Demon in a Bottle

January 11, 2010

I haven’t finished a book in months. I don’t know if its depression or a parasite or the winter (I doubt its a parasite. Too gross.) or what, but I haven’t finished anything in a while.

Including movies. I’ve been to the movies, and that pretty much guarantees that I’ll finish them, but I haven’t watched anything at home, by myself, in a while. Only one movie, Sin Nombre, a Mexi-Salvadoran thriller about immigrants and murderous gangsters who hop trains to get into the states, have I been able to get through. Sin Nombre is a movie I totally recommend, by the way. A little generic–you know where its going for the entire film– but it still managed to enthrall me with the violence, setting and characters.
3.5 stars, if Netflix had a .5 setting.

I also have only been to the gym a couple of times since late in November. Its been rough. I’ve thrown caution to the wind and eaten everything in sight. I’ve put on some weight.

Still, I did read one thing. It may not be a proper prose book but IRON MAN: Demon in a Bottle is the one graphic novel I’ve read in the last couple of months. I liked it, too. It was so much a product of its time in ways that I hadn’t really noticed in my years of reading comics. It is rife with thought bubbles and commentary from bystanders. It even has an origin retelling so that new readers wouldn’t be lost. They used to do that every few months and I always thought it was kind of neat that they did that. Everytime Iron Man did anything, someone in the background would offer something up like “Dickie! Come quick! Thar’s a man in red-an’-gold armor just crashed in ahr back yard!” or after Iron Man flies away from an aircraft carrier, two of the sailors onboard have this exchange: “Hey Cookie! Y’all evuh see anything lahk that back in Omaha?” “You kiddin’, Beau? A flyin’ man in shinin’ armor? Shoot, we don’t even see stuff like that after tokin’ corn silk!”

Clearly the writers and editors at Marvel of the late seventies thought the world was just crawling with hicks. Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle also deals with Tony Stark’s alcoholism head on. Tony’s a millionaire playboy with a big mustache and Burt Reynolds good looks who loves his scotch and his brandy, and his wine. Demon in a Bottle collects eight issues or Iron Man from 1978-79 (at least one of them was released while I was being conceived) and at least once in every issue someone notes the alcohol in Tony’s breath or says “well, uh, you have had three already, sir. Are you sure–?” While Tony thinks things like “well, I am drinking for two men…” Himself and Iron Man, get it?! The whole book is a great if not a little-too-campy look into old style comic-booking. I don’t know what ‘age’ its supposed to be (possibly silver age?) but I never paid too much attention to that stuff. There are other adventures and ridiculous villains along the way, but the underlying theme is that the world coming down around Tony and he hits the hard stuff to deal with it sometimes.

I’m just glad I read it and that Tony Stark got some help. The lush.

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