'Hitsville UK' Issue 1 // Words: Glen Byford
The visual importance of music is highly debatable. Certainly, iconic album covers are interwoven into our collective consciousness, and many artists and acts have played with the ideas of recognisable identities or innovative videos. But can this be linked back the other way? Can the visual aspect alone convey the magic of music? Hitsville UK are setting out to prove that it can.
The fictional record label and its roster of talent is the focus of a new/reissued comic, from the hands and minds of John Riordan (also of popular beat combo The Little Philistines) and Dan Cox. 'Hitsville UK' takes a look at all that is weird and wonderful with the seedy underbelly of 'making it', as a greed obsessed record boss in league with a demonic accountant and a drug fuelled producer seek to find their meal ticket.
The satiric playfulness and whimsical sense of direction is unreservedly British, taking cues from the darkly absurdist humour of 'The Mighty Boosh' and 'The League Of Gentlemen', whilst the art is akin to 'The Beano' melding minds with Harvey Pekar, flitting erratically to convey the musical styles and personalities through the loosely connected sketch style narrative that once again harks back to the revered British comedy format.
Of course, any good first issue should revolve around the origin story, in this case, the coming together and recruiting of a collective of cultural misfits that have been wanting to ascend from the toilet circuit, the troubled teen and his doom obsessed techno-machinations, the revolutionaries still tied to their day jobs, the hipsters, the weirdos and the freaks.
But this is just the start of the adventure, serving as much as a prelude as it does a first chapter, and where the story of the talents thrown together may take them may well be worth subscribing to.
Order Issue 1 of 'Hitsville UK' from Great Beast Comics. Issue 2 is set to be released in November. Find more from Glen at @glenbyford.