by Tony Johnson & George Penney
OverLondon —the first of an alt-history comic fantasy series coming in 2022—is set at an indeterminate time centuries after Anne Boleyn decapitated Henry VIII and declared herself England’s supreme leader. After this glorious day, the Vengeful Queen (Bless Her Heart And Bring Her Your Cash), founded the church of Vengeful Acquisition. Not long after, the discovery of floatstone in Iceland led to the decision to float the city and power it with omnicite, a high-energy coal alternative farmed in the British channel. A lot of wars have happened since then, with the most recent being the OverParisian War, which was ended by an unnamed OverLondoner accidentally-on-purpose firing a marble column into the Palace of Versailles.
Our story begins with Captain Alex Reign, former Dread Pirate Purple Reign seated in the Armory, Drury Lane, bemoaning the confiscation of her airship by some rather inconvenient taxation officials. In a fit of genius—some would say desperation—she decides to set herself up as OverLondon’s first “private-ear”, with the goal of earning enough money catching the city’s many wanted felons, so she can get her ship back and once again terrorise the skies! The only complication is that neither she, nor her cabin boy Flora, her bo’sun Sid, or newly employed rogue artificer, Elias have any idea what they’re doing.
Nevertheless, in order to solve their first crime, the newly minted private-ears fumble their way through exploding priests, anti-soliloquising badgers, piratical flower merchants, sugar pimps, decrepit cabs, the rubber thuribles of the Bad Habits, urgent knickers, clockwork nightmares, femmy fartalleys and moist crumpet.
It’s almost done, honest.