Propaganda – Matthew Craig’s Trixie Biker

Published On November 18, 2008 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Trixie Biker: Attack Of The Sixty-Inch Pixie

by Matthew Craig

Last time I looked at Matthew Craig’s work I got to pick and choose what I reviewed from most of what he’d published so far and the absolute highlight was his lovely tale of a lovely dog called Hondle. (See the review here).

But that meant I rather skipped over some of his other comics. When I saw him at the Birmingham Comic Show this year I was given copies of the Black Country Superhero comic Bostin’ Heroes that he’s writing and his latest comic: Trixie Biker, Attack Of The Sixty-Inch Pixie. They’re two completely different beasts and need seperate reviews. Look for Bostin’ Heroes to be reviewed at some point, but first I wanted to show you his latest self made comic:

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Jane Jasper is Trixie Biker. Given her powers by a dying Go-Go Pixie she becomes a superhero; “Defending Deva City against crime, injustice, and the stifling ennui of modern life”. Which just about cuts to the quick about what is so very nice about Matthew’s writing. No matter what his subject he manages to put a great deal of emotion in his characters and, his love of superheores is a very old fashioned, pure and simple thing, mercifully untouched by the whole grim and gritty thing of more recent years.

Trixie Biker is, superficially, a simple superhero tale, albeit a slightly off-kilter one. For example; in this latest comic Trixie spends most of her time searching for a special herb to counter act the effects of a photocopier accident on one of the pixies that’s resulted in her alarming growth. But underneath the superhero trappings you realise that, at it’s heart, Trixie Biker, like much of Matthew’s work, is a nice story with a real touch of the maudlin and melancholy about it. He manages successfully to integrate the feelings of insecurity and frustration of a sister trying to live in her older sister’s shadow. It’s unexpected and surprising to see such emotional nuance in here. And even better is that Matthew doesn’t limit his character to these rather dark feelings. Trixie Biker, whilst troubled by some things, also realises that the life she’s living, with magical Pixies, superpowers and a magical superbike called Dixie, is pretty fantastic really and she’s out to enjoy it. Light and shade, happy and sad.

The best description of Trixie Biker, and one I can’t really argue with is from Matthew’s own website:

“Her sense of constant, barrelling motion and that killer smile sold it to me from the off – here was a superhero that not only enjoyed her powers, but revelled in them. Of course, there’s nothing new in that, so after a while, I started to wonder what might be behind that smile. What was Trixie Biker trying to escape?

The answer was staring me in the face: everything. Every crappy little stone in the shoe of daily life. Dull jobs. Crap men. Family guilt. The broken promises of adulthood, and the isolation that living in the Big City can bring with it. In that way, Trixie Biker speaks to the most fundamental facet of the superhero genre – escapism. But it’s an escapism that comes from embracing the world around us, as opposed to hiding from it – for Trixie as well as the reader.

Trixie Biker, then, is Superhero as Recreation. Superhero as Hobby. Superhero as Volunteer Work. Superhero as…whatever people do to give their lives additional meaning. Freeing your heart, as well as your mind. But with fighting.”

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Can’t argue with any of that. Trixie Biker, although not as immediately loveable and adorable as my favourite comic of Matthew’s, Hondle, is a very good comic indeed. On it’s surface a fairly straight superhero tale, but with an emotional depth you may not expect. But one that is very welcome indeed and makes Trixie Biker a really good comic.

Trixie Biker; Attack Of The Sixty-Inch Pixie is available now from Matthew Craig’s website: Matthew Craig.com. There’s also a series of Trixie Biker webcomics to give you an idea of the character.

Richard Bruton is considering purchasing a superpowered scooter for fighting crime in rural Yorkshire.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

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