Special guest reviewer- Eamonn Clarke
Tharg has launched a new thrill for 2000AD in the shape of the intriguing Brass Sun. Written by Ian Edginton and illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard, with future installments to be drawn by another of Edginton’s regular collaborators (and current Lowlife artist) Matt “D’Israeli” Brooker.
Edginton and Brooker have previously worked together on a number of stories that have appeared in and around 2000AD and the Megazine. Scarlet Traces started from the fantastic premise that Britain used the alien technology left lying around at the end of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds to create a steampunk empire. The writer and artist use this as the background for a murder mystery as a traditional gentleman adventurer and his assistant come up against a dark conspiracy.
The original Scarlet Traces story appeared in the Meg (vol 4 16-18) and it also spawned a sequel, The Great Game, which was published by Dark Horse. They were collected in hardback but are getting rather hard to get hold of these days. If you are interested you can read their adaptation of Wells’ original novel on the Dark Horse site.
Like most works by Edginton and D’Israeli Scarlet Traces is filled with references to other works, in-jokes, and nods to various bits of popular culture. There are so many that it inspired me to compile a set of annotations which you might find helpful as you read along. They even come with the stamp of approval from the creators themselves.
Possibly I have too much time on my hands becauseI have also extended the annotations to look at their more recent works including Leviathan, Kingdom of the Wicked and, of course, Stickleback. And if you find anything that I have missed or got wrong then please email me. You can find links to all my comic book annotations here.
Thank you for your attention.