I was never much of a Vertigo comics reader. The line began between the time I had written my first story for DC Comics (the bonus book in Warlord #131) and the time I wrote my next one, for Star Trek, six years later. (He admits, shamefacedly.) The only things it had to offer that really caught my eye were Sandman Mystery Theater (I am still a devoted Matt Wagner fan as a result of that one) and Doom Patrol (I have yet to find a version of the Doom Patrol that equals the original Drake / Premiani run, but this version just made me wonder if I was losing the capacity to read the English language.)
But the cover of Peter Milligan and Tess Fowler’s new effort from IDW’s Black Crown line made me nostalgic for something I was never really into. “That looks like a 90’s Vertigo cover!” I thought. And I guess I pleasantly remembered those halcyon days when I thought I was about to make it in the comics industry.
I hadn’t heard of it, but I picked it up on impulse. I liked Milligan’s Hellblazer pretty well. The publisher’s blurb calls it “A dark, demented satire,” and “Kafka meets King Lear by way of Young Frankenstein.”
Huh. I never liked Kafka. I don’t even recall what I’ve read by him, but I know the whole cockroach thing just annoyed me. Lear is not my favorite Shakespeare play. Much Ado About Nothing is, followed, believe it or not, by The Winter’s Tale.
Still, I liked this strange story of a former rock star who runs a hotel and performs lobotomies on distressed clients for a whopping fee. Half the time you’re not sure what’s happening and what isn’t. The some trace of William S. Burroughs in the pacing of the narrative. It definitely hooked me though. I’ll be keeping an eye on this title.
Maybe I should go back and read more Vertigo? I do have all those Sandman trades (the Gaiman version) and a huge stack of Books of Magic I’ve never touched.
Hmmmm… Now where did I put all that stuff I haven’t read yet?