Thursday, November 30, 2017

Introducing COR!! (1970)

Cor!! only lasted for four years but it's well remembered by readers who bought it in the 1970s. The second launch of IPC's new humour line (after Whizzer and Chips), issue 1 was published on 30th May 1970 (although advertised as 1st June). Before that though, it was announced in other comics. The half page advert above, sharing space with paid ads, appeared in Tiger dated 23rd May 1970 (on sale 16th May 1970). 

A week later, this four page ad appeared in Tiger dated 30th May 1970 (on sale 23rd May), revealing a little more (but not much) about the new comic. (Click on the spread to see it larger.)



A week later, on 30th May 1970, Cor!! was launched and another four page ad appeared in its companion comics. This one from Tiger dated 6th June...



The ads were no more than teasers really, but it was enough to secure Cor!! a stable readership. (Ads appeared on TV too, long gone now perhaps.) Here's the cover of the actual first issue, drawn by Mike Lacey...


You can read more about Cor!! No.1 in a blog post I wrote several years ago...
https://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/40-year-flashback-cor-no1.html

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Christmas TOXIC

The Christmas issue of Toxic is published today, and you'll find it in a shiny foil bag in newsagents and supermarkets all over the UK. This festive issue comes complete with several gifts including a blaster and powder to make your own green slime. 

The magazine itself has 40 full colour pages packed with features, activity pages, and strips.

The long-running Team Toxic, written and drawn by myself, is entitled Green Christmas and features the debut of Grumpy McGrumpychops, Comics Critic...

The villain of the story is Mister Nostril, using his never-ending runny nose to create bogie snowflakes! Can Team Toxic stop him? 

The other two page strip is Captain Gross by Russ Carvell, with the stinky superhero visiting the North Pole, and there's also the Ruined Ronaldo strip drawn by Steve McGarry, plus fun features on Greatest Minions Moments, When Animals Celebrate Christmas, Thor Ragnarok, and more...



Toxic No.298 is on sale from today until 19th December and costs £4.99.
http://www.toxicmag.co.uk

New Commando comics out today


Here's the info for the four new issues of Commando that are in the shops today.

5075: Home of Heroes: Reclaim the Phantom

Racing through the Caribbean waters of the Lesser Antilles, Captain John Valetine was ordered to warn a British flotilla set to ambush French corvettes that they had underestimated the number of enemy vessels awaiting them. If Valentine’s 74 gunner, ‘The Phantom’, doesn’t reach the British in time then Napoleon’s forces will destroy the flotilla. But the French are the least of Valentine’s concerns as a familiar face from his past spreads poisonous words among the crew – could there be talk of mutiny?

Vincente Alcazar’s stunning artwork and attention to period detail bring Dominic Teague’s Peninsular War adventure to life, the thin line strokes of the ship’s rigging and scale of these stunning, yet mammoth vessels is a real joy to see.
 

|Story | Dominic Teague | Art | Vicente Alcazar | Cover | Janek Matysiak | 




5076: Gold Collection: Fly Fast – Hit Hard

After witnessing Flying Officer Nick Nichols shoot down one of his own men over the Libyan desert, veteran pilot Eric Wallace had him marked – but he was never able to confront Nichols on his devilish deed. After crash landing, Nick was taken to hospital then sent to England to lead a Mosquito squadron. Little did either of them know that their paths would cross once more… and that Nick would reveal his own truth regarding the murder of their fellow pilot…

With striking interior art by Amador bringing McOwan’s aerial adventure to life, Sanfeliz’s dazzling cover sets the precedence for this action heavy issue, showing a desert Hurricane pulling up post dive, leaving nothing but carnage in its wake.

|Story | McOwan | Art | Amador | Cover | Sanfeliz |
Originally Commando No. 408 (June 1969) Reprinted No. 1171 (November 1977)


5077: Action and Adventure: Long Way from Home

When Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on the 28th of July, 1914, it was only a matter of time before the rest of Europe was dragged into the Great War. But Dominik Zatopek didn’t care. He may have lived in Prague, but growing up poor he had turned to petty crime and considered himself an anarchist with no ties to any country. However, fate would have a hand to play, as Domink was thrown from side to side, never committing allegiance to any cause - that is, until he saw the passion of the Czech Legion and the notion of home suddenly because something tangible... maybe there could be a place for Domink after all?

An insight into the plight of the Czechs and Slovaks who fought in the First World War, Shane Filer’s ‘Long Way from Home’ is a tale of comradery that knows no national boundaries as men fight together for a common goal. Originally from Prague, Filer’s love for the city clearly shines through in Keith Page’s artwork – featuring the narrow streets and national landmarks we’ve come to associate with the city.
 

|Story | Shane Filer | Art | Keith Page | Cover | Keith Page | 


5078: Silver Collection: Viking Breed

Determined to go to sea and become a world renowned skipper, Norwegian Olaf Peterson was denied this wish after his father drowned at sea. But Olaf would never give up, even when his first boat, The Fulmar’s crew did everything in their power to make him suffer at sea – that is, until Germany invaded Norway. Then, torn from within, many Norwegians sailed to Britain to do their part for the Allies – Olaf, a stowaway was one of them – but there were some who found allegiance with the other side…

Illustrated by Australian cartoonist Peter Foster, Ian Clark’s roguish seadogs are charmingly rendered, while the harsh black and hazy lines of the sea and mist add suspense and violence to this nautical adventure.
 

|Story | Ian Clark | Art | Peter Foster | Cover | Jeff Bevan |
Originally Commando No. 2639 (February 1993)
 

Monday, November 27, 2017

A few photos from Reading Comic-Con

Thanks to everyone who visited my table at Reading Comic-Con this weekend, including Doctor Octopus (above) who bought a copy of Combat Colin No.1. If an evil villain like Doc Ock can turn to the light side, anyone can!
http://lewstringer.com/page7.htm

There were numerous cosplayers at the show. I still don't quite get it myself, but they appeal to younger attendees and definitely to the many families who were there. Some of the costumes were brilliant. Here's a sample...





You Tube presenter Bex from Trista Bytes was filming and interviewing over the weekend...

It was good to have David Leach as my table neighbour again, an old comics pal I've known for 30 years now. 

Other guests included Kev F. Sutherland, Grant Perkins, Liam Shaloo, and Lee Townsend (busy behind his table below).

John F. Short was also there, with his growing number of comics from his Kult Creations company...

This was my last convention of 2017, so a big thank you to all of you who have dropped my my tables around the UK this year, and also to all the organisers of the various shows. There wouldn't be a comics community without you!

The Christmas NEMI 2017

Here's the cover to the Christmas (Jule) edition of Nemi, by her creator Lise Myhre. Unfortunately it's only available in Norway (and other Scandinavian countries I think) but as the Nemi strip used to appear in Metro in the UK (and Titan published four Nemi books several years ago) I know the character has followers here so I thought I'd post this. 

Lise's Nemi strip has celebrated its 20th anniversary this year (and the monthly comic book has been published since 2003) so here's to many more years!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Coming up in 2000AD next Wednesday...

 UK & DIGITAL: 29th November 2017 £2.75
* NORTH AMERICA: 29th December 2017 $7.99
* DIAMOND CODE: SEP171848
* COVER: TIERNEN TREVALLION

JUDGE DREDD: BLACK SNOW by Michael Carroll (w) PJ Holden (a) Quinton Winter (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SLÁINE: ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

SINISTER DEXTER: BILLI NO MATES by  Dan Abnett (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon Bowland (l)
THARG'S 3RILLERS: THE HOUSE OF GILDED PEAK by Eddie Robson (w) Steven Austin (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

ABSALOM: TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS by Gordon Rennie (w) Tiernan Trevallion (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Available in print from: UK newsagents and all good comic book stores via Diamond

Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop (http://shop.2000adonline.com/) , 2000 AD iPad app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/2000-ad-featuring-judge-dredd/id993151052) , 2000 AD Android app (http://www.2000adonline.com/android) , 2000 AD Windows 10 app (http://www.2000adonline.com/windows10)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sneak peek: The Christmas Astonishing Spider-Man!

Here's an advance look at the cover for The Astonishing Spider-Man Vol.6 No.35. Editor Brady Webb always likes to add a festive touch to the Marvel comics he edits for Panini UK, and you can't get much more Christmassy than this cover. Snow on the logo too! 

This issue will be in the shops on Thursday 7th December, at the usual price of £3.99 for 76 pages. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Next stop: Reading Comic-Con!

I've enjoyed travelling up and down the country this year (plus a visit to Northern Ireland) as a guest of various comics conventions. This weekend it's my 12th and final event of the year when I'll be at Reading Comic-Con on 25th and 26th November at the Rivermead Leisure Complex. 

I'll be bringing along my comics Combat Colin, Brickman, and Derek the Troll, plus my 7 Ages of Fan print, and I'll be available to do sketches on request, so visit my table and buy, buy, buy! Last chance before Christmas! Here's the banner to look out for...

More info about the Reading Comic-Con at their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/readingcomiccon/

Are you ready for DWAYNE HICKENBOTTOM?

You may already be familiar with the work of Grant Perkins, from his Strax strip that ran in Doctor Who Adventures, and now he's unleashed his own comic, Dwayne Hickenbottom

As the intro in the comic tells us, "Dwayne Hickenbottom is is savior of Doxxville - but he wishes he wasn't. He wears the enchanted 'Warbots of Doxville' and fights against the forces of evil. Although he'd much rather just go home and have a cup of coffee."
The four issue mini-series is a well produced full colour comic that is a perfect showcase for Grant's distinctive style. There's a good design sense going on here and Grant's colouring is easy on the eye and compliments the art rather than swamping it (which isn't always the case in modern comics).
As yet, you won't find the comic in shops, but you can buy them by post if you contact Grant directly via his Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/thegrantperkinsart/

Alternatively, you can visit his table at various comic cons around the country. In fact, he'll be one of the guests at Reading Comic-Con this weekend (25th - 26th November). I'll be there too! See you there.
https://www.facebook.com/readingcomiccon/ 

TV21 revival now available to purchase on its own

The one-off revival issue of TV21, previously only available as part of a Supermarionation box set produced by Network, is now available to buy separately from the Gerry Anderson Store.

TV21 No.243 is a faithful continuation of the first series of TV21, which ended with No.242 in September 1969. Basically a sort of alternate universe version of what might have happened if it hadn't become the merged TV21 and Joe 90.

It's the same size as the early issues of TV21, but with more pages (24 in all). Contents are all-new, featuring strips by John M. Burns, Gerry Embleton, Martin Asbury, Mike Collins, Jimmy Hansen, Brian Williamson, Antonio Barreti, Martin Baines, Mark Wheatley, Martin Cater, John Freeman, Shaqui LeVesconte, and me, plus art by Paul McCaffrey, and a cutaway by Graham Bleathman.

There's a 'Black Friday' discount today, so if you're quick you'll be able to get it slightly cheaper. Set course for this website:
https://shop.gerryanderson.co.uk/collections/black-friday-17/products/tv21-special-edition-universe-edition-243

General Jumbo Saves Christmas!

Over on Beano.com, there's a complete General Jumbo story from the Christmas 1964 issue of The Beano! I threw out that issue over 50 years ago so it brought back memories to see it again. You can read it too, by visiting this link:
https://www.beano.com/posts/throwback-thursday-general-jumbo-saves-christmas-1964

This week's Astonishing Spider-Man

Here's a cover preview of the latest issue of Panini UK's Astonishing Spider-Man fortnightly. Available in WH Smith and selected newsagents. 76 full colour pages for £3.99. Go get it, tiger!

Astonishing Spider-Man Vol.6 #34. On sale 22nd November 2017. 
76 pages packed with arachnid-adventure! Only £3.99!

The Osborn Identity continues! Spider-Man and Silver Sable invade Symkaria to free it from the Green Goblin!!!

Also, Mole Man has captured Annie-May! Better watch out, here comes Spider-Mom (AKA Spinneret) to the rescue!

Plus, Spidey vs. Clash! And there’s big trouble in Shanghai!

By Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen, Christos Gage, Todd Nauck, James Asmus, Tana Ford, Hannah Blumenreich, Cale Atkinson, Gerry Conway, Ryan Stegman.

Includes material reprinted from Amazing Spider-Man #25 and 27 and Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #2.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

It's Doctor Who Day!

As it's officially Doctor Who Day (54 years since the first episode in 1963), here's one of my Daft Dimension strips that appeared in Doctor Who Magazine last year.

Interested in TV shows of the 1960s?

...then this may be the book for you. Here's the info...

ITC Entertainment was a powerhouse of filmed television drama from the 1950s to the 1980s, producing a succession of hit action-adventure series such as The Saint, Danger Man, The Prisoner, Man in a Suitcase, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and The Persuaders!

Edited by Alan Hayes and Rick Davy, Playboys, Spies, and Private Eyes - Inspired by ITC celebrates the company's remarkable legacy with 35 chapters by a wide range of writers, who explore how the series have touched their lives.
Published in aid of the Born Free Foundation, this book also boasts a heartfelt foreword by actress Annette Andre, an afterword by Elaine Spooner (daughter of Dennis), and artwork by Shaqui Le Vesconte.

Chapter writers: Rachael Baez, Greg Bakun, Vanessa Bergman, Matt Courtman, Simon Coward, Chris Dale, Rick Davy, Ian Dickerson, Geoff Dodd, Robert Fairclough, Mike Gorman, Alan Hayes, Alys Hayes, Gabriel Hershman, Annette Hill, Tina Jerke, Neil Jones, Mike Kenwood, Stephen La Riviere, David Mackenzie, Richard McGinlay, Robert Morton, Steve O'Brien, Jon Older, Max Pemberton, Louise Penn, Al Samujh, Sheena Samujh, Linda Kunkle Schley, David Tulley, Jaz Wiseman.

Paperback, 256 pages, ISBN: 978-1-911537-03-8
SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE OF £11.99 (plus shipping if outside the UK). Cover price £12.99 plus P&P from:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Christmas 2000AD preview!

Cover by Staz Johnson and Chris Blythe.
Rebellion have released details in advance of this year's bumper-sized 100 page Christmas issue of 2000AD, and an opportunity for readers to pre-order it so they don't miss it in newsagents, - and pre-orders will come with an exclusive Starlord Trooper print by Henry Flint. It sounds like a real cracker! Ho-ho-ho!

Here's the info...

A brand new cover by Staz Johnson and Chris Blythe

Bad Company are hunted men as they search for the truth behind the Ararat war in Bad Company: Terrorists by Peter Milligan and Rufus Dayglo

The ABC Warriors are at each other's throats as Mars descends into chaos in ABC Warriors: Fallout by Pat Mills and Clint Langley

Merlin has awoken and unleashed the Motherless Men in Brass Sun: Engine Summer, by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard


Bill Savage discovers the reality behind the Savage: Thousand Year Stare, courtesy of Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard

We flashback to a significant Justice Department character in a one-off The Fall of Deadworld story by Kek-W and Dave Kendall

Ace Garp celebrates the festive season in his own unique way in Ace Trucking Co. by Eddie Robson and Nigel Dobbyn

The long-awaited tale of what became of Starlord can finally be told, courtesy of Kenneth Niemand and Henry Flint

and lawman Judge Dredd is caught in a fix!


...plus much more! Interested? Pre-order it from the publisher here:
https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/SPE1702

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Why I won't be buying Doomsday Clock

DC Comics are about to release Doomsday Clock No.1, a 12 issue limited series which, according to the publishers, is a sequel to Watchmen.

That's right. Watchmen. The sublime 1986 groundbreaking series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (superbly coloured by John Higgins) that has worked perfectly well as a stand-alone story for 30 years. Now, DC have decided it's time to do a continuation, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank, which will co-star Superman and the other DC Universe superheroes. Gibbons and Moore were not consulted (and would no doubt have declined even if they were asked). The only true link with Watchmen is they're using the font based on Dave Gibbons' lettering.

To make something clear from the outset, both Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are top of the range creators with impressive CVs in comics. I've nothing personal against them and I've enjoyed work from both of them in the past. I'm sure Doomsday Clock will be a well produced comics series, but I won't be supporting it.

Thing is, Watchmen was created as a complete story and achieved that superbly. It's an intelligent, well structured graphic novel (or fat comic if you prefer) set on an alternate Earth where a godlike being named Dr.Manhattan changed the course of history. (Perhaps you've seen the film.The comic is far superior.) In three decades it has never needed a sequel. It certainly was never intended to tie in with the DC Universe and have guest appearances from Superman, Batman, and other members of the Justice League. Yet that's exactly what DC are doing. It's like some movie company suddenly deciding that Citizen Kane would be improved with a sequel featuring Ant and Dec.
There's been rumours that this was going to happen since DC introduced the often meandering Rebirth theme to their comics last year. Off-panel suggestions that Dr.Manhattan was pulling the strings. Apparently Doomsday Clock is about the DC Universe being broken, presumably due to Dr.Manhattan's doing, and Superman and co. trying to fix it. No doubt it'll end with another big revamp for the DC Universe. DC produce some great comics, but follow them long enough and the company tends to lurch from one reboot to another, from Crisis, to Zero Hour, to Rebirth. Wait a few years and there'll be another.

The metaphor of Superman vs Dr.Manhattan is that Watchmen was one of the comics responsible for superhero comics becoming darker and grittier, and it's time to put things right. It's a very flawed excuse, because Watchmen was never designed to be a template for the DCU to "go dark". It's the fault of editors and creators who followed who chose that path with their characters. Watchmen can't be blamed for the appalling Identity Crisis storyline for example, where goofy supervillain Doctor Light became a rapist. 

Okay, the concept of Superman fighting Dr.Manhattan is something that will no doubt have many of the "who's the strongest" infatuated fanboys drooling with delight, but even if you think it sounds like a good idea, consider the moral aspect. As I understand it, when Watchmen was created, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons had a contract that said that the rights of the book would revert to them when it went out of print. Only problem was, DC made sure it never went out of print. Now, this latest fiasco, merging Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, ensures they're DC property indefinitely.

I don't want to support tactics like that, and I won't be buying Doomsday Clock on principle. The Watchmen creators aren't interested in it (Dave Gibbons has said "I won't be reading it") and I stand with them. I knew Alan and Dave very well back in the days when they were working on Watchmen and it was always a pleasure to hear of their passion for the comic and how they were structuring it. They were good, optimistic times for comics and creator's rights. I'm sickened by this "sequel" and will be steering well clear of it. 

Obviously I won't be chastising anyone who does buy it, and I won't be falling out with anyone over it, but I wanted to put my own thoughts out there. Agree or disagree; it's up to you.

If you haven't read Watchmen, buy that instead. No sequels necessary.

DOCTOR RADAR arrives in the UK

Well this looks interesting. As well as producing a fleet of home-grown comics, British publisher Titan Comics are now translating some European comics for the UK and American market under their Statix Press imprint. One such comic, Doctor Radar No.1, arrives in comic book stores this Wednesday (22nd November).

Originally published in French in 2014, Doctor Radar is written by Noël Simsolo with art by Bezian. I really like the look of Bezian's art and will be buying it on the strength of that alone. The story looks intriguing too. Here's a preview...

Paris, 1920. A gentleman detective plays a deadly game with a criminal mastermind, Doctor Radar, while investigating a series of horrific deaths!An atmospheric masterpiece perfect for the fans of pulp noir and deadly criminal masterminds!“Doctor Radar is a surrealistic, riveting, beautifully executed thriller unlike anything else I’ve ever read.” – Joe Keatinge (‘Shutter’, ‘Flavor’, ‘Ringside’)



Covers by Bezian, with a variant cover to No.1 by Francesco Francavilla. 

Preview of the cover to issue 2...

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