We Only Find Them When They're Eight Bells Dead

Unlike normal chiming clocks, the strikes of a ship's bell do not match the number of the hour. Instead, there are eight bells, one for each half-hour of a four-hour watch. In the age of sailing, watches were timed with a 30-minute hourglass. Bells would be struck every time the glass was turned, and in a pattern of pairs for easier counting, with any odd bells at the end of the sequence.

Traditionally "Eight bells" signifies the times of midnight, 4am, 8am, noon, 4pm, 8pm and midnight again. But when a sailor has died he or she can be honoured with the sounding of eight bells; meaning "end of the watch". The term "eight bells" can also be used in an obituary, as a nautical euphemism for being finished. In fiction, When Eight Bells Toll is a novel by Alistair MacLean from 1966, combining spy and detective novels, set amongst terrain of western Scotland. The title signifies midnight…

We Only Find Them When They're Eight Bells Dead

It's also something that seems to have stirred something in Al Ewing. He picked up on the phrase used in Marvel Mystery Comics #1 back in 1938 with The Human Torch. And used it that panel as an intro image and to title the first chapter in Marvel Comics #1000, eighty years later, in 2018.

We Only Find Them When They're Eight Bells Dead

It signifies the speaker is a Naval man – and that those who he speak to share a similar background. But it is also a reference to death. And so it is in the opening issue of We Only Find Them When They're Dead by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo.

We Only Find Them When They're Eight Bells Dead

It means noon here, and it adds to the nautical aspects of the space ships. It's not uncommon for space ships to be referred to in navy terms, Star Trek is the most famous example of that. But We Only Find Them When They're Dead are using this terminology to take this to another level, cap'n. "Eight bells and all's well" to end a nautical watch…

We Only Find Them When They're Eight Bells Dead

Although these are more like something between whaling tankers and the gold rush… what if Moby Dick began with Ahab having found his whale, and building a petfood factory on top of him? Talking of gold rushes, the second printing is sold out from Boom and it's gone to a third already… out on September 30th, 2020, a week after the second printing on September 23rd.

WE ONLY FIND THEM WHEN THEYRE DEAD #1 3RD PTG
BOOM! STUDIOS
JUL200871
(W) Al Ewing (A/CA) Simone Di Meo
* For fans of Decorum and Something is Killing the Children comes a new sci-fi epic from Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk) and Simone Di Meo (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) on the edge of space where humanity is harvesting the corpses of giant alien gods to survive.
* No one has ever seen a living god, but Captain Malik is obsessed with being the first.
* Captain Malik and the crew of the Vihaan II harvest the only resources that matter from the giant corpses of alien gods found on the edge of human space. While other autopsy ships race to salvage the meat, minerals, and metals that sustain the human race, Malik sees an opportunity to finally break free from this system.
* But Malik's obsession with the gods will push his crew into the darkest reaches of space, bringing them face to face with a threat unlike anything they've ever imagined – unless the rogue agent on their trail can stop them first…  SRP: $3.99

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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