Tuesday, 8 May 2012
On" The Zaucer Of The Zilk" by Al Ewing & Brendan McCarthy
Brendan McCarthy and Al Ewing's The Zaucer Of Zilk is the first strip from 2012 that I've discussed in The Year In Comics series over at Sequart. (You can, if you choose, find it here.) I've been in two minds about whether to write about anything that's currently being published in The Year In Comics, but The Zaucer Of Zilk's both a richly rewarding read and a particularly challenging experience to attempt to discuss. An unavoidable if intimidating prospect then. A great many of its pleasures are as much to do with the strip's aesthetics as anything else, which makes it a stretch for a literal-minded know-nothing such as myself to talk about. Truthfully, it's a great, sensuous pop-art beast of a strip, and that goes for the Al Ewing's dense, knowing script every bit as much as Brendan McCarthy's defiantly witty, lysergic artwork. I really do think that it's one of the most pleasurable and smart comics of the year so far, although it's not without its own particular problems. Trying to find a way of talking about it was anything but straight-forward, and I'm sure that the Splendid Wife would testify to a certain degree of frustration and weariness being expressed by her two-fingered typing husband at certain moments over the weekend. I hope that you might consider hitting the link to Sequart in order to investigate where all that teeth-grinding and keyboard-bashing led. Far more importantly, I'd like to suggest that anyone who's not already enjoying The Zaucer Of Zilk in its weekly instalments in 2000AD might consider doing so. It's a fascinating hybrid of fairy-tale and super-book, playful social comment and wonderfully idiosyncratic artistic ambition. In short, it's a must-read, and, for all the impertinence of the gesture, a must-write-about too. Whatever problems I might in my chin-stroking, pseudo-critiquing raise really shouldn't obscure the fact that The Zaucer Of Zirk is a delight.
Previous posts in The Year In Comics series, from discussions of "It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken" to "The Brave And The Bold", from Crumb's "The Book Of Genesis" to Lee & Wood's "Daredevil", can be found here.