Magic is a state of mind. It is often portrayed as very black and gothic, and that is because certain practitioners played that up for a sense of power and prestige. That is a disservice. Magic is very colorful. Of this, I am sure.
Judged by the stark, sure-footed portrait in Hard Time, Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben clearly have John Constantine down, cold and to the life. Azzarellos grasp of pacing, character and situation resonates through every scene with a black crystal clarity thats short of masterful, while Corben contributes what is, perhaps, one of the most darkly expressive pieces in a long, already-legendary career.
Memory's so treacherous. One moment you're lost in a carnival of delights with poignant childhood aromas, the flashing neon on puberty, all that sentimental candyfloss The next, it leads you somewhere you don't want to go.. Somewhere dark and cold, filled with the damp ambiguous shapes of things you'd hoped were forgotten.
Right from the outset, the prevailing mindset in British comics fandom was a radical and progressive one. We were all proto-hippies, and we all thought that comics would be greatly improved if everything was a bit psychedelic like Jim Steranko.