Essex Books Presents Shelf Awareness: It's Henry & Glenn, Not Adam & Steve
In the realm of slash fiction, fans say they "ship it" when idle chatter proposes an imagined relationship between two cult figures. In that vein, Tom Neely asked his artist collective, Igloo Tornado, to envision what happens when two metalheads fall in love and move to the suburbs. Yes, that's hunky Henry Rollins astride a motorcycle with his brooding life partner, Glenn Danzig, as though they were Tom of Finland pinups. And no, they did not authorize any of this.
For years, Igloo Tornado has cobbled together bizarre, hilarious zines on their strange but sweet subject. Now their publisher has issued the complete anthology, with 16 never-before seen pages. Perhaps as a result, history will remember these black, oozy romantic vignettes as the greatest love story ever told: Henry & Glenn Forever + Ever: The Completely Ridiculous Edition (Microcosm, $25.95).
Spawning from their moody domesticity is a veritable River Styx of wacky comic strips. Drawn in varying styles, they loosely revolve around the couple, Glenn's complicated relationship with his mother, Satanist neighbors John Hall and Daryl Oates, the grotesqueries of metal and the pervasiveness of modern ennui.
One highlight written and drawn by Ed Luce features Henry and Glenn in couples' counseling. In a moment of meta-awareness, their conflict stems from the release of a 2010 booklet called Henry & Glenn Forever that has reignited Glenn's jealousy over Henry's public successes. "People love him!" he cries. Meanwhile, "People post unflattering pictures n' videos of me on the Internet." As they address the emotional and psychological imbalances, the therapist suggests inviting a complementary third into their relationship. Conjuring an intimate portrait of Morrissey between them, Henry and Glenn decide in unison, "NO!" And instead choose an even more unusual solution to their marital woes.
Crude, lewd and melodramatic, Henry & Glenn answers a question no one else thought to ask, in comics to be cherished forever and ever.
Written by Dave Wheeler, Associate Editor, Essex Books Presents Shelf Awareness for Readers