Graphic Novel / Comics Reviews

The Complete D.R. & Quinch

(2006 ed.) Alan Moore & Alan Davis, Rebellion, 8.99, trd pbk, pp unnumbered. ISBN 1-904-26548-0


If you like comedy science fiction and youthful jinx then this will tickle your funny bone. D.R. and Quinch have become minor icons in the 2000AD stable since they first appeared way back in 1983 (the comic's proto-classic period don't you know). Their first adventure was one of 'Tharg's Time Twister Tales' which in turn was a series of occasional independent Twilight Zone-like SF stories. In this adventure, 'D.R. and Quinch Have Fun on Earth, our two young aliens manipulate Earth's history during a day playing truant from college . Ernie Quinch is a large, chubby creature that does not say much (though he narrates the first tale) except to occasionally utter "s'right". He likes guns and starting fights, and proudly declares in the initial panel 'my psychiatrist says I'm a psychotic deviant.'   D.R (or Waldo Dobbs) is more of an uncontrolled Fonz type. 'D.R.' stands for 'diminished responsibility'.

Borrowing a time flivver they first go back to the Mesozoic to zap a few lizards and then further still to nuke the early Earth and so change the shape of the planet's continents. Ultimately they affect human history, get painted onto cave walls (that was what Von Daniken was all about), try to explain space travel to the ancient Egyptians - but they didn't get it and just built horrible pointed buildings - before stimulating the evolution of technology and Man getting to the Moon. Even so Quinch's banana skin at the foot of the Apollo 11 ladder seems to have been edited out of the NASA footage. Ultimately Mankind finally gets accepted into the.., well the human's don't quite cotton on, the League of Disadvantaged Planets.   At the reception marking this occasion a continental map of the human's planet is projected which happens to spell out an insult in Centravian... Earth is decimated in revenge... It was the best summer D.R> & Quinch ever had and if all kids found something interesting to do instead of hanging around and causing trouble, it'd be a better Galaxy.

Other adventures include an attempt to go straight, making a film in Hollywood, joining the army and life when D.R. gets a girlfriend. They even have a go trying to help younger kids by running a summer camp. On teaching how to light a fire: Hey man, all this rubbing-two-sticks-together garbage is completely useless!   This is why the X-15B 'scorched earth napalm dispenser' is an essential for the serious woodsman. And then of course they have to teach their young charges how to deal with natural hazards such as totally uncontrollable forest conflagrations.   Leave the wounded and run man!

Rip roaring fun. An excellent birthday present or stocking filler at Christmas for kids of all ages. This edition though is new. While most of the strips were originally published in 2000AD in 1983-5, and the collection first appearing in 1986 as D.R. & Quinch's Totally Awesome Guide to Life (by Titan) and reprinted as The Complete D.R. & Quinch (again by Titan) in 2001, this 2006 version has a couple of extra 'advice' strips (and so is not a strict reprint as indicated on the inside cover). The 2006 edition is also from Rebellion and in the new, smaller Rebellion format. (Boo.) However it is cheap and a pound cheaper than the 2001 edition. (Hoooraaay.) S'right.

Jonathan Cowie

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