This is the first of a currently unknown number (ten-ish?) of parts of The Last War in Albion Chapter Ten, focusing on Alan Moore’s Bojeffries Saga. An omnibus will be available as soon as possible – probably by next Friday, but the world is full of surprises.
The Bojeffries Saga is available in a collected edition that can be purchased in the US or in the UK.
Previously in The Last War in Albion:
Among the many things that The Bojeffries Saga
has been compared to is the work of the alternative comedy scene of the early 80s, particularly The Young Ones
, a TV series that featured, among others, Alexei Sayle, who was vocally leftist in his politics, and saw alternative comedy as a vehicle for advancing those politics, occasionally leading him to butt heads with other members of the scene.
“See, this is my point. It’s like all the small towns up here all think they’re magic villages.” -Warren Ellis, Blackcross
|Figure 686: Ade Edmonson as Vyvyan Basterd in The Young|
Sayle’s shock is not entirely fair (and it should be stressed that Sayle is clearly poking fun at his own political intransigence as much as he’s offering a serious history of the alternative comedy scene, describing how, upon turning up at the studio to discover the guest stars, he “railed at the writers,” saying, “The whole point of what we were doing was surely to challenge the smug hegemony of the Oxford, Cambridge, public-schoolboy comedy network, as well as destroying the old-school working men’s club racists,” to which, in his telling, the writers replied “that was just you, we never subscribed to your demented class-war ravings”). It is, after all, not as though the alternative comics were by and large from less privileged backgrounds than their similarly transgressive predecessors in Monty Python. Rik Mayall (who wrote for the series and played the entitled anarchist asshole Rick) was born to a pair of drama teachers, while Ade Edmonson (who played the sociopathic punk Vyvyan Basterd) had an international upbringing living, among other places, in Bahrain, Cyprus, and Uganda before attending a private school, and both attended the University of Manchester, as rigorous an academic institution as exists in the UK.
All the same, the cultural differences between the University of Manchester and Cambridge are genuine, and speak to a larger difference in approach between The Young Ones and Monty Python. The Young Ones is not, by and large, a show that concerns itself at all with the notion that there might be such a thing as the sane world. Its conflicts are generally between equally absurd figures, such as the eternal hatred between Rick and Vyv. Indeed, this gets at the heart of the comedy in The Young Ones, which is often about the ruthless mockery of the excesses and pretensions of the very left-wing politics that animate it. Instead of being a show that pokes fun at the absurdity of the larger world, it is a show that pokes fun at the absurdity of its own audience, skewering the punks and hippies that the show appeals to.