The comic review was meant to be weekly, but events last week conspired against me.
(Those same events also meant that I wasn’t able to pick up any comics last weekend, so there wouldn’t have been anything to review this week anyway.)
So, to business.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, most of the British comics of my childhood are gone. Only the Beano, the Dandy, 2000AD (complete with now anachronistic title) and Commando remain. Whizzer and Chips, Buster, the Topper and Victor are all gone. Even Roy of the Rovers is no more.
But there are still a lot of British comics creators. And most of them produce work for the American comic market. Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman are probably the most prominent. But there are others.
One of them is Paul Cornell. His most widely recognised work is probably for Dr Who. (He did wrote the story with the scarecrows.)
But he also wrote the now cancelled Captain Britain series, the last instalment of which was nominated for a Hugo (sci fi’s Oscars).
And now he’s writing Knight and Squire.
As is probably apparent, they’re the British Batman and Robin. Created in 1951 for one Batman comic and not much done with them since.
Until recently, when current Batman writer and Scot Grant Morrison revived them.
But it’s Cornell who’s writing their own comic and its very, very British – to an almost whimsical degree.
Knight and Squire’s real names are Cyril and Beryl. The entrance to their lair is through a garden shed. They face off against fascist morris dancers.
There’s even a section at the end of each comic to explain all the British stuff for the American readers.
Is it all too much? It’s certainly not crude stereotyping (all too common in comics) and some of the nods to British popular culture are very pleasing. But one does also get the feeling that the whimsy gets in the way of the story. Or is that British too?