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Bolland Strips! by Brian Bolland (graphic novel review).

June 10, 2020 | By | Reply More

While tracking down ‘The Art Of Brian Bolland’, I came across ‘Bolland Strips!’ I did wonder if the celebrated artist had taken up streaking or posing for art class wryly before realising the book contains some comicstrip material that I probably hadn’t seen before, reinforced by reading the other book.

For starters, the three strips of ‘The Actress And The Bishop’ has the unusual couple living together and being true to themselves. I’m still puzzling how the Bishop could get into a citron car with his mitre still on. It had the roof down by there is still the matter of the door dern to get under. Even so, the look is still funny. The detailed art is typical and expected from the likes of Bolland and is matched by wry funny scripts.

In contrast, his ‘Mr. Mamoulian’ strips are more guttural and committed on the paper than planned. Only occasionally we got Bolland’s normal art technique creep out and much of the time, as he explains, Its just staring at a white piece of paper and drawing with a pen so it is really raw art and getting some of his reactions to life out. There are a lot of these page strips here and over the 50 or so pages, Bolland expands the supporting cast and uses them from time to time. He even breeches the fourth wall from time to time making these short stories ever more surreal.

The remaining are essentially one-offs. For those of you who read ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’ recall Heinlein using the example from the Bible of Elisha being name-called by kids in the second book of Kings and the priest calling to God. The deity sends some bears to kill the kids. Bolland does a graphic representation if you haven’t read it before. The Old Testament is full of stories like this that makes them have the same kind of cruelty that was prevalent in other religions of the time period which will make you wonder why Christianity caught on.

There’s also a complete version of ‘The Princess And The Frog’ showing fairy tales don’t always have a happy ending. Finally, ‘The Kappas’ showing adult males in the Orient witnessing a man being slowly tortured to death. The Kappas is the device not the fraternity and based off research Bolland did on his travels.

I should point out that all this material is adult and not for children and a shame that Bolland did not do more comicstrip work.

GF Willmetts

June 2020

(pub: Knockabout-Palmano Bennett, 2005. 112 page large hardback. Price: I pulled my copy for £ 9.67 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-86166-150-3)

check out website: http://www.knockabout.com/ – the website does work, press the centre window.

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Category: Books, Comics

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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