Gone, gone, oh form of man...

Started by Judd, October 07, 2011, 11:35:48 AM

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I haven't read the Demon mini-series in years but have fond memories of it.

I thought these pages were neat from a Sorcerer point of view.


Thanks for this: it's a great sequence, and I had no idea this series even existed.  I'll try to track it down.

I've got Kirby's original run on The Demon in hardback, and I can never really get into it.  For all of Kirby's talent, I think his temperament was a bad match for horror comics, which seem to thrive on slow, smouldering pacing and a dread of the unseen.

Ron Edwards

I was a comics fanatic in the 1980s and 1990s. My tastes ran a little retro for the time, but I still devoured Swamp Thing, The Dark Knight Returns, The Watchmen, Hellblazer, various title usurpations by John Byrne, and more, including a lingering loyalty to the X-Men despite holding my nose at the plotlines. My real love, though, went to the smaller companies like First Comics; I was a fiend for Grimjack, Nexus, on-and-off the Badger, the Elementals, the Liberty Project, and so on, much more in fact. When some of those creators were picked up by bigger companies, mainly DC at the time, I followed them as well. For those who find it significant, I was a devoted Cerebus reader too.

One of Comico's titles was Grendel, Matt Wagner's personal opus, at least until he started Mage, his personal opus. Seemed like everything he did was to be his personal opus. Anyway, in some way, he landed the four-issue Demon mini-series, which was spun off from Alan Moore's re-introduction of the character in his extremely successful Swamp Thing run. So there's Kirby, there's Moore, and then the brief Wagner demon, of which the Moore one was and is probably the most canonical in today's comics scene. Or so I'd imagine - I haven't followed the later comics about the character at all.

I think I did read the Wagner demon series at some point back then, after it was over. It didn't stick with me. Wagner was constantly lauded as a comics genius twenty years ago but I was a dissenter. I love his rendering style (anyone remember the cover of Flashing Blades?), but his writing tended to fall apart fast, being all vision and grandiosity, long on promises of epic drama but falling short on human interest, too reliant on Hollywood and other pop culture tropes. I was consistently disappointed by his stilted dialogue and flat endings. Maybe his best character for me was Brian, the third Grendel, because his ending/death was very personal and limited in scale, rather than going for Secret Wars Opera.

Anyway, since I don't remember the story, I'm totally unable to contribute much to the thread, except to say why. I'd love to read the series from scratch today in hopes that I simply missed appreciating it at the time.

Best, Ron


This is a comic I haven't read since I was a kid but thought this particular summoning scene was just so very Sorcerer-ish that I had to post it up.

Grimjack!  Now yer talking!  Man, I loved that comic.  The Demon Wars!  Ack!  So good.  I picked up a few of the trade paperbacks when they re-issued Grimjack in the past few years and really enjoyed them.

Ron Edwards

So, I'm looking over the page, and all I have to say is, Blood simply has to have known what was going to happen, or at least reserved it in some corner of his mind as a backup plan. "Stay if you want" is exactly what you say to someone who's a people-pleaser to manipulate them into position. At the end he's all "woe is me," and sincere as that might feel, he is thoroughly responsible for the dude's death.

One might ask whether the demon broke the Contain. The possible answers are:

i) Yes, plain and simple.

ii) It might not be a Contain, but merely colorful trappings for the Contact.

iii) It was a Contain but applied to Blood's safety alone.


Digression: Grimjack was my signature comic starting in late 1986, and I quickly acquired every issue before then including the original backup series in Starblazer. You can find me infesting its letters page from then until the end of the First Comics run, and I can still cite every single issue by number, creative team, events, characters, and significant dialogue from memory, including Munden's Bar as well as the main book. I became close friends with John Ostrander and Kim Yale for many years and met a lot of comics people through them.

I loved every artist who worked on that book, different as they were, because it pushed each one to his limits. The John Pugh backup series remains one of the finest family portraits in comics. I still miss Spook. Brilliant as Nexus (for instance) was, Grimjack is my pick from the mid-eighties "new comics" in that it reached back to the taproot of the underground comix sensibility.

Best, Ron