Jinx Freeze

By Hurk (Avery Hill Publishing)
ISBN: 978-1-910395-59-2 (TPB)

Win’s Christmas Gift Recommendation: A Cunning Conundrum of Cartoon Classicism … 8/10

Human beings are powerfully prone to the potent seductions of the past. Nostalgia used to be classed as a sickness. Go’wan, look it up, I dares ya…

Even more overwhelming in some folk – usually the most creative sorts – is a Puckish drive to celebrate the past through good-natured mockery and clever spoofing: what the beloved Kenneth Williams referred to as “messing about”…

Pictorially active since the turn of the century – this one, just to be clear – (Lord) Hurk is local born and bred – literally and geographically to me but culturally and societally to anybody growing up British in the last sixty years and reared on too much television, tabloid publishing and comics. He and has contributed to comics projects all over the globe. Now that your interests are piqued, you might want to check out 2016’s Ready for Pop, and work done for The Fancy Butcher, The Comix Reader, Italy’s Puck, Slovenia’s Stripburger, Off Life, Your Days Are Numbered, Hive, and The Mammoth Book of Skulls.

Jinx Freeze is his first full-colour solo vehicle, channelling his wildly freewheeling targeted whimsy in the manner of Dan Clowes and Peter Bagge, whilst referencing such outré past entertainments as Scales of Justice, Prisoner: Cellblock H and Emergency Ward 10, lost minor “celebrities” such as Thora Hird, Parsley the Lion and Edgar Lustgarten!, fab and groovy movies, arcane music references and a wealth of cartooning styles.

The entire farrago is delivered in devilishly enticing micro-instalments patterned on the varied pages of British anthology comics like Leo Baxendale and Ken Reid-era Smash! and Pow! Hurk tracks the progress of a broad and bizarre cast of good guys, bad guys, femme fatales, mad scientists and other oddly-familiar brand-new archetypes in a seditiously wry Pop Culture medley enrobed in and masquerading as a cunning murder mystery.

Somewhere in time there is chaos on the plutocratic playground of the Riviera. A portion of a golden statue on loan from the prestigious Gurgleheim Museum has been shamefully pilfered, sparking a manic race to recover it embroiling all manner of unique individuals on every side of the Law. As the chase unfolds the scenario expands into psychedelic psychodrama amidst the baffling environs of The Great Exhibition of 11851 where alien ploys, criminal blags and sinister, uncanny enigmas entwine and overlap for frontrunners Marge Large, Riviera Chief of Police Dick Bosse, Modern Tahzrn, King Gianthead Fighter Policeman 0.X, The Thor Gang Four, King of Poetry, Danny Kildare the Space Priest and less reliable champions: all competitively hunting for the prize and glory…

A delightful “easter-egg”-laden tribute to the good old days, pirated from television, print media and blurred memories, this is a sublimely entertaining romp you must not miss.
© Hurk, 2021.