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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Combat Colin - back in action this summer!

 As announced at the Kapow! Comic Convention in London yesterday, Combat Colin will make his long awaited return this summer in a brand new digital comic anthology! 

The bobble-hatted buffoon will appear in a new three page full colour one-off strip in the first issue of the new comic, alongside several other new strips from various creators. 

Combat Colin was a strip I used to produce for Marvel UK's Action Force and Transformers comics back in the late 1980s. After Transformers ended in 1991, the rights to Combat Colin were returned to me. In the Nineties I self published a couple of Combat Colin specials and three-issues of Yampy Tales featuring the character mostly in reprints. In 2006 - 2009 Combat Colin appeared occasionally as a guest star in the Brickman series running in the back of Elephantmen published by Image Comics. 

Since then I've been intending to revive him in his own strip and the opportunity recently arose when David Lloyd (V for Vendetta, Kickback) asked me if I'd be interested in contributing to a new digital comic he's publishing. When I heard more details about the comic I jumped at the chance. Stay tuned for Combat Colin and his sidekick Semi-Automatic Steve battling an all-new monster!

Copyright ©2012 John McCrea
Yesterday at Kapow! David Lloyd chaired a panel to reveal more details about this great new comic. Apart from myself, the creators involved will include Kyle Baker, John McCrea, Yishan Li, Mark Wheatley, David Hitchcock, Billy Tucci, Colleen Doran and many more. David Leach will also be reviving one of his old characters, - Psycho Gran from Oink!
In the style of the traditional UK anthology comics, the new venture will feature several three page serials plus complete three page humour strips. (Which is how Combat Colin figures into issue 1.) There will also be bonus features such as character sketches, penciled pages, and suchlike. The aim of the comic is to be suitable for all-ages, so no nudity, bad language, excessive gore and suchlike. However that doesn't mean it'll be twee kiddie stuff. This will be a solid comic that adults can enjoy that hopefully kids will enjoy too. Basically the sort of comic that used to be published but with a modern look.

The comic will be exclusively digital and online, not print, to cut out the middlemen and produce the sort of stories creators want to do. That means no stories based on toys or TV shows. No licensed properties at all in fact. Just brand new originated comics, at a great price, and with the creators retaining the rights. Each volume of the comic will run to seven issues and readers will be able to subscribe to each volume for just £6.99 / $10 (therefore working out at a mere £1 an issue!) to read online.

Selected panels from some of the strips
I feel privileged to be in issue one and I hope I'll be able to contribute again to a future issue. More details of this great new comic will surface soon, including the title. There will also be a website, Facebook page and so on, and hopefully the usual comic news sites will help spread the news. Stay tuned!

Bambos Georgiou is the editor of the project and you can contact him for more info at 

UPDATE: The name of the new comic has now been revealed... ACES WEEKLY, - and it debuts on September 30th! 

Brush logo is the trademark of David Lloyd


Arion said...

Great news. Working with David Lloyd must be so exciting.

By the way , I also liked your comment about Secret Service which I've just reviewed on my blog:


1000MB said...

I recently discovered that Combat Colin appeared in the Marvel Bumper Comic. I had the first issue of the comic with Colin in it. How long did the comic last?

Anonymous said...

Sounds great. Looking forward to it.

Matt Badham

David said...

Nice one, Lew. It was great to see you yesterday and I'm very pleased to be in David's new project too. I
can't wait to see it onscreen soon, I'm sure it will be a great success.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks folks!

@1000MB - Bumper comic was all or mostly reprint (the Combat Colin strips were reprinted from Action Force). I'm not sure how long it ran for. A couple of years at most I think.

Manic Man said...

I must admit, i'm always put off by Digital comics when they are just online viewing as long as you pay. I fully understand too many prats would download and share but i'm not the kinda guy that likes to walk into a video rental place to pay to view something. I personally don't like Pay to view so i don't personally support it.

But, that doesn't mean to say I don't wish the creators well etc. I just don't put my hands in my pocket for them. sadly. I know for a fact, there is some good stuff i would love to read but can't..

1000MB said...

Do they tell you if they reprint your strips?

Lew Stringer said...

Back when Marvel UK were reprinting Combat Colin in Bumper Comic they were paying a reprint fee so yes, they had to tell me about it so I could invoice them.
These days I own the character so they wouldn't be able to reprint it anyway.

Anonymous said...

"This will be a solid comic that adults can enjoy that hopefully kids will enjoy too. Basically the sort of comic that used to be published."

This upcoming comic looks very interesting but I cant quite think of an example of an old comic which has a target audience of both adults and Children? Apart from arguably Simpsons comics and Classics from the comics.

Lew Stringer said...

Perhaps I didn't phrase it very well. Think of the something like 2000AD when it was aimed at a universal readership and before it started using real swear words. Or, to use a modern example, something like the tone of Strip Magazine perhaps? Accessible for kids and adults without being restricted to either young children or "mature readers".

Marc Jackson said...

This is very, very interesting indeed. Back in the 80’s I loved Combat Colin Lew, really inspiring to see his return! Good work!

Mike said...

Comic Cuts and Illustrated Chips were aimed at a more general audience when they first came out, in the 1890's!

Anonymous said...

Re: "I recently discovered that Combat Colin appeared in the Marvel Bumper Comic. I had the first issue of the comic with Colin in it. How long did the comic last?"

According to a history of UK reprintings of Marvel comics at, Marvel Bumper Comic ran for 31 isues, starting in 1988.

Manic Man said...

Come to think of it.. I do kinda pay to view in a way.. On the 6th of June, I'm planning to go to the cinema for the second time in about 10 years. So I do pay to view there..

Anyway.. I wonder if this will lead more weight to getting out that Combat Colin trade paperback?

And something that I've wanted to know for a long time.. the truth about the 'two' versions of the Place with no name. The one printed in transformers, and the one that gets reprinted.. I can guess the reason for not saying Brickmans name in the origin was.. copyright? but as for other changes.. i would be very interested in knowing the reason and seeing a reprint with the cutout combat plane ^_^

Tony Howson said...

I resisted the pay per view model for a long time too, despite being happy to pay to watch bands perform or go to live theatre. Come to think of it, I watched the original series of Dr Who and Star Trek as pay per view if you count the licence fee.

But comics I always wanted to have in some kind of a permanent form. Even when I first got into digital I obsessed on filling hard disks with downloaded files.

What does it say about our culture that I'm happy to borrow Shakespeare from the library or catch Citizen Kane on late night tv, but I must own personal copies of the first 100 issues of Jimmy Olsen ??

Lew Stringer said...

Digital comics are a viable alternative to the numerous disadvantages of print publishing. No printers to pay, no retail giants demanding licensed product, no expensive product bagged with a toy.

It's all the sort of things UK comic fans have been asking for, - all new content for a cheap price.

My only reservation about digital in the past was that you can't read comics in comfort at a PC monitor. However with the rise of the handheld tablet, the experience is as close to reading a paper comic as it can be. Better in some ways, as the artwork looks exactly how the artists intended it to be, with no printing defects.

I hope fans DO support this new venture. The previous excuses not to support modern comics used to be "they're too expensive". Now this new one is only £6.99 for 7 issues the excuse is "I wish it was on paper". Lol! Some days you just can't win. :)

Lew Stringer said...

Oh, and you can easily zoom in on a digital comic to see more detail. You'd need a magnifying glass to simulate that with a paper comic. :)

Manic Man said...

Sorry if i didn't make myself clear enough, I'm fine with Digital comics, It's just the 'pay to view' side. A friend of a friend (i think that's about right for her..) does run a pay-to-view site but people can save the images and stuff to view later. While this opens it up great to pirating and stuff, she found a nice way around that with a bit of protection that means all files are stamps (Invisibly and somehow, by-passes 're saving' and compression issues) so if a file is pirated, she knows what user did it, and it's easy to deal with them and this cut down the pirate issue she had to almost nothing. I would be way more open if this were done so it's possible to save a copy of each issues, to read at a later date or whatever, more then pay-to-view where you need to keep paying and be a member, else you don't have it. I think i might have just gotten confused in the first place about what kinda business model this is and if i am, oops ^_^

Marc said...

It all sounds great Lew, really interesting. I'm going online for my comic for the time being, it's a great forum and with no costs the best way to get it out there! All the best, please keep the updates coming.

Tony Howson said...

The magnifying glass argument is a strong one but the clincher for digital for me was always convenience - especially the storage issue. Istead of 60 odd long boxes I could fit everything onto a hard disk. Would have made a difference to my lifestyle choices thirty years ago if I'd had that freedom ( and the money saved on a mortgage would have been spent on more comics)

Rob said...

hey guys, i have come across a sealed copy of The Marvel Bumper Comic Issue No. 1 Oct'88.
How much is it worth?
it still has the panini sticker album and stickers with the issue.

Anonymous said...

Yours is tge only site with news about this comic. Is it for real? Whens it coming out? Brian

Lew Stringer said...

As I said, the plan is for the first issue to be ready in July. Hopefully other websites will cover it then.

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