Newstreet versus The Accelerati
Written by Matthew Craig
Art by Steve Roberts
Lettering fonts courtesy of blambot.com
Published by WaterCooler Comix
The Story: A round the world ticket in his mother’s will took shy forensic IT specialist Rajesh Ramani to all four corners of the globe, but it was the promise he made by her hospital bedside that brought him home again. Using quick wit, kit-bashed technology and kung-fu skills to protect the innocent, Rajesh Ramani is Newstreet, Birmingham’s brightest superhero. But above else, he’s just a guy trying to keep a promise: to look after his Dad, to find a nice girl, and to live a life full of adventure. Two out of three ain’t bad…
The Preview: You know how it is when you meet that one person. She seems perfect for you. You really click and you start daydreaming of what might happen. But there’s a problem. They might be seeing one of your friends or live miles away or any number of other problems. What I have never encountered is – are they in fact a kung-fu super villain?
What Newstreet versus The Accelerati does is take the Batman/Catwoman or Spider-Man/Black Cat trope and give it a sarcastic Midlands twist (but with less cats, obviously).
I loved the humour in this book. It reacts to extraordinary situations with English calm and questions about “finding new girlfriends” or “Do you know Batman?” From Page One, the dialogue draws you in when you realise that here is a superhero who names himself after Birmingham’s New Street train station.
Matthew sent me an email telling why this rather unusual transport hub was the inspiration for his character.
“As with my earlier superhero comics, Trouble Bruin, Brom of the Cornovii and Bostin Heroes, NewStreet is set in Birmingham because, as someone from the wilds of Telford, Brum always felt a bit like Shangri-La. But when I first had the idea to write comics, I found myself standing at the back of New Street Station, watching them build the new Bull Ring shopping centre, and through all the cranes and excavation and turmoil, the famous Rotunda stood out as both icon and inspiration. Steady and proud. Like a superhero.
“I mean, you probably had to be there.”
Tongue is firmly planted in cheek and from that point on it doesn’t let up. Poking at you and laughing along with you. Staring right down the barrel of the camera and telling you not to take comics quite so seriously.
“… I call this one the Ba-Zinger!”
The black and white art style packs the page with panels and images. It’s got a touch of the early 1980s black and white boom with some early TMNT, Radioactive Blackbelt Hamsters and co. – but also manages the frenetic action of a Scott Pilgrim, for example.
• You can find Steve Roberts at www.fingerscrossedcomic.com
Many thanks for reading.