THE GEE BEES: THE GRAND TOUR
Steven D. Quirke’s kooky web comic The Gee Bees is still very much in its infancy stages, with only six issues to its name. The Grand Tour collects up all the pages together in trade paperback for the first time and introduces its disparate cast of characters.
The story sees Gideon Black and his assistant Katrina, factotums of The Foundation, bumble through time and space clashing with the nefarious Maximilian and his army of grotesques. There’s various permutations of the characters in numerous settings, from Harlem to Nazi-occupied Paris. Intriguing, yes, but if any of this rings a bell it’s because Matt Fraction has been there and done it with his sprawling Casanova series. What’s more, he did it with aplomb, with smarts, weirdness and a wit that bordered on controversial.
Kel Winser’s art has an anarchic quality to it, made up of strange proportions and muted colour tones conjuring D'Israeli’s more chaotic work. The writing, while often evoking Great British cynicism, is often clunky, with the humour falling flat. The references are frivolous and the smart aleck footnotes are too prevalent to be either effective or engaging. It’s distinctly English, but it’s as if it was filtered through an American sitcom first and beamed back over to Blighty.
It’s a promising start, one which needs to figure a new direction to really differentiate itself from its contemporaries. With The Grand Tour as their mission statement, spacetime’s the limit.
INFO: THE GEE BEES: THE GRAND TOUR / AUTHOR: STEVEN D. QUIRKE / ARTIST: KEL WINSER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW