Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Caretaker - Malign Forces of the Occult


Something prompted me to go looking for an old album by The Caretaker that I had back around the time I moved to L.A., circa 2006. I quickly found all but the most recent of Caretaker's albums are not on streaming platforms, but instead reside for a very modest cost on his Bandcamp Page. This is his second album and also the second in his Haunted Ballroom Trilogy.


Pretty sizeable Pull this week. Let's get into it:

Issue three! I feel like there was a HUGE gap since number two, but maybe that's just further indication of how much I'm digging Dynamite Comics' Army of Darkness Forever book. 

I'm not super hip to starting off the new GIJOE Energon Universe book with a standalone book about Conrad Hauser, but we'll see. 

The final issue of Benjamin Percy's current Ghost Rider endeavor and likely the final issue of my participating in what comes next in March. This hasn't been a bad series by any means, but it definitely wavered a lot, so I'm happy to prune some titles for the new year and concentrate on the books that really move me.

After the misstep I perceived issue 17 of Immortal X-Men to be, this has a lot to make up for. Final issue before the new titles kick in. 

Jesus Christ, everything is ending, huh? Remember when comics' numbering trudged on year after year? Not saying one way is better than the other. I can't find anything online that indicates if this is the final volume of Tynion's Nightmare Country epic, so I guess I'll just have to wait and read it to see. 

Only two issues left for Ennis and Burrows' The Ribbon Queen; did I think it was longer or only hope so? This is one that probably won't end up in my hands until March when the whole series is finished, so I'll patiently wait and try to read nothing about it.

Another book rounding the final lap, I realized today that there are only three issues of Lemire and Sorrentino's Tenement left after this one, so that coupled with the "Revelations" printed on the cover tells me things are about to get really weird, which some might think wouldn't be possible with as strange as this book and its overarching "Bone Orchard Mythos" series have been to date. Anyone who stuck it out with this team's Gideon Falls knows just how out there they're version of Horror can get.

That's quite a few books! Certainly the most for me in a while. Watch out for the new episode of Drinking with Comics: NCBD & A Beer, which should post later this evening, after I've brought all this home and had a chance to read and digest. 


A few months back while I was in Los Angeles, my good friend and A Most Horrible Library cohost Chris Saunders gifted me a copy of Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation. This is the first in Vandermeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, and after blowing through this in two days, I went out to the local Books-A-Million and picked up books 2 and 3. 

I previously saw Alex Garland's cinematic adaptation of Annihilation back when it hit the big screen in 2018. Loved it - a film that inspired days of conversation with K. I purchased the Blu-Ray when it was released later that year, but have yet to rewatch, an oversight I am now glad of. With five years and some change between that viewing and my picking up the novel, I was able to go in with zero baggage and I absolutely loved the book. There is an interiority to the first-person narration that creates an elaborate headspace in the reader, one unlike anything I've read in some time, if ever. Vandermeer's prose is the right balance between clinical and verbose, and in the meeting of these two methods we come to know the narrator - referred to by herself simply as the Biologist - in a manner that makes the scenes of isolated terror at her surroundings manifest almost in a sensory way. I felt her running through the reeds, trying to escape 'the creature,' and the feeling was marvelous.


Tangerine Dream - Phaedra
The Caretaker - Stairway to the Stars
Ray Noble and his Orchestra - Midnight, the Stars and You (single)
Stereolab - Refried Ectoplasm, Switched On, Vol. 2
Earthless - Rhythms from a Cosmic Sky
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Belbury Poly - From An Ancient Star
Ghost - Impera
Mike Patton - The Solitude of Prime Numbers OST
Bag Raiders - Shooting Stars (Kris Menace Remix)


From Jonathan Grimm's Hand of Doom Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

• Queen of Disks
• XII: The Hanged Man
• I: The Magician

That exertion of Will over emotional matters apparently was not as effective as it could be. Sacrifice and a touch of something more... for lack of a better way to say it, Magick, will resolve the issue. 

I have no idea what this is pointing me toward, event, action or assessment, but that Queen is pretty persistent. 

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