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St. Colin And The Dragon

St. Colin And The Dragon

St. Colin And The Dragon back

Philippa Rice


Page 45 Review by Stephen

“My Clopsy got burnt!”

Wheezing myself into extinction over that line, I’m still salty-eyed with laughter. Clopsy, by the way, is one of the many sturdy steeds issued to the King’s chump champions including MY CARDBOARD LIFE’s own Colin. There’s Stormcloud, Captain, Bully, Dynamite and wedding-cake-coloured Clopsy who makes My Little Pony look like a Shire on steroids.

Another comicbook collage created from cardboard, variously patterned paper, cloth, gold/silver foil and – I don’t know – Wheetabix or something, this is Philippa’s first relatively long-form foray into her unique brand of cut-and-paste comedy and, liberated from the need for a succession of instant punchilines, it is on fire! Err, as is everything and everyone else here.

A dragon’s egg has descended from the heavens like a comet ‘cross the sky, and we know how well that omen bodes. Acutely aware of how badly a bad-breathed, bad-tempered dragon’s presence can wreak havoc with property values – along with the properties themselves – the local wizard / wise man recommends treating it like gold for a year, feeding it up so it’ll then fly away:

“Food for dragons:

Not suitable:
Boiled egss
Chewing gum”

Dutifully our peasants bring the beaming beastie sheep after fluffy white sheep and our dragon is delighted! Absolutely delighted! It loves sheep. But after four seasons pass, there are no sign of wings and the dragon is gutted when no longer wanted and doesn’t react well to eviction. It’s time to teach the world to singe; and you can forget the perfect harmony.

That, then, is merely the premise. What follows is a life-lesson about making friends, playing nice, and appreciating what you’ve got while you’ve got it. All of which potentially saccharine sentiments are undercut beautifully by Philippa’s uncontrollable mischief whilst enhanced by an exuberance that takes it beyond all measurable levels of cute. It’s too, too funny, and there will be all manner of unexpected metamorphoses as Cardboard Colin finally takes charge and actually gets a result. Well, several results.

As to the craft involved – the pageant of paper-play – that in itself is what will bring so many smiles. The original dragon’s egg is a work of wonder. I think it’s the wit with which Rice has interpreted what’s in her head using the full potential of materials repurposed for her vision, and I love the way the gaily coloured king dances across the page to his knights, like Rick Mayall in Black Adder II only way camper still and almost in jim-jams.

Bonuses include a ‘Celebrity Clopsy’ one-page short and four alternative covers. Also: Philippa’s signature on each and every copy. The punchline, by the way, is right up there with ASTERIOS POLYP’s. You’ll see what I mean when you get there.
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