Taken from The Observer
May, May, Johnson and Gove … new Brexit comic apes Trumpton roll call
Monthly publication will mock the EU protagonists with cartoons based on 1960s children’s TV show
Sun 18 Mar 2018 00.05 GMT Last modified on Sun 18 Mar 2018 22.42 GM
The first Brexit comic, with characters including the Reverend May and her Brexit Gang, David Dealin’ Davis and Boris “Captain Brexit” Johnson, will go into circulation next month, loosely based on the classic 1960s children’s TV programme Trumpton.
The project is the idea of illustrator and author Mike Dicks, who raised £4,400 via crowdfunding to pay for the first edition, which will be posted to donors and supporters by 1 April.
“The Brexit comic is about giving everyone a laugh. Better than crying about it,” says Dicks, who admits he is a Remainer.
“I suppose it’s countercultural to go from online to print, but I was a huge fan of the Beano and like the idea of a physical comic every month.”
Dicks, a former independent TV producer, began with caricatures of Ukip leader Nigel Farage in the run-up to the 2016 referendum.
“I’d been worrying about him and Ukip,” Dicks told the Observer. “I kept thinking about how Farage was looking back to a golden age, but he’s about the same age as me, so what era is he referencing? My recollection of the 1960s and 70s was that in many ways it was a rather shit time.
“He made me think of Trumpton, which was about an old-fashioned town with no foreigners – except Mr Antonio the ice-cream man, who was almost run out of town – and an autocratic mayor.
“It seemed the sort of place and sort of Britain Farage was nostalgic about, so I started a Trumpton_Ukip Twitter account to gently mock him, his supporters and their backward-looking views. It had a couple of hundred followers at most, enjoying my silly jokes.”
Dicks hit the headlines when
“It suddenly went from a couple of hundred followers to 20,000,” Dicks said. “Then dozens of other Twitter accounts sprang up mocking Ukip and we were in the newspapers, so it all blew up in his face.”
Only 13 episodes of Trumpton were made, but many still remember Captain Flack’s fire brigade roll call: “Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb.”
Dicks’s Trumpton has a different crew: “May, May, Johnson and Gove, Macron, Merkel, Mogg” – the two May characters reflecting the prime minister’s shifting position on Brexit.
Dicks, who is having what he calls a “skirmish with cancer”, says finding humour in his comic keeps him busy and cheerful.
“The interest in the comic has been heartening. I’ve been working from home and publishing on the web but, like a standup comedian, I need an audience. I’m constantly amazed by the generosity of people, complete strangers, who are supporting me.”
The first Brexit comic, available to order online for £4, has eight pages, but Dicks hopes to add four more pages next month. “It will come out monthly until Brexit happens, and beyond that we’ll have to see.”
The comic is available at descience.shop/collections/trumpton-brexit
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