Once you open up the pink. gilt—edged cover. you Will find a tableau of Victorian girl grave— robbers doing unspeakable things to a dead body while drinking and shagging each other. And all that goes on before the title page of the book. Dame Darcy self- published the first few issues of Meatcake in 1985). while she was studying animation in San Francisco. Her drawrngs are intensely girly: pretty dresses. horses and Edward Gorey-ister beauties. but everything comes to an excessively bloody end. In fact. in its more perverse moments. this compilation may remind you of the comic you always dreamt of creating when your hormones informed you that you were bridging puberty. Euphorically and criminally vulgar. in other words great fun. (Charley Murray)


LA MOUCHE Lewis Trondheim (Sevill O...

The prolific French cartoonist from Fontainebleau drvrdes his time l_)etween American—style comic

books such as the sword and sorcery series. Don/on. and European-format books such as La Mouche. This ‘silent strip' (ie employing pictures Without text) documents Itl() (:()iiii(: misadventures of a deranged fly in a kitchen straight out of The Land of the Giants. Here a benign maggot bursts out of an apple to surprise the bluebottle that will later eat said apple and grow. Alice in Wonder/and-style. to ten times its Sl/IG and then fight /e chat and then continue growing and then . . . Crazy. superbly rendered surreal tomfoolery. (Miles Fielder)


(Dark Horse) 0..

Having quietly revolutionised comic books by introducing down-beat 2iutobiograpliical writing into the medium, Harvey Pekar changes tack with this biographical graphic novel about the experiences of a young African American in the meat factory that was Vietnam. Robert McNeill's tour of duty. encompassing terror. heroism. racism and the Bangkok clap. is more dramatic than the average American Splendor tale. but Pekar relates his fellow Clevelander's story With the same honesty and attention to detail that makes his autobiograpliical writing all low key genius. Unfortunately. and also like the autobiog comics. Unsung Hero suffers from Davrd Collier's uninspiring, low grade artwork. (Miles Fielder)

92 THE LIST I)? (Jitl‘ 5; Feb 2(1):

NOSTAGIA VERTICAL Steven T Seagle and Mike Allred

(DC Vertigo) 0000

Pop art urban romance as only comics can tell. The beauty of Mike Allred's art is its bold colours. heaw lines and brash sense of humour. and only he c0uld bring Steven T Seagle's tale of skewed love and obsession in Warhol's Factory to the page. Obvrously the first thing you'll notice is the innovative shape and panelling. reading from top to bottom of a 'vertical' strip. Stylish and inventive. it's a clever play on the mediums limitations and possibilities. It's true to say in some ways this is style over content. but it's still a beautiful addition to anyone's collection. (Henry Northmorm

It’s a scream, hang it on your wall



POP AIR Talkie Walkie (Virgin) O...

Sophia Coppola makes films about a generation that was offered the world only to find it a rather Ioner place. Bands like Playgroup and Air write their melancholic setindtracks.

This is Air's fourth album a sublime realisation of two emotional approaches they have employed in the past but have hitherto kept distinct. 'Surfing on a Rocket' celebrates cultural shoplifting; in the same way as their debut album Moon Safari did and Serge Gainsbourg's Bonnie 8 Clyde did before it. ‘Alone in Kyoto' a song in English by a French band about Japan from a film by an American is as sadly beautiful as anything from The Virgin Sur'crdes or indeed any Morrissey album. Highly recommended.

(Tim Abrahamsl

FOL K SAVATH 8- SAVALAS Apropa‘t (Warp) .0.

Savath&$avalas tiiiiiria‘t

In something of a stylistic handbrake turn. Scott Herren. aka genius hip hop malcontent Prefuse 73. teams up With hitherto unknown Catalan folk chanteuse Eva Puyuleo Muns to create some swirling musical gossamer that couldn't be further from Herren's trademark beats'n'pieces.

Unassuming vocal harmonies and the burr of acoustic guitar

underpin Herren's kalr-zidoscopic instrumentation and while it does occasionally fu// out of focus when the songcraft is overcome by the atmosphere. the collected effect is still quite lovely.

These languid. melodic

adventures will appeal to those in awe of the simplistic. melodic beauty of Lambchop. Calexico. Stereolab or Air. and bring a flush/glimmer of Spanish warmth into an otherWise frigid season. (Mark Robertson)


RABIH ABOU- KI-IALIL Morton’s Foot (Enja) coo

The oud (a type of short-necked lute) is the quintessential Arab instrument. and its distinctive sound lies at the heart of Rabih Abou-Khalil's continuing experiments in combining the Arab music of his native Lebanon with jaw. The latter influence owes more to the example of his adopted home in Europe than to classic American models. and that is also reflected in his choice of collaborators. Gavino Murgia's extraordinary bass voice adds a new flavour to the music. Michel Godard's tuba anchors the bottom end with percussionist Jarrod Cagwin. While clarinettist Gabriele Mirabassi and accordion player Luciano Biondini make their usual telling contributions.

(Kenny Mathieson)


Those Are Not My Bongos (Homesleep) 000

If the band name and the title don't heighten the expectations. then the first line Will. ‘Does the penis offend you?

Do the female charms alarm? i Hey you

motherfuckers We call your hand Hey you motlierfuckeroos Get over it.‘ Unfortunately what follows this poetic chalkenge to puritan restraint is an album that makes Arab Strap's The Red Thread sound like Erasure.

No kidding: 'I was always impressed how Lassie could tell. the goodies from the baddies just by their smell' being a choice example.

Overall a valiant and soulful debut. Although whether Lassie would agree remains to be seen. (Emma Newlands)



Trumpeter Kenny Wheeler made this record in unusually protracted fashion. spreading the recordings over four sessions and seven years from 1995) 2003. With saxophonist Evan Parker as producer on each occasion. The selections iange through solo. duet. tr'io. quartet. quintet and sextet. and feature saxophonists Ray Warleigh and Stan Sul/mann. guitarist .John Parricelli. b; ssist Chris Laurence and drummer 'lony town in various combinations. Wheeler's plangent. Iiighly inventive flugelhorn work and highly characteristic compositional style (all of the music is his own. other than a version of Strayhor'n's ‘A Flower is a Lovesome Ihiiig') bring a unifying voice to the shifting permutations.

(Kenny Mathieson)