Martin Conaghan will, of course, already be known to you as the writer of the award winning (actually, he’s also the award winning writer of) Burke and Hare. He is also writing the comic adaptation of the novel Fallen Heroes, which we reviewed here and interviewed Martin about here.
So, what’s this all about that?
Well, Overload is a collection of one off strips, all of which have been written by Conaghan. These have been published in a variety of different collections from Negative Burn to last years Survival Stories collection.
The art, and indeed the roll call of artists, is constantly impressive throughout. The art on every strip is nothing less than superb.
As for the strips themselves, they too are a quality collection of tales. Conaghan is very good at finding a voice for a strip and his narratives are tight and well thought out, his dialogue realistic and authentic .
If there was one strip I didn’t get it would be 'And He Did', which is a recreation (albeit with things in a more ‘logical’ order) of the Christian creation myth. It is, as every else in the book is, well written, and the art by Simon Wyatt is amazing, but ultimately I could not see what point the writer was trying to make.
However, this is more than outweighed by the Good Stuff. They range from things that really should not work but somehow they do- like Conaghan’s adaptation of the Stan Ridgeway song Camouflage, to straight up horror in the atmospheric 'Roguarou'. But it is in the poignant 'The Mortons' that Cognahan most impresses, with a deceptively simple tale. I say deceptively- because you just try writing with this kind of economy and you will see what I mean!
This is an impressive first issue, and we can only hope that it continues and we get another quality UK anthology title.