“Have you guys got The Best of Milligan and McCarthy in?”


“You know, the big hardback collection of Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy comics?”


“Peter Milligan?  Guy who wrote Enigma and X-Statix and who totally didn’t touch winkies with Grant Morrison back in the 90s?  Properly does that po-mo literary thing of trying to live on both sides of the limit of an idea, except when he’s writing rubbish X-Men stories.   And he made loads of comics Brendan McCarthy, as in Solo #12, Zaucer of Zilk, that Dark Horse thing… Ditko figurework, tells the whole story with colours, he gave those Coneheads their cone heads – you know who I’m talking about, right?”


“I mean it’s a bit lazy to ask, sure, but I’ve had a look on the shelves but I’m just asking in case I’d overlooked it somehow.”


“You’re staring at me like the words I’m saying don’t make any sense right now.”

“Yeah, we don’t have it.”

“Okay.  Cool.  So could you order it then?”


“Could you maybe check for me at least?”

“It must have been a Forbidden Planet London exclusive.”

“Nah man, it was a proper release – you had it in this time last year, I remember seeing it on the shelves.”

“Nope. Must have been a Forbidden Planet London exclusive.”

“Look, I’m not trying to be a dick but it seriously wasn’t.  You can get it in [REDACTED], or from Amazon, and…  you’re really not even going to search for it on your system?”



“I can’t search for it because I don’t have a title.”

The Best of Milligan and McCarthy.”

“That’s not a title.”

“The title of the comics is “The Best of Milligan and McCarthy” – look it up and you’ll see!”

“Can’t. It must have been a Forbidden Planet London exclusive.”




“Yeah, but like… I had it on order from [REDACTED] because my girlfriend worked there at the time, and then she got caught up in this big, stupid disciplinary with the company because they thought they had the right to read her dreams or whatever, so I never picked it up, then Brendan McCarthy said some stupid shit about race on the internet and I wrote a piece about it and then he pretended like people had taken the huff with his Spider-Man for like no reason whatsoever so I never bothered ordering it elsewhere but then I remembered that I actually really fucking want this collection because it’s got some of my favourite comics ever in it and I’m already weak and compromised, certainly feeble enough to read Brendan McCarthy comics again, I mean it’s not like this phone isn’t practically oozing blood and global sadness out into my hand right now, so… “



“We don’t have it and I can’t search for it without a real title.”

“Okay, so I guess I’ll just have to get it from Amazon?”



10 Responses to “Nae Bad for a Corridor Wee Corridor Stuffed With Toys: A Sample Dialogue”

  1. Thrills Says:

    It’s in the Edinburgh Forbidden Planet, so it is. Perhaps it is on the Special London Shelf.

    That said, I buy most Big Comics from Amazon now, as Local Comics Shops rarely have what I want (which tend to be, similar to your point above, fairly unobscure things).

  2. Adventures in Retail | The Function of the Filth Says:

    [...] Elsewhere: I had a hilariously awful experience trying to buy The Best of Milligan and McCarthy in my local comic shop and I wrote about it for Mindless Ones dot com. [...]

  3. the Reverend '76 Says:

    Beautiful, I.V.

    It’s like reading The Recognitions, set to Dancing Queen– instead of eavesdropping a (possibly deranged) drunken savant having a faustian dicker with the most banal forces of capitalism, one merely blinks compulsively and wonders “Why am I bobbing my head to music that only I hear?”

    Because Erasure, that’s fucking why.

  4. Mark Says:

    WTF? That’s a conversation with a proper arsehole nerd, isn’t it? I find it very hard to love my sisters and brothers sometimes, because I know some of them are THIS GUY.

  5. Gosh! Says:

    Still got bookplate editions here at Gosh! London.

  6. Ed A. Says:

    Ah yes, the soul-sanding trudge back to the globo-corporate beast.

    “Come in” it says, “all are welcome here – hey let’s take a look at a comic I think you might enjoy”.

    I immediately realise they’re already suggesting the exact item I tried to buy at my local (a hardback of Arzach) at a price I’d be stupid to refuse. And then I remember that my only local comics shop is a Forbidden Planet… so sod it, might as well give a few quid to the tax-dodgers. It feels a bit dirty right up until the moment the cardboard box arrives (the next day) and I get to unwrap my lovely new comic before repeating the whole process again next week.

  7. tam Says:

    Reading this does remind me that for all London’s many, many faults, it is a good place to be able to easily buy the books and comics you’re looking for compared to the rest of the UK

  8. thunderbum Says:

    Picked up The Best of Milligan & McCarthy a few months ago without any problem. Thought it was a good buy for under twenty quid. I wasn’t that familiar with this duo’s material, but a mate told me if I liked Morrison I should get this collection as this 80s stuff predated most of GM’s comics. I was totally knocked out by what I read. These guys were fucking genius! SKIN and Rogan Gosh blew me away. And only eight pages of ‘Mirkin The Mystic’? I could read ten thousand volumes of that strip easily. Yup, I can see where GM got his ‘inspiration’ from.
    Also got hold of a collection of ‘Johnny Nemo’ last week, put out by Titan. Man, this is gold. Funniest shit I’ve ever read. Seems there was a lot of insane comics made in the 1980s that I didn’t know about.
    Why aren’t these boys killed, stuffed and exhibited in a Comics Hall of Infamy somewhere?

  9. Matthew Craig Says:

    Appears to be £6.39 on the Dark Horse app (that wouldn’t let me buy Bryan Talbot’s G-g-g-Grandville because I’m in the UK, the bast, so don’t rely on that). Not on Kindle, but you can buy Enigma for a tenner or Buffy for £2, because for god’s sake.


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