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Greatcoat \Great"coat"\ (?), n. An overcoat.
greatcoat n : a heavy coat [syn: overcoat, surcoat, topcoat]
JOHN found the greatcoat in an Oxfam shop in the early 1990s and engaged in a series of strange adventures involving aliens, two-headed nuclear power workers, the Easter Bunny and Nightingale Farm. Not necessarily in that order. It's not surprising he's given up wearing the thing.
John now works for a local council and is the leak for everything at the council to the local media, but the council administration are either too stupid to work it out, even though he has a Greenpeace poster in his cube, or they don't care.
JO is known to have worn the greatcoat at least once, and brooks no shenanigans from the garment. A former theatre student, she now runs a small health foodshop in Florin Street. You haven't found Florin Street yet? What are you accusing us of, a thinly-veiled allusion to Lancaster's existing counter culture? We deny it completely.
KEVIN became the new owner of the greatcoat in late 2001, and has yet to realise just why John does not wear it any more. A student who has rented the attic room in John and Jo's house, he's studying history and politics, taking a free ninth in Modern Art at Lancaster University. He seems jaded, if not bemused, by current student ways and seeks to rediscover what pre-Thatcher students got up to, like his parents. Unfortunately the only thing that can tell him is the Greatcoat, and his ideas of life are weird...
THE GREATCOAT claims to be the reincarnation of a fifteenth century doublet and hose. It has certainly had a long life, surviving the Napoleonic War (greatcoats kept a trooper warm when he had static duty), the American Civil War, the First World War, and behaving with some distinction as an Air Raid Patrol greatcoat in the Second World War*. That's a lot of wars, which might explain why, when he acheived sentience (and the reasons for that vary depending on what story it can remember), its politics have a distinctly radical streak ill-placed in today's squeaky-clean New Labour Britain. Not that the greatcoat cares what Tony Blair thinks about him, of course.
Since its adventures in the late 1980s, early 1990s, the Greatcoat has been left on a coat stand in the attic room for a number of years. It is extremely bored and very excited about having a new owner. It still has extra-dimensional pockets and can time travel to any point in its past, particularly after having beer spilt on it.
We know that the greatcoat has a brother in the RAF and we have met his hippy owner from the 1960s.
* Although never seen in the strip, when John bought the Greatcoat it still sported ARP Warden emblems. He removed them after being mistaken, on more than one occasion, for a traffic warden in Morecambe. That kind of thing happens in Morecambe.
DENNIS THE CAT You really want to know about Dennis the Cat? Keep reading the strip. John has kept cats so long he can no longer smell. It happens.
So, what happened to the aliens? Are there still two-headed people in Heysham? Does Nightingale Farm still pong? Anything's possible.
The Really Heavy Greatcoat © 2002 John Freeman and Nick Miller