Any comic by Laura Howell is always fun and entertaining, whether it's Les Pretend in The Beano or her own creations. Laura's latest book, The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert and Sullivan is a fine collection of her creator-owned strips of the Victorian composers and their secret life as defenders of the realm. Yes, that's what they did apparently. Who knew?
The strips in the book are, as Laura tells us, "re-drawn versions of very sketchy and loosely-scripted strips dating from 2001 to 2006". The originals were funny and these re-crafted ones are even funnier. The beauty of comics is that anything can happen, and in these pages it certainly does, with Gilbert and Sullivan having strange and surreal escapades. It won the Best Comic Award at the International Manga and Aninie Festival, and whether you love or hate Manga you should enjoy this as it both embraces and spoofs the Manga styles in equal measure. There are also elements of traditional British comics in there too of course, as one would expect with Laura's background in comics, but more than anything this is distinctly Laura Howell doing things her own way, and it's brilliant.
The book comprises 17 short stories of 2 to 6 pages in length, drawing inspiration from Gilbert and Sullivan's compositions and Victorian society. In the back, there's a Guest Art Gallery by other talented artists such as Jamie Smart, David Leach, Hunt Emerson, Woodrow Phoenix and more.
This really is a must-have book for fans of humour comics and a great addition to the swelling ranks of modern British comics.
The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert and Sullivan by Laura Howell. 76 pages, softback, published by Soaring Penguin Press and available now from their website here: