‘Yesterday I was shivering in London. Now the Sudanese sun scorches the skin from me, like a blowtorch.’
In this premiere issue of Hellblazer, streetwise magician John Constantine meets an old friend and goes in search of a hunger demon.
Hellblazer #1, January 1988, Cover by Dave McKean
The first Hellblazer issue I bought was number 31 back in July 1990. It was written by Jamie Delano with art by Sean Phillips. The story is titled “Mourning of the Magician” and tells the tale of John Constantine’s father’s funeral. I was vaguely aware of the character of Constantine but had no idea who anyone else was. What I do remember is how much the story pulled me in. It was a ghost story set in England with references to occult magic. I instantly wanted to know more about these characters and the world they inhabited.
I continued to buy Hellblazer monthly and made it my mission to get hold of the previous thirty issues that I’d missed. Some were easy to find, others not so much, especially the first ten issues. I remember tracking down issue one at a comics fair in Manchester, England. I don’t recall how much I paid for it but it can’t have been very much because I was in college at the time. I can trace my infection with the “collector-bug” to this comic book as well as Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.
“Anyway, if you stop tellin’ people it’s all sorted out after they’re dead, they might try sorting it all out while they’re alive. ”
Cover Artwork by Graham Ward
“She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.”
Wow! Is this book already almost thirty years old? I remember buying the first paperback edition back in the days of Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series. In fact, the author used the Sandman’s letters page to announce Good Omens’ release. I remember that, too. So, this is what getting old feels like.
Good Omens is a black-comedy about Armageddon set at the end of the 1980s. Its main characters are an angel, a demon, a witch, a witch-finder, the antichrist and his friends. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse also feature. It was written by Neil Gaiman, (Sandman, American Gods, Coraline, The Graveyard Book) and Terry Pratchett, (The Discworld series). Continue reading
“People couldn’t become truly holy, he said, unless they also had the opportunity to be definitively wicked.”
What’s that? You haven’t read Good Omens?!?.. Ah, you’re joking, right?..
The 1991 Corgi edition with cover art by Graham Ward.
Tor.com is starting a Good Omens reread. Here’s the link to the post by Meghan Ball.
‘The reread will be split up into ten parts, with the final part being a wrap-up of the entire novel. In each installment, we’ll go over a summary of the story thus far, my commentary on what’s going on, and a special trip to what I like to call “Pun Corner.” It’s going to be an awesome time and I can not wait to discuss this bonkers book with all of you!’ – Meghan Ball
The 2007 Harper edition with cover art by Haydn Cornner.
The first I heard of this now famous book was in the letter column of the original Sandman comic book by Neil Gaiman. This is going back a long time. I can’t remember which issue it was. I could go and look but that would feel too much like hard work as my collection is currently housed in a box in a cupboard in an upstairs room in a house in Japan:) Well, at least it was the last time I checked. Continue reading