Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Scarifyers: Issue #1 - ComixReview

Article author: Alwyn Ash

"The glass moved, faster, faster still."

I have to admit something: this reviewer is not much of a comics fan. Rarely read them. However there are exceptions: The Only Good Dalek (BBC Books) and The Walking Dead (Image Comics) are two that have lured me into the pages of comic. But I am always keen to experience new publications, be transported into the pages of a well-conceived story. And thank goodness for that, for there will now be a place in my heart with Cosmic Hobo's The Scarifyers comic, wonderfully brought to life by creator and writer Simon Barnard and illustrator Simon Gurr.

Firstly, a little about The Scarifyers. Originally this audio series followed the adventures of Inspector Lionheart and Professor Dunning, played brilliantly by Nicholas Courtney and Terry Molloy respectively, as they investigated the strange and spooky goings-on in 1930s Britain. These wonderful tales began with The Nazad Conspiracy and lasted for four more episodes before the sad passing of actor Courtney. However, with the introduction of new character Harry 'Thumper' Crow - portrayed by David Warner - Cosmic Hobo allowed the magic to continue. It is therefore exciting to see that The Scarifyers and MI:13 have branched out into the world of comics...

Issue #1 begins an adaptation of the aforementioned The Nazad Conspiracy, bringing the story to life in visual form and showcasing the talents of artist Gurr. If you are familiar with The Scarifyers already then you will no doubt hear actors Courtney and Molloy as you read the comic; if not, then that is okay too, for the humour still shines through: exampled by a Russian who doesn't speak English but quite clearly says so... in English; and London bobbies with about as much intelligence as a stick of Blackpool rock - thank goodness for Lionheart!

The opening pages deliver a man, running through snow in fear for his life. He arrives at London University in search of Dunning: "You must help me professor! It's after me!" And so begins a tale of black magic, clowns and demons...

I am a huge fan of these fabtabulous tales, always looking forward to the next thrilling installment. These reviews reflect and share thoughts on the genius of The Scarifyers. And the leap from audio to comic is a very smart move, expanding on the Universe of Dunning, Lionheart and Crow, and creating an outlet for stories we may never experience in audio format. Although the early issues are an adaptation of The Nazad Conspiracy, it is a certainty that the team behind this remarkable creation will explore further, delving into the unimaginable horrors of other occult, demonic, and bizarre creatures and people who dare to utterly bewilder the sharp-eyed professor and take on the might of the long arm of the law.

Perhaps it isn't too much of a hope that we will someday see a novel too?

So, thirty-two pages of black and white brilliance, a humour that is transferred to page just as easily as it was originally from script to audio, and the best pairing since 1989's Detective Michael Dooley and Jerry Lee (K-9). Oh crumbs, Dunning certainly wouldn't find that reference appealing!

The journey of The Scarifyers has been a fascinating one, for not only has it been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra (formerly Radio 7) but, except for the comic, each and every story is available via Big finish Productions too, in addition to the official Cosmic Hobo website. So go explore, taste a piece of Scarifyers now...

US fans can purchase the comic via IndyPlanet.