Infections, Injections & Insurrections

Writer / Artist
Infections, Injections & Insurrections
Infections Injections & Insurrections review
  • UK publisher / ISBN: Hotel Fred Press
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2022
  • Format: Black and white
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

Infections, Injections & Insurrections is a second volume of the daily four panel cartoons Roger Langridge supplies to his Patreon patrons, and from the outside at least it seems one smooth operation.

The mixture is roughly the same as The Plague’s the Thing, with perhaps different proportions applying to themes. For Langridge producing a strip a day, that’s never a consideration, but there is a strip here relating his concern at the possibility of repeating himself, which is possibly why there seem to be fewer dog-related strips this time (although there’s no shortage). Conversely, the dream recollections appear to have increased. Perhaps an analyst could let Langridge know why several feature airports or flying.

Surreal jokes sit alongside comments about drawing, and observations about the then still ongoing covid situation, adjacent to wider domestic stories or anecdotes. Langridge is particularly good with these, be it bonding with his son, attempting to avoid an argument over the phone with his father or not always successful attempts at shopping or cooking. Sometimes there are matters of greater concern, and because they’re interesting there may be a tendency to forget Langridge isn’t producing autobiography, just four panels on whatever topic he feels like. It leads to minor frustration about learning of a newcomer to the household who’s then promptly forgotten for months on end, although there are obviously privacy issues. After a joke about her personal habits Langridge’s daughter announces she should be absented from further strips. She relented for The Plague’s the Thing, but apparently not here. Still, the bathroom thread is brought to a narratively satisfying conclusion.

It’s strange to see Langridge considering writing so often, as his superb cartooning is evident on every strip, even the efficiently designed templates used on days when he’s poorly. His self-caricature has presence, he brings life to his dog over many cartoons, and the more surreal outings are also polished. Attributing that talent to just keeping at it for years woefully undervalues his technique. However, that’s not to say the writing is in any way deficient. He’s great at taking an idea and running with it, such as the sample art being one of several strips of the dog disguised as an old lady imparting ridiculous wisdom, all prompted by his son sometimes referring to Lula as “Old Bubba Crumpet”. Inspiration is also there with the casting of Wimpy from the Popeye strips as Boris Johnson. The shared characteristics are so obvious, but only after Langridge leads the way.

As noted for The Plague’s the Thing, four panels of set up and punchline may well be Langridge’s natural calling. He really is inordinately good at leading to a worthwhile finish, often completely unexpected, and only very rarely not funny. It’s a prodigious hit rate over a year’s worth of material, and once again presented in a reasonably priced hardcover book only available from Langridge’s website here, or from him at shows.