GOOD news bible
Shaky Kane is one of the most distinctive – and undersung – comics talents of the last 40 years; a post-punk Jack Kirby whose A-Men and Space Boss strips were surreal highlights of late-’80s/ early-’90s magazine Deadline. This overdue volume collects all of his work for the title together for the first time.
Kane’s work frequently takes pop culture icons (Daleks and Elvis are just two that pop up here) and repurposes them in psychedelic new contexts. His lines are sharp and clean, his colours (when he employs them – much of this early work is monochrome) flat and pop art bold. The early A-Men strips (in which an ultra-religious police force roams Manchester offing unbelievers) owe a lot to his peers, particularly Deadline co-founder Brett Ewins, but it’s not long before you see a genuinely individual talent blossoming on the page: Jesus is discovered floating in space; the Atomic Eraser (a guy in a pinstripe suit with a pencil rubber for a head) smudges out the world around him. By the time of his later strips, “Bullet Train To Heck” or “Red and Black”, Kane’s work has become both more abstract, and more emotive.
The strips that appear in Good News Bible are very much products of their time. Some of the gags land, some don’t and some of them are frequently incomprehensible. But they’re also always fascinatingly, unmistakably Shaky. Will Salmon