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Comic Review: Not Quite Dead: Last Gig In Shnagrlig by Gilbert Shelton & Pic

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Not Quite Dead, "the world's least famous rock band," return once again to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting audience, this time in the remote kingdom of Shnagrlig.

Shelton, best know for his underground comix creations, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and the spin-off, Fat Freddy's Cat, here displays the same satirical wit and sense of the absurd that made his name synonymous with the lighter side of counter-culture back in the sixties and seventies.

The story, a melange of political satire, situational comedy and road movie, centers around the efforts of truly atrocious rock dinosaurs, Not Quite Dead, as they pursue their dream of worldwide stardom by taking whatever gig comes their way, even if it means traveling to a remote and religious-fundamentalist third world state that nobody's ever heard of. Little do they know, their long-suffering manager has been recruited (by way of extraordinary rendition to Guantanamo Bay) by a shady government agency intent on fomenting discontent and unrest as a pretext for invasion in order that they can get their hands on the country's valuable resources.

Despite playing with deadly serious and highly salient concerns, Last Gig In Shnagrlig is a hoot throughout, Shelton's trademark irreverence and lampooning of current "big issues"' sitting comfortably alongside the slapstick comedy and zany characters for which he is equally renowned. His artwork is as detailed and full-bodied as ever — richly shaded, full of texture and warmth — while his essential good-nature ensures that Not Quite Dead live to die (on stage) another day.

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