Lo, my second post of 2011 and, again, I would like to apologise to everyone who pops by my homepage on a regular basis in the vain hope of seeing anything new. I’m so, so, sorry my friends. I would like to make the excuse that I’m a hyper hands-on dad when not pulling overtime at the TV Dream Factory and so have little strength to spare for personal creative endeavour, but that’s obviously a transparent lie – a tawdry veil over my obscene laziness – because one man proves that you can do it all.
He makes cakes & comics for his kids, inspires them to illustrate their world while exposing them to Jazz & the finer arts, and still finds the time to curate an animation festival and draw two brilliant comic strips a week, all on top of his day job editing features for The One Show and standalone documentaries. Yes, it’s our very own DJ Bogtrotter.
His strip every Friday has been the only thing keeping The Roomyverse alive this year, but it’s his second strip that’s inspired me to slop off my chocolate-strewn sofa of brazen torpor and put fingertip to key once again.
Milton’s Life started just over a year ago with this brilliant introduction to his thwarted existence:
As great as it is, there’s a solitary, almost forlorn edge to this first strip that DJ quickly jettisons, along with the idea of Milton’s “nice quiet wife”. The second strip (at the top of the page) immediately sets the comically combative tone of their double act. It could, too easily, become a classically pathetic domestic prison, but instead their partnership transmogrifies into something genuinely warm, very true, and very funny (click on the comic below to expand it)
Like all ideal wives, Maureen knows how to accommodate her husband’s inner child, in the process exposing both the extent of his ridiculousness and the depth of her own affection. It’s a balance all couples play with, and DJ captures it beautifully (again, click to expand)
That’s not to say Milton is averse to a spot of Walter Mitty hijinks:
But they’re secondary to their relationship, to how much husbands & wives try to get away with as they face a life that neither may have predicted or desired, but which they at least face together. Like all the best comics, dipping into Milton’s Life sometimes feels like dipping into my own, and it’s that ability to find those echoes that mark this strip down as a potential classic for me. That, and the fact that it hits my chucklespot with such reassuring regularity.
So take a trip round Milton’s Life yourself, and, in exchange for a few laughs, why not leave a comment or two for its hard grafting, immensely gifted creator. C’mon people, let’s extend Milton’s Life for future generations. It’s the least DJ deserves.