Thursday, January 10, 2013

Song Of The Week: Into The Timewastes

Comic related metal songs are relatively few and far between. The lyric for "Into The Timewastes" by Dutch Death/Doom metal band Asphyx worked it's way into my subconcious after listening to their most recent album ("Deathhammer", 2012) a few times and it eventually hit me - this is totally the A.B.C Warriors, atleast in the start of the song.

"dive into the timewastes
at the speed of light
robot mercenaries
elite for hire
galactic warriors
ancient as space
serving and protecting
a weak organic race
universal empires
face the ultimate threat
disturbance in order
time meets death
sensors activating
defensive shields
encountering chaos
desorientating fields"

That appears to have ties to the Black Hole saga from the late 80's. The ABC Warriors, a band of old war robots, are dispatched into an area known as the Time Wastes to repair a problem that threatens to destroy Earth. Curious, I tracked down an interview with the vocalist to see if it was intentional:
Metal Blast: You guys have always had very interesting song titles; ‘Into The Timewastes,’ ‘Of Days When Blades Turned Blunt,’ ‘We Doom You To Death.’
Martin van Drunen: [Laughs] Yeah, it was just the fun of it. The thing is that we were trying to be original in the song titles, but also so you know what it deals with. ‘Into The Timewastes’ is non-existing, it’s like science fiction more-or-less. That’s what the song says, too. It’s about a bunch of robot mercenaries that travel throughout the galaxy and are constantly at war with all kinds of creatures, and they dive into this thing called the ‘Timewaste’ where time meets death and that is the end of the universe if they don’t fix that problem. That’s the idea behind it; I read too many comics sometimes, I guess.
No confirmation there of the inspiration, but there's a nod to comics at the end so it seems possible.

On to the song itself. It starts off relatively pedestrian - this is your basic straight-ahead Death Metal, and there's nothing subtle about it. Where the song becomes brilliant is at the 1:08 mark, when the breakdown is introduced. Sure it's a couple of simple riffs, but the groove to it is colossal. I defy any metal fan to not nod their head to it.
One of my favourite songs to come out of 2012.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Art In Close-Up: Artist Hijinks

During one of my regular searches for artwork (Firestorm related, of course), I found the cover to Firestorm #2 (vol.2).
Awesome stuff. Upon closer inspection, I noticed this in the margin at the bottom left of the page:
Pat Broderick must've been pretty chuffed with his finished pencils and wanted to see them preserved. Of course these days the penciled art need never leave the artist's side. Back in 1982, I'd imagine it was a much less common (and quite impractical) request.

Raising this from "interesting" to "funny" is a second note to editor Len Wein written in the margin. In the bottom right margin is this response:
I assume this was written by Dick Giordano who was inking the series covers. I like to imagine him seeing the cover and deciding it would actually be quite fun to ink it, and adding this comment in jest.

As it turned out, there was an inked version of the cover done, but what saw print turned out to be markedly different from the original pencils:
I have no idea of the details behind this. As I see it either Pat Broderick drew it again, or Dick Giordano did a recreation of it. I have an inkling that I've seen the inked artwork online once before, but I can't for the life of me find it nor did I appear to save it (which I generally do with all Firestorm artwork I stumble across) so I guess not.

For anyone interested in the cover and with a spare $1,950 to burn, it is currently available here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Panel Of The Week

This week in Firestorm I noticed something....
...the circle on the back of the costume has finally returned!

It used to be there on the classic costume:
Then it left when Jamal Igle redesigned the outfit in Volume 3:
Brightest Day may've seen the return of Ronnie to the Firestorm costume, but the back circle stayed dead:
Even in a reimagined universe there seemed to be no place for it:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Enter: Brutallica

Courtesy of randomly digging through a cupboard and stumbling across something I hadn't seen in years, today I bring you: Brutallica!
Brutallica, unleashed on the world in 1992, was the creation of one Colin MacKenzie. I have no idea who Colin was or what has happened to him since, although one of his books has managed to get itself a listing in Google Books, albeit a blank entry. Of course, when I say "unleashed on the world" what I really mean by "world" is "New Zealand", and probably even more specifically "Auckland". As you can no doubt guess from the cover, this is your basic home produced comic book; Printed on a photocopier and most likely sold at the local comic shop. It's A4 size and clocks in at 7 pages. Here's the intro:
As near as I can tell this thing ran for 8 issues, plus one reprint collecting the first 3 issues (well it's probably more accurate to say "I have 9 issues and I'm guessing that's it". There's not really anyone I can ask about it.) According to the intro in #3, the first 2 issues sold 15 copies (I'm assuming that's total, not each). Brutallica cared not for social causes- he was all about killing stuff, mostly "just because". His first adventure:
Yeah. Ummm... take that McDonalds....
The pages that follow include Brutallica unleashing his fury on a government department, a heavy metal band, and a flock of birds:
I inherited these from a friend who left the country 10+ years ago. Still holding on to them, they've gotta be worth something one day surely...