Friday, August 19, 2005

My desert island comics

Should I have a go at one of these meme things? Oh, why not? I saw the "What five comic books would you take on your desert island" idea on Jim Roeg's Double Articulation. "Spider-Man: House of M" will keep till Monday.

I suppose I could take "The Watchmen" or "Howard the Duck" to my island, but what's the point? I've read them so many times the pages squeal for mercy whenever I pick them up. No, what is needed is a comic you can read as many times as you like, but never remember a single thing about. And what could fulfil that role better than Howard Mackie's run on X-Factor? I could sit on the beach and reread those things again and again like a dim-brained goldfish until that elusive Liberian container ship comes chugging over the horizon to save me. From the island, obviously, not Mackie.

On dark island nights, tormented by malarial fits, the shrill whine of mosquitos and red ants the size of labradors, there is a need to remember that despair can envelop even those in civilisation, that a fall from grace is inevitable, and that sometimes even your most beloved pastimes can come to feel meaningless and dim. Which is why I always pack Louise Simonson's New Mutants whenever I fly across the Pacific.

I need a good mystery to while away the long hours and days, something almost completely inexplicable which I feel if I study conscientiously I may someday be able to at least partially understand. And I can think of little more perplexing than John Byrne's disastrous relaunch of Spider-Man. Perhaps, buried in those apparently slapdash pages, is a hidden code, which, when deciphered, will provide me with an answer to the question which I still scream in the night, "Why did you do it, Johnny, why, WHY?"

I think there is a need to maintain your "sang froid" in straightened circumstances, to remember, though your clothes may be ragged and your bed made out of discarded coconut husks, that nothing can take away the composure and dignity that you carry in your heart and mind. And what better comic to contemplate this than Geoff Johns' Avengers #71, in which Hank Pym shrinks down to ant-size and then voyages up the Wasp's front bottom in order to give her a good pleasuring?

Being bereft of all the items one needs to maintain an acceptable lifestyle, there is a need to adapt old objects for new purposes. Given the total lack of firelighters, fly swatters and toilet paper on our island, I can think of no candidate more suitable for adaptation than Mike Carlin's run on the Thing. And "Rocky Grimm, Space Ranger" and a god awful Wrestling Tie-in have already proved their usefulness to me many times over, by being stripped of their backing boards whenever I run short.


Blogger Tim O'Neil said...

"Rocky Grimm, Space Ranger" is one of my very favorite storylines. Ever.

You have earned my wrath this day!

1:13 pm  
Blogger Jim Roeg said...

I don't mean to impugn your obviously excellent taste, DC, but you forgot Dan Jurgens's Teen Titans! Don't worry, though. I'll FedEx my copies to your island. :)

9:29 pm  
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