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Black Out

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P. M. Buchan, Jack Fallows, Andrew Waugh, Mike Barnes, Joe Whiteford


Page 45 Review by Stephen

“Puzula. One of the nine Dukes of Hell. Corruptor of holy men and besmircher of the chaste and pure of loin. Currently the branch manager of Currys in Dewsbury.”

There are demons amongst us!

Fortunately Andrew Waugh has identified eighteen of them in ‘Framlington’s Abridged Demonology’, and named and shamed another six in ‘Miscreants & Misanthropes’ – otherwise known as the credits page. I think we can safely say they are all going to Hell including colourist Elblondino. I don’t know which of these reprobates to take to task first – probably PM Buchan.

PM Buchan wrote most of these sleazy little numbers which, read in one sitting, present a pattern in the form of the following equation: alcohol + sex = death. Death, shame and regret. Most of these tales conclude with the worst post-coital come-downs in history. The one that doesn’t, Esben & The Witch’, ends in revenge… and two deaths. Okay, the one that doesn’t, ‘The Object Of My Affection’, doesn’t conclude at all, for we are left with a “to be concluded” cliffhanger. I hope it eventually does end in death for its protagonist is a sexual control freak who objectifies women and treats them dirt. Fortunately he has a blow-up rubber doll to take it out on; unfortunately for that doll, she has been brought to life. Still, at least she gives him a good fisting first. Should have tied his wrists tighter.

So yes, this is sexually explicit; a good old-fashioned throw-back to underground comix. We don’t stock a lot of that, but Andrew Waugh’s clean contribution gave me an excuse to give it a try and see if the likes of Ivan Brunetti fans give it a go.

At least two of these tales – one about a lad on the cusp of freedom, off to university yet mindful what done in his dad was the booze – feature that age-old chasm between self-knowledge and self-guidance in the form of “I really shouldn’t have that drink” followed by “whoops, I have had that drink”. Followed by sex then death.* I think that in a former life Buchan may have been a mantis.

*One of them is followed by death then sex.