I was a big fan of The Pirates of Coney Island, the riotous and (alas) never-finished 2006-2007 Image Comics miniseries by Rick Spears and Vasilis Lolos about young love, car-jacking and gang violence on the sun-drenched boardwalk. It was fun and frenetic, with a fascinating use of color by Lolos (I wrote about the latter in 2006; unfortunately the accompanying images evaporated into the ether).
But following the release of Issue 6, The Pirates of Coney Island disappeared because, as Lolos recently explained to Robot 6′s Chris Arrant, “I was literally not making any money off the issues and my obligations to support my mother were getting bigger and bigger.” As the artist indicated in the interview, he drew the covers for the final two issues in 2010 (or 2011, judging by the signature), and yesterday, he finally revealed them on his blog. It seems unlikely Spears and Lolos will ever reunite to complete the miniseries, but the covers are a bittersweet reminder of what could’ve been.
Now I just need to find what I did with those six issues and reacquaint myself with Patch & Co. …
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15, I’d first grab hold of my favorite of DC’s New 52, Batwoman #2 (DC, $2.99). J.H. Williams III has successfully kept up to the immense expectations he accumulated following his run with Greg Rucka, and the artwork seems to benefit even more by J.H.’s input into the story as co-writer. Next I’d dig down for two of my regular pulls, Northlanders #45 (DC/Vertigo, $2.99) and Uncanny X-Force #16 (Marvel, $3.99). For my final pick, I’d have to miss a bunch of other titles for the chance to get the CBLDF Liberty Annual 2011 #4 (Image, $4.99). I love the anthology format, and having that plus the good cause plus the a-list talent makes it a must get; seriously, can you imagine one comic book containing new work by Frank Quitely, Williams, Mark Waid, J. Michael Straczynski, Matt Wagner AND Craig Thompson? BELIEVE IT!
Black Metal, Book 1
Written by Rick Spears; Illustrated by Chuck BB
As someone who’s not a fan of Black Metal the Music Genre, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Black Metal the Graphic Novel. I hoped I’d like it. I love Chuck BB’s (Secret Skull) art for one thing. I’ve also heard great things about Rick Spears’ Teenagers from Mars. Mostly though, while I don’t dig a lot of the music, I’m very entertained by the trappings of Metal: the skulls, the demon lords…the Vikings. If Spears and BB were able to just tell an awesome story with all that stuff, Black Metal would succeed.
Undoubtedly, readers will find more enjoyment in it the closer they relate to the music and the culture that Black Metal celebrates. There’s no false advertising in that title. Shawn and Sam Stronghand are an orphaned pair of junior high twins who’ve been shuffled from school to school and foster home to foster home. They also – as the book says – have “a penchant for the darkest of metal.” When they play an album by a hardcore band called Frost Axe, they hear the legend of a war in Hell between two Barons: a huge, horned bruiser called the Roth and the sinister demon named Von Char who defeated the Roth through trickery. Playing the record backwards, the twins are pulled to Hell where they recover the Roth’s Sword of Atoll and return to Earth with it.
Von Char doesn’t like this of course and sends minions to kill the boys. As the Stronghands (and their gross little foster brother) try to survive, they encounter a band of ancient warriors (action!), Norse gods (adventure!), and cute girls (romance!) only one of whom is human.