Nowadays, American audiences know Faith No More as a staple of VH1 one-hit-wonder countdown shows, and some gross cable show about a guy who plays in shit just for fun.
But way back in 1991, they were everywhere. What was actually cool was that for a brief moment, right before Nirvana and grunge took over, Faith No More seemed to be the wave of the future. They thought there would be an avalanche of bands rapping over rock and mixing genres with ease (oh, wait. That actually happened.) so FNM was hailed as a harbinger of rap-rock to come.
They didn’t make it overnight. In fact, the early history of the band is fascinating for fans. But you wouldn’t know it by reading this “Unauthorized Biography” comic book. That’s right. A fucking Faith No More comic book. Let’s check it out, won’t we?
Tonight’s episode: “Fish Outo Water”
So, right off, the splash page is hideous. What the fuck is wrong with Patton’s mouth? Is he supposed to be the titular fish? How many time do you think this artist (Larry “Nads” Nadolsky) erased and re-drew that mouth until he finally said “fuck it!” and just left it looking like Patton has a serious meth problem?
What’s really sad about this whole thing is that I think it’s trying to be funny. Still, who talks like this? No one calls a drummer a “skin beater” without being punched and/or sexually assaulted (it depends on if the drummer in question is Tommy Lee or not).
Here we see, again, the genesis of a band’s name. The last page had lil’ Cliff contemplating his “Metallica” brand spray paint, and this one is almost as stupid. Oh, and it’s completely WRONG! When the band was called “Faith. No Man” Jim was not in it. They had all kinds of different guitarists and singers (Courtney Love isn’t mentioned here because she was nobody at the time. Kinda like now. Full circle.) legend has it, they fired the guy who was the singer/guitarist and brought Jim in later after the name change. So eat me, comic!
Look at panel three. It would seem casual conversations about music don’t really jump off the page, do they? See, FNM’s whole shtick (according to WB marketing at least) was their genera blending. Flailing to convey this, the writer Jay Allen “Dummy” Sanford just makes everyone bark non sequiturs about the kind of music they like. “I’m into reggae” “I like metal and psychedelia”. They sound like robot aliens from another planet. Robots from the planet Funkotron! Hmmm… Now THERE’s an interesting back story…
In the last panel, we get our first look at original FNM vocalist Chuck Mosley. Even among hard core fans, Chuck is a polarizing figure. You either love em’ or you think he fucking sucks. Scratch that. I think I love the old Chuck-era stuff because he fucking sucked. It’s an acquired taste. Kinda like analingus.
See what I mean? These Rockomic assholes must not care for the band’s early work. The best praise they can muster is applied only to the lyrics. Everything else sucks. Musicianship? Song writing? Creativity? Crap, crap, and crap. Eat me so hard, comic!
The last panel here might be my favorite. When Bill Gould (bassist, and arguably the business brains and actual leader) asks Commander Martin what they should release as their first single. Jim, the king of rock, off-handedly responds with the funniest thing I’ve read all day. “Disco shit-packer”? Granted, “We Care A Lot” isn’t my favorite song of all time, but it’s not disco. As for the shit packing, the only ones getting their shit packed are the FNM fans who bought this fucking comic.
You can pretty much skip this entire page and it wouldn’t matter. Basically, they got into a fight with the band Ministry and therefore did not get paid for the gig. Perhaps they should have shown the actual fight instead of these sparse, boring talking heads. But no one reads comic books for the action. They read them for the inane conversations. This whole page is just two hairy dudes hanging out in a Motel6, and no good ever comes from that!
Oh, and they fired Chuck. So give us a big yawn and take a sip of coffee and prepare for His arrival. It shall be glorious!
Here we see FNM’s fearless leader deciding to hire Mike Patton, and like Voltron, they combine to form a mighty force! This is almost correct. It was in fact Jim who first wanted to get Patton in the band, but they hired him off the strength of a demo tape. I guess that scenario is too hard to draw. Suddenly! In a flash, “The Real Thing” is out and everybody’s rockin’ it! Might I point out the especially bad artwork at the bottom of this page? There we can see what appears to be a deformed woman singing the old Nestles jingle, and then the singer morphs into a dumpy guy with a beer gut and a large yet smooth bulge in the crotch of his goofy stretch pants. It looks like he’s got a football half up his ass. Did I mention the art sucks?
Ah, yes. The fish “controversy”. If you’re still reading this, then I’ll assume you know what they’re talking about here. However, this is the first time I’ve heard the fish’s side of the story. That’s powerful funny stuff, guys. If I should happen to run out of “Fuck Yous” could I borrow some of yours?
It’s now obvious that the writer doesn’t like this band, and he can no longer pretend otherwise. As a result, this whole comic confuses me. Who is this for, exactly? People who like the band would probably disagree with the sentiments presented. People who hate the band enough to actually buy this? Let’s see, I guess you’d sell one to Anthony Kedis…ummm…hmm…
My second favorite panel is featured here. “Nobody out-snarls Mike Patton, ya rube!” will be translated to Chinese and tattooed on the small of my back next to my surgically implanted beer coaster.
This comic sucks, of course. It’s too straight forward to be a parody, and too factually incorrect to be taken seriously. Why not just take it to the next level? How awesome would it have been had they been robots from the future or something? Mike Patton: Space Ranger! I’d read that. It couldn’t possibly be any worse. Unless these same two guys did it. Seriously. How do you fuck up this bad and still get paid?
A big thank you to the Faith No More Blog for having these posted so I could steal them!