Showing posts with label Hobby Shop SciFi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hobby Shop SciFi. Show all posts

Saturday, January 20, 2024

New Album From Lustmord

The first teaser for the upcoming Much Unseen Is Also Here, the new album from Lustmord, available on March 15. Pre-order from Pelagic Records HERE.


The other night, I fell asleep in my hotel room watching B.D. Clark's 1981 SciFi WTF Galaxy of Terror. Here's a trailer:

I'm not really sure how I feel about this one. First, great cast. Where else can you see Eddie Albert, Sid Haig, Grace Zabriskie and Erin Moran (Joanie from Joanie Loves Chachi) in a third-rate Alien knockoff. No disrespect - I'm sure everyone involved in this production knew what they were making when they filmed this. Still, this was a good time, even if the ending featured some pretty bad writing in the style of "Make it a bunch of indecipherable and abstract gobbledegook and people will think it's just too smart for them to understand."


While at The Comic Bug two weeks ago, I flipped briefly through their back issue bins and found this:

I know NOTHING about Machine Man, even though this was put out in that magical comic book year 1984. This would have been when I was first dipping my toes into comics, and I know the cover layout for this era of Marvel Comics so well that it creates an instant nostalgia bomb in my heart. In this particular case, I just could not pass up this beautiful Barry Windsor-Smith cover. This is the perfect example of what I keep referring to as "Hobby Store SciFi," even without knowing the contents.

Reading this last night, I was shocked by a few elements of the book. First, one of the heavies is Arno Stark - the Iron Man of, ahem, 2020! That's right, this 1984 look into the future shows a lot of technological ideas that we can, now four years beyond the storytellers' mark, confirm never came to pass.

• Flying cars? Nope
• Cyborgs and tech-gangs? Not unless you count those Grinders who get magnets implanted in their skin
• Mega corporations that control the world... oh, well, I guess that one is pretty accurate.

A second shocker was Jocasta, the robot lady person I would know briefly from an Avengers annual published a few years after this book. This made me curious to look up just how much Machine Man has to do with the Marvel we've come to know in the years since this series. From what I found, the continuity here is designated as Earth-8410, and is not to be confused with Earth-616 Jocasta, who Ultron built as his, er, bride?


Marilyn Manson - We Are Chaos
Finom - Fantasize Your Ghost
The Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine
The Trapezoid - Reverb Nation Playlist
Black Rainbows - Superskull
Frankie and the Witch Fingers - Data Doom
Algiers - Shook
Turnstile - GLOW ON


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

• Nine of Wands
• XVIII: The Moon
• IX: The Hermit

Nine of Wands relates to The Moon in Thoth, as the Sun and Moon factor into the Croweley/Harris visualization for the card as motivating elements of the "Strength" of the card. One Wand (arrows in Thoth) supported by eight; driving force. The Hermit here suggests I need to take a solitary day and put all my effort into something that's been occluded to me thus far. I happen to know exactly what that is.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

David Eugene Edwards - Weaver's Beam

Late last week, David Eugene Edwards dropped another new track from his upcoming album Hyacinth. "Weaver's Beam" is DEE through and through, his ear still pressed firmly to the dark ghosts of the Earth, summoning energies in his music no one else is privy to in the music world (that I know of anyway). 

Hyacinth drops September 29th and you can pre-order it HERE.


Kurt Russel and John Goodman in a series that looks like it was at least partially inspired by Warren Ellis and John Cassady's comic Planetary, specifically issue #2 of the series, "Island."

This is the second trailer in the last week or so that has made me realize that the Kaju craze is kind of working its magic on me of late; I didn't grow up super exposed to Godzilla and his siblings, however, current approaches to the ideas - a genre I would argue was changed for the better after the original Cloverfield film -  really get me excited at the possibilities.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters drops November 17th on Apple TV.


While in Chicago recently, I stopped in at Amazing Fantasy Books & Comics in Frankfort and my good friend Mike Shin recommended Robert Kirkman's new book Void Rivals. Already three-issues in, I'd seen the title but passed on it. Then Mike told me the book launched and, without warning, serves as the unexpected announcement that Kirkman and his company Skybound have secured the rights to Transformers and G.I.Joe, rolling out a new continuity called The Energon Universe

Void Rivals is also in this universe - Kirkman isn't just revamping the original franchise continuity, he's doing something completely new, incorporating his own creations as well. Thus, issue #1 of Void Rivals features a scene where the two characters - each a pilot from two warring races of space civilization living in "The Great Ring," crash land on a desolate planet and are forced to work together to survive. During their endeavors, they discover what appears to be a long-abandoned ship. When the two successfully reactivate the vessel, it transforms into Jetfire of the Autobots and flies off.

I was kinda of blown away. I mean, imagine had I picked up that first issue and discovered this reveal au natural, in the moment? If only. I'm 'spoiling' this now because three months in, I must be about the last person in Western culture who cares to find out. After reading those three issues, I immediately added Void Rivals and October's new Energon Universe: Transformers #1 - written and drawn by Daniel Warren Johnson, no less - to my pull.

I'm pretty psyched about this approach Kirkman is taking, primarily because it's not just another reimaging or reboot of the pre-existing properties. By weaving his own creations into this mythos, I really think we're going to be getting a very fresh take on two properties I love but that have largely been put through the reboot ringer. Plus, all this new, Kirkman-created mythology is very cool, lining up exactly with that 80s "Hobby Shop SciFi" I've mentioned in these pages multiple times before. 


Zeal & Ardor - Eponymous
Steve Moore - Christmas, Bloody Christmas OST
Carpenter Brut - Leather Terror
Ghost - Opus Eponymous
Eagulls - Eponymous
Godflesh - Songs of Love and Hate
16 Horsepower - Secret South
16 Horsepower - Low Estate
Rodney Crowell - The Chicago Sessions
Repugnant - Epitome of Darkness
Witchfinder - Hazy Rites
The Obsessed - Lunar Womb
Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium: Nahab
David Eugene Edwards - Hyacinth (pre-release singles)


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.  Just a reminder that Grimm's new Tarot Deck, The Hand of Doom Tarot, is both gorgeous and live on Kickstarter right now. Here's the LINK.

• XIII: Death
• Five of Cups
• XIV: Temperance (Art)

Five of Cups suggests storm and strife, and taken with Death and Temperance - which I always just read as Thoth's "Art," suggests this strife will lead to the end of an endeavor or, possibly, the patience required to continue with the endeavor. Straight forward, doubly so because two of my current backburner projects at the moment feel as though they are held together by the weakest of gossamer.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Immoral & All Seeing


I still find myself thinking about Wayne Shorter's recent passing. I'm by no means a huge fan; I say this not to distance myself from his work, but to respect those out there who are much more committed. Truth is, I started dabbling in Jazz when I was still a teenager thanks to Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch, but I was way more into it in my twenties. Since moving, I've gotten back into many artists I've been away from for a while, but I still don't spin enough Jazz to be considered anything more than a passing fan. Yet, this music echoes inside me in a way nothing else does. I don't feel like a have a lot of room in my life for it, which is unfortunate, but Jazz is music that requires attention to appreciate, and as I've aged and the world has fallen apart and injected me with its anxiety, I have less and less attention; it's something I fight for on a daily basis. 

As I said upon Mr. Shorter's passing, there is something in his work - whether solo or his collaborations with Miles Davis - that sounds like a conjuring to me. It puts me in a very particular headspace, and in reflecting on his passing, I'm wondering if there is anyone making music today that might have the same effect. Or if the "Jazz Ritual" sound that Shorter and Davis - especially on Bitches Brew, Sorcerer and The All Seeing Eye - summoned into this world is all but gone now. I feel that's likely, as our world is very different from the one where this music was composed. If there were "Jazz Spirits" or "Demons" that came to this plane as a result, where are they now?


Wow. Now, this is an interesting idea:


I subscribed to the channel immediately, and plan on giving this a full go. I was pretty stoked just watching along for a moment, as the music, different voices and sound FX told the story.


Re-reading Sins of Sinister from the beginning now, because my memory sucks. Also reading again because this week's Immoral X-Men really stayed with me.

The thing with the core of the X-Books now, and especially this Event and this issue in particular, is these are no longer superhero books. These are hardcore SciFi. I've talked about my love/hate with genre here before - I don't really go for big, tropey works like Space Opera or High Fantasy, primarily because I just feel like much of those corners of genre just repeat (and expand in some cases; credit where it's due) the most influential work that precedes them. I know there are a million people out there who would tell me I'm wrong, and that's fine. But I avoid those traditional genre lanes and look for stories that do their own thing. By the time we get to the events in Immoral X-Men #3, we're essentially in a deep-space salvage SciFi realm.

Deep-Space Salvage, or DSS for short, is the name I've finally arrived at in my head for those stories that pull me back into the kind of home-brewed, SciFi prevalent in 1980's Hobby Shops and indie comic books. Think TSR and old-school Guardians of the Galaxy. Think comics written by Bill Mantlo. A deep-space enclave where everything is old, rusted, down-and-out. It's the future but nothing is new, progress has flatlined or reversed, and everything is falling apart. That's where Kieron Gillen has taken us in Sins of Sinister.

There are no superheroes here - that's reserved for the regular Monthly X-Book, which anchors the line to its original intent. Instead, here and in X-Men; Red, S.W.O.R.D. before it, and partially at work in Immortal X-Men, we have very meticulous, long-game genre stories that branch off into many different styles and territory, and S.o.S. is definitely DSS.

By the time we arrive at this last panel, page three of Immoral #3, you can see the filth and decay. You can also see a monstrously sized Exodus, now something much more than the mutant zealot we all know and love so well. This issue reminded me A LOT of Daniel Warren Johnson's Beta Ray Bill mini-series from a few years back, and like that series, Sins of Sinister is surprising me with how much I'm enjoying it overall, especially when I didn't read the entire thing (I have not been buying that third title, Nightcrawlers, although I'm thinking about going back and picking it up) or like everything I've read. 


Gang Starr - Hard to Earn
Godflesh - Slavestate EP
Godflesh - Pure
Godflesh - Cold World EP
Godflesh - Love and Hate
QOTSA - ... Like Clockwork
High On Fire - Surrounded By Thieves
Lustmord - Dark Matter
Wayne Shorter - The All Seeing Eye
Miles Davis - Live at the Filmore West


From Jonathan Grimm's Bound Tarot, which you can buy HERE.

Circumstances drift and Change rears its head. It will be tempting to interpret this change as negative, but the reminder in the cards today, me thinks, is that interpretation dictates the positive/negative aspect of change. Change is always good in some respects, it can just be mighty difficult to remember and 'see' that. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Meg Myers - Children of Light II


New Meg Myers! Her stuff is getting weirder, but she still delivers those pulse-pounding hooks.


Oh shit, I forgot ALL about this:


No release date yet, but the announcement says "Soon."


Dollar Bin:

I don't know much about Micronauts, other than it was a toy property from just before my era - before the era where cartoons and I always came across stray figures and playsets at garage sales in the early 80s and wondered what they were (same with Shogun Warriors). Last year though, when Chris Saunders and I interviewed comic artist legend Kelley Jones, he mentioned he started at marvel on the Micronauts book. 

I have developed a bit of a phantom nostalgia for toys and comics from just before my era, and finding these in the ol' dollar bin proved impossible to pass up. This falls in line with the weird, TSR, Hobby-Shop genre of SciFi and Horror that I feel existed as a kind of 'quiet zeitgeist' in the early 80s - a pop culture texture that has been mined and revitalized by Stranger Things perfectly. Anyway, I'm hoping to find more Micronauts, or maybe snag some on eBay. I'd like to read a solid run of a handful of consecutive issues, just to get a feel. 

Also, they're written by Bill Mantlo, and I've really come to see him as a kind of underappreciated genius in that Hobby Shop Sci-Fi thing. 


Ozzy Osbourne - Ordinary Man
Jerry Cantrell - Brighten
Mike Doughty - Live At Ken's House
Prince - Sign O' The Times
Testament - The New Order
Sparks - Hello Young Lovers
Mr. Bungle - The Night They Came Home
Run the Jewels - RTJ4
The Raveonettes - Raven in the Grave
Goatsnake - Black Age Blues


Once again, the ways of peace are strong in me, even in the midst of adversity.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Crowded House at the Crossroads


The newer guys at work are all in their early 20s, but they can seem to get enough of 80s pop radio. I think I've heard Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" everyday for a least two weeks, and the fact that I seem to just love it more and more - after loving it for most of my life now - really says something about what a great tune this is. Kinda has a similar feeling to Tears for Fears, and it makes me wonder how much it was influenced by Orzabel, Stanley and Hughes, whose Songs From The Big Chair came out about a year before Crowded House's eponymous debut. Either way, great song.


Dude! It has felt like a goddamn year since the previous issue! Seriously, Jed McKay's masterstroke of bringing in the House of Secrets as Moon Knight's new Midnight Mission has me 100% over my wishy-washy attitude toward this title. ALL IN!

Am I just sucking Marvel's dick at this point? Maybe. But I have to admit, I'm curious as hell.

I've missed Vault. The moment I saw the title and cover, I knew I'd be giving this book a shot. 

I've been geeking out so f*&king hard over Immortal X-Men that I almost forgot the tapestry of interstellar espionage, politics, and betrayal picks back up this month where S.W.O.R.D. volume two left off a few months ago. 


I was not lucky enough to score this variant when Symbiote Spider-Man: Crossroads issue #1 came out. I didn't even know it existed until I just did an image search for this post. However, after finally tracking down the fifth issue of this series, I did a re-read and can tell you, THIS is my favorite era of Spider-Man. Black costume, pre-Venom, 80s NYC. And it meshes perfectly with one of my favorite Hulk eras - his exile to the Crossroads, circa early 300s, written by the inimitable Bill Mantlo. All that Hobby Shop SciFi stuff I was attempting to explain in the previous post? Mantlo was definitely one of the architects of that for me, and it makes perfect sense that the man who inherited The Incredible Hulk from him - Peter David himself - wrote a story that perfectly meshes several major eras of these characters into one really cool story. And yeah, it has Devil Dinosaur in it, too! Can't beat it, 'nuff said!


Quicksand - Slip
Year of No Light - Consolamentum
M83 - You and the Night OST
M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
The Mysterines - Reeling
Orville Peck - Pony


Yes. I need Strength. Long day.