Nerd Do Very Well Indeed – Simon Pegg is living his dream…..
The Adventures Of Simon Pegg And Canterbury And The Mystery Of The Scarlet Panther And The Star Of Nefertiti And The Tablet Of Amonhotep IV
(The Exclusive Graphic Novelisation From The Pages Of Nerd Do Well)
Published by Cornerstone/Random House (Edited by Adam Humphrey and Ben Dunn)
Christmas-time, mistletoe and wine. And lots and lots and lots of celebrity autobiographies. Lots.
Too many? Oh yes. So what do you do for an extra bit of publicity if you’re Simon Pegg, author of one of oh so many autobiographies?
Well, it just so happens that all the way through his autobiography Nerd Do Well there’s a running joke about Pegg the superhero….
Which leads rather naturally, and rather cooly, into this – The Adventures Of Simon Pegg And Canterbury And The Mystery Of The Scarlet Panther And The Star Of Nefertiti And The Tablet Of Amonhotep IV. And that is the very last time I’m typing that out.
This graphic novel is available exclusively digitally on iPod, iPad and Android. But bless them, those nice people at Random House have also made up some “proper” print versions of the graphic novel, signed by Pegg, just for us press people.
Which is nice, because I still haven’t really come to terms with the concept of reading a 68 page graphic novel one bloody panel at a time.
(Pegg enjoys a quiet moments reflection. Or maybe he’s just watching dumb You Tube clips. From The Adventures Of Simon Pegg)
TAOSPACATMOTSPATSONATTOA4 or The Adventures of Simon Pegg is an all out bit of superhero wish fulfilment with Pegg appearing as a far more muscled adventurer than we’re used to in his films and TV work. And although it’s an obvious pastiche, it’s a very knowing and loving pastiche, and it’s quite obvious Pegg and all involved are fans of superheroes and all their overblown wonder.
How much Pegg was truly involved in this will have to remain a mystery. I get the impression from various quotes and the continual crediting of Humphrey and Dunn as editors that whilst the initial idea of running a superhero type gag through his autobiography may have been Pegg’s, the creation of this digital graphic novel was all down to his editors – who, fair play to them – have come up with a very neat bit of unusual extra marketing for the autobiography.
The comic has it’s tongue fair jammed into it’s cheek as the rippled torso of Pegg, aided by his robot manservant Canterbury, goes off to rescue the world from the evil Lord Black and his plan to launch something vaguely Egyptian into the sun. Along the way Pegg has to deal with / team up with / sleep with the lovely Scarlet Panther and put off the increasingly desperate demands for another ten thousand words of Pegg’s book from Ben, his editor at Random House.
(Those editors can be far more troublesome than fiendish supervillains. From The Adventures Of Simon Pegg.)
Along the way we get action, jokes, a little sex, more jokes, more action, a robot butler with painted on breasts, a diabolical bad guy (or two), devious double crosses, more action, and more jokes.
But I may be damning it with faint praise – It’s actually rather good, or at least rather fun. And the art from Gaz Roberts does absolutely everything it needs to to deliver something that takes the mickey out of this genre yet remains a tender homage at the same time.
It’s fun, knowing and silly. It’s not going to set the world of graphic novels alight – and I don’t imagine for a second anyone involved in it had that idea when they made it. But it is a good enough superhero romp, full of ridiculous, overblown pomp. So yes, even though The Adventures Of Simon Pegg is either Pegg’s editors spotting a rather original and cool tie in to flog more copies of his autobiography or Pegg himself living out a long held wish to have (and star in) his very own superhero comic, it really doesn’t matter.
Credit has to go to both Pegg and Random House for doing this – it’s an innovative addition to the overstuffed celeb autobiography market. And as a work it’s a fun, diverting and funny superhero tale with decent art from Gaz Roberts.
It’s a perfect accompaniment to the autobiog I’d imagine. After reading it I’m rather tempted to actually ask Santa for the book now. Which is rather the point of the exercise I suppose.