Transmissions 13 is a celebration of art that evokes a sense of creation
in eras long past but created in the present.
After award-winning maxi-series Mister Miracle and Strange Adventures, Mr. King has chosen Christopher Chance as his next headliner. It’s a unique take on the character - straight out of the pages of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. Just, you know, embroiled in DC Comics superhero hijinks.
While the story certainly hearkens back to Philip Marlowe's mysteries, the art cinches the, “from another era” feeling. Tom King swapped out his recent partner in crime, Mitch Gerads, for Greg Smallwood. I could write paragraphs about how awesome his art in this book is. But it all boils down to, “Fingers crossed this isn’t King and Smallwood’s last team-up.”
I first saw Greg Smallwood’s work on Moon Knight, when he took the artistic reigns from Declan Shalvey. While I liked it…I think at the time I was just missing Declan’s artistic translation of Warren Ellis’s mad, Scottish ravings. So I missed out.
I’m not sure what Mr. Smallwood has been up to in the interim between Moon Knight and Human Target, but his art SHINES in this book. It was made for this kind of storytelling. King’s reputation and Smallwood’s cover designs (can’t you just feel the Robert McGinnis vibes flying off the page?) are what sold me. The quality of the storytelling in both words and visuals is what kept me coming back issue after issue.
It looks like they are releasing a collection of the first half in September to coincide with the release of issue 7. It’s easy to get your hands on issues 1-6 digitally, but there’s something about seeing Smallwood’s art on the printed page that is hard to beat. If you can find the issues…do it.
Over the Garden Wall
Though released in 2014, I didn’t discover Over the Garden Wall until 2021. Seven whole years of missing out on this glorious, super-weird, but ultimately heart-warming animation.
Upon discovering the show and blowing through all 10 episodes in a matter of one day (easy, as most episodes are under 20 minutes), I immediately reached out to friends who I knew would love it as much as I did. They all knew about it. My friends failed me.
I’m not bitter about it. I promise.
We follow Wirt (voiced by Elijah Wood), and his younger brother Greg on their adventures through a forest full of fantastic creatures equally charming and creepy.
Created by Patrick McHale, Over the Garden Wall, feels very much of the same ilk as Cuphead insourcing style and inspiration. Just with more whimsy and less cynicism (at least in my opinion).
The nice thing about trying something like this out is there are such low stakes. At 10-15 an episode with only 10 episodes, it’s easy to experience without missing out on all the other things on your binge-list. And it’s going to be one of those things that within the first episode or 2 if you are either going to LOVE IT or just dismiss it as “not your thing”, or “What the heck did I just watch?!?!”
Give it a try. It’s worth it.
Dream Sweet in Sea Major
I have no idea how this song got on my playlist. I had no idea who Miracle Musical was. And I had no idea when a song like this was written.
I had to do some internetting.
Dream Sweet in Sea Major by Miracle Musical sounds like it could have serenaded you from the shores of 1950s Hawaii. And then it “flips the script” (I hate myself for typing those words) on you. And it becomes this totally different thing. On first listen, you’ll want to check and make sure you didn’t jump to a new track. It soon becomes clear this song has what I can only call movements - like a piece of classical music.
For me, it was one of those songs that upon first listen, you think, “That was cool. Something a little different.” But then it worms its way (positively) into your head, and then you find it in your regular rotation…only to find yourself telling the world about it via your weird, geeky blog/newsletter thing.
I’ve never listened to Tally Hall or heard of Joe Hawley, But I love this song. And you should too. OK…that might have come off too strong. You may not enjoy it near as much as I do, but give it a try. I’m 99.9% it’s unlike most of the music you’re listening to these days. And we could all use a broadening of our musical horizons now and then, right?