Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"Living on the moon . . . Whatever were we thinking? . . . It seems so silly now."
I think that may well be about 5% of the entire text in this most laconic of pithy odes to a future that's been and gone, much like practically all the lunar population! To be honest, it never really happened.
Britain's doyen of deadpan comic humour returns with this existential examination of the isolation of a lonely lunar plod, patrolling his meteor-pitted manor in the vain hope of finding anything remotely amiss.
It's a rather solitary existence, punctuated primarily by his daily trip to the doughnut and coffee dispenser. A lost robo-dog provides a brief burst of, well, excitement would probably be taking it too far, but at least it provides the chance for some momentary interaction with the rapidly dwindling inhabitants. For those that still remain are rapidly upping sticks and heading back to the hustle and bustle of mother Earth.
Our trusty bobby would love to join them, but his request for a transfer is denied, on the grounds of his impressive, 100% successful crime solution rate! Given that no crimes are ever committed in the rarefied confines up there, it's looking somewhat unlikely it's ever going to dip far enough to warrant his own collar being felt and get recalled back home for poor performance. Oh dear.
This is a wonderfully wistful, melancholic musing on how the future might not bring us quite what we want or expect, particularly if technology is involved somehow. It's good to see computers haven't got any more reliable years from now! It's very low-key, meditative stuff from Tom this work, especially given some of the satirical bite he's more famous for in his strips, of which there is a fantastical selection of online at the Guardian HERE, and in the excellent print collection YOU'RE ALL JUST JEALOUS OF MY JETPACK.
Like Gauld's GOLIATH, there is a tremendously impressive sense of space here, enhanced, extended by the overwhelming silence. There are very few landmarks. It's mostly just blue, blue vacuum although, hilariously, there is the odd, single palm tree isolated in its own bell jar.