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