Thursday, August 18, 2011

Commando comic teams with National Army Museum

As reported on this blog recently Chelsea's National Army Museum is soon to host an exhibition of original cover artwork from DC Thomson's Commando comics. More information just in is that one of the current issues of Commando is a specially written story featuring the museum which begins in the present day, moves to the war in Afghanistan, and then a flashback to 1878 and the second Afgan war. This collector's item issue (No.4419) is written by Mac Macdonald with superb artwork by Keith Page.

Here's the full details of the issue from editor Calum Laird, along with the information on the other three issues of Commando that are in the shops now...

Commando No 4419: The Mystery And The Museum

It was a relic of a past British Army campaign in a far-flung corner of the world. Just another piece of military gear dropped and forgotten in the heat of battle.
Even so, the man who had found it, Sergeant John Rogers, wanted to know more and took it to the National Army Museum. There it was quickly identified as a Foreign Service Cork Helmet and the owner's name in faded ink was made out on the lining.
So what was the real story of soldier Ben Trimshaw and how did his headgear come to be abandoned in a remote watchtower in Afghanistan?

Introduction by Calum Laird, Commando Editor

It’s well known that the home of the best action and adventure stories is Commando. Likewise, the best place to go for the history of the British Army is Chelsea, and specifically the National Army Museum. Like Commando, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
And what does that have to do with this story? Well, when the Museum and Commando got together to mount an exhibition of our artwork, imaginations were fired to produce a story that would feature the talents of both, dare I say it, institutions.
So, with the advice of the NAM experts, the fevered imagination of writer Mac MacDonald and the artistic skills of Keith Page a unique story was created. The story you have in your hands. We have enjoyed putting it together, we hope you enjoy reading it just as much.

PS With free entry, can you afford to miss this exhibition?

Story: Mac MacDonald
Art: Keith Page
Cover Art: Keith Page


By 1945 the end of World War II was nigh. Frank Bailey, a USAAF squadron leader just wanted to make sure his team would survive to see the end of the conflict.
So Frank trained his boys hard, constantly impressing on them that each time they flew their P51 Mustangs against Nazi fighters it could be their last.
And that was before they encountered Germany’s newest weapon, the sleek, jet-propelled Me262 — the deadly Stormbird…

Story: Ferg Handley
Art: Olivera
Cover Art: Ian Kennedy

Commando 4421: AMBUSH ZONE

It was an area of dense jungle with a few faint trails criss-crossing, some leading nowhere. Yet somehow a British platoon had to navigate this wilderness — and protect a young native whose influence could help turn the tide of war against the Japanese.
All this with a ruthless enemy lying in wait, setting up one deadly ambush after another…

Introduction by George Low, former Commando Editor

This story is more up-to-date than some of this year’s re-issues and there’s a very good reason why. Most of you will be familiar with Ferg Handley and his work and this is the second script I commissioned from him, “Lucky Lenny”, No. 3102, being the first.
“Ambush Zone” is a gripping story set in the jungle with a British patrol and their guide pitting their wits against a deadly enemy, the inside artwork executed well by Olivera and the eye-catching cover by Mike White.

Ambush Zone, originally Commando No 3128 (March 1988)

Story: Ferg Handley
Art: Olivera
Cover Art: Mike White

Commando 4422: MAD MIKE

Take a good look at the guy on the cover. He’s putting up quite a fight, but just a few weeks ago he was a shambling deserter on the run.
Yet he has only one man to thank for turning him from a selfish coward into a fighting fury…Mad Mike, the man the Japs could just not face.

Introduction by Calum Laird, Commando Editor

If you were to come up with a design brief for an artist to create a quintessential Commando cover, you wouldn’t go far wrong if you had this one in mind. In the background a vividly-coloured sky, full of drama and menace. And in the foreground a powerful figure blasting out of the frame with a Bren Gun. It really doesn’t get more Commando than that.
And what a title!
Inside the cover the art and the tale don’t disappoint. Victor Fuente’s figures have action and movement while Mac MacDonald’s story is a classic of action, feuding and…but wait, if I say more I may give the game away. This is one to read. Right now!

Mad Mike, originally Commando No 335 (June 1968)

Story: Mac MacDonald
Art: Victor de la Fuente
Cover Art: Gordon Livingstone

The Draw Your Weapons exhibition of Commando artwork opens at the National Army Museum on September 1st.
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT • Nearest Tube Station: Sloane Square
Open daily 10am to 5.30pm (except 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan)
Telephone: 020 7730 0717

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...