Speaking of rock’n'roll and cartooning, LA CityBeat interview Joe Sacco on BUT I LIKE IT, his early account of touring Europe with the pre-grunge punk band The Miracle Workers. Ah, those days, we remember them well… :
Cramped conditions in their conveyance notwithstanding, this tale never reaches the depths of misery in his refugee stories, but it shares with them his eye for telling details and subtle way of revealing his subjectsâ humanity â¦ along with his own. Amid the rolling thunder of decibels and debauchery, âLong Hairâ? offers fleeting moments of vulnerability: Trautmannâs longing for a âgirl to talk toâ? amid the parade of groupies, Mohrâs flu-fueled regret over undertaking the tour, and Saccoâs own funny/disastrous attempts to âswingâ? with the chicks.
It also documents a nearly forgotten nanosecond of rock history: the âbut theyâre big in Europeâ? era. In the late â80s, the Miracle Workers were among a handful of L.A. acts sporting a â60s-garage/â70s-punk aesthetic just as heavy-metal hair bands were taking over the Sunset Strip. Many couldnât get arrested here but were adored by garage-rock-crazed crowds overseas. The Miracle Workers scored bigger local audiences than most, but they had nothing on Guns Nâ Roses. Still, they shared with their bandanna-festooned rivals a love of traditional rock ânâ roll swagger that would soon go the way of the dinosaurs, once grunge reared its greasy head.