Scotland Yardie was a cartoon by Bobby Joseph, parodying both police dramas and Jamaican-infused Black British culture that ran in the Black rip-off version of Viz Comic, Skank, published in the early nineties. It originally looked like this.
A satirical look at the British police from a twentieth-century perspective of racial violence, it imagines a Jamaican Rastafarian gangster take on the traditional British bobbie.
The humour was with a broad brush and wasn't exactly subtle. But over the years became fast more ambitious and, frankly, beautiful, as Knockabout published a Scotland Yardie graphic novel. The new graphic novel hasn't tamed its rage or disgust, but it has given it new focus, narrative, space to take a one-gag idea and tell it in an infinite of variations.
Now Bleeding Cool has learned that Scotland Yardie has become the first BAME graphic novel to be studied as a module on an English Literature Master's course at King's College, London. Something its creator Bobby Joseph tells me he is "pretty chuffed about."
King's College was founded in 1829, and it's English department is one of the oldest and largest in the country. And it gives me a great amount of glee to realise that current post-graduate students will be analysing, dissecting, discussion and contextualising the following.
Here's a quick reminder…
From the view of Boris Johnson which hasn't exactly changed since he was Mayor Of London, to now as he is Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Or looking at the below gentrification of Brixton affecting the fried chicken shops – blue Chicken seems like an idea that Hoxton is about to have any second now – and how it reoccurs through the comic.
And from how the PR industry uses black people as political window dressing, to how the British Caribbean population relate to people actually from the Caribbean.
While also having the cast of Broadchurch arrest the cast of Doctor Who, even when they are played by the same actors. And one of the few comics that thinks it's a grand idea to put Jimmy Savile next to Rofl Harris next to Barney The Dinosaur.
While also recognising the changes in society since the character's creation. And instead looks at the cultural separation between black police and the black community simultaneously with the racial divide within the police.
While also examining the knee-jerk violent impulse of responses to criminal and anti-social behaviour, divorced from race, completely. Because for all the slapstick, drugs humour and filling every square inch with comedy references, it's ridiculously nuanced. As if Mrs Brown's Boys was as full of the same nuanced political and social insight as The Wire.
So can I get a 2:1 after that? A 2:2 at least…