Once upon a time, there was a British comics anthology called Warrior. Alan Moore wrote three strips for it. One was Marvelman, now to be republished by Marvel Comics in 2014. Another was V For Vendetta, still in print in increasingly luxurious formats from DC Comics and the subject of a major motion picture by the Wachowski Brothers. But the third, The BoJeffries Saga with artist Steve Parkhouse has been relatively unmourned and unloved. But it remains one of my most favourite of Alan Moore's "things".
It has been collected, sure, by Fantagraphics and Atomeka, but now this very working class British take on the Addams Family or the Munsters, is coming back into print with a full length new story by Moore and Parkhouse, set a couple of decades after the original run, and well into Gordon Brown's government.
I can't wait. And fortunately I will have to wait even less. Because while the US release date from Top Shelf Productions is mid-March, the UK release from Knockabout is, I'm told, scheduled for the end of February.
If you have ever loved Alan Moore's work, prepare to meet, or be reintroduced to, The Bojeffries. Here's the bumf and your first look at the brand new story…
Jobremus Bojeffries is like any other father – trying to keep the peace in a house stuffed with two kids (Ginda and Reth), uncles Raoul and Festus, a baby, and old Grandpa Podlasp. Never mind that one's a werewolf, one's a vampire, Grandpa is in the last stages of organic matter, and the baby puts off enough thermonuclear energy to power England and Wales… All right, they're no ordinary family. And this is no ordinary book, with stories spanning decades, a whole chapter written as light opera, a Christmas episode, and an all-new, 24-page comic bringing the Bojeffries up to the present day. On every page, the wry and anarchic creativity of the creators shines through: Alan Moore's affectionate and penetrating grasp of human nature (and British culture) creates a kind of desperate poignancy in the characters, brought to memorable life by Steve Parkhouse's deft and articulate line work. It's all there, untutored, unpolished, ramshackle, and always on the edge of collapse. Very much like Britain itself.
The new story revists our BoJeffries lot many years on, with a TV documentary to find out where they are now, and using an incredible series of tortuous plot and coincidental shenanigans to reunite them.
The house is demolished, Reth wrote a tell-all novel that got turned into a bad American film, Ginda became a government minister somewhere between John Prescott and Anne Widdecombe, and Raoul became homeless where he sells "Biggish Shoes" on the street. And all of them are to be reunited on the set of Big Brother, which recreates their old home on the remains of their old home. So, basically, while most of the book gives us jokes about the eighties, the new story brings us forward by two decades – but no more. So expect death, destruction and jokes about the discovery of sub atomic particles.
It's the BoJeffries again, folks! And they'll be here sooner than you think!