This is the humdinger, the series I always return to when I’m looking for something to enjoy, ‘Gaylord Phoenix’ by Edie Fake. Back around '99-'01 I was really getting into underground comics, obsessively mail ordering stuff from Hart, Kochalka, Rege, had pretty much everything published by Black Eye Books, Highwater Books, etcetera; yeah my noise band even played some shows at Fort Thunder and then I got turned on to Paper Rodeo and Multiforce and I was living the good life. Lifestyle changes meant I stopped buying/following that shit and then, about 6 or 7 years later, when the lifestyle calmed down a bit, I came across Gaylord Phoenix and was blown the fuck away.
This had all the elements of the stuff I used to follow and enjoy but it was so modern, so new, so right for the time period. It was so abstract and experimental and so deeply personal, every page sang with an energy that was a mix of sorrow and yearning and muscle flexing and experimenting well god damn I realized I had to get back into comics because in the short time I was away they got really god damn exciting.
This is the kinda art, as I sit here revisiting the comic for the umpteenth time, that I feel is so necessary for our culture. So necessary for us to understand, to witness, and yet so many are unaware of. I don’t know why I get so jazzed up about humanity when I read this book but people are smoking crack in my doorway as I write this, white Christians are coming in from the sububurbs and bringing in big piles of food for the shelters, drunks stumbling in the unseasonly rain; all that bullshit wouldn’t be going on if there was a longing for art, real art, for real expression.
I mean, how is it that I, a strait dude, in his high tower of white heterosexual-ness, can be so enamored with a highly erotic book of sex magic and so much penis on penis action unless this book is an actual incantation, an actual work of magic, that transcends any inherent or ascribed perceptions of gender or sex or the newly evolving gender/sexual wars and arguments introduced and maintained by an utterly wimpy and weak upcoming generation of losers who are desperately THINKING up solutions and arguments instead of living them, drawing upon nothing but their suburban lifestyles and internet access to come up with abstractions that were never welcome in the first place and what the fuck am I typing?
I mean this is the kinda book, like Alan Moore’s 'From Hell’, where the experience of the characters is expressed so frankly, so matter of factly, with such intimate and obvious understanding that, in my mind, as the reader, I can only accept that these events actually did occur, that this book is merely a presentation of the truth as it happened. I understand now that there is magic. I understand now there are ways to use my body that I have never tapped into. I understand everything thanks to this beautiful work of historical fact.
The art and lettering is good too. I wanna get every page tattooed on me. The one where the three wizards have their beards tied together and try to coerce the bad stuff out of the main character by various fingerings of holes or mouthing of poles- Tolkien had his ass clenched way too tight to ever finally realize or give into the fact that fantasy, history, the secret times were more likely much like this than people with furry feet fighting wars over rings. This is the obvious beginning and conclusion of us, of our experience, this is what we have forgotten, this is what is within us and thanks Edie Fake for tapping into it and bringing it out!!
buy the fucking book here