Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: Alan Grant, City Of Culture, Francis Forbes Clunie, Glasgow, Humphrey Bogart, John Wagner, Robin Smith, Scottish, The Bogie Man
Let’s set a comic book in Glasgow, it’s about an escaped mental patient who thinks he’s Humphrey Bogart…..and he’s acting out an entire case in his head based on the movies of Bogie himself. Sounds crazy…..it IS crazy…..but it’s one of the most involving and interesting comics I think I’ve ever read.
The Bogie Man, a 4-issue mini-series, starts off with our delusional main character, Francis Forbes Clunie, making his daring escape from the local asylum and into the City Lights of Glasgow. The noir narration from Clunie has us hooked from the start and this flows through the book in between moments when he interacts with the general public…….with an honesty that has the member of the public and the reader getting dragged into his crazy plot. This is where it’s at its funniest….when the Scottish dialogue is flowing quickly in among the action and the timing is perfect.
Writers Alan Grant and John Wagner have gifted us a funny, involving story where the main characters madness……is somehow implanted straight into the mind of the reader. We get sucked in by the conviction he has while on his “case” and we’re on his side from the off. If you know Humphrey Bogart’s movies, you’ll pick up the references throughout the book….if you’re Scottish you’ll spot the Glasgow landmarks in the background as Robin Smith manages to capture the 1990’s City of Culture.
The situations become more insane as the “Maltese Falcon” becomes a truckload of stolen Tesco Turkey’s and the story evolves around this as Clunie loses his mind on the pages…..but still keeps us on side. The doctors from the asylum work with the police to try and track Clunie…..and a local gangster is involved too as they are after Clunie as well. On the run and picking up a local bar-maid as his partner….we’re dealt a chase across Glasgow as the plot twists take us further into Clunie’s warped mind.
For the Non-Scottish readers….there’s a McGlossary, helping to explain the Scottish slang that appears throughout the book but to be honest that’s a great touch for EVERY reader. A brilliant, funny book…..which HAS to be read more…..and I know I can read it again and again….and still find the same parts funny….even though I know they are coming. It was even adapted for TV by the BBC and starred Robbie Coltrane…..which you can track down on Youtube right now. What’s better….is that there’s more of this out there – The Bogie Man: Chinatoon 4-issue mini AND The Bogie Man: The Manhattan Project one-shot are equally as funny and WELL worth a read too.
The Comics Anonymous team have even had the privilege of meeting the writer’s Alan Grant at this years Glasgow Comic Con and John Wagner at this years Dundee Comic Day and this title became a common discussion point for us with them. Both open to doing more with the character…..and that’s something I would LOVE to see happen….so here’s hoping.
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