Out Of Season, Part 1 Of 2
Annotations By :
Adrian Brown

Click Here for issue synopsis

Page 1

Chas & Renee Chandler with their daughter, Geraldine, and grand-daughter, Trish.

Renee never liked John, and the newspaper headline seems to back her up.

Their choice of The Sunday Times is interesting. A once great, middle class newspaper, previously would have been somewhat conservative, but now – owned by Rupert Murdoch – is very much the heavyweight tabloid. It would have been funny to have seen The Sun’s (low end of the market) headline for this … PUNK PSYCHO ON THE LOOSE !

Page 2

He may have his doubts, but Chas knows John better than anyone else.

“The bloody world nearly ends and what do we do?”

Once again, people are shown to remember the events that have transpired.

How many “end of the world”s do people in comics usually forget ?

“We go to the bloody seaside. In November.”

Here’s one for the timeline continuity people. Hellblazer has been said to come out in real time, thus John’s fortieth birthday issue (#63) came out in March 1993. We have passed his fiftieth birthday without a mention, and now this issue is approximately six months behind “real time”. Nothing wrong with that when it takes several months to tell a story that takes place over a week or so. It also means that the Swamp Thing story launched by Andy Diggle can fit nicely after John has got his memory back … probably.

Tsk! Look at that car registration number ! D439 SKA, seventeen years old ! well I guess he’d spend all the money on new taxis.

Page 3

The lorry is transporting pork scratchings. My personal pub snack of choice.

Vegetarians may be pleased to hear that pork scratchings are the crispy baked fatty skin of pigs.

Sadly, they cannot be produced by shaving live pigs.

Page 4

Yes, this looks like an American petrol station.

However, they were present in the UK for many years, and fairly recently I have seen one operating in the south of England, which is apparently where John is heading.

The Splash Ice Tea poster may well be a reference to Britain’s supposed favourite drink (I reject tea, and love coffee) and the fact that iced tea is out of season in November. There’s not a Driver’s Dream chain of petrol stations.

John’s usual methods of making money (conning rich folks or two fat ladies) are not available to him.

Page 5

Clerkenwell Guest House, John’s home since he returned from the dead … I mean the USA (see #177).

Gemma and Angie look like there’s an age difference between them. It is pleasing to not Gemma’s increasing maturity – no sign of jealousy here. And none of the precocious need to impress with her magickal skillz. They choose the shirt for the séance, rather than his underpants … or (missed in-joke) his trenchcoat.

Page 6

Gemma’s suggestion that she’s still got some of that stuff in her system ought to mean this is within a couple of days of that climactic end of the Shadow Dog arc. However, perhaps she has some residual connection like the one that Gill will reveal later this issue ? Her vision shows her a seagull and the letters “ILL” from a place name sign. Also Rose with her blue face on.

Page 7

Rose definitely has more power than the little girl she appeared to be last issue.

Page 8

The rest of that sign says “Cliftonville” which is in Kent, due east of London along past the gaping maw of the Thames. About sixty miles away from London.

A seaside resort out of season, as suggested by the title of this issue.

John knows who he is now, but nothing about that person.

“And anyway … God always provides.” He really doesn’t know !

Page 9

Here we see John’s resourcefulness despite his lack of memory.

“Feel lucky punk? Well? Do you?” quote from Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan.

Page 10

“Heathrow, terminal 3, two weeks ago.”

So the events on the last page of #188 were two weeks ago, not seven months !

We know that John Constantine could easily have won the money he wants. But of course *that* John Constantine inadvertently set this one up with some assistance.

Page 11

kushty Adj. Excellent, fine, OK. Also spelt cushty and kushti. A once predominantly working class term derived from 'cushy'. And commonly heard in the London of “Only Fools and Horses”.

“Big Rock Candy Arseholes” from Big Rock Candy Mountain an old American folk song about heaven for hobos.

Nicknames change quite frequently among street homeless, because real names are often private.

It’s a decent touch to see that while all that business with the Beast was going on, Saddam was still being overthrown under false pretences. What a shame they didn’t wait until all the minds were connected in order to find out if he had any WMDs.

Page 12

Does Constantine Dream of Infernal Sheep ?

The First of the Fallen (dressed as Daimon Hellstrom, son of Satan !), Demon Constantine and Triskelle coming soon to an issue of Hellblazer.

Page 13

At the moment John does have a habit of waking up at inopportune moments and finding himself implicated in murder. Do you think there’s a connection to the dreams and Gill choosing the Corinthian’s method of murder ? Or just coincidence ?

Page 14, 15 & 16

I know this is not a universally held opinion, but to me Gill is a fine example of a serial killer.

He was plugged into people’s darkest secrets, and being more than just driven to attack vulnerable people, he sees a challenge in Constantine.

His first hand description of the Beast is quite an insight. Previously the Beast was just an adversary for Constantine, but here we get someone else’s perception. Was it Gill’s prior insanity that caused him to remember the events rather than repress them ? Or is someone else pulling his strings ?

The idea that they are the only person who knows about something is quite common in paranoids – not least because it explains why no-one believes them.

It’s a logical step for John to connect Gill to Rose. They have both murdered around him and expressed an interest in him.

Page 17

John picked the name Leo Sumner off an A&E triage form. Was it a coincidence, do you think ?

In rebuilding Constantine’s personality, Mike Carey has sown a couple of seeds about God, whilst setting John up for a confrontation with Hell. Here Gill’s comment that “God does everything for a reason” is a nice counterpoint to John’s thought that “God always provides” on page 8.

Is Gill picking up John’s hidden memories or just the fact that Dr Bradshaw told John his name ?

There is a playwright called Peter Gill and the drummer from Frankie Goes To Hollywood bears the name too. Todd MacFarlane should note that neither of these gentlemen are implicated in this story.

Page 18

The Phantom Stranger again, crossover fans !

Rosacarnis … “Rose of flesh” ? What kind of symbolism is that ? Okay it’s the girl Rose.

Druoth is a new demon, but doesn’t he look like the steward of the Yuppie Club back in issue #3?

Page 19

The Stranger’s not allowed to get involved directly, but he can offer information, warnings and advice which is what he does here. (Calling Gemma and Angie !)

Page 20

“People keep dying all around me.”

You know, if you had to tell someone about John Constantine this would come pretty close to the top of the list of things to say. In the bible Jonah was tormented by God until he did His will.

The term Jonah is also used to indicate someone who brings bad luck.

“This is where they buried the Summer.”

That line made me think of a song I’ve not listened to for years, by a band called Yeah Yeah Noh. I can’t remember the title but it begins “The end of Summer is coming soon …”.

They also did a song called “Stealing in the Name of the Lord.”

Page 21

All his “riding the synchronicity highway” is coming back to bite John on the arse.

Coincidentally Chas and family arrive at a seaside town.

You know, I can see why he hangs around with John, what with his missus being such a grouch.

Probably near Margate as immortalised by Chas and Dave …which brings us back to “Only Fools and Horses

I’ve not heard of an ice cream called Rabbit’s Ears, perhaps Chas calls Trish “fishface” and she protests that he should call her “rabbit’s ears” ?

Page 22

So Gill did connect to stuff that John does not yet remember.

How else would he know about Chas ?

You can’t help but think that someone is moving all the players into the right place.

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