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If you want to get away with murder, buy a car

Woodrow Phoenix

Ali Smith

Every so often a book like this comes along, one which allows fresh vision, even a change of mindset. Brilliant...Rumble Strip is a crucial revelation.

Over 1.2 million people are killed on the road each year. By 2020, road traffic accidents could outstrip stroke and HIV as one of the main causes of preventable deaths.

Woodrow Phoenix’s dry, sometimes painfully mordant wit, backed up by accident statistics, personal observations and case histories, offers a trenchant analysis of the problems of road users everywhere and the risks we all take every day.

Rumble Strip surprises, challenges, asks us questions that badly need answers and makes us think about things we may prefer to ignore. But sometimes we all need a wake-up call: Woodrow Phoenix personalises the experience of the commuter, the driver, the pedestrian, the accident victim – because any one of them could be you.

Woodrow Phoenix

is a British comics artist and writer who also works in the fields of editorial illustration, graphic design, font design and children's books. His work is graphic and playful but is unusual for its high degree of formal experimentation. His graphic story "End of the Line" first appeared to much praise in The Brighton Book, a mixed media anthology in association with The Brighton Festival. He is co-editor of Nelson, a collective graphic novel with 54 creators, published by Blank Slate.

See also Dominic Lutyens' profile of the author in Design Week and the British Council's Contemporary Writers site.

Jon McGregor

Brilliant. Angry, articulate, bewildered, and beautifully drawn; a visceral blast of truth-telling against the cult of the road. They should be giving it away with new driving licences.

Paul Gravett

For a graphic work that doesn’t show a single human being, this is an extraordinarily human book. Its ideas and questions about how the car impacts on your life will echo in your mind long after you’ve finished reading it, whether you’re a driver, or a pedestrian, or both.

The Times

One utterly original work of genius. It should be made mandatory reading for everyone, everywhere.

Glasgow Herald

In thrall to the vivid iconography of the roadside – the signs, the arrows, the unfolding motorway landscape – and vividly sketches the ways car can isolate us from each other.

The Late Show, BBC London

I love your book. I think it's a really interesting take on ‘the road’...wonderfully controversial...phenomenal and very original.

The Argus

A darkly dazzling graphic book...a disturbing indictment of the culture of the car presented in a simple, shocking and brilliant way.

Creative Review

A gripping narrative – he just presents the hard facts and they stay imprinted on your mind.

Broken Frontier

Congratulations to Woodrow Phoenix for making such a difficult subject readable and entertaining in a thought provoking way. Once you start reading, you can't stop turning the pages...This is an emotional horror story told with a perfect symbiosis of text and image.

Down the Tubes

This is a timely, well researched and fascinating novel and one which Jeremy Clarkson would probably hate. Surely yet another reason for getting out there and buying a copy...

London Cyclist

A unique addition to the transport policy debate.


Compulsory reading for people who carp on about rising fuel prices, lack of parking and how cyclists are the scum of the earth.

Comik motorik

Simply astounding...It’s important though to express how natural this book feels, how timely and how key to our ongoing national of the most original, impressive and essential British comics of the last ten years.

The Latest

Phoenix, who attained an MA in narrative illustration at the University of Brighton, showed the comic as the ultimate creation of narrative meaning. Displayed was the largest comic to have been made, radical for the literary genre: 'It’s just paper, you can decide what that paper’s worth' he exclaimed. A great evening had by both comic geeks and absolute novices.


Woodrow Phoenix’s message is all the more forceful for using a graphic novel format.  He wants to warn of the damage and death that can result from car accidents. The author also rails against the injustice of the penalty system for deaths caused by cars, the arms race with people investing more and more in ridiculously huge SUV’s and the like. The damage all this does to people and the land goes unquestioned by the majority but Woodrow Phoenix articulates - and illustrates the devastating combination of human and machine on our roads.

Rumble Strip on Sequential

RRP £12.99 pbk
192 pages • 152 x 230mm
ISBN: 9780954930998
Published 12 June 2008

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French edition

Actes sud, l'AN2

One of the pages specially designed for l'AN2

Customised for the Brazilian edition

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An "Exclusively Independent" selection for 2009