I’m not really sure why, but I think this was my favourite issue of Satellite Sam yet. It’s probably because the one subplot that wasn’t really explained yet, Libby Meyers and the old reels of tape, did finally start to come together, and also perhaps because the focus of the issue seemed a bit more focused on just 2 plots, give or take a few pages. Plus, I think I’ve finally got used enough to Chaykin’s style here that I can recognise each character right away without having to flip back to the recap page, that certainly helps.
Fraction begins with Libby delivering some of Carlyle White’s tapes to his storage facility, before shifting over to more of Michael’s increasingly sordid adventures. He’s got 2 extras in his dressing room, but just fucking them isn’t really enough. He seems to be trying to work out his issues with his father here by trying to re-enact some of the stuff from the dirty polaroids. He makes one of the extras eat the other out, and that seems to revive his interest, but he’s interrupted. Not by Kara, but by his monthly booze delivery, 3 whole cases of whiskey. But as we’ve seen, Michael seems to have replaced his alcohol addiction with sex, so he tells the delivery man to just give it to the crew as a Thanksgiving gift (this whole issue takes place in and around the holiday). This of course doesn’t go well, and the day’s broadcast of Satellite Sam is fucked up by everyone being wasted. Dick tries to read Michael the riot act, but his lung cancer starts acting up and he ends up in a coughing fit.
Libby then tries to tell Michael about her secret, but he blows her off. This leads into some interesting flashbacks that show just how Libby became Carlyle’s trusted assistant. I do wish that Chaykin and Fraction would come up with a way to show when a scene is a flashback, as it was a bit jarring. In a colour comic, they normally do flashbacks in black and white or a washed-out tone, but what can they do here? It’s a puzzler.
The 2 minor plots that are developed in this issue are Guy Roth’s, who writes a resignation letter in order to avoid being blackmailed for his sexuality and Eugene Ford’s, who seems to be having trouble making his new show, but might be lucking into a relationship with Eve, the girl he’s obsessed with.
Back with Michael, and man, this scene is probably the worst thing he’s ever done. He and Kara are out at a Department store signing things for little kids, and he spends all of his time flirting with one kid’s mother, working out that the husband is out of town. He ends up fucking this woman too, and once again, tries to emulate his father, in taking pictures. That one panel at the end with the little kid who loves Satellite Sam lying asleep whilst his hero shags his mum is so dark.
The issue ends with Michael finally agreeing to listen to Libby, as she shows him what’s in his dad’s storage facility… 900 episodes of Satellite Sam. 900 episodes that the LeMonde Network wiped, that every other network would kill to own. Could this be why Carlyle was killed, that he was planning to leave LeMonde? Hmmm… It’s easy to forget the central mystery of this book, as Michael seems to have forgotten it himself and just drowned in sex, but it’s still there, and now there’s a new twist. It might not have been because he was a pervert at all. This book is an acquired taste, and I think now, at #7, I’ve finally acquired it.