This week’s featured image comes from Times cartoonist Morten Morland.
Well, phew, glad that’s all over and done with, eh? A neat, clean and gracious transfer of power—oh yeah, silly us. We forgot for a moment we’re living in The Darkest Timeline. Hey ho. Let us (quite literally in one case) shine a little light on Things That Are Not The Election. Added proviso—Nanowrimo is keeping us busy and also thinking about our own invented worlds instead of whatever this batshit crazy simulation we find ourselves in is. Which on the whole is probably a good thing, but is also our explanation for a slightly shorter than usual newsletter. No apologies issued. This is our art.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
We find it a little difficult to take seriously many of the comics writers that inspired our delight in the form in our impressionable years. Alan Moore has largely given up on funny books altogether, but will happily honk on at length at how rotten they are. Frank Miller’s recent work is a bewildering lurch into ugly parody. Warren Ellis is… ugggh. Grant Morrison continues to delve into DC continuity in a way that doesn’t exactly welcome new readers. But at least he seems to be having fun. This long interview in Mondo 2000 squares up to his claims of wizard-hood and how he updated Brave New World for the 21st century…
We found more inspiration in this short call to action from indie creator Ganzeer, who sees parallels between the ‘zine scene and the early days of comics. In short, scruffy kids doing what they wanted at breakneck speed with little in the way of money or adult supervision. Sounds good to us!
As Lockdown 2 bites in, everyone’s looking to see what the new hobby is going to be. What will we bake now we’re all sick of sourdough (the smart money’s on cinnamon whirls, in case you were wondering)? Of course, you could head back to the kitchen. Or why not snag a big torch, a fresnel lens and some ducting and build your own Bat-signal!
Finally in our Ninth Art section, we were drawn to this piece on how memes and comics used in the Democratic Republic of Congo are used to poke fun at the restrictive political landscape, and serve as social commentary. It ain’t subtle, but goes to show how comics have become an integral part of our daily lives in ways the early pamphleteers couldn’t have imagined.
Time for some tunes. The old lags in The Cut office speak very fondly of The Tube, Channel Four’s anarchic live music show. It often teetered on the edge of collapse, which was always part of the fun of the thing. But it was intensely influential, and a must-visit for some iconic bands in their early days. Yes, ok, the mention of REM did have us pricking up our ears…
Moving into the left field, we really enjoyed this history of a near-lost legend of punk—Crass. You may not have heard much of them, but their inky thumbprints are an important part of the iconography of the period, and their angry anarcho-blasts have the power to peel your ears back even today. Crass founder Steve Ignorant is still playing!
Staying slightly punky, we had Captain Sensible’s short playlist of garage rock nuggets on high volume this week. The good Captain has been a herald of the forgotten era of clangular jangulation for some time. His new project, Sensible Grey Cells, is a celebration of deranged rock madness, and like everything he does is damned well worth your time!
You may have heard of pirate radio, but what about factory radio? For decades it was a truly underground phenomenon you could only hear if you worked for United Biscuits. It was a tough training ground for some well known DJs and had to cater to an incredibly varied and demanding audience. We kinda want to hear some of it now!
And finally. This remarkable piece in The New Yorker on one sensation we all have in common moves into horror territory in one smooth shift that had everyone in the office who read it gasping. We guarantee you will not finish this piece without a sneaky scratch at some point. It’s not a light read, but absolutely fascinating.
Exit Music time. A member of the Readership revealed he plays The Song At The End while reading the rest of The Cut, which instantly puts more pressure on us to choose the right tune to sum up the whole shebang THANKS ROB. After the usual level of thought we put into everything else in The Cut (ten seconds), we think this fits the bill.
See you in seven.