Friday, March 22, 2019

Are you ready for the COR!! BUSTER HUMOUR SPECIAL?

I've received my complimentary copies of The Cor!! Buster Humour Special and it's a fine publication I'm proud to be part of. Here's a sneak peel of the strip I've drawn for it (from a script by John Freeman), alongside the cover by Neil Googe. 
Loads of old characters are back in 52 pages of fun, rebooted for a modern audience by contemporary creators. As I was one of the regular contributors to the original Buster last Century I'm very pleased to be one of the "old timers" involved with this revamp. The other being the legendary Tom Paterson, whose four pages are worth the cover price alone!

The special will be in WH Smith and comic shops on April 17th, and I'll be posting more about it soon. In the meantime, you can pre-order the special (along with the other specials that Rebellion are publishing) at a discounted price here:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Preview: COMIC SCENE Vol.2 No.2

In the shops now is Comic Scene Vol.2 No.2, an 80 page whopper devoted to all things comic. There are features on Captain Britain, Marvel UK, European Dan Dare comics, Batman in the 1940s, Roy of the Rovers, the unseen Glory Glory comic, Wonder Comics, comics conventions, indie comics, movie news, and more.

This issue also sees the start of a new series of articles I've written in the Corker pull-out section. The first one focuses on some of the important artists who significantly evolved children's humour comics over the decades. Future articles will cover other subjects related to the history of UK humour comics. If you like this Blimey! blog, you should enjoy those features, as they'll be a suitable replacement when this blog ends later this year.

If you're interested in comics (and you wouldn't be here if you're not), then Comic Scene is for you. It's the only High Street magazine dedicated to comics so it deserves your support.

Comic Scene is available from WH Smith and selected comic shops, - or you could subscribe from the website:


...and here's an advance preview of next month's issue, on sale in April...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Fifty Year Flashback: TV21 goes back to basics

Fifty years ago this week, TV21 had one of its revamps, returning to the newspaper-style cover designs that made it so unique in its first three years. In January 1968 it had switched to using comic strips on the covers, but presumably sales had suffered, so now, in March 1969, after dabbling with a few news-style covers over a few weeks, it was going back to basics full time.

With a beautifully designed masthead echoing the Century 21 TV company ident (which itself had been based on the original TV21 logo) the cover gave us tasters of what to expect inside, told in the form of newspaper reports. 

Inside, the previous "editorials" by Colonel White were gone, replaced by Agent Twenty One's message to the readers alongside the Secret Agent 21 strip itself. (Strip art by Rab Hamilton. No idea who drew the cartoon.)

Captain Scarlet, which had previously been the cover strip for a year, was now inside, illustrated in grey wash by Jim Watson...
Reflecting its new "First with the Space and Spy News" sub-title, Department S was based on the ITC series starring Peter Wyngarde, Joel Fabini, and Rosemary Nichols. Not the most flattering photo of Wyngarde for the title header...
The strip did feature good likenesses of the three stars though, with art by Carlos Pino and Vincente Alcazar...
It's easy to see why TV21 was so highly regarded by its readers during the 1960s when the centre pages featured Thunderbirds illustrated by Frank Bellamy. It was a real coup for Century 21 to have this artist on the payroll...

My favourite artist on the comic was always Mike Noble. His Zero X strip had such dynamic power...

I think most of us were probably buying TV21 at this stage for those colour strips, but the black and white strips were entertaining. The Saint and Tarzan were very popular TV shows, and their strips (which had joined the comic the previous year from TV Tornado) had the right tone but were not the main selling point of the comic. 

The back page of this issue of TV21 was part of a series depicting man's journey to Saturn. Yes, by this time, the comic's attempts at connected continuity with its stories was out of whack. How could man only just be landing on Saturn in 2069 when Fireball XL5 had been regularly roaming the galaxy four years previously in 2065? Best not to think too deeply about it. Nice painting though.
This issue also featured two adverts related to Joe 90, who had his own comic at that stage. Ah, Sugar Smacks and Sutherlands spreads. All part of the wonderful 1960s....

It was around this time, a month later, when I started buying TV21 regularly again, so the revamp definitely hooked me. Sadly it wasn't to last. I suspect the change was too late and didn't boost sales enough, so this first series of TV21 ended in September 1969, replaced by TV21 and Joe 90, starting with a new first issue, and unfortunately losing most of what had made it so unique. 

My post on TV21 and Joe 90 No.1:

Joe 90 Top Secret No.1:

TV Tornado:

TV Century 21 No.1:

A selection of comics from one week in 1965:

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Jumping on point for 2000AD next week

Several new stories kick off in the next issue of 2000AD, on sale Wednesday. There's a wraparound cover by Leigh Gallagher too! Here's the PR and an advance preview...

UK and DIGITAL: 20th March 2019 £2.85
NORTH AMERICA: 20th April 2019 $22.40 (per pack)

In this issue:

JUDGE DREDD: CITIZENSHIP by Rory McConville (w) Jake Lynch (a) John Charles (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

SURVIVAL GEEKS: DUNGEONS & DATING by Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse Ville (l)

KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS by Ian Edginton (w) Leigh Gallagher (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

GREY AREA: MAKING HISTORY by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond

...also on Wednesday the latest issue of Judge Dredd Magazine arrives, packed with great stories plus a special feature on girls' comics of yesteryear!

UK and DIGITAL: 20th March 2019 £5.99
NORTH AMERICA: 20th April 2019 $13

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: PLANTED by Rory McConville (w) Jake Lynch (a) Jim Boswell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
LAWLESS: ASHES TO ASHES by Dan Abnett (w) Phil Winslade (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
STORM WARNING: GREEN & PLEASANT LAND by John Reppion, Leah Moore (w) Tom Foster (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Simon Bowland  (l)
BLUNT II by TC Eglington (w) Boo Cook (a) Simon Bowland (l)
THE DARK JUDGES: THE TORTURE GARDEN by John Wagner (w) Nick Percival (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Features: New Comics: Gryyym, Classic Comics: Tammy & Jinty, interviews with Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard
Bagged reprint: Operation: Overlord Vol.3

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond

Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Preview: VIZ No.284

The new issue of Viz is out now, with another 52 pages packed with fun for all ages, - as long as you're over 18 and don't mind a bit of swearing and smut. 

Viz has always been more than just sweary humour of course. It's the nation's premier satirical comic, - a tradition that dates back to the Victorian comics such as Funny Folks and Ally Sloper's Half Holiday. That's why a lot of Viz's imitators failed. They copied the rudeness, but not the clever social satire. 

This issue sees regular favourites Sid the Sexist, Drunken Bakers, Fat Slags and more, plus many other strips and parodies. Here's a little sample...
NASH GORDON by Tom Paterson.
ROBIN HOOD by Simon Ecob.
I'm very pleased to say that I'm back in this issue, with an all-new Felix and his Amazing Underpants page. Plot and artwork by me, script by Graham Dury and Simon Thorp, in which Felix gets involved in Brexit-related shenanigans. 
I first worked for Viz about 30 years ago, and became a regular in the 1990s until a few years ago, so it's great to be back. I don't know how regularly I'll be contributing as each idea is judged on a case by case basis, but I'm working on another script right now so fingers crossed! 

Later this year, Viz notches up its 40th anniversary, so give one of Britain's longest-running comics your support and buy the latest edition this week! £3.70 for 52 pages, available from newsagents and supermarkets across the UK.

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