Friday, September 23, 2011

It's like a rock N roll disease


Seriously though, I've stated how my brain works with the rock and roll and the monsters and the evil space robots fighting against the brave American soldiers with their Tesla cannons, so it should come as no surprise when I tell you that I want to talk about another rockin monster pop culture comic.
Cover of Issue #1 of Rockin' Bones; note the EC style tribute
Rockin' Bones was a very short-lived comic (3 issues and a Christmas special) that was published by NEC comics in 1992.  Every issue was written and drawn by Darren Merinuk, an outstanding artist who has done so many great band and gig posters that I can't count them all and who has a rockabilly/psychobilly storytelling power that I still enjoy despite having read his little series start to finish about 34 times.
Look at that cover.  A giant brained alien menaces a sweater wearing young lady while a skeleton combo with POMPADOURS no less, plays on.  That's real gone, cats and kittens.
Sample Page from Issue 1: A parody Public Service Announcement  concerning the "Devil Music"
Each issue is crammed with 32 glorious black and white pages with one page jokes, short tales and pin ups.  The subject matter ranges from parody to straight horror and sci-fi tales.  Merinuk captures not only the look and style of a retro 50's-60's comic, but also the feel of the whole genre.  This is what good psychobilly and horror rock is about, only visual in the comic format.
Merinuk often uses a "cluttered" style, which is really just more art for your buck.  This is why I use the quotes.
For the most part Merinuk is working with humor, but it is often the tongue-in-cheek humor that good horror-comedies employ.  Another note on his style is the seemingly cluttered panels.  Looking at the above image you can see so much going on in each picture that it really requires your full attention to appreciate and it makes for good return reading.  I often discover new things I didn't see before, or maybe just forgot.
You must expand this image to appreciate it
The above centerfold mural really says it all about Darren's mind (and mine come to think of it).  Honestly, that image is the sort of thing that goes through my head while I'm in traffic.
Merinuk even gives you extra value, as evidenced by this image of the back cover:

Cover to cover entertainment in every issue of Rockin' Bones.  As with Creepsville, I can't recommend Rockin' Bones enough.  Every issue was obviously a labor of love for Mr. Merinuk (the same can be said of Creepsville) and such talent deserved a longer run, but alas it was not to be.  If you can, go out and pick up the run (it's only 4 issues), read them and see the world in a fundamentally cooler way, kiddies.

Keep your pumpkins rockin'.

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