Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Hewligan's Haircut by Peter Milligan and Jamie Hewlett

Peter Milligan was always the goofiest, oddest of that pool of British comics writers that arose in the '80s and '90s. (You know, like Power Rangers: Moore was the Self-Proclaimed Magician, Gaiman was the Cool One, Morrison was the One Who Tried Too Hard and Ellis was the Creep.)

And, as usual, creators can be goofier and odder in their home milieu than abroad, in shorter forms than as the main deal, and in serial format rather than big books. So Hewligan's Haircut, serialized in 2000AD magazine "progs" 700-707 and drawn by Jamie Hewlett, was already poised to be at least moderately goofy.

Reader, you do not know the half of it. Let's start from the fact that our main character transparently has the portmanteau names of our two creators, for no obvious reason, and that the story is about his haircut causing a major break in reality.

There are weirder comics than Hewligan's Haircut. But not many of them, and few have aimed as squarely at being weird than this eight-part story, although it does shove all of its goofiness into the expected race-and-chase plotlines, with poor just-got-out-of-an-asylum Hewligan fleeing various horrible forces in the company of the obligatory manic pixie girl as all of the goofiness goes on around him and his fabulous coif.

I have to admit that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it is stylish and bizarre in the manner of the young creators Milligan and Hewlett were in 1990. And it is an interesting warm-up exercise for other, somewhat more serious things that Milligan did not long afterward -- Shade the Changing Man in particular. But, in and of itself, this is just a big goof, though an enjoyable and amiable one.

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