Too Much Sex & Violence Issue 2 – back to weird and wonderful Fathomsby
Rol Hirst describes his comic thus:
“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.”
Issue 1 of Too Much Sex & Violence was an wonderfully intriguing, confusing, tantalising thing, and issue 2 continues the story, bedding us down into the weirdness and mystery of this not so peaceful little coastal town. This one is here for the long haul I think, and it’s a pleasure to be along for the ride.
“This may be a freakshow, but it’s a freakshow you can’t take your eyes off… one of those first issues of a series that you finish and immediately want to reread, just to make sure you got everything.”
That was me, talking about the first issue of Rol Hirst’s Too Much Sex & Violence series – a bizarre, brilliant mix of League Of Gentlemen/ Strangehaven / Twin Peaks with all the elements of a great thriller/ horror/ chiller/ soap opera.
And that quote could just as easily serve for this second issue. Hirst and his artists deliver another excellent issue, there’s so much going on, so many characters, so many storylines, no limits to what might happen, everything is possible, no matter how weird, depraved and strange.
Hirst is absolutely in control, masterminding his cast, throwing surreal, weird scenes hard against the everyday backdrop of Fathomsby to create something really intriguing and thoroughly entertaining.
(DI Kamara doesn’t quite get the reaction he wanted from his Deputy Chief Constable, art by Tony McGee Nigel Lowry – thanks to Davey Metcaffe-Carr for the corrction!)
Thing is there’s so much going on in here, and so much of it is dependent upon you having read issue 1.
Sufficient to say that this issue we meet a few more residents of Fathomsby, realising along with super-clean new cop DI Kamara that there’s something very special and secretive about certain of the townsfolk, and sink deeper and deeper into the ever so strange world that Rol Hirst has created. But DI Kamara has more pressing problems – the body of a notorious gigolo has washed up on the beach, complete with an extra set of arms and two penises – and poor old Kamara is beginning to get an idea of the weirdness he’s been dropped into.
(Serena, Fathomsby’s Sister of Mercy – and no, it’s not what you think. Art by Rob Wells)
You’ll see local gangsters Kaye and Wonderful follow up the small problem of superpowered old git Harry Hall being a touch over-enthusiastic in disciplining one of the local kids. You’ll meet Serena (that’s her on Nigel Lowry’s cracking cover) who has a very … unusual way of raising funds for the local orphanage. You’ll see vampire DJ Gary Gore again, initially looking like he’s just the comic relief (there’s a damn fine Twilight gag in his sequence) but Hirst seems to have plans for everyone in Fathomsby.
Every throwaway line, every incidental character – I get the idea it’s all going to play a part in the bigger story somewhere.
(“… it’s a nice sunny day – you could sparkle for me?” Lovely gag, art by Ryan Taylor)
The idea of utilising a revolving roster of artists, each taking a different character works so well here as well. It gives the comic an episodic feel, but more importantly it creates a sense of multiple storylines, characters interacting seamlessly. Helps that the artists involved, although not all the most poilished, certainly hold everything together very, very well.
Too Much Sex & Violence is quickly turning into something very intriguing and special. I’ve no idea how many issues Hirst has planned, but I trust him to get it right, and after two issues this good, I’m thinking this may be a great, great series.
Too Much Sex & Violence is available in print (£2.50) or digital download (£0.99) from Rol Hirst’s online shop.