Review: The Second Coming of Krent Able (Knockabout Comics)

After reading recent anthology I Feel Machine, which was co-compiled by Krent Able, you’d think we would know what to expect from this collection of work from the cult artist. But nothing could adequately prepare us for the dark and twisted, anarchically hilarious strips in this new collection from Knockabout Comics.

Publisher: Knockabout Comics
Writer: Krent Able
Artist: Krent Able
Price: £14.99 from Amazon

From the opening strip, which sees a creepy doctor based on Nick Cave teases a sleeping bird while his patient attempts to talk to him about his ‘all body cancer’, then you know you are in for something which is going to push things beyond all boundaries of good taste to create something devilishly wicked and darkly hilarious. Able’s artwork has that crazed and sexual sensibility of Robert Crumb mixed in with the pop art anarchy of Shaky Kane and the dark humour of Chris Morris. But all dialled up to 11. Or should that be 666.

Able mixes retro style classic comix strips, with vintage adverts for satanic figurines, and a few more current and cutting edge styles, as well one-off the illustrations which really showcase what a versatile and exciting artist he is. In fact the whole thing looks incredible, which helps make the outlandish moments have even more impact and stop them from just being a series of juvenile and outrageous dirty jokes.

The Second Coming of Krent Able comes again

As well as being very rude, the strips have a dark and surreal sense of humour to them that take ideas and twist and turn them into something malevolent and strange. The humour revels in the extremes of an idea as well as the horror of the strange and the outrageous. It’s definitely not a book for everyone, but if you like your humour on the darker, more outrageous end, then this will have you in stitches (and having nightmares about body motorcycles for weeks!)

In amongst these outrageous tales are a few relatively tame strips from the guardian about film directors, which again show that Able’s work is about more than just extremely graphic shock stories, there is actually some substance there too.

If this is your first time exploring the work of Able then be warned. If you are in anyway offended by anything dark and strange or unsettling (or to do with the monarchy!) then give this a very wide birth. However if you are in the mood for something delightfully dark and packed full of malevolent mischief from one of UK comics most unique and twisted voices, then this is definitely worth a read. (Although perhaps not in public!)