Latest posts by Glenn Miller (see all)
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In a world riddled with death, despair and giant man-eating monsters, one man does his best to not let the apocalypse get him down…
There’s a lot of unsung heroes in British comics, Shaky Kane is one of those people who should really be mentioned in the same breath as a Jamie Hewlett or Brendan McCarthy, but hasn’t quite got there yet. Kane came to the fore during the 1980’s working on the sadly now departed British anthology Deadline, and 2000AD, though of late he’s been doing some work for Image Comics. Cap’n Dinosaur in particular is a bizarre wee favourite of mine. So I admit to being somewhat of a Kane fan which meant I leaped at the chance to review his and C.S Baker’s new graphic novel, Last Driver from Dead Canary Comics.
Dead Canary Comics have also proven themselves a force to be reckoned with, with each passing release further bolstering their status as one of the hottest commodities in British comics. Their releases Reddin and Frogman are especially well worth reading, and they couldn’t be anymore different either. The publisher have developed a knack for creating quality, and Last Driver doesn’t buck the trend at all.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world where giant monsters have destroyed civilisation, Last Driver tells the story of how an ordinary man, Frank Sudden, finds joy in life after the monsters wreck the civilisation which keeps him locked in a tedious office job doing the menial things tedious office jobs demand of you. Free of the restrictions of Excel spreadsheets, Frank takes his boss’ car and heads off to America to find himself while fighting giant monsters, drinking beer and reading cheap, sleazy porn. Along the way he meets people trying to rip him off, strange gangs who pit him against giant man-eating monsters for their own sport and ends up being possibly the man who fulfils the prophecy of the Last Driver…
Having giant monsters fighting each other or eating people isn’t new. It’s somewhat cliché now with films like Pacific Rim and Godzilla, or in comics such as Christos Gage’s The Vast in the anthology title Cinema Purgatorio. Here though Kane and Baker throw in a bit of Mad Max, not to mention a touch of black comedy to help wash down the monsters, nihilism, violence, porn and fast cars which that the pages of Last Driver. This is fun stuff, at times reminiscent of Charles Forsman’s Revenger in terms of the violence and nihilism, but with added giant people-eating monsters. It’s also oddly enough the most mainstream work Kane’s done in years, perhaps ever. Last Driver isn’t a substantial work, nor does it cut new ground, but Kane makes it look interesting even when the script takes a turn down all too familiar, and sometimes pointless alleys.
If you like post-apocalyptic action, Last Driver is for you; especially if you like monsters, cars, violence and porn. And let’s face it, we all do from time to time.