Hey folks. I know it’s been a while since I’ve made a post on here, but to say “stuff came up” would be a HUGE understatement. If any of you were concerned, thank you. But I’m back now and have a few posts lined up. Let’s get started with this one.
COMICS! I love reading them. Most of you out there probably love reading them. I’ve been thinking of shaking a bit of my creative pairing muscles lately by doing one of these comic/beer pairings and not go so obvious like “Captain America would drink a Bud” or “Wolverine would drink a Molson Canadian” that a lot of similar posts on other blogs have done (Wolverine strikes me as an O’Keefe’s man anyways). In the case of this post I have reached out to creators and publishers (success varied) and pulled several nerd muscles in order to bring you four comics with a beer pairing that would I would not only suggest the to the character, but also the reader. Enjoy.
#1: THE GHOSTBUSTERS
So, as some readers here know, I’m a bit of a Ghostbusters fan. Okay, I’m a huge one. I love the films and was raised on the animated series. And after a while of being unimpressed with IDW’s previous runs with the title which had creators who just didn’t quite pinpoint the dynamic of our four guys, they brought in writer Erik Burnham and artist Dan Schoening in and I really suggest any Ghostbusters lovers check it out. Well-written, well researched and includes plenty of little easter eggs throughout that only the diehard fan will get.
So what beer would I pair with these guys? Easy. Brooklyn Lager by Brooklyn Brewery. It’s local, the malty finish and not-too-imposing hops notes make it incredibly refreshing after a rough day. Plus the Brooklyn Brewry itself, located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has some history. Once an Iron Works and later a Matzo Ball factory, it’s not unlikely that our boys would have to catch a ghost prowling around the building and, in gratitude, they would get a regular supply of cases. Sadly, creator Dan Akroyd is impossible to get a hold of to see if he would agree and Erik Burnham, current writer of the series, has yet to try the beer (but promises to in a couple of weeks when he’s at a convention)!
#2: WORMWOOD: GENTLEMAN CORPSE
From those that bust the dead to the dead themselves, Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse is the brainchild of squid-obsessed artist Ben Templesmith and is about a corpse posessed by a worm from Hell who has been around since the beginning of time and has a penchant for drinking and chain smoking saving the universe with the help of his bodyguard and robotic drinking buddy. With crossdressing leprechauns, a secret order of strippers protecting the gateway to our world, squid-gods and an easily distracted four horseman of teh apocalypse, it’s not hard to understand why this is one of the most entertaining reads out there. If you can find the trades I would definitely suggest picking them up. In fact, the first two issues are free on ComiXology right now. Go.
As for the beer pairing, I initially thought that he drank stout and actually reached out to Ben Templesmith for this one and he responded.
“ He can’t drink stout, legally, apparently, according to what someone at IDW told me once years ago but fuck it, he DRINKS GUINNESS. Who can resist it?”
Indeed, who can? And while I’m certainly not going to argue with the pairing SUGGESTED BY THE CREATOR, I will humbly suggest that Old Rasputin Imperial Stout by North Coast Brewing would make a good companion with the book (afterall, Wormy and ‘ol Grigori probably used to be old mates and all).
#3: JOHN CONSTANTINE
Former Liverpool punk rocker magician and now chain smoking, alcoholic loner con man magician/detective living in London. Created by Alan Moore and first appearing in the Swamp Thing comic series in 1985, Constantine went on to his own title, “Hellblazer”, in 1988 and is DC Vertigo’s longest running title (and he also seems to be in the actual DC Universe now since the “New 52″ Reboot. John Constantine is a man who knows everybody. Nuns, priests, demons, angels, politicians, gangsters, and is charismatic and rarely lacking in anticipating his next move. He’s also selfish, cynical and due to his actions has had almost everyone he cares about die. He’s conned the devil in to saving his life, hacked the wings off an angel and has been declared the most powerful magician in the world, but he still heads down to the pub for a few pints.
As for a pairing, I know that our John likes a good IPA and I have a feeling that he’d crack a smile on learning about Punk IPA by UK brewery Brew Dog. Nice hop profile with a balanced sweetness and pine flavour. Not too crazy, so it’s good to sip or knock back at a regular pace while thinking of other things (saving the world, a friend’s untimely death, wondering if that bastard angel Machiel will ever give you that fiver he owes you etc.). For John it’s a good beer to drink with the name of the beer maybe having him drift off in to a few memories of the old days, but for the reader it’s just a great pairing with the books.
#4 JUDGE DREDD
Somewhat of a timely choice to include Dredd as the film, Dredd 3-D has been released in a few countries and will soon be released here on Friday (I’m really looking forward to it!). IGNORE THE 1995 STALLONE FILM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Judge Dredd is a comic that has been running since 1977 and starts off in the year 2099 and since time passes in the comic in real time, comics put out in 2012 make the time date 2134. It’s set in a world where nuclear war has destroyed most of North America leaving only three huge city-state “mega-cities” the only habitable places. As this map of the world shows, the rest of the world is in similar a situation. The comic mostly takes place in Mega-City One, which stretches from Boston to Washington DC. It has a population of 800 million. Unemployment is high due to the population and many people live in large buildings known as “blocks” that house about 50,000 people each. The only government and law enforcement are the Judges, which keep the peace and run the city. Overseen by the Chief Judge, the Judges are administrators and “street Judges”, who make arrests and give on-the-spot sentancing (usually a very lengthy stay in an iso-cube, a solitary room). Within this city is Judge Joe Dredd, originally a clone from the first Chief Judge, Dredd is the toughest, meanest and best Street Judge the offer has. In the comics I’ve already read (The mammoth Complete Case File books 1-5 which cover comics from 1977 to 1982) he has saved the city from being destroyed more than twice, taken down to warmonger leaders and has been at the center of more than a few resistance forces. The stories in this comic can be grim, funny, satirical and just pretty to watch.
The two things I love about Judge Dredd are this: Many, MANY talented writers and artists have done at least one Dredd comic and it’s wonderful getting other artist’s take on the character. Also, this is one of the few Dystopian future worlds where the oppressive police/government force are actually the heroes. A nice little change from the usual “small group of freedom fighters” thing.
Time to admit something. Yeah, I know it’s a comic, but I can’t in good conscience give a beer that I think Dredd will enjoy or something that could be consumed in Mega-City One. The two big reasons, as confirmed by a rep from Dredd publishers 2000AD, are that Mega-City One only has synthetic alcoholic drinks, which if it’s anything like modern developments in that field where it is an additive, may not taste too great. The other reason is that quite simply Judges are not allowed to drink. So the best beer pairing I can offer you the reader would be Liberty Ale by Anchor Brewing Co. I think the name of the beer matches a bit of the humour found in the comics and the taste matches the hard bitterness of Dredd himself with a nice malt backbone to make it simple. Would definitely make an excellent reading companion.
And there we go. Hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it. I also hope that I may have turned you on to one or all of these comics.