Pat Mills, comics, politics and subversion – Looking back (and forwards) at Ro-Busters


A RECENT purchase, if not release, was the first book in a two-volume collection of all the Ro-Busters strips which ran in Star Lord and then 2000AD back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Ro-Busters: The Complete Nuts and Bolts Vol 1 is a handsome book in sturdy hardback and on glossy, good-stock paper which nicely does the strips justice (particularly the early Star Lord ones, which were originally printed on glossy photo-gravure paper, as opposed to 2000AD’s more basic newsprint). But it was only while reading these stories for the first time pretty much since their original publication I realised how much they had stayed with me. On reflection, this was surprisingly formative stuff. Continue reading

Why Books Matter


I was recently given a gift of a second hand copy of Marlowe’s collected plays. It was a slight copy, dating from 1912 and a little battered around the edges, the pages a little discoloured and yellowed. And what’s more there was an old bookplate inside, plus another couple of inscriptions predating even that. Continue reading

The Sanctity of George Orwell


A couple of months ago, Will Self published an essay for the BBC’s points of view website which caused a bit of a furore. No change there then, I hear you say. Hasn’t Will Self made a living out of courting a mild veneer of louche and verbose outrageousness? Possibly but in this case I’ve found the reaction to what is a relatively short essay quite interesting. Continue reading