Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vinyl Underground: Watching the Detectives

Vinyl Underground: Watching the Detectives by Si Spencer and Simon Gane (2008) is very much a self-consciouslly Londonist graphic novel. It talks of 'London, city of mobs and murder, massacres and mysteries' and is crammed full of the kind of references that suggest the authors have spent many hours listening to the Robert Elms show.

Harry Beck's 1931 tube map? Check. Fictitious locations in Phyllis Pearsall's London A-Z? Check. Mention of 'psychogeography of London'? Check. Brooding image of the river? Yes, several, for example: 'countless ghosts, teeming like tadpoles in the murky poison of the Thames'.

The tale features a cool gang of 'occult detectives' and avengers hanging out in an abandoned tube station, tracking down child killers in between DJing at Northern Soul nights in Stockwell. Its plot takes it starting point from the real story of the discovery of a child's dismembered body in the Thames, but the suspected ritual killing turns out to be something else involving London gangsters...

Can anybody suggest other Londonist (particularly South Londonist) graphic novels? By this I don't just mean stories set in London, but those in which the city itself - or a particular location within it - is a key element. Alan Moore's From Hell is an obvious example, as to a lesser extent is his V for Vendetta. But there must be many others.

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