I’m not going to lie, dear readers…I really wanted to write about Dillinger Four today. It is SO nice up here in Boston and with sun comes copious amounts of pop punk and I have been listening to D4 almost nonstop for three days now. However, like I mentioned last week, pop punk is really hard to synch up to any scene in other form of media (comics, film, etc) that doesn’t explicitly involve A) high school, B) pizza parties or C) bubblegum. Much to my dismay (or maybe to everyone’s benefit), I read NO comics that featured any of these this week. Adding significantly do my dismay is the fact that the only tracks I could logically pair with Secret Avengers #1, easily my favorite book of the week, were metal tracks in the vein of Isis, who I already talked about last week and want to make a point of showcasing different styles of music in this column.
Then I read Blind Science while I just happened to be listening to Montreal’s Yesterday’s Ring and everything fell into place.
The results are curiously amazing, albeit mostly short. I assure you of this.
Man…where to begin with Blind Science (theoretically fully titled Second Coming Revelations: Blind Science…but that title is just tragically and unnecessarily loaded…hence, Blind Science is what I’m going with.) It’s rare, borderline incomprehensible these days that I will like a comic so much that I will actually stop reading it in order to quote it to one of my friends. I will repeat: the comic was instantly memorable BEFORE I HAD EVEN FINISHED READING IT. In a day and age when a lot of comics, especially from the big two, are more or less read and done with by me, this is no small feat. As a general rule I avoid one shot comics, especially ones that tie into a large company event, however my love of Madison Jeffries and his crazy antics and my more than passing interest in the current dire straits of a fictional group of mutated freaks lead to me giving this one a read…and good lord was it worth it. What Simon Spurrier and the dual art team of Paul Davidson and Francis Portela put together is not only the most entertaining chapter in the ongoing Second Coming crossover, but a well rounded, smartly written, consistently penciled action oriented comedy that proves that brain without a doubt trumps brawn on nearly all conceivable levels.
The fact that I ended up reading this one with Yesterday’s Ring punk tinged Americana ringing up against my ear drums was just a self fulfilling prophecy. Formed a side project of well known and “respected” Montreal punks The Sainte Catherines, Yesterday’s Ring has been the more or less primary musical vessel from St. Cats frontman Hugo Mudie over the last few years (much to the dismay of those in dire need, myself included, of more St. Cats material), with their latest full length Diamonds in the Ditch landing in mid-2009 on Suburban Home Records in the US and Aquarius in Canada. Like everything that preceeded it, Diamonds combined Mudie and friends’ longstanding love of old school American country music, specifically the Man in Black himself Johnny Cash, with their long history of being dirty Montreal drunk punks into some of the most moving (literally…try NOT at least nodding your head while listening to this…if not full on shaking your ass) Americana hybrids to come out of Canada in years (eat your heart out, White Cowbell Oklahoma.) For the sake of simplification, let’s focus on Diamonds opener “Moving Out (to Florida)” for this particular cross-media mash-up.
Now, full disclosure admittance: in order for this pairing to work, you really have to remove the lyrics from the equation. They just don’t really work. However, in a book that reads like a post-apocalyptic Firefly meets Scrubs (you try reading Dr. Nemesis in this and NOT picturing Dr. Perry Cox), nothing works better than twang and cowbell. If Firefly proved anything about the future to us it’s that once technology reaches a certain point, we will ultimately rediscover the great frontier similar to the one depicted in all the great westerns of yesteryear (or maybe it was Shatner that taught us that…either way)…and that means Americana. However, since this issue was also sufficiently action oriented, the soundtrack would need a little bit more of an edge than say Conway Twitty or even Drag the River, which is why Yesterday’s Ring’s punk tinge works out really well in this instance. The driving beat, layered guitars and banjo accentuation fit the fast paced, dire and yet still oddly playful feeling of the book to a T and creates an intriguing if not immediately obvious melding of mixed media.Continued below
By Simon Spurrier, Paul Davidson and Francis Portela
Published by Marvel Comics, May 2010.
Diamonds in the Ditch by Yesterday’s Ring
Aquarius/Suburban Home, 2010
Joshua Mocle is wondering how much longer until he gets bored with this concept entirely. To peruse his thoughts on things no explicitly dealing with comic books (for example: black bean burritos and the Boston Red Sox), check out thoughtgrenade.