Sons of Ba’al

By Jef UK

I want you to listen to the song while you read the comic, because there’s really no such thing as liner notes anymore. So go do that and come back here, and I’ll tell you a thing or two.

Welcome back. Feeling well rocked? Good, me too!  I love that song!

So, as I was saying, there’s no such thing as liner notes anymore, and there hasn’t been in a while. If you care to know the lyrics of a song, you look them up online. This is all fine and good and quick and easy, but I do miss unfolding the thick paper stuffed inside, say, a cassette tape, and staring at those images–that drawing of a monster, that photo of the guitarist, that painting of a metal band rocking out in hell–and analyzing the design of those print materials, the ones in your hands, as the lyrics pour over and around that photo, that drawing and that painting. Yellow and black looks cool.  You’re checking to see if you heard that one phrase right, where the singer really starts going fast, and you laugh at how you got the phrasing wrong as the words blare out screaming from your jambox, over guitars, bass and drums, as you decipher both rubric and meaning by way of something tangible, this paper accordian in your hands. Holy shit, did you know that the bassist sings the backups on this one?

baal char, char design by Michael Lapinski
I heart comix hard. Those are also fun things to unfold, so I started making comic books whereby the caption boxes and dialogue balloons are the lyrics to songs I had recorded with Americans UK. Sons of Ba’al, here, is one of those: both comic and lyric book. So back to digital then–digital for your leisure, for your office, for the cafe, for your studio, robbing you of all that great sensory data. Though, if you want to experience it properly, you can. You could buy the record too, if you wanted.  Digital free way, otherwise.

DEATH_ROUGH_03, char design by MIchael Lapinski
Ham Gravy, a.k.a. Michael Lapinski, and I first met as digital entities on the Bendis Boards. Turned out he lived in Brooklyn–in my ‘hood no less. The day we met in person was the day before he was moving out of said hood. We met up at Bergen Street Comics, I got him to buy one of mine, we had a beer at O’Connor’s, we talked Tezuka and contracts and Brooklyn, and became fast friends. Collaboration was around the corner.

char design by MIchael Lapinski

His work knocks my socks off.  He’s one of those guys that brings a full toolbox to the work site–design, color theory, figure work, you name it. Check out his book Feeding Ground and you’ll see what I mean.  Dude’s a powerhouse. Not to mention a total mensch–a good mixture of kind and passionate, with seemingly no hang-ups–a rarity among artistic types, lemme tell ya.

char design by MIchael Lapinski
If you read this as a paper comic proper, you get/have to turn it round and round to read the lyrics easier. Lapinski thought it was more punk rock that way. That’s why he was perfect for this particular comix short:  we both wanted to experiment, and to somehow capture the spirit of a song wherein the lyrics are some arcane poetry about a possibly nefarious group whose tongues grow directly into their cheeks.  I personally haven’t come across too many comic book lyric sheets, love to experiment artistically, and Michael was totally down to mix it up, so we did, and here’s what you get: 7 rock posters that combine to tell a brief, bloody battle between futuristic biker deities. Mike killed it.

If you’re a fan of Ba’al, we’ve got a free, live version available.  Oh yeah, and also we made a Ken Burns style video out of it all!

That’s all I got. It’s too late and I work too hard. Enjoy the rock and comix. Let us know in the comments section below if you did!

-jef

char design by MIchael Lapinski