Thoughts about #1.
I really do hate anthropomorphic comics aimed at adults. I really do think they’re twee nonsense for the sort of people who ironically like Adventure Time as if it was the Magic Roundabout of the 21st Century. I hate endless alien invasion stories that rip off H.G Wells and Nigel Kneale.
So why do I like Wild’s End? It’s twee. It’s got funny animals acting like humans, an alien invasion and even worse, it’s full of nostalgia porn for a English countryside that only existed for a short time a long, long time ago. Then why is it so bloody good?
One reason is the jet black sense of humour running though both issues so far, so for example when our characters come across a burning cottage inhabited by an anthropomorphic pig we get this exchange.
Then a short while later we have what seems to be the hero, deliver a speech about heroism and revenge.
If Abnett and Culbard had made these characters human then much of what’s going on would be cliched and frankly there wouldn’t be this association between what’s going on and our childhood memories of reading tales of twee characters in quaint English villages having lovely little adventures. It wouldn’t be so effective in the broad strokes it’s taking because even if we haven’t read such a children’s book in decades we know the fox character is a little bit rough round the edges, the rabbit is officious and the bulldog is heroic.
This issue really is effective playing on perceptions and expectations of these sort of comics which makes the brutality which does happen even more shocking as Clive and his new friends try to get to the bottom of what exactly is going on in their sleepy little village. It’s a wonderful adventure story, but it’s also something best left unspoiled as much as possible because the writer Dan Abnett delights in shaking up the reader’s perceptions.
Wild’s End is a cracking comic and quite possibly one of the best things I’m reading at the moment. It’s a six-issue series and I’d highly recommend picking it up now rather than wait for a trade collection.