Friday, August 31, 2018

Sketch Roulette at NICE Con

If you're attending NICE Comic Con 2018 this weekend and you have a ticket for something called 'Sketch Roulette' you might win one of the 5 A4 sketches shown above that I've drawn. It's not just my sketches that are part of it of course; there are loads of others by the other guest artists and what I've seen so far have been superb! 

The bigger illustration on the far left is the original artwork for my convention banner, and that'll be in an auction at the con, so good luck if you're bidding!

See you in Bedford this weekend!
https://nicecon.co.uk




Thursday, August 30, 2018

UK Comic Cons are 50 today!

This almost slipped my notice, and sadly I don't have time to post anything but this brief mention, but comics conventions in the UK are 50 years old TODAY! 

The very first one was held in the Midland Hotel, Birmingham, from 30th August to 2nd September 1968. Organised by Phil Clarke and the late Steve Moore it was a small event but it had guests including Mike Higgs. The image above shows how it was announced in the pages of top comics Fantastic, Pow! and Smash! back then.

From small acorns, great oaks grow, and these days there are numerous conventions virtually every weekend of the year! In fact I'm off to one this weekend. Join us at NICE 2018 at Bedford Corn Exchange on Sept 1st and 2nd!
https://nicecon.co.uk


Infinity No.13 cover reveal

The publishers of Infinity magazine have revealed the cover for the 13th issue, which goes on sale on 13th September. Unlike previous issues which featured a painted cover image as the focus, this one goes with a photograph of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. 

If you haven't seen Infinity magazine yet I recommend it. Packed with information and nostalgia about fantasy films and tv (and sometimes comics) it's a treat for those interested in retro sci-fi from the 1950s to 1980s. 

You should find it in WH Smith, alongside SFX, 2000AD, etc. Well worth a purchase, and only £3.99!

Infinity magazine Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/ghoulishpubs

Website:
infinitymagazine.co.uk/


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

John Armstrong

News has been announced this evening by Rebellion Publishing that the artist John Armstrong has passed away. 

Known mainly for his work illustrating the long-running Bella serial for Tammy in the 1970s and early '80s, John had also worked on Girls' Crystal in the early 1960s where he drew a serial called Cherry and the Children


Another memorable strip was the supernatural thriller Moonchild, which John illustrated for Misty in 1978. He later drew a Grange Hill strip for Beeb magazine. 
John Armstrong's delicate brush strokes, combined with a realistic style for expressions and figure work, made him a perfect artist for girls' comics, where characterisation was paramount for readers to relate to the stories. 

Only a few months ago, Rebellion released Bella at the Bar Volume 1, collecting the earliest Bella strips that John had illustrated. The book was warmly welcomed by fans of the character and, hopefully, by a new generation of readers.  

My condolences to Mr.Armstrong's family and friends for their loss. 







Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Beano reaches issue 3950

Beano No.3950 is out this Wednesday, which means there's only a year to go until it clocks up 4,000 issues! (Yes, I know there are 52 weeks in a year, but the Christmas issue is usually on sale for three weeks, so No.4000 should be out this time next year.)

You can have a taste of what's in this issue here:
https://www.beano.com/posts/inside-beano-no-3950-where-gnasher-has-gone-missing-gneek

PLUS Big Eggo concludes! (Don't post any spoilers please.) 

Beano No.3950, on sale Wednesday 29th August.





Sunday, August 26, 2018

New comic from Rebellion: SNIPER ELITE

Hot on the heels of The Vigilant special comes another new comic from Rebellion. Sniper Elite: Resistance is a monthly three-issue mini-series and the first issue goes on sale this Wednesday in newsagents and comic shops. 

Based on Rebellion's own video game, this is a war comic for older readers and, yes, the Battle logo in the corner box will be relevant as the series progresses. Wait and see!

SNIPER ELITE: RESISTANCE #1
* CREATIVE TEAM: Keith Richardson (w) Patrick Goddard (a) Quinton Winter (c) Jim Campbell (l)
* UK, NORTH AMERICA & DIGITAL: 29th August 2018 £2.99/$3.99
* DIAMOND: JUN181950
* COVER: PATRICK GODDARD (a) QUINTON WINTER (c)

Based on the global best-selling Rebellion videogame, Sniper Elite: Resistance comes this adrenaline-fuelled thrill-ride 3-issue combat mini-series! Occupied France: Allied SOE hero Karl Fairburne parachutes into Angouleme in a bid to stop the shipment of a new German anti-aircraft weapon.

Preview of the first three pages...



Available in print from: newsagents and 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, August 25, 2018

It's a NICE convention

The next convention where you'll find me will be Nice Con 2018, at Bedford Corn Exchange over the weekend of 1st and 2nd September 2018. As you can see from the guest list there's a lot of talented creatives attending from all over the world, including Don McGregor from the USA, DaNi from Greece, Aneke from Spain, and many UK guests too. 

I'm going to be very busy on the run up to the con so I won't be blogging very often. You can find out more info about the event here:
https://nicecon.co.uk

...and following NICE, I'll be at these events...

HIGH-VIS FESTIVAL
8th September 2018
Custard Factory,
Digbeth,
Birmingham



ICE 2018
Saturday 15th September
Birmingham.


To be announced:
Sunday 7th October
More info soon.


To be announced:
Saturday 20th October 2018

More info soon.



Friday, August 24, 2018

Eggo's End!

Next issue of the Beano sees the conclusion to the Big Eggo strips I've been doing for the past six months. It's been an honour to revive the Beano's oldest character and I hope readers have enjoyed it. Above is a teaser ad I've designed for my own use.

It's a proper ending too, and I've treated it like a mini-epic, with highs and lows and a showdown in a remote location. Humour strips don't usually get proper conclusions so I'm really pleased with this one. Please don't post any spoilers or photos of it on the Internet until the issue goes off sale! Thanks.

Don't miss the Beano No.3950, on sale Wednesday 29th August!




PSYCHO GRAN returns for Round 2

Psycho Gran was created by David Leach back in 1986 for Oink! comic but a character that good couldn't perish with the comic so David occasionally revives her for a new lease of life in her own titles. The latest being Psycho Gran Versus, and this is Round 2

Like the first issue, Psycho Gran Versus: Round 2 is a collection of new full page illustrations showing Psycho up against familiar looking characters. David's artwork is maturing all the time and it's always a treat to see. The fact that this is very funny is a bonus (although you'd be disappointed if it wasn't funny 'cos that's the whole point). 

"36 Punishing Pages of OAP Agro!" screams the cover, like something from a modern day Action weekly. It's all good satirical fun with Psycho Gran tackling characters as diverse as Darth Vader to Peanuts. 

There are bonus pieces by guest artists too, including industry greats such as Doug Braithwaite and Tom Mandrake. All in all, a great package!

To find out how to buy a copy, message David Leach at the Psycho Gran Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/PsychoGran/

Alternatively, you can buy issues directly from David at any comic cons he attends. 




The Thirteenth Floor - ready to pre-order

This really is the year of classic UK reprints, and Rebellion have another one lined up for October. The Thirteenth Floor Volume 1 collects the first chapters of the serial from Scream! comic and they've just posted this on their Facebook page...



MAX IS BACK! The iconic series The 13th Floor from Scream! and Eagle returns in this terrifying collection - out in time for Hallowe'en! Pre-order it now in limited edition hardcover https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/RCA-B0041and standard softcover https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/RCA-B0029





Have you bought your Power Pack yet?

Whether you're a fan of comics history or you just want a good laugh, you can't go wrong in buying the two books of classic Ken Reid strips recently published by Irmantas Povilaika. These two superbly crafted hardbacks are simply the best collections of classic comics I've seen this year. 

This is Ken Reid at his peak, unleashed and enjoying his time on the Odhams comics of the 1960s. The funniest comics of the decade. 




To find out how you can order the books, visit Irmantas' Kazoop! blog today!
http://kazoop.blogspot.com





Thursday, August 23, 2018

Third MISTY volume on its way

The success of The Treasury of British Comics continues with publisher Rebellion releasing Misty Volume 3 next month. This one features the collected Wolf Girl serial as the main story, with a few short mystery stories as back up. 

Here's the info from the publisher...

CREATIVE TEAM: Eduardo Feito, Jordi Badia Romero (a)
RELEASE DATE: 20th September (UK) 10th October (US)
PAPERBACK, 98 pages
PRICE: £13.99 (UK) $16.99 (US)
ISBN: 978178186513
DIAMOND: JUL182102


The third collection in the popular reprints of stories from Misty, the supernatural horror comic for girls! A baby girl is rescued by a wolf, after her parents are killed in a car crash. Having only recently lost a cub herself, the wolf adopts the girl as one of her own. Two years later, soldiers on a military exercise find the child and bring her back to civilisation. Now in her early teens, the girl (called Lona) discovers her wild origin from her adopted parents. As Lona's bestial nature starts to resurface, she finds herself increasingly alone and at odds with the world around her!



Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond.








Panini Annuals coming soon...

Here are the covers to the Marvel annuals from Panini UK this year. As you can see, there's a Deadpool Annual this time, - and it's aimed at adults. That book has 96 pages, whilst the Marvel Heroes and Spider-Man annuals each have 64 pages. All are hardbacks.

They should be in stores next week, but you can pre-order them from online sellers right now. 




The all-new ROY OF THE ROVERS kicks off in November

Rebellion have released the cover of the first book in the new series of Roy of the Rovers graphic novels. The 56 page hardback reboots (pardon the pun) the classic character for a new generation of readers. 

Kick Off is the title of Book 1 (of 3 in the season) and is priced just £9.99. It's written by Rob Williams and drawn by Ben Willsher, two well known names from contemporary British comics. 

It's to be published on Thursday 1st November and you can pre-order it here:
https://royoftheroversofficial.com/shop/RCA-R2001

Here's the info from the website:

WRITER
ROB WILLIAMS
ARTIST
BEN WILLSHER

Times are tough for Melchester Rovers. Languishing at the bottom of League Two, the once-proud powerhouse of British football is out of money and out of luck. 

Sixteen year old Roy Race always dreamt of playing up front for Rovers. Oozing with natural talent and possessing a powerful left foot, Roy may just be the answer to all of Melchester’s prayers. 

Can Roy break into the Rovers first team and bring back the glory days of old? Or will the pressure of problems on and off the pitch prove too much for the young prospect? 

The epic footballing saga begins here!

EDITION: HARDBACK
ISBN-139781781086520
LENGTH: 56 PAGES
DIMENSIONS: 25.9 X 18.7 CM
WEIGHT: 450G


A month before the graphic novel series begins, Rebellion are publishing the first in a series of illustrated paperback prose novels about the character. Book 1, titled Scouted, is written by Tom Palmer with illustrations by Lisa Henke. Here's the info:

Roy Race is a totally normal 16 year old. He just happens to be the best striker in Melchester, too...

Roy always dreamed of becoming a professional footballer and playing for Melchester Rovers, the team he’s supported his entire life, but he never thought he had a chance - until now.


Rovers are on the lookout for new players, but is Roy good enough to catch the scout’s eye? He’ll have to be fitter, stronger and more determined than ever - but if he’s going to become Roy of the Rovers, now’s the time.

You can buy that from the Roy of the Rovers website too:
https://royoftheroversofficial.com/shop/RCA-R6001

Better still, buy both books at a discount:
https://royoftheroversofficial.com/shop/graphic-novels/B0006

I've never been a fan of football but I'm pleased to see the iconic Roy of the Rovers revived and updated for today's kids! Let's hope it does well!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Kirby cover for the latest MWOM!

This month's issue of The Mighty World of Marvel (out tomorrow) has something you rarely see on a British comic these days; a cover by Jack Kirby! It previously appeared as the variant cover for Silver Surfer No.14 last year in America, but was originally published as an interior page to Fantastic Four No.72, way back in 1968! 

The artwork has been recoloured using modern methods, and is arguably too flashy now, but even Photoshop colouring can't subdue the power of Jack Kirby's work. Good to see a piece of 1960s art on the cover of a modern day High Street comic!

Inside, most of the contents are more contemporary, with the final episode of Dan Slott and Mike Allred's excellent run on the Silver Surfer. Bring tissues! It'll make grown men cry. 

There's also recent strips featuring The Champions and The Guardians of the Galaxy, plus a 1960s Doctor Strange classic by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko!

The Mighty World of Marvel No.6, 76 pages, £4.50. On sale 23rd August.


Speaking of the late Steve Ditko, the current issue of The Astonishing Spider-Man is a tribute to him, and includes reprints of the very first Spider-Man story from Amazing Fantasy No.15 and a classic from Amazing Spider-Man No.33, both by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, plus a two page biography of Ditko written by Mike Conroy. There are also newer, non-Ditko Spidey strips, continuing the modern adventures. 

Astonishing Spider-Man No.8, 76 pages, £4.50. Out now.





Beano preview

Here's Nigel Parkinson's cover to Beano No.3949 which comes bagged with a bunch of gifts. Inside you'll find all the usual funsters including Big Eggo, in his penultimate strip by me. 

Beano No.3949, £3.75, out now. 
https://www.beano.com




Cover preview: 2000AD Prog 2095

Here's the cover to look out for today when 2000AD Prog 2095 goes on sale. Details as follows...

UK and DIGITAL: 22nd August 2018 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 22nd  September 2018 $6.75
DIAMOND: JUL182098
COVER: STAZ JOHNSON (A) CHRIS BLYTHE (C)


In this issue:

JUDGE DREDD: THE BOOTH CONSPIRACY by TC Eglington (w) Staz Johnson (a) Abigail Bulmer (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)


THE ORDER: THE NEW WORLD by Kek-W (w) John Burns (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)


THARG'S 3RILLERS: APPETITE by James Peaty (w) Andrea Mutti (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Ellie De Ville (l)


MECHASTOPHELES // TRUE FAITH by Gordon Rennie, Lawrence Rennie (w) Karl Richardson (a) Simon Bowland (l)


GREY AREA: OBJECTIVES by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Ellie De Ville (l)


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




Monday, August 20, 2018

TF Nation 2018: a fantastic event!

Photo by Stuart Webb.
It's been my good fortune and privilege to be a guest at many great conventions over the years, and TF Nation 2018 was exceptionally brilliant! 

One of the best events it's been my pleasure to attend, TF Nation 2018 took place over the last weekend at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, near Birmingham International Airport. The last time I was at that hotel was in 1979, which was the very first comics convention I went to as a fan. Returning there 39 years later as a guest brought back a lot of happy memories, and certainly provided new experiences that I'll always remember with fondness. 

The organisation of the show by Billy Edwards and his team was top class, and they looked after the guests very well. The show was incredibly busy, with people asking for autographs and sketches as soon as we entered the hall.
Photograph by Simon Vincent.
I knew the show would be good, but I wasn't sure how many would remember (or care about) my contributions to Transformers history. After all, Robo-Capers and Combat Colin were a separate entity to the Hasbro universe, as comic relief in the old Marvel UK comics, but I need not have worried. I was amazed and quite touched by how many remembered my strips from the 1980s and how much they had meant to them. It was a pleasure to talk with the readers and to sketch for such a nice friendly crowd. I'd taken along a couple of stacks of Combat Colin comics, and a few of my other comics too. By the end of the show I'd completely sold out! That has never happened before. 

It was also great to catch up with some fellow creators too of course, and hang out with John-Paul Bove, Jessica Bradley-Bove, Jack Lawrence, Simon Williams, Jason Cardy, Abigail Bulmer, Paul Goodenough, Mike Collins, Bernadette, and not forgetting Barry the Dog! 

My thanks to Billy, Kathryn, and the whole team for an unforgettable weekend! 
https://tfnation.com/2018/

Here's a bunch of photos from the weekend. Some I took, some are screen grabs from Twitter etc. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWH5mR9bwjY









Actor AndrĂ© Sogliuzzo being interviewed.



Shortfuse the Cybernik (a character I created for Sonic the Comic).
A highlight was meeting Thew Adams, as I was friends with his late father in the 1990s.




The next convention I'll be at will be NICE CON 2018, on September 1st and 2nd in Bedford. More info here:
https://nicecon.co.uk





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