In Review: Harker 11

The Plot: Another body has been discovered, but the killer has been careless. DCI Harker makes his move, determined to expose the murderer and take him in. But never mind all that! The Goths are three goals down and only Critchley can save the day! Goal!!!

The Review: It’s no small achievement for a small, independent comic publisher – especially a small, independent British comic publisher – to maintain a monthly schedule on a US-style comic book. That Ariel Press, headed by Roger Gibson and Vince Danks, have succeeded in doing this for some time now with detective tale Harker is a testament to their dedicated professionalism.

That Harker continues to entertain, at present with a murder mystery set in a hotel in Whitby, and DCI Harker’s gruff, grumbling character still continues to entertain as he tracks down the offender at a football match is however, the larger of the achievements of his creators. This is a comic book crying out for more attention; for an Eagle Award; and for the obligatory TV series pick up.

Revealing the murderer in a detective series often descends into Agatha Christie parlour room revelation – a device no doubt born of the stage than the demands of a novel or other medium, like comics – and can be quite boring in delivery. Gibson avoids the trap by setting most of this issue at a football match, where his deputy, Critchley, is seconded to play for The Goths as they battle the local newspaper for victory. 

As Harker confronts the murderer, Critchley gets to be Roy Race and enjoys every minute – and artist Vince Danks again shows off his prestigious skills as the tale unfolds.

Harker is a joyous independent title and fully deserves support. Roger and Vince have been plugging away with various comic titles at Ariel Press for years, promoting them at every comic show they can afford to get to – but Harker is by far their most accomplished series to date. Recommended…

Publication Date : February 2010
Format : Standard comic book size. 24 pages, full colour cover/BW interior
Price : £1.95 (including postage and packing)
Download Price : £1.00

Take me to the store so I can buy it!

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

Categories: British Comics

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