Sunday, 30 August 2009
This comic version of Alan Parker's frankly bizarre gangster parody ( starring only kids ) came out in the UK in 1976, and doesn't seem to be a reprint from America, but something produced just for the British market.
It's a strange bird, seemingly put together for very little ankle biters, as seen in this dedication here.
The writing style is wildly variable ( and, if I'm honest, not particularly well done ) but the artwork, by Graham Thompson, more than makes up for it. Like here, in this stunning street scene.
I know absolutely nothing about Thompson, but judging by his drawing style, he clearly belonged to the venerable old school of british book illustrators prevalent in The Bronze Age. ie. He could really really draw.
Unfortunately, like I say, the writing kind of let's the art down, often belonging to The Dept. of Redundancy Dept. as in a few panels here, but it is a kid's book, I guess.
We've all seen the movie a million times, so I don't need to walk you through the plot. Just enjoy the art, which I honestly think is so good, it approaches Mort Drucker in places.
I assume Thompson had the same problem Marvel used to have to suffer with their movie adaptations ie. trying not to make the characters look like the original actors. But he does still get close with a few of the child stars in the occasional panel.
Like here with a spot-on Jodie Foster, in scenes that in the movie seem, well, a bit creepy these days. Leaving aside the fact that these are kids, it's Jodie Foster for flips sake.
Nice translation of one of the best gags in the movie here though.
And, of course, the whole thing finishes off with another great double-page spread from Thompson, that makes you dizzy thinking about the logistics involved in drawing the damn thing.
Great stuff absolutely from a bygone age. What a shame this kind of thing isn't available for kids now, eh?