Harker 11 – Murders, Goths and Roy Of The Rovers?

Published On April 14, 2010 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Harker issue 11

by Roger Gibson and Vince Danks

Ariel Press

I can’t really say any more about Harker than I already have (see here for all the examples so far – it’s fair to say I’m a fan); so I’ll simply state yet again that it’s consistently entertaining and wonderfully enjoyable stuff and issue 11 is just more of the same, except this time there’s a little football thrown into the mix.

The penultimate issue in the second storyline of Harker reveals the murderer responsible for thoroughly messing up DCI Harker’s seaside holiday in Whitby and, bizarrely enough, ends at a football match between the Whitby Gazette and Real Gothic during Whitby’s famous Goth Weekend. Hence the Roy Of The Rovers moment on the cover with Harker looking grumpily on as DS Critchley, drafted in by the Goths, does the business on the pitch. Harker’s neither a fan of Goths or football – “surprise me, why don’t you“:

As usual, the to and fro of the main cast’s sarcastic commentary is as good as ever and putting the nations grumpiest copper in amongst not only the wonders of Whitby’s Goth weekend but a football match as well is great fun.

But even though he’s obviously having fun playing with all of these disparate comedy elements Gibson never loses sight of the main thrust of the book and Harker and Critchley’s investigation into the multiple murders at the hotel finally bears fruit this issue, with all of the pieces coming together early on. And it’s this careful mix of crime procedural, comedy dialogue and a mild sense of the bizarre running through Harker that makes it all so worthwhile.

Harker still makes it straight to the top of the reading pile. It still makes my day with a glorious mix of sardonic humour and precisely constructed crime thriller. With 11 great issues so far, I imagine issue 12 will be out towards the end of April, followed by the second collection just after that. Then we’ll be into the next storyline, with Gibson and Danks delivering more of the same with enough variety thrown in (plot, setting, new characters etc etc) to make it seem fresh once more and I honestly can’t see it going anywhere but up.

All of the Harker issues are available from the Ariel Press website and there’s a list of the comic shops stocking it here. If your comic shop doesn’t have it on it’s shelves – ask them why not. The excellent first volume is available right here from FPI.

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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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