Before I start this review, I'd like to begin with a small disclaimer. Those who are regular readers of my reviews will know that I, when I can, try to avoid using swear words to describe something, or to get a point across. Sure I have occasionally have transgressed, but not often, and it has been a conscious effort as I am quite the 'cusser' outside of the internet. However, Modern Gentlemen issue 2 is full of so many depictions of various genitalia, that I am sure I am accidentally going to slip the occasional 'cock' in, spread 'pussy' around willy-nilly and wave the odd 'tits' about. For this I would like to apologize in advance, and please don't judge my previous or succeeding reviews on my foul-mouthedness present in this review.
| Publisher: Pleasant Productions
OK, now that I have gotten that shit out of the way, on with the review.
The best way to describe the makers of Modern Gentlemen, Pleasant Productions, is that they are independent multi-media mini-moguls. Pleasant Productions have, amongst their members, all types of artists present, from filmmakers to fine artists to musicians to what some morons deem as both the lowest form of art and storytelling, the comic creator. Well in actual fact, Modern Gentlemen seems to be where all these artistic minds meet, and create artistic gumbo.
Modern Gentlemen is an anthology comic, for those who don't know what that is, it is a selection of short tales that just find a home in the same media, even though they may be unrelated. 2000AD is an anthology comic, as is the awesome Heavy Metal, but Modern Gentlemen is different from those. I, like some other comic collectors, have always picked up alternate comics from the independent scene, and for many years have been a devout following of Robert Crumb, Denis Kitchen, Larry Weltz, Dan Clowes, Frank Thorne and many others. Any one who collected any independent comix from the 80s and 90s will be aware of the comics company Fantagraphics and their imprint 'Eros Comics' which were comix that were a bit more risqué…. Actually no, they were comix that were full of people fucking or killing each other, and I still, to this day, own a bunch of 'em.
Well, dear reader, this is exactly where Modern Gentlemen fits in.
Issue 2 features some of the same bunch of degenerates from the first issue, Andrew Gallacher, Dave Jackson and Jean-Luc Syndikas (he still isn't French, people, so don't offer him a croissant!!), but we now have the addition of writers Captain Gorgonzola and Thomas Kinsman, artists Pierre and Joe Cohen and special guest artist, and a personal fav of mine, from the killer indy comic Entrailer Trash, RossRadiation!
This issue offers 17 short stories, which in general don't run for longer than about 2 pages, but fill a lot of filth and depravity into those few pages. A few stories from this issue deserve a special mention: Melonhead - hydrocephaly was never this much fun, or violent; Dinner for Jew – irony doesn't get much thicker than this; Rabies Babies – a violent tale that deserves a special mention for the artwork by the aforementioned RossRadiation; The Truth About Melbourne – yeah, it's just as I thought it would be; Fish Bowl – Joe Cohen slaps Finding Nemo right in his stupid fucking mouth; Baby Pewy – featuring the most disturbing cartoon dick ever; Met Pigs - where some bastard transit cops get their just deserts; and Office Fantasy – which looks like your kids could read it, but don't let them!
I really could go on about all the stories, but I just wanted you, dear reader to have a small taste of the sickness within, which is all wrapped up in a nice cover by Syndikas and a backpiece by Gallacher.
So, please, please support your Australian comics industry and grab this comic. If you are a mature reader that is - don't want this sort of Mike Diana fueled stuff getting in the hands of the kiddies! Both the art and writing has improved on this issue, and it is a joy to read. A disturbing joy, but a joy nevertheless.
Australia: your ADULT comix industry is ready! The only thing better than seeing an 'issue 1' of an Australian comic, is finding an 'issue 2', which indicates some degree of success, and I wish this on any and all self publishers in Australia. The guys at Pleasant Productions have stepped up their game with this issue, and if the next issue has a quality increase of a similar increment… it will be brilliant!