Dead Singers: Volume 4.
Edited by Paddy Johnson and Samuel C. Williams.
Published by Good Comics.
The idea is fairly simple. This is an anthology series that deals only in the dead variety of singers. That’s something of a niche market but one that has been pursued by many creators over the four issues of this comic. I have enjoyed each and every volume as it has come out from those enthusiastically cool folks at Good Comics.
This is what they have to say about this new release:
‘The fourth and final (and by far biggest!) issue of our flagship anthology Dead Singers Society is here. Features over twenty artists and writers talking about their favourite Dead Singers, including Scott Hutchison, Gord Downie, Chester Bennington, Eartha Kitt, Dusty Springfield, Dolores O'Riordan and many more!’
However.....as I read the introduction I learn that this is the final issue! Say it ain’t so!? Don’t leave me this way? Go now? (OK, I admit that last one was a bit of a stretch).
But those gentlemen at Good Comics were kind enough to send me an early copy. So I’ll happily forgive them.
Listen, its an anthology. Not everything lands for each and every reader but this has more hits than flops! (I really need to stop). The cover isn’t as strong as I would have expected from this firm. I see what they are doing with it but it seems a tiny bit under rendered and on the nose? Maybe that’s just me. It does however communicate the content and in a way harks back to the punk fanzines from the last century. This will be getting a release at the Bristol Comics and Zine Fair on the 6th of October. Then it’ll be available from the web shop from the 8th (see link below).
So I thought that I would name a few of my favourites. In no particular order here are a few that really caught my eye.
PS I swear quite a lot in this piece....it is rock and roll for fucks sake, deal with it!
‘Warren Zevon’ by Ethan Edward.
This one is particularly impactful for a number of reasons. The first being the fact that I am sat in Soho reading this comic and the song that springs up in the Zevon section is Werewolves of London’. I’ve also been racing through his back catalogue on the commute recently and loving the lyrics. This is a single image one pager that could easily be a 1978 7” cover. It uses two punchy examples of Zevon’s lyrics, makes a point and leaves. I suppose that in itself is a spot on sentiment. (Cough, this would make a great print, cough).
Ethan can be found at www.ethanedward.weebly.com
‘Chrissy Amphlett’ by Frank Candiloro.
This is a short story that has so much energy you can feel the floor jumping as the guitars kick in! The art is nutty, square and rectangular, solidly inked punky madness. The clashing of the black and white sets up a solid chord strike on the page. Gloriously a 1980s punk fanzine of a strip. I’ll be on the look out for this creator in the future.
Frank can be found at www.gumroad.com/frankencomics
‘Marissa Veres’ by Conan Fiori-McPhee.
This looks like a Peter Bagge strip crossed with some of the best of Viz (just with less ejaculate!) and in my eyes there can be no higher compliment. This is also colourfully cool period specific post flower power comics. This could easily have come from the inside of a gatefold cover from a blues rock band of the mid seventies. I want a whole comic like this - now, let’s Go!
Conan can be found at www.catsmeat.com
‘Captain Beefheart’ by Gareth Hopkins.
This is another one pager. It is powerful, edgy, vibrant and striking. It has a teeth grinding amphetamine angle to it but also seemingly at the same time explores the lysergic side of the musical world. It is in your face with intelligence and experimental confidence, much like the music itself. Fucking bravo!
Gareth can be found at www.grthink.com
‘G. G. Allin’ by John Tucker.
If there was ever a singer who was both dead and suited to the storytelling skills of Mr Tucker this is the one. John tells a brilliantly hilarious story of the poop obsessed shouter’s attempts to read poetry to his audience. They demand more poo! (It doesn’t end well, but then again the stories in this comic aren’t really meant to?)
Find John Tucker storing downstairs items at his website http://www.johntucker.co.uk/
Oh go on.
‘2Pac’ by Miguel Peres and Tainan Rocha.
I have to admit to knowing fuck all about the man, his music or his demise but this first page wants me to shit the bed and get my head into some of his lyrics. This is like Sienkiewicz had a baby with Tom Scioli and Jim Mahfouz and decided to draw/paint a rap song. The words and images combine to make a ruddy beautiful page. To coin a more London friendly 420 phrase ‘I want what he’s smoking!’
Find Miguel Peres at www.miguelperres.myportfolio.com and Tainan Rocha at www.tainanrochailustracao.tumblr.com
Oh, and this by Jamie Howard is fucking spectacular! (Find Jamie at www.themookscomics.tumblr.com )
This is a great showcase of an anthology. I could easily head off now and pick up comics by many of those involved here. It’s a real shame to see it stop but sometimes it’s better to get off at the top. (The Only Way is Up?) I’m now wondering what the next subject area will be all about? For future releases? I have a few suggestions for those Good Comics industry bigwigs.
Movie stars with a Safari-suit obsession?
Elderly ladies in 1980s Detective tv series? (‘Murder She Drew’?)
The later movies of Eddie Murphy? (‘Murphy The Wilderness Years’ or ‘Desperate Spice’?).
‘Tiswas vs Swap Shop? (‘Only Communists Liked Tiswas’).
1990s confectionary and UK indie movies? (‘Curly, Hurly, Burly’? ‘Kes nicked my Star Bar’?)
The Carry On Movie series vs On The Buses.
The Singles of Go West?
I’m now off to listen to some 2pac on Spotify (I’m so down with the kids!)
Find Good Comics at http://goodshop.bigcartel.com/product/pre-order-dead-singers-society-iv You can also find them on Twitter @Good_Comics
Many thanks for reading and ‘Just Go’!