Review: Martin/Molloy Comics Omnibus

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20-odd years ago, Melbourne based Cartoonist Dillon Naylor was scribbling away his wares, while listening to a drive-time radio show broadcast on the 2DAY FM Network, part of the Austereo Radio Network.

The radio show consisted of a tall, lanky bespectacled New Zealander-cum-Australian copywriter who wasn’t afraid of his deep meta nerdiness with films, 80s music, and anal-retentive sketch comedy be broadcast across this big, wide brown, flat mysterious land. Alongside him, a scruffy-looking, beanie wearing, Winnie Blue smoking, sports loving local pub hero who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, call out bullshit, and trying to ‘stick it to the man’ – as long as he can bung a durrie out the back later on.

The show? Martin/Molloy.

Tony Martin and Mick Molloy were a duo, alongside CopperArt spokesperson Pete Smith, Panel Operator and ‘Ladies Man’ Peter “Gracie” Grace, Producer Sancia Robinson, and a handful of audio whiz-bang audio producers playing musical chairs (Scott MullerDaryl MissenNigel Haines, Steve WoodsVicki Marr) and a bunch of Program Directors and Upper Class Management – broadcasting ‘loose talk and foolish behaviour’ from 1995. Constantly winning radio ratings and ARIA Awards for their trilogy of comedy albums, Martin/Molloy developed a major cult fan base who taped shows on cassette and bootlegged in school yards, until they pulled up stumps in 1998 due to exhaustion.

Naylor was such a hardcore fan of Martin, Molloy, and previous works (such as ABC TV’s The Late Show, The D-Generation and the EON FM D-Generation breakfast show), tapped into his illustrative skills as an already established Melbourne comic artist and approached the guys with concept art of their own caricatures. The birth of Martin/Molloy comics was born.

Comics based on Comics. // Dillon Naylor

Popping up in newsagents across Australia, Naylor converted the comedic stylings of the radio program and turned it into cartoon goodness. Over three issues, references to radio characters like Blimpy The Lactose Intolerant Cat, New Zealand radio announcers Tum & Phul, the rooftop shed, satirical commercials, Stupidman, Bargearse and much more were transformed into the Wonderful World of Naylor, printed to paper, and distributed far and wide so school kids would lap them up (myself included). Due to financial issues, Naylor didn’t get past the the third issue, and wrapped up production, turning the comics into collectors items for Australian comedy appreciators.

Original Martin/Molloy art by Dillon Naylor.

Fast forward to 2018, 20 years to the anniversary of Martin/Molloy finished on air, and Naylor decided to dust off his prints and re-purpose them as a 42 page (84 back to back) omnibus.

Martin/Molloy comics Omnibus // Dillon Naylor

And it’s all there. Re-formatted, typo-fixed, re-inked, re-traced, re-cycled, and some extra jokes to cover up the dated ones, easter eggs, and some history behind how it all came about are now included in a glossy, high quality book. (Even our chat with Naylor for this site made it into print form!)

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If you originally owned the comics, but now have deteriorated beyond reading, or you want to introduce the comedic style of toilet humour to your teenage kid, or just to read along side your upteenth re-listening to your Brown / Poop / Peas albums, then this is for you. Buy it, add it to your book collection or graphic novels you bought at the Supanova convention you visited last month. De-value your home but increase the smiles with the Martin/Molloy comics omnibus. Plus it virtually buys Naylor a coffee. It’s a must-purchase.

Buy Martin/Molloy comic omnibus online here:

Pete Smith speaking…

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