Published November 1972 / 36 pages / Last Gasp
George Metzger leads off Slow Death #4 with a story about a drug-happy hippy who is given a “truth” pill by a mysterious “religious nut” and discovers the world is populated with robots (he shoulda stuck with the acid). Greg Irons and Tom Veitch give us a futuristic world (29 years into the future: 2001) where pot is legal but being straight isn’t. We get another robot tale a few pages later from Richard Corben and it doesn’t end any better than the first one.
The book closes with a rare collaboration between Tom Veitch and Jack Jackson called “Homesick,” which features a man on a distant planet from his native Earth, who is watching over a colony of mutants and hoping a passing spaceship will finally take him back to Earth. After many years, he gets his wish, but discovers that being homesick was really just a waste of time.
This issue is notable for how much Richard Corben’s illustration skills are beginning to look like the science-fiction tales he would craft in later years. He’s in command of his airbrush and his work with light and shadow and facial expressions is beautifully realized, even in these lowly black-and-white pages.
There is also a harrowing poem on the inside back cover, written by a few young men serving in the First Air Cavalry in Vietnam during the war. A sample stanza: “A group of gooks in the grass, But all the fighting’s in the past.” Yeah, those fuckin’ hippies with all their peace signs and make-love-not-war bullshit. After the United States left Vietnam the communists rounded up and murdered millions who might have been saved had not the cowardice and treasonous acts of the American left, abetted by the main stream media, not forced a US withdrawal, leaving the Vietnamese to their fate. Walter Cronkite is burning in hell for his complicity in the murder of innocents brought on by his anti-US propaganda. The Vietnam war, like the Korean and WWI and II before it were examples of the US unselfishly defending democracy and decency. Had the left been as powerful then as now we might have left Hitler in place, because “war never solved anything”, right?
COMIC CREATORS • Ron Turner • Richard Corben • Dave Sheridan • George Metzger • Greg Irons • Tom Veitch • Jack Jackson • Eric Kimball • AF & Army GIs of the First Air Cavalry