Dull Margaret

By Jim Broadbent and Dix
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN: 9781683960980

Guardian cartoonist Dix has teamed up with actor Jim Broadbent to create a graphic novel crammed with dark self interest and black humour – and it’s rather good, too.

I’ve no idea if Broadbent’s a fan of comics and cartooning, but he’s done an excellent job on this one, managing to conjure sympathy for an unsympathetic character caught up in a bleak and lonely existence on a dark and damp island on the coastal marshes.

Margaret’s life is hard, cold and largely unrewarding, and to make matters worse the fruits of those hard-won labours are stolen from her. It’s only when she comes across the corpse of a hanged man in her nets that the opportunity arises to take matters into her own hands, along with a little witchcraft. But her choices are self-serving and despite the wrongs committed against her she sets herself on a hopeless path.

Dix’s art, with its grey and muddy palette, brings the grotesque Margaret to life in a singularly striking manner. The result is a harsh and bitter tale of greed that works splendidly.

And if you liked that: Dix’s collection of Roll Up! Roll Up! Guardian strips is available online from Lulu:  http://www.lulu.com/shop/dix/roll-up-roll-up/paperback/product-968953.html

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