Captain Caned by Jim Morris

Captain Caned Graphic Novel Review

2010, Four Bananas
Written & illustrated by Jim Morris

As unfashionable as it may be to admit this, I’ve never felt the need to get high. Perhaps my complacency with a sober mind has something to do with my overabundant imagination. While others need alcohol or narcotics to free them from bland reality, I’ve always been a serial daydreamer ever on the brink of being lost to another more interesting world altogether. Fortunately, Jim Morris’s Captain Caned is all the mind-expanding substance I’ll ever need.

A twisted odyssey high on imaginative imagery and surreal to the point of incomprehensible, Captain Caned is probably as close to being off one’s face as is possible without having to waste shit loads of cash. A sort of modern take on the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers – though Morris states Goscinny and Uderzo, Raymond Chandler and Valesquez amongst his influences – Captain Caned follows a 24 hour period of insobriety for four wasters. Their drug-fuelled odyssey to the pub and back again contains such obstacles as killer weeds, frequent trips to the ground, and an encounter with The Kidney of Drink-ups Past Present and Future.

Captain Caned by Jim Morris

Captain Caned by Jim Morris

Captain Caned is one of those unique experiences – the use of “experience” rather than “read” is fully intentional – that highlights just how flexible comic book narratives can be. The black and white visuals are chaotic and energetic at all times, with Caned’s ever distorting perceptions resulting in some truly warped physiognomies. This book is utter, unrelenting madness from beginning to end, and may leave you wishing for a brief moment of sanity – even Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was grounded by some fundamental level of logic.

Captain Caned probably isn’t for anyone, or even for most, but it’s difficult not to admire the book’s audacity. This is a graphic novel for those who appreciate the experimental, and they will love Jim Morris’s disregard for the limitations of genre, and embrace what is essentially a middle finger to narrative convention. This debut is brimming with wild ideas and unbridled creative energy.

8/10

For more on the book visit www.captain-caned.co.uk. The book is available from the site, or, if you’re lucky enough to be situated in the sunny ol’ United Kingdom, can be purchased from a selection of Waterstones found here.