[The post on the Morrison/Quitely story a few posts down is another entry in our Morrison Reading Project.]
I got a multi-faceted treat when I asked my comicshop hold Vertigo Resurrection (The “Shoot!” issue) a few weeks ago. There was a lot of good things in it.
The title story was excellent. It had originally been sceduled to be a regular issue of Hellblazer, but it was pulled from publication as it dealt with schoolyard shooting rampages and yet another real-life one happened just shortly before it was due to be published. A comicbook <i>about</i> something for a change, I thought Ellis used a single issue horror comic quite well to make a valid little point about what modern society might be doing to our children.
But then again, like both Ellis and Constantine, I’m not from the US, so commentary that seems logical enough to us from outside might be less easily received in the USA. The final jarring twist works well as a sort-of-shock ending, and ties in nicely with the title of the story, but it obviously would have been offensive to the families of children hurt and killed in one of the schoolyard shooting sprees. DC was definitely right not to publish it at the time. It wasn’t just the subject matter of schoolyard killings, but the implication in-story that the teenage victims were so nihilistic about life that their reaction was to urge their killers on.
I’m surprised they didn’t publish it during the summer holidays though, which would have hugely decreased the likelihood of some student going all Second Amendment on his fellows in the week or two before the publishing date.
The other stories were all pretty strong, certainly making up in art for any weaknesses in the storytelling. Bruce Jones, in particular lucked out on getting Berni Wrightson to illustrate his sex-and-death ghoulfest. It is great to see creators working on these self-contained short stories.
Too bad these anthologies don’t sell, but then again, although I did enjoy reading Flinch, one of the anthologies from which most of these stories are taken, I always got it from the bargain bins a few months after it came out. (One issue of Flinch had a memorably brilliant story about the Chinese practice of foot-binding that was true horror without ever straying from an account of what really happened.)
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