Friday, September 26, 2014

Into the ARENA!

As you may already know, Steve Holland's Bear Alley Books will soon be publishing a collection of the DC Thomson strip Arena. The serial originally ran in The Crunch weekly adventure comic in 1979, and was created by Dave Taylor (not the artist of the same name) and illustrated by Argentinian artist Enrique Alcatena.

You can read more info about the strip at John Freeman's essential Down The Tubes blog here: 
http://downthetubes.net/?p=16454

The latest news is that Steve now has copyright clearance so the book is definitely on. You can see the cover above, coloured by Martin Baines, designed by Steve Holland.

I think this is the only way we'll continue to see classic UK strips reprinted, - under license to outside parties. Admittedly Egmont have reprinted classic Thunderbirds strips in book form, but I doubt they'd be interested in the more obscure strips. Similarly, DC Thomson annually reprint selected old Dandy and Beano strips but it's not worth their time to reprint material that would have a more limited appeal. So it's great that people such as Steve Holland, Titan Books, Hibernia, etc actively work to gain permission to produce the books themselves. 

To keep abreast of developments as to when Arena will be published, keep an eye on the Bear Alley Books blog:
http://bearalleybooks.blogspot.co.uk/

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lew,
the art certainly looks good, but those lifeless mechanical speech bubbles???

Lew Stringer said...

Yeah I know. That's one thing that used to put me off the DC Thomson adventure comics when I was a kid. The hand-lettered balloons in the Fleetway and Odhams comics made them feel much more vibrant and emotive.

Still, I dare say readers of Arena will get used to it after a few pages.

Mike said...

Better "Lifeless mechanical speech bubbles" than "updating" to "a modern" (read: American) look.

LOL, all "da kidz" (who are themselves pushing 30) are reading Japanese comics these days, anyway.

Lew Stringer said...

Hand lettering isn't specifically an American look though is it? It was used in many British comics since the beginning too. The mechanical lettering DCT used is ok I think, but it depends on the choice of font. I'm not keen on the one used for Arena.

I'm not sure Manga is as popular as it was in the UK now.

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