Featuring tales of love gone right, love gone wrong and love gone downright bizarre, Image Comics’ four-issue anthology Twisted Romance reads like a creative jam session between writer Alex de Campi and a dozen of her closest friends—or at least her Twitter mutuals, as de Campi said elsewhere that the book’s cast assembled more or less through direct messages over one weekend.
Throughout the month of February, creators including Katie Skelly (My Pretty Vampire), Trungles (Fauns & Fairies), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder) and Vita Ayala (The Wilds) joined de Campi for a mix of prose and comics featuring trendy succubi, sexy space pirates, dramatic dragons and Cupid knows what else—perfect for Valentine’s Day and its fallout.
To commemorate the weekly series, Paste invited the team of Twisted Romance to send us their favorite—in de Campi’s words—“falling-in-love song…breakup song…get-busy song.” Since Twisted Romance has a full dating-show’s worth of collaborators, we split the playlist into two parts. This week, with the final issue hitting stands, we’re catching up with the contributors of the third and fourth issue. Be sure to check out the first installment for the rest of the team’s romantic tunes (or breakup songs, depending on how your holiday went).
Carla Speed McNeil, Issue #3 Main Story Artist
“Falling,” Annette Hanshaw
Well, OK, I gotta be the goof and say Annette Hanshaw for happy-silly-in-love.
“Fuck You,” Cee-Lo Green
I hate sad breakup songs because when shit is broken, EVERYTHING IS SAD, so I’m sticking with fucked-up problematic reprobate Cee-Lo Green’s immortal “Fuck You,” funniest “mah woman done left me” song ever.
“Downtown Lights,” Annie Lennox
Or I guess Annie Lennox singing “Downtown Lights.” Not really about breaking up, but it’s so poignantly lonely it always kicks my ass.
“Stay By Me,” Annie Lennox
For SEXY, if it’s not Annie Lennox again singing “Stay By Me”? Or Parliament ...If not just a whole album of Louis Armstrong, because there is no occasion in which Pops is not appropriate.
“Still the One,” Orleans
On a lesser-called-upon note in pop music, I’d end with one of those rare, few Old Married songs—there’s Orleans with “Still the One.”
Jessica Bradley, Issue #3 Prose Author
“Last Kiss,” Perturbator
I always think of this track as being a first-love or last-love track, maybe in some kind of apocalyptic setting. Gets me every time.
“Lonesome Tears,” Beck
Trying to get over a break-up and not doing a great job but hopefully getting there.
Margaret Trauth, Issue #3 Backup Comic Writer/Artist:
“La Grippe,” Jane Birkin
I’m gonna list Jane Birkin’s version of “La Grippe” as a Falling In Love song. Because that was one of the songs on a mix CD my now-exes gave me when we were getting started. It is about giving terrible diseases to your lover and watching them die. The fact that I consider this a “falling in love” song probably speaks volumes about my relationships. Or maybe it’s just a reference to the fact that our courtship happened in part in a role-play environment where I occasionally played a representative of a sentient bio/data plague that was endemic to one-sixth of the setting. Wait, that probably speaks volumes about my relationships too.
Meanwhile, for your Gettin’ It On for playlists, BIPP by SOPHIE. Most of my sex playlists are a lot… smoother than this, but I keep this in a few of them as a sort of time bomb. Because this is what you get when you take a snapshot of the inside of a sex robot’s brain, rotate it through several imaginary dimensions and take a sample that slices through the whole thing at an unlikely angle. It is a broken fragment that, if you are stoned, horny and/or entranced enough, can wipe your mind and replace it with that sexbot’s. Don’t worry, you’ll get your original mind back after a few minutes. Probably.
And because I kinda feel like I need to apologize for BIPP, here are two things that belong on normal sex playlists: “Electric Belly Dance Trance” by Bei Ru, a swirling, thrumming pink cloud of genification to roll your hips around to, and “Reminiscence” by Dante Bucci, a shimmering tapestry of chimes to surround your love-making…
Don’t make me have to add “the entirety of Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 2, on the floor, in the dark, through the best headphones you can buy, beg, borrow or steal” to the “breakup” section.
Trungles, Issue #4 Main Story Artist
“Eternal Flame,” The Bangles
I can’t choose! I’m doing two of each. Don’t try and stop me. My corny love songs are probably “Eternal Flame,” by The Bangles and “Caught up in the Rapture” by Anita Baker.
“Permission,” Ro James
My sexy times song is currently “Permission” by Ro James, but more consistently it’s “Late Nights & Early Mornings” by Marsha Ambrosius.
Anything by Air Supply
I’m also pushing for literally the entire corny catalog of torch songs and power ballads by Air Supply.
Naomi Salman, Issue #4 Prose Author:
“Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd
What it says on the tin. I really adore this song because it can apply to any sort of love—star-crossed love, love that’s just ended, love that might start, love that just needs to get its head out of its own ass.
“Drunk in Love,” Beyoncé
YES I do have a “getting it on” song, and it’s… “Drunk In Love” by Beyoncé. It’s pure sex.
Sarah Winifred Searle, Issue #4 Backup Comic Writer/Artist
“Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun,” Gaelynn Lea
Bittersweet, cathartic song for when you’re in love and you’re in it for the long haul but you know, relationships are damn hard work.