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Highbone Theater h/c

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Highbone Theater h/c back

Joe Daly


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

Before there is order there will be more chaos... and there ain't a thing you can do about it.

I knew without a shadow of a doubt it would be, but this is easily the weirdest thing I have read so far this year, and I absolutely bloody loved it.

Following on from the hilariously brilliant but currently between-printings DUNGEON QUEST series and the subtly mind-bending THE RED MONKEY DOUBLE HAPPINESS BOOK - which I read with increasing bemusement in the somehow mistaken preconception it was autobiographical before it became really apparent it just couldn't possibly be - comes a weighty 572-page tome of complete bonkers.

As the book opens we find ourselves watching the protagonist Palmer performing a reverse Reggie Perrin, striding out of the sea stark bollock naked - be warned, there are a lot of willies in this work - before twirling his beard and slapping a towel around it, then sparking up a big joint. There is also a lot of doobage going on here too.

Parker is a muscle-bound slacker with a heart of gold who seems to be surrounded by odious, steroid-jacked 'friends' with physiques akin to THRUD THE BARBARIAN and insane, conspiracy theory-obsessed work colleagues at the paper mill where he labours away his days. All his spare time is spent caning weed, practising one of the strangest stringed instruments I've ever seen, enduring excruciating attempts to chat to the ladies and musing about the Universe whilst getting mildly paranoid about the mysterious hidden forces apparently controlling everything. He might well have some justified concerns on the last point, mind you.

As Parker ploughs his own unique furrow with his mojo bag of roots to hand at all times to calm his ever-fluctuating emotional state, he's going to be taken on a very strange journey of shamanic magic, subterranean realms, secret societies and psyops. Oh, and self-discovery. Above all, self-discovery. But let me tell you, before there is any semblance of order there is indeed going to be a whole lot of chaos going on...

I think anyone who has enjoyed Charles Burns' X'ED OUT, THE HIVE, SUGAR SKULL trilogy would get a real kick out of this. The main difference is whilst both are as utterly insane the focus here is far more on the humour rather than horror. But in terms of taking the reader on a surreal journey, they are both right out there.