Tuesday, October 13, 2015

50 Year Flashback: Daily Mirror strips October 13th 1965

Several years ago I bought a bunch of old newspapers from the first Birmingham Memorabilia Show, back before the show became dominated by more recent nostalgia items. Here are the strips and cartoons that appeared in the Daily Mirror exactly half a century ago today.

The Andy Capp strip that day (above) is of course typical of the character; boozy and in debt, but creator Reg Smythe always managed to make the gags feel fresh and, more importantly, funny. 

The main strip page, regularly shared with Live Letters, featured Garth by John Allard and Steve Dowling, The Larks by Jack Dunkley, and The Flutters by Len Gamblin. We had the Daily Mirror every day when I was a kid so I have a particular fondness for these strips. 
Like Andy Capp, The Perishers (by Maurice Dodd and Dennis Collins) was on a different page back then, and a larger size strip than the others.
As well as five daily strips, the Mirror had a good selection of cartoons 50 years ago too. The Laughter column always carried work by some of Britain's top gag cartoonists.
There were also two regular 'pocket' cartoons. Useless Eustace by Jack Greenall...
...and Playboy! by David Rowe...
Plus the political cartoon by Stanley Franklin...
Strips and cartoons were considered an important part of the paper back then, and served as light relief to the serious news of the day. Sadly, the news of 50 years ago was very grim indeed, with the cover story revealing the re-opening of the tragic case that would be referred to as the Moors Murders. At this point it seems the press had not been informed of the arrests a few days earlier of the vile serial child-killers Myra Hindley and Ian Brady.
To end this blog post on a lighter note, here are the TV listings for this day 50 years ago. Only three channels, but at least there was a repeat of Hancock's Half Hour to watch, and a new Dennis Potter play... 
I hope you'll find these pages of historical interest. Click images to see them much larger and more readable. As for the weather forecast on 13th October 1965: "Mainly dry with some sunshine after early fog". Pretty much like today then!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Let Zygons be Zygons

Here's an advance look at the cover for Doctor Who Magazine No.492, which will be on sale this Thursday, 15th October. 

A new comic strip begins, with 12 pages of The Highgate Horror, an appropriately supernatural tale for this time of year. Script by Mark Wright with excellent art by David Roach, coloured by James Offredi. 

There's also a new Daft Dimension strip by me...

...and of course loads of features including previews of upcoming episodes, background info on previous stories, interviews, news, reviews, and more. 

This issue has an extra eight pages for no extra cost. That's 92 pages for only £4.99. 

More details will appear on the official Doctor Who Magazine website in a day or two:

Personally I think the current series has been excellent so far, and I'm looking forward to the next 8 episodes (plus the now-traditional Christmas Day special of course). Saturday's episode was a cracker, with the cherry on the cake being Peter Capaldi's guitar addition to the opening theme. If you missed the rocked-up theme, the BBC have released it on You Tube for free. Here it is. Play it LOUD!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beano Christmas Special 2015

Cover by Nigel Parkinson.
Christmas comes early this week with The Beano Christmas Special in the shops now! This extra edition is 68 pages full of strips and puzzles, plus a sheet of 30 free stickers inside. 

I haven't seen it myself yet but I'm reliably informed it's out. You can also buy it by post directly from the D.C. Thomson shop here:

Friday, October 09, 2015

Comic Heroes reborn

In 2010 Future Publishing launched Comic Heroes, a bimonthly newsstand magazine dedicated to the world of comics. Cynics predicted it would bomb, citing its £7.99 cover price as too expensive. However the magazine proved to be successful enough to maintain a good run of four years, albeit changing frequency to quarterly towards the end. Its final issue, No.24, was in July 2014. 

And that was that. Until today.

Comic Heroes is now back on the shelves of newsagents, with a quarterly frequency and a redesign but continuing the numbering with issue 25. The relaunch issue is a large size 148 page glossy mag and its declaration is that it's "Serious about comics". Hopefully not too serious. 

The issue is packed with a variety of features. Here's a few examples:

• Interviews with UK comics creators such as Grant Morrison, Paul Cornell, Jessica Martin, Mike Carey and Mike Perkins.

• A preview of the new Johnny Red comic.

• A look at Marvel's all-new, all-different relaunches.

•Joel Meadows looking at the new range of Vertigo comics. 

• Stephen Jewell previewing Dynamite's new James Bond comic.

• Paul Gravett on the Frech artist François Boucq.

• Leah Moore reporting from a convention in Mexico.

• David Barnett looks at Aces Weekly.

Plus reviews and tons more stuff.

I think there's a certain joy for anyone interested in comics to be able to wander into a newsagents and buy a magazine dedicated to the medium. I hope Comic Heroes is here to stay this time. Although a British magazine, its content is mainly American-focused because that's the stuff that its target audience is following and America is generating more comics than the UK. That said, it's clear that the mag is definitely willing to cover the UK and international scene as well. 

All in all, it's great to see Comic Heroes back and it's a magazine that anyone with a genuine interest in modern comics should be reading.

Comic Heroes No.25, 148 pages, £7.99. Out now! 

Thursday, October 08, 2015

An Annual treat

The 2016 dated annuals were published in July, and available from Amazon then, but it looks like High Street shops have finally decided to put them on the shelves now. WH Smith is currently doing a deal whereby if you buy one annual at full price you can have another for a pound. That works out at about the discount you'd get if you bought two annuals from online sellers. 

I know many people are tempted to wait until after Christmas, hoping to get them all for a quid each but if we all did that annuals would quickly die out as it simply wouldn't be worth the bother for publishers and retailers to do them for such little return. Thankfully there do seem to be enough people who support the UK comics industry who are happy to pay a little more and get the books early. 

I've illustrated this piece with a couple of panels from my strips in The Dandy Annual 2016. I'm starting work on pages for the 2017 dated Dandy Annual now, but I won't be previewing those for a good while yet. 

If you have difficulty obtaining the annuals you could always get them directly from D.C. Thomson at their online shop:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...