By Martin Millar & Simon Fraser (Slab-O-Concrete)
Back in the 1990’s when British comics were still vibrant, active and politically conscious, creators were still able to inject a little levity and whimsy into the mix. This gem from the sadly missed Slab-O-Concrete operation collected an esoteric little miniseries published by Acme Comics and Dark Horse featuring characters from novels by author Martin Millar, illustrated by Simon Fraser. So much for the convoluted pedigree.
What’s it about? How long have you got? Let’s just say that it’s set mostly in Brixton in the aforementioned early 1990’s, although there are also trips to the countryside, distant planets, various Heavens and of course Nirvana. Squatters Lux the Poet, Alby Starvation and Ruby live upstairs from the World’s Greatest Master of I Ching, who plans to break into Nirvana because he’s fed up with the slow reincarnation/gradual improvement method. Ruby is agitating to become head of the Squatters Co-Operative, Lux can’t understand why Pearl the Lesbian doesn’t love him, and poor, paranoid Alby is terrified the drug addicts will steal his comic collection. Everybody is fed up with the benefits office stopping their giros until they all start really looking for work. Thus they are the perfect agents for the Goddess Ishtar to combat the threat to universal well-being.
This most excellent concoction combines comedy, thrills and pathos in a captivating manner. The dialogue is sharp, the characters well-defined and engaging, and the ironic surreality of living life on the breadline while cosmic forces use the most useless members of society to literally save the universe is impossible to resist. Fraser’s beautiful black and white drawing is sharp, vital and more than able to handle the staggering demands of the script, especially in regard to the gender-bending appearance of Lux, the prettiest Het-boy in London, if all the not the universes of Space-Time.
The management strongly suggests that if you have not understood any of the archaic counter-culture terms used here, or simply need to read more weird, cosmic, sweet, romantic, funny feel-good adventures that genuinely ooze charm, you should track down this book.
© 1990-1999 Martin Millar & Simon Fraser. All Rights Reserved.