Friday, September 20, 2019

Scarab #5

Scarab just learned how to use "whomst'd" correctly.

Don't fucking bother me asking how "whomst'd" can ever be used "correctly" because I've never fucking galaxy brained, okay? I live over here in "peaks and valleys on an electroencephalogram so mild that they look like rolling hills." Whomst'd you expect to know how to use "whomst'd"? Me?! Fuck off!

It's only been a week since I read Issue #4 and I've already forgotten everything about this comic book except that it featured an old man named Louis Somethingorother and his dead wife Eleanor's ghost. I also think Scarab might have been a member of the Justice Society but only in the Vertigo version of DC Continuity. It's basically the same continuity as the regular DC Universe except with more female nipples and the occasional use of the word "cunt."

As I begin reading this issue, I start to think, "I'd love to get addicted to fucking opiates." I'm a pretty relaxed person as it is contrary to all the evidence in my comic book reviews that suggest I've had two or three strokes a month since 2011 due to reading comic books by Scott Lobdell and Ann Nocenti and J.T. Krul. But a few times, I took Vicodin after having a root canal. I was at home playing around on the computer the first time so my initial reaction was, "How do people get addicted to this shit? I don't feel any different." But then later that week, I took one at an old 9 to 5 job I used to have and it was fucking glorious. My annoying bosses maniacal cackle was like a gentle cat purring and nuzzling me on the back of the neck. My idiotic coworkers who made me realize that shoving sharpened pencils into my ears might one day be a legitimate option were suddenly silent ghosts passing softly beneath me as I floated about the office on a serene cloud of cotton candy flavored fuck-it-all. And that was just from one lousy Vicodin! From that one single experience, I know why people get addicted to opiates and I don't fucking blame them one bit. It would be so nice to just shuck the world and tend to your own little garden of no shits given.

Now I'm annoyed that I'm not on opiates! You know what would quell that annoyance?! Damn right!

Maybe the sudden need for drugs was due to this character with my name trying to kill himself.

I hadn't actually gotten to the part where the guy notes he's on drugs or that he's surrounded by poppies so I think I just have to give credit to John Smith's writing for setting up a real "I'm fucking overdosing on pain killers" tone. Now I'm also jealous of a fictional nobody. If only I had too many painkillers right now, um, well, I'd probably never hit publish on this blog post and all five of my readers would be wondering, "When the fuck is Grunion Guy (or Tess (or Jeff (or whoever the fuck this asshole is))) ever going to finish reading Scarab?"

According to my Non-Certified Sister-in-law, nutritionists have to report people for suicidal ideation. She told this to me because she's a nutritionist and I said to her one night at karaoke that my current retirement plan was to do whatever the fuck I wanted until my bank account was dry and then kill myself. But she never reported me so I guess she doesn't realize that's actually my retirement plan.

Speaking of karaoke, I knocked another song off of my karaoke bucket list this week: "Like China" by Phil Collins. I fucked that song so hard on stage, some woman high-fived me and some other guy came up to me and thanked me for reminding him that the song exists. He was super drunk. Super drunk guys love me at karaoke. One time this guy whose name I believe was Creepy Kevin asked me, after I'd just sung "Everybody Knows," if I was doing it in the style of Leonard Cohen or Concrete Blonde. I said Concrete Blonde and he said, "Your voice really suits it." Which is when I stabbed him in the throat and tossed him in the dumpster out back with the leftover spring rolls from the night before because how dare he insult Johnette Napolitano! She has the voice of an angel and I have the voice of the person the angel walks on so that they don't have to get their feet dirty at the angel orgy.

I know nobody is reading this and thinking, "What the fuck are you talking about?! What has happened to Scarab this issue?! Has Eleanor found her way home?!" How many people even remember that this comic book ever existed?! I just read four issues of it a week and a half ago and I almost forgot it existed!

This issue is called "Paradise Defiled" which I just read although maybe my subconscious read it earlier (due to the comic being opened to that page and just sitting there on the scanner) which is why I was thinking about angel orgies.

This guy Jeff is somebody Louis knows. An old woman — maybe his mother? — phones Louis to ask if he's seen him. So that's how Scarab gets involved with Jeff's suicidal problem. Meanwhile, Eleanor is sprouting ecotoplasmic rivulets. It's super gross.

But this issue isn't about Scarab and Eleanor! At least I don't think it is. It's about Jeff waking up from his pleasant and relaxing overdose to find himself in an afterlife torture garden sex party. He totally hates it and I understand why. The place is first described as "a literal incarnation of a littoral world" and I have to stop myself from Googling "home lobotomy." The first tortured sex victim he meets is a guy strapped to a wheel with a bunch of knives in him spouting "Vertigo phrases." I explained "Vertigo phrases" in a previous commentary (or all of my previous Vertigo commentaries maybe?) but for those who somehow just stumbled upon this commentary because "every blog post is somebody's first" (although why Scarab #5 would be somebody's first is beyond comprehension), here's a nice example of "Vertigo phrasing."

It doesn't have to mean anything. It just needs to sound weirdly profound while making the reader feel like a real fucking smarty pants.

Jeff is taken to some Herod-like angel named Lord Colouris. He's also a bit like a cross between John Lennon and Jabba the Hutt. Did I just describe David Crosby? Lord Colouris declares he's going to make a new man out of Jeff and I don't think he means it figuratively.

In the middle of the Garden stands the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It bears the fruit of truth and whispers as skulls pile up beneath it from those feeding on its devastating pronouncements. Also, I sort of agree with what it's saying here:

Ninety-eight percent of this blog is me screaming from the anguish of losing the bliss of nonexistence.

Not that I think I'm evil. Nor do I believe in souls. But that whole anguish over the loss of nonexistence? That hits me fucking hard, bro. Look, it even made me call you bro. I'm hurting here, dude. See? I said dude too!

The rest of what the tree says is meaningless gobbledygook. Something about sex tearing the flanks of God and a snake jerking it into a pot of clay like my junior high school classmate Chris Huff beating off in a breadbox. Maybe it makes sense to guilt-ridden Catholics but it's all wasted on me. I'm just wondering if I should do a Google search on a snake ejaculating. I've done it before for bats and let me tell you: there's a great video of a bat at a zoo sucking itself off in front of some kids! Truly a work of art. So privileged to live in this modern age and able to experience such wonders of this world!

Lord Colouris turns Jeff into a monstrosity because he's trying to reform the lost souls that wind up in the Garden of Pain into his image before he fell from Heaven. But he can't do it because everybody who enters the Garden is tainted by their boring and uncreative lives. To finally make a work of art equal to his previous state of being, Lord Colouris releases all of his Frankenstein monsters into the world to hunt down a truly innocent and beautiful person who can provide the raw material for Lord Colouris's sculpture. Jeff is now one of them.

Being uncreative morons, the monsters raid nurseries all over New York. Idiots. How many babies does it take to create an angel? Probably like millions!

Some of the monsters seek out Eleanor because her leaking bodily fluids smell succulent and, I guess, virginal? I don't know. Like I said, she's gross. I hope they take her.

Instead of Eleanor, the monsters accidentally take Scarab back to the Garden where he's quickly defeated by Colouris with a tree grown up through his guts. Then Scarab, like a true super hero, remembers that he can't be defeated if he just summons one last burst of strength and hope to overcome his enemy! Which he totally does by biting Lord Colouris's tongue off (because Lord Colouris was doing naughty things to Scarab. So naughty that I was embarrassed to discuss them). Then he punches Colouris in the throat and he barfs up the keys to all of his monsters' souls. Plus the key to his own soul which Monster Jeff helps Scarab find. Scarab recognizes him and thinks, "Fuck. Okay, I guess I'll just have to tell Jeff's mother he's dead." Then Scarab sticks the key in Colouris's head and the Garden dissolves into an empty room with a ticking metronome. That probably makes really smart people go, "Holy fuck! That's fucking brilliant! What a great reference or theory or idea or intelligent bit of philosophical scat!" And, um, that's totally what I said too. I'm not one of those morons who don't understand Vertigo comic books. Pshaw! Can you even believe uncool losers like that exist?!

Scarab #5 Rating: You know how many things I had to look up on the Internet while reading this comic book? At least two! Maybe more but even two is a lot! Remember, I first read this in 1993 when most people didn't have Internet (and those that did were spending their time in AOL and Prodigy chat rooms with names like "Horoscope Lovers" and "Remember The A-Team?!"). So that's two things I definitely didn't understand when I read it the first time because you can believe that I was too lazy to pick up a dictionary in the middle of reading a comic book. And that's even assuming that I'm the type of person to own a dictionary! Man, stop embarrassing yourself with your lousy assumptions!

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