So in my Black Orchid post late last week, I mentioned a Gaiman book entitled Midnight Days. This book… is… awesome! The collection features some of Gaiman’s least common works, for instance…
There’s Gaiman’s “Jack in the Green” story for the Swamp Thing character is wonderful and reunites Steven Bissette and John Totleben, the pair who helped Alan Moore revitilize the character in the late eighties. This story was also one of his earliest scripts for DC Comics, even though it wasn’t published until this book.
There’s also the Sandman Midnight Theater story penned by both Gaiman and Matt Wagner, who was writing the similarly titled, but much different series Sandman Mystery Theater. Both are worth reading (though Mystery Theater is a bit hit-and-miss sometimes).
Oh and how about that Floronic Man story illustrated by Mike Mignola (of Hellboy fame)? If you love Mignola’s art, you’ll love this comic. If you don’t, well… you’d do well to skip it.
And who could forget Brother Power the Geek? Wait… who? Yeah, he’s one… strange comic character. And that’s really saying something. Brother Power was created by Joe Simon (who also co-created Captain America) and the original series lasted for all of two issues. I could go on forever about how surreal this story is… but the short, short version:
Mannequin dressed in hippie garb crashes down to Earth from space (don’t ask), grows giant (I said don’t FUCKING ask), and goes on a rampage. In the end, another hippie saves the day. Oh and also, Batman (leave it alone, man!).
I could talk about those stories… but I won’t. Because, if you’ve read the book, you know there’s really only one story to talk about. Gaiman once again recruits his friend Dave McKean and they pair up to do a one-shot Hellblazer comic (number 27, titled “Hold Me”) that is far and away one of the best single issues of Hellblazer and another high point for the Gaiman\McKean pairing.
Oh god, I’m already nearly a hundred my self-imposed word limit for these Bites of Bits postings… and if I keep writing about how I’m at my limit, I’ll only get closer and closer to the dreaded five hundred words…
Well shit… I’m not deleting the section about Brother Power. I can’t. If more people learn about him, they’ll be just as confused as I am. And one can only hope it helps quell the madness inside my mind…
ANYway… So… Midnight Days… Hellblazer… “Hold Me.” Yeah… Written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean… Brilliantly colored by Daniel Vozzo, equally brilliantly lettered by Todd Klein (who else?).
Like just about anything Neil Gaiman related… I could go on and on. What you need to know about this issue is that it is first and foremost a horror story. Like pretty much everything related to Constantine (especially that movie… scariest thing I ever saw, man…). But it also encompasses a love story, social commentary on the public’s willing indifference to homelessness, and the importance of even the briefest of kind gestures.
Quite a bit for just 24 pages.
The book is long out-of-print in the original, single issue format. But you could pick up Midnight Days for less than the price of the individual comic (yes it is rare and expensive in the original format) and get a bunch of other great Gaiman work as well. I say you do it.