Comics Anonymous


THE STEAMIN’ HEADMASTER #1 by G-Man

The Steamin' Headmaster

Rapid Comics, a new local publisher bring us issue #1 of The Steamin’ Headmaster by writer P.R.D. Differ & Gav Boyle and as direct as the title may be – there’s more than just one-dimension to this title.

Now it won’t appeal to everyone as its mix of an almost B-Movie-like premise and more than just a hint of Scottish stereotypes thrown in for good measure.  We open with our main character Larry the Headmaster at the end of another rough night of binge drinking and a typically lukewarm reception from his wife.  Some drunken patter later and he’s thrown out of the house and we’re on his shoulder as he tries to get through his day as a “responsible” headmaster.

Steamin

School-life and the life of an alcoholic are maybe an odd mix…..but deep in the back of my head I have the memory of that usual school rumour that went around about a teacher being a bit of a drinker when I was growing up…..so maybe it’s not that far-fetched.  Larry’s colleague (and drinking buddy) is science teacher Eddie and these 2 characters make up the core duo for this issue…..and with the introduction of Eddie – we also get to see that B-Movie side of the release as his own extracurricular actives including mixing the DNA of different insects……to ultimately create a meat-eating centipede with a craving for human flesh……although to prove that’s a fact the 2 will need a test subject to prove their point.

A drunken haze later and they have an ex-janitor on his way that is still known to the pair and having served time in prison for abduction becomes their first justifiable victim in the experiments.  One drugged janitor later and we’re good to go on Man-Eating Centipede experiment #1 and of course, in true B-Movie style things go all wrong and we’ve got some big problems on our hand…..in the shape of said Man-Eating Centipede…….but in GIANT form.

GIANT centipede

The Glasgow setting and the title had me initially worrying that this wouldn’t work and although it’s got that heavy hint at the Scottish stereotypes I mentioned – there’s still something worth reading here.  As much for the questions it raises in the broader terms of comic books as it does for the content we have here.  The writing is fun and keeps an impressive pace to it and the artwork has been kept fairly basic throughout but it remains effective for this story…..and the mix of art & writing and the cliff-hanger ending does make me want to read more…..so that’s GOT to be a plus for this teams first outing in comics.

As for the bigger questions it poses…..I guess it brings up the fact that the vast majority of comics (and other media) we immerse ourselves in can have a fairly generic American setting and having this set locally is a welcome change….something we’ve seen in other works recently like Black Sun by John Lees & Chris Connelly – albeit a futuristic Glasgow setting it’s still recognizable.  The downside of that is that a wider audience may not be as willing to accept this but if anything, that’s the very reason I love the small press – risk taking and stepping out of the age-old clichés as much as possible.

Check the issue out here:

Rapid Comics

6/10

G-Man


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