Comics Reviews

REVIEW: The Sheep and the Wolves

Written by Dara Berkey

The Sheep and the Wolves by artist and writer Nick Prolix is a Sixties-set crime drama weekly web-comic. It chronicles the fictional North London neighbourhood of Three Kings people.

The press release states: “The Sheep and the Wolves is a Sixties-set crime drama that chronicles the high-points and low-lives of the fictional North London neighbourhood of Three Kings, with its flashy local wide boys and their woe-begotten backseat darlings, radical student firebrands and the old-school villains that can’t understand a word any of these young hotheads are saying.”  It started in September 2015. Basically the comic, set up like old-school weekly newspaper strips, is homage to pulp fiction and black and white 50s and 60s movies. It’s totally nostalgic.

There are a few things going on in the first twenties pages—introducing some characters like a collector for the mob bookie. There are young women and their plights, the exasperated older generation. Naturally, there are also firebrand political college students (issues about race and 1960s South Africa).

The 1960s were politically, socially and culturally chaotic time period in which every country went through their own problems. 1960s USA mainly had growing pains as it became the world’s leading superpower after the fall of all of the European empires post-WWII. Post-colonialism, however, definitely was an issue in 1960s Great Britain.

The story is simple, nostalgic and easy to follow.  Even if you don’t know anything about 1960s slang from London, you can basically guess what the words are.  Imagine the people of the future looking back at our slang with grimaces on their faces.  The flow is just like newspaper strips, so you can start reading at any time.  Characters are stereotypical for the time period, but that is the way that the author/artist intended it.

One of the characters, Jimmy, does a running commentary about things too. There’s a tongue-in-cheek tone of the comic. Other characters include Jimmy’s girl, who boss’s son is a pervert; and college age black girl with an overprotective brother and well-meaning white friends. There’s a lot of back-handed and dark humour.

Since this is a comic, but I am no artist, the art matched the setting and tone. Additionally, the artist is self-taught, which is pretty great for what he can do and he will only improve with time as the art is a little rough.  The story is going to unfold and I’m sure that it’s all going to interconnect — I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Ultimately, I found reading The Sheep and the Wolves interesting from what I read so far. I’m definitely going to keep reading it because it doesn’t take very long to read it. Everything is well-researched (it’s important), even the 1960’s misogynist way of thinking in the workplace and the anti-colonialism politics. I think this comic for anyone who enjoys era pieces, organised crime stories and black humour about life in a gang-controlled neighborhood will only get better as time goes forth.

Want to try something new? thesheepandthewolves.com” target=”_blank”>Go and check it out! It’s updated weekly.

Have you read The Sheep and the Wolves yet? What did you make of it? Let us know in the comments section or send us a Tweet!

About the author

Dara Berkey

Superhero nerd. History nerd. Favorite personal hero--Shazam/The Original Captain Marvel. Favorite female hero--Any of the Batgirls. Favorite male hero, other than Shazam--Any of the Robins.

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