Dead Universe Publishing are the new UK comic book publishers on the block, and they’re beginning to get themselves noticed. Founded only last year, they already have a number of titles and con appearances under their belts, and their latest comic is Bertie Bear and the Dagger of a Thousand Souls, by Andy W Clift.
Imagine that Indiana Jones was a teddy bear and, yep, you’ve pretty much got it.
Clift ticks off and quietly sends up every adventure serial cliché in the book, with every beat being slightly ridiculed by the fact that the hero’s a teddy bear. A hard-boiled, eye-patch-wearing teddy bear who fights vampires and has a way with the ladies. The teddy bear thing is never explained, or even acknowledged by the supporting characters. As Bertie himself says in page one: “If you’re asking yourself how can a teddy bear bleed? Don’t dwell on it. I don’t.”
“I wanted a character I could do anything with,” says writer/artist Clift, “where I wasn’t going to be bound to a single genre of story, and Bertie provides that. He’s basically immortal, so with every story I write, I can set it in any time period and tell any story I want. For the first story, it seemed natural to go early pulp/adventure story, I’m a huge fan of that genre and the chance to poke fun at some of the clichés seen within them was too fun to miss. Plus, with Bertie being a monster hunter by trade, I really wanted to see what pulp and adventure would look like when mixed with a teddy bear and vampires!”
andy w. clift, bertie bear, bertie bear and the dagger of a thousand souls, dead universe publishing