Thursday, September 11, 2014


As I'm sure some of you are aware, I read the new DICKS tonight. Garth Ennis is more widely known for writing PREACHER, HITMAN and THE BOYS. There are a few readers, however, who know him for DICKS. It is an incredibly obscene book, so many of you might not know about it. I've been a fan ever since I got back into buying comics in the 'Nineties and discovered #3 at Graham Crackers in Wheaton. (This was back when Caliber published the book.)

Here's the thing, though: as soon as you finish reading an issue of DICKS, you can't help but be affected by the voice of the series. Everyone--and I mean EVERYONE--is Irish in the book. Shakespeare is Irish. Michelangelo is Irish. Even the fucking devil is Irish. (There are exceptions. Texan Dubya makes an appearance, as do UVF soldiers, who HAVE TO BE British.)

For at least an hour after reading a new issue, I can't help but THINK with an Irish accent. Everything is "ballacks this" and "yer head's cut, mate" and "up ye" and all of that. And the next thing you know, I'm using the word "cunt" as punctuation. Hell, as I wrote this paragraph, I couldn't help but write it in my head using an Irish accent. Jaysis and shite.

It got me thinking about other addictive voices in fiction. Right off the bat, because he comes from neighboring Scotland, is Irvine Welsh. It takes a while to get into one of his books, but once you do, you can't help but think in a Scottish accent. Unbidden, without having read a Welsh book lately, I've shifted gears in my head. Now I'm hearing my thoughts with a Scottish accent. Fitba and cuntybaws.

Closer to home, we have Joe R. Lansdale, my absolute favorite living author. He's so laid back with his East Texas style, it seems EASY. Obviously, it's not, but it just settles into your mind, and you'll find it hard to not speak with a drawl and use colorful phrases like "hotter'n two rats fucking in a sock."

The most addictive voice in the world, however, is Hunter S. Thompson's. Not only did he change the way I think, he also changed the way I act. That's an incredible thing to do. Those of you following the reruns of my DUI Diary are probably not surprised to discover that HST was a main influence on them. Without his suggestions, I would have crumpled and let the Man fuck me in the ass instead of fighting and rolling the dice. Even beyond that, I find myself talking about "stomping the terra" and "killing like a champion" all the time. It's hard not to finish my letters and emails without a grim "mahalo." I even got into the habit of ominously muttering "omerta" when someone needs to keep a secret. Everyone else on this list? You can get them out of your system, at least until the next time you read something by them. HST? He's there to stay. He's laid eggs in my head, and they're constantly hatching.

Don't take any guff from the swine. And you can't stop here. This is bat country.


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