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Apocrypha Entertainment Presents:








COMICS I OWN AND YOU PROBABLY DON’T (BUT SHOULD)

Occasionally I look at my shelves (my ridiculously over-stuffed shelves, to be blunt) and despair and what I am doing with all these books. It can be more than a bit overwhelming. But every once in a while, I look at the shelves and see one of the gems of my collection staring out at me, and I smile. This is one of those times.


If you’ve never heard of DESTROY!! by Scott McCloud (ZOT era Scott, not UNDERSTANDING COMICS era Scott) then you’re missing out. One of the best (and funniest) comics of the 80s, McCloud manages to pay homage to superhero comic excess while at the same time eviscerating it in this nifty 32-page tale. The story is simple: the Red Basher, normally a do-gooder, has snapped and starting yelling Destroy!” while tearing his way across Manhattan. The reason? His girlfriend, Barbara, has left him for fellow hero Captain Maximum. And conveniently, Maximum is on his way to stop Basher from causing any more destruction.

It does not even remotely work that way.

Instead, the two duke it out by punching each other through buildings, across city blocks, and into the Upper Bay. The “warning” McCloud embedded his tongue within his cheek to write for the cover says it all: “Parents beware! This comic book is exactly what you think it is: 32 pages of meaningless, overblown violence, mayhem, and destruction! (Plus one Naughty Word)”

What it really is, though, is genius.

Printed over-sized at 11x15 inches, McCloud gives a guided tour of the destruction of Manhattan (literally- there’s a glossary) and of superhero clichés (it isn’t until it’s convenient for the plot that someone actually gets hurt. And even then…). The dialogue is crisp and funny, playing the concept straight. McCloud’s art is strikingly detailed; he knows what size this is being printed at, and he makes sure that every panel is worked over to maximum effect. And it even comes with an author’s note explaining how the entire idea was somewhat inspired by a Marvel graphic novel (SUPERBOXERS) he had seen fans complaining about, but that he thought fell short in the department of being nothing but violence and action… so he wanted to prove that doing that sort of very thing really could be done.

Funny fellow, that McCloud.

The book isn’t currently in print to my knowledge. However, I have turned up a couple of Amazon links where you can pick it up. If it’s within your price range, grab it- it’s truly a gem, and you’ll love it! And if not… well, it seems like the rest of McCloud’s work is in print. Wouldn’t it be cool if he worked with Image or somebody to get this one back into readers’ hands?

 

Marc Mason  

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