The Great Unwashed by Warren and Gary Pleece

Between the short stories lay a vast open sea, perhaps an allegory for where lost souls might collect, or where “The Great Unwashed” stand and gaze with regret.  For “The Great Unwashed”, the subject matter of this book, was a term originally coined by novelist Edward George Bulwer-Lytton to describe rather disparagingly the common people who do not live clean and moral lives. Within the stories, bleak moods of seedy resorts are captured in fitting black and white tone, with times and places spanning over London in World War II to New York in the hipster 70’s – the scenes are snapped, taken, almost stolen, to goad out the more subverted and dysfunctional shades of our lifetimes. In the vein of Robert Crumb’s left field satire and controversy Gary and Warren Pleece, two suburban brothers from London have created an eclectic source of  ‘unwashed’ characters – the down and out comedian, the immoral private detective, the bigot salesmen are to name a few. Captured with astute, unflinching detail – colloquial dialogue n’ all, show that both the author and artist have clearly worked hard to create the desired effect for each story. This is a collection of classic alternative comic strips, professionally inked that make subtle statements over the state of our unwashed times.  We at the independent graphic novel reviewers, believe this book would make a great birthday present for the keen comic-reader, or sit real nice on your shelf.

The quote:

“You know…at the end of the day, Id like to think people’ll remember me for the person I am and not for all those stupid everyday mistakes we all make…after all, we’re all the same, under the skin…” (Pig Custard pg17)

The Author:

Warren and Gary Pleece are brothers from Brighton, who at an early age were very much younger than they are today. A life-long joy in creating comics, where Gary writes, and Warren draws the pictures has continued to this day. Other works include:Montague Terrace and Warren has created many graphic novels including Life Sucks with Jessica Abel & Gabriel Soria, and Incognegro, with Mat Johnson. They beg you to buy this book, otherwise you may never appreciate its dark charm.


The book:

Published by Escape Books Ltd; First edition (31 Oct 2011)

ISBN: 978-0-9570694-0-4

£18.99 (Amazon)


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