Monday, January 3, 2011

Igloo Tornado - 'Henry & Glenn Forever'

It should have been a comedic goldmine. Henry & Glenn Forever, by the artistic collective Igloo Tornado, takes two of hardcore’s most famous icons and pitches them as “special friends” living in an Odd Couple-style arrangement. Their neighbors are Hall and Oates, who for whatever reason are cast as Satanists. This book should satirize all of the homoeroticism/homophobia inherent in hardcore, not to mention the alpha male images of Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig, while occasionally sprinkling in the occasional Hall and Oates joke about “Private Eyes” or something.

Instead, Henry & Glenn plays out like a punk rock Will and Grace, with surface level gay jokes. This book is skimpy to begin with, but the writers still saw fit to use the same bit where Danzig asks Rollins if his butt looks big in his black pants like three times. Rather than tell a cohesive story, the book settles for single page gags – hell, mostly single panel – about two queer guys. The art fluctuates wildly, which would be fitting for a collection if some of it didn’t look like ass.

Henry & Glenn had such huge potential, and perhaps a sequel could tackle the idea more thoroughly. But as is, the book doesn’t hit hard enough. The gay jokes get old fast. I’m a big Black Flag fan and I love his spoken word, but even I can admit Rollins is ripe for mockery. Have you seen his movies? Yet the material rarely taps into his bravado or affinity for violently over-the-top imagery. Danzig proves easier for Igloo Tornado to handle, although the humor blurs into typical goth stuff. The quips about Danzig’s book collection are still solid though.

What the book amounts to is a cash-in on other people’s celebrity. The humor derives entirely from the reader first being aware of Black Flag, the Misfits, etc., and then laughing at the idea of two dudes making out. It’s a fleeting, juvenile joy. Yeah, that cover, featuring Rollins giving a tearful Danzig a massage, is funny. But inside the book lies little else.

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