Doc Chaos – tv series, comics, book
Limehouse Productions first commissioned the tv scripts, which were co-written by David with Lawrence Gray. A comics version illustrated by Phil Elliott then Steven Sampson achieved a cult following… Read the reviews (below).
But what is it all about?
Is Doc Chaos responsible for everything that goes right in the country, or everything that goes wrong? Does he exist or not?
The Black Chip Group believe the former and hire Tito Livio, a private eye, to find him. Led astray by the beautiful and enigmatic Eve and the mysterious bag lady Martha, who can hack into cash terminals, Tito's fruitless search always leaves a trail of havoc behind him, leading the Home Secretary, and the Bio-Squad to become convinced that Tito himself is Doc Chaos…
Each episode contained a song, written by David Thorpe.
The Doc Chaos comics
The scripts were adapted into comics. The first series, drawn by Phil Elliott, was serialised by Rob Sharp's AntiMatter Comics, then collected into books by Paul Gravett's Escape.
In North America it was published by Vortex Comics, with stunning cover designs by Rian Hughes and (unpublished) art first by Duncan Fegredo and then Steve Sampson.
The Doc Chaos novella
Doc Chaos: The Chernobyl Effect is the "autobiography" of Doc Chaos, illustrated by leading comics artists.
Doc Chaos : reviews
Doc Chaos, Escape issue 2: "In the scriptwork of Dave Thorpe and Lawrence Gray there's a wit and intelligence that nudges comic art a bit closer to the literary possibilities of the mainstream… the acid satires of a John Sladek say, or Wild Bill Burroughs in one of his more nastily comedic moods. "DOC CHAOS is one of the most exciting and refreshing pieces of graphic literature I've seen in a long time." – Alan Moore.
"Wild Tin-Tin style adventure of corporate corruption and bioengineering." – i-D magazine
"No one could be fully prepared for DOC CHAOS. This is a comedy of terrors. … DOC CHAOS is the product of three well-virused minds." – Don Watson, NME.
"The spirit of the film 'Brazil' is not very far from the ambience of this typically British album." – P.L.G.G.P.U.R. (French literary comics criticism magazine)
"The protagonist is a grubby, pragmatic flatfoot-for-hire who is a sort of cross between Mike Hammer and Tintin; his cynicism in the midst of so much zealotry is positively endearing. It's one of those bizarre, picaresque adventures in which the plot hinges on the search for a mysterious agent ("DOC CHAOS", representing the force of a liberating anarchy) by several competing factors, including in this case, government, business, and a group dedicated to "compassion, co-operation and mystical enlightenment" who see "DOC CHAOS" as a guru. "DOC CHAOS" has supposedly developed a technique of 'brain transplant' that permits him to switch from one body to another. Whether he actually exists at all is, in any event, a moot question: everybody's after him. In the process, writers David Thorpe and Lawrence Gray provide a satirical portrait of a lopsided world in which (forgive me) chaos reigns. DOC CHAOS is a primer of rebellious but good-natured British protest at the encroaching forces of American-style conglomerate behaviour, bureaucratic stupidity and mass conformity in general."
Doc Chaos Vortex version: "A hugely entertaining book, full of humour, satire, and an appealing, idiosyncratic perception of the way things are." – Dale Luciano, the Comics Journal.
"The creators of DOC CHAOS face up to the unbridled crap which is threatening our existence, but they do so with optimism. DOC CHAOS hopes the forces of authority will slip on their own banana skins. Fast moving find funny." – Graeme Basset, Infinity.