John Miller - Secret Agent: Chronicles of Doom (3 stars)

John Miller - Secret Agent: Chronicles of Doom

(Small Press)


You can see the work of Edinburgh cartoonist John Miller on posters and adverts hanging in the city’s Deadhead Comics, but none hint at his proclaimed double life as the template for James Bond, with inspiration imparted to Ian Fleming once upon a time ‘on gin-fuelled benders round the fascist pish hooses of Natsy Germany’. What’s Miller on about? We can’t tell. His short page-or-two strips are almost devoid of narrative, but the adventures of Munro the Crow, Bazler’s Heroes and Jim Cranston are rich on visual reference.

Taking the look of EC Comics and Jim Steranko’s classic Nick Fury, they transfer the outlandish spy ‘action’ to warehouses in Leith, Greyfriars Churchyard and the offices of Edinburgh Council. It’s not clever, but it is a giggle, and it all looks great, despite captions which are as big as the images. Some impressive uses of colloquial swearing too, that rarely fails to raise a smile.

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