Category Archives: post apocalypse

Post Apocalypse XXVI – Toyah and Post Apocalyptic Skater Chic in ‘Rebel Run’ and ‘Love is the Law’ (1983)

Looking for all the world like she had rocked up in some Italian Post Apocalypse ‘epic’ (The New Barbarians, 2019 After the Fall of New York, Exterminators of the Year 3000 etc), this is Toyah, in 1983, promoting her single ‘Rebel Run’ and the accompanying album ‘Love is the Law’. The lyrics to ‘Rebel Run’ voicing typical preoccupations of the time, being so close to 1984, which in popular culture was indelibly linked with the titular George Orwell book of Totalitarian rule. Here is a sample of the lyrics;

Praying to the silent man A new day dawns Behind acetylene tanks A dog’s lament Wakes the new age But falls in splintered fragments Around his cage Like everyone said there’d be So much more to nineteen eighty-four Rebel run Don’t shoot your gun Rebel run Run run run Now get down And stay down You’ve gotta learn To kiss the ground 

and here is the video in all its Chromkey glory. I have no idea why she is a post apocalyptic Skater Warrior, the video sheds no further light on the matter.

Post Apocalypse XXV – Gary Numan is Max Rockatansky-ish in Warriors (1983)

Back in 1983, clearly as taken with Mad Max II as I was, and obviously having much more money than my poor teenage self, Gary Numan decided to pay homage to Max himself by looking a lot like him on his single ‘Warriors’;

and he looked rather good too (he would have been perfect in one of the Italian post Apocalypse efforts). A brief reminder, dear reader, of the source of inspiration here;

But don’t expect any ‘Wild Boys‘ style homage in the video for the single. Oh no –  this is something else, and your mileage may vary (I lasted less than 30 seconds…)
 

Post Apocalypse XXIV – Mad max – the next-gen game (2014)

This gives me hope for ‘Glory Road’, which should be with us next year (hopefully). I can almost see Tom Hardy in this trailer as Max, as much as I can see Mel Gibson. It looks like they may do the (good) movies (i.e. Mad Max and Mad Max 2 / Road Warrior) justice with this game. This will probably convince me to get the PS4;

Post Apocalypse XXIII – Amsterdam, Bristol, Cambridge, Gateshead, Glasgow – Destroyed Cities, courtesy of ‘The Last of Us’ (2013)

If you go here http://thelastofus.eu.playstation.com/en_GB/destroyed-cities you can select various cities of the world, and view them through the ravaged filter of a post apocalyptic event.

Take for example, Amsterdam, where I live;

                                 an example of the Canals (after the apocalypse, and then before)

and Vondel Park (before, and then after the apocalypse)

Then we have the destroyed Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol;

the ruins of King’s College, Cambridge;

the derelict ‘Angel of the North’, Gateshead;

and the starkness of the decaying Clyde Arc, with the ruins of Glasgow in the background;

Post Apocalypse XXII – ‘The Last Of Us’ (2013)

Since the developer Naughty Dog announced this title just over 18 months ago, there has been a trickle of teaser trailers (and all of them looked incredible), game play demos and positive noises coming from the gaming press. Over the last week the reviews have begun to come in, and it seems pretty unanimous that this is one of the outstanding games from this console generation. With the title due to be released in 2 days, I can barely contain my excitement, which is why I am posting the launch trailer here. A post-apocalypse current-gen game, with shades of ‘The Road‘, and created by Naughty Dog, who can do no wrong in my eyes after ‘Uncharted 2‘ and its sublime follow-up, this promises to be a bit more than the usual gaming experience. This is a game where you are faced with moral dilemmas for a lot of the decisions you have to make, but woven into that is the notion that the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is less distinct; that when you are faced with survival it is just you against the others.

Mad Max Double Bill for selected London Cinema’s press advertising, March 1983

I never knew they had done a double bill of this, back in Spring 1983. If I had only been 5 years older at the time I would have been able to enjoy these beauties on the big screen. As it was, I was merely months away from watching it on VHS anyway and having my teenage brain overloaded with post apocalyptic stand-offs in irradiated deserts. Also, note the use of the ’18’ classification, which had recently replaced the ‘X’ rating. The ‘X’ classification always signified more of a frisson of danger than ’18’.

The Stand Omnibus Review (Marvel, 2012)

Having recently shelled out on The Invisibles, and soon to receive the exhaustive (and most likely exhausting)  Marvel ‘Zomnibus’, plus the eagerly awaited Criminal Deluxe Edition Volume 2, I am experiencing a relative flood of Omnibus titles to stockpile as the autumn nights draw in. As I purchase a lot of my books via Amazon, they are always happy to shove more products in my face that I will most likely ignore, but sometimes they throw me something I was blissfully unaware of / was woefully uninformed of / did not see coming and I am more than presently surprised, so much so that I immediately reward them with more of my cash as I purchase said product.

What I am trying to say is, is that they recommended that I may just like The Stand Omnibus from Marvel. Well, how very perceptive for a website bot. I immediately ordered. It arrived within the week, and has, without doubt, been the best Omnibus purchase I have made. There are so many reasons why, and this review is going to attempt to share some of the love emanating from me, fresh from finishing the main book (the one with all the comic books in chronological order in glorious colour with great binding) in this 2 volume slipcase set. The second book is the equivalent of the second DVD full of ‘extras’ in a 2 DVD film presentation. That book is not being reviewed here.

The Stand is one of Stephen Kings better known, and according to fan polls, best loved books. It is also one of his longest, and one of his most divisive (one reviewer who went by the name of Spider Robinson actively campaigned to urge people not to read the book, such was his loathing of it – read it here). I read it in 1983, when it was still in its original 1978 version. There has since been 2 revisions of the book (2 revisions I was completely unaware of), and its the final one, the ‘complete & unabridged’ version, released in 1990, that is the basis for Marvel Comics comic adaptation. You find that out in a very nice way, with a scene that references the Warren Beatty / Madonna movie ‘Dick Tracy’, which was one of the Summer Blockbusters of that year. It is also one of the few pop culture references to frame the story. It is telling, as I think this excellent adaptation invests the reader with enough intelligence that they do not need to hit them over the head with specific cultural references, to give the story a relative position to the readers experiences. This version of The Stand is the age old tale of Good versus Evil, God and The Devil, the dark versus the light. It tells that story very well, and is probably the finest adaptation of a literary source in comic form.

The comic adaptation was divided up into 6 runs, covering nearly 4 years, starting with The Stand: Captain Trips in the autumn of 2008, followed by American Nightmares, Soul Survivors, Hardcases, No Man’s Land and concluding with The Night Has Come, which finished its run earlier this year (in February 2012). That was a massive commitment from Marvel comics, to keep with a project to the end regardless of sales on single issues of the title. But more importantly, this was a huge achievement from the Creative team, who, in an industry where those teams are disbanded on a regular basis, managed to keep its people from the first to last. The most obvious benefit to the reader is the consistency of art style. The greatest benefit to the readers of this omnibus is the talent of the Creative team. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, as writer, manages something of a minor miracle in his filtering of this massive Post Apocalypse saga, all 1152 pages of it, into a balanced, absorbing retelling of Kings novel. As important, as absolutely crucial, is the work of Mike Perkins, whose naturalistic, clean art captures perfectly a world ravaged, and the full spectrum of human emotions and interactions. Alongside him, the colours of Laura Martin are pitched just right, slightly muted, but bursting into life when required to capture the intensity of the story at key points.

The story is, in essence, a tale of Good versus Evil, a story of how man destroys man, but also of sacrifice, salvation & hope. It’s Religious overtones are blatant, but it is also a retelling of how humans ultimately fuck everything up, given enough time and resources, only to begin again with renewed purpose on doing it right second (third, fourth, fifth etc) time around. There is also more than a nod to Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings books in this story, and the riffs on that tale are completely blatant and seem more an act of fan service on the part of King than any sort of wholesale lifting from the source material.

This adaptation is a lesson in how to use the source material work in comic form. As a reader the feeling of the plot moving at a steady pace is palpable, from the initial outbreak of the superflu nicknamed ‘Captain Trips’, to the pandemic, to the aftermath, to the marshalling of the forces of Good against Evil. The main characters have enough depth and personality to make you care enough about their fate, from the brooding, tragic Nick Andros, the capable everyman Stu Redman, the man-child Tom Cullen. None of this would be possible without the economy and precision of Aguirre-Sacasa’s text and the humanity that Perkins pours into the panels, depicting these characters. The portrayal of Randall Flag (aka The Walking Dude, aka THE DEVIL HISSELF) is all easy courtesies and charm with the swagger of a Rock Idol, until he gets mad, and then Perkins gives Flagg enough of The Devil and Animal Predator Nightmare Fuel (like the rows of Shark Teeth he flashes before lunging for the Kill) to make him a worthy unfiltered image of Evil.

The action set pieces work really well, as sparing as they are throughout this massive book, and are handled with a sure touch – you feel the chaos, the tension, you see the chaos, the tension, the effects of violence, the destruction that can be wreacked upon a body. It’s cinematic and I mean that in a good way – Perkins has great vision and frames each panel with care and attention. The level of detail and consistency in his work is astonishing.

So is it worth your time and money? For those with any interest in Stephen King, The Stand or Post Apocalypse fiction, then it’s a no-brainer. You must treat yourself to this fantastic package. Marvel invest in quality when they put together an Omnibus. You may around 50 to a 100 sterling, but what you get is good paper, fantastic reproduction of the comics, superb binding, and a comfortable sturdiness when you hold the book in your hands. For book case lovers, I can tell you that the Omnibus’ from Marvel catch the eye with their fat spines and vibrant lettering.

I read the whole thing in 3 sittings, probably totalling around 6 hours of solid reading. There is more to it than reading the text and skimming the art – you stop and take each panel in, there is no way you hurry thriugh this. It is the best adaptation of a book I have read in comic form. The fact its source is one of my favourite books obviously helps its case, but that should not diminish from what I am trying to express; for one of the more gripping, moving, thriling comic book experiences of modern times, this has few equals. Marvel’s decision to make the adaptation, AND then collect it in this premium Omnibus format, reaps dividends for the reader.

To summarise; it is very, very good. Buy it.