FIRST THINGS FIRST.
How do you buy these comics?
If you want ‘em from Tim Vigil, visit Broken Halos, a webstore/publisher run by Faust production editor (and occasional Vigil bros. comics writer) Darrell C.L. Donald.
If you want ‘em from David Quinn, visit his Hazarai! store.
If you want ‘em from your local comic shop, I’m told Diamond has copies for order, though accounts vary. Never hurts to try.
00:00: Rebel Studios ultimately published two issues of Dark Utopia, both in 1997; the print run on the second issue might have been significantly lower than the first, since it’s really difficult to find today. After that, Broken Halos published five more issues between 1998 and 2003, all of which are still available. In case you’re wondering, the eponymous Broken Halo comic book series is a two-issue unfinished project about sexy angels and gleaming syringes and other sexy, angsty things, written by publisher Donald and penciled by Joe Vigil (issue #1) and Tim Vigil (#2), with Tim inking Joe on #1. A color edition of issue #1 is also out, as well as a photo/pin-up special.
00:57: Of course, “Faust” isn’t the name of the lead character in Faust, as I’ll note later in the show, but it’s kind of an irresistible impulse of the superhero idiom to imagine it so, eh? David Quinn did call him “Faust” throughout at least one of his original scripts, though, so obviously I’m just respecting creators’ rights over here. There’s also a few pages in Dark Utopia #1 that aren’t from Faust either… clearly I hadn’t quite woken up for this crack-of-dawn 08:45 PM recording.
01:43: Back at the front of Dark Utopia #1, Vigil states, “I would like to know how I can become an artist for the masses.” Crucial to the attack his character is facing above is that all of the dead stones surrounding him represent unassailable mass favorites, even if only by dint of comparison between the comic book market of earlier decades and the state of affairs in the early ’90s - maybe Jim Lee in ‘93 was comparable to Bernie Wrightson circa Creepy, for example, but not Tim Vigil. The haunting of the scene, then -- teetering temporally on the edge of an industry crash that was already knocking Rebel Studios around as ‘97 arrived -- is eerily precognitive on top of speaking to the artist’s anxieties. And you can hardly kill what’s immortal, John.
02:27: And today, we’re not gonna let Tucker, Chris or Matt speak for three fucking minutes of air time, because I’m a controlling monster. You were right, ex-girlfriends! My bad!
03:23: Tim Vigil: Artworks 1976-1990 was published by Rebel Studios in 1991, making it a considerably more deluxe precursor to Dark Utopia. It’s still a softcover book, but 8.25” x 11”, and 64 pages. Special features include poetry by Vigil and comments by both David Quinn and Franz Henkel, the latter an elusive character who apparently got his comic book writing start by adapting Korean manhwa in the late ‘80s -- eight issues of Sung-nam Ha’s The Forbidden Kingdom, published by Eastern Comics, a company that doesn’t seem to have released anything else -- and subsequently wrote Vigil’s Corbenesque ‘90s SF/fantasy series EO, which halted after two issues when Henkel abruptly stopped writing comics (or so I’m told).
03:40: Per Artworks, Vigil exhibited at Sacramento State University and San Francisco State University, “trying to symbolize what I was going through with my style,” although he apparently had “comic book” and “record album” labels thrown in his face. A few sources date his senior year of high school to 1976.
Incidentally, Vigil doesn’t “say” he “wasn’t like that,” he says (writes): “Myself, I’ve always classified the classic comic book artists as great Pop artists on par with Warhol and Lichtenstein. So where Jack Kirby never got his dues -- considered a great artist -- in my own realm, I was able to say, ‘Yes, he is,’ because he was able to take certain dramas, situations, and anatomies, and release so much power he just blew them off the board.” My extrapolations are my own, though I do think this evidences a focus on the sheer effect of the page/canvas/image in defiance of any conceptual notions… “power,” which is vital to the understanding of Vigil’s approach (and not a foreign concept to Kirby either).
05:04: The (2009) article to which I refer is here. It’s long!
05:58: I say “official” here, but there’s evidence of at least one earlier Vigil comic book appearance - 1983’s Raw Media Mags, three issues of which were released to the Sacramento area in editions of 25, with art by Tim & Joe Vigil and one John Palmer. The Raw Media label was subsequently revived in 1991 for Rebel Studio’s house anthology -- five issues, featuring early work by J.H. Williams III and Ted Naifeh (both in #4) -- and then in 1998 for an Avatar Press ‘adults only’ alternative to Threshold, their own house anthology at the time. The Vigil association with the Avatar edition ended pretty early, I think with issue #4 of an eventual 12.
07:02: Grips debuted in 1986, a little over two years after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, bearing a lot of the same Frank Miller-tested, mutant-approved concerns. Vigil did a lot of work at SilverWolf, some of which wouldn’t actually see the light of day until an ownership change saw the company re-branded as Greater Mercury Comics - amazingly, an iteration of Grips was still running in 1992, long after the Vigil backstock had extinguished. That’s a testament to the original content’s success (“biggest and baddest,” a la Matt), though I personally prefer Dragon Quest #1 as my SilverWolf Vigil joint. Come on:
10:26: Still alive, motherfuckers.
10:44: Believe it or not, Chris is being too kind to Grips; Kris Silver, god bless him, is maybe the worst superhero comic book writer I’ve ever encountered, and his comics’ production values -- all lettering printed out on a Macintosh and pasted onto the boards, for that ‘local religious tract’ vibe -- practically scream their provincial origins. Boris the Bear feels like RAW in comparison.
12:23: The comic I’m referring to is the SilverWolf anthology title Fantastic Fables #2, which is better known today as Heart of Darkness, since Vigil had apparently drawn the cover art under the assumption his contribution was going to become a full-length issue, and those are the words most prominent on the cover. Copies were actually printed, just never officially distributed; I got one for five bucks from an online retailer.
The plot of Heart of Darkness, by the way, concerned the barbarian character Cuda from the Access fanzine mentioned earlier. Vigil would later revive the character as a 1989 feature in various issues of Caliber Presents -- his debut in issue #1 coincided with the first appearance of James O’Barr’s The Crow elsewhere in the comic -- only to revive him again in an aborted 1995 Rebel Studios project with artist Adam McDaniel, and then again at Avatar in 1998 in collaboration with Joe Vigil and Darrell C.L. Donald. It’s probably easiest to track down Avatar’s 2000 softcover collection, which includes everything except the Fantastic Fables #2 stuff, which got re-drawn in Caliber Presents anyway.
13:05: Being the first appearance of “Faust,” the Rebel Studios/Comics Express issue of Omega is still really hard to find at a decent price. The three Northstar issues of Omen, however -- my understanding is that issue #1 is simply the one issue of Omega with every instance of that word replaced with “Omen” -- are pretty easy. Not a lot of Quinn’s voice is discernible in the series, he’s totally sunk into Kirby Krackle genre licks, although Vigil’s art evidences some ‘70s Jim Starlin bong rip vibes he’s never let out of the cage again; issue #3 is not an ending, that’s simply where the thing stopped, presumably in the wake of Faust hitting it big. Fight on, Omega/Omen!
14:13: Northstar itself is an interesting topic - Vigil was briefly listed on their masthead as an “Editor/Art Director,” suggesting some involvement beyond simply drawing its top-selling title. However, Northstar was soon acquired by Andrew Rev, who’d also picked up early Direct Market publisher Comico in 1990. Faust was moved to Rebel Studios in 1991 (and all of the Northstar issues were reprinted under that banner, with new covers), around when the Rev administration began, suggesting some potential causation. Nonetheless, the latter-day Northstar is novel in that its eventual ‘breakout star’ wasn’t a writer or an artist - it was an editor, a young Brian Azzarello.
Best obscure Northstar-era Vigil comic? That would be 1990’s Chaingang #2, adapted from prose by Rex Miller and penciled by Joe & Tim together:
14:55: Never underestimate your local small community-servicing comic book store; very few stick *exclusively* to superheroes, especially if they’ve been around for a few years, which means you can usually find something great collecting dust (“mistakes were made”). I think I found 1/3 of the Vigil comics I own at a mall shop affiliated with a martial arts studio somewhere near the Maryland border.
15:28: I do like that moon:
“Adult Reading” remains my all-time favorite content warning.
17:58: Vigil (and Quinn) did a ton of stuff for Avatar, which had set up shop in 1996 as a sort of clearing house for refugees of the ’90s ’bad girl’ boom, often with exciting Nude Variant covers (it remains the home of Lady Death today, no doubt in commemoration of its origins). Vigil & Quinn were probably the first ‘big’ names associated with Avatar, which gave the pair license to experiment with fast ‘n loose comics released at a fairly rapid clip.
The first of these was 777: The Wrath (1998) which always kind of struck me as a Vigil/Quinn pisstake on The Crow, teaming an amoral, decidedly unromantic hitman with a dirty lil’ angel for despairing revenge; it was followed by Faust/777: The Wrath (1998-99) a universe-shaking crossover event, True Believers. Then came two proper Faust prequels: Faust: Book of M (1999), mainly illustrated prose, and Faust: Claire’s Lust (2000), an expansion of a Raw Media (#4) story with added nasty scenes of incest; both were followed by a full-blown side-story, Faust: Singha’s Talons (2000), starring a female “Faust” character originally intended for artist Mark Beachum back in the mid-’90s, with preview art having appeared in the Rebel iteration of Raw Media Mags (#1). TRIVIA: All of these spin-offs appeared between issues #11 (1995) and #12 (2001) of the main series.
After that, Vigil wrote and penciled Tim Vigil’s Webwitch (2002), so designated because Webwitch is actually an Avatar-owned property, and the publisher seems to have reeeally wanted to push Vigil’s involvement in its work-for-hire system. Representative panel:
Quinn’s non-Vigil Avatar work mainly consisted of short stories in Threshold, notably some late additions to his other big creator-owned series, the vampiric Night Vision with Hannibal King, which stretched across publishers as diverse as Rebel, Atomeka and London Night Studios in the ‘90s. Everything except the Avatar stuff was collected in a 1998 Thorby Comics softcover titled Blythe: Night Vision; the Avatar stories appeared in Threshold #17-18, and were subsequently collected into a 2000 one-shot titled, again, Night Vision, which I believe had a print run of approximately three. Quinn also did a Razor miniseries with Mike Wolfer in 2000, notable for some early-ish Jacen Burrows art in a backup serial.
I’m talking interior stories here, by the way; Vigil was still doing intermittent covers for Avatar as late as 2007.
20:11: Sam Kieth’s Image series was, of course, The Maxx, although a lot of people tend to forget he co-created The Sandman at DC/Vertigo as well; I always felt The Sandman was eerie and ‘adult’ at the time, so I never tried to buy it. Hey, wait a minute - J.H. Williams III is doing Before Sandman, and he was in Raw Media Mags too… can Neil Gaiman’s Faust: Abusive Stepdad of Tales be far behind?
22:30: I tend to see the vagueness of Faust as less a bug than a feature - Jaspers’ background is never filled in with any particular specificity at any point in the series, we’re just kind of given the contours of his relationships with various people, mainly to stoke the embers of abandonment. Admittedly, this can lead to conflicting reads - my own impression of Jasper’s relationship with Jade is that she worked with him for a fairly long time, eventually springing him from the mental institution by dint of their progress together, and gradually fell into a relationship with him, but… I don’t blame Chris for seeing their relationship (and Jasper’s exit into society) as more abrupt/unsatisfying, since the narrative isn’t really concerned with establishing a timeline. Risks!
(Ironically, Quinn’s screenplay to the 2001 Faust: Love of the Damned movie actually does have Jaspers & Jade fall in love immediately, which was the first among my many dissatisfactions with un film de Brian Yuzna. Other issues include: star Mark Frost’s adoption of Jim Carrey in The Mask as ur-text for his performance; the Tim Burton Batman-type rubber muscles on the Faust costume; the lady playing Jade looking a coltish 19 and exhibiting bizarre instances of semi-nudity indicative of conflicts on the set; the total absence of ‘80s NYC ambiance; the downplaying of weird, gross romance in favor of loooow-budget action fx; miscellaneous Syfy Original-caliber cinematographic values; shitty gore; and a climactic cameo by the penis monster from Tromeo and Juliet in the role of the Homunculus. There is nonetheless one good scene, in which M punishes Claire by inflating her sexual attributes to grotesquely large proportions, which -- when teamed up with a later, utterly ludicrous scene of Jaspers flapping around battling evil to METAL on the soundtrack while Jade does erotic kung-fu in a Princess Leia bikini -- suggests a much funnier movie in the hands of a more tonally-assured filmmaker. Oh well!)
If you really want background, though, Avatar released a Faust Hornbook in 2000, which collects a bunch of Quinn’s preliminary notes for the series, some of which suggest that a considerably more traditional ‘origin story’ was in the cards at one point.
24:42: Chris raises another good point here; probably the number one complaint I hear about Faust is that Quinn is a rampant over-writer, to the point where the narration crosses over from the merely purplish to become genuinely difficult to parse. Some of this effect can be laid at the feet of outsized ambition and bad first impressions - Faust #1 is not especially smooth sailing, twisting itself awkwardly between multiple narrators, several of whom employ different, often conflicting voices, be it John Jasper’s multiple personalities, or the journalist Balfour’s variations between typeset narration and handwritten ‘impressions,’ the latter of which look way too similar to heroine Jade DeCamp’s own handwritten captions, creating no small confusion to this reader, at least.
It’s worth noting that Quinn has expressed admiration for both Watchmen and American Flagg! as forebears in “complicated storytelling.” I personally read Quinn’s scripting as “overwrought” in that early Alan Moore way -- though still, seriously: Don McGregor -- though structurally I sense a lot more Chaykin in the attempt to ‘surround’ the reader… “chaos,” as Chris puts it. Elaine Lee of Starstruck (also a playwright-turned-comicker) is also a good point of comparison, though the early Quinn isn’t nearly as sure-footed as any of those writers.
Vigil’s art is still slightly unsure in the early issues too -- the Kirby/Starlin/Gil Kane look of Omega/Omen actually seems a lot slicker -- if already heavier in impact than Grips. Maybe it’s those dense zip(?) patterns. Issue #4 is where the look of Faust really coheres, for me.
26:37: If I was gonna pick a contemporaneous ‘dark comics’ contrast to Faust, it’d have to be the early Yummy Fur, by Comic Books Are Burning In Hell show notes role model Chester Brown. The Vortex issues that took Brown wide(-ish) started up in ‘86, so the timing’s about right. Both series became notorious as extreme, decorum-pushing horror hybrids, though Brown represents the MAD/Bill Griffith/RAW side of the classic, Manichean underground comix divide to Vigil’s Crypt of Terror/Richard Corben/Creepy. (Obviously, Brown likes a bunch of old horror comics and Vigil named a quasi-superhero after Jasper Johns, so I’m not implying direct intent on the part of the artists.) While Faust was wide and maximal and drenched in ‘mainstream’ iconography and heavy with narration! and themes!, Yummy Fur trafficked in the improvisatory shock cartooning of Ed the Happy Clown, almost an automatic expulsion of the id, compared to the Vigil/Quinn approach of primal accumulation.
Truth be told, I don’t find either of these comics ‘scary’ or ‘disturbing’ so much as ‘fun,’ but I’m living in a Josh Simmons world with all the ero-guro I can stomach just a few clicks away. Ironically, though, Ed the Happy Clown is much easier to recommend to people today, since it doesn’t carry the baggage of ‘mainstream’ comics devices from a quarter of a century ago.
30:27: On reflection, another problem is that Satanism just isn’t what it used to be. Remember, as completely fucking ridiculous as it sounds in 2013, at the time Faust debuted, the McMartin Preschool trial was still going on as sort of a capstone to an era which, for a little while, took the idea of Satanic ritual as a really fucking serious threat to America’s moral stability. Probably the “pageantry” has become so mainstream -- so fictive, hammered into the collective imagination -- that it’s now cozy. I like that Tucker brings up Marilyn Manson later on; to this Catholic schoolboy, he was the last shout of that dying transgression, far away from Kenneth Anger indeed.
32:26: All this talk of metal reminds me that the specific song references in Faust, upon re-reading, were a lot more varied than I’d remembered. Issue #1 kicks off with Shakedown Street!! I mean, Gilbert Shelton, sure, but I still think Grateful Dead Comix missed out on some major tie-in potential…
34:22: I lost my train of thought here, but what I’m saying is that Vigil generally had a lot of say in the ‘writing’ of Faust, insofar as he’d discuss the story and script thoroughly with Quinn, with ideas bouncing back and forth for much of the collaborative process.
37:18: I’m 99% sure Tucker didn’t know the title of that primal Sacramento fanzine mentioned supra - Access.
38:49: Interestingly, Quinn himself has cited Faust #9 (as opposed to #11) as “one of the peaks when we got the harmonies right,” in terms of collaboration.
39:20: No joke, the opening page of #11 is romance comics as fuck:
That should’ve been the cover. Word balloons and all.
40:02: Granted, Jade spends most of the series’ prolonged climax naked, moaning Daddy, Daddy, AAACK in a luciferian stupor, so I probably shouldn’t push this case too far, but much of the series she provides the lion’s share of the underrated comedy of Faust, which on the whole I find a lot funnier (deliberately) than most.
Shifting over to the visual qualities of female representation, I think what sets Vigil apart from the Jim Balents of the world (2/3s of which also drew comics for Avatar in the ‘90s) is his zest for musculature. I’ve occasionally heard people deride Vigil as a failed pornographer, in that his art is grotesque or ‘ugly’ instead of sexy -- the assumption being he’s trying to turn you on with basically every drawing of a woman, a la Milo Manara -- but I tend to see the extremes of this approach as a natural counterbalance to the male gaze-y aspects of the artist’s women. Certainly it’s unusual that Claire, the sex-on-legs femme fatale of the Faust saga, also happens to be jacked up like an Olympic weightlifter, to the point of bordering on Ross Campbell’s even more confrontational designs in Image’s Glory.
40:48: To wit: Jaspers is abandoned by M, his father figure (there was a literal brother character in Quinn’s early notes), and arguably abandoned for a while by Jade, who herself has been betrayed by both her husband and her father; in fact, all of the female characters in Faust are harmed by sexual violence, always by someone they already know, intimately, i.e. fathers and lovers. M, meanwhile, was betrayed and abandoned by God, who, moreover, appears to have abandoned humanity to its own devices. Everything is a chain of broken hearts, right down to M’s pair of random thugs, one of whom, subtly, appears to be in love with the other, and is himself raped for his proximity to M’s master plan. Call it exploitation if you want, but Quinn does at least do the work of kneading the comic’s copious sexual violence into its core themes.
44:26: Exact lines:
49:16: I mentioned ero-guro above, and I think some of the practitioners of that fine Japanese tradition arguably fall into the category Tucker is describing; euphemistically, those would be the artists who are not making “useful” sex comics, which is to say they’re either using highly explicit sex in the service of shock or repulsion of thematic coloration -- think Shintaro Kago -- or working to such specific, fetishistic ends that maybe .001% of humankind could possibly enjoy the intended effect without some blunt external stimulus. Many of these works wind up falling under the umbrella of simply ‘horror,’ as does Faust, out a general lack of anything more specific to call them. A lot of these comics make Faust look like the first Black Kiss, though; Google with discretion!
Among English speakers, I do get a lot of the effect Tucker describes from Julia Gfrörer, who works in a similarly ritualistic sex magic vein as Vigil/Quinn, albeit in more of a droney minimalist style to the prog metal of Faust. Ugh, did those labels make any sense? What I’m saying is, there’s an obvious difference between this:
55:27: I also think there was a genuine suspicion as to Vigil/Quinn’s motives at the time - that they were fakes, art poseurs, slinging highfaluting bullshit while cynically cashing in on the easy, lazy marketability of superhero concepts, the very capacity for individual expression or valid, ‘real’ art in which was a topic of open debate among the more high-minded commentators. That Faust actually sold pretty respectably for a while only fed into that suspicion.
Obviously, while I don’t come out and say it, you *can* just find Quinn’s writing to be overwrought/incomprehensible/lame/embarrassing and/or Vigil’s art to be ugly/banal/over-rendered/whatever - but I do really think the massive disregard for Faust in comparison to the bored indifference that greets many other less-intensive works is indicative of the old critical tendency to open fire at the easy target of something that’s flamboyantly offbeat in embodying certain unacceptable values, rather than the wormy, burrowing mediocrities that often form the corpus of those same traits.
Apropos of nothing, out of all the comics I’ve highlighted in the weekly funnybook roundups I’ve been doing since the dawn of man, a stray mention of Faust remains the one and only thing that’s ever prompted actual mockery from a major art-comics figure on Twitter (as opposed to the mockery I inspire in private on a routine basis). On the other hand, I do know a few pretty big art-comics folk who think fondly of the series, so it’s not a universal opinion or anything.
55:39: The six Image books Vigil drew are the Mark Kidwell-written four-issue comics/prose hybrid miniseries Frank Frazetta’s Dark Kingdom (2008-10), the Jay Fotos-written one-shot Frank Frazetta’s Moon Maid (2009) and the Fotos/Chris Ryall-written, dialogue-free Frank Frazetta’s Neanderthal (2009). Vigil later drew some back-up stories in issues of Kidwell’s Image zombie series ‘68 (2011); the two had sort of brushed by one another before as pencillers on the Castle Rain Entertainment horror property Jack the Lantern in the mid-‘00s. This is where a lot of Vigil’s post-millennial work has appeared: comics forums less affiliated with the typical comic shop readership than a miscellaneous horror fandom, which effectively divorced him from both mainstream comics news outlets (absolutely blood-sworn to direct market devotees) or ‘arts’ critics (who generally don’t give a shit).
56:17: That’s Green Lantern Corps. Quarterly #7. Vigil’s longest work-for-hire superhero run, though, came in 1989 -- just as Faust was warming up -- when he penciled three issues of The Badger (#52-54) at First Comics, which would also publish Zero Tolerance (1990), a four-issue original series Vigil put together with writer David Barbour and co-artist Gary Amaro, the latter of whom dated back to Vigil’s SilverWolf days, and would later do some penciling on… surprise! The Sandman! When can we expect Sandman/Faust: Darkness in der Nacht? I think Zero Tolerance was also Vigil’s first full comic in color.
Since I’m talking production, now seems like a good time to note that Vigil typically used (and uses) inkers on his comics projects, many of whom don’t have extensive bibliographies in comics outside of Vigil’s orbit - if he came from the Sacramento scene, he eventually became a scene of his own. The inker on Zero Tolerance (and some of Faust) was Tim Tyler, who went on to write and draw the most of his own comics out of the crew. Jeff Austin is another big Vigil inker, sort of the Scott Williams to his Jim Lee.
Incidentally, Quinn also enjoyed a strange relationship with Big Two superheroes after Faust hit; he actually had a two-year run on Doctor Strange (#60-79) in the mid-‘90s, right before Warren Ellis (a Faust admirer himself) briefly took over, although the lasting fan-favorite out of his tenure at the House of Ideas would have to be the 1996 one-shot Carnage: It’s a Wonderful Life, which I think was among the first-ever Marvel comics to run with a Mature Readers warning. You’re welcome, Garth Ennis!
Awesomely, this was submitted to Comics Buyer’s Guide in a package of proposed editorial cartoons…!! Several (all?) of them are collected in Dark Utopia #3.
There’s another dimension to the Rebel/Image enmity of the day, by the way - both Vigil and Quinn detected a… let’s say a strong whiff of Faust in Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, which of course smoothed out most of the rough edges and played the PG-13 shock game superheroes played at the time, and sold zillions and zillions of copies off of McFarlane’s celebrity. One imagines every Netflix and IMDB comment declaring the Faust movie a ‘rip-off’ of Spawn is like Walpurgisnacht nails to the eyes of those guys.
59:21: Note the Byrne cameo as a bar patron in EO #1 (along with Alan Moore, who Vigil draws just like Wrightston does in Batman: The Cult):
01:00:58: I linked to that interview above, but here it is again. It’s not the only place Quinn has mentioned 50,000 as the Faust print run (presumably at its height).
Now that I go back and check, it seems Rebel Studios stopped publishing non-Vigil bros. comics in 1994, with the fifth and final issue of Raw Media Mags, which is a little ways before the mid-’90s crash. I’m a huge fan of Joe Vigil’s Dog, a three-issue series from 1991-92, and I suspect the consensus non-Vigil Rebel pick would be 1993’s Empires of the Night a one-shot (actually the debut of an abandoned series) drawn by J.H. Williams III, but if I were to pick an obscure, non-Vigil Rebel series to flaunt, I’d go for Scott Frantz’s Darkstar, a 1991-93 four-issue miniseries from a guy blending Vigilesque heavy shading with a ton of Leiji Matsumoto Captain Harlock/Star Blazers flavor - I don’t think Frantz ever published another comic, at least not for direct market distribution.
That’s another thing. Four issues from 1991 to 1993? “Abandoned series?” I get the impression a lot of the Rebel guys weren’t making a lot of money off of their comics, which establishes the vicious cycle of comics not coming out/the market ignoring them/no money coming in/comics not coming out. It was only the meteoric early celebrity success of Image that dragged them through the lean times, I think, since not a few of their own books suffered the same problems…
01:02:23: Aw, why look it up at home?
01:02:45: Faust itself also built up a reputation of being ‘always late,’ although most of the ‘80s and ‘90s output no longer seems all that tardy by contemporary standards - yet another problem with lashing yourself to superhero expectations of that earlier time. The six Northstar issues ran from 1988-90, and were then reprinted in anticipation of new issues; issue #9 dropped in 1992, then #10 in 1993, then #11 in 1995. After that came the slew of Avatar spin-offs, in anticipation of issue #12 in 2001, which is when the big delays set in: no Faust for four years, with #13 in 2005, then nothing for seven years, when #14 and #15 appeared in late 2012.
01:07:22: You’ll have to buy the taint shot for yourself, but here’s that car crash:
The airbags going off are what sells it for me.
01:09:04: Again, I do like the vagueness of Faust; you sometimes get little rewards, like hearing a number of M’s peons urging him to activate his top-secret assassination program to deal with Jaspers in several issues, only to eventually realize that Jaspers actually was the assassination program, and M simply doesn’t want to admit fucking up to anyone.
Still, M’s JRPG villain verbosity sort of grates after a while -- transformation into multiple forms too, gaming fans! -- particularly given that his ultimate scheme is more of a philosophical flourish than anything… he wants to demonstrate to all of humanity what he demonstrated to Jaspers - that notions of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are artificial strictures on the liberty of human action. The difference between M and Jaspers is that the former assumes such a mass realization will effectively result in the premise of Crossed, while Jaspers understands, finally, that the election of choice denotes the potential for love. THE POWER OF LOVE SAVES THE DAY, THANK YOU FOR READING FAUST, CUE HUEY LEWIS, WINNERS DON’T USE DRUGS.
01:12:00: Finally, it’s worth noting that Vigil has a deviantArt, by which you can view works in progress, and a personal website, through which you can buy erotic commissions. “NO SUPER HEROES” he says, so thoroughly finished with all that.
Thanks for reading, and for listening.
Show Notes by Joe McCulloch, 2013