Creating Chaos With Style
Tripwire’s contributing writer Tim Hayes casts his eye over Rebellion’s Pandora Perfect by Roger Langridge and Brett Parson, out in trade later this month…
Writer: Roger Langridge
Artist: Brett Parson
Pandora Perfect is one of the strips created for 2000AD‘s Regened all-ages outreach issues, but it’s not like the others. Intended to expand the 2000AD readership towards a younger audience, most Regened material has age-appropriate protagonists working out who they are and how the adult world functions from an adolescent perspective, even when the youth in question is a young Cadet Dredd. But Pandora Perfect is about an adult throwing a spanner into the works of the world as a comic agent of chaos, a charismatic outlaw surrounded by characters with names like Lady Pinkwhiffle, Bartleby Spugg and Major Corncob. The energy is closer to early 2000AD than most things in the comic now, but the strip is really from the very British tradition that heads back towards DC Thomson, via The Goon Show.
Also Mary Poppins. Pandora Perez, thief, con-artist and prison escapee, is visually styled as the Disney character, and in the first two of the stories collected here inveigles herself into a target’s household by pretending to be a nanny. Her robot companion, Gort, dresses as a chimney sweep and they sing the occasional song. In the loosely sci-fi world of the strip, Pandora carries an Infinity Bag, a bottomless source of high-tech contraptions and contrivances not unlike the one coincidentally being carried by the protagonist in another current 2000AD series, The Out. One story sees Pandora trying to steal a stuffed bird called a guffwarbler; another involves potent growth hormone pills, accidentally swallowed in large quantities by a chicken. Chaos always ensues.
This book collects Pandora’s three stand-alone stories from Regened issues, along with the longer five-episode arc that appeared in the regular comic and which made it clear that her anarchy is directed at the rich, or the upper class, or both. An attempt to steal the Wonga Diamond leads to a confrontation with a capitalist in the food industry who is exploiting the wage slaves in his employ along with the living creature going into his sausages. “The posh all have skeletons in their closets,” Pandora notes on another occasion, while busy conning one member of that demographic.
No surprise that the strip is deft and nimble, given the people who are behind it. Roger Langridge has written or drawn plenty of humour strips and can pace a comic’s visual gags as perfectly as anyone who ever tried, and although he is only a co-creator here the strip is infused with the feel of a full Langridge lampoon. And it’s drawn by Brett Parson, whose instantly recognisable cartooning has become the default for so many recent appearances of Tank Girl that the style almost feels English by default, despite owing plenty to Mad magazine and Jack Davis. Between them they make doing this look like a breeze.
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Creating Chaos With Style Tripwire’s contributing writer Tim Hayes casts his eye over Rebellion’s Pandora Perfect by Roger Langridge and Brett Parson, out in trade later this month… Pandora Perfect Writer: Roger Langridge Artist: Brett Parson Rebellion Pandora Perfect is one of the strips created for 2000AD‘s Regened all-ages outreach issues, but it’s not like
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