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Author Topic: Serial Killer  (Read 673 times)

Richard

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Serial Killer
« on: 27 April, 2017, 08:04:17 pm »
Just finished Serial Killer today and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought it was pretty funny, especially the interludes describing the comic stories, and I liked how most of the characters are obnoxious dicks. It also gives a good insight into what it was like to work in British comics in the '70s.

The second book in the series will apparently be about (it at least include) the story of how 2000AD started, from Mills's and O'Neill's perspective.

Not for you if you hated the Megazine excerpt, but if you're in two minds then I'd say take a punt, you definitely haven't read a book like it!

Arkwright99

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Serial Killer
« Reply #1 on: 29 April, 2017, 01:04:05 am »
I also finished "Serial Killer" tonight and would also recommend it. Blending thinly-disguised autobiography/memoir with a (hopefully) fictional murder mystery Pat & Kevin have produced a blackly comic history of British comics that will be all too familiar to those of us who remember the Seventies as an era where adult authority still held unquestioned sway over children's lives but where young rebels (like Mills & O'Neill) were intent on smuggling subversive ideas into children's comics. And by prefacing their novel with a contemporary  (2016) newspaper report, M & O'N are able to inject a post-Savile awareness into their narrative at specific moments. Mind you, the central 'Fourpenny One' joke was somewhat lost on me as it wasn't an expression I was previously familiar with.

I will say however that in tone "Serial Killer "did remind me (in a good way) of Mike Moorcock's mid-60s 'Nick Allard' novels, particularly "Printer's Devil" (reprinted as 'The Russian Intelligence' (1980)), which also owes something to Moorcock's time working for Fleetway, (though obviously at an earlier time than M & O'N) but plot-wise the two books are quite different; it was more a style thing that I recognised.

Anyway, "Serial Killer" was a good, fast read (probably took me less than twenty-four hours to read all told, in two substantial chunks) and I'll certainly be checking out/pre-ordering Book 2: "Goodnight, John-Boy" when it (hopefully) comes out.
'Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel … with a bit of pornography if you're lucky.' - Alan Moore

Apestrife

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Re: Serial Killer
« Reply #2 on: 15 August, 2017, 09:18:25 pm »
Just finished up reading it. Fascinated how many things it manages to juggle at the same time, but still pull it off. I tried to explain the book to someone at work today, and I couldn't make it out where to start. Dave is such a mad character, but brilliantly so. I mean, where to start on him. The things the intends with The caning commando, his condition that makes him dream up his mum who wants him to solve her murder, his sexual journey from a fur severe fur kink to chasing a pity fuck.

I've heard they intend for there to be 4 books. Can't wait to read those :)

Dandontdare

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Re: Serial Killer
« Reply #3 on: 29 November, 2017, 02:39:39 pm »
finished this last night - it was thoroughly enjoyable, loads of really funny bits, and tailor made to appeal to someone like me; although I'm not sure how it would read to someone who has no idea about British comics as it is stuffed with in-jokes and thinly-veiled parodies - some more heavy-handed than others (now who could Fab Keen be based on I wonder?)

Both the main character Dave and his frenemy Greg are pretty unlikable - okay, they're both utter shits, but in a very amusing way.I found myself wondering which character was Pat or John Wagner, or the Kevins O'Neill or Gosnell, but came to the conclusion that there's a mash-up of them all spread between the major characters.

Structurally, the novel has little narrative structure, just things happening one after another. I thought the main narrative device driving the plot was a bit lazy - Dave's dead mother keeps popping up in his head to prompt him to "unlock" buried memories. Also, I think it's a bit of a cheat to write a whodunnit that doesn't tell you whodunnit. I wouldn't mind seeing further books in the series, but I think this one plot should be resolved in one novel, even if it has to be longer. As is so often the case, Pat needs a strong editor