Ducked into GOSH comics at lunchtime while passing through Soho on a mission to feed my sons’ insatiable and financially destabilising manga habit.
At the top of the stairs into the basement I was caught between the eyes by a copy of Tim Bird’s Grey Area Issue 2 – The Old Straight Track. I’ve always been a sucker for a bit of Alfred Watkins and I’m currently reading Graham Robb’s engrossing Ancient Paths – so I couldn’t resist a quick flick.
It’s “a tribute to the Great British Motorway System”, one panel showing an alignment between megalithic monuments and a glorious ribbon of pylons stretching across the landscape. Realising I’d been sidetracked I placed it back on the shelf and slid into the basement to pick up the goods for the kids, which happened to be out of stock.
So while at the info counter I dipped into the cardboard boxes of old copies of 2000AD. I collected every issue from around 1979 till 1986 which when I went away to Poly my mother thoughtfully gave to our next-door neighbour never to be seen again. Over the years I pick up a copy, mournfully remembering the mighty stacks that filled every cupboard and shelf in my childhood bedroom.
I walked away with a May 1990 edition of Crisis – “Pol Tax” – sealed in a cellophane wrap.
I broke it open on the tube home digging straight into the first strip – Killing Us Softly 2 about a group of Eco Terrorists in Brixton plotting attacks on the infrastructure of the power system. One devilish plot involved taking down a long procession of pylons mainlining electricity into a brightly lit city (also beautifully illustrated two pages over from the image below).
As the pylons are toppled the panel reads:
The country is the placenta that feeds the tiny child – the City…. An over-demanding foetus, draining her blood .. A gross, middle-aged baby, too frightened, too stupid to be born. It’s time to cut the umbilical”Pat Mills & Alan Mitchell Crisis #44
It seems there’s no escaping the pylons.