This is one of the earliest strips and frankly I was too hard on ol’ Cannibal Corpse. I wrote the first strips while living in rural South Carolina. I’m still friends with the dude in the first panel but at the time I didn’t know where any of the old gang were. I was crabby and malnourished in general because I didn’t figure out a proper diet until around four years ago.
The clerk in panel two and his record shop shall remain nameless. 1992 was before I started working in music retail and knew what was up. I paid $20 for that copy of Butchered At Birth, and when I tore the butcher-paper wrapping from the CD case, this is the sight that greeted me:
Later I noticed that the UPC code in the CD tray had been hole-punched, and since it came wrapped in butcher paper, that means that Metal Blade Records sent it to Record Store Clerk as a promotional item, for free. Then he sold it to me at an inflated price.
I actually knew a girl who dated this particular record store clerk in the late 1990s. She was a stunning redhead and Dawn lookalike contest winner, and according to her, this clerk was a real jerk, as Norm Macdonald would say. He did a good bit of gaslighting on her, jerking her emotions about and criticizing her appearance in the days leading up the contest, and I straight up said “ditch him and move in with me” and her friends got steamed, and I didn’t get invited to hang out with them again. This girl looked like a pulchritudinous porcelain doll in fetish lingerie and that record store clerk was a douche. I hope and presume someone eventually cuckolded him.
I don’t remember specifically which Albert Fish quote was in the liner notes of Butchered At Birth. Albert Fish was a guy about a hundred years ago who…
…You know what, I’ll just let Norm explain it to the folks at home:
I have a 1990 Film Threat calender somewhere that has a caricature of a different serial killer for each month, and one of them is Albert Fish. I don’t remember who did the artwork, but it was really excellent; Film Threat used to be a great read. It contains lots of trivia about each killer, like how Albert Fish used to stick needles in his balls for fun, and it shorted out the electric chair when they barbecued the sick ol’ fucker.
Look, I know we like to romanticize the 1990s, but there was an unfortunate “serial killer worship” thing that really overstayed its welcome by mid-decade. Remember, Natural Born Killers and Kalifornia were mainstream, studio movies. It was a simultaneously annoying and awesome time.
Cannibal Corpse had their big mainstream moment in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994). Anything funny that occurs in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is an accident. Jim Carrey wants to lecture us on voting, spirituality and vaccines, when 24 years ago the motherfucker was literally talking out of his ass in front of millions of people.
The song is “Hammer Smashed Face”, from Cannibal Corpse’s 1992 album Tomb of the Mutilated. I think that album is superior to Butchered At Birth. It also contains the tracks “Addicted To Vaginal Skin” and “Entrails Ripped From A Virgin’s Cunt”. Holy ding dongs, what am I writing about?!
(Vocalist) Chris Barnes stated on page 71 of the June 2008 issue of Decibel Magazine that “Entrails Ripped from a Virgin’s Cunt was based on two brothers, one of whom was semi-retarded, who were serving life. They captured some girl, and the semi-retarded brother was talked into putting a coat hanger up her pussy to pull out her intestines. That story freaked me out.” It is unknown exactly who Barnes was referring to. [Wikipedia]
Cannibal Corpse’s most successful album is 1994’s The Bleeding. That’s the one with “Fucked With A Knife” on it. What do you want from me? This is fantastic shit.
Seriously, I was way too hard on these guys. I didn’t quite “get them” back in 1998. Or in 1991, for that matter.
Despite my love for Slayer and Napalm Death, I have to say some of the best death metal dropped in the 90s, courtesy of Cannibal Corpse. Any trepidations I had about the band come from the genuine revulsion evoked by the aesthetic employed, and the overall subject matter. That’s a normal reaction to legitimate death metal. You become intrigued by the primal force of the music, and want to understand why it appeals to you. The sick shit is just a test to see how much you’re willing to take.
I guess that old Cannibal Corpse promo wasn’t so much of a ripoff after all.