Monday, October 25, 2010


Re-presenting my first foray into the Zuda Comics competition, Strangle/Switch. The basic premise of this story was: a schizophrenic musician named Geoff finds a guitar that gives him the power to kill people and was essentially a take on Faust. Simple enough, right?  

When I was 17, having grown up in the "grunge rock" era, I was looking for the nastiest sounding electric guitar I could find. Anyone who knows anything about electric guitars will tell you that the most abrasive guitar you can buy is a Mosrite, but close second is the much cooler-looking Fender Jaguar.

The Jaguar was designed specifically to play surf-rock (think Dick Dale or Link Wray), and has a skull-splittingly high tone due to its distinct, ultra-thin single coil pickups. There are also a number of confusing switches on the guitar body that turn the different pickup configurations on and off to change the tone. If the screechy, high-pitched standard sound of this guitar wasn't enough to make your ears bleed, there's a high-pass filter switch that will drop out all of the low frequencies and make it sound like you're scraping a frying pan with a garrote.

It is popularly known as the "strangle switch". And it lives up to its name. In all the years I've owned this particular guitar, I've never found an actual use for that damned switch. It doesn't sound good on stage, it records like shit, and always seemed like no one in their right mind would ever need or want to use it. So I though to myself "Maybe it's REAL use is to conjure demons." When I needed a good idea to submit to the Zuda folks, this was what came up in the one-armed bandit of my idea mill.

Needless to say, I never got beyond this initial 8 pages. Well, that's not entirely true - THIS VERSION never got beyond 8 pages (more on that later), though I had a rough idea of where the story was going to go - Geoff's juvenile delinquent niece was going to come live with him, become his partner in crime, and they were both going to have some kind of reckoning in the end. In a nice bit of synergy, I was able to utilize some major elements from my original ending of Strangle/Switch for the ending of I Rule the Night, bringing the whole Zuda creative experience full-circle for me.

Will this ever be finished? Likely not. But you never know. For now, I hope you enjoy the piece in its original form, and if you like it, drop some coin in the till by hitting the PayPal Donate button over to right.


Dwight L. MacPherson said...

I can't figure out how this didn't win.

Ah, well... dug it a lot, man!

Kevin said...

Thanks, man. I really won in the end anyway, so I'm not too broken up. But ah, what could have been....