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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

The Scarifyers
Issue 1


Author: Simon Barnard
Artist: Simon Gurr
Cosmic Hobo
RRP: £2.99
ISBN: 9 772049 882008
Available 21 May 2012

Having produced a series of successful audio comedy dramas, all under the umbrella title of The Scarifyers, Cosmic Hobo have gone one stage further by pushing the stories into another medium with the publication of the first The Scarifyers comic.

The comic is based on the first audio story, The Scarifyers: The Nazad Conspiracy, and is written by Simon Barnard, writer of the original play, and illustrated by Simon Gurr, who has also worked on 2000AD. The comic also sports the original CD artwork as its cover, created by Garen Ewing.

For those not fortunate to hear the audios, the story tells the story of Professor Dunning’s first meeting with Inspector Lionheart, who together investigate strange murders which all involve ex-Russians in a 1936 London. The original play relied heavily on the vocal talents of Nicholas Courtney (Lionheart) and Terry Molloy (Dunning), which are obviously missing in a comic. What is lost vocally is made up with humorous visuals.

Had the comic produced a new story, then you could think that Cosmic Hobo were attempting to turn The Scarifyers into a little franchise, but to produce a comic of the first story, is a somewhat confusing proposition. It may be a way of getting another audience to connect to the audios, which would be fine, but I’m not sure how many of the existing fans will want to collect a comic of a story which they have already heard and probably own.

The comic is quite a slick product. The cover is printed in colour, both inside and out on thick slick paper. Inside the story is in black and white, also printed on good quality paper. Stylistically the comic is structured in a very traditional manner with most of the pages being broken up into a number of panels. There are also a small number of full page illustrations.

The art leans more towards caricature, which is in keeping with the comic subject matter, as well as humour coming from the voice bubbles. Gurr has also been able to include a number of sight gags.

My impression of the comic is pretty close to my original thoughts about the audio, it’s a good start, it all depends where Cosmic Hobo means to go with it. There was no indication whether this is a limited run of the first story or a springboard for a whole new set of stories, which would seem to have more hope of commercial success.


Charles Packer