This book succeeded in making me curious about this genre of music. The main problem I have with it is that it is written like a fan would write it. TThis book succeeded in making me curious about this genre of music. The main problem I have with it is that it is written like a fan would write it. This is a fact that has its own merits -- if you're already into it, it's gonna be a fun read -- but it also ends up being incoherent in the way it presents the topic.
There isn't a logical organization that I could follow clearly. A common one that books of this sort follow is to break it down by bands (one band, one chapter) or by periods (origins, development, ramifications). But this is not how this book is organized.
As far as I can tell it's going by geography (the Stockholm scene, the Gothenburg scene, Norway) AND chronologically. So we start from the main external players, like American bands such as Morbid Angel, Death or Possessed, then we follow the tape trading and fanzine phenomenon in Sweden and particularly Stockholm in the mid 80s (which kinda overlaps to said American bands time-wise), we touch on early Gothenburg stuff (Grotesque) then we move around a bit (Grave, etc) but mostly stay in Stockholm, the main death metal hub especially with Nihilist then Entombed, then we follow its explosion around Sweden, then black metal in Norway, and then back to Gothenburg with At the Gates and In Flames. Finally we walk through later developments such as death'n'roll and "retro trash" (?). In all this moving each band (e.g. Grave) is covered multiple times and it's hard to follow its development when it's scattered all over the place.
It was cool though to read about the tape trading and fanzine phenomenon that essentially originated all of this. That's covered well and the passion comes thru. People living by the day new tapes were delivered by the postman. Bands helping each other creating music no one had heard before. Total outcasts working undisturbed for no reward besides their peer's approval, drinking a lot in the process. It's also clear these kids (often below 18!) didn't take themselves as seriously as one might think. Cool to relive that magic and all its nostalgia if you're old enough, and if you're below 40, I guess you can see how dedication kept these people very connected before the internet. Being so much more difficult to connect ended up being a selection of the fittest: only the most committed players could play. Limitations in a way made things easier....more
What an ending! This is one crazy f-up story, (view spoiler)[with thousands of people dead across centuries (hide spoiler)] and tons of surprises alonWhat an ending! This is one crazy f-up story, (view spoiler)[with thousands of people dead across centuries (hide spoiler)] and tons of surprises along the way. Again the amount of people that die here is ridiculous. I don't remember seeing something like this in any written work! That being said this is a very funny, hilarious book. There are some more slapstick laugh-out-loud moments that are really, really great!
Jason's panels keep getting better and better, communicating so much with so little. The part in the "void" (let's call it that) where it's all black is incredible. All panels are black or shades of black with Jimmy's thoughts as the only interposition. The timing and pace is perfect. And what follows (surprise! hahaha) is even better.
The way Jimmy masters the "possession weapon" continues to improve as if Jason had somehow... tried it himself?? It's just another point that proves in my mind that this is a really well thought-out story that grows with its characters. (Not that I needed that confirmation, I suppose.)
I recommend Demon to every human, inhuman or demonic creature alike....more
The middle section of Demon is perhaps the weakest, but it's still very good. There are some moments of rest after the intense first part, and that'sThe middle section of Demon is perhaps the weakest, but it's still very good. There are some moments of rest after the intense first part, and that's ok. It needed a slow down and besides, it only introduces the final part of the story which gets back into utter craziness. The pacing is really great. The plot twists are still there, (view spoiler)[I thought Hunter was dead and gone for good, for instance (hide spoiler)] and for sure Jason intelligence can't be dismissed... It's not some dumbed down thing this one. The attention to details is still here, and the math and the deductive reasoning that his characters employ is obviously never gonna abandon you. ...more
I think the first part of Demon (i.e. this one) is the best. A lot of the main plot elements are introduced here and they are so insane that they madeI think the first part of Demon (i.e. this one) is the best. A lot of the main plot elements are introduced here and they are so insane that they made me laugh out loud many times. I'll remember it as one of the funniest and in a way depraved comic books I've ever read. (view spoiler)[The hardened cum paper knife thing is just really out there and I think it'll be something difficult to match for any author. (hide spoiler)] I also loved the low-fi red colors (faded red, white and black) that are in the printed edition. They just add something to the whole thing. ...more
The book is small but it has a nice thick matte paper, hardback cover and it gives you an idea of the greatness that Whistler achieved.
Whistler in manThe book is small but it has a nice thick matte paper, hardback cover and it gives you an idea of the greatness that Whistler achieved.
Whistler in many of his portraits creates some amazing ethereal figures. They have a quality that makes them almost ghost-like: men and women emerge from a dark canvas, sometimes barely visible, their face the only defining human feature. And even there, the paleness and unusual skin texturing sometimes reminded me of zombies. In all cases, they just stand there, haunting you. I don't particularly even like portraits but these are quite unique, and this little book does a decent job at bringing out this otherworldly trait that does exist in the original: matter of fact, I bought this book after seeing "Nocturne: Blue and Gold-- Southampton Water" at the Art Institute of Chicago (an amazing museum btw) which called for me from across the room. His landscapes are equally atmospheric, if not more, and while the Nocturne quoted above is not featured here, many others are.
A brief history of Whistler's life is present at the beginning of the book. ...more