Grant Morrison is known for mind-bending dialogue and Rian Hughes is a designer often associated with logo design and fonts, but the two creators have teamed up for a completely word-free comic strip (aside from the title and credits) for BBC Magazine, titled The Key.


They Key 2


The comic is part of the BBC's freedom2014 initiative and it's a pretty clear allegory about how totalitarianism tries to rip people's individuality away. Here, individuality is symbolized by distinct keys everyone in the society wears around their necks. The story ends up being about martyrdom, community, inspiration, and a lot more.

In an interview with the BBC, Hughes said the character who ends up becoming a martyr was originally intended to look like a superhero, but instead wears "a utilitarian bag on his head."

Morrison added, "The superhero for me is a symbolic figure. It has to be someone we can relate to, and it allows us to deal with things quite directly. What I love about comics is they way they allow you to talk about big ideas like freedom, meaning, what we're all here for and why."

This is the second collaboration between Hughes and Morrison. In 1990, the two worked on a satirical version of the popular U.K. space hero Dan Dare in which he was a puppet of the government of Margaret Thatcher.

Check out the full comic "The Key" here.


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