Perverts, Pedophiles, and Other Theologians

    (Äardwolf, 2002)
™ and © 2002 Äardwolf Publishing

Perverts, Pedophiles, and Other Theologians is an unusual title for a collection of prose and poetry by Clifford Lawrence Meth (illustrated by Gene Colan, with a foreword by Steve Gerber). There is arguably only one pervert and there are no pedophiles whatsoever (there is one child batterer). Theologians? Those abound.

Meth’s prose is dark and disturbing, with death and the afterlife as dominant themes. Other recurring motifs include bars, martial arts injuries, Lubavitcher Hassidim, and a Korean dish called kimchee. The short stories involve realistic characters in circumstances ranging from mundane to extraordinary. The story atmospheres, while predominantly gloomy, do vary. “Deprogramming Esther” is a story of assimilation akin to Eisner’s A Contract with God; “What They Don’t Know” feels like an R-rated episode of The Twilight Zone. “Bruises” would make for a good lawyer show on TV until a twist at the end makes it something else entirely. (Many of the tales contain such twist endings.)

The poems relate to these themes, as well as family, HMOs, and Daredevil (complete with Colan’s rendering). In truth, these prose poems are stories, as well. Some of the poems lament the material that gets published while Meth receives rejection after rejection.

The art by Colan is perfect for the tone of the book: lots of shadows.

Meth plays fast and loose with capitalization, not only in the poetry, but also in some of the stories. It adds nothing to the stories and smacks of pretension.

— Jack Abramowitz

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1 copy available for $13.50
  Clifford Meth, Steve GerberGene Colan