Jon Ronson is one of the UK's leading social and political satirists. His first novel Them: Adventures With Extremists saw him stalking conspiracy theorists and the subjects of their conspiracies. The Men Who Stare At Goats took this to a new level, looking at the madcap theories and quite literally insane policies that have informed actions during the current war in the Middle East, with accompanying TV and radio shows, all conducted in a mild mannered, cowardly fashion that disguised balls of steel. I'm a big fan.
The Beano is one of the oldest continually running comic book in the world, publishing weekly since the 1930s, aimed at British children and those nostalgic for a world that never was. An anthology full of comedy strips and the occasional drama, Hunt Emerson and Kev F Sutherland are two of its current creators.
And now Jon Ronson has joined them, writing an episode of The Numbskulls, a classic Beano strip looking at the people who live inside us, controlling out every action. The Guardian newspaper, for whom Jon often writes, has previewed his upcoming work in this Saturday's newspaper. And from next Saturday, The Guardian will be giving away a comic book with every paper for a week, starting with The Beano in question then continuing with the likes of Jackie and Dandy. Ronson talks about his experience with the Beano and his success in pitching a story, in the Guardian here.
This is insane. For Americans, it's like Michael Moore writing for Archie. And here's the double page spread in question.
Here's a brief taster for those interested in Jon's non-comics work. The movie based on Men Who Stare At Goats, where he is played by Ewan McGregor, is released in the USA in November. Here's the trailer.
In other pieces in this weekend's comics celebration edition of The Guardian, Jaqueline Wilson talks about inspiring Jackie, celebrities' favourite comics and comic characters (Perez Hilton chooses Superman, Vince Cable chooses (and looks like) The Mekon) and modern day children read classic comics and (mostly) fall in love with them.
I think I'll buy a copy when the newsagents opens… in seven hours. I love the internet.