Thursday, January 26, 2012

Comic Books I Will Never Read.

...because they're in Italian.

And because I can't read.

This post takes me back to a time of wonder and awe, pleasure and ultimate paradise. Today, we travel back to a foreign land of pizza and lots of Peroni. Today, I take you back to our two week tour/vacation/international playboy-ing in beautiful and scenic Europe!

When we played in Europe, I was born anew. Let me preface this by saying that "Europe," to me, only really means Italy and Germany. We drove through Switzerland, which was nice, but the best review I could come up with is "that they sell hardcore porno mags in their gas stations." Italy and Germany were the money, baby, and I was their to pluck a guitar, sign a few autographs and just soak it all in.

I cannot begin tell you how amazing these two countries are, and how my passion and desire to go back grows each and every day. I may be talking out of my ass here, but I think I'm going to proclaim, Germany withstanding, that Italy is The Greatest Place on Earth.

Germany has it's perks, mind you, and I even went back a year later to hang out, sight-see and be continually inebriated for days on end. So there's no denying I'm a fan, but Italy? Italy, man! Mama mia! Pizza calzone! Bafangul! Shabba-dabba-ding-dong!

I think I like it because it was so new at the time. Nothing is too different, but every now and then it felt like you were in Bizzarro World. Why do people drink coffee out of miniature teacups? Do people really eat cheese and tomato paninis, like, every day? And is that a jeans ad with a tasteful amount of nude boob?

I understand we were on tour with a group of heavy drinking, chain smoking scoundrels, but I couldn't help get the vibe that everyone was a heavy drinking, chain smoking scoundrel. Also, I understand we never went anywhere outside of a major city, so what may seem like a party in Milan may not have been the case in...well, the outside of Milan. I need to brush up on geography.

I liked Italy. A lot. Good food, great coffee and everyone looked like a well-tailored supermodel. I know, I know. We were in crowded cities where shopping for expensive clothing seemed to be the only available activity, so my perception is more than a little skewed. It just seemed like everyone was really relaxed and joyful in eating bricks of Parmigiana cheese, drinking a bottle of beer whenever it felt right and sucking down packs of cigarettes like students in a high-school bathroom.

But alas, as they say, the grass is always greener.


I don't think we had any real time in between shows to check anything outside of the venue we were playing at, let alone even dare hunt for souvenirs, but I managed to haphazardly count out a fistful of Euros to pay for a few funny books.

As seen above, you have Dylan Dog.

Ahh, yes. My first look into popular Italian comics, thanks to a missed flight and a few hours spent in the airport terminal. These were in a gift shop, which is amazing to think you can find a comic book about a paranormal crime fighter next to Vogue and everything else that looks like Vogue.

"Amazing" might not be the right word. More along the lines of "pleasant." But still, Italian airport > US airport. In the states, unless you really, really like Sudoku or People, you're shit out of luck for the flight over. Lord knows the tears I've shed over the loss of Mad Magazine (I haven't seen one on store shelves in years) which was the only tried-and-true option for an entertaining flight that doesn't involve blasting music in your ears for six straight hours.

I've read a few Dylan Dog comics months later, when they released a fat volume in English. It's actually kind of a bizarre read -- Dylan Dog's sidekick is Groucho Marx, endless scenes of moodiness and despair and Dylan Dog sleeping with any woman he comes in contact with. It's a lot like James Bond, but super fucking goth.

Did you see the movie? The one that reinvented the phrase "sucks ass?" I'm not one to judge a film by horrible reviews and online jeers, so I've taken the first step to forming my own opinion by adding Dylan Dog to my Netflix Instant Queue. And in there, it will wait to be played, until I'm just drunk enough to not give a fuck.

I picked up some Diabolik, too.

I know little of the character, save for the fact that he wears a really cool body suit and does a lot of mysterious and sexy things.

Admittedly, these have been tucked away in a bookcase for a while now, but looking at them today, I really wish I picked up more. If I could pick out something from underneath a pile of literary rubble to represent me, my life and who I am as a person, this would be it. Close Second:

The "Choose Your Own Adventure" book where you stole floppy discs containing top secret blueprints to sinister and nefarious deeds of destruction. Your character was a kid, which was easy to relate to as Young Me, except the harrowing fact that you were, without any other option, shot and killed. Not sure what the title of the specific book was called, but that's neither here nor there. I've read that damn thing so many times without surviving, it makes me question whether or not there's even an option to win. You read along, made choices, took baby steps to surviving the game and BAM. You die and you die hard. The Bad Guys who want their devious plans back pulled no punches in achieving their goal. Bullet holes through your gut, thrown over a bridge, blown up in a rigged car, whatever. YOU WERE A LITTLE KID AND YOU DIED FOR DAMN FLOPPY DISCS.

It haunts me to this day. And that's why I love it so.

Now, I could open them Diaboliks up and at least look at all the pretty pictures, but I don't wanna ruin the beauty of such a presentation. "Diabolik" goes above and beyond, offering a trinket of good fortune with each issue.

I scored a paper key-chain, a knife-wielding Diabolik hologram and...that. My heart says "switchblade," but my good sense says "not a switchblade."

How cool would it to get a plastic switchblade with this issue? The endless possibilities, the imagination on overdrive as you re-enact brutal stabbings! As far as I'm concerned, that IS a switchblade, and that means that Diabolik rules, the airport I bought these in rule and Italy rules!

Yay Italy!


  1. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Are you telling me you have never seen the movie Danger Diabolik? If that is what you're telling me, you have to, nay NEED to, see that movie like yesterday man!

  2. Just hearing about comics in an airport kiosk sounds swank to me, (also man, Mad's quarterly instead of monthly now - been that way for a few years, so that's why they're so scarce) but man. I get so stoked when people even mention Dylan Dog, much less kinda-sorta dig it.

  3. Dex, I actually have the DVD collecting dust on my bookshelf. I have no idea why it's taken me so long to pop it in!

  4. awesome post. Love both of those titles