Obscure Comic of the Month takes a detailed look at a little known entry from my personal comic book collection. Some will be from major publishers, others self published projects, Original Graphic Novels, issues and Manga. What they'll all have in common though, is that I've rarely, if ever, seen anybody talk about them.
The Collected Evil Wee Comics by John Gordon Miller, Rob Miller and Adam J Smith – A Braw Book 2015
We proudly present the collected 'Evil Wee Comics' brand from Scots underground veteran John Miller. Features 'Secret Agent', 'Super Tales' & 'The Atomic Society' issues #1 & 2!
How exactly is one to describe Evil Wee Comics? My first attempt would be to say that they're a somewhat surreal homage to classic golden age superhero and spy comics, but that wouldn't be quite correct. My second attempt would be to say that they're a stream of consciousness reinterpretation of classic comics through a very Scottish lens, but that wouldn't quite cover it either.
The fact that the Evil Wee Comics are so hard to describe is in many respects part of their appeal. Explaining the plot behind the intricate, decade spanning world of the OSS and the Atomic Society is unnecessary and ultimately pointless. Plot isn't really the purpose of Evil Wee Comics, instead the whole experience is more about in the moment nuttiness and taking a journey to find out where the bizarre tangents end.
The average story in Evil Wee Comics usually starts with something resembling a plot. A secret agent must track down an escaped villain, a superhero team must fight one of their possessed members, but the stories quickly branch off into bizarre non-sequiturs about departmental budget constraints or Paul Jones – lead singer of Manfred Mann being an all round boring K**t.
Art duties bounce around a lot, with some great work by Rob Miller on the superhero fight sequences, but it's John Miller's own artwork that is the most notable. It's sharp and blocky, and often takes up only a fraction of the page, with some pages almost filled with nothing but text. It's another layer of bizarre to add onto a primarily graphic medium, with the humour of some of the strips being the slow inevitable crawl of the dialogue edging out the art.
And the humour is indeed the comic's greatest quality. Evil Wee Comics probably has more in common with newspaper strips than full length issues. It is at it's best when experienced just a coupled of pages at a time and revelling in the straight faced absurdity of it all.
Miller and Co are no slouches on depth either. It's clear that the team has a lot of love for the old Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D comics, and there are numerous nods and references if you know where to look. Likewise, the Atomic Society comics draw back to a lot of WW2 era superhero teams like The Invaders, and there's a po-faced nostalgia that's oddly not part of the many jokes on offer.
To go into more detail would probably defeat the point. Evil Wee Comics is Underground through and through, so it's not going to necessarily hold an appeal to more mainstream readers, but if you can handle the sort of punk rock weirdness of stuff like early Tank Girl then you'll probably find a lot here to be tickled by.
There's nothing else out there quite like Evil Wee Comics, and some of it just has to be seen to be believed.
Jack Harvey 2017. Evil Wee Comics is (c) John Gordon Miller, Rob Miller and Adam J Smith. Images used under fair use.