Monday, December 11, 2017

This marriage is getting dorkier by the day



The lovely wife and I celebrated our 11th marriage anniversary last week, which means we've been living together in a house or flat on our own for about 13 years. Frankly, I'm baffled that we get invited anywhere as a couple anymore, because our conversation is just full of in-jokes and dumb TV show quotes, and we're the only people who know what the fuck we're talking about.

We were at a family barbecue last night, and couldn't resist throwing out a couple of quotes from Archer, and trying to do Tom Hardy's 'I have a use for you' from Taboo, even though nobody else had seen those shows. We just did it to make ourselves happy.

And if we're not doing that, we're boorishly going on about some travel that we did together, casually dropping some reference to the toilet situation in Mongolia or the goofiness of the reindeer in Lapland, even though nobody else could have any idea what we're on about. We're just awful like that.

We have some very different tastes - she's a Say Yes To The Dress fan, I'm more Storage Wars; she has a fatal weakness for period romances, I like my horror to be as gory and intense as inhumanly possible. But we also like a lot of the same stuff, and share a very general sense of humour, so we end up watching a lot of things together. We both like watching - and quoting from - things like South Park, Family Guy and Robot Chicken, although I'm the only one feeling stupidly guilty about it. The Simpsons is still the best at providing a quote for all occasions.

She never used to be this dorky. She'd never seen an episode of Doctor Who until we got married, and I started her on the soft stuff like Buffy, before getting her hooked on some serious nerdy shit like the Venture Bros. Now, quotes from all these TV shows and movies we watch together get stuck in our conversation, and we'll end up wondering how the singer of Depeche Mode could be so straight, or why the Crash Test Dummies make the best funeral music.

And if that's not enough, we're constantly tossing Malcolm Tucker insults at each other, and share the wit and wisdom of Scott Adkins' Boyka (especially the 'this is not punishment, this is training' line from Undisputed 2). Several favourite lines from The Wire regularly crop up, but must sound awful out of context, so we tend to keep those ones to ourselves at home.

After all, this shit doesn't even count the ultra-nauseating language we use around each other when we're alone, which should under no circumstances be shared with anybody. Pet names, and whispered secrets. (I once accidentally sent one of these terms of affection to a co-worker in an email he'd accidentally been CCed on, and I still pray to God every day that he doesn't remember it.)

In more than a decade together, she's changed me for the better - I dress better, I eat better, I am better. In return, I've made her considerably nerdier - during a recent stopover at a comic shop in Oslo, she bought something, while I walked out empty handed, and that's the first time that's ever happened.

But the most obvious example of this dorkcafication is in this secret code of half-remembered quotes and shared experiences. It's only going to get worse over the coming years, but sharing my life with this gorgeous, smart and capable woman is the great joy of my existence, and she's always going to be the only one I can talk to in this way. Eleven years is just the beginning.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Twin Peaks - The Final Dossier: The Official Handbook Of The Twin Peaks Universe (Deluxe Edition)



David Lynch is largely seen as the primary creator behind Twin Peaks. This is partly because he directed so much of it; partly because everything on the original show turned to crap when he wasn't around; and partly because the recent return to TV didn't just feel like a Twin Peaks revival, it felt like a thematic and literal sequel to all of his movies, from Eraserhead to Inland Empire.

But Mark Frost's contribution as co-creator should never be ignored. Some of the weirdest stuff in the entire history of Twin Peaks - which is usually immediately credited to Lynch - has come straight from Frost's brain. Agent Dale Cooper is often seen as a straight-up version of Lynch in his youth, but his steely, zen determination to do the right thing is also a fair reflection of Frost.

An accomplished novelist, Frost also book-ended this year's third season of the show with two publications, one that looked at the weird pseudo-history behind the show, and one that revealed a tonne of information about its strange ultra-present.

Neither of them are absolute essential, but both of them are a lot of fun.

The Secret History book - already discussed here - tied the bizarre events of Twin Peaks and its gateways to other worlds into the esoteric and occult history of the United States, weaving in the most far-out Fortean history with real unsolved mysteries, and trying to explain this mad modern world through the medium of other-dimensional contact.

Despite some incredible revelations, (especially around the town's decrepit newspaper publisher), the book didn't really have much of an impact on the new series, serving as an prelude to all the recent events, few of which even mentioned this mad history.

But The Final Dossier - the second book by Frost that sets out to fill in the blanks - ties a lot more directly into the new show, giving a new perspective on the weirdest events, and answering questions the TV story was never interested in addressing.

And there are loads and loads of revelations - it fills in the fates of Donna and Annie and Leo that were never discussed on the new show, while also offering brief glimpses of the future past that astonishingly bleak ending and of a new, slightly unsure reality where Laura never went inside the railway carriage.

It's fascinating, and addictive reading, filling in so many gaps. It explains what actually happened to Major Briggs and sorts out the difference between a tulpa and a doppelganger. It sorts out its own contradictions, like how Norma's Mom can be both dead in the ground and in the town in 1990, slagging off the decor of the Double R. Even the most inconsequential chapters can be funny as hell, like the vision of Jerry Horne turning an entire mountainside into his personal stereo, and some of it is genuinely moving - reading about Big Ed and Norma is almost as heartwarming as their long-delayed reunion on TV.

But still, despite proclaiming itself as a novel on the cover, it feels more like a reference book than anything else. There is so much information, and so much data, and not much of a plot. It's a lot of fun, but it's so totally inessential. The omissions of information on the show were there for a reason, building that sense of paranoia and confusion that the filmed story thrived upon, and there really isn't any need to explain it all so thoroughly.

Mind you, it might not even be canon. Lynch has famously waved it away as "Mark's version". Only dickheads get too hung about about canon, and this new book definitely falls onto the 'who gives a fuck' side of the equation. It's canon if you want. Or not.

In the meantime, it's one last trip back to the weird and wonderful town of Twin Peaks, and I'm always up for a visit. It might be inconsequential, but the most best things in life usually are.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Prophet: Food of the future makes me sick



The recent Prophet comic series by Brandon Graham and friends was set thousands and thousands of years in the future, in a universe where mankind has become effectively extinct, replaced by strange descendants and hybrids, as immortal superheroes transcend their physical dimensions and endless clones remain stuck in time.

It's a story with so few modern frames of reference that it can be hard to even follow what the hell is going on, a lot of the time. This confusion can only be intentional, because it makes for an intriguing reading experience, and because the creators have obviously put a huge amount of effort into making this world as alien as possible.

The comic is saturated in unknowable thought processes, and bizarre new cultures. There are beings whose very concept can not be fully grasped by human minds, and there is food that looks fucking disgusting.

The few surviving natives of Earth have all evolved into new forms, and new realities, but there are still all sorts of people who have to live in the shit, even if they might have sixteen arms and a gaping hole where their face should be. Whoever they are, they gotta eat to survive, and the nutrition they take in is probably something a modern 21st-century human would never be able to gag down.

Food comes up a lot in science fiction, but it is usually some kind of paste that is meant to taste like roast chicken. That's getting a little weird, but it's not like the food in Prophet, which is awful to look at, let alone put in your mouth and swallow. It's truly alien, in a way few other sci-fi stories never even bother thinking about.

But when the main characters of this space-spanning saga take a break from their galaxy-wide marauding, they are eating food with nauseating tendrils and tentacles, or going past a stall selling meat that looks suspiciously humanoid. If you somehow become immortal, and somehow survive the next few hundred years, you best get used to eating things that would disgust you now.

Food is always changing - you can only imagine what any lady or gentlemen from a scant 200 years ago would make of a McDonalds burger if you slammed it down in frobt of them, and there is no reason that we're going to be eating food that looks anything like our current menus, in even a few short decades. After thousands of years, there will be centuries of new culinary delights, moving further and further away from the food now served up on our plates.

And after all this time when humans are just another lost echo in this vast cosmos, you can bet the new survivors are eating something that looks really damn gross.

The world of Prophet is full of mad little future-shock moments like that, where something as simple as eating can be twisted into something that is just a tiny bit disconcerting and disorientating. You're far in the future now, says that meal.

It all made Prophet one of the most satisfying and challenging science fiction comics of the past decade. It's a great story, if you can stomach it all.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

My Friend Dahmer: The absense at the heart of the story



A frequent complaint about movie adaptions of books and comics is that the cinematic versions don't really get into the heads of their characters, not like the printed versions of the story can. That you can't ever really know a character's real thoughts and motivations when everything is so superficial on film - all surface, no feeling.

But sometimes, you might not actually want to understand the person at the heart of a story, because they're just so horrible, and sometimes, there's not even a real person there anyway.

Derf Backderf's My Friend Dahmer comic is an outstanding work by an incredibly talented creator, who just happened to go to high school with one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th century. Jeffrey Dahmer raped, murdered and mutilated 17 people between 1978 and 1991, but before all that, he was just the class weirdo, putting on a desperate act to get any sort of attention. Even monsters have to go to high school, and Backderf was there too.

The brilliance of Backderf's book is that he plays it totally straight - he tells it how he remembers, with just a taste of things outside his experience, supplemented with small parts from other sources. Hie comic shows the strange behaviour that would ultimately lead to such horrendous murder, but never really judges the dumb kid who will become a terrible monster.

It's an extremely accessible story - I'm pretty sure it's the only comic book my sister-in-law has read in her entire life - with a unique perspective and Backderf's hilariously stiff and elongated caricatures keep it all from descending into total darkness.

Unsurprisingly, a film version of this story came out this year, to a generally positive reaction, and is a fairly accurate adaption of Backderf's comic, hitting all the right beats.

But it also loses something, by making Dahmer the main character of the story, showing lots of moments where young Jeffrey is staring creepily off into the distance, or closeted away with his roadkill 'experiments', or hanging out in the woods, watching possible future victims jog past, unaware of any danger.

In the book there is really is no proper attempt to understand Dahmer, or offer up some lame explanation for why he did the horrible things he did, while the movie, as well-intentioned as it is, can't help but be a Portrait Of A Serial Killer As A Young Man.

In Backderf's purer version - even with the supplemented material - there is a giant absence around Jeffrey Dahmer, and it can be seen in the way nobody ever does anything about the fact that he's coming to school smashed on vodka, or pretending to throw a fit. Nobody cares, nobody does anything.

That lack of caring about Dahmer and everything he does is one of the most horrific and despairing things about the story, and awfully familiar to anybody who has grown up in modern society. We alll know somebody who could have turned out to be a Dahmer. There was always somebody. Hell, when Backderf hears the news about his former classmate, Dahmer isn't even the first person he thinks of.

Ultimately, fuck Jeffrey Dahmer, who had to slaughter innocent people for his own perverted pleasures, and no amount of low motion walking around to a period-appropriate and tasteful soundtrack is going to change that. He's the void at the heart of the story, and it's everything that happened around him that needs to change if we're going to stop more living nightmares before they get started.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mr Mamoulian: Being Brian Bolland



British comics artist Brian Bolland has built up a huge audience of loyal fans with his clean, crisp and consistent line, but it's not always so apparent how completely fucking weird his work can get.

His superhero comic covers show a deep love for the Silver Age style, often relying on some goofy premise played absolutely straight, although sometimes they can still end up in some very strange territory. His covers for Vertigo books such as The Invisibles and Animal Man showed a little of the weirdness behind his sharpness, but for the full strangeness of Bolland, you only have to look at his Mr Mamoulian strips.

The strips aren't as immediately eye-catching as, say, his Camelot 3000 work, with that distinctive and detailed sharpness fuzzed up to hell, and far more of a looser style, with the main character scratched into existence on the page. Occasionally, that familiar style will shine through, particularly when one of the attractive female characters in the strip shows up, but it isn't always so obvious that this is the same artist behind the Killing Joke.

This is not a bad thing - the effect is like looking at the 24-hour comics that several creators have taken a crack at, and it's a more immediate, and far more personal, window inside Bolland's thought-processes and feelings. It's certainly more real than his joyful renditions of the Flash or Wonder Woman, (although these certainly have their place).

It's total stream of consciousness storytelling in the Mamoulian strips, following the title character as he sits on park benches, has a cup of tea, or lies awake in existential dread in the middle of the night. Published in a variety of places over the years, and occasionally collected together, it can all appear a bit random and bizarre, but you get to see right inside Bolland's head like nothing else he does.

And, god bless him, it's a strange place in there. There is Bolland's obsessions with beautiful naked women, and bone-deep concerns about how he is objectifying them. Sometimes it gets completely nihilistic, sometimes it features a sizable cast characters all baffled by the complexities of modern life, and sometimes it all gets a bit Francis Bacon.

There is a grim sense of humour beneath all this modern misery, just enough to bring some life to the proceedings, and it runs from sheer slapstick - a mannequin's leg is a frequent prop - to grim irony over how fucked up everything is getting.

His ultra-detailed versions of characters like Judge Death and the Joker set the absolute standard, and that's enough for most of us. But dig a little deeper into the world of Mr Mamoulian, if you want to see the horrified stare behind those frozen grins.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Scream and Scream again!

I'm busy reading the first new Scream comic in decades today, so here's some shamelessly reprinted blogging from 2014, explaining why that's a huge deal for me:

Scream was an incredibly short-lived British weekly comic that came out in 1984. It was a horror comic, in exactly the same way 2000ad was a science fiction comic, and featured many of the same creators, and much of the same dark sense of humour.

It lasted 15 issues.

It might have been killed so quickly because of low sales, but there also seemed to be a general perception that Scream was just a bit too distasteful, especially with its target audience of young boys. It was corrupting the young minds of those nine-year-olds with all that gore and those disgusting monsters and disrespect for authority and grim, death-soaked endings.

That may all be true, but all I know for sure is that I was one of those nine-year-old boys at that time, and I was absolutely gutted when that comic got cancelled. It might have been the worst thing that had ever happened to me.


Because Scream was my first real comic obsession, and the first obsession is always the best.

It was the first comic where I went rabid for every new issue, and couldn't miss a single one without some kind of adolescent meltdown. It was one of the very rare comics that was advertised on New Zealand television, (and may even be the only comic that ever aired on TV, as far as I know), and it was instantly something I could get behind.

I'd been reading 2000ad on and off for a couple of years, but that comic was already well into its 100s by the time I came on board, and there were always weird gaps. There still are. But then I saw the covers for the second and third issues on the telly and I knew here was something where I could get in on the ground floor, right from the start.

It also helped that Scream lived up to the hype, and turned out to be a comic that was full of deeply creepy stories, with some fantastic art.


With all due hindsight, the stories were obviously fairly average, even if some of their more obvious twists and turns still blew my tiny mind.

But Scream had a dark, grimy tone that was largely set by the dark, grimy art. For instance, plot-wise, something like The Dracula File was a standard version of the classic vampire, with Drac making another power play for England. But Eric Bradbury's art looked like it was covered in decaying filth, as the vampire's undead rot spread out into a modern world of bike gangs and MI5 agents. The late, great Jose Ortiz had his own sweaty detailing in the terrified faces of the unfortunate folk who ended up visiting the Thirteenth Floor, and Jesus Redondo's scratchy realism gave the fearsome Uncle Terry in Monster plenty of humanity.

But when it came to really gross and disturbing art, Jim Watson's work for the Tales of The Grave strip was the best. It was the usual Victorian supernatural vengeance kind of thing, but Watson's characters were always these haggard, desiccated soul, with the darkest eyes imaginable. It was another strip that was full of gross death and violent retribution, and it had a graveyard fog curling through its plots.

Watson's art was gloriously horrible, and sometimes it was properly terrifying as a dead man's face loomed out of the gloom, and I lapped it up every week.


There were some nice moments in the scriptwork for Scream's stories – the first episode of Monster was written by Alan Moore, and is an unsettling tale of a boy trapped in an isolated old house, with something in the attack. And a lot of the comics one-off stories had an efficient punch, even if there are a bunch of unfamiliar names in the credits (Which usually means they're more pseudonyms for John Wagner and Alan Grant.)

And while the scripts for most of the Scream stuff were sub-EC horror nonsense, I never actually got to things like Tales From The Crypt until I was a grown adult, and every 'BUT HE WAS THE MONSTER ALL ALONG!' twist was new to me.

 This comic came out thirty years ago now, and I can still remember which corner shops and small supermarkets I got them from, (many of which are still hanging in there). I remember that it was one of the few comics that my Mum liked to read, and it was no problem getting the 55 cents I needed out of her, because she would always read it straight after me. I remember having to properly hunt down number nine and finding it on a trip to Dunedin, and I remember really wondering what editor Ghastly McNasty actually looked like under his hood. (They revealed it after the comic was cancelled. It wasn't that Ghastly.)


And I remember the sinking dread I felt when #16 didn't show up.

 There had been no warning, some stories were in mid-stream, it was just over. It took me a few weeks to realise that Scream had been killed before it had even really got going, and I knew it was all over when a couple of Scream stories were added to the Eagle title that was running at the time.

Even the nine-year-old me knew that's what they always did with dead comics. It was even called Eagle And Scream for a few months, before it was just Eagle again, and even The Thirteenth Floor and Monster were eventually wrapped up.

 Scream did exist in some sort of shambling half-life for a few years, with Scream Holiday Specials coming out every UK summer, but the quality quickly went out the window, and the last one they put out wasn't even called Scream, and that was that.


But that fondness I had for the comic never died, and just last week I bought all 15 issues again, without hesitation. The original 15 comics I bought off the shelves in 1984 had been lost, stolen or just fallen to pieces through overuse, so there was no question about getting them all again.

And they're still clunky, and creepy, and occasionally beautiful. I still love Scream like vampires love blood, (and it is nice to find out I'm not the only one – some other little monster has put all 15 issues up on the web here). My inner nine-year-old is still gutted that there were only 15 issues, but that's still 15 issues of bloody perfection.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Punisher: Don't be like him



The Punisher is a fucking nightmare. A relentless killing machine who has slaughtered thousands of people, and a fanatical gun nut whose mad obsession with revenge goes against everything a decent civilization should aspire to. He's the American dream, gone sour.

Unsurprisingly, there have been a shit-tonne of terrible Punisher comics, ones that try to justify this twisted philosophy, or are too superficial to even consider the possibility. But there have also been some great Punisher comics, and they usually get there by taking one of two paths.

The first is to go over the top and full-on crazy, and embrace the absurdity of this crazy old bastard's unstoppability. Frank Castle works as a total cartoon because anyone who tried to emulate him in real life would last a day and a half before taking a bullet to the face, so turn the dial up to 11 and let him loose. The more outrageous the story gets, the better, and some of the great Punisher comics have been damned outrageous.

The other way to do it is to take it all dead straight, but ensure that the Punisher is totally self-aware, like a character in a Michael Mann film. Those characters often, at first glance, appear to be little more than superficial cliches, but they're all so self-aware of what they are and what they do, they come across as real people.

Sometimes - though not often - Frank Castle sees his reflection in the mirror and recognises himself for what he is. A man whose soul and compassion have been torn away, leaving only the will to continue. A husk of a human being, incapable of feeling or empathy because he has locked it all away. Sometimes, the Punisher sees the long, cold dark night he has made of his life.

He's still not going to change, he's never going to change, his rage burns eternal. But he's not going to lie about the reasons he does what he does, that kind of hypocrisy will only get in the way. He knows what he is and he's not going to stop now.

The latest TV iteration of the character has flirted with both of these aspects to the Punisher. It's gone for the spectacle, while also showing that this is a deeply broken man inside. But it hasn't really embraced any one philosophy, and this kind of ideological cowardice makes for bland storytelling. Shit or get off the pot, show some spine. Tell us who your Frank Castle is - there are extra points if you can come up with a third path to make him a tolerable character.

It's genuinely appalling to see people like law enforcement officers unironically use the Punisher's iconography on their vehicles and uniforms, because they seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from Castle's classroom. He's got so much else to say, if you can hear him over the gunfire.

Monday, November 20, 2017

This is what happens when the local comic shop starts selling by the kilo



My local comic shop had a kilo sale this past weekend, selling off the dregs of recently-bought collections by weight - $20 a kilo, which actually works out to be about $1.20 an issue. Bargain.

In this comic-starved country, I go a little crazy at these kinds of things. It was actually a little reassuring to see there was already a line waiting to go through the two-dozen comic boxes when I arrived five minutes after it started, because it's nice to know I'm not the only fucking dork around here that does this sort of thing.

There were huge runs of great stuff I've already got - vast amounts of the Ennis/McCrea Hitman, almost all of the late eighties Justice League and loads of old-school X-Men. There was also tonnes of trash - endless and pointless Ultimate comics. huge amounts of licensed character dreck with a tiny, fanatic fanbase.

Most of the things I buy now are small, dedicated comics. The slightly weird, the quirky shit and more than a few exercises in base nostalgia. These are the kind of things I get when I buy three kilograms worth of comics nowadays:

* All of Marvel's original Contest of Champions series and half of the trippy Havok/Wolverine Meltdown mini.

* A surprisingly large amount of Dylan Horrocks' Pickle comics, which apparently used to sell in chain bookstores around here.

* The first issue of Englehart and Rogers' Silver Surfer, and now I feel bad for passive-aggressively trashing them the other day, because this is cosmic as fuck, man.

* Every issue in the Three comic by Gillen, Kelly and Bellaire.

* Three-quarters of a Mark Millar comic, and some of Grant Morrison's Klaus.

* A couple of Kirby's Losers issues, and some Galactus reprint thing by the King.

* Some more of Bendis' fairly recent X-Men comics. I just really, really like the art teams they had on those stories.

* A lot of beat-up-to-shit bronze age comics from the 70s and 80s - a few Fantastic Fours, some of Starklin's Captain Marvel, a Strangest Sports Stories Ever Told, a War of the Worlds, one Haney/Aparo Brave and the Bold, half of Barry Windsor-Smith's Machine Man series and a Fantasy Masterpiece or two.

* A couple of issues of Alan Moore's Providence. I only get it cheap, because of that fucking art.

* Two early Spider-Man comics by Todd McFarlane.

* The very first Warlord comic by Mike Grell.

* Three issues of Rob Liefeld's New Mutants, which were terrible comics when I got rid of them the first time, and are still terrible comics now, but bloody hell, it's nice to feel like I'm 16 again.

* Three issues of Jamie Delano and John Higgins' gorgeous World Without End.

* Joe Sacco's Bumf comic.

Some of this stuff is fucking great, and some of it is merely interesting, and some of it is total rubbish. But that's the kind of thing I get when I get three kilos of comic these days.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Twin Peaks soundtracks: It's a whisper, it is always just a dream



Driving randomly around the outer suburbs after midnight, with the car speakers playing sweet little melodies, disconcertingly ominous droning and someone crying about sycamore trees. Going past all the dull, normal houses where a thousand secrets hide behind the closed curtains, every house closed up and dark for the night, but still alive with a thousand stories.

Or it's even later at night and there is more of it on the Walkman/MP3 player/phone, walking back from town to a snap-happy beat, some nightmare nightclub music, or a tune that gives me a real indication about a laugh coming on.

Either way, getting around town late at night is always a million times cooler when you've got some music from Twin Peaks with you.

For a quarter of a century, that has mainly meant a steady diet of Angelo Badalamenti, but there is so much more now. The recent return of Twin Peaks wasn't just the best television in a decade, it was also a terrific variety show, with heaps of achingly cool musical acts showing up to perform a tune.

Almost all of the songs played at the show's roadhouse have been collected into a soundtrack album - along with some of the background tunes -and right now that's all I want to listen to, mainly when it's really late at night, or really early in the morning.

It's a gorgeous soundtrack album, full of familiar old music and brand new artists. There is a short reprise of that eternal theme music, with his languid and lamenting bass line, and it closes out with the ethereal Julee Cruise, but there is a bunch more than just that.

There are several pop acts who are beautifully energetic and earnest, with all the synths turned up to 11. There are also some deeply unironic 50s love ballads, and a couple of tunes that are totally uncool - James' dopey song is in there, and there is even a ZZ Top tune, for crying out loud.

But it all works, with the kind of eclectic mixture that makes a truly great soundtrack album. It goes from Sharon Van Etten straight into the Nine Inch Nails at their most NIN, and finds room for the unmistakable groove of Green Onions before showcasing the Veils at their most un-Veil. And then it all climaxes with the transcendental wonder of a live Otis Redding track.

There are the usual sad omissions - there's another fucking awesome Au Revoir Simone song that doesn't make it onto the final set list, and it could have used a bit of Badalamenti's delicate piano from the scene were Cooper finally got his cherry pie - but a large part of the new Twin Peaks series was about how it wouldn't always give you what you wanted, so you've got to expect the same from the soundtrack.

The roadhouse in Twin Peaks is both part of the show's reality, and something beyond that as a place that exists only in dreams, and each song has some kind of symbolic reference in the episode it appears in, and there are all sorts of depths hiding behind the cheeriest of tunes.

I don't know what any of it means, and I'm not really interested in trying to nut it out for a while yet. All I really know is this - while it doesn't sound much like the other Twin Peaks soundtracks that I've bopping around to since the early 90s, there is no other music I want to hear more when I head back out into the dark.