The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton
by Noel Fielding
The Mighty Boosh was one of the most art-designed British comedy shows in years. Just as the “look” of Monty Python will always be defined by Terry Gilliam’s gleefully violent cut-outs, the Boosh’s memorably colourful, angular cartoony design style was seen in everything from the homemade costumes (Polo mint accessories and broadly-applied face paint) to the show’s title sequence.
This book is a collection of Noel Fielding’s non-Boosh artwork, mostly large acrylic canvases with the occasional surreal short story thrown in. Would it have been published if he weren’t on the telly? Probably not, but it’s still lots of fun. Some of it’s a bit like a Level 2 NCEA art portfolio, particularly the fannish portraits of the Stones and Ramones, but this is taken to amusing lengths in an installation featuring a terrified Fielding cowering in bed surrounded by portraits of Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry.
The last Boosh project to date was Journey of the Childmen, a draggy behind-the scenes documentary from their 2008 tour which revealed a depressed and drugged-out Fielding. The job clearly wasn’t fun anymore, a decline which can be seen by comparing their two tour DVDs. It’s good to see that he’s regained his enthusiasm in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, a brightly coloured high-sugar low-budget romp with several Boosh regulars (including his rather game brother Michael). It’s like playing Candy Land while trapped inside an energy drink with a walrus.