Comic Review: Stiffs / The Pride

PrintE-mail Written by Ian Mat Sunday, 08 May 2011

Comic Book Reviews


Stiffs/The Pride

Writers: Drew Davies, PJ Montgomery, Joseph Glass.

Artist: Gavin Mitchell, Joshua Smith, Marc Ellerby.

Publisher: Self-published.

Out now.


The zombie zeitgeist continues to breathe life into itself when the undead go up against their most unlikely protagonists to date: the Welsh.

In the first half of this double comic, indie writers and Valley boys Davies, Montgomery and Glass have reimagined their Rhondda stomping ground as a place where monkeys talk up a blue streak and it is not unusual to see eviscerated flesh eaters roaming at night. Which can be a bit of a pain when all you want to do is drink at the Pick & Shovel. Who said nights in the Valleys were dead?



Enter crowbar-swinging Don Daniels and foul-mouthed simian Kenny. The camo-garbed call centre worker spends his nights slaying zombies, literally with a monkey on his back. While out on patrol the pair reluctantly check out an isolated house in the middle of nowhere to find flesh-eating squatters have scoffed up the inhabitants.


This 12-page instalment is the first of the five-part ‘The Apocalypse Party’ storyline and the character’s banter would not be out of place on such Welsh inspirations as Twin Town or Gavin & Stacey. Interrupting the zombie-killing drama is a scene in the pub where Don’s supporting cast of mates have gathered. The air is thick not with post-smoking ban cigarette smoke but with carefree insults like “knob” and regional dialogue like “ewe” instead of you.


Mitchell’s cartoony art smacks of early Michael Avon Oeming and he sets the pub scene quite devilishly with a customer taking a leak in the middle of the street. But his sunglasses-wearing Kenny steals the show with a combination of his relentless sniping and expressive face. The simian is also proving a hit on Twitter at the moment. Think Brian K Vaughan’s monkey Ampersand from Y: The Last Man, but with Tourette's.


Originally titled Zombie Death Squad, Stiffs is off to an impressive start with clear story-telling, good art and a natural feeling world where you don’t overly question the presence of talking monkeys and walking corpses. But with zombies hogging the limelight at the moment with Zombies vs. Robots, Cockneys vs. Zombies and The Walking Dead TV show now on Channel 5, you have to ask: is there still mileage in the genre for the story to finish or will zombies be out and vampires in when the next Twilight film is released?


Not so much the JLA now but the JLGBT with The Pride, arguably the world’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual super group.


Glass rounds off the book’s final eight pages with three short vignettes. Each is on a different member of the team and the first, ‘It Gets Better’, is the lengthier one and focuses on the gay Superman-esque icon that is FabMan – Tomorrow’s Fabulous Man, Today – who swoops in to save a suicidal teenage boy whose sexuality is about to be outed. The flamboyant hero does this not with a dramatic rescue but with sensible advice and telephone numbers for counselling.  We then get the secret origins of the Wolverine-esque White Trash and the crime-busting vigilante Wolf.


Glass and company’s effort to directly tackle what is considered a touchy subject by the mainstream publishers is commendable. To date we have had gay members of teams like Apollo and The Midnighter in The Authority but never a dedicated gay superhero team.


‘It Gets Better’ walks a tightrope above a vat of sugary melancholy but, without spoiling the ending, grounds itself quite squarely without coming across as morally preachy.


However, eight pages is not enough to introduce an ensemble cast of super heroes. The full team may be seen on the cover, but who they are and what they do is never revealed inside. Even FabMan’s name is missing from his own six-page tale. Only dedicated readers are going to check the comic’s Facebook page to find it out.


The art is big and bold, which suits its subject nicely, and has that Saturday morning cartoon feel to it, contrasting nicely with the night-time zombie thriller Stiffs.


Stiffs/The Pride costs £4, plus postage, from http://glassgears.blogspot.com


Suggested Articles:
It’s always been a big regret for fans that Christopher Eccleston made just 12 episodes as the nin
While Tom Cruise is leading a new Universal screen version of The Mummy for 2017, Hammer have duste
You’ve read H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, seen the film and TV versions, got Jeff Wayne’s
Issue three of Paul Cornell’s charming evocation of 1970s Doctor Who, starring the flamboyant Jon
scroll back to top

Comments  

 
0 #2 jim 2011-05-17 22:55
The Pride is so refreshingly different I can't help but be warmed by it.
Quote
 
 
+1 #1 Joe Glass 2011-05-16 21:15
Thanks, guys! Lovely review.

Also, I just wanted to say that anyone interested in helping The Pride hit the shelves on time can do so by investing in the comic at Crowdfunder: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/investment/the-pride-188

All money raised goes to paying the artists involved, and it's a neat way of preordering your copies and being sure you get them.

If the twitter followers of Starburst are anything to go buy, just half of you all investing to minimum amount will get us to target, so please help out a small, indie comic make a big splash!

Thanks!
Quote
 

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Comic Book Reviews

THE MUMMY #3 20 January 2017

DOCTOR WHO: THE NINTH DOCTOR VOL. 2 15 January 2017

DEFENDER 28 December 2016

CADET ANDERSON – TEENAGE KYX 28 December 2016

THE MUMMY: PALIMPSEST #2 22 December 2016

THE COMPLETE SCARLET TRACES VOLUME ONE 17 December 2016

GRAVE SURPRISE 13 December 2016

DOCTOR WHO: THE HERALDS OF DESTRUCTION #3 07 December 2016

SLAUGHTERHOUSE FARM 1 - 3 20 November 2016

THE MUMMY: PALIMPSEST #1 14 November 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

      
      
 
 
 
 
 
...
 
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144