A world of Abhay magic awaits you below this post. So scroll on down! Me, I'm trying this writing thing again. So... Roger Langridge. The Fez.
THE FEZ #1-2 By Roger Langridge Hotel Fred Press (2013) The Fez created by Roger Langridge Issue 1, $0.99 (12 pages) Issue 2 $1.99 (24 pages) Both issues were purchased at these prices from Comixology in Digital form.
As far as I can tell (which is quite far because he practically says as much in the letters column) The Fez is something Roger Langridge does when he isn’t doing anything else. Snatch some free time and, me, I stare into space and low like a cow, but not Roger Langridge. No, Roger Langridge (the big show-off) produces top-notch comics like The Fez. (Other than that we’re practically identical. Spooky it is.) See, since Roger Langridge is sickening in his versatility he can actually also produce top-notch comics that don’t feature fezzes (Fezzesses? Fezzi? Fezzae?) Consequently, during 2014 Roger Langridge was so busy producing those, other, Fez-less comics (Rocky and Bullwinkle,
Crossed, Abigail and the Snowman) he didn’t produce any new Fez. Which is fair enough as it’s a concept in progress rather than an established breadwinning moneyspinner. Eventually (hopefully) it will be that other thing I ended that sentence with (a spinning winning bread spider? Whatever.) but right now it’s just a nice idea and these two issues show him mucking about with it. In the unshowy back matter Langridge open-handedly makes no pretense of regularity with regard to his Fezzery. But don’t let that give you the impression it’s some dashed off mess of a thing, some half-arsed compôte of confusion; it isn’t.
As dapper as its main character, The Fez is sleekly attired in clarity of line and as playful in its presentation as Langridge’s work ever is (i.e. very). The lack of expectation here lets Langridge do what he wants and, testament to the surety of his instincts, in The Fez he winds up doing what he usually does anyway - an array of rubbery characters (all rich in goofery and yet also weirdly melancholy) lithely frolicking from one mirth-rich mode of storytelling to another. Across the two issues you’re subjected to a pot pourri of, well, uh, comic book storytelling styles; you know, rather than withered yet enticingly scented plant matter. (You do have a tendency to err on the literal, so thought I’d make that crystal.) All the tales feature the titular Fez which (or who) is either an invisible man in a fez or a sentient fez pretending to be an invisible man. Roger Langridge is a consummate cartoonist but the excellence of his performance in The Fez is so unshowy it takes a bit for the achievement here to sink in. I mean, do you have any idea how hard it must be to succesfully draw a comic in which the character lacks a face and for this to have no impact on the potency of the pictorial wizardry on show? You realise how skilled you'd have to be to pull that off? No, me neither, because Langridge makes it look easy. (I bet my Mum’s pot dogs it is pretty tricky though.) For Image comic readers I’ll put it like this: The Fez is like a Steve Ditko character, if Steve Ditko read less Ayn Rand and more Leo Baxendale. And guess what? That's VERY GOOD!
It's one thing not having a face but Saints preserve us from a lack of - COMICS!!!