Plot Thickens #3, The

Posted: Tuesday, November 30, 2004
By: Darren Schroeder

Cover of Plot Thickens #3, The Writer(s): Gavin Burrows
Artist(s): Various
Publishers: Sofa - Armchair Comics (Self Published)
From: UK
Price: £2.50(UK)

Sometime you really can tell a book by its cover. The nice shinny cover image here shows that some care has been taken to attract the customer's eye to this anthology. I love that it has gatefolds on the covers, and it when you hold it in your hands it feels interesting and substantial somehow. These sort of things take time and money to get right, so you know you are spending your inheritance on a worthy product. What about the stories?

Art-wise, the stories collected here all show a high level of execution, with impressively detailed illustrations from Dave Alexander. Paul Petard contributes some surreal character illustration in the short Take a Chance. Rob Wells illustrates a parody of Space 1999 with an amusing cartoon style that captures the design of the sets and costume, adding in some funny faces for the characters and amusing expressions which magnify the humour of the piece.

All of the stories here seemed to have been written by Gavin Burrows, and he demonstrates a well developed sense of humour and imagination in stories. He seems most comfortable with parody, and most of the stores here take a topic such as ghosts, James Bond or TV shows and have a laugh at their expense while coming up with a new angle on them.

High ratings on my laugh-o-meter were registered in the two instalments here of Indifferent Bob, a sherif who seem able to take any occurrence in his stride thus never needing to actually do anything to stop the Indian massacres, robberies etc. that beset his town. His lackadaisical responses to the pleading of the local boy who seems fated to witness all manner of disaster are funny, reminiscent of Mick McMahon's worth on Tattered Banners. Just how Bob finds himself in space for his second story is a mystery to me, but we don't really need to know to get the joke.

This collection displays a particularly English sense of humour at work, from silly puns to alternative comedy most of which raises a laugh. The bonus of a potpourri of interesting art make it a good deal all round.

In a Word: Gamey.

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