Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Review: MARNEY THE FOX

The weekly comic Buster presented its readers with a good variety of stories over the years, from laugh-out-loud humour strips such as Clever Dick by Leo Baxendale, to gripping adventure serials such as Maxwell Hawke. One strip that had a unique quality of its own was Marney the Fox by Scott Goodall and John Stokes than ran in the weekly from 1974 to 1976. Now, Rebellion have collected the entire series into one quality hardback graphic novel.

Buster was a comic aimed at both boys and girls, although I suspect the majority of its readers were boys. Marney the Fox was unusual in that it was the sort of strip that would typically be considered solely for a girls' comic. The story of an orphaned fox cub, struggling to survive in a hostile environment, is one that provokes an emotional response from readers; something quite different to Buster's usual action-orientated adventure strips. However, that was part of Marney's appeal, - it was different for a Buster strip, and that made a refreshing change. Respect to editor Len Wenn on taking the risk.

The quality of the script and artwork helped of course. Scott Goodall was one of the best comics writers of the 1970s, producing tightly written, compelling scripts that hooked the readers week after week. John Stokes was the perfect choice of artist, depicting the Devon countryside in wonderful detail, and making Marney a truly sympathetic creature. 
It has to be said though that Marney the Fox did provoke a divided reaction. Some readers loved it as their favourite strip, while others hated it, but response was balanced. In the end, it only ran for two years, but perhaps that was enough. Any longer and the strip could have become stale (as many long-running series did). 
Rebellion's collection of Marney the Fox gives us the entire series within hardback covers (with a new cover and introduction by John Stokes). It's Rebellion's best book yet of their Treasury of British Comics series and should appeal to old and young alike. (Unless they're foxhunters or farmers, in which case they might have a different opinion on the wandering cub.) Animal lovers and children will love it though, as will fans of quality comics art, making the book a fine present for Christmas. 

You can order it directly from the publisher here:
https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/RCA-H0003

4 comments:

Kal said...

Got to hand it to Rebellion, the quality of reproduction throughout the Treasury range has been top notch.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, considering they're scanning from comics, not original art, the repro is great.

Peter Gray said...

Got it today it looks great has a hardback..what a lovely looking book..dreams do come true...hope it will inspire DC Thomson one day..But thanks Rebellion!

Lew Stringer said...

Hopefully, although Thomsons did try it a few years back with the Black Bob book of course, as seen here:

https://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/very-best-of-black-bob.html

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