JR: Do you have a last name?

KAI: No, bro. I don’t have anything.

JR: Where are you from originally? Are you from Fresno area?

KAI: Sophia, West Virginia.

JR: No kidding. How old are you?

KAI: I can’t call it.

5) May 23, 2016 Issue Jonathan Franzen in the New Yorker “The End of the End of the World”
“But his darkest point was that climate scientists, being scientists, must confine themselves to making claims that have a high degree of statistical probability. When they model future climate scenarios and predict the rise in global temperature, they have to pick a lowball temperature, one reached in ninety-plus per cent of all cases, rather than the temperature that’s reached in the average scenario. Thus, the scientist who confidently predicts a five-degree (Celsius) warming by the end of the century might tell you in private, over beers, that she really expects it to be nine degrees.
“Thinking in Fahrenheit—sixteen degrees—I felt very sad for the penguins. But then, as so often happens in climate-change discussions when the talk turns from diagnosis to remedies, the darkness became the blackness of black comedy. Sitting in the lounge of a ship burning three and a half gallons of fuel per minute, we listened to Adam extoll the benefits of shopping at farmers’ markets and changing our incandescent bulbs to L.E.D. bulbs. He also suggested that universal education for women would lower the global birth rate, and that ridding the world of war would free up enough money to convert the global economy to renewable energy.”
7) What happens to your body if you get Ebola? June 17, 2014 6.04am EDT
8) SHPOS something we used to say up in New York: subhuman piece of shit
9) the levite’s wife aka the levite’s concubine

Disclaimer: I am fully aware of just how Zimsky this is: writing down all these sources and inspirations and references for… well, for posterity. Theyah!

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