Doctor Boy Brett is an astroboffin with a pipe of steel and the tact of a rabid bulldog. Doris Night, his long suffering sidekick, is a woman of taste, intellect and unfortunate taste in men. Driving through the country, they stop at a quiet country village and find out two things. Firstly, Ploughman’s is most definitely off the menu. Secondly,
IT HAS COME!
(Theremin, crashing orchestral fanfare)
This is so much fun. Writer/artist Dan Boultwood (Baker Street Irregulars, Danger Academy) is a man with a deep, abiding love for slightly bobbins 40s/50s British sci-fi cinema and throws himself headlong into this gleeful, affectionate pastiche of the sub-genre.
Brett is a magnificently unpleasant lead, a man bovinely convinced of his own intellect for whom science begins and ends with a pipe and a spot of tea. He’s utterly dashing, utterly dim and spout a string of glorious faux-heroic one liners and technobabble.
Doris is the perfect foil for him, the long-suffering Penfold to his sugar-crazed Dangermouse, and some of the best moments in the book come from their banter and the moments where Doris gets the better of him, often without Boy noticing.
The true joy of the book comes from how it looks though. Boultwood’s friendly, open style of art is a perfect fit for this sort of story and you can almost hear the theremin in several scenes. Even better, there are a couple of glorious jokes at the expense of the special effects budgets of the time that shouldn’t be spoiled here. This isn’t just a love letter to slightly rubbish ‘50s SF movies, it’s a very good one in its own right and there are pages here that will make you laugh out loud.
Even better, the whole thing is presented as a movie, complete with a trailer for Lost Valley of the Lost, featuring several familiar cast members, in the front of the book. There’s even adverts and documents from the time of the film’s ‘production’ in the back which give Boultwood a chance to flex his design and comedic muscles one more time.
This is a joy to read and if you’ve ever watched and loved any movie whose title began The Day The… then this is for you. Buy it, love it and, hopefully, he’ll do My Reptilian Bride! next.
Thanks to TravellingMan.com for the review copy and for being a nice place, generally.