Friday, January 26, 2007

The Gunslinger Born

I realized I’ve been silent for a little while here, which I attribute to a nagging virus that has sapped my energy, and just general January malaise. I’ve also realized that this blog is now one year old, so I’m motivated to post something today. I expected this blog to reveal something about myself, and as I look back at the 70+ posts in the last year, it’s quite obvious that what I really like to write about is music. There has been a scattering of posts on architecture (my day job), a bit of social and arts commentary, but mostly Wild Mercury has evolved into yet another audioblog. For those of you that know me personally, this is no surprise. However, there are thousands of audioblogs out there, many of which do a much better job at covering new artists, offering reviews, and supplying fresh live concert recordings. It’s a lot of work to stay current and original, and I applaud site likes Stereogum and Fluxblog that have managed to infiltrate (and influence) the mainstream media. While I don’t expect to ever reach the levels of those sites, I hope to raise the bar this year on content and quantity.

I also hope to introduce a few more topics to mix things up a bit. I’m a pop culture junkie, which brings me to the purpose of today’s post. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love comic books. I have more than 1,000, many of which are relics of my youth and fairly valuable. I also have a number of newer titles, and these would surprise anyone that hasn’t looked at a comic book in the last 30 years. In the late 80’s and 90’s the comic industry nearly died, and budget cuts plunged the writing and artwork to embarrassingly poor quality. Today’s comics are very well done with a vast selection of themes, many of them definitely not for kids. The writing and storylines are mature, and the artwork is often astounding. Comics and the long form graphic novel are slowly being accepted as legitimate literary and artistic artforms.

What has got me excited for 2007 is the February release of The Gunslinger Born by Marvel Comics, based on Stephen King’s extraordinary seven volume epic The Dark Tower. If you don’t know of the Dark Tower, trying to explain it here would be like trying to summarize the history of Western Civilization on a Post-It note. Suffice it to say that it’s a hybrid of Tolkien, spaghetti Western and science fiction, through the mind of King’s boundless imagination and supreme storytelling (Ok, I admit to being a King junkie, too). Go here for further information. If you’re at all intrigued, pick up a copy of Volume I - The Gunslinger and dive in. King started writing the Dark Tower in 1970 and didn’t finish Volume VII until 2004. There are other worlds than these, and this epic story will take you to more than a few.

Go here for more information on the comic
Or here

And finally, Velcro Fly by ZZ Top. Why, you ask? If you’re a Dark Tower reader you know how this song figures into the story. If not, start reading!



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