Review by Peter Duncan
Fresh from a starring role in the first issue of The 77, the TechnoFreak, team of John Charles, Barry May and Tom Newell are back with a third issue of their funny, irreverent, and sexy comic. Technofreak tells the story of the Jon Sherlock detective agency – and is a throwback to the attitude of 1990s-era Marvel UK titles, and some of the better aspects of 2000AD of the time.
Introduced by Maurice the Talking Cat, the plot, credited to editor/colourist, John Charles and scripter, Barry May, involves, clones, kidnapping and “Hot Japanese Girls” and provides a great framework for May’s fast moving and pithy script. A script that delivers great gags and pithy dialogue; there is real energy to the writing, and the rhythm and momentum of the story is maintained throughout, even when we go into an exposition phase.
Tom Newell’s artwork matches the dynamism of the script. His character design is flawless and his layouts thoughtful. He often communicates as much about the personality of the various characters through the poses and costumes he selects for them as is given away by the dialogue. Tom knows how to tell a story but there are some great set pieces where he plays off and adds to the script. Oh, and watch out for the extra gags packed into his backgrounds some time…
Editor John Charles, is also the colourist on the comic and he’s selected a brash eye-popping palette that works perfectly in the context of the book. Taken together. this is a great package, produced by a great team.
Technofreak isn’t groundbreaking, it isn’t something that needs deep analytical thought to pick out complex philosophical themes or statements on the ills of society. It’s a comic that reminds us that sometimes we just need to have some fun and, boy, does it deliver on that?
Nostalgia is the order of the day for many comics fans, and Technofreak delivers on that. Everything about the package recalls the heady days of the Marvel UK invasion of the US with titles like Death’s Head II and Motormouth. We even get a page of letters and another for “Bullpen Bulletins,” giving this even more of a feel of an old Marvel Comic as we play – spot the inspiration on some of the background characters.
But mainly, this is just a great-looking comic with a plot that will keep readers entertained and laughing throughout and delivers more attitude and genuine wit than I’ve seen anywhere else for quite some time. Roll on Issue Four!
• Check out Sunday Lunch Comics at www.sundaylunchcomics.com
• Follow John Charles on Twitter @johncharlesart