ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY NO 15 Chris Ware (Fantagraphics) 00000
Having completed the story arc detailing the hilariously miserable existence of ‘Jimmy Corrigan The Smartest Kid On Earth' (the hardback anthology of which scooped a Guardian First Book award). Ware changes tone and book size (now a giant 45 x 27cm) with this ‘chapbook' of jokes. Parodying the newspaper funnies of the 20s, ACME No 15 includes strips such as 'Ouimby the Mouse' (a foul-mouthed version of Mickey). ‘Rusty Brown' (70s kitsch collector and pervert) and ‘Tales of Tomorrow' (featuring Corrigan in Flash Gordon Outfit). As usual. the design is at once ingenious and deliberately infuriating — as the small print says. ns‘headache- provoking'.
COMEDY BUDDY BITES THE BULLET
Peter Bagge (Fantagraphics) 0000
When Hate! kicked off in the early 90s it was singled out as the comic which accurately satirised the 'grunge' phenomenon. Slacker kids in Seattle consuming as much cheap liquor and low-
I WONDER WHY THE OTHER KIDS DIDN'T LIKE ME
grade pharmaceuticals as they could get their mitts on to a soundtrack of heads- down Cobain-ery — Buddy Bradley was the poster slouch for the whole thing. Ten years on. Hate.’. like the music. has moved on; this fourth collection. gathering together the final issues of the mag. has a real filmic tone to it. Not visually (Bagge's exaggerated caricatures remain), but in the twisting narrative. Think C/erks meets Dazed And Confused and you're some way there.
COMIC HISTORY HICKSVILLE Dylan Horrocks (Drawn & Quarterly) 0...
New Zealand writer- artist Horrocks' book is a labour of love celebrating comics. Hicksville combines a critical history of the medium — championing its originators. panning the businessmen that ripped them off — with
NZ's Maori and colonial histories. and ties it all together with smalltown life portrait situated somewhere between Northern Exposure and Twin Peaks. In an act of pure wish fulfilment. Horrocks has created. in remote seaside town Hicksville. a place where everybody. down to old Mrs Hicks the librarian. reads or creates comics. But how did Dick Burger graduate from Hicksville to Hollywood to become a millionaire comic creator. and why does the town hate him? Marvel-Otis.
SWAMP THING: A MURDER OF GROWS
Alan Moore (Titan)
In 1986 Moore was at the beginning of a streak of greatness that continues to this day. This brilliant comic contained all the pantheistic madness that makes the writer druid England's most cherished expert. Drawn from the pages of Moore's early work for American DC. this takes our confused Eco warrior deep into the heart of Hell via The Creation. or is that The Apocalypse? Absolutely stunning stuff that will outlive us all. Illustrators Stephen Bissett. Stan Woch and Ron Randall among others perfectly sum up a world at once decrepit and full of magic. (Paul Dale)
ELECTRONICA VARIOUS ARTISTS
Compilations round up
Idealism — a dirty word nowadays when everyone wants a slice of the long green but with Obsessive's new compilation of spoken word retro funk. Waxing Lyrical (Obsessive 0000 i. you can at least pretend yOu care between shifts at the local munitions factory. Some absolutely stellar cuts here from the fabulous ‘ls This The Future?‘ by the Fatback Band to the deliriously tasty early hip hop masterpiece ‘The Crown' by Gary Byrd. Though quite what Issac Hayes eighteen-minute yawnfest cover ‘By The Time | Get To Phoenix' is doing here is a mystery.
As beautifully packaged as ever. Winter Chill 3 (Hed Kandi 000 does a fine job of lifting the seasonal blues with a conSiderate. well- balanced mix of tannin- heavy tunes from Goldfrapp to Lamb and much more. The Pulp Fusion series lights up the crack pipe for a sixth time With Pulp Fusion — Magnum (Harmless 0000 i. This is werth haVing in yOur collection for Sly Stone's 'Crossword Puzzle‘ (with its amazing falling riff that fuelled De La Soul's ‘Say No Go') and Larry Young's Fuel's seedy ‘Turn Out The Lights'.
Down at the Ministry farm they are once again scraping the inside of the hide of their favorite cash cow to make cold smoothies The Chillout Annual (MOS 00 starts With Groove Armada tquel surprise!) and ends rather fittineg with Radiohead's 'No Surprises'. yOu can probably )0”) the dots yourself.
In an attempt to usurp all other 'hits of the year' compilations on the market however, Ministry Of Sound have expanded The Annual 2002 (MOS OOO to a three-CD. 62-track colossus spanning all the big hits from the worlds of house. trance. breaks. progressive and UK garage. A bargain
for dance music never strays off the garden path of commerciality but othenivise the familiarity may become wearing. Bedrock continue to trade on their highly credible name. this time with a double platter of the breaking-est sounds around. Bedrock Beats (Bedrock 000 , perfectly illustrates the cyclical nature of dance music: many of the elements of the music are also utilised on drum & bass and the heavier Slde of UK garage. but sound better there than here. Without the sheen of UK garage or urgency and weight of drum & bass. this just sounds sluggish and unoriginal, which is a shame as it does buck the four-to- the—floor trend. The second CD takes a more subdued direction and is all the better for it but only makes you want to skin up not jump up. (Paul Dale and Mark Robertson)
POP THE BEE GEES The Record - Their Greatest Hits (Polydor) OOOO
Apparently the Bee Gees' back catalogue makes Bono 'ill with envy'. and while fidelity may not be the first word that springs to mind (the brothers Gibb were happy to do folk in the 60s. disco in the 708 and MOR slush in the 803). there's more than enough quality here to justify this 42-track retrospective. Take your pick from 'The One From Saturday Night Fever'. 'The One from Saturday Night Fever (That Take That Covered)‘. ‘The One That Got Turned into ‘Ghetto Superstar" and 'The One Steps Did'. delve into the lesser known gems. and add yOur own shouts of ‘Get real with the fever on the dancefloor!‘ to ‘Stayin' Alive'. Marvellous stuff.
POP BLUE All Rise (Virgin) O
Pop music shouldn't be put on albums. and Blue are a case in point. The four-boy band are marginally less substantial than Sive and slightly less irritating than Westlife. and while their polished pap sounds pleasant enough on the radio. sandwiched between a Witless news bulletin and the latest ex- Spice comeback single. when stretched out over three-quarters of an hour it SOunds immensely dull. If you want music that sticks to a formula. this hotchpotch of listless soul. well-worn harmonies. sickly swingbeats and the odd tiresome rap may well be for you. You evil. twisted bastard.
COUNTRY SHELBY LYNNE
Love Shelby (Mercury) 0..
The last LP was Meet She/by Lynne. now Love She/by. What if this beautiful relationship ends in cussing and smashed crockery and we're rowing over who gets the Gram Parsons' CDs? YOLI'I/ Be Hearing From She/by's Lawyer YOU Asshole?
Winner of last year's Grammy for best newcomer. which she acknowledged was kinda ironic given a
brace of C ‘n' W records already to her name. this countiy-soul diva has an immense talent. Disappointineg it's only half-eVIdent on a record produced by the bloke who polished The Corrs and Alanis Morissette to such shiny-turd effect. Sure there are still some fine moments here but the grit is all but MT Sheened.
ACME’s Qimby the Mouse
collection if your tastes (James Smart)
1;) Dec 200) L) Jan 200? THE LIST 107