Image © Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse.
This hilarious collection of stories began in 1983, more than thirty years ago, and has been growing in fits and starts and ever since. The Bojeffries family is a collection of wildly divergent eccentrics perhaps inspired by British comedy like Monty Python, but going much further into the possibilities presented by the comics medium. So, we have a werewolf who has a nine-to-five factory job when he isn’t catching and eating poodles, a vampire who gets no respect from anyone, a grandfather who is part plant, and a baby in the basement who seems to be a source of nuclear energy, not to mention more outwardly normal-looking family members who are just a weird in their own ways. One of the sources of humor is that no one else around the family seems to notice just how weird they are, with the exception of rent-collector Trevor Inchmale who has stumbled on evidence showing the family owes the government about 100 years of back rent on their house, and is determined to collect it.
Later stories go in other directions, and the most recent brings things up to date in a mock TV documentary just as funny as the earlier work. There is one problem with the later stories, though. Steve Parkhouse chose not to hand-letter them as he had the early ones, and the font he used is small and rather hard to read for these old eyes. Matters aren’t helped by the heavy accent of the documentary narrator that adds lots of extra vowels. The reproduction of the later stories is also not as good, with both the lettering and the art being a little blurry and converted from line art to grayscale, thus breaking up all the lines into dots. Despite the extra effort reading them entails, it’s well worth it. If you aren’t familiar with Alan Moore as an author of comedy, you’ll be delighted with this collection.