The Poseidon Complex
Antonio Barretti & Louis Schaeffer
(Guy Adams & Jimmy Broxton)
Review by Seth
Okay, before we go any further, I’m not going to bother with the pretence that this is an authentic collection of a long lost 60’s newspaper strip. What it is, is an affectionate homage to the newspaper serials that I remember as being stylish, dynamic, perhaps a wee bit baffling and if I were honest, a tad titillating.
This is also notable for being the first completely original 2000ad fat comic (copyright Kev O’Neill). Not printed before in either the Prog’ or Meg’ publication, originally a Kickstarter project, Rebellion tooks a fancy to it and its not hard to see why.
If you have been off planet for a while, you will not know that this is indeed a completely made up collection of a fabriacted newspaper strip fromthe 1960s, credited to a completely fictitious yet compellingly dysfunctional creative team
It begins conventionally enough. Lily Gold and Jack Tiger are swinging sixties adventurers working from their fashion house in London. Reports of boats going missing on the Thames pique their curiosity and they are soon drawn into a web of intrigue and an international conspiracy led by a master criminal. Along the way they meet monsters, visit exotic locations, whilst taking a few side steps into the creative process and interludes hosted by some rather unexpected guest stars.
All very meta.
It isn’t just a “reprint” of the newspaper strip. There are cuttings, interviews, roughs of “missing” pages, and copies of correspondence between the writer and artist, charting the breakdown in their working relationship. If this was a DVD it would be the special edition with the behind the scenes material, cut scenes and directors’s narrative. Except you know, it’s all fake.
Guy Adams is known for some cracking “Rogue Trooper” one offs in the Sci Fi specials and the successful revival of the frankly quite obscure “Ulysses Sweet”. All of these made me think this was worth a punt I’ve only come across Jimmy Broxton via the “Batman” spin off “Knight and Squire”, but he’s made a fantastic job here. Not just in the art style, but in the design of the package.It really does feel like one of the collections of old newspaper strips back when they was popular.
Adams and Broxton have lovingly chronicled the creation of the strip. The increasingly desperate touting of the strip, its failure, cancellation and the misfortune the creative team experienced post the “publication”.
The combinationof a sharp script and carefully stylised art evokes the spirit of the the spy adventure type strips of the 60s and 70s. The strips that I remember from my childhood, such as Garth and the oddly prurient air of things like “George and Lynne” – where the female star always seemed to be at most half naked and in the most unlikely poses. Quite satisfying for your average teen aged boy. Broxton fulfils those requirements particualrly on the “Barberella” alike “Goldtiger 2000” found in the rear (fnar) of the package, Barreti’s “submission” to the House of Tharg, and his final roll of the dice.
I will confirm that it this is indeed brill’, and everyone should buy a copy.
Tidy. As we say around these parts.