17 Feb 2010

Graphic Perception: THOMAS WOGAN IS DEAD

By Matt C

Writer: David Hughes
Art David Hughes
Tabella £5.99/$11.95

Thomas Wogan is one of those archetypal British losers that are instantly recognisable due to their prevalence in homegrown popular culture over the years. He's the kind of unassuming guy that would go unnoticed in a crowd, but shine a spotlight on him and he becomes a unique and curious character to observe. Locked into a never-ending daily routine, his habits and hobbies are as bewildering as they are hilarious, and they're never anything less than fascinating.

The title might drop a bit of a hint about the plotline, but it's not quite as clear cut at that . Deciding - for reasons only known to him - to break his monotonous routine, Wogan inexplicably finds himself naked in a nondescript waiting room. Seated in the other chairs are a cuckoo, a sea urchin, a toad, a bat , a fish and an egg. What follows is a series of vignettes where the occupants relay to each other exactly what they were doing before mysteriously appearing in the waiting room. Unsurprisingly, a common theme begins to emerge.

Potentially depressing subject matter is enlivened by a large dollop of black humour as the general mundanity of the characters' lives becomes clearer, with the reasons they find themselves in the waiting room ranging from the bizarre to the ridiculous. Wogan himself is an endearing creation (despite himself), his obsession with the minutiae of Delia Smith's life being a particularly successful running gag.

Hughes’ witty script is packed with wry observations and his art is mixes it up to great effect: there's an air of realism to many of the animal cast as well as the backgrounds, while the human characters - particularly Wogan himself - have a far more cartoonish look about them, adding a layer of pleasing incongruity to the proceedings.

Thomas Wogan Is Dead is wonderfully witty little read that tackles one of the major, universal, unanswered questions. It theorises that, for all the human race's protestations of being the superior species, we are destined to end up in the same place as every other living thing once the lights go out for good. 8/10

1 comment:

Andy said...

Excellent review. Dave's comic left me chuckling long afterwards.