I’ve long had a soft spot for Fred the Clown, an impossibly romantic but utterly befuddling character of stark stupidity. In this latest book Roger Langridge takes inspiration from Buster Keaton and creates a wordless tale in monochrome that combines love, a desperate rescue on a steam train, a monsterous scientist and a pig.
Combining peril, slapstick, pathos and humour, The Iron Duchess is another fine example of Langridge’s drollery and a fine return to his great creation after years working away on the likes of the Muppets, Popeye and Thor. It’s not easy putting together a wordless story, or at least one that works, so all credit to Langridge for pulling it off over the course of an entire book. Welcome back, Fred.
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