Sunday, October 03, 2004

Black Celebration

OK, this week's remix is up over at the 'Shock. What else could it be but Amazing Spider-Man #512? If you were pissed about this story, just imagine Spidey's reaction...

You might have seen this before but I only saw it last night. pretty damn spot-on, I'd say.

I was in the bookstore yesterday when I saw something interesting:

I wonder if there’s any connection between that and this:

Hmmm. I can just see Patricia Cornwell devoting a novel to the Godfather of Porno Rap, the author of such immortal classics as "Who Did I Eat Last Night?", "Too Fat To Fuck" and the epochal "Girl Let Me Cum In Your Mouth", can't you.

You can learn more about this stalwart pillar in the world of pro-society music here.

You know you want it:

Oni Love Can Break Your Heart; Part X

The Coffin

With a couple caveats, I found this to be an eminently enjoyable book.

Basically, the Reader’s Digest version is as follows: a scientist devises a way to contain the soul after passing in an almost-indestructible cyborg shell. In other words, if your body is are placed within the shell, or “coffin”, right before you actually die, your spirit can be continued indefinitely after your body passes. The scientist who creates this suit is being bankrolled by an evil billionaire industrialist (is there any other type of billionaire industrialist?) who is obsessed with immortality and intent on utilizing the scientist’s advances in order to live forever. Once the scientist finishes the suit, he is summarily killed by the billionaire’s goons, but not before he manages to seal himself in his own “coffin”. So the dead scientist has to track down the billionaire who is using his inventions for amoral purposes and also try to save the young daughter he ignored while he was alive, all while wrestling with certain theological matters he came into intimate contact with during his brief brush with death.

You still with me? I liked this book because it was obvious that there was a good deal of thought on the actual technological implications of the coffin device. Science-fiction is best when it combats an idea with vigor and gusto, and despite the rather far-fetched nature of the plot devices, the story keeps a keen eye on (most of) the specifics.

Mike Huddleston’s art is surprisingly very good. I say “surprisingly” only on account of the fact that I had never heard of him before. His faces need maybe a bit of work, but beyond that he shows an obvious faculty towards dense and fantastic narrative. Considering how wordy and abstract the book got in places, the fact that I was never once confused is a testament to Huddleston’s obvious skill.

Phil Hester’s artwork on titles such as Swamp Thing and Green Arrow made him a favorite of mine. I am a sucker for the kind of bold, heavy-lined iconographic noir he traffics in, and for that reason alone I probably bought Green Arrow for much longer than I should have. As a writer, he seems to have an eye for the high concept that a few of the writers he’s worked for would kill to have. If his characters seem a bit rote at times, well, I’ve seen worse. Science-fiction is not often noted for it’s naturalistic characterization.

The caveats I have are mostly just quibbles, but it seems as if Hester’s imagination ran far afield in a few places where a more rigorous eye to detail would have been useful.

  • First of all, if a scientist were to discover that there was such a thing as an actual, honest-to-God soul, wouldn’t the existence of heaven, hell or some kind of afterlife be strongly implied?
  • The timeline is a bit muddled. I think the events in the book were supposed to take place in the space of a week, and yet there are a few things that quite obviously would have to take longer: how could the billionaire have replicated the scientist’s work so thoroughly in only a few day’s time? We’re talking one of the most complex devices known to man. Even if the blueprints were spot-on, I would think it would take months to replicate such a masterfully complex mechanism. Also, how long does it take to adopt a minor and change your will? Longer than a week, certainly.
  • What happened to the dog? You can’t tell me the Coffin couldn’t use a super-sidekick doggie.

Anyway, this is just a very well-executed piece of work. Despite some structural qualms which could be chalked off to simple growing pains, this seems to be the work of a pair of creators who have their best work ahead of them.

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