When you talk about some of the best comic creators to come out of the UK, Shaky Kane has to be included in that list – especially in the creativity department. And now, Breakdown Press have put together the ultimate showcase of his talents in The Good News Bible which collects together all the comic strips he contributed to comic/alternate music magazine Deadline early in his career.
Created in 1988 by late UK comic luminaries Brett Ewins (Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper) and Steve Dillon (Preacher, Punisher), Deadline was responsible for some of the earliest work of the UK’s top comic talent including Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin’s Tank Girl, and Peter Milligan and Brett Ewin’s Johnny Nemo. It was also one of the first places Shaky Kane got to show off his wildly imaginative artwork and stories which are now all finally available to see in one place.
I discovered Shaky Kane many years later in his collaborations with David Hine on The Bulletproof Coffin. Wildly imaginative and produced in a way you could tell the level of appreciation for the comic genre whilst managing to be totally unique, I was quickly a Shaky Kane fan. And now I get the pleasure of being able to read his early work without going through the trouble of tracking down the original issues. You know you are in for something different from the cover as the Mondo Dalek from A-Men greets you. In fact, one thing you have to get used to very quickly is how many of Kane’s characters have obscenely large head pieces with Atomic Eraser and the Shadow-Men being other culprits. Beyond that, these are some of the most creative and witty comics you’ll see. There is as perfect blend of satire (both pop culture and politics get their fair share of stick) and goofy sci-fi fantasy that was clearly like nothing else being published at the time.
Kane wears Jack Kirby’s influence on his sleeve and many pages in this collection look like they’d be right at home within the pages of Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic Four or Silver Surfer comics. With the bold dynamic character designs, creative layouts and shadow layering – Kane succeeds at not only paying tribute to an era of comics and an artist he holds in high regard, but creates some crazy and innovative ideas that were a strong influence on the British comic scene that is still felt today. A-Men is particularly entertaining as God’s personal police force enact a rather unusual brand of justice and the Mondo Daleks had me scratching my head for a while (in a good way). And to top it off, there are also plenty of extra’s including promo art, photos and essays by Kane’s friends and colleagues that shed some light on just how talented he is.
The importance of Kane’s work cannot be overstated and this collection is one of the best showcases of his talent available. If you have any interest in important artists in the history of the UK comic scene, then this book is a must read.
9780957438149 – P/B – £24.99
Post by Leo