Grant MorrisonMark MillarBig Dave2000 AD
Big Dave: Wotta Lotta Balls
Medium: comic
Year: 1994
Writer: Grant Morrison, Mark Millar
Artist: Steve Parkhouse
Country: UK
Keywords: Big Dave, 2000 AD
Format: 2000 AD 904-907
Website category: Comics UK
Review date: 18 March 2022
It's Big Dave's last adventure to date! It's also probably the weakest and a bit of a mess. The other Big Dave stories were clearer about their targets. This one's got football, Germans, Adolf Hitler, voodoo, a Japanese homosexual who hires Dave's dad to kill Dave, etc.
It does, though, have some fun jokes and the usual outrageous Sun-isms. These include:
(a) football. Bobby Moore gets raised as a zombie by Nelson Mande(l)la's voodoo to save England's football honour. (The spelling of Mandela's name varies.) There's so much wrongness there that one hardly knows where to begin. The story's nonsense geographically, for a start.
(b) xenophobia. Japan is "home of curry and deadly martial arts". Germans all worship Adolf Hitler and their soccer players shoot the referee in mid-game. A typical native of Florida is a drug-addled thug who mugs and probably kills tourists:
"Cool! More tourist dollars to fund our disgusting drug habits!"
"Yeah. Man, we love drugs. Hee hee hee!"
(c) Dave dumped his girlfriend as soon as she got pregnant and, on hearing her say the word "job", vomits in the baby's pram. Fortunately, though, she's a single mother and so gets a six-bedroom flat and half a million pounds from the local council.
(d) Dave murders a vicar who'd been organising a zoo trip for disabled children. Dave wanted to steal his minibus, you see. "Good work, Dave! That's one less crafty clergyman criticising government policy from his lofty pulpit! Who do these potty priests think they are?"
Naturally, everyone's still appalling. Dave's dad is available inexpensively. Five pounds to murder his own son. "This pillow-biter's offered me a fiver to kick you to death." There's so much whatever-phobia that it would be quicker to list the ones that aren't here. Dave's last works for the unemployed fans back home in recession-hit Blighty are "Up yours, Britain! Ha ha ha!" And, of course, it's still drawn by the mighty Steve Parkhouse, here in colour. Look at his lion, for instance. Wow.
Big Dave is amazing. I don't know of anything else like him in mainstream comics, either in 2000 AD or elsewhere. He's like an alternative comix series that's infiltrated a UK newsstand publication. He wasn't around for long, but paradoxically that's one of his virtues. Morrison and Millar didn't try to drag it out, but instead quit after a few short, explosive stories, before the formula got tired.
It's scary to think that there might have been readers stupid enough not to realise that it was ironic, though.