Friday, January 20, 2017

Comics and mags out now...

My apologies for not updating my blog since Monday. Between work and having a heavy cold I haven't been online so much. Catching up today a bit with a quick rundown of a few recommended titles that are in the shops now.

Kicking off with The Phoenix No.263, this issue sees the conclusion of the John Blake serial by Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham. Other strips include Trailblazers by Robert Deas (who also drew the cover), Bunny vs Monkey by Jamie Smart, Pow! by Alexander Matthews, Corpse Talk by Adam and Lisa Murphy, and more. 

The Phoenix is mainly subscription based, but you'll also find copies in selected branches of WH Smith and Waitrose. 
(https://www.thephoenixcomic.co.uk) 

The Beano No.3868 features an eye-catching Numskulls / Dennis cover by Nigel Parkinson relating to the story inside, and other contents include a four page Bash Street Kids tale, and all the regulars including my Pup Parade and Ivy the Terrible strips. Never Be Without A Beano; you know it makes sense.
https://www.beano.com


A journalist recently asked me if today's children's publications could even be called comics anymore. Well, the term "comic" has always been flexible, as even the first comics of the 19th Century such as Comic Cuts only had 50% comic strips (sometimes less) and that format lasted for 50 years with everyone referring to them as comics. British comics have always evolved, and today's magazines, with limited comics content, are kind of a modern equivalent of those early titles. Realistically though, I think publications like Toxic are most definitely "children's magazines" rather than "comics", but that doesn't mean those strips aren't part of our comics industry. Decide for yourselves in Toxic No.283 which features the regular strips Captain Gross, Ruined Ronaldo, and my Team Toxic.
http://www.toxicmag.co.uk

By the way, this issue of Toxic has a free full colour 16 page A6 sized mini-comic, Hilo, by Judd Winick, to promote the comic books published by Random House.


The latest issue of Comic Heroes has been out for a couple of weeks now but it was impossible to find in the towns and cities near me. Therefore I bought a copy directly from the publisher. It only took a few days to arrive second class and I'd recommend that option rather than trudging around the newsagents (and a certain comics shop that refuses to stock it). It's post-free if you buy it direct too. Here's the link:
https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/film/Comic-Heroes-Print.html

This issue of Comic Heroes (No.30) is another bumper 132 pager designed to pass the time over the next three months until the next issue. Contents include features on 2000AD's 40 years, Commando's upcoming 5,000th issue, a tribite to Steve Dillon, and numerous items on American comics such as the all-new Iron Man, Ironheart. (I'm enjoying some of the changes that Marvel have implemented in their comics. It keeps things fresh and unexpected and I look forward to reading Ironheart's adventures when she appears in Marvel Legends.) 

That's just a handful of titles that may interest you. If you have any thoughts about any of them, drop a comment below.

10 comments:

SILVERSURFER.1956 said...

Is it true they've changed the sex and race of Marvel's top line? Isn't that just being a little TOO politically correct? I'd say tell me its not true but that looks like a very feminine Iron Man on the cover. I could be wrong. It's just the body posture that looks effeminate or maybe a female artist doing it, who knows?

Anonymous said...

Picked up a copy of comic heroes today from my local wh Smith.they seem to have stopped stocking commando. Any thoughts about the star trek graphic novel p artworks. Just received steed and mrs peel avengers comic strip reprints from diana comic book.Highly recommended!

Lew Stringer said...

Smiths don't seem to have a coherent policy on comics. My nearest branches (Birmingham, Coventry, Nuneaton) no longer stock Comic Heroes but some of them still have Commando. Regarding Star Trek graphic novels; I'm not that much of a Star Trek comics fan so I'm not collecting those. Ditto The Avengers book (although I have several of those strips in old issues of Diana.) Years ago I'd probably buy them for the sake of collecting but now I only buy what I really want.

Silversurfer, they haven't literally changed the sex and race of the characters, just replaced them with new ones bearing the names of the heroes. Most of the old heroes are still around though, so their character development continues. I don't really mind the changes because after 50 years or so it keeps the stories fresh and not just yet another Thor vs Loki storyline. It's also useful for Marvel's cinematic universe as they can replace the current actors with new ones based on the new comics when their contracts expire (or if the actors don't renew). The upcoming Logan film being an example, with the female Wolverine being brought into the storyline (based on the current female Wolverine in the comics). It's all good, and if anyone feels nostalgic for the old characters, well there's decades of comics to re-read or seek out.

As for the Comic Heroes cover; yes, it's a teenage girl in the armour now. I haven't read those stories yet but it sound like it'll make a change!

SILVERSURFER.1956 said...

Thank you for your reply. I wonder if it is necessary to replace the well-loved heroes with younger, asian, black, gay, or female ones? "If something's broken do not fix it" used to be a saying. Just give us good stories and leave the status quo as it is.

Colin Jones said...

Lew, I totally agree that changing the race and sex of the characters keeps things fresh and interesting instead of the same old same old. I think a female Dr. Who would be a welcome change too. I hope Marvel won't feel intimidated in this new Trumpian dark age. I bought the last issue of Comic Heroes in Tesco so hopefully they'll have the latest one too.

Lew Stringer said...

Well, Marvel's C.E.O. Ike Perlmutter is also working as an advisor to Trump so I hope 'The Donald' doesn't try to influence the comics with far-right messages.

As for the changes you mention, Silversurfer, they often have provided good stories. (The Superior Spider-Man run for one example.) I think it's a positive step. Some will work, some won't, but that's always been the case with any story. I guess the original versions will return eventually, but it's the journey from here to there that provides the entertainment if it's told well.

In a coldly business sense, all of these new versions also come with merchandising potential, so more money for Marvel. But if they also give us good stories, then it's surely a win?

Robert Carnegie said...

Iron Man was black in the 1980s. Presently, I think Tony Stark is in a coma, Doctor Doom is wearing Iron Man armour, and the young "Iron Lady" is called Ironheart.

Captain Marvel was a pink male, but from another planet, in the 1960s. Black and female in the 1980s. Since then, male or female, pink or green. (These are different people and mostly space aliens related to the first guy.)

Power Man was white in the 1960s and black from the 1970s on. I think only the white Power Man objected to that, but I could be wrong.

I'm nearly blank on characters who became white or male when they weren't originally, but there's a shortage of characters who weren't white and male originally. The male version of Mystique is pretty obscure if you don't include fans' art......

(I haven't looked, but I know if I did - )

Robert Carnegie said...

Also: I love comics drawn by Judd Winick. His kids are hilarious. In this case, I'd rush out and buy the full book instead of the sample.

The Captain said...

I bought an online copy of the Beano this week, first time in probably 30 years which is surprising considering I list it as such an important part of my childhood and inspiration to my own work.

Lew Stringer said...

Good man. Hope you enjoyed it.

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