16 Sept 2013

Cover To Cover: IT CAME! #2

Writer: Dan Boultwood
Art: Dan Boultwood
Titan Comics $3.99

Stewart R: Before you even think about diving into this second issue I would recommend a quick jump over to Youtube, queue up any version of classic hymn/anthem Jerusalem (here’s one to ease the search pain) and then dive into the first page with a meandering and measured gusto - well it is a slow song after all, wot!

Dan Boultwood plants a big old tongue firmly within the warming pouch that is the comedy cheek as he once again sets the scene of idyllic 1950s rural England filled with sleepy villages, pastures and hedgerows, afternoon teas and a thousand and one politically incorrect turns of phrase. Having previously been confronted with the bizarre and terrifying form of a robot automaton, or Grurk - lovingly dissected in an anatomy piece in the back of this issue - Dr. Boy Brett and his constantly insulted female companion, Doris Night, seek the aid of the army to investigate the mystery of the missing villagers.

Part of me, having been subjected to (admittedly quite willingly) and influenced by a multitude of American science fiction tales from various eras, was expecting, rather incorrectly of course, for Boultwood’s military characters to be introduced in a shower of gung ho bravado or disgruntled superiority, but then that really isn’t the spirit that this book is aiming for at all and what we get instead is far, far, FAR better. The cover and various posters throughout the book are marked ‘Filmed at Pinetree Studios’ a lovely nod to Pinewood Studios where one of the great British cinematic comedy institutions of the mid to late 20th Century had its home, and the creator offers up a superb tribute here with some classic characterization - both written and illustrated - that had me reading the newly introduced cast in the voices of the very actors that they resemble. Boultwood nails the dialogue perfectly, throwing in well thought out mannerisms that allow this lovely nod to really work if you happen to understand it, and also keep the bonkers plot shifting on even if you don’t. 

The constant reflection of those stereotypical 1950s attitudes, in all of their sexist and politically incorrect ways, are well balanced with knowing expressions of disbelief or disgust - particularly from the put upon Doris who receives the lion’s share of abuse - that act as the knowing window of 21st Century attitudes that the reader will be viewing this through. It really helps to set this out as a honestly amusing and slightly twisted look at films of the period in all of their blundering and misguided fun and Boultwood should be applauded for absolutely nailing the balance of what he’s trying to accomplish with expert precision. The art is once again sublime, with the bonus content gloriously over the top and in keeping with the general feel of the story, and the jokes fly thick and fast throughout. In actual fact a housemate came in to check that I was alright having heard me laugh so loudly and that reaction sums up just how brilliant a read It Came! #2 truly is. Miss this series at your peril, old bean! 9/10

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