Not me, that is. I passed my 20’s long ago. But here’s some anniversaries for you all.
Scud: The Disposable Assassin
Scud was the first big comic book purchase I made. Picked up “The Whole Shebang!” from Amazon (I think) and read it cover-to-cover in the space of about a week. Scud -bless his pointy yellow head, got me into comics properly. Before that, it was pretty much Watchmen and some stuff I picked up on impulse whilst travelling in the US.
For those new to the title, Scud is pretty much what it says on the box (or, in this case, vending machine). He is a disposable assassin, sent on an assignment to kill off Jeff, a piecemeal monster with a plug for a head, a squid strapped to her chest, and mouths for knees. During this assignment, Scud discovers the warning label on his back, saying he will self-destruct on completion of the assignment. Instead of resigning to his fate, Scud cripples Jeff and puts him on life support, thus extending his lifespan for far longer.
Following that, Scud gets involved with the mob, fights Voodoo Ben Franklin, goes to a western town, travels in space and eventually meets Sussudio, the comic’s eventual love interest. These are not in order, nor does it completely encompass Scud’s entire journey. The story of Scud is so completely over the top and bizarre that it quickly became a favourite and constantly-recommended book in my collection. Rob Schrab’s sense of humour carries this comic along from beginning to end and he weaves the story incredibly well.
Clerks I won’t say too much on. Chances are, if you’ve read this, you know I’m a huge Kevin Smith fan, and you can blame Clerks for the fact I went to film school and now spend most of my time chronically lying for a living.
This wasn’t my first Kevin Smith film by a longshot. I was introduced to the View Askewniverse by way of Dogma (which, in essence, was the first and only religious epiphany I’ve ever had). Until about 2010, my viewing of the Askewniverse was pretty much ass-backwards. I received the 10th Anniversary edition of Clerks as a travel souvenir from my brother and mother and I didn’t look back since. Aided by the “don’t spend money” philosophy of Robert Rodriguez, Clerks inspired me to make movies (which then turned into a web-series after about 30 false starts and bad scripts, because you know, starting small is probably better).
The beauty of Clerks is that it is a snapshot of not only independent film circa 1994, but the lives of a generation of people who really didn’t know what the fuck to make of their lives. On this level, is speaks to pretty much anyone going through their mid-20’s… You know, if you can stop giggling at the dick and fart jokes enough to listen.
That’s right. Bill Hicks has been six feet under for 20 years. I celebrated in my own way by spamming Twitter, as many others did.
Like Kevin Smith, Hicks changed my fucking life. I was first sorta-kinda introduced by way of an online friend plagarising his material, which I found hilarious UNTIL THE TRUTH WAS UNVEILED that the material was, in fact, that of a foul-mouthed american guy with a fascination of the JFK assassination.
Bill Hicks got me into the grittier, blacker side of stand-up comedy, where the Jerry Seinfelds and Bill Baileys of the world dare not tread. Anyone who rode on Bill’s coattails were, frankly, shit in comparison (lookin’ at you, Denis Leary). Perhaps not the best role model to have, but damnit, he was a role-model I needed.
The Downward Spiral
If you’re not feeling old now, you’re about to. “The Downward Spiral” gets a big, angsty birthday cake as well.
While not my first foray into “industrial rock” (that would be mostly attributed to Rammstein’s “Stripped”, as arguably industrial as they aren’t), like my introduction to Bill Hicks, it was something I needed. It was angry, gritty, and Trent said “Fuck” a lot. It also opened up a lot of other artists for me as well, such as Tweaker, David Bowie and -of course, Johnny Cash.If this doesn’t make you even a little teary-eyed, you have no soul.
(trust a country musician to make a depressing song even more depressing)
TDS isn’t my favourite album by Nine Inch Nails, mind. Before all the “OMG LYKE, REAL FANS” shank me, I will say it’s certainly up there (preceded by “The Fragile” and “Year Zero” on my list) and it’s a staple of my music collection. But It’s a little too angry for me for the most part. That said, it was still pretty fucking influential. Especially now I’ve found an artform I’m actually good at and I’ve always been impressed with Nine Inch Nails’ music videos. Also, you know. It’s something I chuck on when I’m feeling like a swan-dive off of the balcony is preferable to, this whole ‘living’ bullshit.
Well, that’s it for the birthdays and anniversaries. There’s more coming up (one you can expect lots of sappy, fluffy love bullshit on Facebook along with it), but I’ll come to ’em when they hit.
Till next time.