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Julius Zebra - Rumble With The Romans h/c


Julius Zebra - Rumble With The Romans h/c Julius Zebra - Rumble With The Romans h/c Julius Zebra - Rumble With The Romans h/c Julius Zebra - Rumble With The Romans h/c

Julius Zebra - Rumble With The Romans h/c back

Gary Northfield

Price: 
8.99

Page 45 Review by Stephen

Oh my good god, Captain Stoopid had expelled himself!

La la-la la-la...

Oh wait -- excelled himself!

*considers carefully* Eh, the jury's still out.

Emperor Hadrian is very much in. He's in his amphitheatre and judging the mood of the Roman Colosseum's blood-craving crowd.

"Zebra! Zebra! Zebra! Zebra!"

I don't think they're vegetarians. How did it even come to this?!?!

Julius Zebra (do not call him Debra!) had been striding the African plains with his mother and brother Brutus, head held high but nose held by hoof because, boy, those waterholes stank! I cannot think why.

So Julius defied his mother and all common sense and struck out on his own, only to fall into the trap of a Roman expeditionary force along with a long-winded warthog named Cornelius with an encyclopaedic knowledge (which was more than mildly irritating) and a lion called Miles WHICH WAS FRANKLY TERRIFYING!

A sea-change in fortune and geographical location later and our brain-dead bewildered beast finds himself in Rome, on death-row and about to go into four-legged combat against gladiators with a grudge because he'd called them "juggling monkeys"! It's time for our zebra to seriously earn his stripes!

More bog-eyed bananas from the comicbook creator of GARY'S GARDEN, TERRIBLE TALES OF THE TEENYTINYSAURS and contributor to that bonkers TINY PENCIL package, this is isn't strictly comics nor is it illustrated prose; instead it's a skilfully integrated hybrid with comic panels bursting bombastically out of the prose and furthering its narrative before sinking seamlessly back in. I've never encountered anything quite like it.

Think of Gary Northfield as a delinquent Posy Simmonds and JULIUS ZEBRA as TAMARA DREWE with every dog in town let out.

There's at least one illustration or elaboration per page, some breath-taking double-page landscapes (on the preceding page the port of Leptis Magna is heralded by a bleary-eyed Julius as "the most amazing sight he's ever seen..." before Gary lets rip with one of the most amazing sights you will ever have seen!) and for educational purposes Professor Northfield also offers up some perfectly objective lessons in comparative anatomy. Clearly a zebra is not just a stripy horse!

I love the way the zebras' stripes throughout are scribbled and scratched across their flanks in a flurry and frenzy: Gary could have made these distinctive markings as bold as Mother Nature intended but Mother Nature can't half take her time getting things done (humans, for example, took millions of years) AND WE ARE IN A HURRY HERE!!!

It's over CCLXXV pages long but with lots of short chapters for the attention-span challenged like me, plus there's a logic-lesson in Roman Numerals (neat!) and a handy four-page glossary which is every bit as entertaining as the main event.

"Jupiter: One of the favourite Roman gods; the god of thunderbolts. You would usually call out to him when you stubbed your toe or sat on a pin or something."

"Palus: A big wooden pole stuck into the ground and used for sword training in the Roman army. The poles were supposed to represent your enemy, which would have been even more useful if the enemy were trees."

"Poena Cullei: A bizarre punishment where the condemned were sewn up in a leather bag with a snake, a dog, a cockerel and a monkey, then chucked into a river to drown. No doubt Jupiter got a few name calls along the way too."

Is it just me or is the river sort of superfluous there?

"Show Me The Monkeys!"

Oh, do!
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