EITHER I’M GETTING OLD…

…or entertainment’s getting more extreme. Possibly a mix of the two. Having had my psyche fist-fucked by ‘A Serbian Film’ a few weeks back (incidentally, in terms of performances and cinematography the film is excellent. That’s what makes it so effective), I’ve been aware that perhaps I do have limitations when it comes to cinema. I hate to be the “that scene” man—but to describe what showed me that I have limits like some ultraviolent version of Clarence Odbody, proving that decades of cinematic carnage haven’t left me so emotionally dead that I can’t be offended—on this blog would land me in trouble. Just know that you’ll emerge from a viewing feeling wrong. Very, very wrong.

Reading the ‘Crossed’ sequel, the Garth Ennis-free ‘Crossed: Family Values’, I’ve found myself a little shocked too. here’s the thing though—it’s a horror story, so its job is to horrify me. Like some ungodly mix of ‘The War Zone’ s incest theme, ‘Wise Blood’s southern gothic and Romero’s ‘The Crazies’, whereas ‘The Walking Dead’ is getting an AMC television outing, this won’t. Ever. The third issue culminates with unspeakable scenes to match the madness Srdjan Spasojevic brought to the screen. It really does take it there. Again, it’s curiously refreshing to find out that my moral core is operational.

Years ago, my benchmark for disturbing funnybook status was Miracleman #15. Kid Miracleman’s destruction of London and Miracleman’s solution to the problem at the comic’s conclusion messed with my head for years. Alan Moore went all out, and John Totleben’s artwork was as close to Bosch’s depiction of hell as ever resided in my polybagged stack. I found myself returning to the issue to gawp, yet 22 years on, I’m left trying to forget the events that David Lapham and Javier Barrano have conjured up. Like I said, I’m getting old. Both books do their job remarkably well. Still no sign of the ’80s ‘Miracleman’ reprints. I wouldn’t want to direct you to a link to each issue as a CBZ download or ‘owt like that…

A couple of spreads stand out. There’s nothing like a heavily detailed scene of horror to take me back to a misspent childhood. After my media diet of the last month or so, ‘Miracleman’s armless mother figure seems almost quaint.

This week has been all about stroke books. Not that kind. We’re talking letterforms and the history of letter design. Revisiting Ian Lynam’s fine ‘Parallel Strokes’ for typeface insight, and finally delving into the 2005 UK translation of Gerrit Noordzij’s 1985 essay, ‘The Stroke’, breaking down the qualities of letters, it’s been interesting to look beyond the explicit meanings of each word and letter in an attempt to understand the design and spacing that makes up the paragraphs of drivel I pump out on the regular. A fair proportion goes sailing way above my oversized cranium, but I’m enjoying the pretty pictures in Noorddzij’s book regardless.

This rush of research was instigated by my good friend Mr. BJ Betts releasing his ‘Street Shop Lettering Version 4.0’ font guide, with flash and accompanying booklet. He might look thugged-out, but Mr. Betts has ludicrous skills with lettering. It got a first look at The Reference Council courtesy of my buddy Nick Schonberger. There’s more tattoos than ever out there, and the warm weather brought it out in force. Bad lettering is a fucking plague, and Betts has the solution.

Michael Corrente’s film ‘Loosies’, set for release in 2011 looks set to have lots of soul-searching, NYC underground settings, and, best of all, a cast that includes Vincent Gallo, Joe Pantoliano and William Forsythe. If that causes you no joy whatsoever, I suggest you exit this blog immediately. It’s worth mentioning at this juncture, that I still can’t understand the excitement around ‘The Wackness’. Ben Kingsley certainly didn’t deserve a Razzle for it, but it’s an overrated nostalgia trip regardless. Please god, let ‘Loosies’ bring back the spirit of Toback’s ‘Fingers’…

There’s a lot of sites with a jacket fetish that seem so clueless that they make for car crash reading. The One-upmanship Journal isn’t one of them. Crazy knowledge fused with a clobber fixation makes it the best out there on the topic, and the recent entry on One True Saxon resonated in a major way. The brand doesn’t hold much weight now for substance, you need to head on to Garbstore, where former OTS mainman Ian Paley moved to, but as the One-upmanship entry points out, it was a brand well ahead of its time. I recall a serious case of sweatshirt envy at a raglan sweatshirt with the dog logo on the sleeve while living in Nottingham a decade ago.

The lowkey collaborations, the web presentations and that camo application made it a pioneering brand back in the early ’00s. I recently found a pair of the old OTS shoes that harked back to classic Clarks (is this the Rufus model?). They’ve seen much better days, but these Wallabee remixes were, I believe, made in the Padmore & Barnes factory just prior to its 2003 shutdown on shoe production. The camo suede collar is infinitely superior to any dimwitted, garish Clarks Originals makeups that seem to do the blog round regularly. These were dirt cheap in the sales before the brand seemed to go to the dogs to some degree. Happy days…

3 thoughts on “EITHER I’M GETTING OLD…

  1. Appreciate the mention there, thanks.
    Coincidentally I just sold a pair of those Rufus shoes for next to nowt, they were good.

  2. CROSSED is pretty fuckin intense. I’ve had to re-read a few pages just to make sure I was actually getting it and not doing some faux-mental-projection on certain scenes.

    I gots to say the pace of the first series by Ennis was far more cinematic than Lapham’s turn. But I have faith in David. Since his Stray Bullets is some of the best comic book work in history.

    OTS… Silas… Answer… et all… RIP… I still rock by Silas crew sweatshirt with the side pockets – best sweat ever.

  3. Dude. I hear what you’re saying but still…that scene though.

    It is interesting that both ‘Crossed’ and Kid Miracleman’s destruction of London came up here because they’ve both hit me just as intensely as they have you.

    Have you read ‘Irredeemable/Incorruptible’? It has similar themes.

    Anyway, there’s a lot I could say but it shall have to suffice to say that…

    I know what you mean.

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