Sean Maher's Quality Control

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I'll shoot the moon right out of the sky

You know, I knew there was something I liked about American Virgin #1... I didn't really have the same read as Mark Fossen - though his criticism of modern-day Vertigo is spot-on for me, I didn't really see it as a redeeming feature that in this book "stereotyping is spread to all sides of the compass - there are right-wing money-grubbing religious hucksters, but it's balanced by the idiotic stoner youth."

Nah, that doesn't do it for me. Stereotyping both sides of an argument and situation I don't care about really just leaves me less interested. But there's something going on here.

Leave it to Jason Rodriguez to bring it home for me when all seems lost. I'm not gonna pull-quote him, just read the whole thing. That's a brilliant man, over there. Or, at least one who might be stupid in a similar way to me.


Those 25 pages of Continuity I linked to yesterday? Pretty wild. The lucidity of McNamara's writing and Tony Talbert's layouts and inking have made a lot of progress since Less Than Hero, which often struck me as a bit too obscure - it's good to know that they're tempering the mind-trip aspect of the new book's premise with a more accessible storytelling style.

The opening scene presented here, as might be expected, doesn't really give away much about the book that I didn't already know from the book's description, so I'm still on the excited-but-slightly-skeptical side. The premise is dead awesome: a mind fuck with sewn-in themes of personal responsibility, self awareness and the dangers of getting what you wish for, in the vein of swell stories like the movie Memento or some of the better John Constantine adventures.

I just hope the "pill-addled" element of the book doesn't become too dominant, as often happens in stories with drug themes. The whole affair, when this sort of influence comes into play, seems more-often-than-not to devolve into characters grabbing the sides of their heads and rolling around seeing things. The story gets lost in the indulgence of the hallucination, and the writer expects this to be meaningful along the same lines as a strange dream is meaningful.

This has the potential to be a much richer and complex story than that - I hope they know it. There's nothing in the preview to suggest they don't.


I've tried e-mailing him, I've tried posting silly pictures, but nothing seems to work. Poor bastard must be in trouble. I better pick up the Graeme-a-phone.

If nothing else, to console him over the results of his brilliant effort to kick DC in its web-ass.


You know what kicks ass? Being quoted and talked about by other websites and publications. I found my name and a pull-quote printed on the back of Children of the Grave #4 last year and loved it. Then I had an interview published in the back of Elk's Run #3, which was a total mind-blow on account of that being, like, the best new book that got published last year.

Then just lately, I discovered that Miriam Libicki of jobnik! fame has me quoted at the very top of her Press section.

Which, of course, is a reminder that I need to talk about the fourth issue of jobnik!, which continues to impress and disturb me in varying measures.

Say, Miriam - are you gonna be at APE this year?


Oh, and you know what kicks ass? Live heavy metal albums, when they don't suck. Sepultura's Under A Pale Grey Sky - which documents the last live show the band performed with heart-and-soul Max Cavalera, shortly after the death of his son - is an exciting and visceral example.

I've been rocking out to this thing for three days now and haven't slept. The performance of the tribal number "Kaiowas" in particular is just unbelievably intense and driven, combining that rare one-two punch Rick Rubin described in session with Slayer long ago, saying "The perfect take is the one that feels like it's going to fall apart, but never does." Fury and focus.



  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger murm said…

    "Say, Miriam - are you gonna be at APE this year?"

    well, you went ahead & linked my press section, but you know, just that question is answered on that same website (

    (spoiler: yes. hooray!)

  • At 1:56 AM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Well answered.

    Though I never even thought to check for a "tour dates" section on a comics creator's website.

    Perhaps I should start.

    After all, the concept that comics creators should act like rock stars has been trailblazed by Joe "Sunglasses Indoors At Night" Casey....

  • At 7:45 AM, Blogger Jason said…

    Thanks for the props, bro, although I think it's more that we're the same brand of "dude".

  • At 11:31 AM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Heh heh... yeah, I get the feeling we're both kinda evil in the same way. :)

  • At 1:10 AM, Blogger J McNamara said…

    Mr. Maher!

    Thanks for the kind words for Continuity. You can rest easy knowing nobody holds their head and has meaningful drug induced visions in my book. They might destroy their home towns and kill their parents but I promise it's not in a meaningful way. I leave "meaningful" to the educational institutions and "drug induced visions" to pro's like Oliver Stone and Grant Morrison. My book will however kick you up a flight a stairs and put blood in your stool. In a good way.

    Keep your comic hand strong, Jason McNamara

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