Something for the Blues: HELLBLAZER & CONSTANTINE in Two Acts
Was Hellblazer something of a misstep? Was it a compromise by an Editorial team that couldn’t see their way clear on certain points of John Constantine’s DNA? It’s hard to pose these questions in the light of how successful Hellblazer has become over the years.
I wanted to grapple with these questions from the point of both the outgoing Hellblazer title, and the incoming Constantine book. I don’t think I got to a properly fitting epitaph in last week’s Part One of “Don’t Get Too Attached…”. But after 25-plus years, how could you get at that? At least Part One functions well enough to intro the idea that maybe Hellblazer was a misstep.
Part Two really does get at something deeper. It filters Constantine both through Ali and Hunter S. Thompson. Does this mean I’m writing a kind of gonzo? That I’m embedding myself directly into the story and making things happen? Not in the sense of course, of embedding with the personalities themselves, but in a sense of embedding with the written product.
Considerations of length prompted me to cut a substantial segment of the second act of Part Two. It’s the why of it all, why Vegas is the perfectest metaphor. The same story I’ve been trying to tell for some time now—imagine Vegas as it is now, but relocated in its own prehistory. Vegas as a kind of doomsday boomtown. You know an end is inevitable (and with LA not too far away this is at least geographically true), but you can’t be bothered to get there or you shore these fragments, as TS Eliot did, against your ruin and you live it up in Vegas. Excess for breakfast, destination traded for destiny.
I want to tell that story more fully, and maybe I still will.