Fran Of The Floods: A Climate Change Warning From 1975

by Richard Bruton

Since Rebellion, best known as the publishers of 2000 AD, began obtaining the rights to a huge number of UK comics from the long history of comic publishers throughout the 20th Century, they’ve dived deep and diverse for the choices from the Treatury of British Comics. And in March we all get to read another lost classic, this time from the pages of Jinty, Fran of the Floods.

The wealth of material, covering often bizarre and unusual topics, with a host of incredible creators, is something that has long been forgotten when it comes to the enormous number of British ‘Girls’ comics of the past Century. And it’s something that, thankfully, the Treasury of British Comics is slowly changing. We’ve already had the gorgeous Bella at the Bar and various reprints from Misty, but this year promises to bring even more back into the public eye. Later in the year, Rebellion are publishing an all-new collection with the Tammy & Jinty Special, edited by women’s comics expert Lizzie Boyle, but before then we have Fran of the Floods, written by Alan Davidson with art from Phil Gascoigne, a comic that was unusual in 1975, but now, 44 years on, seems to be terrifyingly prescient.

Fran of the Floods tells a horrifying tale of climate change affecting the world, with one young girl, Fran Scott, caught up in the terror. With the sun melting the ice caps and the oceans evaporating, the world finds itself under threat, as the rain comes down. Fran observes as society begins to break down, as food becomes scarce, people begin hoarding, and personalities change as panic grips the nation as they watch the waters rise and rise and rise.

This from the Treasury of British Comics’ press release…

At first young Hazelford resident, Fran Scott, finds the whole thing amusing, but as the town begins to disappear underwater, the desperation of her predicament becomes all too clear. After losing her parents in the chaos, Fran decides to seek out her sister June, who recently moved to Scotland. But as the situation gets worse and society begins to crumble around her, Fran must overcome a vast array of dangers, including disease, wild animals, marauding gangs of vicious thugs and most bizarre of all, the self-proclaimed king of Glasgow!

It’s a graphic novel that feels unrelentingly dark, never shying away from the disaster that’s befalling the world at large and Fran’s world in particular. And the artwork from Gascoigne is simply gorgeous, something you should be able to see through the artwork I’ve pulled out here and in the preview below. It’s a case of Gascoigne rarely putting even a line wrong, getting everything so, so perfect on the page. Beautiful work that you’ll be able to delight in so soon.

The graphic novel collection is available from all good comic stores and the 2000AD & Rebellion stores online from 21 March. Enjoy the preview presented by Comicon…

Now, as a special treat… some of the original Jinty covers featuring Fran of the Floods… and I just want you to marvel at the wonderful diversity of the material inside, as well as the incredible artwork. None more so, in my opinion, than this…

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