A long, long time ago, I worked as a newscaster in a radio station. (I've also worked as a flight attendant, a bank manager, and an administration officer. This was all before I discovered that people were actually willing to pay me to write!) During that time, some of my pals informed me one day that I needed to "get some culture", and put a tape into the player. Now, these guys had been working their fingers to the bone practicing Vivaldi on their guitars, so I thought I was going to listen to something classical.
Instead, I got Satriani.
Joe Satriani is considered one of the three or so gods of electric guitar. The particular album I listened to on that fateful day was Surfing with the Alien, which I instantly adored, and which of course particularly appealed to me, comic book fangirl that I've always been. Imagine my delight at being able to explain to my friends that the song 'Always with Me, Always with You' probably had something to do with Silver Surfer Norrin Radd having to bid farewell to his love, Shalla Bal, as he left her forever in order to serve as intergalactic herald for Galactus, eater of worlds!
Such is the intermarriage of comics and gee-tar. Talk about culture, huh?
Meanwhile, Andrew (who is the first of my friends in a long time who also gets Satriani...) has kindly lent me his collection of Animal Man, which I've never actually read. (So gimme a break, I didn't have much of a comics budget in 1988!) It's the first U.S. comics title written by the now-renowned Grant Morrison, who, it seems, was a trippy guy from the start.
Naturally, it being more than ten years down the line after Animal Man was published, I already know a lot of the 'big surprises' in the storyline, but it's still a cool read. It even manages to push an environmental agenda without being too preachy or maudlin. And I never would have thought you could do so much with a guy that basically just mimics animal attributes! That Grant, whatta guy...