Tea Time Thursday: Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead

Published on June 17th, 2009

So here we are, my first proper article for Tea Time Thursday! I’ve got a great comic to talk to you about for my first contribution to the site and I’m really excited to get things underway. So let us waste no time dilly dallying around here, because I want to get this show on the road!

This week’s British comic of choice is one of action-packed adventure, set in a time of great mystery and intrigue. A time when tales of horrific ghosts and evil spirits were arguably at their scariest! Yes ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about the century of all centuries, the 18th Century!

And which icon of 18th Century legend is this comic orientated around you ask? Why, none other than the infamous Dick Turpin! But hold your horses, because this is no ordinary tale of the ravenous icon we all know and love, oh no. Here’s the twist… ZOMBIES!

So here we have, ‘Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead’.

turpinhoverBut before I go into details about this exciting comic, let me bring you up to speed on who created and made this comic I rate so highly. ‘Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead’ is the second comic to be published under TimeBomb Comics, a small British comic publisher based in Leicester, England. The creative team behind this comic are Steve Tanner and Andrew Dodd. Steve is also the owner of TimeBomb Comics. I met Steve at a convention last year, where I picked up my copy of this comic first hand, and I have got to say what a lovely guy Steve is, and commend how much time and effort he has put into the company and the comics he’s done.

I have re-read my copy of ‘Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead’ many times and honestly, it never gets old. Like I’ve said, it’s a tale of great adventure and the horror twist works perfectly making this a damn good read.

Let me bring your attention to the brilliant writing in this comic. Steve sets the scene with Turpin getting up to no good again, as he holds up a horse and cart in the middle of a dark forest track. Immedialty, the atmosphere is dark and eerie and you feel the sense of danger looming in the shadows! Shortly after, we then get our first character appearance by the name of Tom King ‘The Gentlemen Thief’, an old partner of Turpin, who creeps in by surprise. The relationship between both characters is handled well, and you can feel the connection between both men. Once they had their way with the people inside the cart (not in that sense you dirty minded people), they make their exit together through the forest and stumble across what seems to be a small abandoned village.

And guess what? Yep, you guessed it, the village seems quiet at first, but don’t nosey around too much or you might get your nose eaten by a flesh hungry zombie! I don’t want to spoil too much on it, as this is one horror comic I recommend you read yourself, but let me tell you that this particular issue does not end in the way that you are thinking. The twist towards the end will send a shiver down your spine guaranteed, as it did mine. It makes me all giddy thinking about how this comic ended.

So the writing here was great. Steve keeps you hooked page by page with his use of productive and constructive dialogue. He sets the tone for his story remarkably well and the dark atmosphere stays strong from start to finish. The plot, as mentioned, is thick and juicy with twists, although not so thick and juicy that it falls into the trap of becoming weak. It maintains its focus on the plot and moves forward at a decent pace.

As for the artwork in this issue, this is also where I get a bit giddy again. I have a real soft spot for comic’s which feature black and white artwork. BUT, I believe that the use of black and white artwork in modern comics only works if you use it to go with a horror story set in this kind of time period. So luckily, I’m onto a winner here already! I tell you now, if this comic had been coloured, it would have lost its touch and felt somewhat spoilt. So this works perfectly.

Andrew’s artwork is detailed, it’s energetic, it’s bold, and it’s dramatic. Just what you need for a comic like this. Andrew doesn’t hold back here on the zombie gore, it’s a treat when you see an artist really go to town on drawing vicious zombies in their prime, chasing desperately after prey and eating flesh (be it animal or human in this comic)!

So in both the linguistic and artistic fields of this book, we have two creators giving it their all to make things really work, and in my opinion, it pays off beautifully.

This is one horror comic you probably don’t want to miss out on. Formatted with lovely ‘matt’ finished paper and a glossy cover, for £2.50 ($3.50), how can you go wrong?

If you want to try and get your hands on a copy of ‘Dick Turpin and the Restless Dead’, you can head over to the TimeBomb Comics website and give their online store a look. Luckily for you folk in the US or elsewhere outside the UK, TimeBomb Comics does over-seas shipping: www.timebombcomics.com.

TimeBomb Comics have more books coming out soon, so expect me to be checking out their latest as they hit the shelves, and if they’re as good as this, then you can probably expect to see TimeBomb Comics appearing in another Tea Time Thursday.

Rob Andrews