Vol­ume One

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! Pub­lisher re­bel­lion

Writer/artist Ken reid

The strips in Bri­tish hu­mour comics of­ten went un­cred­ited, so gen­er­a­tions grew up never know­ing the names of the writ­ers and artists who gen­er­ated their weekly fix of an­ar­chic hi-jinks. But many of the best were cre­ated by Ken Reid, and this book col­lects the first 100 in­stal­ments of his finest work: Faceache. And it comes with an in­tro­duc­tion by Alan Moore, no less.

The con­cept of Faceache –a boy with the pe­cu­liar abil­ity to con­tort his face (and body) into ex­tra­or­di­nary shapes – al­lowed Reid to give free rein to his vis­ual cre­ativ­ity, com­ing up with new and in­creas­ingly grotesque forms for his lead char­ac­ter ev­ery week. Even more im­pres­sively, Reid also gen­er­ated end­less bril­liantly lu­di­crous sto­ries while work­ing within the strip’s lim­i­ta­tions – a sin­gle page, with a lead char­ac­ter largely mo­ti­vated by mis­chief, re­venge, food or small sums of money.

Faceache is very stupid, but in the best pos­si­ble way. About once per strip, some­thing hap­pens that you could never get away with in con­tem­po­rary chil­dren’s comics – an­gry adults shoot at Faceache with ac­tual guns and car­ni­val freak­shows roll into town with sur­pris­ing reg­u­lar­ity. This of course is part of the joy of read­ing the story. Faceache is the apoth­e­o­sis of its genre, and an ar­chive hard­back col­lec­tion like this one is no less than it de­serves. Ed­die Robson

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