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BANDIT!

Christmas is coming, a geeks everywhere are wondering if there is a slightly odd present that they can give to a loved one in order to open someone’s world to the wonderful weirdness that we nerds take in our stride.

One of the comic-books I love to give to non-comic fans is Grant Morrison’s We3, which can inaccurately described as Watership Down meets Short Circuit1.
This gripping, intelligently written and beautiful drawn tale is a showcase for the sort of quirky stories that work brilliantly well in the graphic-novel format; a sentimental action story about a bunny rabbit, a dog and a cat on the run from a US military. Why are they on the run? Because they’ve been wired into enormously powerful war-machines. The story begins with an Army commander realising what a terrible idea this was in the first place, and demanding the project be ‘terminated’. One of the scientists can’t bear to hurt the poor wee beasties, and lets them loose instead.

It’s the sort of absurd tale that can only be well realised by the sort of talent working in comics today, in this case, Grant Morrison, who’s well known for his weird stories filled with warmth, emotion and utter freakiness. Morrison has written some very well regarded mainstream comic books in recent years, and his back catalogue is filled with brilliant yet odd stories.2 His best work is always his strangest and We3 is no exception.
Artist Frank Quitely draws the three animals in a way that reminds us that these are the sort of creatures we have as pets. The artwork is always sympathetic and makes us believe that they are innocent creatures trapped in a man-made nightmare, doing what they can to escape. It’s the sort of thing that works well in a comic-book, and though I would love to see We3 on the big screen, I doubt it would have the same sort of impact.

This is a book that will extract a tear and a smile from any but the most hardened of comics reads, and as a way to showcase precisely what the medium can do, it’s ideal. It’s also cheap, and short, and a great stocking-filler.


1: If you’ve not read the novel, Watership Down then you should. It’s one of those books everyone should read. The same cannot be said for the 80’s move Short Circuit, which is not as good as you remember.
2: RomCom pastiche Kill your boyfriend and tabloid parody Big Dave spring to mind. Big Dave featured special envoy Terry Waite punching aliens for justice.

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