MURDER CAN BE FUN
by John Marr
MCBF is one of the old classic titles that have been
entertaining readers for a couple of decades now…well as
making a few quizzy in the process thanks to John Marr’s
choice of zine subject: mayhem, murder and death being
among on top of his hit list. This can be easily written off
as just another example of the moody/angst/Goth influence
that usually eats up its share of zines and music, but Marr’s
writing proves otherwise; his level of research and quality is
remarkably high with a deep sense of historical value plus
a dash of good humor mixed in. If John Waters went into
zines, there’s a very good chance it might look and read
like this…only without so much gushing.
Marr’s has tackled many subjects and its underbelly; music
(Karen Carpenter was a major spotlight), sports (with ‘I
Hate Sports’ boldly splattered on the cover), religion (take
THAT mormons!), postal employees, etc., All of which
provides a constant level of fine and dangerous reading. It’
s even more dangerous to single out which issue is his
best, so, for this list, I cheated by picking two classics.
Death At Disneyland (#13) is the mother load of almost all things unDisneyland-like. The park might look fun and
cheerful, but, as Marr warns us on the outset, it’s like any industrial area that is jam packed with equipment and
machinery, so shit and blood will happen when you let your (and employee’s) guard seriously down. Marr
weaves a smooth efficient timeline of the park’s history of mayhem: hippy protests which was followed by parks first and only riot, gang related stabbings, suicides (the former Skywalk being a favorite for the self-image
impaired), innocent Grad Night casualties and more. The big one is, of course, ride related injuries, deaths and the
resulting lawsuits. The Matterhorn is unofficially nicknamed ‘The Widowmaker’ for a good deadly reason
and even the PoepleMover has taken out a few; the ‘Mover maybe slow but those bastards are freakin’ heavy
and will crush you like walnuts!
This issue became so popular for Marr that around three years ago, he put out an updated and hugely expanded
version (#20) and that’s when things get really messy. Marr even added a few sidebars of people failing to break
into the park through the monorail tracks (squissssssh!) and if you think being trapped in a clogged freeway on a
hot sweaty day to get there is a bitch, just try to survive a helicopter crash just a few feet away from the main gate!
After reading THIS version, you might feel like wearing a bullet proof vest next time you go near the place.
Just edging out DisneyHell is Zoo Deaths (#16)! If you like to get your hatred for humanity out of your system but your neighbors are more armed than you, snuggle up to this issue and quietly feel the warm fuzziness of your George Carlin-like rage satisfied. As you might guess, this one is a parade of the disillusioned, the cocky and the stupid waltzing in front of much larger deadlier creatures as if they were a rotating buffet table with wheels. Just add animal rage to the usual MCBF-styled mayhem and you get the idea.
There’s even a special section of polar bear related deaths and its epicenter, New York City! Somehow the city’s general cocky attitude
(thank you, Bronx) and one-ton balls of fur with razor sharp claws don’t mix very well, no matter how large and wide the city zoo’s safety moats and cages are. If you laughed along with the
film Grizzly Man, you love this chaser. Adding insult to injury, Marr also includes a section on failed child kidnappings…and how does that relate to the main story? More than you can imagine. Good damned luck getting near this one!
Oh, and I haven't even got to the comic book version put out by Slave Labor Comic (below)!
There hasn't much heard from John Marr since 2007. He still has his web site but it hasn't been updated since #20. Hope Marr is doing okay.