If you’ve not heard of Professor Elemental, then it’s entirely possible you may want to rethink your devotion to steampunk. I jest of course. He’s known for being quirky, hilarious, amiable and seems to have something against Ipswich. The good Professor has now released a series of comic books to document his life in a way that everyone can understand. Here, I’m reviewing the first installment of his comic series which is currently up to three issues and expanding rapidly.
The comic opens with a letter to Elemental’s current love interest, namedly Miss Sadie Bell. She’s a flame haired sweetheart who – in “Every Rose has Thorns” – at first rebukes him and begins courtship with one Mr. Belmont. A gentleman sporting large spectacles, an even larger moustache and bowler hat. If you’re thinking this sounds like Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, you’d be right. He pops up a couple of other times through the comic book, be it in a dream as Prof pops him on the nose in a boxing ring (Fighting Trousers reference) or simply poking his nose over the edge of the frame like those old “Wot No” cartoons that one would doodle on the science table during a lazy day at school.
The stories are heavily influenced by the Professor’s music and if you enjoy listening to him drop a splendidly phat rhyme, then you’ll like to see them in caricature form. One of the stories covers The Quest for the Golden Frog with the lyrics from the track alongside the art work.
The comic sports different art types as the Professor has employed a number of different artists to illustrate it. My personal favourite is “Every Rose has Thorns” as I prefer that particular art style. Although I have to admit that Elemental looks a little more like David Brent, than himself. Saying that, I think the actual artwork by James Feist is cleaner and allows for more realism such as proper shading and texture. However, there’s still an element of the bizarre such as Professor’s insanely large grin.
I get the impression that issue number 1 wasn’t planned to be part of a series at all. It seems like it was a one off, made simply because Professor likes comic books (Mack of the Year) and because it all seemed like it would be a jolly good caper. My conclusion to that comes from the fact that it isn’t numbered.
The result is a bit mish mash, but on the whole good fun to read. I can’t decide whether I feel a little robbed that several pages are devoted to a song in images, but at least I got to learn a few more lines and I discovered that no matter how many times I read it, I had no choice but to sing along to the chorus. Even in my head.
If you’re a fan of steampunk, Professor Elemental, comic books, freedom, Great Britain and the Queen then the Professor Elemental comic books are worth collecting.
You can do that from the Professor Elemental page here for a meagre sum of £5: Professor Elemental Comic Book page