Mead Remembers Drew Hayes
of Poison Elves died a little over a week ago from
a heart attack. He was 37 years old.
of you probably don't know who Drew was and have never cracked
open a copy of Poison Elves. It didn't have superheroes
in it. It was in black and white. Marvel or DC didn't publish
three strikes eliminate a big chunk of the comic buying public.
If any of that chunk has heard of Drew, it's only cause of
the "wrestling style" feud that he and Brian Bendis
that depresses me a bit, it's nothing like the feeling that
I get from knowing that there will never be anymore issues
of Poison Elves. I love comics. I've been reading and
collecting them for a long, long time. Yet from all the books
I've read, there are three characters that for some twisted
reason have resonated with me: Matt Wagner's Grendel, John
Constantine from Hellblazer, and Drew's Lusiphur.
was it about Poison Elves? Why did it hit the target
for me? Well, the most obvious reason is that I like the "anti-hero"
and Lusiphur was most certainly that. The other reason was
that Luse, as his friends called him, was not your typical
elf. He wasn't the tolkienesque treehugging hippy with a bow.
He was a manic-depressive, foul-mouthed, angry elf.
the setting of Drew's comic was different. Typically medieval
in most of the buildings and dress, yet we had flyers posted
on walls for strip clubs and most of the fighting types carried
guns as well as swords.
this tossed into the soup, Poison Elves managed to
make it a believable world and then added Parintachin - the
imp who was hiding in Luse's mind and the Underwear-clad Purple
Marauder - who really defies explaination but was absolutely
issues were okay. The art was not that good and the stories,
while interesting, were not up to the potential of the idea.
Then, at some point, Drew pulled it together and things started
to gel. The art got a lot better, especially when he learned
not to cross hatch everything. The plots became more complex
and the characters became more real.
in short, a great read.
it wasn't just the adventures of Luse that made PE
what it was. Drew usually had a page of text at the beginning
meandering about what was going on in his life. He'd whine
about relationships not working out, he'd talk about a party
he went to, or some music he liked.
the month he decided that Neil Diamond was actually cool and
not some dork his mom listened to.
with his starting notes and his "Death Threats"
letter column, every PE fan went and read the copyright
info at the bottom of the inside cover. Those would make you
laugh every time you got a new one.
#17 Vol 1:" #17 Violators, for any reason other than
harmless promotion will be hunted down like a dog in the streets,
maimed beyond recognition (that's human recognition), and
forced to listen to 17 hours of continuous rap while intravenously
fed pure MSG. Trust me, on the 16th hour you'll crack and
wish to whatever gods you hold dear, you never heard my name..."
started having some health issues somewhere around issue #75
of the Sirius series and the books started to ship erratically,
which was not something that really was ever said before about
#79 they just stopped coming. We got some weak mini-series
from people other than Drew, but they just weren't the same.
In and out of the hospital for a few years, his heart had
taken a beating from sleep apnea related issues.
all that, a lot of us waited. Drew would be back and the epic
story would be finished. I'd buy PE stuff as I saw
it: shirts and prints that Drew would fire off between stays
in the hospital.
a few articles on him in the last few days. They read like
press releases, not something written by someone who was a
fan. So, this morning I got up, put on my "Drew Lives"
shirt and came in and knocked this out.
hard on his book. His book entertained me. He will be missed.
write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about
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