Si Spurrier – ‘Weirdist masquerades as Wordist’

November 16, 2012

A simple fact of life and the universe;  any writer who’s been allowed the gargantuan task of writing a Judge Dredd story is worth a look, no? Not to mention working on 2000AD, writing a wadge of titles of his own that’ve hit the industry with substantial force, namely  Lobster Random (with Carl Critchlow/ Matt Brooker AKA D’Israeli), Bec & Kawl (with Steve Roberts), The Simpling Detective (with Frazer Irving)  and Harry Kipling . Enough force, in fact to convince our American buddies let him loose on their side of the pond, writing mainly for Marvel. A few super-nerds out there may even remember his work on strips for Warhammer Monthly…but HoB won’t hold that against you.

Born in 1981 he completed a degree in Film & Television Production at S.I.A.D. he worked as an Art Director for the BBC, and was awarded screenplay bursaries at the National Academy Of Writing and the Met Film School.

HoB won’t list you with all these deets, but Spurrier’s got a sickeningly impressive CV which has earned him nominations for Best New Talent (National Comics Award) in 2002 and Favourite Newcomer Writer (Eagle Award) in 2007.

Not limited to picture-books, Spurrier got two novels with Hodder Headline; Contract in 2007 and A Serpent Uncoiled in 2011, Culled (Afterblight Chronicles )preceded these in 2006 for Rebellion  I’m yet to venture deeply into this realm of Spurrier’s skill-set, but these  are on my Goodreads list, for sure, the second of which, I’ve just started and i’m drooling already.

Spurrier’s extensive back-cat was a bit of a research project for me and this list is my no means comprehensive. I only became privy to these talents after reading CROSSED Volume 1 by Garth Ennis (swoon for talent), and then subsequently the CROSSED: Wish You Were Here webcomic, both for AVATAR PRESS.

“CROSSED is a horror comic book for mature readers from Avatar Press. It is in print in a series of comic books and graphic novelcollections at your local comic shop and bookstore. The free, weekly webcomic CROSSED: WISH YOU WERE HERE is here on, and the ongoing bi-weekly CROSSED: BADLANDS is available now from your comic retailer

Various folk have been brave enough to to test the integrity of their gag reflex and draw this excellent filth. However, what’s most gut-grabbing for me isn’t the blood or rape or debauched scenes, but the hopelessness, hope, reality and frightening humanity that Spurrier conveys in his stories that feel raw and real.

Few things please us HoBbits more than those secret little breadcrumb (or M&M’s if you’re E.T.) trails between creative that lead you on to discover another. That’s exactly what happened here, for me. A long-standing fan of Ennis and generally stuff that’s a bit so far beyond manky or gross that it’s almost too manky and gross…CROSSED was a series I absolutely had to get stuck into, albeit through gritted teeth and squinted eyes. But, this was merely a spring-board into a ball-pool of brilliance for me as I trekked back through Spurrier’s work.  Thank ‘eck for them t’interwebs and the ease with which I was able to scope out these treasures.

I adore the thorough Englishness of this chaps’ writing.  His Londonisms read so rhythmically  The first pages of ‘A Serpant Uncoiled’ hold some of the most deliciously visceral imagery I’ve ever had the good fortune to enjoy. I’ve clutched at the English language in desperate during my own writing in the hopes that the right parts of it will string themselves together to paint the landscape I’m struggling to describe, and yet it seems Spurrier has a pair of secret scissors and tape with which to snip and glue English together like ornate, language bunting. I can’t conjure up a sentence from memory that more perfectly describes a snippet of real life more perfectly than “On ledges though Soho, pigeons sulked in moronic bedragglement, while brave smokers lurked in smoggy palls outside steaming pubs, muttering at the indignity”. He personifies the sky as he call it ‘jaundiced’ and convincingly turned vehicles into wild animals when he tells his reader that  “fog-windowed buses roared like dying lions through old puddles”.

What’s also mega, and a potential easy ‘way in’ is ‘in fetu‘, Spurrier’s creator own webcomic with Chris Mitten, featuring yet more brilliant, odd-angled prose and some raw yet emotive art.  Mr Spurrier’s a bloggist and a daily, sometimes hourly tweeterer so for the love of all things awesome, jump with both feet into the know!


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