Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tales From the Underground

Original Photo via Flickr user _dChris (CC BY 2.0 license)
Today's expedition into the underground has yielded the absolutely fabulous 1988 comic, The Desert Peach #1 by Donna Barr, published by Thoughts & Images.

You have probably never heard of Thoughts & Images because all they ever published was the first four issues of The Desert Peach and an anthro comic/RPG called Albedo, created by the publisher of T&I, Steve Gallacci.  After T&I went under, The Desert Peach moved to Mu Press/AEON, then to A Fine Line, and then to Modern Tales and various other sites as a webcomic.  

The Desert Peach follows the absurd adventures of the absurd titular character, Manfred Pfirsich Marie Rommel, the younger brother of Edwin Rommel, the Desert Fox.

Pfirsich is flamboyant, prissy, and oh-so-gay.  He commands a ragtag group of German soldiers but seems to spend most of his time annoying his aide-de-camp, Udo, and frustrating his famous brother.

Despite his obvious failings as a soldier, Pfirsich is one of those blessed buffoons for whom everything goes right, whether that means always having access to the best mineral water or somehow dodging hundreds of bullets in the space of a few seconds.  He is also redeemed by his frequent displays of compassion and pacifism, which set him at odds with the long-suffering Edwin.

Here we see him using his scarf to bandage a British Soldier he (sort of) accidentally shot.

The whole thing is ridiculous but never veers to offensive.  Pfirsich is clearly the hero, and I had no trouble cheering for him to be victorious in his deviance over British and German alike.

There have been a few spin-offs (Stintz and Afterdead) and you can read most of the original series online.  There's even a musical and a novel. but I am unclear if new material is still coming out in the Peach-iverse.

You can still buy a lot of the back issues from Mu Press and Barr has a print-on-demand collection available as well.



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