Third issue of the series that Rol Hirst describes as:
“Welcome to the northern seaside town of Fathomsby; home to retired super-heroes, monster DJs, mutant prostitutes, pier-owning gangsters, disgruntled policemen and a woman who knows exactly what you’re thinking about, whenever you’re thinking about… S-E-X.”
It’s an ongoing series; Twin Peaks meets The Prisoner meets Hammer Horror meets American Werewolf meets superhero culture meets police procedural meets Eastenders meets …. well frankly you can add in pretty much anything you want, as Hirst seems determined to throw as much great stuff as he can in here.
But certainly the structure has that soap operatic feel to it, all short scenes, jump cuts, multiple characters, multiple storylines. Yet there’s overlap, and a sense that Hirst is pulling it all in a certain direction. The structure makes the very best of the multiple artists involved as well, with each new scene getting a different artist, and negating any problems inherent with so many competing styles.
So here we go for issue 3, and it’s simply more of the same. But the same proves to be bloody entertaining stuff.
Lets start off with the image from the inside front cover and go from there… here’s new to Fathomsby cop Sam Kamara finding out the limits of his remit from Deputy Chief Constable Becky “ballbuster” Corvida:
That gives you an idea of just how interesting and bizarre place Fathomsby is, right?
Everything here is building and building on the large cast of characters we’ve met thus far, and doing it awfully well.
Back in the first issue we saw irritable old git Harry Hall being menaced by the local troublemaking kids, saw the resulting bit of Victor Meldrew-esque ranting leave one of the kids squished under Harry’s unfeasibly large hand. Now the ripples of that event are extending ever outwards, affecting more and more people… until we get the feeling that we’re in some very, very intricately constructed piece of fiction, with Hirst calling the shots from the very start.
In this issue you’ll see how Dermot Kaye; Fathomsby’s local mobster type gets his pre-dinner kicks, see his tearaway son menace another resident; the patchwork undead DJ Frank Epstein, discover the link between vampire DJ Gary Gore’s sister and Kaye’s pervert network.
Meanwhile DI Kamara investigates the mystery of the dead 4-armed gigolo they pulled out the water last episode, and journalist Kathy Marr (whose uncanny ability to see everyone’s sordid little thoughts, whether she wants to or not, seems perfect for the town) arrives to look for her missing boyfriend:
(Kathy arrives in Fathomsby at “The Overview” hotel. But why is it in German? Yet another little mystery to add to the pile)
No-one in Fathomsby seems untouched by the weird, the sordid, the perverse. Everyone seems to have abilities, seems to have mystery surrounding them. Even the smallest characters have a chance to develop and come into the story. Take Kaye’s big and tall enforcer type, the man known only as Wonderful, a man with Tom Hanks’ biography in his pocket. Seems there’s a truly mindboggling reason for this. Trust me, it’s an image you wont be able to get out of your mind for quite a while…..
(Wonderful’s under pressure, but nothing shape-changing Jasper can’t help him with.)
Yes, Issue 3 of Too Much Sex & Violence does exactly what it says on the cover. And does more of what we’ve already seen. But it’s a clever, sick little thrill ride of a comic, not for the faint hearted, tongue lodged firmly (but not exclusively) in cheek, and something that promises to entertain for a long time to come.
I’ll leave you with this… as DI Sam Kamara chats to fornsic medical examiner Imogen Redback just after they’ve examined the corpse with quadruple arms, and double dicks. She sums up Fathomsby, and by extension all of Too Much Sex & Violence, so very well….
You may never know what’s going to happen next, but finding out is such weirdly perverse fun. You can buy all three issues of Too Much Sex & Violence so far in print or digital from Hirst’s shop.