Deep in the bowels of Melbourne’s rail network, something is wrong.
It’s up to disillusioned ticket inspector Shane Digby, his dedicated (and much decorated) partner Alan, and freelance reporter Billy Nemo to find out what that is before the morning commute becomes a bloodbath.
Comic book Metcop Wonderland is the work of writer Katie Marx and artist Mel Rowsell. Born and raised in Melbourne, they have a deep affinity for Melbourne’s trains, and they’re also no strangers to “metcops”.
“I got fined for putting my feet on the seats a few years ago,” Marx says. “I was running late and, to my shame, I lost my temper and asked one of the ticketing inspectors ‘why do you do this job?’ The guy looked at me and said ‘well actually, I love my job’. And that just got me so curious. I wanted to find out more about ticket inspectors.”
The comic is a product of Marx and Rowsell’s shared “sense of humour when it comes to seeing all the quirky things about Melbourne.”
“That’s what inspires [us]. Have you been in the City Loop lately? It’s really creepy! Just look out the window between stations,” says Marx. Metcop Wonderland is for “anyone who’s ever sat on a train and wondered what goes on either in the heads of ticket inspectors or in the darkness of the City Loop”.
The pair launched a Kickstarter campaign in April, and have already surpassed their initial goal.
“Producing comics is incredibly rewarding, but it’s not cheap,” says Marx. They’re looking to engage a local colourist and printer, and want to release an entire series of comics chronicling the adventures of Shane, Alan and Billy. “We’ve written a twelve-issue arc – there’s a real journey we want to take these guys through,” says Marx.
The first is out in time for Comic Con. Every issue will also be available digitally.
A launch date and location will be announced for July on the Metcop Wonderland Facebook page.