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Creator W. Maxwell Prince and his trusted illustrators, Tyler and Hilary Jenkins, return to the fray with a new, 5 issue exploration inside the mind of a nameless protagonist, who has to endure no end of strangeness during his journey through the town of North Waherek, population 999.

After waking up, bleary-eyed on the side of the road, he encounters a human with a deer’s head, 37 mph speed limits, a barman with an upside down face and a fish-like creature who winds up being beaten up by a local gangster with six arms and a rather fetching orange hoodie.

Despite being convinced he is in the middle of a very bad dream, our hero can’t help getting involved and, after being smacked about himself whilst trying to preserve the dignity of his piscine acquaintance, is taken into the care of the local one-eyed Sheriff and his bear-eared daughter.

Just when you, dear potential reader, thought everything might settle down a little, Prince leads you gleefully into a life or death battle with a giant Iguana. As the interior monologue notes – ‘Life is strange and full of weird shit’.

After defeating their monstrous quarry, our heroes go on their way but not before an intriguing epilogue enters the fray, leaving you deliciously confused, with an increasing body count and some unsavoury prospects ahead.

Each page bleeds colour, as though water is marking the panels, which themselves are set at jaunty angles, turning this into a delightfully unorthodox reading experience.  The lettering is clear and easy to follow, changing colours to denote the narrator’s internal thoughts and reflections on the sheer strangeness going on around his headspace.

Combining originality with an appealing mixture of dark humour and surrealism means that this little excursion to the other side of normal should have enough legs and lungs to sustain it, until wherever its tale may end up. An entertaining and engaging start indeed – just what we need for these fin de siècle, lockdown moments.

Hugh Ogilvie

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