Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Complete D.R. & Quinch

Alan Moore, Alan Davis & Jamie Delano
The Complete D.R. & Quinch (1987)

Moore apparently disowns this one as having lacked any redeeming social values, which is a shame, and I know at least one person who regards it as the only decent thing the man ever wrote. D.R. & Quinch of course appeared in the pages of 2000AD about a million years ago. It's basically an underground comic very much revealing Moore's roots and would have been equally at home in the pages of Commies from Mars, and as such I'd suggest it actually is a big deal that Moore managed to sell it to the Mighty Tharg in the first place, so he does himself something of a disservice and his subsequent judgement regarding redeeming social values seems to have come from the same place which inspired that bewilderingly nihilistic take on seventies punk culture in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which appeared to owe more to Kenny Everett's Sid Snot routines than anything which actually happened.

The lack of redeeming social values is surely the point, because there's a certain age at which it's both healthy and educational to piss off one's parents; and thus we have a science-fiction rewrite of characters from National Lampoon's Animal House in a spirit distantly descended from that of Whizz for Atomms by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle; because mindless destruction can be funny, and sometimes it should be celebrated; or if you don't understand it, bust it, as my friend Carl once explained to me.

Of course, it might be argued that such rampant nihilism worked better against the backdrop of the wipe-clean pastel-toned eighties than it does now, with reactionary trends having reclassified popular support for the worst sort of authoritarian eugenicist as a somehow daring and even revolutionary position - because God forbid that anyone should have their lives quite literally destroyed by political correctness; but if we're going to let certain fuckwits claim that Hitler was simply of his time, then I don't see any good reason to dismiss D.R. & Quinch, who were for a short while the epitomy of rock 'n' fuckin' roll, man.

Technically, the writing is kind of loose and sloppy, closer in spirit to Roscoe Moscow than Watchmen - not so much stories as a series of gags with raspberries blown in the general direction of everything else, which I personally see as joyous rather than cynical or necessarily nihilistic; but it doesn't matter because the gags are funny, and are still funny thirty years later, and the art of Alan Davis is gorgeous, and D.R. & Quinch is easily as much his work as Moore's; and you know, I still can't watch The Godfather or Apocalypse Now without a little voice in the back of my head whispering mind the oranges, Marlon.

For fuck's sake, Alan - get a grip: be proud!


  1. I watched the BBC documentary 'Listen to Me Marlon' a few days ago. And heard 'Mind the Oranges' whenever it's name was used.

  2. Looks good. I lost track of Alan Moore somewhere between Roscoe Moscow and Watchmen, so I'll probably like it if I can track it down.

  3. Just ordered it. Now for the collected The Stars My Degradation...

    1. I don't think the Sounds stuff was ever reprinted, sadly, although I seem to recall there being a website which had them all viewable online.