Okay, okay, this isn’t actually a trade that’s out for a bit, but it is up for ordering still by retailers so this may interest you, or even fans of the series as Jim Zub and Djibril Morissette-Phan release the second Glitterbomb mini-series, The Fame Game this February through Image Comics.
It kicks off where the last series left off – in the aftermath of the Hollywood massacre caused by the now deceased Farrah Durante, a woman who has seen the underbelly of the voracious Hollywood Machine and survived. Just. But, Zub and Morissette-Phan take the very brave and, arguably, risky decision to take a bit part character from the first arc, teenager Kaydon Klay, and make her the focus of not only this book, but from the evidence, future mini-series too.
I suppose, given Durante’s spectacular demise, they had no choice, but it makes for an interesting refocus on the troubles with Tinseltown. While Durante had become jaded, and rightfully so, by her experiences of La La Land, Klay is young, beautiful, and hopelessly naive. Hers is the story of someone at the start of their journey. Someone who is about to be fed into the belly of the beast.
To me, there are two horrors at work here. The monster that is Hollywood and the more visceral, parasitical creatures that were once part of Durante and may, just may, be part of Klay if she isn’t careful. Very different faces of horror, but both equally damaging. The dark, demonic being, however, is just quicker in the execution of their victims’ demise.
Over the course of this series, we see how easy it is to succumb to the bright lights and glare of fame that we are all but one tragic news story away from becoming. While Durante was an actress, Klay is a simple young girl from a moderately poor neighbourhood who tastes fame and likes it. But, as her destiny is mapped out for her, she begins to change. And not for the best as it quickly affects her relationships with friends and family.
But, as she begins to taste the good life, she is also dragged out by another cast off; a musician who’s past her sell by date and is now possessed by the same dark creature, or dark forces that empowered Durante to take out her revenge. There is the hint of a bigger horror at work here, but only a hint. This is very much the story of the rise and exploitation of Klay and her responses to these influences.
This is, again, a fascinating story of the price of celebrity and why we are even remotely interested in the likes of The Kardashians who, if you need reminding, became famous because (i) Kim’s dad defended a high profile murderer and (ii) because Kim slept with someone and that was caught on camera. Hell, if that’s all you have to do, I’m ready for my close-up now!
Zub proves he is more than just a good writer of more comical characters, like Spider-Man, and here there are no laughs but a horror, as I’ve reported, that works on two levels. It’s also a book that uses horror to pass commentary on the celebrity culture we have become accustomed to and are bombarded by, where talent is replaced by tragedy or familiarity. Morissette-Phan, seems to be enjoying himself on this series even more than the previous, and there are lots of opportunities to flex his penmanship as he continues to present the high lights of Hollywood as well as the low lights and low lines too. His covers are works of art, and I loved the choice of cover for this, mimicking as it does the cover for the first volume.
If you like the sound of this book, ask your LCBS to order you a copy. Or, wait until it’s inevitably available online and in stores on February 28th, 2018.