Thursday, 10 December 2009

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A smiley face with a distinct streak at 11 o'clock? Nope, doesnt' ring a bell. With my wrist limiting how much I can type (before driving myself batty with infernal s-l-o-w-n-e-s-s of the one-handed h-u-n-t-a-n-d-p-e-c-k), I think I'll take the opportunity to present some of the images from my increasingly large collection of material that may make it in the book. I'll begin with this image from the surprisingly interesting Captain Britain Omnibus: That originally appeared in the eighth issue of The Daredevils (from 1981), the plot of which concerns the criminalization of costumed heroism in a dystopian England that has suffered some great off-screen disaster and guess who wrote it? I'll give you a hint: ALRIGHT..I’M PSYCHED UP, I’VE GOT BLOOD UP TO MY ELBOWS, VEINS IN MY TEETH AND MY HELMET AND KNEEPADS SECURELY FASTENED. LET’S GET OUT THERE AND MAKE TROUBLE. THE FIRST PAGE IS A SERIES OF VERTICAL JUMPS THAT TAKE US UP IN A STRAIGHT PROGRESSION FROM A MINUTE AND MICROSCOPIC DETAILED VIEW OF THE GUTTERS OF NEW YORK UP TO A PANORAMIC SHOT LOOKING DOWN UPON THE ROOFTOPS OF THIS FAMILIAR AND YET CURIOUSLY ALTERED CITYSCAPE. IN THIS FIRST PANEL WE ARE LOOKING STRAIGHT DOWN AT A DRAIN OPENING IN A PERFECTLY ORDINARY GUTTER. TO THE RIGHT OF THE PICTURE THE ACTUAL OUTER WALL OF THE CURB DROPS DOWN AWAY FROM US LIKE A MINATURE [sic] CLIFF. OVER MORE TOWARDS THE LEFT, DOWN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PICTURE, WE CAN SEE THE OLD AND WORN METAL OF THE DRAIN COVER OVER WITH SOLID DARKNESS VISIBLE BETWEEN ITS SLATS. UP AT THE TOP OF THE PICTURE WE CAN JUST SEE THE DIRTY GUTTER RUNNING DOWN TOWARDS THE MOUTH OF THE DRAIN AT THE BOTTOM. THERE ARE ONLY TWO REMARKABLE ELEMENTS THAT SEPARATE THIS IMAGE FROM A STANDARD EVERYDAY CLOSE-UP OF A DRAIN, AND THE FIRST OF THESE IS THE UNUSUAL AMOUNT OF BLOOD WHICH IS GUSHING DOWN THE AFOREMENTIONED APERTURE IN THIS FIRST PICTURE. LIQUID FINGERS OF BLOOD, THICK AND BRILLIANT SCARLET, DRIBBLE DOWN THE WALL OF THE CURB OVER TO THE RIGHT..GARISH STREAKS OF BRILLIANT RED AGAINST THE MUTED CONCRETE-GRAY OF THE STONE THAT THEY TRICKLE DOWN ACROSS. THE GUTTER IS SIMILARLY FULL OF BLOOD, GURGLING HAPPILY TOWARDS THE DRAIN WHERE IT SPILLS OUT OVER THE METAL DRAIN COVERING AND DRIPS DOWN AS TINY GLINTING BEADS INTO THE DARKNESS BENEATH. THE SECOND ITEM OF REMARK IS A 1″ DIAMETER SMILEY BADGE, COLORED A VIVID SUNSHINE YELLOW AS IT LAYS THERE IN THE GUTTER SMILING UP AT US AGAINST A BACKGROUND OF LURID BLOOD RED. IT HAS SOMEHOW LODGED IN THE GUTTER SO THAT IT WON’T GO DOWN THE DRAIN, AND SIMPLY REMAINS STUCK THERE, STARING UP AT US WITH ITS JARRINGLY INANE EXPRESSION. A SMALL SPLASH OF CRIMSON STAINS THE FRONT OF THE BADGE. THAT’S BASICALLY THE WHOLE OPENING IMAGE, UNLESS YOU WANT TO STICK IN A CANDY WRAPPER THAT’S ABOUT TO FLOAT DOWN THE DRAIN, IN WHICH CASE WE HAVE A PACKET OF MELTDOWNS, WHICH ARE LIKE TREETS (ENGLISH) OR M&M’S (AMERICAN) ONLY WITH BRIGHTLY COLOURED ATOMIC...

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