Years ago, shops used to be closed on New Year's Day but times change. Amongst the newspapers delivered to newsagents today were the first of this year's comics; 2000AD and Toxic.
2000AD Prog 1862 continues the new stories that began in the Christmas triple-issue Prog 2014 a few weeks ago, so we have the second chapters of Strontium Dog, ABC Warriors and Ulysses Sweet, plus a complete Future Shock and the beginning of a new Judge Dredd epic, Titan.
Britain's sole surviving adventure comic weekly enters its 37th year with a strong line-up. 36 thrill-packed pages and still only £2.35.
For younger readers, Toxic magazine No.231 comes bagged with several gifts including a Toxic Catapult Pen, a sturdy metal and plastic freebie ideal for kids to flick whatever they choose across a room. Use such power responsibly.
Inside, there's a bunch of breezy features on movies, games and suchlike, an Angry Birds board game, and a few strips including Team Toxic, written and drawn by myself. As you may recall, Team Toxic went to reprint about ten months ago, but this issue marks the return of brand-new episodes. In this first new adventure, the Team encounter Guffzilla, a fart creature from Kid Zombie's nether regions.
Toxic is £2.99 and is published every three weeks.
A new publication that launched at the end of 2013 was the Marvel's Mightiest Heroes Graphic Novel Collection. These hardback books are being packaged by Panini UK for Hachette, with Ed Hammond as editor and Alan Cowsill writing background material about the comics and characters. The books will reprint classic 1960s material alongside more contemporary stories. The first edition reprints Avengers No.1 from 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and Avengers vol.3 No.0, and 19 to 22 by Kurt Busiek and George Pérez. Launch price is a very cheap £1.99. The second volume (featuring Spider-Man) will be £6.99, then the partwork settles on its full price of £9.99 per book.
If you're quick you'll still be able to catch the annual Comicraft New Year's Day Font Sale. Every Jan.1st, for one day only, Comicraft price their excellent fonts at just $20.14 each. These are the top quality lettering fonts in the business, perfect if you're producing your own comics, or if you're a designer in any capacity. Some of those fonts adorn this very blog, used for the Blimey! title banner and elsewhere. Don't settle for less. Buy the best!
Finally, my wishes to you all for a healthy and prosperous New Year. 2013 was a very bad year for me, with the passing of my mum, the last of my family, (details here if you're interested) but I'm hoping 2014 brings better fortunes - for all of us.