Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2005
By: Steve Saville
Writer(s): Edwards Berridge
Artist(s): Bryan Coyle
Publishers: Death Camp Jones (Self Published)
Price: £2 plus 50 p P&P(UK)
If comics like Lion, Hotspur, Scorcher, and [dare we say it] Bunty mean something to you. If the mere mention of these classic British comic titles cause floods of warm nostalgia to flow over you then Action Stations could be just the comic for you. Especially if you yearn to revisit the days of your youth when civilization was measured by the amount of Commonwealth red visible on a world map. You see Action Stations is a spoof of those great British comics from the 60's and 70's and if you were brought up reading those comics and if you have read and admired Viz then this comic will make perfect sense. If you have not, then this comic may not be your, cup of tea.
Action Stations delightfully parodies the sometimes less than subtle xenophobic and jingoistic elements present in many of those earlier comics, and it does it with considerable skill. The art work is often basic and, in places, even clumsy but the writing is a delight.
This particular edition consists of six separate stories.
Pony School, young girls in school uniforms and an oriental manservant "I am not a pig dog. I am Jimmy Chong," track the evil Soviet major who is hell bent of destroying the world, Just how many fantasies can be crammed into a single story?
Wild West Wendy, female teenage Baptist preacher brings "Godliness" to the wild west, and yes there are hangings.
Misty, the Teen Detective, a prose story that is surprisingly well written, but bought down to a wonderfully trashy level thanks to the strong lesbian theme that runs throughout.
The White Saumurai, a particularly racist little romp.
secret Agent Skipper. If I say Roy of the Rovers saves Britain, and if this makes sense to you then you will enjoy this story. Even more so if you found the David Beckham and Alex Fergusson changing room bust up an important world event.
Destroy all Japs parodies the Battle style comics and pits the brave and true British soldiers against the evil Japs.
I am sure you are starting to get the picture. By now you are wither smiling with recognition or simply confused. If you are in the later camp then dont bother with this comic as you are not the intended audience.
The strongest aspect of Action Stations is the writing. It is tight and very funny, especially in the Letters Page, which is very, very funny. I repeat that it is intended for a specific audience with a specific background. If you are in that category then Action Stations is a great read if not, well that's what you get for not being a member of the British Empire.
In a Word: Spiffing.
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