Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Comic Home Journal

It's been a while since we looked at an old comic so let's crank up the Blimey Timey Machine and see where we end up. It's 1903, we're 115 years in the past, and you're looking at a copy of The Comic Home Journal, a rather stodgy title for one of the early British comics.

The Comic Home Journal ran from 1895 to 1904, so this 1903 issue was from a year before its closure. It was published by Alfred Harmsworth (later The Amalgamated Press). It would be replaced by Butterfly, a more modern comic (well, for 1904) and aimed at a younger audience.

The format was typical of the time; 8 tabloid sized pages (the size of today's Daily Mirror or Sunday Post, etc) and printed on pink paper. The contents were a 50/50 mixture of prose stories and comic strips. 

Typical of British comics of the period, the strips are all uncredited. The cover strip seems to be either influenced by American newspaper strips of the time or a retitled reprint. I'm not sure because I can find no information on it.

The centre pages of the comic were similar to other comics of the day in that they featured an assortment of short strips and cartoons. Here's a selection...

The Flip-Flop Twins definitely show an American influence, with the dialogue on the shirts a complete steal from The Yellow Kid...

The back page is notable because it features Lanky Larry and Bloated Bill, a strip by Tom Browne, the pioneer of the British humour comics style. Browne was the creator of Weary Willie and Tired Tim for Chips, and their success led to similar strips, usually by imitators of Browne's style. In this case, Browne is imitating his own creations.

The Comic Home Journal must look very unappealing to modern tastes but this style was very popular over 100 years ago and we should respect that. Artistic styles and tastes change, and always will, but the purpose of humour comics, - to entertain and amuse, - remains constant.

Great comic display at New Street Station!

I've often criticised newsagents and supermarkets for not displaying comics properly so it's good to see one that's doing it really well. My thanks to Stephen Parry for this photo of the Panini and Titan comics at WH Smith at Birmingham New Street Station. All the comics are clearly displayed in a shelving display that attracts attention and interest. This is how to grab the attention of potential new readers, not by hiding them behind the counter like some branches of Smiths do! Well done to the New Street Station branch!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Cover preview: 2000AD Prog 2104

Here's the cover to next week's 2000AD, on sale Wednesday. 

Contents as follows...

UK and DIGITAL: 24th October 2018 £2.85
NORTH AMERICA: 24th November 2018 $6.75

In this issue:

JUDGE DREDD: THE SMALL HOUSE by Rob Williams (w) Henry Flint (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

BRINK: HIGH SOCIETY by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)

FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT: 1812 by Ian Edginton (w) Dave Taylor (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

SKIP TRACER: LEGION by James Peaty (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Dylan Teague (c) Ellie De Ville (l)

KINGDOM: ALPHA AND OMEGA by Dan Abnett (w) Richard Elson (a) Abigail Bulmer (c) Ellie De Ville (l)

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond
Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10

Friday, October 19, 2018

Panini UK to pay tribute to Marie Severin

Main cover art: Jim Cheung.
Next month's issue of The Mighty World of Marvel will be a 100 page edition to include a tribute to the artist Marie Severin, who passed away recently.

The comic, published by Panini UK in Kent, will carry an article on her career plus two humour strips reprinted from Not Brand Echh, the satirical comic that Marvel published in the 1960s.
The Inedible Bulk! Art by Marie Severin.
I'm pleased that editor Scott Gray has chosen humour strips to represent Marie Severin's work as she was an excellent cartoonist as well as being great at the dramatic stuff. 

The rest of the issue will continue the regular serials Guardians of the Galaxy, Hawkeye, and the Lee/Ditko Doctor Strange stories as well as beginning the Thing and Human Torch serial from Marvel 2 In One.

The Mighty World of Marvel No.9 goes on sale on 15th November, priced $4.50.

The current issue (below) has just been published and is in WH Smith, comic shops, and selected newsagents now.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Combat Colin No.3 to debut at Nottingham Comic Con this Saturday

This Saturday, 20th October, is the date for Nottingham Comic Con, a one-day event that's totally dedicated to comics and their creators. One of the comics on offer will be Combat Colin No.3, which will debut exclusively at the event. 

I'll be bringing along copies of the comic to sell on my table, and they won't be available anywhere else. (You'll be able to buy them from my online shop later next week.) 

Combat Colin No.3 is another 40 page issue (4 colour covers and 36 black and white interiors, U.S. comic book size) for £3.50. It reprints all the Combat Colin strips that originally appeared in Marvel UK's Transformers comic from July 1989 to February 1990. 

This issue reaches the era of Combat Colin stories where the strip really hit its stride, becoming even more fantastic in its themes with battles against monsters and aliens. It sees the introduction of The Gunge, The Brain, The Amazing Dave, and more, explains how the Atomic Underpants work, sees Colin trapped in The Place of No Return, and ends with an adventure on Mars! Fast-paced daft adventures for all ages.

I'll also be bringing along copies of Combat Colin 1 and 2, and Derek the Troll to the convention so see you at Nottingham Comic Con this Saturday! More info about the event here:

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