Thursday, June 30, 2011

COOL SHIT 6-30-11

THE WALKING DEAD #86:  Just one book this week, folks.  I almost didn’t mention TWD this time because it was kind of a let-down for me in several ways.  First of all, the cover lifted my hopes that we were finally going to find out more about Michonne’s past.  Sad to say, we got nothing.  Secondly, this was just more of what we got in last issue, meaning Rick is giving pep talks while hoping that Carl survives being shot in the head.  It works, I guess, but we’ve reached one of those points between story arcs when things get really slow.  Before I tell you why I decided to bring this issue up, I want to make it clear that there are no spoilers to be given away in this issue.  Nothing happens.  That said, I want to bring your attention to the last panel in the book, where Rick smiles and says, “This is going to work.”  You know what that reminds me of?  Every time, in PREACHER, when Arseface says, “Everything’s going to be okay!”  And bad shit always went down after he said that . . . .  Something tells me the next story arc is going to be fucking crazy.  Crazier than “
No Way
Out.”  And that’s saying something.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011



They told me I was special, but I wasn’t. Just ask Ed Gein.

The government found me in elementary school, from one of those pointless tests they periodically give kids. When they approached my parents about recruiting me, my father didn’t want to do it. My father, he, well, he got upset. He tried to resist.

So they shot him.

Mom, she cried a lot, but she didn’t fight back when they secured her with handcuffs. She, well, she screamed when the government agent cut my father open and started throwing his insides at me. He made me drink Dad’s blood.

At first, I didn’t like it, but a taste for blood grows on you.

They took me to some sterile facility, where they put me in a sensory deprivation tank until I developed telekinetic abilities. When I was in there, I wanted to die, but now I’m glad I can read people’s minds. Henry Lee Lucas knows.

When they let me out ten years later, they sent a whore to me, so she could seduce me. As soon as she’d succeeded at getting me off, she, well, she beat my stomach with a blackjack.

My father told me not to hit girls, but his voice was gone. I pounded the cunt’s face in and would have killed her if they hadn’t stopped me. Why did they, um, why did they stay my hand? I don’t know. Probably because she was used to government work, and they didn’t want to train a new prostitute. I don’t know. How the hell should I know? They don’t tell me everything. I just do a lot of, you know, guessing.

I’m not sorry I thrashed her. I just wish I’d killed her. She would’ve been my first at the tender age of sixteen.

They brought me a spider. (They started me out small.) When I killed it, they weren’t, you know, happy. They whipped me and made me eat the squished body. Then, they gave me another. After pulling its legs off and stabbing it with an unfolded paper clip over the course of a day, it finally died, and the government doctors were, you know, happy. Next, they gave me a bird. Then, a squirrel. Then, a cat. And so on. The lust for killing is incremental. John Wayne Gacy could tell you that.

One day, they gave me a baby. This time, it was me that was, you know, happy. I had fun for days, and when I was done, I requested to eat the squished body. It tasted like, mmm, pork.

Everyone was pleased with my progress. The fact that I could kill, not just with efficiency, but also with great joy, made me one of their most promising students.

Then came my final exam. They brought my mother to me. She’d been in a cage for, like, years and didn’t resemble my memory of her. I was told what to do, so I did it. I, um, I raped her, tortured her, killed her, and ate her. Not necessarily in that order. It was a blast. The BTK Killer is very familiar with these things.

I passed with flying colors. They released me into the world with brief instructions: kill, and kill often. So I did. I killed here, I killed there, I killed everywhere. I probably killed someone you know. You fear me, and we don’t even know each other. That’s a powerful thing. I think Richard Speck would agree.

But I, um, got caught. We all do, eventually. Don’t ask Jack the Ripper about that, though. He wouldn’t understand what that’s like. But most of us do. I was sloppy, and I got a bad lawyer, so I’m here, waiting to die with my brethren.

It’s okay. My goal was achieved. You’re scared, and the government’s there to help with a bunch of new laws that might make you safer but will never let you be free. Not free like I had been. Not free like the rest of my kind.

We all know each other. We’re kind of like a secret society, but we’ve never met. Our minds are open books, at least to us, but they’re not very creative reads, since all the stories are the same. Ted Bundy would freely admit this.

I nod knowingly across the corridor to my fellow prisoner, and he smiles back. You can always tell a government man.

Monday, June 27, 2011

THE KNOT: TIE ONE ON A whiskey review

When it comes to alcohol, the Irish don’t fuck around. It’s all or nothing with this nation of drunkards (and the stereotype is true, as anyone who has been to Ireland can attest to; so is the one about potatoes). Sure, you’ve heard of Jameson and Bushmills. But have you ever heard of the Knot? No? Prepare for an education.

Coming in at 100 proof, this bottle of Irish spirits doesn’t have a lot of history on the label. Usually, whiskies that hail from the land of Eire come with some kind of ancestral story, but this one doesn’t even have something that says, “Since [PLACE DATE HERE].”

What it does have, however, is a demand, which reads as follows: “By cracking this seal of The Knot you accept that drinking is never to be taken lightly and promise to act in a responsible fashion—not like some blithering idiot. You promise to drink The Knot straight-up in a proper shot glass, rather than mixing it in some sort of novelty, tiny umbrella, fruit fiasco. And finally, you vow that you will never drink to anything that you are not prepared to go through with. If, in any way, you are not willing to abide by these conditions, by all means, please refrain from opening this bottle.”

Jesus! These people are serious! These three points set it apart from other Irish drinks like, say, Feckin’ Irish Whiskey. Regarding the third point: this goes without saying. Any boozer worth his salt will abide by it. As for the second point, this is the only way to truly enjoy whiskey. Why would anyone want to put it in a mixed drink?

The first point poses a problem. Someone willing to drink copious amounts of 100 proof whiskey is not someone who wishes to act responsibly. No, this is fuck-stuff-up, tear-this-mother-down kind of booze. But if they want to absolve themselves of illegal behavior, well . . . .

When one inevitably cracks open the seal, the first thing one would notice is the smell. Imagine if someone mixed Black Bushmills and Wild Turkey 101 together. A heady concoction, no doubt. And when one tastes these amber spirits, one notices that the burn is exceptional, yet there is somehow a quality of smoothness under it.

The only problem is, like Black Bushmills, it’s got too much fruit in it. Is there a helping of peat in this alcohol? Ah, but Ardberg also has a very peaty taste, almost like drinking a campfire, so it can’t be this. Coupled with the burn, it makes the taste more unpleasant than most harsh whiskies.

But at $18.99 for a fifth, one cannot complain. And it’s strong enough to get the job done quickly. Don’t fuck with the Knot. It’s dirty and will fuck you up. Heed the label well.

Friday, June 24, 2011


When I was a kid, I saw THE MALTESE FALCON for the first time, and it blew me the fuck away. Sam Spade was just about the coolest guy ever, and I had to know more about him. I hunted down the book, read it cover to cover, and fell even more in love with Spade and his action. So naturally, I wanted to find out more about the writer, Dashiell Hammet. I wanted to read more of his stuff.

Then, I stumbled upon the movie, THE THIN MAN, and I have to confess: I didn’t get it. It didn’t appeal to me. Hey, I was a kid. I didn’t know any better. My idea of entertainment back then was limited to Stephen King and extreme horror movies. So I dismissed the movie, and I didn’t bother with the book.

And then I got older. I discovered women and booze and found out that things other than brutal killings and eviscerations could entertain me. Years after I’d first seen THE THIN MAN, I came across the book. What the fuck? Why not give it a shot?

Guess what: I loved it. Loved the shit out of it. Nick and Nora Charles were fun as all hell. I remembered my experience with the movie when I was younger and wondered if it would be different with my older eyes.

You bet it was. Nick Charles somehow became wittier in the embodiment of William Powell, and need I say how incredibly sexy and lovable Myrna Loy was as Nora Charles? Jesus, I fell in love with her right away. She was everything I wanted in a woman, and moreso: she could give Nick a run for his money when it came to alcohol consumption. As someone who appreciates booze, I found this fact enchanting.

For most of my life, I’ve been a Rita Hayworth kind of guy, but when I rewatched THE THIN MAN, I knew I could not have anyone other than Myrna Loy. I wanted Nora Charles, and I wanted to be Nick Charles. It opened my eyes to the screwball mystery.

Now that my fan credentials have been established, let me tell you about how disappointed I am that they’re planning a remake of THE THIN MAN, starring Johnny Depp. I don’t object to the casting of Depp, who is an excellent actor. If anyone doubts that, they’ve never seen FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS or THE LIBERTINE. Here’s the thing: no one can fill Powell’s shoes. The same goes for Loy’s high heels.

But that’s neither here nor there. The simple fact of the matter is, this story can’t be told now, unless the director intends to parody the ‘Forties. If it’s going to be an update, as it surely will be, they’re going to have to change every detail. By today’s standards, Nick is a raving alcoholic. Remember all those thugs he used to run into? Can anyone tell a story about delightful criminals now?

No, THE THIN MAN is a product of its time, and it just can’t translate to today’s world. Think about the language of the film. Can you see anyone seriously saying things like “youse mugs” or “two-bit hood” or “slip him a mickey” in today’s language? There’s a reason why they don’t make ‘em like Nick and Nora anymore: it’s a different world.

Speaking of which, who exactly is Hollywood remaking this movie for? They generally target teenagers or twentysomethings, who wouldn’t give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock for the original movie. Have they even heard of it?

Then surely they’re remaking it for the oldsters, right? Except they don’t approve of remakes as a general principle (and really, who can blame them?). In fact, if there are any old people reading this (don’t laugh; it’s possible), they’re probably groaning and shaking their heads and asking why.

That’s actually a good question. Why are you doing this, Hollywood? Who are you serving to get this done? Do you just have a surplus of money and don’t know what to do with it? Why not make an original movie with Johnny Depp and some hot new actress as a married couple who solve crimes? Why drag down the good name of THE THIN MAN?

Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

SHIT SHIT 6-23-11

BRIGHTEST DAY AFTERMATH:  THE SEARCH FOR SWAMP THING #1:  I hate what DC is doing.  I hate it, hate it, hate it.  John Constantine has found his niche in the Vertigo world.  Why do you have to drag him into your stupid summer mega-epic crossover?  Yes, I know, JC started out in the DCU, but those were different times.  Alan Moore was writing SWAMP THING back then, remember?  DC horror books were pretty fucking edgy in those days.  You could do things back then that you just can't get away with now.  So what we're stuck with is a defanged Constantine.  What better way to kill off interest in him?  How about get him to go to Gotham so he can find Batman, so they can hunt down the missing Swamp Thing.  Because Batman's the greatest detective ever, right?  He can find anyone, even if he's hiding out in the Green.  Jesus, why am I reading this crap?  Jonathan Vankin doesn't know how to write this character.  I'm certain he just read ABOUT Constantine.  There's no balls to this book.  Imagine Woody Allen playing Darth Vader.  That's how this feels.  But at least Vankin did his homework.  He knows that Swamp Thing actually is NOT Alec Holland (which escapes a lot of people), and he knows that Constantine had a fling with Zatana.  So the facts are in place.  The attitude?  Nowhere in sight.  Fuck this book.

Friday, June 17, 2011


“I was told when I grew up I could be anything I wanted: a fireman, a policeman, a doctor—even President, it seemed. And for the first time in the history of mankind, something new, called an astronaut. But like so many kids brought up on a steady diet of Westerns, I wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. And in my heart of hearts, I still track the remnants of that dream wherever I go, in my endless ride into the setting sun.”

Bill Hicks said that, and these immortal words are on my wall at home, just over my bed, reminding me of my own mission in life every day when I wake up, every night when I go to bed. These words bring me comfort in times like this, when one of my heroes has died.

You may have known him from any number of movies, like HONDO, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, THEM!, GUN THE MAN DOWN, BIG JIM MCLAIN, and a few others, but you definitely knew him as Matt Dillon, US Marshal, on the long-running television series, GUNSMOKE. And two weekends ago, he passed away at the age of 88.

I don’t have many heroes, but Matt Dillon was one of them, and Arness played him for more than 20 years. In fact, last decade was the first since the show started to be completely without new GUNSMOKE. It started as a radio show in the ‘Fifties, and in 1955, it made the transition to TV. It went on until 1975, and then in the ‘Eighties, it came back as a television movie. Several more movies followed through to the ‘Nineties.

LAW AND ORDER almost beat it out at 19 years before it got canceled. No other show has even touched this record.

As the story goes, John Wayne, the man who first noticed Arness, had to talk his protégé into taking the job as Matt Dillon because Arness wanted to be a movie actor. He felt that a television role would limit his career. So the Duke got him drunk and got him to sign the contract, and it was a good thing, too. GUNSMOKE made his career rather than limited it, and he didn’t regret a single day. Up until his death two weekends ago, he talked about his love of GUNSMOKE on his website, and in his last missive, he mentioned his favorite episode, the one starring Ricardo Montalban as Chato.

Arness was the last of the original stars of GUNSMOKE to leave us. Milburn Stone, as Doc, was the first, followed by Miss Kitty herself, Amanda Blake. Dennis Weaver, Chester, passed on not too long ago. And now James Arness. A while ago, he held a contest. What does Matt Dillon mean to you? The prize was a phone call from him to discuss GUNSMOKE. I entered (and lost), but I thought now would be an appropriate time to bring it up. Here is my essay, and I hope you enjoy it. This is what it means, to me, to be Matt Dillon:

As we stood in a rough circle under the hot summer sun, we debated who would get to play what character.

“I want to be Dirty Harry,” a friend said.

“Okay, but I get to be Rambo,” said my cousin.

“You can have those guys. I want to be the Terminator.”

It came around to me, and I informed them I wanted to be Matt Dillon, U.S. Marshal. It remains true to this very day.

We spent the afternoon playing war games with leaking water pistols, and as far as most were concerned, anything went. It was okay to shoot someone in the back, but I didn’t do that because Marshal Dillon wouldn’t. It was fine to call an opponent’s mother obscene names, but I didn’t because Marshal Dillon wouldn’t. Racial and homophobic epithets were considered fair game, but I didn’t partake because Marshal Dillon wouldn’t. Wild, epic shootouts were started at the drop of a hat, but I always tried to settle it peaceably and take prisoners instead, because Marshal Dillon never liked sending men to Boot Hill.

As all kids do, I grew up, and at the age of twenty-seven, I still try to be Marshal Dillon, because he is the quintessential good guy. Yes, be tough, but a part of being tough is also being fair. Never kick a guy when he’s down, and never stab him in the back. Women are to be treated with respect, even if they are owners of saloons. Never judge a book by its cover. Everyone gets a fair trial, no matter what the popular opinion is.

My childhood friends grew up and lost their fantasies, but the kid who wanted to be Matt Dillon still lives and follows the ideal down the dusty trail towards the setting sun.

Back to the present.  I’m thirty-two now. Take a look at the top of this article, where I quote Bill Hicks. For those who don’t know, Hicks was one of the foulest, most-profane stand-up comedians in history, and I loved him for it. But do those words sound like they come from someone dedicated to offending the world just for the sake of making it a more miserable place? I’m not the first to quote these lines from REVELATIONS, though. Garth Ennis borrowed these words for the final issue of PREACHER, and for all of that book’s sheer insanity, it is a very moral tale. As Jesse Custer’s father says, “You gotta’ be one of the good guys, son, because there’s way too many of the bad.”

And for all of my bad craziness, degenerate behavior, abrasive attitude, and general obscenity, I am a very moral man. Without Matt Dillon, I don’t think I would be.

Jesus Christ, as I’m writing this, I’m blubbering like a baby. I didn’t even know Mr. Arness. But I knew Matt Dillon, and I knew that the two shared a lot in common. After he retired, he dedicated his life to helping those with cerebral palsy. Anyone who wanted an autograph could have one, provided they donated to this cause. In fact, everything on sale at his website goes toward this charity.

We’re not going to see the likes of James Arness again. Though a handful of other stars from the Golden Era of television still live today, none could hold a candle to Arness. This is truly the end of an era.

Goodbye, James Arness.

UPDATE:  One of my routines was to check out James Arness' website every week to check out his regular feature, "Greeting from Jim."  I figured that since he was gone, I'd read his final message to us.  Lo! and behold!  He wrote one last letter to his fans in the event of his death.  Check it out.  He was a class act, up until the very end.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

COOL SHIT 6-16-11

THAT HELLBOUND TRAIN #1: Holy shit! The Lansdale brothers have teamed up to adapt another iconic Robert Bloch story to the comic book medium! Last time, they tackled “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” with varying degrees of success. This one is all winner, though, especially since they have a much better artist this time. Dave Wachter’s stuff just rocks right off the page. And the train itself? Fucking shit, man. It’s creepy as, um, hell. You gotta’ see it to believe it.

CROSSED: PSYCHOPATH #3: As if the previous issues haven’t been grotesque enough, our favorite psychopath, Lorre, finally gets down to killing people in his group. He splits them up, and while everyone is hiding from the Crossed he has lured into following them, he gets down to getting nasty. Jesus, what he does to one of the characters is downright awful. As always, David Lapham does an over the top job, and Raulo Caceres, an artist with balls of steel, does a disgustingly filthy job. If you’re not reading this book, you’re missing a lot. And you probably have a soul, but whatevs.

HELLBLAZER #280: Ah-ha! Now we’re finally getting back to that missing scene from issue 275. You might remember from my review of that one, I complained about how the pivotal scene of the story wasn’t depicted. Here, we get what we were missing, and now we know the full extent of what Constantine’s double has done to Gemma. This is most definitely her story. It’s been a while since we’ve seen her in action, and it’s good to finally get inside her head. And hey! Check out that cover! Look familiar? If not, then you’re not a longtime Hellblazer fan. Look up issue 93 and compare. I just wish they’d stop pimping the shit out of the Green Lantern movie on their Vertigo books. It looks cheap.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011



I live in your neighborhood.

My family works for Homeland Security. We are paid to look like you, to act like you, to be just like you. What we really do is, we keep an eye on you, just to Make Sure.

I’ve played with your dog.

There’s a family like ours in every neighborhood in every city and town in America. Mostly, all we do is watch and report, but occasionally something happens. The Muslim that just moved in turns out to be a terrorist. Your son starts making bombs from instructions on the Internet and starts taking pictures of a federal building. Or, God forbid, Al Qaeda stages a guerilla assault on Small Town, USA. We’re there. We’re trained snipers. We will protect you. We are ready.

I’ve asked about your kids while shaking your hand at the end of church services.

We weren’t always Homeland Security. Before 9/11, we were agents of the D.O.D. Just like my father, just like his father, et cetera. I remember when I was a boy in the 1960’s, living with Mom and Dad and Sis, we always watched for anyone who might be a Communist. The Russians were hard to detect, because they were mostly white, like us, but believe me, when we saw an Asian, we kept on our toes. Dad said to look in their eyes; you could always tell a godless Commie by the dead gaze in the windows to their souls.

You’ve borrowed my lawnmower.

Our position is hereditary. Upon my death, my son is supposed to take over.

Our marriages are arranged by the government. My daughter is supposed to be paired up with a young man just like me, and she is supposed to bear him two children: a boy and a girl. They are supposed to have as many abortions as it takes to ensure it works out this way.

You have no idea who we are, but you know us well. My daughter has babysat your little ones. My son plays in Little League with your son. My wife has worked with your wife on bake sales. I helped you figure out how to change the oil in your car. You and I are close friends.

We have to keep you close. Our job is to uphold the laws of the United States of America, and to Make Sure you do the same.

A Middle-Eastern family just moved in across the street. We keep a close watch on them. As far as we can tell, they’re okay, but Uncle Sam pays us well to Make Sure.

Your high school-age son has been mouthing off against President Bush, calling him a fascist, a chicken hawk, an oil monger, and a lot of other unpleasant names. Freedom of speech is a fine thing, but my daughter is dating your son to keep an eye on him, to Make Sure it’s just talk. Terrorism doesn’t just grow on trees, you know. John Walker’s parents were American.

We’ve talked sports over your grill. We’ve eaten meals together. We’ve had a few beers on your porch as dusk slowly oils over into night.

I was painting my garage door when the idea came to me. No, I hadn’t been thinking about it at all, it didn’t slowly occur to me, and nothing happened to prompt the notion. It simply came out of the blue. It was a revelation.

I wasn’t being vigilant enough. I wasn’t protecting all of America’s laws. If I was, then all of you would be dead.

I’ve seen how most of you just glide through that stop sign at the end of the block. Stop means stop, not hesitate.

I’ve seen how most of you speed down the street, well over the posted twenty-five miles per hour limit.

I’ve seen how some of you procrastinate on your yard work, as if you wouldn’t be happy until all our property values were down.

I’ve seen how you copy DVDs you rent from Blockbuster. I’ve heard the songs you’ve stolen off the Internet. Did you know that recording television shows is a copyright violation?

You don’t use turn signals. You smoke weed. You curse in public. You spit on the sidewalk. You play your radio too loud. You don’t return your books to the library on time. You walk your dog without a leash, and you don’t clean up after it.

And you continue to do these things and more because no one is stopping you. Because I’m not stopping you.

You are all terrible Americans. I am a terrible agent. Don’t rules mean anything anymore?

It was then that I knew I had to kill you all, and I knew exactly how to do it.

When I brought it up to my family, they were appalled. They thought I was kidding, and when I assured them I wasn’t, they decided I was crazy. They thought you were in violation of crimes so small they were no threat to our Homeland. I could not deter them from these views, not even when I explained that we have these rules for a reason, that we couldn’t survive as a country if all American citizens were criminals.

I wasn’t prepared for this opposition from my loved ones, so I told them I was just philosophizing. This put them at ease, and when they went to bed, I screwed a silencer onto my .38, and I executed them for treason.

I’ve hosted our neighborhood Cub Scout den meetings. I am a concerned member of our school district’s P.T.A.

Two days later, with my family stashed away in our nuclear bomb shelter, I watched all of you put up roadblocks for our annual block party. The tables and chairs came out, the food was grilled, the kids were busy in the giant bouncy castle. The teenagers talked on their half of the table, mostly of video games, music, and celebrities, while adults gathered on their side of the table, discussing the weather, sports, Oprah, and politics. Ask me if I’m surprised that you think the President is doing a bad job.

Some of you were upset when I got in my car and pulled out of my driveway. The sawhorses were there for a reason, you thought. I saw the disgusted looks on your faces as you got ready to move everything to let me out.

None of you expected me to plow into your tables. No one expected to die under their good neighbor’s wheels. How could such a nice, bright-n-shiny day end with broken bones, blood, and death?

When you tried to run, I shot you down from my car. When you made it into your houses, I threw hand grenades through your windows. A teenage boy threw a rock at me and missed. I couldn’t help but think about how this new generation was too soft. Did I mention how easy it is to fluster your kids? He nervously tripped when he tried to run. Part of him is still stuck in between my tire treads.

I didn’t stop until I’d executed you all for treason, but I refused to put down the children, as they were too young to think for themselves and therefore couldn’t betray our country. I guess you could say I saved their lives. Orphanages are good at raising moral children.

I was disappointed that our government didn’t congratulate me. Instead of being decorated, I was painted as a domestic terrorist, something I completely despise. It took a while to come to terms with this in my cell at Guantanamo Bay, but in the end, I realized it was necessary. If they told the world the truth, all those Homeland Security agents disguised in the field would be compromised.

I’m a good American. I keep my mouth shut.

I lived in your neighborhood. Now, someone else has taken my place. Someone with the same training. Someone who is not afraid to do whatever it takes to serve his country.

If you’re smart, you’ll be a good citizen.

God bless America.

Monday, June 13, 2011


It’s always a treat when John Sandford returns to the character who made his career, Lucas Davenport, in his PREY series. Understandably, Sandford has been busy building up his new character, Virgil Flowers (who is awesome in his own ways, of course). But in Davenport’s case, our favorite detective has been away from the streets for a while. He’s been too busy with state work. He hasn’t been getting his hands truly dirty. And things have gotten a bit too jokey in his world.

And then, BURIED PREY comes down the pike and brings it all back to the basics.

Think about it. How much do you really know about Lucas Davenport? When we first meet him in RULES OF PREY, we know the building blocks of his personality, but we don’t really learn much about his history. In fact, everything we find out about him is present-day stuff. It’s the stuff that happened to him since we first saw him in a magazine shop years ago.

In his latest offering, Sandford brings us back to the case that got Davenport out of police blues and into plainclothes detective work. And we do get to learn a thing or two about him in this time. This is all triggered by the discovery of the corpses of two young girls in modern day Minneapolis. It turns out that these were two missing girls from the case in question, a case that everyone thought was closed back in the ‘Eighties. And now Davenport has to cast his mind back to his rookie days to remember the details and to think about the guy who might have done this crime.

And guess what? We get to see more of Sloan in action. It’s been a while since Sloan made his exit from the series, but at one time he was the second most important character, just after Davenport himself. The great interrogator does what he does best as he helps Davenport along with the initial investigation (and sadly bows out a little too soon). We also find out that Davenport knew Del Capslock (who was undoubtedly named after Sandford’s keyboard) a lot longer than we thought. He wasn’t introduced until the series was well underway, but it turns out he used to work with Davenport back in the day.

Not to say that the modern day characters don’t get any page-time. Shrake and Jenkins, the dynamic duo of ass-kickings, make the rounds, and even that fuckin’ Flowers shows his face in a few scenes.

And then there’s the bad news: a longtime favorite character is murdered in the process of this investigation. This, of course, brings back the Davenport of old: bloodthirsty and eager to kill for the right cause.

If you’ve given up on the PREY series, now is the time to come back. If you’re new to the series, don’t worry. You don’t have to read every book to get this one. But the rest of them are pretty awesome, and you should check them out. And if you’re a longtime Davenport fan . . . you probably already own this book. Good for you.

Author: John Sandford
Publisher: Putnam
390 pages

Thursday, June 2, 2011

COOL SHIT 6-2-11

BATMAN: KNIGHT OF VENGEANCE #1: All right, I’ll be the first to confess that I haven’t been paying attention to the Flashpoint thing DC is doing. From what I hear, it won’t matter, since they’re rebooting EVERY FUCKING BOOK (ask any comic shop guy, and they’ll tell you it’s the worst idea ever; this is a perfect jumping off point for their readers). However, it seems that this book happens in some kind of alternate universe, where Batman is THOMAS Wayne and is more in line with Frank Miller’s vision of him. Also, Wayne seems to be running casinos. Kind of weird for a crime fighter. It also seems like Hush, Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy are all dead in this world (and so is Killer Croc; we know because Batman stabs him in the fucking head). The Penguin works for Wayne. Jim Gordon knows all about the Batman and who he really is. Weird stuff. Oh, and did I mention that this tale comes from Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso? I didn’t? Shame on me. And shame on you for not having this book already.

30 DAYS OF NIGHT: NIGHT, AGAIN #2: Lansdale kicks things up a notch in this one. Remember how those survivors had to strike out through the Alaskan wilderness with very few supplies? Well, they made it, but at quite the cost: they went cannibal. And we also learn a few things about Trudy, mainly about how she made it away from the vampires in the first place. Oh, and we finally get to find out what’s knocking from the inside of that torpedo. Things are picking up here. If you didn’t like the first issue, you probably will like this one.

I will not talk about THE BOYS. I will not talk about THE BOYS. I will not talk about THE BOYS. Ah, fuck it.

THE BOYS #55: Seriously. I talk about this book so much, if you haven’t gone out and checked it out for yourself by now, you probably won’t. Then, the movie will come out, and you’ll want to check out the books anyway. Dumb fucks. Well, to get to the point, it’s official. We no longer have any mysteries in this book. Mallory has told them all to Hughie (except for Butcher’s personal past, which we’ll be getting when the mini-series comes out this summer), who now has to deal with this sudden, grim knowledge. If you want in on this series, you’d better hurry up. We’re closing in on the end. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.