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Rogan

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Lord Of The Dance Kinda Returns!

 

In the spirit of Christmas cheer, Hellblazer-style, i've decided to share this one with the lot of ya, since i already had it uploaded for one of the forum members, who, i hope, will now chip in with his/her thoughts on the issue. Spread the joy, give the link to Keanuites/Shiafans...

 

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Lord Of The Dance Kinda Returns!

 

In the spirit of Christmas cheer, Hellblazer-style, i've decided to share this one with the lot of ya, since i already had it uploaded for one of the forum members, who, i hope, will now chip in with his/her thoughts on the issue.

 

Oh you... couldn't wait, could ya?

 

I've always intended to share my thoughts on Hellblazer #49, you know, but I'm afraid it might be a somewhat incoherent blurb if I write it down. I'm not good at that sort of thing.

 

And what do you mean with his/her thoughts...? :ohmy:

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And what do you mean with his/her thoughts...?  :ohmy:

 

wnated to keep it a mystery, if you chose not to out yourself as a closet Hellblazer fan... ;)

 

 

and no, i couldn't wait. i'm an imptient bugger(er?).

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I never thanked you for sending it to me, Maddi. :icon_redface: Sorry about that. Thank you, darling.

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And what do you mean with his/her thoughts...?  :ohmy:

 

wnated to keep it a mystery, if you chose not to out yourself as a closet Hellblazer fan... ;)

 

 

and no, i couldn't wait. i'm an imptient bugger(er?).

Like I would have stuck around the boards if I hadn't liked Hellblazer... I don't think that's possible. Besides, I think I have said a couple of times that I like Hellblazer. Okay, not as loud as you die-hard fans, and I'm not ever going to have a Hellblazer emblem tattooed on my chest, but still... :happy:

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well, one would have to be a silly SILLY bugger to tattoo a HELLBLAZER emblem on their chest.

 

 

Now, Watchmen, on the other hand...

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This issue is one of my favorites. I'm always a little embarassed to admit that, because it's so unlike the "dripping with cynicism, sarcasm, and betrayal" issues I normally favor. As a one-off that will hopefully never be repeated, I think it's wonderful.

 

Most people I know who celebrate a major winter holiday have their own little ritual movies, books, foods, whatever that they drag out at this time of year. Tradition is the only explanation I have for why anyone would watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Ritual torture seems an odd way to celebrate the birth of one's savior, the dawning of a new year, or other traditionally happy occurrences that serve as excuses to party, but there you have it. Being a misanthropic atheist I'm short on holiday rituals, but I always read two things at the Solstice. "Lord of the Dance" is one. The other is Michael Stanwyck's creepily beautiful prose short story, "A Midwinter's Tale."

 

With "Lord of the Dance," Ennis ties his story into two well-worn Christmas traditions: a nostalgic longing for a golden age of authenticity, and the story of someone with a hard heart learning "the true spirit of Christmas." Fortunately for those of us who would prefer to beat Tiny Tim over the head with his crutches, the themes are handled without the cliched trappings. By casting his line further back in time than the usual Victorian claptrap, Ennis manages to breath life into these otherwise staid traditions, and taps into a feeling of dissatisfaction with many of the repressive aspects of modern Christianity that seem to be felt by many a Christian (let alone the rest of us). How can the Lord of the Dance's sense of loss for genuine celebration not register with a readership composed primarily of people who, I'll wager, feel trapped by the hollow shell of forced cheerfulness and rampant, high stress commercialism? And if the Lord of the Dance can find hope in the darkness, maybe, just maybe, there's hope for the rest of us to do so too.

 

Garth Ennis' obsession with friendship themes is a well-worn subject, but this is one occasion where I think it shines. Don't know about anyone else, but the winter holidays being a time when friends and families draw together in a warm haze of bonhomie is one of those alluring illusions that gets trotted out once a year - and is usually handled in a manner guaranteed to induce sugar shock. Ennis' treatment here is just this side of believable, and that much more appealing for it.

 

This issue also contains one of my all-time favorite uses of comic panels in a way that no other medium can replicate. I'm speaking, of course, of the splash pages showing holiday revelers in two different time periods. What an elegant way to show that despite changes in people's outward appearances, the underlying celebrations remain unchanged.

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"How do you put into words the feeling of a good solid boozing session, when the sixth pint goes down and you're locked on a collision course when that rat-arsed state taht we visit in joy and leave in agony, but iwth vague fond memories of the night before ?"

 

Garth Ennis at his humanist best I reckon.

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oh, how i mourn the fact that we don;t have decent pubs per se in Serbia... our so-called Irish Pub is actually a trendy place, like a coffee-house, with bad ale that would probably make McMahon pull a Restless Stranger on the proprietors...

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Yeah, I can relate, Rogan. Try finding a pub in Great Falls, Montana. Every bar here requires it's patrons to wear a cowboy hat and spurs before entering.

 

Good show on posting up "Lord of the Dance." I've always loved that issue. Everything about it is just so spot-on, from John's rambling about mundane problems followed up with a casual "Oh, and there's a ghost following me" to the two drunken stumblers sining to the Lord of the Dance.

 

Oddly enough, that's the one issue of Hellblazer of mine that seems to have gotten lost during moving. A Christmas anti-miracle, I guess.

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In addition to everything else, #49 was homage to those who get drunk in bars and pubs on Christmas. I can speak from personal experience: San Francisco's bars are by no means empty on Christmas Eve or Day, as this is a city with many, many people who are alienated from their families. Some choose to do spend Xmas at their apartment with family they've created here, but for many, a drink at the local watering hole is just the thing. For others, hitting the bars is blessed relief after spending time with family. 8-)

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I can relate to Josh. I spent many Christmases alone; trying to find a fast food joint open for a meal, trying to find where the nearest open store is to buy ciggies (I also relate to that part of Gibbons' "It's a Wonderful Life J.C." story in "Winter's Edge" vol. 3, even if the rest of the story is crap!). It can be a bit lonely and depressing, eh?

John also spend Christmas Eve in a bar, thinking about his dead friends in the Ennis written "Winter's Edge" Hellblazer story in vol. 2. A personal favourite of mine!

Now on that note, I must say this wasn't my favourite H.B. issue. I've never been a fan of Lord of the Dance either. The part of this issue I really liked was the ending, with John and Kit.

It's not a bad issue by any means, just not one of my favourites.

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Not one of my favourite issues as a story, I must admit. But the sentiment is one I find it hard not to sympathise with. I can see why so many people are so fond of it.

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Bloody good stuff. I haven't read it before, actually, but that put me in a good mood.

 

Also reminds me how much of christmas traditions that actually have fuck-all to do with Jesus, but which have been adopted as such. The church was actually pretty clever in just assimilating local customs and calling them by new names. For instance, in pagan times, people brewed ale for the gods to celebrate the winter solstice (about the same time as christmas). After the christening, the ale was brewed "to honor Jesus Christ". There are LOTS of such examples.

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Guest att'ack
those two guys at the very end - that's Dillon and Ennis, i presume?

Oh, that didn't occur to me.

 

When the Lord said he thought, the priests and wowsers broke him because they hated that no one asked "jesus" for permisson to have a shag, or get blotto, I think they hit the nail on the head. Miserable people are attracted to stopping others happiness.

 

What I couldn't swallow, is an Irish Pretty Girl, left all night alone on Christmas eve while some man that SHOULD be paying assidious court to her goes out and gets DRUNK WITH HIS MATES, allows the man to LIVE, let alone shags him.

 

maybe i have met atypical Irish girls?.

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I'm quickly becoming a fan of Garth Ennis.

 

Bloody great issue. A christmas story after my own heart.

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