Review by Dave King
Script and Art by David Leach
Script Editing by Scott Gray
Lettering by Peri Godbold
Published by Ian Hine and Dead Universe Publishing
One of the pleasures of having been a comic book creator, heavily involved in the British comics scene, is that I’m still friends with many of the people working in that industry. As a result of this, I was recently given a preview of a brand new, self-published book and I’m happy to share it with interested parties here.
David Leach Conquers the Universe # 2 continues the adventures of the eponymous hero doing what he does best: being heroic, wandering off into existential tangents, making cheap fart jokes and conquering the universe (um… the clue is in the title, right?) all told with that voice that only British humour comics seem to manage.
The story this time around involves space stations in peril, musings on writing sit-coms, a genuinely hilarious chase scene that brings in what feels like every physical gag in the book and the hero’s introduction to (presumably) his future wife.
If that last part sounds a bit prescient, it’s because what makes this series more unique is that the comic is autobiographical. Sort of. The writer, artist, letterer and colourist is none other than David Leach. Yes, the same David Leach who saves the world and conquers the universe (… still not spoiling the story since it’s in the title). Or is it? How much of this is true, how much is fictional? There’s some fun to be had in figuring that out, though I must say that in my memory of the ‘real’ David Leach (and maybe that’s the point… IS there a real David Leach?), he looks more like Jurassic Park/Seinfeld’s Wayne Knight than the chiseled hunk of the comics. Still, that does look rather like David’s wife in this issue, so…
If you’re looking for something different from your comic books, other than men in tights and underpants, then look no further. Though if we’re lucky David Leach will be seen wearing underpants in Issue 3.
I mean the real David Leach, of course. Or do I…?
• Mr Leach is currently working for Titan as an editor. You can find him on Twitter here. Along with current titles such as Psycho Gran, and his strip for Moose Kids Comic, you can find his work in past books like Toxic’s anarchic gore ridden The Driver or spectacularly mental The Dinner Ladies From Hell.
• You can find the publishers Dead Universe over on Facebook. Pop into their store in Aylesbury if you are local at 25a Friars Square, Aylesbury HP20 2SP, or track them down on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeadUniverse
• Read Antony Esmond’s review of David Leach Conquers the Universe #1
This review was brought to you by animation director, producer, writer, associate professor and bon viveur Dave King can be found on Twitter @daverking . He is the Creative Director at Raindog Studios in Norway: www.raindog.no who make animated films and motion graphics in a wide range of styles.