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Slaves of the Megapode III

This is the third and final part of my ‘Slaves of the Megapode’ series. 28 pages, black and white, A5 sized. Priced at £3 with free postage in the UK. Here’s a review from the Forbidden Planet blog- Third volume […]



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VOTES

Slaves of the Megapode III

This is the third and final part of my ‘Slaves of the Megapode’ series. 28 pages, black and white, A5 sized. Priced at £3 with free postage in the UK.

Here’s a review from the Forbidden Planet blog-

Third volume of Jackson’s historical murder mystery / fantasy / thriller … somehow Jackson always manages to muddy the definitions with his comics, often starting out as one thing and ending somewhere radically different. I say that not as a criticism, more a fascinating quirk and something that practically defines Jackson’s comics.

Underneath another of those fantastic mosaic covers, very striking, we return to the Roman investigations of Investigator Octavian Columbus and his slave Quinceps, Jackson continuing his very own version of ’The Name Of The Rose‘; a Roman investigator, plots, intrigue, the mysterious Megapode, drug addiction, slavery and murder. Whew. And all with that wonderful Jackson twist. I’ll not stay to much about the actual plot here (You can find a review of Volume I here and Volume II here to give you some background), but suffice to say it’s very much a Rob Jackson sort of finale, very strange, but in the end rather enthralling and strangely fascinating.

It’s something that’s very typically Jackson, something that’s possibly not a concious decision, more to do with the way Jackson thinks about these things. Generally what happens is that he sets out a scenario, the core idea, the basic plot (here it’s a murder mystery in Roman times), throws something unusual and strange into the mix (the whole Megapode thing, bizarre creatures and weird drugs) and then, brilliantly, throws in these idiosyncratic moments, whether it’s unusual language, modern cultural references, the impossibly convenient manner in which some of the plot plays out, or simply the regularly impressive and funny moments of deadpan humour thrown in as almost incidental moments.

In some comics this would all be really annoying, real negative marks. But with Jackson I’ve always found these sort of things are the highlight of what he does. Here, just a couple of examples from this issue….

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Surreal moments taken in his stride.

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Bizarre garden statues the norm.

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Ah yes, perfectly safe.

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Investigator Octavian Columbus and his slave Quinceps have been absolute stars, a comedy double act without really trying, Columbus’ search for the murderer of the Governor bordering on the obsessive, Quinceps always handy for a quip, when he’s not too busy licking the foliage for a quick hit.

But it’s Jackson who controls it all, his comics may look superficially naive, raw. But beneath that there’s actually a very good storyteller, capable of really unusual, very funny comics on any topic you care to imagine.

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