Modern Gentlemen
By: J.R. McNamara on January 23, 2008  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Cover Art
Publisher: Pleasant Productions
Writers: Andrew Gallacher, David Jackson, Tristan Jones, Simon J. Green
Art: Andrew Gallacher, Jean-Luc Syndikas, Tristan Jones, Simon J. Green
Australian comic collectors are pretty much a bunch of self hating defeatists.

American comics in Australia have always been successful: be it from direct sales comic shops or your lowly local news agency, Australian comic collectors can't wait to see the latest adventures of Superman, Batman, The X-Men… hell, even Captain America!! English comics have always gotten a fair suck of the sav as well, mainly through 2000AD, but also through kids stuff like The Dandy and The Beano.

So where are the Australian made comics for Australian fans?

Australia has a pretty long history of comics, dating back to the 1890s, which is just as long as the American industry, but has never gotten the same respect. Ask your average Australian Comic fan who The Phantom Pirate, The Blue Ray, The Dark Nebula, Platinum Grit or The Southern Cross are, and you shall probably get a shrug… even Jason Paulos and Bodine Amerikah's Hairbutt the Hippo doesn't get the respect it deserves, even though THAT has appeared in the shameful shadow of the American icon Australian Mad, which, let's face it, is a repackaged pile of Americanisms pushed onto an Australian market with a tiny bit of local flavour thrown in to make it seem like it came from your neighborhood.

No, the Australian Comic scene, except for the fanzines pushed through occasionally through your good ol', yet becoming extinct, independent record shop (Soundgarden at Hurstville, R.I.P., in NSW used to carry the hilarious Entrailer Trash and Glenjamin) and  MySpace (like Fat Ankle's Phatsville) is a dead duck…deceased… fucking snuffed it.

…or has it?

From the bowels of MySpace comes the spectacular Modern Gentlemen, published by the proud folk at Pleasant Productions. Pleasant Productions are a crack team of Australian film-makers, writers and artists who have banded together to make a comic collection that would make even Mike Diana himself volunteer to put down his pencils and never touch them again. Pleasant Productions comprise of a disturbing bunch of talented psychopaths that go by the names of Andrew Gallacher, David Jackson, Tristan Jones, Simon J. Green and Jean-Luc Syndikas (I appreciate the latter has a French sounding name, but I have been assured he is fair dinkum and true blue).

Now one thing I need to stress is that Modern Gentlemen is not like the comic books you remember, unless of course, like me, you grew up reading stuff like Weirdo, Zap!!, Boiled Angel or Snarf. Modern Gentlemen is rude, violent, sadistic and mostly funny. If you are expecting the crisp clean lines of an Adam Hughes' Wonder Woman cover, or an intricate Art Adam's X-Men annual, you will be disappointed. Modern Gentlemen is raw, stream of consciousness stuff that at first glance barely even makes sense, but persevere, dear reader, as the carnage is great. All the creators mix and match their talents to make an incredible bunch of stories that never manage to rise above the level of 'perverted', which, for most of us, is exactly what we wanna see, well, judging by the pile of Cherry Poptarts, Rambas and Crumbs I have next to my bed, it is certainly what I wanna see!!

Some of the tales include Mr Gallacher's Blackteria: a disturbing look at mutant snuff porn, Jone's Based On True Events: where an inconsiderate defecator gets his come-uppance, and my favorite, Gallacher and Jackson's Cubical Chaos: which shows the true fear of the dangerous combination of masturbation and timed public toilets.

The Australian comics industry isn't dead, but it is certainly lying by the road after being hit by a semi-trailer and is covered in wombat's piss. Let's hope the guys at Pleasant Productions can turn this spark of creativity into a blazing bonfire of industry, and give the Australians a comic industry they can be proud of! Like I said, this first issue is raw, but it is headed in the right direction for the adult, and by that I mean not easily disturbed, collector. Good luck, guys, and hurry up with a second issue!!
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