In August of last year I reviewed the Battle Royale/The Hunger Games/Avengers Arena satire Metrodome from the team of Craig Collins and Iain Laurie in this column here. The ghoulish imaginations of both gentlemen have been long favourites of mine in ‘Small Pressganged’ whether working together on books like the disturbingly macabre Roachwell and Crawl Hole, or Laurie’s work with John Lees on the similarly disquieting And then Emily Was Gone.
Part parody, part conceptual experiment, Metrodome may not have set out to be the deepest comics offering in your local shop’s small press section but it was the perfect showcase for the work these wonderfully warped practitioners of the form. In its pages we followed a number of ludicrously unlikely super-beings with names like Ultimate Coma and Sparkling Tumour – all epithets randomly put together from the pages of London’s Metro newspaper – in an all-out, arena-style battle to the death.
Following up from that one-shot comic, Craig Collins has been in touch to announce an online sequel project running this week – entitled Exiles of Metrodome – which sees a whole host of Brit indie talent designing similarly styled bizarre metahumans named solely on an arbitrary conjunction of words from that aforementioned paper. The press release is reproduced below in full alongside Warwick Johnson Cadwell‘s conceptualisation of Dance Abuse and Neil Slorance‘s Iron Romance. And don’t forget the original Metrodome comic – and many other Collins-Laurie goodies – is still available in print here priced £3.00 or available digitally here. Two darkly witty creators who deserve a greater following by far!
Here’s what Craig had to say about Exiles:
“In Summer 2013 Craig Collins and Iain Laurie launched Metrodome; a bold, bizarre and brutal experimental comic.
To create Metrodome random words were extracted from a single edition of the free UK newspaper the Metro, and combined over and over to make an extensive list of outrageous villain names. The finest eight were selected and, based on that name alone, artist Iain Laurie created a character design for each nefarious enemy. The stage was set for these paper-thin miscreants to battle to the death in the Metrodome for the prize of their own comic, and with that, meaningful existence itself!
But what of the others on that list? What about those left behind, outside in the howling dust-choked wastes of non-being, hammering on the gates of the Metrodome for the chance to fight for a place in the world?
Here, in Exiles Of Metrodome, these luckless outcasts are brought to brief and beautiful life in a sketchjam featuring a range of marvellously talented artists from the UK and abroad! Across the 19th-25th of May, look to Exiles Of Metrodome to see sensational villains and monstrous bastards created by a host of brilliant artists from comics and beyond, designed based on only a random name drawn from the Metro and handed to them, and what their own feverish brains have envisaged!
Featuring: Matthew Allison, Neil Beattie, Mark Brady, James Corcoran, David DeGrand, James Devlin, Stephen Goodall, Coll Hamilton, Jess Smart Smiley, Alan Kerr, Jane McGuinness, Rob Miller, Nulsh, German Orozco, Alex Ronald, Neil Slorance, Edwin Vazquez, Warwick Johnson Cadwell and maybe even more…!
On Metrodome:“…a wonderful experiment in unconstrained creativity” – Comics Beat.
“The characters emerge fully formed from the deepest, darkest depths of the magnificently poisonous headspaces of Collins and Laurie… If you like your comics unsettling, in-yer-face and gratuitously grotesque then you can’t go wrong with the wicked and wily wit of these guys.” – Broken Frontier.
“Their work together is instantly recognisable and like nothing else you’ve ever read… often hilarious, occasionally incomprehensible and always, always disturbing” – Starburst Magazine.