COMIC REVIEW: STORM / AUTHOR: TIM MINCHIN / ARTISTS: DC TURNER, TRACY KING / PUBLISHER: ORION / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Starting life as a spoken word piece Tim Minchin’s STORM has had a cunning second life as a cartoon short, animated by DC Turner and Tracy King, racking up well in excess of 3 million views. It was inevitable it would find itself in comic strip form sooner or later.
Neil Gaiman provides a typically witty foreword adding credence to STORM’s pop culture phenomena. Minchin’s own introduction sheds light on the genesis and composition of the poem, its more subtle origins, convoluted length and how it was whittled down into the tightly-honed bomb of a diatribe it remains.
Put pure and plainly, STORM is a fictional dialogue at dinner party between a rational, level-headed humanist (Tim Minchin’s avatar) and the eponymous Storm, who has a blinding flair for spiritualism in any shape or form. Told in clever rhymes and funny word play, it’s the argument between science and new age.
Turner and King’s artwork is all angles and points, Picasso by way of Bryan Lee O'Malley’s SCOTT PILGRIM series. Though it was never serialised in typical comic book form, there are guest mock-covers at the back of the book that put a different stylistic spin on the characters.
There’s multiple ways to read the poem, whether it’s swiftly flicking through the pages, spitting out the words as quickly as you can read them; dwelling over each panel, absorbing the stylised artwork, or reading in time with the YouTube animation. Whichever way you choose, it’s a razor sharp satire that’s funnier the second time around than the first. But watch out, there may yet be another way to recycle the idea.