It is amazing how often in this column on comics that I’m able to meld in my other interests: typically either movies or yelling at millennials on the internet. But for this issue, I get to include a whole new passion of mine, music, as I talk about the collected edition of the comic series Henry & Glenn Forever by Tom Neely (and a long list of other contributing artists).
Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever is a trade collection from a series about a committed and loving relationship between Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig.
But this isn’t just a story about Rollins and Danzig. They live next door to another couple who happen to be Satanists, John Oates and Daryl Hall. As the series starts out, Henry unearths Glenn’s MOTHER (if you didn’t sing that word in your head with angst, shame on you) who was buried in the front yard, and she moves in with them much to Glenn’s annoyance. This collection is roughly 250 pages long, and goes in many unseen directions from there. I’ve seen it for around $7.00 if you want to read it digitally on Comixology, and it is around $15 if you’d like a physical copy (which Henry Rollins has been known to sign, but do not… I repeat, DO NOT… try to get Glenn Danzig to sign, he’s known to get rather angry/aggressive about it).
This comic is set up in many ways like a Sunday Newspaper Comic Strip, in that it tries to pack as many jokes per page as it can. There is usually a punchline every page or two. Just like Sunday newspapers, the jokes can be hit or miss. The art, likewise, has a Dagwood and Blondie feel, which adds an entire different level of humor to the entire series. I tend to enjoy it, but I think that part of the joke could wear thin for some, so you may want to just try to find the single issues if the encompassing subject intrigues you but you’re unsure about the art. There are points where guests artists come in, and this is typically to differentiate when you are reading one of Glenn’s “self-made” comics.
If the subject doesn’t interest you, just stay away from this book. The jokes are often centered on having a basic understanding of musicians in general. It isn’t too deep, but if you don’t understand enough to know that a comment about “James and Lars” is reference to Metallica, then this series may have many jokes that go over your head. If you don’t know who Lou Reed is, or if (and truly a huge shame on you if this is the case) you don’t know anything about Hall & Oates, then again, you’re going to miss a lot of jokes. In fact, I would recommend you not even bother reading if that’s the case.
If all you listen to is Danzig, and you have the sense of humor of Glenn Danzig (that is to say, you don’t have a sense of humor) don’t bother reading this. For me personally, knowing how much Danzig hates this series and how little it phases Henry Rollins, makes me not only like the series more, but also encourages how strangely accurate both are depicted.
There are points that also make jokes in reference to comics in general. Again, like the music references, these aren’t generally deep cuts, but if you don’t know anything about comics they’ll probably be over your head. They aren’t the largest majority of the series, so I think not getting them won’t ruin your overall experience if you want to read this series. But understanding them do add a few more moments of humor.
To truly enjoy the series it really takes someone who is a fan of each of the musicians, but not a sycophant who holds either/both of them in unquestionable divinity above all other musicians. Both have fans like that. And while I’m a huge fan of Rollins (I have multiple CDs, DVDs, books, and books on CD of his) you have to still be able to laugh at caricatures of them, and be able to laugh at yourself even as a fan.
And seriously, Glenn Danzig really, really hates this series, which seriously is almost all you need to know if you really want to check it out.
Remember the time him and Fred Durst got in a fight? That’s like Michael Bay Productions and North Korea getting in a fight. It’s hard to choose a side. But at least (in my personal opinion, of course) as big of a douche as Danzig is (conversely proportionate to his stature), he has made songs worth listening to unlike Durst.
So hopefully I’ve enlightened you to a new series you had no idea existed. Once you check it, let us know what you thought. If you already read it, let us know if the comments section if you enjoyed it. See you next time on Comics Corner!
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
Note: As with all columns at Nerd Nation, the views and opinions expressed by Mr. McVicker are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Nerd Nation Magazine, our sponsors, or anyone else for that matter. It’s called an opinion. Don’t like it? Feel free to let us know in the comments section (if you must), or better yet, just go read something else, preferably right here at Nerd Nation!