Issue 5 of the brilliant 100% Biodegradable, a 30-page colour and black and white bi-monthly digital science fiction comics anthology, is bursting with self contained strips, dragged kicking and screaming from some of the most deranged minds working in the UK comics industry today. There are some great strips, with fine art in particular from Dave Thomson and Graeme Neil Reid in the issue.
The strip line up this issue is as follows…
• “The Thing From Another Postcode” by Dave Roberts (Futurequake, Something Wicked) and Dave Thomson (Psychedelic Journal Of Time Travel, Dr WTF?)
Peter Elvis Twigs receives a remote control and instruction guide for planet Earth from an intergalactic delivery man, and begins to fantasise about all the good things he could do for humanity and, more importantly, himself.
Both Daves deliver a fine “Future Shock” tale (and I think it would have made a great “Future Shock”) with a great twist and superb art. Dave Thomson’s art is hugely accomplished.
• “Job For Life” by David Hailwood (Toxic, Strip Magazine, SPOD! Oddities From Space) and Brett Burbridge
Jake Brikk, pizza delivery boy extraordinaire, has 30 seconds to make his pizza delivery; if he fails, the entire delivery business will be handed to the customer and Jake’ll be out of a job. Can’t have that – Jake loves his job with psychotic devotion.
A fun action story with some grisly deaths for aliens, told in David’s inimitable style. Another twisty ending!
• “The Golem Rises” by Mister Roberts and Simon Mackie (Hallowscream, Temple Showcase)
Something is pulverising people, defiling corpses… leaving one helluva mess. Fortunately, detective Ballard has an outlandish theory that just might make sense of it all.
An erudite and funny tale, deftly homaging the best of 1950s and early 1960s British horror films. Simon Mackie’s art has a humorous style that works to good effect on this and I hope we’ll see more of detective Ballard… I can see him gaining a following.
• “Marren Kane” by David Hailwood and Tony Suleri (Slumdroid, Cosmogenesis, Bulletproof)
Dragged against his will into the cities sewer systems by a deranged cult of partially sighted cyclops worshippers, mutant superfreak Marren Kane must face his deadliest enemy yet; a gigantic amorous squid!
If you’ve followed downthetubes for any length of time you’ll know I’m a fan of the impossibly scratchy but glorious storytelling Tony Suleri puts into his work, and he’s on form with this (although I would argue that as Marren does his worse it’s not completely clear at first just what he’s doing to try to dispatch the beastie in this funny story. Again, Marren Kane is something of a staple to 100% Biodegradable – and long may he be so.
• “I Married A Creature From Outer Space” by Paul H. Birch (Creepy Koffy Movie Time, Bulletproof, Toxic) and Mats Engesten (Brainstorm Comics, Atlantis Studios)
A troubled couple go to a marriage guidance counsellor to sort out their relationship problems. Oh, how Mrs Twinkle rues the day that she married a scrawny little maggot of a man from Mars!
Never mind the B-movie plot – the script is both clever and fun (even if the pay off is a little predictable) and, art wise, Mats work suits the story perfectly. A gem.
• “First Impressions” by Graeme Neil Reid (Judge Dredd, 2000AD, Meanwhile)
Peaceful alien explorers land on Earth and attempt to make contact with its inhabitance. Just one slight problem…it’s 85,000,000 B.C. and dinosaurs rule the planet!
Ah. space travel… it’s all limited and the distances between planets can cause all manner of havoc… as Graeme deftly explains in a story you could use to explain to anyone the limitations of the speed of light. Great art, too, especially the dinosaur!
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.