Sunday, July 21, 2019

Review: REVEREND CROSS No.7

There's sometimes a concern with independent comics that they might not survive beyond the first couple of issues, either due to lack of sales or creative disinterest. Fortunately for us, that's clearly not the case with Reverend Cross, which has recently reached its 7th issue and is still going strong.

Dubbed "the first ever vicar action hero", Reverend Cross is fast-paced escapist entertainment. As with the previous issue, No.7 contains four short, self-contained stories. All are written by John A. Short, with artwork by Aaron Murphy, Andrew Richmond, Gabrielle Noble, and Richard Pester. The excellent cover art is by David Hitchcock.

This is an "Origin Special", giving us some details on Abigail Cross' backstory as well as stories set in the present. Publisher/writer John A. Short has chosen a good selection of artists for this issue, giving us a variety of styles. It goes to prove that the character is strong enough to still be distinctive even when illustrated by various hands, thanks not just to the artists but also to John's confident and professional scripts.

With a cover price of just £2.99 (plus postage), Reverend Cross No.7 is well worth your time. You can order it, and back issues, directly from the publisher Kult Creations at their web shop here:
http://reverendcross.blogspot.com


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Review: ANDERSONIC No.25

I loved Saturdays when I was a child because it meant comics day! Sure, comics came out on some other days too (Dandy on Monday, Topper on Wednesday, etc) but most of them were published on Saturday. Plus it wasn't a school day, so even better!

Saturdays in 1971 meant it was the day Countdown was out, my favourite comic of the early Seventies. Basically a rebranded version of TV21, Countdown was the place for comic strip versions of Gerry Anderson shows, plus Doctor Who!

One of the main selling points for Countdown was the UFO strip, which sometimes featured on the covers. And that's my roundabout way of explaining why I like this issue of Andersonic so much. The covers are designed as a perfect homage to Countdown comic, from the logo to the UFO cover strip! 

I don't buy Andersonic very often so I didn't know it carried an ongoing UFO strip. It's superbly crafted by writer Graeme Bassett and artist Richard Farrell and would fit perfectly in a modern-day version of Countdown if such a thing existed. 

The rest of the contents of this slick 44 page A5 size well designed fanzine feature articles relating to various Gerry Anderson shows, and the highlight of the issue is an interesting interview with Joy Cuff, who sculpted many of the Thunderbirds puppets. 

Andersonic is a great read for any aficionado of those classic TV shows. The current issue is No.25 and it, and back issues, can be bought from their website here:
http://andersonic.co.uk/page13.htm





50 Year Flashback: MAN ON THE MOON!

Exactly half a century ago, on July 20th 1969, humans first set foot on the Moon. An incredible achievement recorded by the world's media. I remember it well. A perfect crescendo to a fantastic decade! 

Here's how the Daily Mirror reported it the next day. As this is a blog about British comics I thought you'd also like to see the comic strips and cartoons that issue contained. As you can seem there were a lot more than the Mirror carries these days! The Daily Mirror was a great paper in the 1960s, not just for its excellent news coverage but also for its numerous strips and cartoons. We'll never see such days again.

Andy Capp by Reg Smythe.
Useless Eustace by Jack Greenall.

Garth by John Allard. Larks by Jack Dunkley. Flutters by Ian Gammidge and Len Gamblin.

Perishers by Maurice Dodd and Dennis Collins.

Playboy! by David Rowe.
You'll notice that only one cartoon, the slot usually taken for topical/political cartoons, mentions the Moon mission. That one was probably drawn just before the deadline, as most political cartoons are. My guess is that others wanted to make sure everything went well first, as the mission could have so easily ended in disaster. Thankfully it didn't, and the historic achievement is one we can look back on with happy memories.

Note: I scanned these from a facsimile edition of the Daily Mirror. It seems there might have been some tinkering with the front cover as genuine editions are slightly different. 



Friday, July 19, 2019

The funniest comic strips ever

A gentle reminder that the two-volume set The Power Pack of Ken Reid is still available from their publisher. These luxurious hardbacks reprint all of Ken Reid's work for Odhams from Wham!, Smash! and Pow! in the 1960s. Most of it has never been reprinted before!

Frankie Stein, the Friendly Monster! The good-natured but ghastly Frankie, created by Professor Cube who subsequently also wants to get rid of him! 

Jasper McGrasper! The Victorian miser and his penny-pinching schemes that invariably backfire!

Queen of the Seas! Enoch, Bert, and their narrowboat, - a recipe for disaster!

Dare-A-Day Davy! He can't resist a dare... even though they're bound to lead to near-fatal consequences for him! 

The Nervs! The microscopic blue-collar workers inside Fatty's innards who work overtime to deal with his constant appetite! 

Plus extensive articles on Ken Reid's life and career, accompanied with rare unseen sketches and artwork!

Some of the most bizarre, and funniest, strips ever seen in British comics. All perfect vehicles for Ken Reid's manic humour. The reproduction of the strips is top notch! Not to be missed!

The books can be bought together, or separately from the publisher Irmantas Povilaika at his website here:
https://www.kazoop-comics-shop.com


To The Death!

As many of you will remember, Simon Furman and Geoff Senior were a team supreme when they worked together on Marvel UK's Transformers comic in the 1980s. Now they're back together again, producing their brand new creator-owned comic To the Death!

It's a gritty, fast-paced tale of future war with tough dialogue and suitably dynamic battle scenes. The main protagonist, Aleksy Dryagin, returns from war in space to settle back into a family life, - but it becomes impossible when he's marked for death between Tri-Corp and an organisation called White Noise. But Aleksy isn't going down without a fight..


Geoff Senior's art style is a lot looser here than it was 30 years ago, but the colours play a bigger part in the finished product. It gives the comic a distinctive look and conveys the story well.

Issue 1 ends on an explosive cliffhanger, but the comic is scheduled to be monthly so 4 or 5 weeks isn't long to wait! I understand it's a 10 issue mini-series, so it'll be quite an epic!

To the Death No.1, 52 pages, full colour, is £4.99 and you can buy it, and also subscribe, at https://getmycomics.com/ToTheDeath



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