Phil Hebblethwaite, Editor. Mickey Gibbons, Designer.
Oh God, I know I’ve said it before, and it both marks me out as old and sad… but I still finish the title with the rest of the Kid Creole song. Can’t help it. It’s playing over and over in my head as I type this. God help me.
Anyway, we’ve covered The Stool Pigeon here a fair bit and by now you may well know the form so I’ll grab from a previous review:
“Stool Pigeon is the bi-monthly, six issues a year totally independent music paper that’s distributed (thanks to the editors driving many, many, many miles each issue) to music shops (the few that are sadly left), student unions and arts venues across the country (full list of stockists here). And it’s free. Yes, completely and absolutely free. Which immediately makes it great value for money. But, unlike so many of those free newspapers, The Stool Pigeon actually has a lot to say and says it bloody well.”
“I’m not going to linger on the actual music bit of The Stool Pigeon, but I will say that it’s an enjoyable read, nicely designed and full of decent writing about a wide variety of musicians that I haven’t heard of. However, the writing is such that I’ve made a mental note to look out for them – which is always a good sign.”
As usual, alongside all those horribly young looking bands and acts I’ve never heard of the few artists I remember are the older ones, and there’s a very readable interview with Peter Gabriel, and another with (of all people) Dolly Parton:
“… her Highness shredding guitar and autoharp with her acrylic nails, telling tales about the Smoky Mountains as if they had just popped into her head. I knew I was witnessing showbiz at its most calculated and fabulous”
But we’re really mostly about the comics in Stool Pigeon, at least in terms of telling you about it here. One interesting thing, and I’ve no idea whether this is coincidence or not, but this is the fourth issue in a row to feature comics on the cover. A good, good thing, especially when it’s one so striking as Krent Able’s very unlikely collaboration between Justin Timberlake and Sunn O))).
Okay, onto the comic section…. just the four strips this time
I go hot and cold on Hipster Hitler. And I’m cold right now. Read it, and get nothing. So I’ll give you fellow FPI’er Joe Gordon on it:
“….it consistently cracks me up and it follows in a long tradition (as used by the likes of the late, great Spike Milligan) in using absurd comedy to lampoon and belittle evil (and deliver a laugh along the way too). Personally I love the strip…..”
Now, from one extreme to the other. I’ve loved Elwick and O’Connell’s Charlie Parker Handyman since I first caught sight of it. And it seems to get better and better, tighter, smoother.. but with all the freshness and comedy that I felt the first time.
This time round it’s actually both the beginning to a four pager and the continuation of the strip in the last Stool Pigeon, where a recently shorn Charlie gets the post haircut itch and his hair induced gyrating attracts the attention of a young southern boy by the name of Elvis. The Charlie meets Elvis saga continues next time in Stool Pigeon, but should you wish (and I did) you can read the whole thing, and catch up with the other, equally impressive) Charlie Parker strips here.
Martin Kellerman’s Rocky continues, hitting all the right notes, and some uncomfortable ones as well (I must stop talking to Molly about how all her music owes everything to Kraftwerk et al). Funny stuff.
But once more, it’s Krent Able who makes the biggest impression, unfailingly cruel and grotesque, this time around it’s Courtney Love and Michael Stipe who really come out of it worst, as Justin Timberlake teams up with drony black metallers Sunn O))) to investigate a series of gruesome Hollywood murders. It’s not pretty, but it’s absolutely absorbing.
Oh, did I say four strips…. I meant five, just the last one, this little one from David Ziggy Greene is a gig review tucked at the back of the paper away from the comics section. Now, reviewing through comics isn’t new, and I think Stool Pigeon has done it before as well (memory.. failing…), but this is definitely the first time I’ve mentioned one. And although I have no bloody idea who The Death Set are, I have a good idea, through Greene’s words and pictures what they sound like and how the gig went – and that’s proof it works. Fine, fine review….
As always, you’ll be able to find The Stool Pigeon in all fine music shops and many fine comic shops, including every single Forbidden Planet International. And if you’re in town, The Stool Pigeon comic exhibition is on in Orbital London until September 18th