Comics

Knowing Who Your Friends Are: Exclusive Preview of "LSH #12"

In the opening pages of next week's Legion of Super-Heroes, we see exactly that moment play out again. Paul writes this sublimely sinister trap, where Legionnaires are bound, and placed on trays as food before the Prime Dominator.

It's not the kind of thing you want to hear from a friend. But it's exactly what ex-Cream band member Eric Clapton found himself needing to confess to his friend, ex-Beatle George Harrison. "George, I'm in love with your wife".

Clapton's confession of love for Pattie Boyd, and the depression at (what he believed would be) breaking his friendship with Harrison, are both coded deeply in the DNA of "Layla", a song written by Clapton and performed by Derek and the Dominos.

It was a weird time for Clapton. Cream had just broken up, and Clapton himself was in a funk. Attempting to break through this, he found himself spending more and more time with Harrison and Boyd. And, beyond his own control, began to fall in love with Boyd. When Clapton discovered a Persian epic poem "Layla and Majnun", wherein the heroine is forced into leaving her love unrequited and her suitor goes mad as a consequence, something clicked into place. Clapton realized that he would need to confess his love for Boyd to her husband and his close friend, if he was to survive this psychic torment.

Surprisingly, the friendship held. Even after Boyd and Harrison eventually split. Even after Clapton eventually married Boyd. It seems surprising, unimaginable even. But it's no surprise if you understand the tempo of the song.

Clapton's "Layla" (co-written, and I'm not kidding here, google it to check and make sure, Jim Gordon), is a song that happens in two movements, at two very different tempos. There's the madness of the first act. There's the spellbinding Layla herself and the crazy, powerful guitarwork. Although, Layla's more an idea than anything. And the riffs and the licks will simply not let you go. Through the frenzy of the music, you can feel a madness stalking you.

And then, some three minutes somesuch into the song--redemption. The guitar fades and soothing piano enters. The keys do their work by elevating you far above the pain and the crazy and the heartache. Like the promise of a golden future. A not-yet that you yourself may yet live to see.

In the opening pages of next week's Legion of Super-Heroes, we see exactly that moment play out again. Paul writes this sublimely sinister trap, where Legionnaires are bound, and placed on trays as food before the Prime Dominator.

You begin to read, but you cannot begin to fathom the danger. You cannot imagine a way for our heroes to be able to extricate themselves. Just as Clapton couldn't imagine no longer loving Boyd, and still having a friendship with Harrison. Just as Layla has her suitor on his knees, as Clapton croons in the love song.

And then the power of the comics medium kicks in. It's as if by the very act of your reading, our heroes are imbued with the skill to extricate themselves. And live in that bliss that the second movement of "Layla" predicts, and that Clapton, Harrison and Boyd themselves lived to see.

Please, please, enjoy your exclusive preview of Legion of Super-Heroes #12, released this Wednesday, 8/15.

Cover

Page One

Pages Two & Three

Page Four

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

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Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

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Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

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This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

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Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

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