Rock N’ Roll Comics issue number 6 presents the lives and legends surrounding the indelible Rolling Stones. This assemblage of stories from Revolutionary Comics includes an “Unauthorized Biography,” a “Satirical Story” about an aging rock group called the Strolling Bones, and a vignette titled “The Rolling Stones Metamorphosis” which rather blithely illustrates the suicide of Brian Jones. Also included are “Mick and Me,” the story of one man applying Rolling Stones lyrics to life’s triumphs and trials, and various installments of “Stan Back” which doesn’t make any sense to me so I won’t describe it any further.
The book opens with “Satisfaction,” the unauthorized Stones biography (seen below). This often embarrassing account is broken up into a strange bullet point narrative. This isn’t particularly effective. In fact, it’s really confusing.
The “biography” treats its subject’s history very arbitrarily. For example, an inordinate amount of time is spent talking about some party that Mick Jagger threw. Immediately following is a two-panel nod to Mick Taylor’s coke addiction and subsequent bow out from the band. The whole story goes like this.
Perhaps the most embarrassing and hilarious segment of this compendium is “The Rolling Stones Metamorphosis,” which weaves the tale of Brian Jones’ seemingly immediate descent into drug fueled madness and suicide. We seriously go from dude looking at a photograph of the Rolling Stones to him drowning himself within two pages. He gets pumped up to kill himself by saying “A New Beginning!” over and over again. The rest of the story is Mick Jagger reading a poem at some gigantic concert, ending his heartfelt farewell to his long time friend with the command to “Release the Butterflies.” (Below)
Honestly, I don’t know what there is to say about the parody story. I think “The Strolling Bones” really says it all. George H.W. Bush shows up disguised as a policeman and it turns out they’ve been holding Nancy Reagan hostage for some reason. It really wasn’t worth reading and it’s barely worth talking about.
All of the shittiness involved aside, I loved reading this book. I loved it because I love reading comics that have been forgotten. They’ve been forgotten for a reason and usually it’s because they’re hilarious and bad. These stories in this book are so self-unaware it’s awe-striking. To think that someone published this comic and thought it was cool or OK makes me laugh, and I like to laugh. It brings me joy to read and talk about things like the flippant treatment of suicide in “The Rolling Stones Metamorphosis” because it’s so unaware. I love to find gems like “RELEASE THE BUTTERFLIES!”because I know that I’m going to laugh about it for a really long time.
So I think that whether Rock N’ Roll Comics #6 deserves to be the first topic here or not, it’s a very appropriate subject for Basement Show Girls’ maiden post. I do believe that comics are a culturally relevant medium and that they don’t receive the critical thought that they deserve, but I’m also not a douchebag. I know that showing off how well I can read literature is going to do little but turn people off. I’m going to do that in certain ways, but it’s not really my main concern and I’m going to try to do it with as little pretense as possible. My main concern is to point out that a) criticism doesn’t have to be serious b) serious criticism can come from laughable texts and c) comics are fun, hilarious, depressing, and culturally relevant at the same time. Comics are fun! Talking about comics is fun! I had fun reading this piece of shit comic because even though I love good comics, I love bad comics even more.