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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Reader's Diary #1869- Tom Neely: Henry and Glenn Forever and Ever

Oh my God did I enjoy this comic.

The premise alone is worth the price of admission; punk gods Henry Rollins (Black Flag) and Glenn Danzig (Misfits) are a married couple. I think what makes this so funny is that it subverts their tough guy personas (they enjoy watching the Golden Girls together) and the idea of either one having mundane domestic concerns is amusing. I think it would be a knee-jerk reaction to suggest that the comic is homophobic (the argument being that their being gay is the joke) when really, you kind of root for them as a couple. Plus, Rob Halford (Judas Priest), who is openly gay, does the foreword for the book, so he clearly doesn't take issue with it-- not, of course, that he speaks on behalf on all gay men, but it's something.

There's a lot of awesome satire and absurdity (Henry and Glenn's neighbours, for instance, are Satan-worshipping Hall and Oates) and, Hall and Oates notwithstanding, a lot of great punk and heavy metal cameos for fans of those genres (like myself). And the titular characters are surprisingly well developed, with Henry getting to be the more grounded half while Glenn is the more emotional.

The art is a bit mixed in this "Completely Ridiculous Edition" as it opens with the original Henry and Glenn comics which are drawn great in classic comic styles (Glenn looks like a Nancy character, his mother bares a striking resemblance to Archies' Miss Grundy) by Tom Neely, but then a lot of other underground and indie comics artists do their own art and story tributes to the characters. These are a real mixed bag with some so sketchy and rushed I could barely read them to some pretty cool parodies to some very interesting and wholly original looking pieces. In all cases, I appreciated the creativity, the experimentation, and humour.

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