Brompton Rhodes Confidential – Behind the Scenes of Rude Bwoy #1

Brompton Rhodes Confidential

Yup, it’s that time again – time, once more, to slip like a velvet banana behind the curtain of Brompton Rhodes and receive a sticky face-full of trivia, history and a unique insight into what I shamelessly call my ‘working practises’.

This time we’re going back further than we’ve ever been, ladies and gentleman, time-shifting back to the space-year 2005 and the very conception of Freelance Agent Brompton Rhodes himself, as I take you through the making of Rude Bwoy #1.

Hold on to your merkins, folks. This one’s a long ‘un…

Genesis of Brompton Rhodes

Before we get on to the meat of the issue I’d like to address the issue of just where the idea of Brompton Rhodes sprang from and why I made the decisions I did regarding the implementation and design of the comic strip.Genesis of the Daleks

Brompton Rhodes made his debut in this short story, written in 2005 as part of my university coursework. The short story, as you can see, remained unfinished – but by then the idea of this slack, alcoholic secret agent who, in my head, bore an uncanny resemblance to myself, had taken root.

Some time later, perhaps around a year or so, my girlfriend at the time was itchy to work on some sort of project involving our circle of friends. I came from an acting background, as did many of our collective acquaintances, and we were all basically wasting our time and talents doing sweet fanny adams, so the idea of working on some kind of group project was an attractive one.

Lacking easy access to equipment at the time, making some kind of short film was out of the question. Attempts to write as a group had come to nothing. Then, I remembered that arrogant, petulant, lazy secret agent I had conceived of some time before, and the axons in my brain began fusing and finding one another, forging new and upsetting connections…

Rip-Offs

Brompton Rhodes himself sprang from several of my obsessions at the time. I have, for a long time, been a fan of Grant Morrison’s comics, particularly the Invisibles (which is practically a set-text and will be the subject of a much longer blog post here at some point). There was one image in particular which caught my eye and imprinted itself on my brain, shown below.

The Invisibles - BritpopAt the time I had developed a taste for early ska and soul music, as well as later 2-tone and mod-revival stuff. As always with pop music, it was as much the style as the music itself and also, as an artist, the graphic design. It  seemed like a confluence of ideas; this picture resonated with the image I wanted to create for Brompton Rhodes. After all, I had the story; all I needed now was the look.

The character depicted on the cover, King Mob, is a pop-and-style-obsessed former-writer turned psychic assassin who serves as a kind of ‘author-avatar’ for Grant Morrison. Brompton in turn ended up serving as an avatar for myself, a connection strengthened by my actually physically playing him. This process occurred gradually; it was particularly strange when, upon completing a short story, friends who read it would refer to actions taken by Brompton as actions taken by ‘me’. I had always intended for Brompton to remain quite distinct from myself but as the process wore on certain similarities became, perhaps, inevitable.

Morrison apparently got into trouble with another one of my favourite writers, Michael Moorcock, for perceived similarities between a sequence involving King Mob and his own legendary Sixties character, Jerry Cornelius. In my opinion Morrison’s use is a fair homage, clearly signalled at many points within the text. My own? Perhaps not so much, despite much similar post-modern nodding. Ah well.

Brompton was also inspired by Jerry Cornelius, but rather, since at this point in my life I had yet to read any of Moorcock’s Cornelius work, he was inspired by my idea of Jerry, as filtered through Morrison’s own in the Invisibles, as well what I had gathered from reading around the subject. It was a view entirely unencumbered by anything so crass as a primary source.

In fact, when I finally did come to read the Cornelius Chronicles around a year later, I Jon Finch as Jerry Corneliusdiscovered them to be quite different to what I had imagined (in a good way). Some years later I acquired a copy of the film version of ‘The Final Programme‘, in which Jerry, portrayed here by the late Jon Finch, is far closer to my initial impression of him.

The film, I gather, isn’t particularly well regarded by either author or audience but I enjoy it, despite its butchering of the book’s ending, and Finch’s performance is excellent.

Other direct influences on Brompton Rhodes were, well, any and every bit of espionage fiction ever, particularly of the British variety. Thanks, again, to Morrison’s work I had discovered the Prisoner and it’s antecedent, Danger Man, and was immersing myself in those. The following issues, written as they were much later on in my life, reference yet more. Other influences include the wealth of  British televisual science fiction; Doctor Who, naturally, but over the years I was acquainting myself with all sorts from Sapphire and Steel to Doomwatch, as well as revisiting the British comics and computer magazines I had grown up with: Everything from the Beano to Transformers to Mean Machines.
Doomwatch

In the mean time I had also become attached to the idea of psychogeography, through the work of Ian Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd (in particular his London: The Biography), Alan Moore and the small press publication Smoke, a literary and visual anthology (and possibly the best little thing in the world. Love it). I was determined that the strip would be set in London and that, as much as it was in my power, the city itself would be a character. I wanted to hit the tourist spots, yes, but also the places I grew up in; places that had meaning to me.

So that’s where Brompton himself came from – a weird and unholy fusion of all of the above influences, blended with my own abhorrent and repellant personality. But where did the idea for the design and style of the strip itself emerge…?

Performance Cartooning

Some years previously, once again as part of a university project, I found myself in need of replicating the chiaroscuro style of the prints of Alberto Korda’s famous picture of Che Guevara, as seen on the chest and wall of many a student. In particular, I wanted to doctor an image of my father’s face into that style. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this particular bit of knowledge would later come in very useful…

Simon Che

Having discounted the possibility of a short film or anything similar, it seemed inevitable that I would be drawn to the comic form. I had been a cartoonist, to some degree, my entire life – much to the consternation of my art teachers. I had grown up with comics, produced work for fanzines and had a wealth of experience in writing and laying them out. Indeed, the idea of having a comic of my very own was extremely attractive to me, not least because of my desire to do so professionally.

I soon realised, with the graphic technique described above, that I could combine my love of comics with my background in performing and involve all my friends in the exercise. The style of the comic was intended to replicate that of a fanzine, my desire being to use modern, futuristic graphics technology to recreate the look of something created with a photocopier, typewriter, scissors and pritt stick.

Even to this day I still encounter people who, upon being informed that I use doctored photographs as the basis for my comic rather than drawing it by hand, are extremely disappointed. This attitude confuses me; if you liked it already, why, upon discovery, does the method of its manufacture offend you so? Dare I tell you how those tasty sausages were made?

The truth is that the methods I use are highly time-consuming, even as I have managed to streamline them over the years. Maybe I’ll do a video one day, just to show precisely how fucking long it all takes? It’d be nice to waste other people’s time as well as my own. Well, more than I’m doing now, in any case.

Regardless, photographs; drawings; who cares? As long as it looks good, I firmly believe in the ends justifying the means.*

Scripting

It’s pretty obvious to anyone that the first issue follows a different format to the rest of Rude Bwoy. Apart from its length, early pages are crammed with panels, some of which led to some intriguing and innovative layouts but which were a pain in the arse to do, I have to say.

Rude Bwoy #1 Script ExtractThis stems from the fact that, when I initially wrote the scripts, I was writing them as if I was doing a ‘normal’ comic – that is to say, twenty-two printed pages at normal size, between four to six to nine panels on a page. I hadn’t reckoned with the challenge of squeezing all that onto a page that could be viewed on a computer monitor all in one, without scrolling or zooming (I wanted to keep the comic web-based at this point, as indeed it is today, rather than downloadable or viewable through a comics viewer).

Rather than rewrite the script, as any sane person would do, I tried to press ahead, leading to the aforementioned ‘innovative’ layouts.  It was an interesting problem to attempt to solve, to be honest, and part of me misses the enforced lunacy and strange concessions that early script foisted upon me.

Four such scripts were produced but all were eventually junked in favour of the shorter issues, tailored to the website. Part of this ‘ghost’ issue #2 was shot and edited, and finally re-edited into the ‘new’ issue #2 – I’ll cover this ‘missing’ scene in more detail in the article for  Rude Bwoy #2.

Timing

Most of Issue #1 was shot and edited in 2007-8. The script was based almost word-for-word on the very first Brompton Rhodes short story and, as I was still working out just how I was going to arrange, shoot and edit this palava, it took a long old time. I hadn’t yet decided how much would be shot on location and how much done seperately; indeed, I had barely worked out my method of editing the photos into my desired style. In the end, by muddling through and learning as I went, I managed to get a decent amount of the first issue done, albeit in a less than respectable time-frame stretching over about a year-and-a-half.

However, for a variety of reasons, most of them boring, work would stop – and would not continue for another two years…

Oh, Brompton never went away totally. I had set up a blog back in 2008 and begun writing a series of short stories featuring Brompton Rhodes in a variety of different situations. The tone of the stories was very different to that which I had hoped to establish in the comic and, for a brief time, I considered going with that instead of returning to the world I had constructed in ‘Rude Bwoy’, which suddenly felt quite constricting. Eventually I decided that these two Bromptons, one textual and one graphic, could co-exist. Still, for all those years no progress on the comics version was being made…

In that time I had moved jobs, got dumped and all that uncomfortably realistic jazz. The unfinished spectre of Brompton Rhodes would continue to hang over my head as I shlepped from tedious job to tedious job until one day, when an American friend of mine innocently inquired as to what had ever happened to that perverse and sexually-intimidating comic strip I’d once shown him in my darkened bedroom beneath a miasma of dope smoke. I confessed that, lately, I hadn’t really thought about it. He replied that, despite the somewhat frightening nature and dubious legality of the images I had shown him, he had liked it. He said I should finish it.

A will o’the wisp briefly flared up in the gaseous marsh that my brain had become.

I set to work immediately, re-writing the ending of Issue #1  to accommodate my changed social situation and scrapping all subsequent issues, replacing them instead with shorter scripts that took advantage of the medium rather than attempting to ape what was achievable in print; taking Warren Ellis‘s idea of ‘widescreen’ comics to its extreme and not being afraid of chucking in splash pages. After all, it’s not like extra pages cost money, eh? Well, one day. I suppose, when I do the inevitably low-selling print edition!

By 2011, with a rudimentary website designed using my skills acquired from MacFormat magazine back in 1999, Brompton Rhodes was finally ready to make his graphic debut…

Commentary

There now follows a page-by-page dissection of the issue. Follow along in a different tab by clicking here.

Page 1

The somewhat ineffectual barrier for any young children who happen across this strip. To be honest, I find most so-called ‘warnings’ about ‘adult content’ to be a flag that what I am about to see is juvenile in the extreme, so at least here I’m just being honest. Still, I did lose a very well-paying job over this comic strip so maybe I should readjust my idea of just what it is people find offensive?

Oh, fuck it. If I had stumbled across this comic strip when I was a kid, I would have thought it was the dog’s!

Page 2

Or Page 1 of the strip, if you want to be pedantic!

Panel 1 of this strip is not only the first panel of Brompton Rhodes – it’s also one of the first images I played around with whilst developing the style that the comic would follow. A couple of examples are displayed, for your delight, below:

Eagle-eyed readers will spot Max Headroom lurking on a building. I covered my personal relationship with Max in the Confidential dealing with Dead Letter Day, but I’ll reiterate the point here that Max’s presence indicates that the setting is ‘twenty minutes into the future’ the tagline of his own series.

It’s also interesting to note that Max Headroom is, in effect, an in-universe ‘author-avatar’. Hmmm.

Blade RunnerThe idea of having screens on buildings (note the ‘BBC’ screen on the bottom left, adorning what is actually the Lloyd’s building) were intended to homage Blade Runner, probably my favouritest  film ever, and I gamely attempt to keep slipping them in where I can.

And how about that panel 2, then? The first appearance, on-screen, of  Brompton Rhodes. Look at that hair! Jesus. Back then, for reasons that elude me now, I was into straightening my naturally curly locks and making it look bizarre. Fortunately the look doesn’t last long in Brompton Rhodes but what a start – yeesh!

Sellotape ManacleIt’s easier to see later, but the ‘manacles’ here are composed of two rolls of sellotape and a couple of those key chains that we all used to wear when, for some inexplicable reason, baggy combat trousers with loads of pockets were in fashion. Christ. The board behind Brompton was made entirely in Photoshop, as if you couldn’t tell.

 

 

Page 3

A page that horrifies and disgusts most right-thinking people, and ensures that they never return to my website. Indeed, ensures that they never speak to me again!

I have to say, all credit to my friends over these few pages. This was a performance above and beyond the call of duty and committed to with a gusto that I reckon remains as yet unmatched in the history of Brompton Rhodes.

I suspect that I made Stavros Vashlenko an “Eastern European” because, you know, topical, what with our collective xenophobic fear at the time that all those strange Slavs were going to arrive and take our jobs. Such an attitude would of course later contribute to the downfall of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, but more on him later…

Dalek Weapons FireThe directive to ‘exterminate on sight’ is a nod to both Robocop and Doctor Who, in case you weren’t following.

The background, an actual interior of the Gherkin, was stolen from Google images somewhere – I did try and get in there one day to take my own photos, but it was three in the morning and I’d just consumed several bottles of gin. The security guard was not exactly amenable to my entreaties.

Page 4

One of those aforementioned ‘interesting’ pages. I’m extremely happy with this actually – taking a seemingly impossible task and turning it into something that could almost be beautiful, were it not for the vile subject matter.

Here it’s quite clear just how I constructed the makeshift ‘manacles’ – a feat worthy of Blue Peter, I’m sure you’ll all agree. The reference to being ‘made in Deutschland’ is a poor joke about German engineering.

The Motorola ‘skeletal resonator’ is a wholesale crib from Warren Ellis’s magnificent How Do I Shot WebTransmetropolitan, another set text that shaped everything I am. In the comic it is used much as it is suggested to work here, as a way of sending and receiving voice messages. Brompton is, of course, employing it for very different purposes here. The risk of ‘massive displacement of internal organs’ is a reference to the effect a Dalek weapon has a on a person (nasty!). The finger placement Brompton uses to activate the resonator is the same as that used by your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man to activate his web-shooters.

 

Page 5

I suppose it was around this page that I started to get to grips with the idea of taking the pictures of the actors seperately from their backgrounds – indeed, in this case I had no choice. Despite this early acquaintance with the procedure it would be several years before I would come to terms with the fact that pretty much all of the photos would have to be taken this way.

Oh, and this is another page that disgusts people, if the previous ones haven’t already put them off. Of course, that isn’t an actual penis – rather, a rubber one. Still, looks pretty rough, eh?

Pages 6 – 7

Rob and Justin are two of my oldest mates and I’m so proud of their performances here. Look at that madness in Rob’s eyes! Christ alive!

Page 8

This is another page that, quite by accident, turned out rather nicely. The backdrop, with the silhouette of Brompton in the foreground, was almost an afterthought really but ended up making the page. Available as a poster, for those who love me.

Page 9

Not so happy with this page, even after all these years. Most of it’s fine and, of course, it contains the punchline that this entire disgusting sequence was written to set up, so I can’t hate it entirely. It’s the bit on the left that looks shite – an attempt to replicate the ‘over-the-shoulder’ thing I had done a page previously with Brompton. The word balloons are shit as well. Ah well. I could go back and edit it, but that’s one thing I’m keen never to do. Let these errors stand as testament to my folly, I say. And after all…

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”

Or summink.

As an entirely unintended easter egg, if you count the number of panels from where the bomb is activated until it’s explosion it is precisely ten – one panel for each second of the timer ticking down. Like I said, purely accidental but rather amusing, nonetheless.

Pages 10 – 11

Page 10 is another one of those pages where I’m oddly satisfied with how it turned out. This is in stark contrast to my normal attitude of regret and self-loathing.

Meanwhile, Rob’s cry to the sky on Page 11 is like, the fucking best thing ever. He will make a grand return to the comic soon, I promise. Incidentally, that image is also available as a poster,  for those of you who believe in rewarding artists for their work instead of spitting on them and telling them to become estate agents. Yes, you know who you are. Mother.

Page 12

The image of Rob exploding wasn’t scripted – I was playing around with one of his images and ended up with that. I liked it, so I used it. There you go.

Page 13

Alternative Page ThirteenAnother picture shamelessly stolen from somewhere on the internet. There was an alternative to this page, shown to the right, but I ended up going for the much more dramatic image.

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll realise that this is yet another iteration of the ‘alternative’ panel 1, seen near the top of this article. Hey, if I’m going to steal some images I might as well get some fucking use out of them.

Incidentally, pay attention that flame effect used in both images – it’s already cropped up as gunfire back on Page 10 and will be used incessantly and without shame wherever the script calls for shots or explosions. I mean fuck it, why mess with something that works? Right??

Pages 14 – 15

Both of these were much later additions to the issue, taken in around 2010 rather than 2007-8 as most of the rest of the issue.

The script called for Brompton to run down the outside of the building and then pull a tag on his backpack, revealing pop-out wings that would allow him to glide to safety, much as in the original short story from which most of this issue was taken verbatim. However I decided to go with the simpler option of the parachute for this end sequence. Indeed, this was where I realised that compromises were going to have to be made regarding my ambitions with the script. It was valuable experience and ensured that, for future issues, I would know exactly what I would be capable of – as well as recognising areas in which I could perhaps push myself.

Animations of MortalityBrompton careering through the air was said by my dad to be reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animations. Monty Python, despite my age, was a large comedy influence on me due to my dad’s love of it, and as a child it has to be said that Gilliam’s surreal animations were the part that caught my eye the most. Later, as a teenager, his art book ‘Animations of Mortality’ would again be a big influence on some of the artwork I would produce at school. In fact that book was a haunting constant throughout my life, it’s bizarre and often terrifying images still burned into my brain. Brian Badger, the host of the book, gets a reference on the mock-Evening Standard front page here in the history section (bottom right).

Brazil

Since we’re talking about Gilliam I should also add that I’m a big fan of his films; Brazil, Twelve Monkeys and, of course, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, are all huge parts of my life.

Page 16

The Gherkin appears to have a crack down it here – this was an artifact of my imperfect editing process that I decided to throw in after I couldn’t get rid of it. That’s my job, kids. Destroying the magic. Have you had a look behind this curtain…?

(In these post-Yewtree days I should probably be wary of such phrases. PRISM is watching!)

Page 17

The use of Bishopsgate might seem like a crass attempt to stake my comic’s claim as a “London” strip but it holds personal resonance for me; I used to work in a pub just around the corner and a friend of mine lived not far away for a short time. The script originally called for Brompton to land and make his way across the road to Ponti’s, an all-night caff that we used to frequent when I worked there. It was literally all-night; three in the morning and you want a jacket potato? No bother. In the end I simplified it all down to a simple splash panel and Brompton’s desire for a bacon sandwich. I think Ponti’s is gone now, in any case 🙁

Hector Smith - Slopin' OffIf you look closely at the phonebox you’ll see that the advert has been replaced with one for that featuring my dear old cat, Hector. This particular image was originally created for a university project (see also the Confidential about Dead Letter Day) and can be seen in full to the left.

The police van was taken from a seperate image and pasted in. I would later revisit this theme of sticking in ermegency vehicles on the last page of Dead Letter Day and, as detailed in the above article, I wish to repeat it until that horse has been fully whipped to death.

On the bumper of the police car, below the met police web address, is the Death’s Head logo. Death’s Head, of course, was another influence on Freelance Agent Brompton Rhodes.

Page 18

The opening of the credits sequence. The original intention was to use the target motif to replicate the Bondian opening credits. Because having a pre-credits sequence and a crude replication of a Bond joke wasn’t  enough, obviously.

In the end I dispensed with that idea, although it remains in spirit. To make up for it I stuck a lovely naked lady on the page. Twice. For those of you who want to see her as she is in her full glory click here. Those who are even more curious can click here. Be warned: this is pornography. Actual, real pornography. Cracking, though, eh lads?

Ahem.

The Brompton Rhodes logo itself is based directly on the Danger Man logo. The  Danger Man logo would rotate, as seen in beginning of this video below (click the image):

danger man logo

In similar fashion, the Brompton logo is designed to rotate around the target roundel (in preparation for Brompton’s inevitable film/television stardom, of course).

Page 19

dance craze - best of british skaThe ‘cover’ of this issue, such as it is. This image is ripped off wholesale from a DVD I acquired from Camden Market called ‘Dance Craze: The Best of British Ska…Live!’. As you might well surmise it is a live video complilation of the likes of Madness, the Specials, Bad Manners, the  Selecter, et al.

And yes, in my image those are my real socks. I’m just too rude.

Page 20

The Kensington Headquarters are derived from the former Commonwealth Institute, located on High Street Kensington opposite the Odeon. I visited this place many times as a child, growing up as I did in the next borough along. One particular visit sticks in my mind, a primary school trip to a Diwali festival that was easily a trippy as anything I’ve seen at a rave.

The building is currently being rennovated into the new Design Museum, something I’m rather excited about as it’s a much better proposition than demolition, which is normally what happens to buildings I love that fall into disuse and disrepair. Hopefully they’ll be as respectful as possible to the original architecture.

The infamous General Gash makes his vocal debut on this page. His office number, 314, is of obvious significance to fans of Buffy.

Page 21

The feared General Gash! He was a chimp in the original short story and I saw no reason to change that for the purposes of the strip. The mask was purchased from the Carnival store on Hammersmith Road which is run by a bunch of very lovely ladies. Pay them a visit!

If you’ve read the short stories featuring Brompton Rhodes you’ll have noted a recurring human/demonic character known as ‘The General’ – what relation does he have to General Gash? At this point, who knows…?

Peter Duncan

General Gash is here played by Lucy, one of former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan’s daughters and a very good friend of mine. All the shots for this office sequence were shot in their charming South London home. A young Peter Duncan also starred in an episode of Doomwatch, mentioned somewhere above.

 

 

Pages 22 – 23

These two pages are yet another example of me compromising with the script and spreading what was meant to be two panels over two one-page splashes instead.

The gag of General Gash  throwing a mug at Brompton’s head is robbed from the Big Lebowski.

In the background, on the wall we can see Gordon Brown, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister. To give you an indication of how long it took me to pull my finger out and get this comic up and running, when I did this page Blair was still Prime Minister and Brown Chancellor; by the time it was published Brown was long gone and Cameron was in.

We also have the famed Vladimir Putin and Enoch Powell, famous for his ‘Rivers of  Blood’ speech and hating on an immigrant.

Pages 24-25


In the first panel on Page 24 you’ll notice that the word ‘Al’Qaeda’ seems seperate to the rest of the text; this is because originally there was a shit joke about ‘Al’Qaneda’ (as in Canada), as per the original short story, that I had to get rid of toot sweet.

In panel 2 on the same page, as well on the subsequent one, those are actually Lucy’s own eyes – terrifying stuff!

Page 25 defines General Gash.

Page 26

Fi FiFrom the moment we step onto the ‘balcony’ (actually just by Holland House in Holland Park) General Gash is played by Rupert Lovibond, brother of famous film actress Ophelia Lovibond. See, I get all the celebs in my stuff!

The ‘balcony’ photos were all taken on location in Holland Park. It’s a good thing I got ’em when I did since that bit of the park has been done up since to accomodate the opera nights they have there now, and there’s no way I’d get the shots I got here and over the next few pages.

Page 27

Another thing worth mentioning is that when I first created Brompton Rhodes Ken Livinstone was mayor of London. Once again, by the time I had published it Boris Johnson was Mayor, and would soon go on to win a second term. Rather than ditching the idea, or changing Ken to Boris, it was this that prompted me to change the setting of the strip to a kind of alternate London where Ken had installed himself as dictator.

The images of the hare and the dogs were robbed from Google images in a process I’m sure you’re all becoming familiar with now. For this one single shot of General Gash he is played by my sister some years later, since I didn’t get a suitable shot of Rupert at the time.

Pages 28 – 29

General Gash has a visceral hatred of dogs, much like Spider Jerusalem.Spider Jerusalem

On Page 29 you’ll note that the General refers to Brompton as ‘Commander’ – a hangover from the original short story and also a reference to Commander James Bond.

Pages 30 – 31

A point of divergence between Brompton and myself – for some reason he apparently likes Dubai, whereas you couldn’t pay me to go to that sandy, slave-built, rich-tosser-loving hellhole, the sort of place where pricks who go on the Apprentice or describe themselves as an entrepreneur just long to visit (preferably long enough to fall foul of the local laws and end up forcibly circumcised and imprisonsed).

Well, you probably could pay me, but it’d have to be a tidy sum. At least a ton.

Brompton’s worries about his organisational skills, however, are definitley drawn from my own lack thereof.

Page 31 shows how dated some of my references are: Celebrity Love Island? Joes Pasquale? Bryan Ferry’s son? It’s all so early 2000s. I don’t even know what happened to Abu Hamza. Did the Yanks get hold of him in the end?

Pages 32 – 33

Now, this is where things really diverge from the initial script. Originally the issue would end with Thrifty Thursday, played by my former girlfriend, to appear, slag me off and then the  adventures would continue thusly. However, being as I took years to finish the bugger, my personal circumstances had changed and such an ending was no longer viable. Thus, I rewrote the ending and subsequent issues to feature my sister instead. These shots featuring her were, again, done years after the others.

I’m particularly happy with the Robocop-esque spinny-put-the-gun-away thing. There’s got to be a better way to describe that…? Holstering. There we go. Got there in the end.

Page 34

BSL alphabetMy sister is profoundly deaf and has been since birth, thus she communicates via British Sign Language. It would have been a shame to change that for the sake of my comic, so I used a technique familiar to anyone who’s read a comic featuring  dusky foreign types to portray her different way of speaking.

Although I was wearing a pinstrip suit for this issue I’m far from keen with how it’s turned out here. Looks like some sort of end-of-the-pier comedian’s get-up.

Having a ‘Gerald’ is of course rhyming slang referencing fellow cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.

Page 35

Speaking of dusky foreign types, like me my sister is of a mixed persuasion, hence quite dark in the skin department. However she is also blessed with terrifying blue eyes which I thought would be too good to waste, even in my black and white comic.

The outfit was her own idea. Also, her passion for both Doctor Who and for canines had led to her labelling herself as ‘the Badwolf‘, so I decided to use that for my comic as well.

Credits

Lots of credits for photographs here. A number of the photographs were unused but I couldn’t remember who had done which ones so I tried to credit everyone.

This is the only credits page not to bear the KMS logo. This is also the only credits page not to be dedicated to Hector, my lovely puss cat – as he was still alive when this issue was published. All subsequent issues are in his glorious memory.

And that’s it for this issue! Thanks for sticking with me all the way to the end; I told you it was a big ‘un! Stay tuned to this blog for further articles covering the remaining issues of Brompton Rhodes: Rude Bwoy.

Links to existing articles are below:

Brompton Rhodes Confidential: Dead Letter Day

*Only in an artistic sense. Not in a political or social sense, I swear.

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