Hewligan's Haircut

Author: Peter Milligan
Artist: Jamie Hewlett
RRP: £10.99, US $16.95
ISBN 1 904265 06 5
Available now

Using just a pair of plastic NHS scissors, Hewligan creates the haircut to end all haircuts, little realising it could be the haircut to end the existence of, well, existence! Join him and Scarlet O'Gasmeter as they run from the laws of physics and rational page layout, on a quest to find the big stone heads that keep turning up in Hewligan's fevered dreams and return the world to (relative) normality...

I remember reading Hewligan's Haircut when it first appeared in the pages of 2000 AD way back in 1991. It was one of those stories that I eagerly looked forward to reading each week, and one I have often thought about over the years. I long since gave up my old 2000 AD progs, and so it was a thrill for me to discover that Rebellion was to release Hewligan's Haircut as a graphic novel.

Rereading this 12 years on, it's amazing to discover that it is still as weird and funky as it was when it was first published. Okay, there are a few background jokes that date this story a little. But, on the whole, this is still worth an hour or so of anyone's time. In fact some jokes, like the out of tune version of Earth having a London Underground system that runs on time, with voice announcements that are clear, will still raise a smile today as they did 12 years ago.

Illustrated by Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl and Gorillaz) there is a Wizard of Oz feeling to the whole proceedings - mainly because it flips between black and white and colour, depending on whether our hero is in the real world or the messed up trippy version. But Hewligan also encompasses the personalities of Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion. All he wants to do is return to his normal surroundings, and his new girlfriend helps him use his brain, follow his heart and stick up for himself.

Rebellion have gone for a slightly strange format for this release. The design for the graphic novel version is similar to UK annuals (like The Beano). However the contents are much improved on the traditional format. Here we get the finest quality glossy pages available. This little touch is the icing on the cake, or the hole in Hewligan's haircut.

If you are after something a little different, something that will make you smile, you need to get your hands on this. The best graphic novel I have read for years.

Darren Rea

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