The League of Gentlemen and British Noir

The League of Gentlemen and British Noir

Watching the British TV Series Vera. Based on the novels of Ann Cleeves. I was struck by how alike it was to The Great Unwashed. The dark noir set in the UK. The way the characters are strong and marked, damaged by life, and almost ugly in their presence.

The filming has that now characteristic greenish filter over all the images. Its a style that is now familiar in the TV Noir of the new series Hinterland set in the dire gloom of the Welsh hills. Of Wallender, Henning Mankell’s books, who may well have set the trend for regional european noir.

“Montague Terrace”, the story near the end of the book comes closest to this feeling. Warren and Gary Pleece where inspired to go on later and develop this into there graphic novel Montague Terrace, published by Jonathan Cape.

That story may well be a detective mystery noir. Not all the stories in The Great Unwashed are. But they are all set in a dark, gloomy, topsy turvy Brighton. So the parallel is there. But the stories are funny too, perhaps the work is more like League of Gentlemen the comedy series from the Nineties too.

I cannnot think what all these qualities had in common, but they make the work of the Pleece Brothers distinctive in comics. So if you enjoy these qualities you might like the graphic novel too.

Peter Stanbury

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