As I roam the majestic heights of Wincobank Iron Age hill fort, people often say to me, "Steve, it fills you with awe, doesn't it, to think that two thousand years ago, the people of Sheffield were stood on this very spot, murdering Italians."
"I don't blame them," I say. "I could murder a spag bol myself right now."
"Not Italian meals, you half-witted buffoon!" they declare. "Italian people. This was the front line in the battle between the ancient Brigantes tribe and the invading Romans."
"Well, Meadowhall shopping centre's nearby," I point out. "So at least they wouldn't have run out of supplies."
At which point, they turn their back on me and walk off as though I'm some sort of imbecile.
"But it has twelve thousand parking spaces!" I call after them, "And a Poundland! No wonder the Romans wanted it!"
I first encountered the strip in the pages of the short-lived Vulcan comic and was immediately struck by the superiority of its artwork.
To be honest, the story itself never did that much for me, with its somewhat one dimensional characters, over-reliance on replicating old Earth civilisations and some fairly dodgy racial stereotyping but it was one of the most beautifully illustrated comic strips I'd ever seen - and that alone was enough to justify its existence for me.
Sadly, I no longer have that book. I sold it on eBay many moons ago but like to think that, somewhere, someone is using it as the blueprint for their own attempts to conquer the world.
Keep Those Things Away From Me - Novel
11 months ago