Monday, September 02, 2013

COMICS REVIEW: Henry & Glen Forever & Ever #2

Henry & Glen Forever & Ever #2
(I Will Destroy You/Microcosm)
Various Artists

It seems as though the saga of Henry and Glenn has sparked somewhat of an indie cottage industry. There are Henry and Glenn t-shirts, stickers and posters commemorating the comics union of these two punk rock icons. The series has even inspired imitations, like gross out pro, Johnny Ryan, who threw his whip into the ring with a comic in Vice titled “Mark and Gary Forever” featuring Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh and the synth fiend Gary Numan staring as a not-so-ambiguously-gay duo. For the uninitiated, Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever is the further adventures in a comics compilation depicting Henry Rollins (Black Flag, Rollins Band) and Glenn Danzig (Misfits, Samhain, Danzig) as gay lovers. Before you roll your eyes (which you are certainly justified in doing), it should be noted that these comics take the joke outside and beyond the juvenile level of dirty pictures drawn on notebook paper during 12th grade history class (I wasn't the only one who did that, right?). In fact, the joke is getting funnier. Can Hank Rollins take a joke? He’s getting better at it. Can Glenn Danzig? Nah. In a 2011 interview with Nardwaur the Human Serviette, Rollins warned us of such. Henry says he believes in the 1st Amendment but, while he admits to autographing copies for fans, he's never read one. He surmises that Glenn is not a fan. Does that make this all the more guilty of a pleasure? Yes, yes it does.
In this second issue of the series curated by Tom Neely and Igloo Tornado, Neely starts us off with “Children of the Grave” which depicts Glenn as a satanic superhero who must battle his demonic mother in monster form. Neely also apes the Sunday funnies style of Nancy and Sluggo in chapter two of a story line which again has Danzig dealing with mommy issues. Ian Mackaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi) makes an appearance as a Sluggo-type bully and Glenn’s mom looks like she could count Archie and Jughead among her progeny. Other recurring characters are Hall & Oates as neighborly satanists. Why? Why not is the obvious answer here.
Next, Mark Rudolph gives us “How the Chores Kill” which features mostly Glenn performing Herculean labors at the request of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. (Glenn seems to be the focus of the comics a little more than Henry.) Josh Bayer turns in “Same Time Next Year” which follows the budding friendship of the pair starting in 1982 with a stop in 2013 and a glimpse into the wasteland that is sure to be 2038. Andy Belanger, Katie Skelly and Tom Scioli provide pinups of our heroes at the tail end of the book.
When will the joke get stale? Who knows? These characters seem to have taken on lives of their own. They never really were based on reality in the first place, so the fact that they're based on real life cultural icons is incidental at this point. It’s just an entertaining comics series and Henry and Glenn aren't powerful enough to stop the antics of their comics counterparts anyway. A third installment is already in the works so: That’s not all folks!Chris Auman

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