The One's and Two's: A Jazz Extravaganza
BBQ, jazz, and comics blended together like a cocktail last Saturday at Crescent City Comics for the release of The One and Twos: Kermit, Irvin, and the Golden Record Vol. 1. I spent a large chunk of the evening checking my phone and looking at the same trades I’ve been staring at for a year, but that’s not the main point.
The One and Twos is a new graphic novel set in a culturally devoid military state parallel universe - specifically, New Orleans for this story. Amen Neville (no, not related to those Neville’s) and Henry Lipkis bring to life the fantasy mission to save a world filled with only black and white. Yes, it is a monochromatic book, with a golden yellow used to accent and keep the books title on track. The whole book is jazz: making jazz, paying homage to jazz, multiple references to jazz cigarettes, and two of New Orleans jazz’s leaders, Kermit Ruffins and Irvin Mayfield.
If you’re not familiar with the two you should proceed to open your preferred search engine or music listening service and type those names in. If you want the best version, see them live. Most likely you will be hot and drinking, whether you’re inside or out, so its keeps a constant ambiance.
Kermit was at the party. He was standing by the DJ/bar and clutched a Bud Light in his hand as he mingled and bobbed to his music playing overhead. This little kid with a Batman backpack was running around and grabbing things off of the shelf and heading out the door. He seemed old enough to know better and also, why not put the things in your backpack and walk out? I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing the next generation can’t steal.
The cocktail food and drink before attending the party was supposed to make me sociable and have energy, instead it just made me hyper concentrated and clumsy. So instead of eating some food and relax talking to the employees I knew I just roamed around the trades waiting for my friend and constantly checking my phone while observing the rest of the party on the inside of the shop. Crescent City Comics of the few shops I’ve become a regular at. My prior employers made me keep up with some regulars but not to the extent that these shop keeps. They are passionate about comics and are regularly finding me new things to read and delve into. Plus they helped me discover the term “microdosing the surreal” to describe my reading tastes.
By the time one of my friends met me there I was ready to go to a quieter environment. I felt weird leaving the shop without getting the full experience. I’m normally not that introverted but it might have been my previously ingested series of liquids or if my inner loner kicked in and needed a change of scenery. In the end we went to a bar down the street from the shops original location and drank a few beers and relaxed after a full evening for both of us.
Most of the time, when I read comics, I’m at a bar or drinking establishment. Normally they have softer music or the TV just droning on, so I can grab a pint or two while I read and let the story flow into my brain as slowly as the alcohol. The One and Two was no exception. The beer was about as gold as the color in the book, just as local, and I enjoyed the book as much as the beer. I recommend brushing up on the names of New Orleans jazz just for the sake of knowing the names. You don’t need to know too much history to get the story and enjoy the tale. It’s a niche fun comic if you’re into that sort of thing, like supporting local art, jazz, you know all that…jazz.
Images source (and where you can grab vol.1!) : https://www.basinstreetrecords.com/product/one-and-twos-v1/