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SFX - - Reviews - Will Salmon

re­leased 7 April Pub­lisher Re­bel­lion

Writer Peter Mil­li­gan

Artists Brendan McCarthy

Jamie Hewlett The bulk of Sooner Or Later was orig­i­nally pub­lished as a se­ries of sin­gle- page strips in 2000 AD. That’s an un­usual for­mat for the ven­er­a­ble an­thol­ogy. Then again, this is an un­usual strip...

In Thatcher’s Bri­tain, Swifty is job­less and broke. A chance en­counter leads to him be­ing whisked off to the 30th cen­tury, where he finds him­self stum­bling into all man­ner of sur­real scrapes.

To­gether, Peter Mil­li­gan and Brendan McCarthy cre­ated some of the most in­trigu­ing Bri­tish comics of the late ’ 80s/ early ’ 90s. Sooner Or Later feels slighter than, say, Rogan Josh; it’s largely a string of jokes and pop ref­er­ences. And yet it proved qui­etly revo­lu­tion­ary for the of­ten bat­tle- driven 2000 AD.

McCarthy’s art is stel­lar through­out, with a manic en­ergy that threat­ens to erupt from ev­ery panel. The ini­tial strips are crisply de­tailed – al­most re­al­is­tic – while things get looser and weirder in the colour episodes. Also in­cluded is the se­quel “Swifty’s Re­turn”, drawn by Jamie Hewlett.

Some of the jokes have lost their sting, but this vol­ume is a fas­ci­nat­ing time cap­sule, with a cur­rent of punk rage about the Tory govern­ment of the time. Maybe it’s time for a new se­ries, eh?

Also in­cluded in the book are two solo in­ter­views with Mil­li­gan and McCarthy about their his­tory with comics.

With puns like that: please leave.

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