Publisher: Braw Books
The Book: A fit-to-burst almanac of raw and rare pop-aware comic strip nourishment! Featuring a diverse yet complimentary array of art styles and content varying from laugh out loud social satire to portals into mysterious worlds where the uncanny and downright daft meet, brought to you by a never-to-be-repeated conclave of creatives ranging from the unknown to the cult to the latently world famous!
The Review: Khaki Shorts, published between 1999 – 2011, was a long-running, small press Glasgow-based comic of humour and intrigue that its creators claim, “secretly defined a decade”. It was certainly as daft and funny title, with several famous names in its line up that we plugged a few times during its run, and I’m pleased to report that Braw Books recently released a collection – The Khollected Khaki Shorts.
Edited by Rob Miller and Adam Smith, it’s a definitive “best of” the 28 issues of Khaki Shorts, featuring all the characters you’ll remember (and if you don’t, then why not find out who they are…) – Boy Mindless (above), Sad Lad, Star Trudge, Lads Together, Apocalypse Now & Then, Elexender Browne, Jimmy Hendrix, Lads Together, Night Bus Tales, Men Out of Time, A Cartoonist and His Cat and a whole host of others.
This long–awaited jam-packed 220-page collection is the condensed cream of all 28 issues featuring work by Tolywoly, Neil Bratchpiece, Martin Smith, John Miller, Larned Justin, Frank Quitely, Shug ’90, Noah Van Sciver and Iain D. Smith.
Be warned – there’s plenty of politically incorrect and foul-mouthed humour to enjoy, with many a nod to a certain Scottish publisher’s better known characters, just like VIZ, and plenty of VIZ-style humour, to boot. As with the original edition, I can’t help but feel that many of the strips would have benefitted from publication at a larger size, but then again, the idea of some of the human anatomy on display at A4 rather than A5 might just damage readers brains. (Glamour Girl from “Redtop” springs to mind here).
This collection offers plenty to enjoy from the world of contemporary underground comics and some, perhaps, that just leaves you feeling more than a trifle bemused. Overall, though, it’s frenetic, bonkers and often asinine stuff and a madcap collection like this will hopefully give it more opportunity to shine than its original ‘floppy’ format had given its limited distribution.
Priced at just £9.99, if you like your humour daft, scurrilous and definitely barbed, then give this collection a try.
• Purchase The Khollected Khaki Shorts online here: www.brawbooks.co.uk/ewc
All art © 2015 respective creators
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.