Friday, November 24, 2017

This week's Astonishing Spider-Man

Here's a cover preview of the latest issue of Panini UK's Astonishing Spider-Man fortnightly. Available in WH Smith and selected newsagents. 76 full colour pages for £3.99. Go get it, tiger!

Astonishing Spider-Man Vol.6 #34. On sale 22nd November 2017. 
76 pages packed with arachnid-adventure! Only £3.99!

The Osborn Identity continues! Spider-Man and Silver Sable invade Symkaria to free it from the Green Goblin!!!

Also, Mole Man has captured Annie-May! Better watch out, here comes Spider-Mom (AKA Spinneret) to the rescue!

Plus, Spidey vs. Clash! And there’s big trouble in Shanghai!

By Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen, Christos Gage, Todd Nauck, James Asmus, Tana Ford, Hannah Blumenreich, Cale Atkinson, Gerry Conway, Ryan Stegman.

Includes material reprinted from Amazing Spider-Man #25 and 27 and Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #2.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

It's Doctor Who Day!

As it's officially Doctor Who Day (54 years since the first episode in 1963), here's one of my Daft Dimension strips that appeared in Doctor Who Magazine last year.

Interested in TV shows of the 1960s?

...then this may be the book for you. Here's the info...

ITC Entertainment was a powerhouse of filmed television drama from the 1950s to the 1980s, producing a succession of hit action-adventure series such as The Saint, Danger Man, The Prisoner, Man in a Suitcase, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and The Persuaders!

Edited by Alan Hayes and Rick Davy, Playboys, Spies, and Private Eyes - Inspired by ITC celebrates the company's remarkable legacy with 35 chapters by a wide range of writers, who explore how the series have touched their lives.
Published in aid of the Born Free Foundation, this book also boasts a heartfelt foreword by actress Annette Andre, an afterword by Elaine Spooner (daughter of Dennis), and artwork by Shaqui Le Vesconte.

Chapter writers: Rachael Baez, Greg Bakun, Vanessa Bergman, Matt Courtman, Simon Coward, Chris Dale, Rick Davy, Ian Dickerson, Geoff Dodd, Robert Fairclough, Mike Gorman, Alan Hayes, Alys Hayes, Gabriel Hershman, Annette Hill, Tina Jerke, Neil Jones, Mike Kenwood, Stephen La Riviere, David Mackenzie, Richard McGinlay, Robert Morton, Steve O'Brien, Jon Older, Max Pemberton, Louise Penn, Al Samujh, Sheena Samujh, Linda Kunkle Schley, David Tulley, Jaz Wiseman.

Paperback, 256 pages, ISBN: 978-1-911537-03-8
SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE OF £11.99 (plus shipping if outside the UK). Cover price £12.99 plus P&P from:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Christmas 2000AD preview!

Cover by Staz Johnson and Chris Blythe.
Rebellion have released details in advance of this year's bumper-sized 100 page Christmas issue of 2000AD, and an opportunity for readers to pre-order it so they don't miss it in newsagents, - and pre-orders will come with an exclusive Starlord Trooper print by Henry Flint. It sounds like a real cracker! Ho-ho-ho!

Here's the info...

A brand new cover by Staz Johnson and Chris Blythe

Bad Company are hunted men as they search for the truth behind the Ararat war in Bad Company: Terrorists by Peter Milligan and Rufus Dayglo

The ABC Warriors are at each other's throats as Mars descends into chaos in ABC Warriors: Fallout by Pat Mills and Clint Langley

Merlin has awoken and unleashed the Motherless Men in Brass Sun: Engine Summer, by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard

Bill Savage discovers the reality behind the Savage: Thousand Year Stare, courtesy of Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard

We flashback to a significant Justice Department character in a one-off The Fall of Deadworld story by Kek-W and Dave Kendall

Ace Garp celebrates the festive season in his own unique way in Ace Trucking Co. by Eddie Robson and Nigel Dobbyn

The long-awaited tale of what became of Starlord can finally be told, courtesy of Kenneth Niemand and Henry Flint

and lawman Judge Dredd is caught in a fix! much more! Interested? Pre-order it from the publisher here:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Why I won't be buying Doomsday Clock

DC Comics are about to release Doomsday Clock No.1, a 12 issue limited series which, according to the publishers, is a sequel to Watchmen.

That's right. Watchmen. The sublime 1986 groundbreaking series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (superbly coloured by John Higgins) that has worked perfectly well as a stand-alone story for 30 years. Now, DC have decided it's time to do a continuation, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank, which will co-star Superman and the other DC Universe superheroes. Gibbons and Moore were not consulted (and would no doubt have declined even if they were asked). The only true link with Watchmen is they're using the font based on Dave Gibbons' lettering.

To make something clear from the outset, both Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are top of the range creators with impressive CVs in comics. I've nothing personal against them and I've enjoyed work from both of them in the past. I'm sure Doomsday Clock will be a well produced comics series, but I won't be supporting it.

Thing is, Watchmen was created as a complete story and achieved that superbly. It's an intelligent, well structured graphic novel (or fat comic if you prefer) set on an alternate Earth where a godlike being named Dr.Manhattan changed the course of history. (Perhaps you've seen the film.The comic is far superior.) In three decades it has never needed a sequel. It certainly was never intended to tie in with the DC Universe and have guest appearances from Superman, Batman, and other members of the Justice League. Yet that's exactly what DC are doing. It's like some movie company suddenly deciding that Citizen Kane would be improved with a sequel featuring Ant and Dec.
There's been rumours that this was going to happen since DC introduced the often meandering Rebirth theme to their comics last year. Off-panel suggestions that Dr.Manhattan was pulling the strings. Apparently Doomsday Clock is about the DC Universe being broken, presumably due to Dr.Manhattan's doing, and Superman and co. trying to fix it. No doubt it'll end with another big revamp for the DC Universe. DC produce some great comics, but follow them long enough and the company tends to lurch from one reboot to another, from Crisis, to Zero Hour, to Rebirth. Wait a few years and there'll be another.

The metaphor of Superman vs Dr.Manhattan is that Watchmen was one of the comics responsible for superhero comics becoming darker and grittier, and it's time to put things right. It's a very flawed excuse, because Watchmen was never designed to be a template for the DCU to "go dark". It's the fault of editors and creators who followed who chose that path with their characters. Watchmen can't be blamed for the appalling Identity Crisis storyline for example, where goofy supervillain Doctor Light became a rapist. 

Okay, the concept of Superman fighting Dr.Manhattan is something that will no doubt have many of the "who's the strongest" infatuated fanboys drooling with delight, but even if you think it sounds like a good idea, consider the moral aspect. As I understand it, when Watchmen was created, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons had a contract that said that the rights of the book would revert to them when it went out of print. Only problem was, DC made sure it never went out of print. Now, this latest fiasco, merging Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, ensures they're DC property indefinitely.

I don't want to support tactics like that, and I won't be buying Doomsday Clock on principle. The Watchmen creators aren't interested in it (Dave Gibbons has said "I won't be reading it") and I stand with them. I knew Alan and Dave very well back in the days when they were working on Watchmen and it was always a pleasure to hear of their passion for the comic and how they were structuring it. They were good, optimistic times for comics and creator's rights. I'm sickened by this "sequel" and will be steering well clear of it. 

Obviously I won't be chastising anyone who does buy it, and I won't be falling out with anyone over it, but I wanted to put my own thoughts out there. Agree or disagree; it's up to you.

If you haven't read Watchmen, buy that instead. No sequels necessary.

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