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Jack Staff Volume 1: Everything Used to Be Black and White
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Jack Staff Volume 1: Everything Used to Be Black and White

(Jack Staff #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  137 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Jack Staff is 'Britain's greatest hero', or at least he used to be. 20 years ago he disappeared, and everyone forgot about him - almost. This text collects all the original black and white issues of the award-winning superhero comic.
Paperback, 349 pages
Published February 18th 2004 by Image Comics (first published February 1st 2004)
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Stephen Theaker
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Reading this can be a bit disorientating at first, because of the way each issue is apparently broken up into several strips in the style of a weekly UK comic like 2000AD, but you soon get used to it. It's essentially a jokier take on Alan Moore's 1980s reinventions of superheroes like Captain Britain and Marvelman, and should appeal to anyone who enjoyed those.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
The big thing against Jack Staff the comic when it first came out was that it wasn't Kane, which was Paul Grist's previous comic, a brilliant hard-boiled, hilarious crime saga that was one of the best comics ever, and then he stopped doing it and started this, of all things, superhero comic. It didn't take long for Jack Staff to become the new best comic ever, but it was, and it is. Everything Used To Be Black And White is a big chunky book collecting all of the black and white issues published ...more
Matt Brady
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Paul Grist's attempt at doing American style superhero comics in a British setting. It's a really fun story, though the main character of Jack Staff is probably the least interesting part. But there's a pretty big supporting cast as well, and it very quickly becomes an ensemble book. Grist is a great cartoonist and uses negative space really cleverly. I wish I knew how to talk about art in a better way but I don't so I'll just say he draws real good. There's a lot of playing with the narrative t ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic
Loved the art, but I struggled with the pacing. I couldn't tell when one issue ended and another began for some reason.
There's much to like here, a whimsical look at superheroes. However, I found it a little too disjointed for my tastes, moving back and forth too quickly and without warning to really enjoy.
Eric Orchard
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant all the way through.
Stephen Bates
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comic-books
Apparently, Jack Staff was originally Paul Grist's pitch to Marvel for a new Union Jack series. However, for whatever reason, it didn't happen so Paul Grist adapted it into Jack Staff and wrote, drew and published 12 issues under Dancing Elephant Press. And, certainly, when you look at this collection of the 12 issues of volume 1 of Jack Staff’s adventures, the link between the titular hero and Union Jack is clear.

It tells the tale of "Britain's Greatest Hero" who has been missing for 20 years.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Grist uses unique panel work & jump cuts in his writing to create an engrossing story about Jack Staff & the world of characters around him. Pay close attention because things from page 2 pop up again around page 320. The art is perfect for this format.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, graphic-novels
This was rather bizarre. Was it a parody of Captain America and superhero comics in general or was it an actual attempt at a British superhero? If so, how 'bout that Captain Britain? There was plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and an enjoyable drawing style that reminded me of the Marvel Now's Hawkeye. The chapters seemed to skip around too much for my taste, alternating POVs from Jack Staff to Betsy and also going back and forth in time. I wish there was more detail involved, as this first volume ...more
Tippy Jackson
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, comic
-"Serial Killer travels the country killing at random and removing a piece of his victims body as a bloody memento of his crime." Who writes this Tosh?
-Iain M. Angel. He used to write comics. Then he stopped to concentrate on writing a SERIOUS novel. He'll be back. They always are.
-Comics? Do people still buy those?

This comic takes a while to build up-over 100 pages for me to get used to the style. It is kind of everywhere, with a lot of different characters appearing and disappearing throughou
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great stuff. Takes a little while to get into it - the kind of strange pacing of the storytelling and the way chunks of the story are sometimes seeming randomly shuffled out of linear order an be a bit offputting at first, but once you get into the swing of the story it's not an issue. Nice clean art, looked great in these black and white stories. It's also nice to read a "superhero" book that doesn't take itself too seriously without being a goofy spoof or something.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, superhero
I enjoyed this way more than I expected to. Thoroughly enjoyable. Robot men, mysterious detectives, a vampire reporter and more. Superhero and related genres filtered through a very British sensibility. And the way Grist plays with comics conventions, his masterful storytelling and use of black, it's really tight. Yeah, I'm not sure if everyone would feel this way but it just hit a sweet spot for me, and I wasn't properly prepared for that.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The origin of Jack Staff is it's apparently a rewrite of a Union Jack story the author wrote for and was rejected by Marvel. Their loss is our gain. As such, there are plenty of references to both American and British superheroes. Spotting the original source is fun. The art is charming and the stories are interesting. Recommended.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get used to the pace of the stories - especially in the first ones, there are tons of really short segments. But it was still fun, and Paul Grist is a fantastic cartoonist, so that made it an enjoyable adjustment.
Not the best art nor the best story in comics, but certainly some of my personal favorite art and storytelling. Easy-to-appreciate indie comic superhero fun. A BBC production of Hellboy by way of Marvel Comics.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Wonderful miss-mash of comic book tropes and british pop culture.
More an ensemble series than a solo book.

Jack's working class British city is a magnet for the weird and supernatural and so he has no chance of enjoying a quiet afternoon as builder and handyman John Smith.

Fun stuff.

Stephen Winchell
I think Jack Staff is the only comic book worth picking up these days. This is a wonderful start to the series.
Jordan Ellison
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Contains some existential wankery.
Eric Nolen-Weathington
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Feb 09, 2013
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Sep 03, 2015
Alex Scales
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Mar 18, 2012
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Nov 03, 2010
Rajkumar Rajendran
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Aug 04, 2018
Tim S.
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Aug 06, 2008
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Dec 22, 2011
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Sep 13, 2013
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May 14, 2015
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Jan 26, 2017
Ikea Monkey
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Apr 21, 2015
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Jun 20, 2017
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Paul Grist is a British comic book creator, noted for his hard-boiled police series Kane and his unorthodox superhero series Jack Staff.

Other books in the series

Jack Staff (4 books)
  • Jack Staff Volume 2: Soldiers
  • Jack Staff Volume 3: Echoes of Tomorrow
  • Jack Staff Volume 4: Rocky Realities