Review: ‘The Fitzroy’

Writers: C.S. Baker, Matt Fitch, Andrew Farmer, Paul Clark-Forse
Artists: Krent Able, Scott Cooper, Will Kirkby, Will Robson, Patrik Lindberg, Charlie Hodgson

1950s Britain, the UK is covered in a poisonous gas but society struggles on, confident in the belief that nothing important has really changed. The Fitzroy Comic explores this world through six twisted tales of death, mayhem and the finest tea from the darkest edges of the British Isles.

The_FitzroySuch is the premise of The Fitzroy, an anthology of black humor and other dark tropes from Dead Canary Comics. While a little uneven in quality, The Fitzroy emerges as a book that spotlights its universe in overall solid form and warrants a look, for sure.

In Blatherington Manor, CS Baker and Kent Able chronicle Forbes as he keeps the Lord of Blatherington Manor busy – and unaware of the fate of Great Britain in the war. Able’s art has a touch of Robert Crumb influence to give these proceedings a hint of satire. Contrasting this, the brevity by Baker and final page reveal of this tale by both contain a punch of melancholy and near-sadness in seeing the Lord of the Manor so proud of his country that is in so much despair without him even knowing it.

The next story by CS Baker, Matt Fitch and Scott CooperThe Hammer – is interesting enough but a step down from the previous yarn. The Hammer is a crime tale set in this world that brings quite a bit of potential but not as much living up to said promise. The Gene Colan-influenced linework by Scott Cooper carries this tale with a mediocre payoff (taken with the overall premise) to something better than it has a right to be.

L’Aventure de Claude et Marcel by Matt Fitch, Andrew Farmer and Will Kirkby redeems this anthology with a quirky tale devoid of dialogue. Claude and Marcel play out a deadly game in a hot air balloon above the war-affected nation in fascinating fashion.

Dig by CS Baker & Will Robson present a salesman and a couple that should remind followers of the most recent episode of Gotham of the duo that lived at the old farm. Only much, much, more sinister. The Darrow-esque detail by Will Robson puts this over the top as one of the best stories here.

Jonsin’ by Paul Clark-Forse and Patrik Lindberg is all black humor, and all of it well done. The yarn of a man who refuses to be outdone by his neighbor is another standout here. Brilliant work by both creators.

The final story of this twisted world, The Can by CS Baker & Charlie Hodgson ends The Fitzroy with a grain of hope combined with how those who loved football may continue the tradition in this desolate world. Another story without dialog, this one risks some confusion but makes for that with splendid art.

All in all, The Fitzroy leaves the reader (or at least this reviewer) wanting to see more of this twisted world. Some stories shine while some falter, but overall the book offers a good look at the talent pool on the other side of the pond and what they have to offer. The Fitzroy earns 3.5 out of 5 Gas Masks.

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Michael Melchor has covered pop culture in all its forms for several publications and websites, including BackStage Pass magazine, 411Mania.com, and Examiner.com. He's been an avid comics reader since Barry Allen was first put on trial for the death of Professor Zoom. He's also been an avid wrestling fan since Dusty Rhodes beat Harley Race for the NWA World Championship. He now brings his fandom of comics, music, and wrestling to PanelsOnPages.com.

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