It’s back and better than ever! It’s BCHQ Week in Review!
Sunday night was a mad dash to Amoeba Records, Los Angeles’ greatest old school record shop! Why am I still talking about it on Monday? Because BLACK CROWN is all about melding music, art & alchemy into our comic books.
In preparation for next month’s massive PUNKS NOT DEAD: LONDON CALLING sophomore album/arc debut on FEBRUARY 27, I assembled this scintillating interview. Here’s your exclusive.
They’ve been a dream team since first blush at Fergie and Sid’s character sketches in the fall of 2016. But are David Barnett and Martin Simmonds, co-creators of PUNKS NOT DEAD, headed for a nasty AF breakup like their pop culture predecessors Liam and Pasty, Eno and Ferry, and Sid and Johnny, who kicked, cursed and collaborated before them? Or will comics’ darling duo grow closer, bringing on the warm & fuzzies in the sophomore album/arc of their hit series and keep the smashed guitar bits, bollocks and acrimony where it belongs: on the page?! Don’t look at me…see below.
You’re well into bringing LONDON CALLING, the sophomore album of PUNKS NOT DEAD, to life. What’s different about this arc that makes you twice as excited to spend time with these motley characters?
DB: “Teenage Kicks” was about us setting out our stall with Punks Not Dead, saying here are the characters, here are the situations they’re in. It was about getting to know Sid and Fergie, Dorothy and Asif, Julie and Natalie and the rest. It was about setting the stage and defining the rules, while hinting at bigger things at play beyond the periphery of the main storyline. “London Calling” is where those bigger things begin to edge into the spotlight, the stage is trashed, and the rulebook ripped up. We get to know everyone a lot better, and at the same time we find out that some of them aren’t the people we thought we knew at all.
Fergie’s mom Julie is scheduled to give a TED talk. What’s it about?
MS: Beleth: How I fell for a demon, by Julie Ferguson
DB: It’s about her time dragging Fergie around daytime talk TV shows and how easy it was for her to dye her hair or put on a pair of glasses and nobody would recognise her, because when the desperation of the working class is served up as entertainment nobody really looks that closely, in the same way that in Rome everybody was really admiring the lions rather than the slaves they were tearing to bits in the colosseum. It’s about bread and circuses and how in most people’s eyes Julie, as a single mother in the north of England, is just as invisible as Sid.
There are a lot of firsts for fifteen year-old Fergie in this arc, including the opportunity to order his first pint. What’s your memory of the first time you had a pint?
DB: The first time I had too much to drink I was far too young and necked a pint in the beer garden of a pub in Dorset on a family holiday. As far as I can remember, I spent an hour talking about the Rockford Files. First pint I had in a pub I was underage and wore my grandad’s cap to hide my callow youth.
Which character would you pick to cover you in a sniper attack and why?
MS: The sharp-shootin’ Dorothy ‘deadeye’ Culpepper. Although, she may have acquired that nickname from her days frequenting London’s snooker halls.
What’s stuffed in the trunk of Dorothy Culpepper’s mini cooper?
MS: Syd Barrett’s spirit animal.
DB: Well, I think that imp she removed from the Prime Minister’s residence back in #1 of “Teenage Kicks” is still there. She also has an active German army-issue grenade from circa 1943, a bottle of champagne liberated from the Kinks’ dressing room at a Finsbury Park gig in 1966, a wax cylinder recording of the Lost Chord, given to her by Jimmy Durante (after which she did a little memory-wipe magic), and several assorted false hands (all left), though she has no idea where they came from.
What’s Asif most cherished piece of vinyl?
MS: ‘Ma Fleur’ by The Cinematic Orchestra
DB: I don’t think Asif’s much of a vinyl man. He’s more pragmatic; he’s young and tech-savvy and I think he’s just all about the immediacy of streaming. His partner Daniel is probably more of the type who’d buy into the vinyl revival. He’ll have grown up with his parents listening to Simon and Garfunkel and he’ll constantly be trying to get Asif into Bridge Over Troubled Water but Asif grew up with Asian radio stations in Bradford so he doesn’t have the same nostalgic link to stuff like that. He likes a bit of EDM, does Asif. Helps him focus.
You’re on tour and your roadies are Noel Gallagher, Thom Yorke, and…
MS: …the ghosts of John Bonham and Keith Moon. Bonham to carry the gong, and Moon in charge of the pyrotechnics.
DB: Oh, god, really? It would have to be someone with an actual bit of muscle who could do some heavy lifting while Yorke was sitting there whining about breaking a nail and Gallagher was telling everyone to go fook themselves because he wasn’t hoisting an amp up three steps as he’d just had his hair done at Vidal’s. So probably Cher or someone.
PUNKS NOT DEAD: LONDON CALLING is in stores in February. Currently earning large sums in the midst of an opulent, 5 year Las Vegas residency, Cher could not be reached for comment.
#NCBD heralded the return of this lunatic in LODGER #3. Fun fact: Artist David Lapham made sure that the gun, Golddigger, and the serial killer’s mouth were perfectly positioned.
Here’s what reviewers are saying so far:
“A creepy, smart and compelling crime/mystery book with all of David Lapham’s Stray Bullets/Young Liars hallmarks.” – ComicBook.com
“Stark, gruesome and mercifully black and white.” —The Brazen Bull
April will see the launch of EVE STRANGER, amnesiac-for-hire, by David Barnett and Philip Bond. Reviewed color and finalized ad copy. Here’s a sneak peek.
Gearing up for the next massive announcement coming in June, featuring a fan-favorite, Eisner Award-winning team!
Leaving you with the rest of my Amoeba haul. See you next week for far more convivial times at blackcrown.pub!