Karl “CHUBB” Stephan is currently running a crowdfunder for Mary Boys: Beefheads, featuring four fantastic-looking new stories, a campaign that’s deservedly hit target given its terrific art and storytelling.
For those who came in late, the Mary Boys are quadruplets – teenage, lager-guzzling Knights Templar stomping a path of righteous salvation through their backwater English town, cleansing it of its many social evils to avoid an impending biblical apocalypse.
“This is a new project written and drawn by me,” Karl explains. “It contains four self-contained stories featuring the eponymous Mary Boys and their curator, the Catholic priest, Father Michael Parrish.”
Karl hit the ground running (and stomping) with his first Mary Boys project back in 2019, which I raved about then, and, some two years on, his work just gets better and better – and is well worth your attention. It’s a campaign that’s already smashed its modest initial target, and deservedly so!
Born with a rare genetic condition that causes enlarged hands and feet, distorted facial features and prevents sufferers from growing any body hair, the Mary Boys condition also affects the way they metabolise alcohol, so drinking beer gives them almost superhuman strength and endurance – yet does nothing for their charm nor grace!
Watch gangsters, pimps, football hooligans and other deserving low-lives and weirdos getting savagely trampled under size 16 Doc Martens in this new bumper collection of self-contained Mary Boys stories, drawn in a style influenced by the likes of Jack Davis, Will Eisner and Wally Wood, and written with an uncompromising and utterly irreverent punk attitude that made the first two Mary Boys comics (available to buy on this campaign) such a huge hit with readers.
Writer and artist Karl Stephan is perhaps best known for his graphic novel Sparko (published by Slave Labor Graphics) and Mary Boys: Primal Wounds (self-published after being successfully funded on Indiegogo and published under his own Proper Comics imprint).
The four stories featured in this volume are “The Liturgy”, in which Father Parrish and the Boys lead a procession to the river to keep a small flame of hope alive amongst Basham’s destitute by whatever means necessary; “ASBOcon”, in which the Boys attend Basham’s first ever comic book convention, but find a distinct lack of true believers; “A Special Day”, set during football season and Basham’s hooligans are prepared to pull every dirty trick in the book to help the home side win Sunday’s match, but they soon find that they aren’t the only ones planning shenanigans; and “Dinky Jones is Dead”, a story centring on the aftermath of the death of a member of one of Basham’s most notorious crime families.
All the family want now is a nice Catholic burial. Shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Apart from the hard copy comic, there are several perks on offer for fans, including the highly acclaimed comics from the previous Mary Boys campaign (you don’t need to have read the first campaign’s comics to enjoy these new stories, though); a Beefheads! Companion, featuring sketches and notes on how the book was made; art prints, embroidered patches and original art to be had.
Karl reckons The Mary Boys: Beefheads offers jet black British comedy that will appeal to fans of comics like Tank Girl, The Goon, Cerebus, TMNT, Marshall Law, Judge Dredd and TV shows like The Young Ones, Black Adder and The League of Gentlemen.
Based on the original outing, which was utterly brilliant, in my opinion, he’s not wrong. Check it out now!