Wednesday, February 13, 2019

EIGHT new specials coming our way from Rebellion this year!

Rebellion Publishing have just announced the titles of the specials they'll be publishing this year... and there are more than we expected! We already knew about some, such as the Cor!! and Buster Special and the 2000AD Villains Takeover Special but there will also be several more!

The supplied image states that these aren't the final covers. Hopefully the Cor!! and Buster Special will use the original logos (which were very strong and stylishly timeless).

Anyway, here's the press release...

Rebellion is making holidays special again this year with a whole slate of classic comic book specials for new readers and nostalgic parents alike!

We're resurrecting some of the most beloved comic books in British history – from humour to football, from superheroes to girls’ comics, they'll be packed with all-new material!

SEVEN new specials will be storming the newsstands between April and October, each one honouring a different part of the British comic industry - the Cor!! and Buster Special, 2000 AD Villains Takeover Special, 2000 AD Regened, 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special, Tammy and Jinty Special, The Vigilant, Roy of the Rovers 65th Anniversary Special, Scream and Misty Presents The Thirteenth Floor.

Buster and Cor!! were two of the biggest humour comics in Britain – and now they’re back and they’ve brought their friends! The 48-page Cor!! and Buster Special will hit newsstands in on 17th April, retailing at £4.99. From the world’s naughtiest baby, Sweeny Toddler, to Gums, the most incompetent shark in the seven seas, this one-shot special will feature top comics talent including a cover by Neil Googe (The Flash), and strips by Ned Hartley (Star Wars), Cavan Scott (Doctor Who), John Freeman (Crucible), Lew Stringer (Combat Colin), Abigail Bulmer (2000 AD) and Tanya Roberts (TMNT)!
The dastardly and the iniquitous will be taking over 2000 AD on 4th May – the 32-page US-format 2000 AD Villains Takeover special sees the baddies from some of the 2000 AD’s biggest strips, including Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, and Sláine, get their moment in the spotlight! Available only from comic book stores for the low price of just 99p/99c!

On 8th May, the kids are taking over as 2000 AD gives way to 2000 AD Regened – a one-off special issue of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic intended for all ages! Following the massively successful Free Comic Book Day issue of Regened in 2018, the pint-sized anti-heroes return for another bumper Prog for kids of all ages and species! 2000 AD Prog 2130 will be 100 packed pages, retailing at £4.99 from all good stockists!

In 2018, the comics world lost one of its best creators – Carlos Ezquerra. This June, the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special will pay tribute to the co-creator of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog with a special issue focusing on some of his greatest moments. It will also include his unpublished work on Specter, a new series he was working on with long-time collaborator John Wagner. The 48-page special hits shelves on 19th June at £4.99.

In the 1970s and 1980s, comics aimed at girls outsold those aimed at boys – and Tammy and Jinty were two of the biggest titles. This June, these classic titles return, retooled for the 21st Century and with a host of new creators producing high-quality strips that pay tribute to the legacy of trail-blazing comics while introducing a new audience to the medium! The 48-page Tammy and Jinty Special lands on 27 June, priced at £4.99.

After its smash hit debut last year, The Vigilant returns in August, resurrecting the greatest home-grown superheroes Britain has to offer – a team unlike any other, a challenge none have faced before! Even if superhero comics have never been your thing, take up the call of The Vigilant with this 64-page special – out on 14th August , priced at £4.99.

Following his spectacular return to comics, Roy of the Rovers gets his first new special in September for his 65th birthday and the start of the new footie season! The golden-footed hero is back for a new generation! The Roy of the Rovers 65th Anniversary Special kicks off on 11th September with a bumper 128-page £9.99 issue!

And in time for Hallowe’en, the Scream and Misty Presents The Thirteenth Floor arrives on 16th October with a 48-page £4.99 special filled with the best chills that British comics can deliver! Created by John Wagner, Alan Grant, and José Ortiz, The Thirteenth Floor is where the homicidal caretaker computer Max puts those he doesn't like – a mysterious floor of the tower block he controls where he keeps their worst fears. Few, if any, survive if they get on Max’s wrong side!

All the Rebellion specials will be available from good newsagents, as well as comic book stores via Diamond Distribution, and through 2000 AD’s webshop and apps.

Release dates for six of the specials are:

Cor!! and Buster Special - 17th April
2000 AD Villains Special - 1st May
2000 AD Sci-Fi Special Carlos Ezquerra Tribute - 19th June
Tammy and Jinty Special - 27th June
The Vigilant - 14th August

Scream and Misty Presents The Thirteenth Floor – 16th October

A mock up by me, using the original logos.
Rebellion currently have a special offer where you can order six of the eight specials as a bundle. The page to go to is here:
https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/specials/B0011




Saturday, February 09, 2019

The funniest strips in British comics history

Humour is subjective of course, but I've never met anyone who grew up on the work of Ken Reid who didn't think he was a genius. As far as I'm concerned, Ken produced the funniest strips ever seen in British comics; in particular his 1960s work for Odhams when he was at his peak. 

Last year, Ken's entire output for Odhams was collected into two quality hardback books published under license by Irmantas Pavilaika. Volume 1 collects all of Ken's Frankie Stein and Jasper the Grasper strips that appeared in Wham! and Volume 2 features the complete Queen of the Seas and Ken's stint on The Nervs that he did for Smash! and the complete Dare-A-Day Davy that appeared in Pow! 
Under the title The Power Pack of Ken Reid, the two volumes feature excellent printing and reproduction of those classic strips, and also carry bonus feature pages with exclusive never-before seen artwork from Ken Reid! 
Rebellion (who now own the rights to that material) recently had a limited number of the books on their online store, and swiftly sold out. However, the good news is that Irmantas still has copies left and you can buy them directly from him from his webshop:
https://www.kazoop-comics-shop.com
Each book contains 200 pages of top quality material and are the definitive collections of a great comics creator at his very best. The volumes deserve a place on your bookshelves, so don't miss out!


Order them today: 

The Power Pack volumes are a perfect accompaniment to the two books published by Rebellion; Faceache and Creepy Creations. You can order those here:
...and there's even a Faceache T-shirt available now! Order that from the Treasury shop too!


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The future of this blog:
As stated at the end of last year, I'll be winding down this blog during 2019. That means far less posts than I used to do... until they cease altogether. My other blog will continue though, and you can find that here:


Wednesday, February 06, 2019

FRANK FAZAKERLY: The early work of Bryan Talbot

Like many of us in the comics industry, Bryan Talbot started out producing "small press" comics, with very limited print runs and even more limited distribution. Many years before Bryan was a high profile graphic novel creator, famed for his work on books such as One Bad Rat and Grandville, he created Frank Fazakerly, Space Ace of the Future

These science fiction comic-adventures first appeared 40 years ago, and stories were later collected into a comic by the Preston SF Group in 1991. The A5 sized comic had 20 pages (plus card covers) and had a limited print run of just 1,000. 

Although less sophisticated than Bryan's later work, Frank Fazakerly still displayed the imagination and detail that the artist became renowned for. Even 40 years ago it was clearly evident that this was a creator who understood comics, - and it's good fun too!

If you're interested, I'm selling this issue on eBay at the moment. It's signed by Bryan Talbot and is numbered 946/1000. Bidding ends on Sunday 10th February. To find out more, go here:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BRYAN-TALBOTS-FRANK-FAZAKERLY-1991-RARE-SIGNED/202586954228

Good luck if you're bidding! 


Monday, February 04, 2019

COMIC SCENE returns to newsagents on February 21st

The first issue in the new series of Comic Scene will be on sale from Thursday 21st February. You'll find the 68 page glossy magazine on the shelves of WH Smith and Easons, plus various comic shops!

Comic Scene is the only magazine on the high street that is dedicated to features about comics, so give it your support. The new issue spotlights football comics and carries articles on Roy of the Rovers past and present, Billy's Boots in Holland, Striker comic, and more. 

Plus other features, including free gifts in comics and an excellent article on the late, great Mike Western! 

If you'd prefer to subscribe to the magazine and receive it in the comfort of your own home, you can find out how to here:
https://comicscene.tictail.com

From Vol.2. No.2, on sale in March, I'll be on board Comic Scene as a regular columnist too, so those of you who enjoyed this Blimey! blog will find the same sort of focus there, as my features will be mostly on humour comics and creators of bygone years.
https://comicsflix.org

...and last but not least, the Comic Scene Podcast goes live this week:
https://soundcloud.com/ComicScene



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Announcing the COR!! AND BUSTER SPECIAL

Cover by Neil Googe.
This April, Rebellion are launching a Spring Special featuring brand new stories of classic humour characters!

Cor!! and Buster Special features a cover by Neil Googe showing a cast of classic characters in Trafalgar Square, including Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, Faceache, Frankie Stein, X-Ray Specs and Buster himself, - and I'm pleased to say that the special will include a three-page intro strip that I drew, from a script by John Freeman.


Here's the PR....

The greatest characters from Britain’s golden age of humour comics return this Easter for a one-shot celebration of daft and zany fun!

Rebellion Publishing is proud to announce the Cor!! and Buster Special will be tickling your funny bone this spring and a whole new generation of readers are about to experience comics’ humour at its finest! 

The 48-page special will hit newsstands in the UK and Ireland, and comic book stores in the UK, Ireland, and North America, on 17th April, retailing at £4.99. 

It will be the first use of the vast number of classic humour characters by Rebellion since it acquired the archive of comics publisher IPC and the Cor!! and Buster Special offers new takes on some of the greatest characters from Britain’s golden age of humour comics, with an edgy celebration of daft, zany fun.

From the world’s naughtiest baby, Sweeny Toddler, to Gums, the most incompetent shark in the seven seas, this one-shot special will feature top comics talent including a cover by Neil Googe (The Flash), and strips by Ned Hartley (Star Wars), Cavan Scott (Doctor Who), Abigail Bulmer (2000 AD) and Tanya Roberts (TMNT).

The special will also complement Funny Pages, Rebellion's title for Free Comic Book Day on 4th May, which will be available for free from participating comic book stores around the world.

Editor on the Cor! and Buster Special, Keith Richardson, said: "Humour titles like Cor!! and Buster were a massive part of many a childhood but have been sadly missing from the newsstand for years - the time is ripe to bring these amazing characters back for a new generation. Just at a time when many kids will be on their Easter break, this special will introduce them to some of our favourite classic characters, but all with a modern twist. For us, it's time to put the comical back into comics!"

Humour comics were once a constant staple of the British newsstand, with dozens of titles filled by some of the industry's greatest talents, such as Leo Baxendale and Ken Reid. IPC/Fleetway titles such as Cor!!, Buster, Whizzer and Chips, and Shiver and Shake entertained generations of children for decades. They were part of the acquisition by Rebellion of arguably the world's largest archive of English-language comics in 2016 and 2018.

More info soon, - and keep an eye on the Down the Tubes website for an exclusive interview with the project's editor, Keith Richardson! 




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