Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"Heh! What a mess! They're great, these Chinese bikes, until you finally decide to ride them."
"Can you fix it?"
"Mods, coming around again! Takes me back to my days working at the Kaufman in '61.
"I'd been a teddy boy, most teds hated mods. But I didn't care.
"The girls! Pointy bras, hair lacquered just right, paradise for a lad.
"The lads were the purists and snobs, but at least they had manners.
"We'd have all the villains in there too.
"The Wessex Brothers. Bonnie Prince Gordon. Tony Crow and his mother!
"Never any trouble, or if there was, it took place out the back.
"They all loved jazz, see?"
"But can you fix it?"
"Grandpa's in his anecdotage. Stories only stop for toilet breaks."
Haha! I feel that is how John Allison must work sometimes to put out the amount of material he does. Right around the clock only stopping for the call of nature
And I bet even then he's plotting whilst plopping... Still, this particularly webbery material is from 2014 I think, and I make it there are still three more collected case volumes to come, I think, so we needn't panic just yet. Huzzah!
Anyway, the kids are back and so is mod. Yes, all crazes come around again eventually and our gang of sleuths just carry on aging disgracefully, now firmly in the grip of adolescent hormones. Well, all the boys at least, who are now finally starting to display some fashion sense and even a sharp haircut or two in a feeble attempt to attract the attention of the ladies. Just in time for the sophisticated female French exchange students to arrive and turn everyone's world upside down
There's not so much of the supernatural testing Tackleford in this case, aside from the haunted scooter responsible for decapitating multiple King Mods from the sixties onwards, that is
No, causing most of the consternation this time around is sassy Camille Duplass, staying with little Claire of the lisp, who harbours a possibly spurious long time grudge against Mimi, residing with Charlotte Grote, who is of course, more than happy to help, errr insist
that Mimi tries to settle the score with the wannabe upstart Queen who also wants to reine (sic) over the English Mods. Which of course only succeeds in enraging Camille even further...
As ever, I find myself marvelling at the near continuous stream of wittiness that flows from John's mind. Every page, nay panel, well in fact pretty much every single speech bubble in BAD MACHINERY is packed with the trademark gently surreal humour that makes this series just such a merrily mirthful delight to read.
We know the main cast so well by now John is able to get fully freewheelin' with the dialogue, the in-jokes, frequently going on the most delightful round the back of the bike shed diversions before always bringing it back to a chuckle inducing climax with the pithy punchlines that punctuate practically the end of every page.
He is a comedy genius. Perhaps the very finest in comics. I would happily argue his case there. I will be so, so sad when all this material is finally collected and the series complete. The same as with GIANT DAYS
which is rapidly heading to a conclusion.
But fret ye not, fans of John's brilliant brand of surreal British farce, because there is a new series entitled STEEPLE about to begin! It is only slated to be a five issue mini-series, mind, but we will take what we can get!