Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
londonsurrealist

Fear Machine - shurely shome mishtake?

Recommended Posts

 

Have just bought this (for about £6 at Waterstones.com!) and am halfway through. Nice so far. I must admit I love all the old colouring and the covers in this book are amazing - especially the one where the train is also an eye.

 

Am enjoying it so far - a lot more than some parts of The Devil You Know. I really liked the sense of John enjoying himself with the travelers but knowing that he was probably going to end up ruining it.

 

One thing I must admit is I get so sick of comics at the time doing their 'trip' sequences. It ALWAYS seems to have the character in the middle of a splash page flailing their arms while colours and close-ups of other characters littered with extaneous voiceover boxes banging on about how 'I wondered lonely like a strained metaphor in search of a suitable simile. In the void'.

 

Every fucking time :shrug: If there's one thing more boring than people on drugs when you're not - it's people talking about being on drugs!

 

As I have only read the traded Delano stuff, where do people rate 'The Fear Machine' in the Delano pantheon?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The loudest voices tend to say it's too long and too pro-hippy (i.e. not cool and edgy). It's not his best work, but I like it. Too bad they didn't re-colour it for the reprint.

 

That train cover is one of my all-time favourite comic covers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's awful hippie pish, with gobsmackingly painful essentialist gender-stereotypes thrown in.

 

The fear machine is a nice idea, but gods below the execution sucks. And the sanctimonious voice-over talking ecstaticly about the incredible wisdom of it all makes me want to vomit. :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still bought it, mind you. I'm a sucker for completism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can anyone really be too pro-hippy? :laugh:

 

It is too long and it really is one of the very weakest of the Delano stories, but I enjoyed it. I liked it better upon re-reading it than I did originally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is pretty good, but yeah, weakest part of his run.

 

Except the computer story, although maybe that seemed alright at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You haven't read the "don't eat meat" two-parter yet, have you?

That's the worst Delano story. The only story from Delano's run that I feel is actually a totally poor story. It's just a complete failure.

That's the story I rank below Fear Machine.

Plus, I was never too enthralled by his Hunger Demon two-parter. It's ok. Above Fear Machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read my trade of this today. Better than when I first read it last year, but I still think it's undeveloped, messy and has a shit ending. Delano's purple prose is at its most irritating here, particularly in the aforementioned drug trip sequence. The art... well... the colouring lets it down but it's no great shakes, especially Buckingham's - Ridgway would've been ace here with the more imaginitive visuals. Oh well. All that said, I think the first issue is actually one of my favourite issues of Delano's run, with the lack of any real supernatural threat working really nicely and Rayner's art capturing Britain superbly with some nice attention to detail.

 

I actually prefer the meat story to this. Mainly because I like Pugh's art, and mainly because it's much shorter. Sundays Are Different gets my vote for Delano's worst, mainly for its off-putting mixture of the incredibly boring and the annoyingly nonsensical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just couldn't give a toss about pages and pages of John talking to that yuppie acquaintance of his and then going into Backwords World for no real reason - I'd have preferred the story was just about that, really. And I usually love it when Hellblazer goes all slice of life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been ages since I've read Fear Machine and I forgot most of it but the scene where the bad guy kicks his henchman off the bridge and hangs him (#20, p17-18) really stuck with me for some reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's been ages since I've read Fear Machine and I forgot most of it but the scene where the bad guy kicks his henchman off the bridge and hangs him (#20, p17-18) really stuck with me for some reason.

Me too. In fact I was thinking of it just today. Very effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's been ages since I've read Fear Machine and I forgot most of it but the scene where the bad guy kicks his henchman off the bridge and hangs him (#20, p17-18) really stuck with me for some reason.

I really hope you had to look that up mid-post.

If you haven't read it for ages and yet can still remember the issue no. and page nos. of a particular scene - that's just disturbing, man.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The story isn't particularly strong, but it read much better this time through than the first time I read it. For what it's worth, I don't think it's particularly pro-hippie. I think the point was in showing a different direction that Constantine could've gone in, one which seems somewhat comforting to him and that he can lose himself in for a little while but one which he ultimately realizes isn't a lifestyle that suits him at all. I think The Fear Machine works much better as an act in Delano's larger story than as a story on its own (particularly in the contrast between Hippie John's interactions with the Freedom Mob here and his disastrous reunion with Marj and Mercury post-Family Man). It's an attempt at a comfortable redemption that he ultimately realizes is out of reach.

 

Also, I had forgotten how brutal this was! Look here, present-day Hellblazer writers: this is how you do dark without resorting to adolescent, "shock"-inducing "edginess"!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I found it quite average all in all. Some moments of inspiration but a lot of other moments in there that resulted in the good stuff getting mired. Loved that John basically became UBER-John after his dalliance with a more easygoing lifestyle...but then it got a bit lost in there.

 

Am I looking forward to the Family Man collection to come out then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should be!

The Fear Machine starts out godawful , then improves toward the end, but the

"feminine principle of love and life, balancing the male principle of death and lust(or something"

-aspect still jarrs in my mind.

 

Family man, on the other hand is ace from start to finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Am I looking forward to the Family Man collection to come out then?

 

Definitely! Delano's best by quite some way as far as I'm concerned - dark, brutal and completely gripping, it's like a psychological thriller. I absolutely can't wait for the trade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Am I looking forward to the Family Man collection to come out then?

 

Definitely! Delano's best by quite some way as far as I'm concerned - dark, brutal and completely gripping, it's like a psychological thriller.

Maybe because it IS a psychological thriller :tongue:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...