Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Wasteland #1: Del Close's Autobiographical "Sewer Rat"
Download Wasteland #01
One of Del Close's mythic moments occurred during his suicidal years. The exact details are impossible to determine, though it almost certainly took place in Chicago.
"One day I found myself with this .32 automatic and an acetylene lamp strapped to my head, and I was skating through the [Chicago] sewers firing at rats."
Del would go on to embellish this in the pages of Wasteland, as the first of his autobiographical stories. Titled "Sewer Rat" and written with assistance from John Ostrander, it affirms the date and the city as Chicago, 1964. It begins with him skating in the sewers, shooting rats. There is an hallucinatory quality as he encounters a rapidly changing array of images. After rejecting his own suicide, he discovers a Dixieland band, several duplicate versions of himself, and his mother in her rocking chair. He explains, "at first drugs were a sort of religious experience . . . and then, as you can see, things deteriorated a bit...!" Del finally emerges, skating away as the closing caption is careful to point out "insofar as I can determine, the events in this story are true."
Script: Del Close with John Ostrander
Pencils: Don Simpson
Inks: Don Simpson