Nerding Day: Cursed Worlds 🌭

Blue Comet Comics brought you pure and earnest lunacy from writer, artist, editor, and owner Craig Stormon, whose mind was forever trapped in a labyrinth of his own making. If you’ve ever watched a rambling maniac drift too close to a bank entrance and get tased by security, Blue Comet Press tells his side of the story. The one with electric lizardmen and kidnapped money princesses.

I already covered their premier title, L.I.F.E. Brigade, which was canceled twice by the only person involved with it: Craig Stormon. I didn’t tell you it was only one small part of a shared comic book universe. A universe made of canceled and abandoned titles, reboots, reworks, and the occasional abortion. There are foundational pillars of this universe that can only be found in comic books that never existed. Luckily, I found the Source Book.

Yes, it’s actually called Cursed Worlds. It’s like Craig Stormon saw through the veil of time into this article where I made up a joke title for his life’s work, then asked the Chrono Master for one small revenge.

We begin as all Blue Comet titles do: with a cramped wall of unhinged white text.

I was going to hack this up into sections and discuss each part, trying to make sense of it all, but I recognize a mind trap. The day I understand this is the day I die in a flying machine of my own design, trying to prove the world rests on the back of a big turtle.

Reading this is like listening to an over-sugared 8 year old explain the plot of a fanfiction about a Minecraft modding community’s lore. It’s a confusing and rambling tale four times removed from something that never interested you in the first place. Some of the sections are hyper-focused, like the complete backstory of a telepathic robot who plays no part in the overall story, while others seem vitally important but are abandoned entirely. “Strangely enough, the dinosaurs had also returned.” is the sentence Hemingway wrote when Fitzgerald said he couldn’t confuse the fuck out of any reader using only six words. Fitzgerald won that bet, because it took seven.

Craig Stormon runs out of space during the jacket copy, after having filled the entire inside cover with Dr. Bronner’s style pleas for a diagnosis.

“Nevertheless,” Craig Stormon froths, his eyes pointing different directions. “Windraven is 300 years old, while M’Lady Doom is 200 years old, both having battled-”

“Craig, hold on,” you say, buying time for police to break through the barricade. “This is the synopsis for an introduction, I don’t know who any of these people are.”

“THE SAME SPEAR THAT KILLED JESUS CHRIST,” Craig Stormon screeches the last words you’ll ever hear.

The characters he’s most excited by today are X-187 and his enemy, Deathrow. Both are ripoffs of Deathlok. It’s kind of like Being John Malkovich but for gun cyborgs who are out of ideas.

This was 1994. Death Row Records was basically a household name. “Cop Killer” and “Deep Cover” made 187 the go-to number for anyone whose preferred AIM handle was already taken. Craig Stormon stole someone else’s half-a-Robocop, filled the entire comic with it like an Oops! All Cyborgs! edition, then gangsplained his readers three times in one paragraph.

And all of that is a stat. X-187’s measurements are: 7 ½ feet tall, 370 pounds, and street gangs spray-paint 187 over the names of rival gangs!!!

Here’s Deathrow’s breakdown:

Craig knew nitrous made you go fast, but he didn’t know anything else about it. Now we’ve got a real chill cyborg with the giggles. It’s important to note his dick is bulletproof and also full of knives, and that the cowboy spurs do nothing. That’s all very funny, but really consider the turn that happens in that bubble. He hired Rich Bonk, the name of a man who is very used to getting dunked on by the universe, and had him draw every mistake of the 1990s in one character. Then Craig erased it right in front of him, just so he could show him how it was really done.

He hired an artist solely to spit in his face, then wrote that down and published it in the Source Book as one of four vital facts you need to know about Deathrow.

Then he hired a third artist!

To do to him what he’d just done to Rich Bonk!

“Bonk me,” Craig Stormon told Henry Martinez. “I need to feel the humiliation I inflict on others, it’s the only way I can get off. Bonk- hold on, let me get Rich in here to watch. Now BONK ME, MARTINEZ!”

Anyway, we’ve already forgotten that we did X-187, so he gets introduced twice.

If you leave a lunatic alone without stimuli they’ll get caught in feedback loops. It’s why Mario Lopez has to repeat all his questions about Pet Judge while Gary Busey keeps turning his name into increasingly offensive acronyms. This is what happens when nobody checks in on Craig Stormon for an afternoon. Now X-187 is a test tube baby with a nuclear skeleton, built by the mafia. We started off at Deathlok minus a few things, yadda yadda skip a few pills, now the evil cyborg can only be killed by the same weapon that slew Jesus Christ.

There’s only one tool in Craig’s mental garage that breaks these loops, and it’s drawing hot girls.

That’s not a joke. Pay attention: You’ll see when shit starts to spiral in a Craig Stormon title, the next page will be a mostly naked woman whose powers are “tits,” whose weaknesses are “too much tits,” and whose origin story is “had tits.”

Again, I am not joking.

It’s a telling look inside the life of their creator, who I assume is not welcome back at any coffee shop in his neighborhood with an attractive female barista. WAIT we need one hasty fact about the barista not related to her looks so the critics can’t call us sexist. Craig Stormon is not welcome back at any coffee shop in his neighborhood with an attractive female barista who is also an expert at knife throwing……….

Oh, oh fuck.

Craig just tried to steal the holocaust. He really thinks he can take the holocaust away from the Nazis and give it to Danzig’s fursona. It would be so hard to explain to Craig why he wasn’t allowed to do this. You’d be all “if you change the entire reason the holocaust happened – even though demons are also really bad, so you’re still saying the holocaust was bad – you’re diminishing the real anti-semitism that caused this real genocide. There’s this whole world you’re making here that nobody really understands, and I get that you’re carried away with your cool details but you can’t-”

And Craig would be all-

Haha he named his only female team the Iron Cupcakes. And he explained that, even in fiction, they fucking hate it.

That’s not supposed to be a mask. In Cursed Worlds people age from the top down. Oldness works on lightning rules. Notice the odd space after “bionics ,” like something was blotted out there. I have a theory that Craig Stormon never knew what a draft was. I’m not being snarky – I actually mean I don’t think he’d ever heard of the idea. You’ll see those blank spots pop up all throughout Cursed Worlds, it’s like you’re watching him independently invent the concept of revision in real time.

Oh, I almost got out of here without pointing out his name wasn’t Dr. Mangla, that’s a professional wrestler.

Fats Oldstein is what I’d call Rush Limbaugh if I wrote for Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2004 and saw no incentive to take pride in my job. I’m not sure what “drug rites” are, but I do know you need a professional psycho who can only be killed by Christ to get them.

What a fantastical universe, full of demons and time travel, living comets and mafia cyborgs. Let’s meet the poor everyman trapped in the middle of it all-

Detective Hank Blood is from the porn parody True Boned, and he only exists so Suckie Stackedhouse can say “ah always wanted tah know what it’s like tah suck… Blood.”

If your name is Hank Blood and you apply for a transfer to homicide you no longer get to act offended when killer cyborgs attack your city. I hate to say anybody’s ever asking for it, but you did not have to leave the house named like that, Detective Hank Blood.

I’m starting to think you guys might be confused about this perfectly reasonable comic book universe. It’s really quite simple: the mafia’s genetically engineered nuclear skeleton and his nemesis, a career robo-psycho who takes double damage from the baptized, assisted by time traveling double superpowered space mercenaries-

You know what? There’s a little comic book short here that will explain everything.

Oh, right. The war they’re referring to is Vietnam, so all of this happened in the 1960s. Does that help?

You’re wondering who Arthur is. Haven’t you been paying attention? Think back to X-187’s stat sheet…

That’s right: street gangs spray-paint 187 over the names of rival gangs.

I guess Arthur has a personal vendetta against Deathrow, even though X-187’s origin story is that he was grown in a tube by the mafia. Ignore that! Deathrow explodes through the ceiling – not the skylight, the ceiling – to specifically assassinate this child.

Dang. That’s actually a really hard-hitting panel. The silhouette sells the horror of it. It’s an artistic choice that says the death of a child is something we shouldn’t see, but still shows enough of the taboo to sell the emotional impact. It’s really effective.

That’s because I cut the panel right before it.

The comically oversized cannon, the cartoonishly tiny boy, the sweat droplets universally used to signal “WUH OH!” This is a Bugs Bunny murder.

But at least now you understand the plot of X-187, right? Hold on, Craig really brings it home-

This explains less than nothing. It takes things you thought you understood away. Look at that presumptuous little ‘FINI’ in the bottom corner.

“The saga begins,” Craig Stormon says, fighting a stray dog trying to eat his last pencil. “Now we’ve set the hook, all we have to do… is reel ‘em in.”

“I quietly resent you for stealing my life energy and no woman can live up to me,” the stray dog says in his mother’s voice.

“FUCK YOU FOR BEING RIGHT, MOMMY DOG,” Craig Stormon writes, another brilliant comic book idea already coming to life.

You met Windraven in L.I.F.E. Brigade, where I joked that she was a psychic Indian who got telepathy powers from space, making her a triple psychic. I was playing with the idea that all ‘90s comic books thought Indians were innately magic. I thought I was playing.

She fucking, hold on. She fucking what?

She’s an immortal Indian from the 17th century who invented the atom bomb? It was pretty crazy when you took a genocide away from the Nazis and gave it to the demons, Craig. It’s way crazier that you took the A-Bomb away from the United States government and gave it to the people they genocided. There are problems with writing this. I understand that. I fundamentally know you can’t do this, but it’s so weird there’s absolutely no precedent I can use to explain why. Craig Stormon actually invented a new form of racism here. He might have a patent.

Okay, let me try to wrap this up:

An Indian woman (already twice psychic because she’s from two different tribes and they each have their own kind of power blast) taught herself how to be immortal and then invented the atom bomb so she became a superhero to make amends and traveled to space where she got powers again, only to come back to a destroyed Earth (because strangely enough, the dinosaurs had returned) after a nuclear war which was engineered by aliens, so she and her team had to time travel back to modern day to help the mafia’s nuclear skeleton avenge his kid brother (who only died in his mind) against an enemy cyborg hired to steal “drug rites” from LA street gangs (they spray-paint 187 over their rivals), who are in league with the holocaust devil and his earthly avatar, an extremely horny woman (powers to be specified later; extremely horny), forcing the good guys to find the spear that killed Jesus Christ which is the only weapon that can destroy psychopathic drug cyborgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, oh my god. I’ve ruined myself. I set out to use a maniac’s ill-advised comic press to understand his broken mind, and now I do. I regret this wish, Chrono Master! I see the World Turtle and it hollows me! Let me undo it, I will trade you whole decades!

Take us out, Craig Stormon.

This shared universe, which only exists because the psychiatric field in the 1980s was a disgrace, is best accessed through L.I.F.E. Brigade #1-3. Or wait, no Rough Riders #1-3, which was just L.I.F.E. Brigade but the Lone Ranger joined up. No, maybe it starts with Deathrow. Fuck, it actually sort of starts with Windraven? Definitely not The (devil’s) Workshop, that’s for after! Or maybe, no actually that’s the beginning, too.

Craig can’t tell you where this starts because it doesn’t. It’s a circular universe that refers to and disappears into itself every two issues, to be canceled, retconned, rebooted and aborted over and over again as a dense network of confused nesting sci-fi tropes take over his brain like a tumor, rewiring his neural pathways into a knot only thorazine can untie.

Let’s end this the 1990s way: By having a vague muscular cyborg with a stupidly large gun call us a name.

I’m worried Craig Stormon won’t land this one-

I was wrong.

This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: Mickey Lowman, the psychic space baby whose bones are nuclear bombs.

8 replies on “Nerding Day: Cursed Worlds 🌭”

Storman Day is rapidly becoming my favorite day. I hope his neurons continued to sort of function for long enough that there is more Storman Day yet to come.

I asked the universe for more LIFE Brigade, and it answered. For a moment of amusement, I loosed damnation on the stars.

To see titles written in the Wolverine font, check out Windraven #1! All the excitement of something for half of something of something else! Psychic!

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