Thursday, 29 October 2009

BRUTE! by Malcolm Bennett and Aidan Hughes

Promising Sheath-busting romance!!! Two-fisted action!!! and Hard-boiled adventure!!! this is a compendium of ‘pulp nasties’ from the cult BRUTE! comic book of the 1980s. The stories were highly stylised pulp fiction, loosely based on films and observations of contemporary British life, all illustrated by Hughes’s distinctive artwork and driven by hard talking dialogue.

An admirer of Hughe's work with rock band KMFDM, I first discovered BRUTE! through his website, then somehow tracked down this collectors’ edition second hand. I’ve never seen a copy since, so I’d rather this one didn’t get left in the pub... As it happens, the public house features regularly in the comics. This excerpt comes from the episode PAC-MEN!:

WANTED! P.A.C. – MEN! The Pub Action Committee NEEDS YOU! Enrol Today!

Unemployed Noska sees the ad in the job centre window. And applies!

“We are the Pub Action Committee and we are looking for good, war-waging commandos for our squad. We’re brutal messy cruel and vengeful. But we’re fair. We have to be. We’re talking ALCOHOL!”

Job taken! His mission? Recently people have been staying at home, not drinking:

“We must get these people away from the TV and BACK INTO THE PUBS!!!”

On his first night, Noska is sent out with the platoon:

“Right men!” barked the Squad Commander, resplendent in his Kronenbourg Combat Kit. “Let’s get out there! If anyone resists, subdue him and administer this!” He lifted a half-gallon flagon. “This is pure spirit, Gold Label and Scrumpy!”

But Noska’s squad find two old folk who won’t drink! His parents!!!

“Mum! Dad!” he croaked. “OH NO!” Noska’s parents were later committed to a new anti-TV. wing at the centre, while he was jailed for conspiring with known health freaks.

Now that’s a lesson to us all. OFFICIAL!!!


  1. Hello, I have a copy of the above mentioned book, it is a reprint by Sphere Books published in 1897. I see that you say above the you have never seen a copy since, and I have searched the web and can not see a copy either. Please give me some info as I look to sell my copy which is in good condition by has aged through the years. I had no idea it would be a collector item when I first had it so did not keep it in mint condition...shame.

  2. Hi, I was probably guilty of hyperbole as I'd not really looked for another copy! I've had a quick search on Abe Books and Amazon and the book that we have which was printed in 1987 varies in price between £5 and £20. The rare ones are the original six magazines are listed for sale at silly prices. If you're interested in selling it might be worth speaking to someone who deals in books. I'm afraid I don't know much more about the volume.

  3. Hi, Aidan Hughes here. Titan Books are planning a reprint of all the BRUTE! pulp nasties in 2014. Stay tuned and tell yer mates!

    1. Great news! Thanks for letting me know, I'll keep an eye out for them.