Brendan McCarthy - Solo (comic) (4 stars)

Brendan McCarthy

Solo ((DC)


As a child brought up on the surreal and sometimes vicious images of British artist Brendan McCarthy, it’s a pleasure to report I don’t feel nearly as damaged as I should. Once a regular on 2000AD - where he forged an ahead-of-its-time psychedelic style, most notably on Judge Dredd and in collaboration with writer Pete Milligan - his art was about as close to taking acid as a ten-year-old could get.

Now providing conceptual designs and ideas for films in LA (including the fourth Mad Max), this beautifully odd collection of conceptual sketches, vibrant imagery and dreamlike storytelling is a welcome return to his original medium. Given the publisher, the piecemeal narrative incorporates DC characters like The Flash and Batman alongside his own, but in never before seen ways. One short, for example, is an attempt to recreate a Batman story which McCarthy remembers either reading or dreaming of as a child. Such semi-lucid mayhem is the hallmark of a real comics great.

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