A Killer, a Samurai, and a Comet Walk Into a Bar....
The Killer aka Night of the Comet aka Night of the Killer aka PICK A GD TITLE, JONATHAN!
It’s been a while! But we have a very special book to talk about today, and we have TWO episodes dropping next week, with more on the way, Dallas has finally returned back home after being gone since mid-November of last year, we’re filming another episode tomorrow, so I think it’s safe to say: We’re BACK, Baby!
Watch the episode here:
One of My Favorite New Graphic Novels
Today’s episode drop covers an OGN titled…well, originally it was “The Killer: In the Dead of Night”, then it became “Night of the Comet”, and now (finally?) it’s “Night of the Killer”. Which title is the true, ultimate title? In
a word an old-school emoji: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Actually, “Night of the Killer” seems to be a phrase the writer, Jonathan Thompson, used to brand the new Kickstarter campaign, but the title of the book is still “Night of the Comet”. Whew! Mystery solved.
The original book was Kickstarted a while back, but only as a digest-sized hardcover. This was unideal as the art and especially the text were plainly made for a bigger printed page:
But the book was picked up by Source Point Press for direct market distribution - I’m not sure if this was meant to be an oversized HC edition, but I *think* so. And then SPP changed ownership, and then when Jonathan didn’t hear anything (he hadn’t seen any promotional materials) mere days before it was meant to hit retail shelves, his inquiries to the publisher were finally answered: they were canceling the book!
Here’s an interview that breaks down all the gory details you need to know.
In any event, this is a book that any lover of Bill Sienkiewicz or Dave McKean will adore. Every page is frameworthy, and a visual puzzle to decipher. The story is then straightforward, simple in its general setup, though numerous elements remain vague and undefined. What exactly caused the Samurai’s loss 40 years ago? How and why? What has he been doing all these years to make him a target? Why does a demonic killer want to be the one to take him down? Some ideas are hinted at, but little is spelled out explicitly.
Let’s Talk About Port
Check out the graph above for a wonderfully one-image breakdown of everything critical to know about port and its many styles. Ruby Port is the one I personally paired with this book - it has a mixed berry torte pleasantness to go with its kick of fortified brandy. But a Tawny would also work well: the extra astringency, that bitter almond quality, is perfectly suited to the maudlin bitterness of the main character’s own life in Night of the Comet.
My port was made with Tinto Roriz (aka Temparanillo, but Tinto Roriz is what the Portuguese call it) and sauzão (or sometimes spelled “sezão”, and also known as “vinho”), a varietal I have zero knowledge of. Which is one of the things I love about wine: there is more variety out there than any one person can ever know. I love that there are more books and comics out there than I can ever read, or even know exist. It’s one of the many ways in which these two things go together for me.
Funnily enough, I have a bottle of - specifically (like in the image above) - a 1983 Vintage Port in my closet right now! Look for that to make an appearance and trump the bottle of 1990 Pomerol we drank in an earlier episode, which is, at the time of this writing, the oldest wine I’ve ever tasted. Slowly but surely, I will keep edging my way back into the past!