Day Of The Deal – the vacation’s over but the smuggling goes on……
Day Of The Deal
Written & Drawn by Jason Wilson, Crime Consultancy by Tony Spencer, art assist by Terry Jones
Back in 2008 Jason Wilson published Smuggling Vacation, a cracking comedy crime caper following a hapless trio of novice drug smugglers getting themselves mixed up in things they really shouldn’t have.
Now we have the sequel, Day Of The Deal, set over a busy 24 hours where we revisit our three would be drug dealing incompetents a year later as they prepare to take possession of the biggest drug shipment their little town has ever seen. It’s not going to go well. But watching it all go wrong is going to be a lot of fun for us readers.
Smuggling Vacation was great, but I actually think Day Of The Deal is better; Wilson’s got a tighter, more focused story here, all played out over the course of one long, intricately laid out day. It may not be as wild and wacky as the madcap Smuggling Vacation, but Day Of The Deal is far more insightful and poignant, still funny but a far more satisfying story.
(It may be more thoughtful and sombre than Smuggling Vacation, but Day Of The Deal still has plenty of laughs. From Day Of The Deal by Jason Wilson)
In Day Of The Deal, Kaye and Stan, the two novice smugglers of the first book are back home, and having learnt nothing from their close shave with the law in Smuggling Vacation, are hard at work cultivating their huge crop of weed in their semi-detached suburban home.
Stan’s idiot brother Mikey is still around as well, in on the Cannabis farm deal and about to get all three of them in a lot more trouble – as he gets invited along on a job to pick up a lorry-load of weed and coke on it’s way across the Channel. Except this time, the police are onto them, tracking their every move and the deal may be over before it’s begun with some of our three hapless drug dealing wanabes potentially on their way to serious jail time.
(Things don’t look too good for our trio of drug dealing wannabes – this time the police are in on it from the start. From Day Of The Deal by Jason Wilson.)
The one dimensional characterisation of Smuggling Vacation, necessary to move along the complex, multi-faceted plot, gives way to a more rounded look at the characters here. Kaye and Stan are still given every funny opportunity to be the bickering couple, but this time round we see a softer, more intimate side to their relationship. Mikey is still the oafish wannabe criminal but this time he’s given a little more depth, showing a few smarts and a solid, loyalty to his brother and friends that’s key to making the ending a very satisfying and emotional climax to a great book.
With Day Of The Deal the comedy is still there, the unique crims eye view of the events is still there, the super accurate depictions of criminal procedure are still there, and it’s still told with Wilson’s simple cartooning, caricatured characters and good sense of visual and narrative comedy. But the added poignancy and characterisation makes the whole thing a subtly different read from the very funny and very enjoyable Smuggling Vacation.
Wilson, together with crime consultant Tony Spencer, paints a very detailed portrait of the intricacies of everyday criminal life. In actuality Spencer is Wilson’s dad and he has experienced pretty much everything we see on the pages of both books (for more details on that see this excellent Down The Tubes article).
I just hope Wilson’s sent Khalid Mahmood MP a copy of this one, seeing as he got so worked up over Smuggling Vacation (see here) I think he’ll be good for a back cover quote on the next book that I’m hopeful is in the planning stages already.