[personal profile] lego_joker posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Because why should [personal profile] cyberghostface have a monopoly on posting tales of the weird, of the creepy, of the unexpected this time of month?

When I was a wee lad, I once took some banjo lessons from a nice Mr. Jones. It suitably traumatized me for the rest of the week, and probably a few days after that.

Fast-forward several years, when some urge I can no longer remember prompted me to go and read several more issues of Twisted Tales. To my relief as well as vague disappointment, I began to realize why no-one really talks about any TT stories besides "Banjo Lessons". Most of TT's oeuvre - to be brutally honest - is hackwork, relying on much the same formula as the horror cinema of the time: gore galore, nudity galore, and splashy twist endings galore. Logical plotting was not a priority, to the point where some of the stories' Wikipedia write-ups are scarier than the stories themselves.

To make things worse, Bruce Jones insisted on personally writing (almost) every story, and while he's rightfully hailed as the West's Junji Ito, even his creativity had limits. TT puttered to a fairly sad end after ten issues, with one particular story in #9 being a red-faced admission that the party was pretty much over.

But before TT folded, it managed at least one indisputable gem - a story that managed to be haunting and heartfelt all at once, without any need for blood or boobs or even speech bubbles. It's more of an illustrated short-story than a proper comic, which lends it unique pacing and atmosphere but also makes it a pain to trim without letting all the air out. I've done the best I could here, but I urge the lot of you to seek out the whole thing by any means necessary.

Perhaps the biggest difference between "Roomers" and 99% of Jones' other output is how grounded it is. No monsters, no serial killers or cannibals, not even couples with bizarre tastes in foreplay. Just the crushing inevitability of Father Time making your body betray you in all kinds of fun ways. Of course, credit must also go to Micheluzzi (whoever he is), for drawing a protagonist that so easily straddles the line between adorable and vaguely terrifying.

Our nameless hero has no support network, save for a moocher of a son and a high-school girl who brings him groceries at a dollar a week. But wait, what's this?

And thus, a beautiful friendship is born...

The spider's life is saved, and the next morning, the old man braves his arthritis and goes out to buy a spare lightbulb. Unfortunately, while he's gone, his moocher son (and pregnant daughter-in-law) drop by to ask for a few bucks, and "tidy up" while they're at it.

The spider being a black widow, I'm sure you can read this as a straight horror story if you like, but I'm just too sentimental for that. I won't say I teared up at the end, but this comic definitely came closer to making me do that than any other in the last five-ish years.

And as for the guy running this roach-trap of an apartment? Last I heard, he'd expanded into building homes for the blind...

Date: 2016-10-24 03:47 pm (UTC)
bradygirl_12: (bat o'lantern 2)
From: [personal profile] bradygirl_12
This was a very good story. The elderly's lives in our society is often a horror story 365 days a year. We like to embalm them and keep them out of our way.

Gaah, that son is a dimbulb. He keeps hitting up the old man for money when he can see the dump the poor soul is living in. Ungrateful children are such creeps.

Date: 2016-10-24 10:02 pm (UTC)
leoboiko: manga-style picture of a female-identified person with long hair, face not drawn, putting on a Japanese fox-spirit max (Default)
From: [personal profile] leoboiko
It's a problem, yes.

lego_joker thank you for this great little story.

Date: 2016-10-25 07:00 pm (UTC)
thenicochan: {...} from Hanna is Not a Boy's Name (Default)
From: [personal profile] thenicochan
It's surprising how beautiful, simple, and harrowing this is.


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