Tuesday, August 14, 2012

COLEY, Part 4

(Continued from Part 3)

Although Coley had been told to leave town and never come back (at the end of IDOL OF FLESH), at the end of THE DEATHSNAKE, he turns up back in California, to Kit's surprise (and relief).  It's 6 months later.  As I said in my GCD index, "Because the stories in MEATMEN are all stand-alone appearances, it's unsure what the actual order of continuity may be. Appearances are listed here in order of publication, but it's quite possible most of the MEATMEN episodes take place during the 6 months that Coley was missing at the end of this comic."

If one went purely by publication date, then only MEATMEN Vol.17 (1995) would come between THE DEATHSNAKE and the next Erox mini, HARD THROBVol.17 featured a 12-pager, "Coley Meets Doctor Sade".

Following 5 intense episodes which included shocking violence side-by-side with intense sex scenes, John Blackburn returned to the more character-driven soap-opera style of "BREATHLESS" for his next mini.  Asked to stay off the streets to avoid more trouble with the local law, who still have it in for him after IDOL OF FLESH, the new story begins with a variation of that story's opening premise, that of Coley being interviewed by a female journalist.  Naturally, she can't help getting "involved" with him. The twist is when Coley specifically invites her to bring her younger brother along on her visit, which leads to a development that wound up being a complete surprise, even to Coley himself!

I'm continually amazed at Blackburn's color technique on these covers.

HARD THROB  1   (January 1996)
The usual...
...not QUITE the usual...
...okay, definitely NOT the usual!
HARD THROB  2   (February 1996)
Between this mini and the next, 2 more MEATMEN collections came out.  Vol.18 (1996) featured "Coley And The Polynesian Dragon" (15 pages) while Vol.19 (December 1996) features "Riverboat Boy" (also 15 pages).  Again, due to the globe-hopping nature of these stories, they feel like the best place for them to fit into Coley's ongoing continuity would be between THE DEATHSNAKE and HARD THROB.

Having reunited with hs close friend (and film director) Harry Larue, the two set off on a globe-hopping adventure TOGETHER in their next (and final) Eros mini, DAGGER OF BLOOD.  The story serves as a sequel to IDOL OF FLESH, as the supernatural cult featured in the latter part of that story rears its ugly head again, and Harry takes the questionably dangerous path of deciding to be proactive and track THEM down before he & Coley become their victims.  The story, which takes place in a remote region of the Amazon, heavily features both Kit and Lon, the latter of whom we hadn't seen much of since RETURN TO VOODOO ISLAND.  It also once more veers deeply into H.P. Lovecraft territory.

Blackburn's art reaches new highs of refinement in both drawing and storytelling here, and features some of the most stunning sex scenes he's ever depicted-- along with, in the 2nd half of the story, more of the most shocking violence yet.  He definitely did not believe in pulling punches!

DAGGER OF BLOOD  1   (cover pencils)
DAGGER OF BLOOD  1   (January 1997)
More commentary on human nature.  Modest, he's not.
One of Blackburn's most beautiful pages ever.
Ohhhh yeah...
No, Coley hasn't changed his preference for guys, as seen here...
And speaking of H.P. Lovecraft...

DAGGER OF BLOOD  2   (March 1997)
It may not seem it here, but Harry actually likes Kit (well, he tolerates her more than most women at any rate).
Coley & Lon have a "reunion"...
Coley, Lon & Danny manage a 3-way...
Fun in the jungle!
The same page, in COLOR!  All of Blackburn's stories were designed to be in B&W, as one can tell by the heavy use of line detailing, cross-hatching, etc.  I wanted to see what could be done with "limited", "flat" color, of the kind that seems to have fallen out of favor these days.  I wound up really liking the results!
This page has already gone over my usual limit for the number of images... so I'm going to wrap up DAGGER OF BLOOD on the next page.  Just click the handy link to take you there.

(Continued in Part 5)

See my detailed indexes of HARD THROB at the GCD site
See my detailed indexes of DAGGER OF BLOOD at the GCD site 
See the John Blackburn memorial at Prism Comics

Art (C) JOHN BLACKBURN
All prominent characters are Trademarks of JOHN BLACKBURN

Find John Blackburn & other creators' work at the EROS COMIX site.  

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