Today we’re looking at Def Leppard #1, published by Rock Fantasy Comics in 1990. Cover price on this was $3 bucks; I got it for a quarter at Half-Price Books.
A couple of things before we dig in. I am not a fan of this band. I am sure there are legions of fans who worship Def Leppard’s feet at the but, if I’m being honest with you, I’ve always viewed DL as something of a joke. The “glam rock” era of music offered many bands worth of derision; I lump Def Leppard in with those groups in my mind. Before I started writing this, the only song I could identify with confidence as a Def Leppard song is “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.
I also know nothing about Rock Fantasy Comics, an outfit that published many comic books centering on famous rock musicians. If this book is indicative of the type of work the company regularly published, there’s a reason I’ve never heard of Rock Fantasy Comics before this week. In the introduction to Def Leppard, publisher Michael Valentine Smith explains the reasoning behind this comic, saying:
Rock has often taken the attributes of Science Fiction or Fantasy to fire the imagination of its’ audience. We thought it might be fun to turn the tables and combine Rock and Roll with Fantasy/Science Fiction for the printed page. So we’ve created an imaginary universe and peopled it with characters in the guise of some of our favorite Rock Stars. We make no claims of accuracy, since the stories are “Work of Fiction”.
I had to clean that up a bit; Smith might be a titan in the rock ‘n roll comic publishing industry, but his grammar and usage is pretty atrocious throughout this comic.
“Atrocious” is probably a good place to start concerning the content of this book; it’s an anthology of four stories featuring Def Leppard. Anthologies can often prove to be a mixed bag, with some good stories and some bad ones. This is NOT a mixed bag. All the stories are uniformly bad.
First of all, I love Tommy Boy. I think it’s a classic and please understand, I don’t use that word lightly.
Secondly, I did not write this thing. One of my students did! Or at least, he came up with the basic idea and I fleshed it out.
In my twenties, I absolutely loathed people who identified as urban cyclists. While I certainly did know a person or two who managed to live in one of New York City’s five boroughs while owning a bike and not becoming a hideous douche, for the most part people seem to be subsumed by bike culture the moment their feet touch a pedal. Putting it simply, a lot of people use bicycles not because they’re a convenient conveyance or because they like them… they use them to be part of the culture, and to be as obnoxious to non-bikers as their means allowed.
Having said that, I don’t know how much I should talk about my exercising in these summer strips. I don’t want to come off as sounding like I’m a real bicyclist or anything. I do about 5 to 7 miles every morning before breakfast. I’ve only missed one day so far due to an early doctor’s appointment.
It’s not the best exercise to lose weight but it’s nice to be active and I get a lot of energy out of just those 30 minutes of cycling. It’s also a good time to think.
We acquired a bunk bed for both Elliot and Henry to share a room and attempted to turn the third room into something of a guest space. Of course, within a few weeks, Elliot had claimed the futon in the guest room as his own.
A lot of these comics are more for our family’s collective memories than for public consumption. I tried to include some little snippets of their personalities in each panel but maybe this strip is a little too “inside baseball” for public consumption. I don’t know.
Every year on my class’s final exam, I give my students the same bonus question. For two extra points on the exam, they have to draw a picture of me on the back of their test booklet. I take my favorites out of all those drawings, frame them, and hang them in the Mr. Pearce Art Gallery.
Every Sunday for the next few weeks, I’ll be presenting my students’ work to Tumblr as an attempt to curate these wonderful works of art.