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Archive Binge: Megg, Mogg and Owl

G D Penman By G D Penman Published on June 5, 2016

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For a long time comics were inexplicably considered to be the domain of children. Webcomics even more so, as younger and younger creators entered the scene as it became more accessible. Before you read on with this review and more importantly before you go and look at the comic we are talking about today please understand; this is not for children. If a child reads this comic it will almost certainly cause them permanent and irreparable harm. It is hosted on VICE. That should have been our first warning. The fact that it stars characters from a beloved series of children’s books should have been the second warning.

Megg, Mogg and Owl by Simon Hanselmann is about the three titular characters living together in a shared apartment. Megg and Mogg are dating, while Owl is their long suffering room-mate. Megg is a mostly human woman and Mogg is a cat, while Owl is an anthropomorphised owl. The fact that a woman is having explicit sex with a cat in this comic is perhaps one of the least disturbing parts, even when it is shown on screen. Both Megg and Mogg suffer from serious depression and try to self-medicate in a variety of self-destructive ways. Megg suffers from this the most openly, while it is possible that Mogg’s problems are exacerbated more by his lifestyle than any existing issues. The cat is disconnected for the most part, only surfacing from his drug induced haze to show real emotion in moments of crisis. He obviously loves Megg and that relationship seems to be the only positive foundation for them to construct a life on but the interplay of their individual problems make it dangerous. Owl exists as a straight man to their antics, which veer into the tragic just as frequently as towards the comedic. Owl suffers but he also allows himself to become a part of the vicious downward spiral that the other two are in, living a life of debauchery vicariously through them while still maintaining his own status as an upstanding citizen.

A final notable character is Werewolf Jones. Jones is that one person at any party who always takes it too far. He is the epitome of their chaotic lifestyle, constantly producing new drugs and stupidity for them to engage in and most often ruining that same entertainment by going above and beyond what any sane person would want to do. He is, horrifyingly, a father to two children who view him as a fun-bringing trickster, are often in his custody and seem to be doomed to follow in his footsteps. While Megg and Mogg’s behaviour is sometimes extreme and often callous to those around them it is always understandable. Jones’ behaviour is on the edge of insanity. He does not care who gets hurt by his actions, including himself.

The comic is drawn in a simplistic, almost childlike style to match the original books that the characters were pulled from and combined with the coloured pencil look of the shading, this comic could very easily be seen as the maturation of a fan of the original books, applying those same simple patterns to an adult life that is filled with chaos.

If you can stomach it, there are some very real and touching moments in this comic but you have to take the good with the bad and accept that every laugh will have an equal and opposite reaction. 

G.D. Penman writes about queer monsters for a living. He is the author of Call Your Steel, The Year of the Knife, Heart of Winter, Apocrypha and many other books. He is also a full-time freelance ... Show More

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