Saturday, 12 June 2010


Girl #1-3

Story Peter Milligan ~
Art Duncan Fegredo

Seemingly ages ago (don't expect me to be specific - I drink), I picked up a stack of old Vertigo from Oxfam in Crouch End, which has a great Comics and Graphic Novel selection - good for leftfield gems like Crisis back issues, and a tonne of Hellblazer (though I haven’t been in quite some time, so don’t quote me). Among these ramshackle pamphlets was the first issue of Girl, by Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo. I hadn't heard of the series before, but I'll generally give anything by Milligan a try, he's a 2000AD alumnus, a regular contributor to Crisis and one of the early pioneers of the Vertigo imprint, not to mention X-Force/X-Statix. Strangely for a writer of his calibre there are a lot of series by him which seem to have fallen by the wayside, Enigma, The Extremist, Minx... All still unreleased as trades for whatever reasons; they've only just started releasing his legendary Shade: The Changing Man run. But I digress... Suffices to say it took me a fucking age to find all three issues, a quest which ended on the faraway shores of a land called Norwich (OK, it doesn't have shores, but fuck you, this is my story).

Girl throws us into the shitty life of Simone, who lives in a shitty flat in a shitty tower block in a shitty Bollockstown estate, with her shitty family. Simone is not loving life; her monosyllabic parents are at best oblivious, at worst abusive, she's got no friends and she's scared of boys. Even the kids in the lift take the piss out of her.

Things start looking up for Simone when she meets Polly an almost painful reflection of what her life could be like, had she been given all the right breaks. Polly takes Simone under her wing and shows her how to drink, dance, let loose and generally grab life by the balls, so to speak. The trouble is, there's a very strong possibility that Polly is entirely fictional, and our heroine may have gone more than a little bit mental. What adds to this possibilty is the fact that a lot of tragic accidents are befalling the various people in Simone's life, people, if she's honest, Simone is not sad to see the back of...

This is a vibrant, if slightly nihilistic shotgun blast of a story, about breaking the shackles of the mundane society upon which we are thrust into by any means necessary. A satyrical, cynically hillarious... blah, blah, blah... one more paragraph... it's just really fucking good. Go find it!

Four and a bit homicidal split personalities out of a possible five.