Comics on the RocksThe Drink: Eagle Rare Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The Comic: Tokyo Ghost #1 published by Image Comics

That’s right folks, I’M BACK! Real life got in the way for a while, but I’ve returned and I’m ready to share more Comics on the Rocks with you! Enjoy!

The Drink
Master distiller Charles L. Beam created Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey at the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky in 1975, which at the time was owned by The Seagrams Company. They eventually sold the brand to the Sazerac Company in 1989 and began distilling it at the George T. Stagg Distillery known today as the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

It was originally released as a 101-proof ten-year old expression which was discontinued in 2005 and replaced with a 90-proof 10-year single barrel. Today, there are two basic expressions availabel: The 10-year and the 17 year which is a part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. In 2014 the single barrel designation was removed from the 10-year bottle due to new production practices. They felt it was not truthful and would violate the company’s own definition of what a single barrel whiskey is. Along with this change, they moved the age statement from the front of the bottle to the back. There was a lot of controversy surrounding these decisions, but it all came down to a higher demand for Eagle Rare (not a bad problem to have!), which resulted in a larger production facility.

I had never heard of this bourbon until a visit to my good pal Scott’s house. He poured me a glass, neat, and I dove right in. The nose is spicy with hints of citrus and oak. The palate consists of honey and vanilla with a long, spicy finish. This is a great bourbon to sip neat or on the rocks to open the sweetness a bit. I have still yet to find a bottle here in Omaha, but as soon as I do, I’ll be snatching it up. For $20-$30 a bottle, you cannot go wrong. If you see it, pick it up. This one is in high demand.

The Comic
Absolute insanity. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when trying to explain Tokyo Ghost. I hadn’t heard much about it, but one look at the creative team and I knew I had to read it. Written by Rick Remender with art by Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth, Tokyo Ghost takes place in a technology obsessed dystopian future (2089 to be exact) in Los Angeles. The book opens with our protagonists Debbie Decay and Led Dent chasing down a small time crook through the waste ridden streets. Their main objective: track down a “psychopathic narcissist and millennial nostalgist”, who can also inhabit the body of anyone (yes, anyone), named Davey Trauma. I know, horrible name. If I had one gripe about this book, it would be his dialogue. With lines like “YOLO, bitches”, it was hard to handle at times.

Debbie Decay and Led Dent have what seems to be a very complicated relationship. As Debbie explains in the narration, Led is addicted to technology. He wears a mask that constantly streams his favorite shows which results in him not really knowing what is going on in the filth-ridden reality around him. He, along with the rest of the population, use technology as an escape from how awful the world around them has become. At the heart of this book is a strong social commentary on our addiction to technology. Social media, smartphones, the Internet. All of it at our fingertips anytime we want it. Our technology-obsessed culture is taken and multiplied a million times in this story and it’s terrifying. Remender has a wonderful text piece in the back of the book discussing this a bit more.

The real star of this book is Sean Murphy. His hyper detailed art is a perfect match for building this ultra violent and gritty world Remender has created. I found myself staring at the pages completely mesmerized by the kinetic, action packed panels and the insanely detailed backgrounds. Murphy is on a whole different level and he keeps getting better. The character design feels familiar, but not in a bad way. One of my favorite designs is the motorcycle on steroids ridden by Decay and Dent called “Zeus’ Dick”. It’s just one of many amazing set pieces designed by Murphy that sets the tone for this futuristic story. The washed out, muted colors by Matt Hollingsworth are a perfect fit for this grimy, filthy setting.

This is a sci-fi, detective book rolled into a love story. It’ll make you think about your personal technology consumption and how it affects the people you love. Even as I write this and stop periodically to check my email, social media and the like, it frightens me to think about how much I’ve come to rely on them.

This first issue was a small introduction into the lives of these characters and the world they live in. I wasn’t blown away by it, but I’m very interested to see where this book goes. If you’re a fan of these creators, give it a shot. The art alone is worth the cover price.

Thanks for reading,
Christopher Kelley

Chris Kelley is Matt Baum’s cousin. We try not to hold that against him.