Tuesday, 8 November 2016

30 Days Of Night: Juarez (Bloodsucker Tales #1-8)

"My name is Lex Nova.  I find girls" - Lex Nova

This is the other story that ran with Dead Billy Dead, which I looked at last month, in the Bloodsucker Tales miniseries.  It's back being drawn by Ben Templesmith, but it's the first story not written by Peter Niles.  Matt Fraction takes up the challenge of writing for the series with a very angry story about the disposable women of a Mexican town called Juarez. The star of the story is an private investigator from the US called Lex Nova who has read about the fact that up to four hundred women have gone missing over the years in the town and off his own back has decided to look into it as he thinks it might be connected to a case he's worked before. The storyline is actually a seven part main story called "Juarez or Lex Nova And The Case Of The 400 Dead Mexican Girls" and a one chapter prequel called sub-titled "Alex Gorodetski And The Case Of The One Missing White Girl or The Beginning".  Which is something of a mouthful, so for the purposes of titling this post I have simply used Juarez.  Lex Nova is a quirky chap, he has an internal "PI's monologue" that he unfortunately can't help giving voice to, which gets him into trouble a couple of times.  It's a pretty bleak story as it turns out normal people can be just as monstrous as vampires and it pulls no punches in its look at life in a dirt poor Mexican border town. We begin with the "Case of the 400 Missing Dead Girls."

It starts with a young woman, naked with ropes round her wrists running across the desert. She trips and falls and several people in black leathers and motorbike helmets surround her. Then blood starts flying.  We cut to Lex Nova arriving in town saying it smells like "tortilla and dead girl out here" and goes into a bar.
Lex Nova
He narrates to himself looking at a newspaper headline declaring "400 Dead Or Missing Girls in Juarez Mexico".  He tells himself that the girls work the nightshift at the local factories and:

Lex: "Some call it coincidence. Or a serial killer.  Or serial killers.  Or a serial killer and a copycat serial killer.  Whatever s'bullshit... I know who's killing those girls."

We then cut to the burial of Titania Acosta and the priest comforting her family.  Then we see a flashback of two of the town policemen, Garcia and Martinez finding the remains of the Titania the girl being chased at the start. She's been mutilated and her breasts cut off.

Back with Lex, he confronts Mr. Acosta saying to himself that he knows Acosta wants to talk.  When Mr. Acosta tells him he's saying that aloud, Lex pulls a gun on him.  Mr. Acosta tells him his daughter worked in a factory, like all the other girls in Juarez, "then one day she doesn't come home."  Suddenly three shadowy figures come into the bar, one armed with a basebat bat with nails in it.
A welcoming commitee
Then we cut to a vampire called Bingo who wears a clown nose, and his two girls, Halo and Echo (who is mute).  They are entertaining some normal men and then the whole thing turns into a bloodbath.   When it's over, Bingo spots the same newspaper headline about the four hundred dead girls and says to the girls, "we found Uncle Zero".

We then return to Lex driving a van he took from one of the men who attacked him, he pulls the spiked bat off his face and smashes a post box with it as he passes.  He goes to the Acosta house where there is a priest helping them pray.

Lex makes himself at home as Mr. Acosta shuffles off drinking.  Their son Joe asks him about LA where Lex used to live.   He thinks the girls are being killed by the chupacubra  The priest tells Joe to take his mum for a lie down so he can be alone with Lex.
Lex and the priest.
He and Lex sit on the back of Lex's stolen truck and smoke.  The priest says events in Juarez have caused him to lose his faith, he's lived there all his life and watched it turn into a "death camp".

Priest: "We made our daughter's slaves.  We made our daughters whores.  Now we've made them cattle.  And Juarez a slaughterhouse.  So fuck God."

He says he doesn't believe in God anymore, he just turns up for the comfort of the community. He tells Lex he might get some information from Pilar, Titania Acosta's sister. She works the factories then she works the town, "she is already lost".  But Lex goes to find her.

Bingo and his girls are waiting in the border queue to cross into Mexico and Bingo is getting frustrated.  When it comes to his turn he mesmerises the borderguard into thinking three scribbled on bits of paper are their ID.  Then Bingo tells him to blow his head off in front of the little girl in the car behind, and the man obliges.
Bingo in action.
We then see the two cops being reamed out by what appears to be the civic leader of Juarez for not finding who is killing all the girls.  When they leave however, two men come out of the shadows and the man, Eduardo Reyes, says the police have nothing, "I've run the maquiladora [factories] since before you were born. And I've been killing whores even longer."  If people get close they buy them or kill them:

Reyes: "Who cares for the whores of Juarez?  We give them lives.  We give them work. And then we give them death."

We then see Lex struggling through the mass of girls trying to find Pilar.  Then we join the priest, someone is in for confession.  It is one of Reyes's men and he starts to confessing to all the murders of the girls.

Pilar is in a truck cab with a fat guy.  She is about to suck his cock when Lex runs at the vehicle and punches him out through the window.  Meanwhile as the man - Paco - in confession keeps going through the names of those he killed, the priest explodes in rage and drags the man out of confession and beats him to death with a chair.
No Hail Mary's for Paco.
Bingo the vampire is just outside Juarez and says he can't smell Uncle Zero.  He puts Echo out on the road as bait. Lex is driving the fat guy's truck with Pilar still inside.  He drives past Echo and recognises her, saying that means "the whole Zero family circus is here."  She asks what he means when he calls them bloodsuckers and he clarifies he's talking about vampires.

He takes her to a house and tells her to get inside and he'll park the truck up outside town.  There are goats around the house, there won't be for long.  Then we see Bingo talking to Reyes and a couple of his men.  They've roughed them up and Bingo can't believe that "y'all been rapin' and killin' all these girls cos y'all are rich and bored and yah can. And there ain't nobody to stop it."

Reyes says the girls are trash and it is his right.  Bigo cuts him off saying he's a vampire who has done some terrible shit in his time because people are just food to him:

Bingo: "I do it - We do it - Because we have to.  You crazy bastards do it 'cuz you want to."

Bingo tells Reyes he wants to do business with him, then he and his girls go upstairs to sleep until sundown.  One of Reye's men says this is "evil".  Reyes notes the irony of that statement, then says "it's power" actually.  We then cut to the fat man whose truck Lex stole waking up in the back with a bunch of dismembered goats.
"Chupacabra!"
We then cut to Lex helping the priest bury Paco's body.   "Well.. he had it coming" says the priest when Lex comments on the situation.  In town the man who woke up with the goats is trying to get the cops to take him seriously.  The kid Joe does take it seriously as the chupucabra and reports it to a friend over the phone.

In the priest car, Lex tells him that there are vampires involved with these killings.  The priest asks angrily if he thinks everyone in Mexico is retarded?  Lex says he's a detective who gets the job done. The priest says, "There's no boogie man in Juarez.  Just us."

He tells Lex there are four guys behind the killings. "There crime is that they're rich. They're bored.  And they have the power to get away with it."  Lex asks what "this crazy fucking priest wants."  The priest says "I want them to pay".

Joe steals some cash from his mother's purse and starts to leave the house when Lex appears giving him a fright.  He tells Lex that his dad is at work and leaves.  He bribes (don't tell Donald Trump!) the border guard and cycles to El Paso and uses the resources there to look a LA Times newspaper story with the headline "Detective Sought In Missing Girl Case."

Back at the Acosta's, Lex has bought all of them bar Joe together.  He tells them they are still a family so "don't fuck it up".  And he departs with a shovel.   Before he goes, he takes the goat into the shed and feeds on it, confirming that he is a vampire.  Joe and his friends are peeking in through the window and believe it confirms he's the "goatsucker."
Lex's secret revealed.
Lex and the priest have a plan to draw out Reyes using Paco's phone.  Reye's takes the call.  When he hangs up he tells his men that Paco has been kidnapped.  His men are more worried about what Bingo is going to do now it's nighttime.

Bingo is pacing the room saying he's depressed Uncle Zero isn't here. When Halo tries to comfort him with all the feeding they can do he tells her to shut up and that he wishes Echo could talk so he could shut her up, but he does love making her squeal.

Joe calls in to the police he has information on a man connected with recent homicides in the town. The priest and Lex meanwhile are digging up Titania Acosta's body.   We then see Joe being interviewed by the police and he fingers Lex Nova for the murders.  He says he and the priest are together a lot because the priest wants to save him "because he's crazy and eats live goats."

In the truck with Titania's coffin in the back, Lex admits he woke up hungry.  The priest asks if it was for him?  Lex says human blood is a no no for him, "even though it's what you want the most".  Then he throws the priest out of the truck saying he's going to do the thing now.

Back at Reye's place, Bingo and the girls have been having an orgy of blood and murder having been supplied nine girls.  Reyes angrily tells his men to deal with them, "use fucking garlic.  Or crosses or whatever.  You've seen the movies."  He also tells them to "read that woman's book" referring to Stella Olemaun's "30 Days Of Night Book" on dealing with vampires.

He's about to buy a corpse "to keep the FBI up north" as he's been told it's a American one. One of the cops accompanys him.  They drive out into the desert where Lex is waiting. When asked his name he says "Don't say Lex Nova" four times, before saying "Cornelius".
Oops busted.
The cop says he is Reyes and says that this is the corpse of a girl Paco was screwing on the side.  Lex says she was a bad girl from Corpus Christi, ran away when her dad cut off the money. He saw her with Paco, then didn't see her with him no more.  Paco told him where she was when he popped him, so here we are.

"Reyes" asks what her name was.  "Olivia Honeycutt" says Lex. "Reyes" then points his gun at Lex saying the body is Titania Acosta and he's a cop.  We then cut to the Acosta's.  The mother tells Pilar she is a whore and to be out of the house by sunrise or she'll call the police.

Back with Lex. The cop is dead and Lex smells the real  Reyes lurking nearby.  He still has the blackmail money and as he drives off he says he'll give half to the Acosta's and half to the church.  A happy ending.  But the police are now on his tail.

At Reyes's place, his men burst in on Bingo armed with crosses and stakes.  They try and stake Bingo through the heart but he just regards it with bemusement.  He kills the man and the girls grab the other who has "some explaining to do."

Lex meanwhile is kneeling on the ground surrounded by cops.  Joe identifies him and they find the body of Titania in the back of the truck as well as all the cash.  Lex Nova is placed under arrest.  We return to Bingo who has Reyes hanging upside down and he quizzes him about Lex, when Reyes says he called the girl "Olivia Honeycutt" Bingo responds with "of course he did.".  He lets Reye's down after being told Lex is in custody by one of the cops.

Echo is locked in a cage.  Halo sneaks her a necklace and says she'll leave the cage open for her.  Bingo comes in, and says Lex, "the bane of my fuckin' existence." is now in a cage.  Lex is indeed in a cell and has been very badly beaten.  As he lies on the floor, Bingo and Halo come visit. He bends the bars and drags Lex out and tosses him around.  "Where's Olivia?" asks Lex.  Bingo doesn't want to talk about that.
Bingo beat a badly injured Lex.
He asked who helped Lex and Lex's internal monologue gives away the priest's involvement.  Bingo picks up Lex and carries him out of the building to the church.  Reyes meanwhile has called in on the Acostas about their daughter.  Pilar is talking to Joe about leaving with her before Juarez kills them both. But Joe says he wants to make a website of all the things he's discovered regarding Lex, and Pilar leaves.

Bingo dumps Lex in the church and leaves him.  "I was dying" Lex says to himself.  Pilar is thumbing a lift and Reyes pulls up and gives her a ride.  Lex is having a near death experience which involves being on the deck of the Enterprise.  Then he says he's just fucking around, all you feel is cold and darkness.

The priest and Echo find him and the priest desperately asks her to make him like her. So she cuts into the priest's throat and the blood splashes in Lex's mouth.  He rises up, totally animalistic and marches over to Reye's home where Bingo is sleeping. Reyes arrives at some sort of community centre and says the people killing all the girls are "sequestered in my home as we speak.  Join me and raze it."
Vampire Lex is not a nice sight.
As Lex, a snarling montrous beast starts fighting with Bingo, the house begins to burn.  The last we see of Lex is him screaming "Binnn..go It Endssssss".  Then we cut to the outside of the house as it burns up with Reyes looking smug as it does so.

Then we leap a year forwards.  Reye's gives a speach to the townsfolk that he is subsidising a new housing project and that anyone who lost a girl will qualify.  He says he has become friends with the Acostas especially after the loss of their second daughter (which confirms he killed Pilar). He walks through the room and says "your daughters are safe with me."

The priest is giving a sermon on greed.  He says it is the blackest of human weaknesses.  It creates dangerous, thoughtless humans.  No one is safe and only they can save themselves:

Priest: "Taking care of one another - struggling with that burden is when we are at our most divine."

When he finishes he goes outside with a bottle of booze.  He sits by a grave stone with "Lex 2005" written on it. "Fuck it we tried" he says as he sits by it and the sun starts to go down.  And that brings the "Case of the 400 Dead Girls" to a depressing close.
The priest knows the truth, though it doesn't help him.
But we have a prequel, "Alex Gorodetski and The Case of the 1 Missing White Girl" still to go.  It starts with him mulling over the fact that a missing white girl and a million dollar reward for finding her gets you a lot of media attention.  She is sighted everywhere including L.A.  And he thinks to himself, "if you had a dollar for every lost little girl in Los Angeles... you could actually afford to leave".

We then see Lex, although at this point in time he's Alex Gorodetski doorstepping someone as he investigates the missing girl. The woman asks if he is a lawyer and he says look at his car, does she know any lawyer in L.A who drives a "Nova."  He questions her and we see the missing girl is called Olivia Honeycutt.

He leaves, narrating to himself, although his monologues are just in his mind right now.  He is getting paid for this 800 dollars a day plus expenses.  "Olivia Honeycutt's been missing for 5600 dollars now".

Mr. Honeycutt asks him over the phone if he has found anything new.  Alex says that before Olivia disappeared there was a Halloween party. He found a photograph. Who was the clown?  Mr. Honeycutt says "I don't remember any clowns".  No one remembers the clown but he reflected in the mirror clear as day.  He manages to get all the photos taken that day assembled but still no one remembers the clown.
The Curious Case of the Clown at the Party.
After seeing one of the photographers, he leaves and the man calls up a "Mr Zero".  Later Alex is poring over the photos and talking to himself, back at his flat when a voice off panel says "what kind of detective talks to himself?  I'd want my money back".  Alex says he's the clown in the photo and the clown introduces himself as "Uncle Zero".

Next we see him hanging upside-down, Bingo is gloating over him along with Halo.  The girl in the corner, Olivia, says "the lady took my necklace.  Are you here to save me?"  Bingo says they have left Olivia's bloody nightshirt in his office and evidence of some other missing girls too.  "Not the most subtle frame job in the world but it'll get the job done".

Then Uncle Zero, whose face we never see, says to bring Olivia closer so she can have her first feed.  She opens her fanged mouth and her long tongue comes curling out and then:

Alex: "You wanna know the stupidest thing I ever did?  I bit first.  And that was it for me. I couldn't hear anything.  I couldn't think anything".

He bites off her tongue and vamps himself. So Olivia becomes Echo the mute vampire from the first story. Now he's a vampire the others have no use for him and let him go.
And Alex's fate is sealed.
He returns to his home which has police tape outside.  A neighbour woman spots him and asks if he did all those terrible things to the girls they said he did.  "No I tried to save them" he replies.  Then he breaks her neck and sets the building on fire.  And that brings the Juarez storyline to a close.

Dark, bleak stuff.  Unlike the Barrow stories, this and Dead Billy Dead have given us evil practiced by non vampires.  Reyes and his men are complete monsters preying on the hopelessness of the town they rule over. With corruption running rampant they are able to rape and kill the "nothing girls" with impugnity and it takes an outsider in the form of Lex, who admittedly is there because he mistakenly believes vampires are responsible, to actually investigate the murders properly.  The fact that a priest who has lost his faith could be driven to murder when he hears the confession of one who is part of the girl killing ring pretty much sums up the level of frustrated impotence he's been toiling under as more people turn to him for help as their daughters are taken from them.  Lex is another vampire whose managed to suppress his thirst for human blood and just as well considering the raving monster he becomes when he drinks it.  The prequel showing that biting a vampire will cause you to become one yourself neatly ties things up with the revelation that Echo is Olivia and the one he bit and explains why she was willing to revive Lex so he'd kill Bingo who's been torturing her ever since.  Ben Templesmith's art is excellent as usual and Matt Fraction's writing is tight, funny in places and shows a deft talent for dialogue.  Good stuff, but not for the faint of heart.

35 comments:

  1. "It's really sad what happened to Mel but I think Kim oughta..."

    *Poof!"*

    "WTF!"

    Just finished your Miracleman reviews. Wow. Again so much to muse over. Will pontificate at length later but already thinking we should pitch a Mr Cream TV series starring Adewele Akinnuoye-Agbaje. One day though someone is going to do a story where they actually get how "D notices" (they're actually D/A notices) really work. Not like they're always portrayed btw.

    Was Miracleman before V? Seem to be some common themes. I used to visit Larkhill Camp a bit and I was very disappointed that no one there was familiar with the story. Unless of course they were just pretending so as not to reveal what was really going on there.

    Now I'm trying to work out of the late 80s was just a perfect time for comics because of all that was going on in the real world or whether I'm just being nostalgic because that was a time I was really into them.

    Anyway. To keep this thread on topic I'll now read about vampires.

    (Would you prefer I comment about comics in their relevant threads or is it ok to just use the latest one?)

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  2. Just nipping in to say it's fine to do it in the most current, otherwise it can get confusing especially with a multi-part series discussion you may want to have. It makes life easier for me and if anyone reading the comments under this post can easily find the relevant posts thanks to the sidebar list.

    ALso I believe V and Miracleman started at the same time in Warrior. Both had their share of woes as Warrior started to go under, but DC picked up V for a quick finish before the end of the 80's while Miracleman went to an indie publisher. Moore fortunately finsihed MM on his own terms and Neil Gaiman took over but only his first "arcc" was finished before the publisher went under, then the whole thing was mired in rights issues over who owned what for ages until Moore and Marvel finally came to an agreement a few years back that would see the stories back in print but no profit to be made from his name being associated with them (and I believe he collects no royalty either).

    Righto back to the family for another coupla hours.

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  3. Hope your having (have had) a lovely time with the family.

    Wow, that story is a bit bleak. I know the "humans are the real monsters" theme can be an interesting area to explore, but that just seemed really grim. The mani bit just seemed to be anonymous girl gets killed in horrible way, provides motivation for main characters. Maybe it's different if you read the original but they seemed almost like cyphers. Is there a tvtropes category "women as maguffins"?

    I'm not saying that's not a legimate launching point for a story; and I can understand the way the prequel sort of seeks to highlight the issue with the one 'special' victim getting all the attention that the hundreds of anonymous less 'valuable' ones dont. Maybe I'm missing something and the prelude is deliberately meant to put a new slant on things and make us reconsider what we've just read. So we're perhaps meant to feel guilty that we've just been enjoying the story without real consideration of the victims? And then, pow, the prequel makes us realise that?

    I think basically I can't decide yet whether we're in Alf Garnett territory. Is it a clever satire, or are we taking it at face value?

    Reminds me of a discussion about 'Sucker Punch'

    "It's just girls flashing their knickers"

    "No, it's a film *about* girls flashing their knickers. That's totally different"

    (Heh, I love that film. I genuine think it's brilliant. On a par with Philip K Dick. Genuinely think it's better than the Matrix in examining the nature of reality. So much stuff going on there. Or maybe it is just saucy girls fighting. TBH I can enjoy it on either level)

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  4. No I think you're right, Matt Fraction is a very humanistic writer who seems to specialise on showing things like the poor in a way calculated to provoke strong emotion. I definitely think it was deliberate contrast of the 400 "nothing girls" barely raising an eyebrow compared to 800 a day to find one white US girl. It is bleak, but if I have watched enough Criminal Minds people seem to give way more of a shit when pretty white girls disappear than when non-whites do. Juarez is one of those stories where everyone loses but the winner, and it feels horrible. I wouldn't want every comic I read to be that downbeat but it was an interesting story nonetheless.

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  5. Ah then that makes sense. It is a fine line between portraying people as almost human props and the one step remove of getting you thinking about the fact that it's an accurate representation of how such people are regarded.

    I'm reminded of when I was a kid and the Ripper was active and how the tone of the investigation and people's attitudes changed when he moved on to murdering 'innocent' victims. That was the word actually used. But Im probably teaching you to suck women's studies eggs there.

    On less bleak thoughts I liked his 'she's been missing for $5600' line; that was very clever. I know Philip Marlowe style is such a cliché, but there's a reason it's so prevalent. (Heresy time: I don't mind the voice over in blade runner. I think its all part of the film noir vibe they were going for. You might as well complain about Deckard's hat)

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  6. Ugh, yes, I still think you can find racism and sexism at the route of what it means to be a "good" victim even to this day. I was never a big fan of CSI Miami, but they did a whole episode where in the time it took to find a missing (and sadly murdered) white woman, around twenty of so Latin and black women had gone missing and there was no blnaket news coverage, no tearful press conferences, nobody cared. The main CSI guy says he's going to make it his business to care, but as usual the reset button prevailed. And those were ordinary women, one thing I do like about Criminal Minds is they do take the killing of sex workers very seriously, OK usually because it's the start of a pattern of escalation that sees the unsub move onto "innocent" victims, but at least they catch and punish the badguys for it.

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  7. I think I mentioned on Mammoth that those press conferences with the families are mainly used when they actually suspect that a family member is involved.

    But to lighten the mood I still giggle at one sketch from years ago (can't remember which programme) featuring some parents whole daughter had been missing for a few hours and they're asked what she's wearing.

    "She's wearing a brown dress, brown tights, brown jumper and a brown bobble hat...She's at Brownies!"

    To take things down again, but hopefully interesting, I used to attend meetings of the medico-legal society (with that Dingle chap actually). Had some really fascinating conversations with various coroners. As you might expect they had some amazing insights on criminology and victim choice. The guy who investigated the Shipman case was especially interesting.

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  8. I've always suspected that, even though for the inncocent parents it must be heartbreaking on top of everything else knowing you're being secretly assessed and possibly found wanting if you don't grieve correctly.

    You possibly won't be surprised to hear I was not a brownie or guide or anything like that. My girly sisters were though.

    That sounds like interesting stuff, drop me an email so you can be very indiscreet :P

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  9. Heh, funnily enough a couple of my friends have very happy memories of the guides. You may have missed an opportunity. :-)

    Anyway just brewing some tea then I'll get that email done.

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  10. Cool, will have to read it later because the internet is running soo slow for me right now, it's taking over a minute to load the comments here, it's v. annoying. I assume everyone is online because of the US election but I'm having flashbacks to the days of dial up here!

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  11. I can barely stay awake so I think I'll hit my bed. I'm assuming that there'll be something about the result on the news tomorrow. (although if I listen to radio cornwall it'll be third item after something about local parking and milk prices)

    After spending half an hour trying to clean a plate I'm now pondering why they didn't use custard as an adhesive for space shuttle tiles.

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  12. Stay in bed, don't listen to the news, it's awful :(

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  13. Wow, it's like almost literally unbelievable. I woke up and stick the news on and they were taking about Pence as Vice President and I was really confused "huh, I though he was the trump guy" sort of thing. It did take some time to sink in; I thought perhaps they were considering alternative scenarios, "had it gone the other way' this is what we'd be saying.

    I feel a bit like parents who go out for the evening and everything seems fine, then when they get back the house has burned down. "What happened, we were only gone a couple of hours?!"

    It's not the "it's unbelievable anyone could vote for someone so awful". Awful people get elected all the time. That's just 'unbelievable' in the 'my views differ' sense. This was literally unbelievable in the 'he's not a serous contender' sense.

    It's still too surreal to have sunk in to be honest.

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  14. With the odd snooze I followed it allnight and I still don't quite get how it happened either. Your house burning down scenario is very apt.

    I just feel bad for all the LGBT, women, PoC, poor folk ect in the US who are going to suffer. The best spin I can put on this news is he'll be a gift to topical comedy shows, but eh.. cold comfort.

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  15. Well this is certainly the last time I leave you in charge young lady!

    But yeah, it's just so weird. The BBC news site has very helpfully sort of done a highlights reel of how everyone came about. It's like watching the 9/11 footage again. You know what's coming but you still can't believe it (or on a lighter note Steve McQueen jumping the fence at the end of great escape)

    I really feel for people though now. Past presidents might not ways have created comfortable environments for folks, but you got the impression that like a collateral effect of their other policies. They may have had to pander to some bases for support but they'd have been equally happy not to have had to. This is different though. The hate is the policy pure and simple. Its not a symptom or side effect, it's the raison d'être.

    I've been trying to see what good might come out of it. Post Brexit we had a uptick in visible racism but then everyone visibly shouted that down and I think it actually made society nicer. People set out to prove that they weren't jerks and that peeps were welcome. Can't see that over there though. It'll just embolden nasty people. And it's a lot harder to call out people who'll just shoot you,

    True though he is comedy gold, and ridicule might be the best thing now.

    I've already seen a few funny tweets. Current favourite: this is like Brexit but with the consequence being nuclear codes rather than marmite prices.

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  17. There's a huge firework display on the beach. I wonder if it's a sign of getting old that it's no longer "Ooh, Aah" but instead "Hurry up, I want to get back inside where it's warm"

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  18. I just woke up after a whole day sleeping off the election night in the hope I'd dreamed it all, but alas no. You're right this is a victory for hate pure and simple. I just dunno where the US can go from here. Uff I don't think I can bear to check out WHTM for a while the nazi crowing is going to be unbearable. At least I have this blog to escape to. I juggled this month schedule and plan to make my next post something super fun and upbeat.

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  19. As a mate put it earlier "Has Bobby Ewing stepped out of the shower yet?"

    I've tried looking at this in a totally dispassionate living in a hollowed out volcano sort of way to see if there's anything positive purely in pragmatic terms, forgetting the impact on actual people. But nope. Our former ambassador to the US said the thought of a Trump victory scared him shitless (I guess that's what passes for diplomatic language these days) and the ex head of NATO says this is a disaster. There's no brake either as he has both Houses. Republicans might not have liked him, but he's won now so they'll change their tune.

    I don't even have anything at stake really. I'm the only demographic he likes. But I'm just finding it awful. I can't imagine how it is for my friends who aren't that fortunate. I found myself literally looking at actuarial tables and the list of succession earlier. It's a general despair I suppose that someone like that can get elected. Like how you laugh at people in those posts on Mammoth and then find out shit, they aren't just a small bunch of outliers.

    Ah well, who knows what might happen between now and January.

    I'll have some more tea and then post something more upbeat when normal service is resumed. Please stand by.

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  20. Hmm, I should probably stop watching the news, it's not helping. I look forward to your upcoming upbeat posts.

    But anyway, do you remember the Dredd 'dave the orangutan' story? Might be before your 2000AD time. But dave was orange and he ended up getting elected. That's as far as the parallel goes though. Dave was so popular that when he shuffled off this mortal coil the citizens of the big meg abolished the office as they couldn't imagine anyone who could replace him.

    Oh as part of my plan to get you to spend all your money fraid I've got another book recommendation. 'commies, cowboys and jungle queens'. Another book about the combic code. Haven't read it myself but seems interesting. Was having a read around the net after your SOTI comments and there were some extracts quoted.

    Ive also been pondering my theory tjat the late 80s were a particularly good time for comics because of the state of the world. Wondering how Trump will affect comics. Don't forget V was written as a result of Moores belief that Britain would elect a very left labour govt in response to the US moving to the right.

    We are cursed to live in interesting times. We may as well get some decent comics out of it.

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  21. I'm of the opinion that if you look outside of Marvel and DC we are in a fantastic time for comics. But yes, would be interested to see how a Trump presidency (argh still feels weird to write that) affects things.

    I'll put that book recommendation on my list, well who needs money? lol.

    I don't recall Dave the Orangutangn in 2000AD it might be as you say, before my time. Sounds fun, can't see Trump being that popular. I might start collecting the Dredd compilations next year (emphasis on might) so hopefully I'll get to read it then.

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  22. Hey, you're still with is! Thought you might have decided to hibernate for the next four years (not necessarily a bad idea; although it would probably end up with a day of the triffids style waking up and there's nobody else around scenario)

    Dave was such a sweet story, and classic Dredd. Basic premise, Dave (our eponymous orangatang) has a TV spot picking winning sports teams. He rather annoys all the real pundits by being better at it than them. So when he's set up to pick the next mayor they decide to discredit him by sticking a photo of himself in there. He duly picks it. However the citizens (who like him) take a "ain't no rule against it" approach. Hilarity (and various assassination attempts) ensue. Spoilers: he wins and becomes the best mayor ever.

    Yeah, a lot of the non Marvel/DC stuff does seem really good. Although that might just be because there's so much out there now it's a law of averages thing perhaps?

    I'm following the fallout from Trump in a car crash sort of way. If it wasn't for the effect on real people it would be almost funny. It's just so surreal. Still as another Facebook meme doing the rounds put it:

    Britain: Brexit was the most ridiculously counter productive decision any county has ever taken.

    America: Hold my pint.

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  23. Yes stille here, still suffering flu, was having another day sleeping. Also playing Red Dead Redemption, a game you'd heartily disapprove of as you play a cowboy and have challenges involving hunting and skinning the local fauna. I won't let the stubby fingered organg tyrant get me down anymore. We survived Reagan and Dubya, we can survive this!

    When I remember back how hard it was finding non-Marvel/DC stuff even at specialist comics shops in the late 80's it does feel awesome to walk into Forbidden Planet and see half of their western comic section devoted to indy titles.

    Politics this year has bordered on surreal, the end of year round-up shows are going to be like watching a car crash >_<

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  24. Heh, I'm not sure I'd be on the cowboy's side for all sorts of reasons. Speaking of which, one of my friends has just formed a law partnership with a woman whose surname is Bighorse. How cool is that? And yes I have been crass enough to do the 'maybe it's big horse I'm a Londoner' joke (she didn't get it)

    Ah, I remember my first visit to FP in London. 1985. Was just amazing. It's weird now about merchandise. When I was a kid a market stall had an iron on 'hookjaw' transfer for t-shirts. I couldn't get my head around how you could buy something featuring a comic character. Like 'how do they know about that?'

    So I'm one of the people who understands why Fox just gave the Star Wars merchandise rights away to Lucas. Its not like there was a huge queue for those transfers.

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  25. To be fair the game is a deconstruction of the Wild West tropes and indeed reality. But it's excellent, guilty pleasure fun all the same.

    Forbidden Planet Manchester has all the merchandise on the main floor and the comics stashed away downsatirs. And even then you have to walk through the manga section to get to them! I do impulse but from them quite regularly just to keep showing my support for brick n'mortar stores.

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  26. It's OK I grew up on spaghetti westerns. I also liked that cowboys and aliens film. Most cowboys wore bowler hats. Did you know that? I like the idea they all looked like 1960s businessmen.

    Yeah, I rarely buy anything online unless it's a very obscure American book. Much prefer trawling round second hand shops. Although had a big clearout last year as part of a general life de-clutter.

    Oh and if you can get a full head of steam on your modem some emails for you Inc re skinning.

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  27. Actually it was Red Dead Redemption that tought me most people in the Wild West wore bowlers! Although our rugged hero wears the more familiar cowboy hat although you can unlock a bowler hat costume for him in the game. I prefer him looking like a badass in a full length duster it has to be said.

    I do quite a bit of online shopping too, because I range far and wide across comicdom and you can't always find it in the shops and in print.

    I'll check my emails inna bit just had another sleep and am still a little sleepy this flu is really doing a number on me.

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  28. Computer games are educational. That's how I know hedgehogs are blue.

    Quite a few of the truths about the old west are counter intuitive. Now of course I'm trying to remember one particular fact. I think it's something like dodge city having a really low crime rate or something.

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  29. Responded with wolf related tirade.

    Funny that cowboy comics used to be a big thing. Wonder why the superhero genre is so prolific now? I know some of the underlying comic code reasons but it's interesting that no one's tried to bring back cowboy or war or football comics. I can see why nobody takes the risk but it's ironic that Moore speculated pirates would be popular in a world with real superheroes and that Pirates of the Carribean did so well. Mind you cutthroat island bombed so who knows?

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  30. As I said in a prio comment, the moral panic around Seduction of the Innocent did for most genres, with superheroes filling the vaccuum. I'm not sure why cowboy and sports comics haven't made a comeback, while Garth Ennis single-handedly works to keep the war comic genre alive. Crime and political comics are back with a vengeance if you look outside of Marvel/DC. Next year I'm going to cover DMZ a twelve book, highly politicised commentary of the war on terror.

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  31. I'm really looking forward to that. I'll be pushing the 4096 character limit with a vengeance. :-)

    Your brief on the SOTI influence was pretty fascinating. That's what set me off on my most recent sojourn round the net for more info.

    I'm seriously thinking of pitching my 'spy' story idea as a comic initially. So nearer the time I'll probably be picking your brains about potential contacts. Of course in an ideal world it would run in Misty. Speaking of which, the latest I've heard is that they're initially going to re-release some of the original stories as trades. That seems more like theyre appealing to the nostalgia market than new young readers as a target audience.

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  32. Cool, it's an interesting concept used to critique the War on Terror in DMZ, which I won't spoil for you.

    There are a couple of spy comics I've seen when browsing the Indie racks, I think with the right artist it could be awesome.

    Ah Misty, looking forward to the trades, see what I missed out on at the time.

    I've done posted a new post that is more cheerful we need some jollity right now.

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  33. eugh trump, that is all, glad i'm not american. i didn't realise there had been so many 30 days of night stories, but this is definitely the most depresssing yet. good though, i really like ben templesmith's art too.

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  34. Yeah, my heart goes out to all the Americans who are going to suffer in the coming Trumpocalypse. But enough of that. Yes there has been a lot of 30 Days of Night, enough to fill two pretty hefty omnibuses plus more. Never fear they'll all be covered here!

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