Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mighty World of Marvel celebrates the career of Steve Ditko

The latest issue of Panini UK's The Mighty World of Marvel is somewhat special. The 100 page edition has over half of its pages devoted to the work of Steve Ditko, who passed away recently.

Editor Scott Gray has written a 9 page feature on Ditko's life and career, illustrated with many panels by the artist. MWOM had already been reprinting 1960s Doctor Strange strips so there's also the latest episode, which is The Lady From Nowhere by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and George Roussos that originally appeared in Strange Tales No.124. 



There are also several other vintage strips by the artist reprinted, including There'll Be Some Changes Made, which was Steve Ditko's first Marvel work from 1956!

Other Ditko strips in this issue are two more short stories from the early 1960s, and a long-unused Human Torch/Hulk story inked by Karl Kessel.


This issue also includes non-Ditko strips such as the regular ongoing Champions and Guardians of the Galaxy sagas. 

It's a great issue and well worth the paltry £4.50 it'll cost you to own a copy. On sale now in WH Smiths and selected newsagents! 



The Dalek Audio Annual is coming this Christmas!

My favourite annual of the 1960s was The Dalek World, which I had on Christmas Day 1965. I poured over its pages, reading it and re-reading it countless times. Subsequently, due to that, and the Doctor Who projector set I had the same day, I often associate Daleks with Christmas. 

It's been many years since any Dalek annual appeared but this December will see the release of The Dalek Audio Annual, with a fantastic cover in the style of those bygone books. The audio CD will feature readings by Doctor Who cast members Nicholas Briggs, Louise Jameson, and Matthew Waterhouse of stories from Dalek Annuals of the 1970s. 

It sounds like a nice item that'll be perfect for Christmas Day (and hopefully there'll be a Christmas episode of Doctor Who that day too). You can pre-order The Dalek Audio Annual from comic shops or from Amazon at this link...
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dalek-Audio-Annual-stories/dp/1787533670




Misty and Scream Special - webshop exclusive cover

As previously reported, following last year's successful Scream and Misty Halloween Special, Rebellion will be publishing another all-new edition for this Halloween. 

The standard cover will be by Kyle Hotz (below) and sold in newsagents and comic shops from October 17th, but there's also a variant Misty cover edition by Lenka Šimečková that you can only obtain by ordering it directly from the publisher at this link:
https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/RCS1853


With more treats than tricks, this issue features Black Max by Kek-W and Simon Coleby, 13th Floor by Guy Adams, John Stokes and Frazer Irving, Black Beth by Alec Worley and DaNi, Best Friends Forever by Lizzie Boyle and Yishan Li, and Decomposition Jones by Richard McAuliffe and Steve Mannion.

There'll be more details about this hotly anticipated special next month!


Monday, September 17, 2018

A choice of two Who

As revealed on The Times Ladies Twitter page (https://twitter.com/thetimeladies_) the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine gives the buyer a choice. You can have the Deluxe Edition, exclusive to WH Smith which comes in a card envelope (above) with a Souvenir Guide, Audio Adventures CD, poster, and art cards for £9.99 or the regular edition (below) with no extras (but still a great mag) for £5.99. The content of the magazine is identical in both options.

The magazine is packed with features including interviews with the stars of the new series and previews of the first few episodes. Oh, and there's another Daft Dimension strip by me featuring those Daft Daleks...

Doctor Who Magazine No.530 goes on sale on Thursday 20th September. This is a good jumping on point for new readers as the brand new series of Doctor Who starring Jodie Whittaker begins on Sunday 7th October. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE celebrates 400 issues!

Any British comic in living memory that reaches 400 issues is worthy of respect, and Judge Dredd Megazine celebrates its 400th issue milestone on Wednesday. An impressive achievement. Even more so because the comic is monthly, meaning that it's been running for over 25 years. (The first issue came out in 1990.) Very few comics have even managed a fraction of that. Most impressive of all is that the quality of content is still incredibly high, attracting some of the top creators in comics. 

Issue 400 will have even more pages than usual, and will begin a set of new stories, making it a perfect jumping on point for readers old and new. If you've never bought the comic, or have lapsed a while back, now's your chance to get on board one of the best ongoing comics being pubished. 

Here's the rundown of contents, plus a few preview pages...

UK and DIGITAL: 12th September 2018 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 12th October 2018 $6.75
DIAMOND: JUL182098
COVER: DAVID MILLGATE


In this issue:


JUDGE DREDD: THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY by John Wagner (w) Henry Flint (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

LAWLESS: ASHES TO ASHES by Dan Abnett () Phil Winslade (a) Ellie De Ville (l)


BLUNT II by TC Eglington (w) Boo Cook (a) Simon Bowland (l)


DEVLIN WAUGH: CALL ME BY THY NAME by Ales Kot (w) Mike Dowling (a) Quinton Winter (c) Simon Bowland (l)


STORM WARNING: OVER MY DEAD BODY by John Reppion, Leah Moore (w), Jimmy Broxton (a) 


THE DARK JUDGES: THE TORTURE GARDEN by John Wagner (w) Nick Percival (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)


ANDERSON, PSI DIVISION: JORDAN RAMZY by Alan Grant (w) Inaki Miracnda (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Ellie De Ville (l)


Interviews: Alan Hebden, Steve MacManus, Andy Diggle, Ian Gibson, David Bishop, Alan Barnes, John Tomlinson


Bagged reprint: First Shots - first Dredd stories by key new generation artists including Staz Johnson, Tan Eng Haut, Ianki Miranda, Sam Hart, Len O'Grady, PJ Holden.




Next week in 2000AD...

Here's an advance preview of a few pages from 2000AD Prog 2099, on sale Wednesday 19th September. The incredibly high standard of artwork every week in this comic never ceases to amaze me.

UK and DIGITAL: 19th September 2018 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 19th October 2018 $6.75
DIAMOND: JUL182098
COVER: KARL RICHARDSON


In this issue:


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


SURVIVAL GEEKS: SLACK N' HASH by Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Ellie De Ville (l)


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


FUTURE SHOCKS: TALK'S CHEAP by Mark McCann (w) Adam Brown (a) Ellie De Ville (l)


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

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




Thursday, September 13, 2018

This Saturday: ICE 2018!

One of the best comics conventions in the country returns to Birmingham this Saturday when ICE, the International Comic Expo, takes place at the BCEC in Hill Street (just over the road from the rear exit of New Street Station).
https://internationlcomicexpo.wordpress.com

There's a fine line-up of guests including John Wagner, Dan Cornwell, Ryan Brown, Rodney Ramos, John McCrea, and many more.

You'll find me at table 37, next to fellow Beano artist Laura Howell. I've indicated it in yellow in the image below...

I'll be bringing along my comics Combat Colin, Derek the Troll, and Pedantic Stan for anyone to buy, and doing sketches on request all day.
Between 2pm and 3pm I'll be joining Laura Howell, Nigel Parkinson, and Hunt Emerson on stage as we're being interviewed about our work on The Beano, to celebrate the comic's 80th anniversary.

ICE 2018 is all about comics. No actors or wrestlers, just 100% comics guests. I hope to see some of you there!
https://internationlcomicexpo.wordpress.com

***********************

Also taking place on Saturday alongside ICE, and with its own stand-alone show on Sunday, is Comics Uncovered, a seminar for those who want to break into comics. You can find out all about it here:
http://www.comicsuncovered.co.uk


***********************



Meanwhile, this week in 1934...

It's been ages since I posted anything about old comics, and it's mainly been due to the time involved in research. I'm still busy, but here's a quick glimpse into the past with the cover scanned from my collection of The Joker No.359, which was in newsagents exactly 84 years ago in 1934.

It's full of typical slapstick fun that was common in British comics of the time, using the comic strip format perfectly in a visual sequence involving a pie. Artwork by John Jukes. 

The full comic had 8 pages, tabloid size (ie: same size as the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, etc) and was printed on green paper. All for just 1d. (Half a new pence.)



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Stand by for THE TEMPEST No.2

You know it's a good week when a new comic by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill is released. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest No.2 is out now and it's another brilliant issue.

UPDATE: Although it is out now in the USA, it won't be in UK comic shops until the 19th September. (Thanks to Kevin O'Neill for the info.)

With so many comics these days having such standard covers (often characters looking angry or moody) it's a refreshing change that The Tempest is shaking things up every issue with spoofs of bygone British comics. Last month it was a homage to Classics Illustrated. This month it's TV21 that gets the treatment. (Next issue will have a Misty / Tammy homage.) 

The story itself is packed with references to old characters from comics, film, tv, and literature. It wouldn't be The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen otherwise. Most readers should spot the Captain Marvel and James Bond references, but it's possible that only me, Steve Holland, and the ghost of Denis Gifford will notice some of the others. (The Larks! Useless Eustace!) However, it doesn't matter if most people don't recognise The Purple Hood or Mark Tyme, etc. The whole comic has such a well told sense of mad fun that it carries the reader along and the main plot isn't dependent on knowing who the incidental characters are parodying. 
Alan Moore's scripts are still head and shoulders above those of many of his contemporaries. Others have attempted the type of story where everything in fiction is connected, but no one does it better. Kevin O'Neill's art is as superb and intricate as always. An artist who's given 100% throughout his career. 

The bonus features this issue include a spotlight on the shoddy way that Frank Bellamy's Eagle art was treated by publishers, and a pin-up of Electrogirl. Sizzlin'!

If you want a top quality comic, pick up The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest today. 

(W) Alan Moore (A/CA) Kevin O'Neill
  Opening with a 1919 deathmatch between two American superhumans in the ruins of Utopia, the second issue of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's final volume of the beloved comic series takes its readers on a breath-taking ride over a waterfall of storytelling styles, from a startling 21st century Lincoln Island and its current incarnation of the legendary Captain Nemo, through a New York coping with an ageing costume-hero population, to a London where a drastic escalation is commenced by the rejuvenated sociopath controlling MI5. All this, and a further reprinted adventure of 1960s super-team The Seven Stars awaits in issue two of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume IV: The Tempest.
In Shops: Sep 12, 2018
SRP: $4.99

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

New Treasury books for 2019

Cover art by Phil Gascoine.
A browse through Amazon this evening caused me to notice a few new books that I'm sure will be of interest to Blimey! readers. Scheduled for their Treasury of British Comics line for next year are three more collections of classic strips. These will include...

Fran of the Floods, by Alan Davidson and Phil Gascoine, from the popular Jinty weekly. 
www.amazon.co.uk/Jinty-Fran-Floods-Gascoine-Phil/dp/1781086729/

Wildcat Book 1: Turbo Jones by Barrie Tomlinson and Ian Kennedy, reprinting the story from the short-lived Wildcat comic.
www.amazon.co.uk/Wildcat-Turbo-Jones-Barrie-Tomlinson/dp/1781086656/

Cover art by Ian Kennedy.

...and one I know lots of people have been hoping to see...

Billy's Boots, Book One written by Fred Baker and drawn by John Gillatt (although John didn't take over the strip until later, so that'll be corrected as these early episodes were by Mike Western, Tom Kerr, and others). The story reprinted from Scorcher from 1970. 
www.amazon.co.uk/Billys-Boots-1-Fred-Baker/dp/1781086710
Cover art by Tom Kerr and Mike Western.
These three books are currently scheduled for the early part of 2019 and I'm sure more will follow. No doubt Rebellion will reveal more info officially over the coming weeks! 

These are exciting times for fans of classic British comics and I hope you'll give the books your full support! 



Monday, September 10, 2018

New mag: TV YEARS out this Tuesday

Admittedly this is nothing to do with comics, but it's something I'm sure many of you will be interested in. Available in newsagents from Tuesday 11th September is the first issue of TV Years, a new magazine dedicated to television. 

TV Years No.1 swings the spotlight on the 1980s, and includes features on shows of the era and interviews with stars from Grange Hill, Blue Peter, and more. It's edited by renowned tv historian and reviewer Graham Kibble-White, and there's a great team of writers so things are looking good! 

Issue 1 has 100 pages and will cost just £3.99. 

You can follow the mag on Twitter for previews, news, and more updates:
https://twitter.com/TVYears



Sunday, September 09, 2018

ICE is coming!

No, that's not a weather forecast (hopefully not anyway), but a reference to ICE 2018, the International Comic Expo that takes place in the centre of Birmingham next Saturday, 15th September. 

I always look forward to this event, which is one of my favourite comics conventions. Friendly, busy, and all about the comics! 

This year's guests will include John Wagner, Alessandro Vitti, Hunt Emerson, Nigel Parkinson, Laura Howell, John McCrea, and many more (plus me!). 

Yes, there'll be four Beano artists there this year, so if you want to talk Beano, or want a sketch of your favourite character, come along and join us!

Full details of tickets etc:
https://internationlcomicexpo.wordpress.com



Saturday, September 08, 2018

New issue of VIZ is out now!

I haven't given much attention to Viz on this blog recently, and other sites tend to ignore it so here's a plug for the latest issue. 

One can't underestimate the achievements of Viz comic. It'll be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year, and not many titles have reached that milestone. In the 1990s it influenced far too many imitators to remember, and saw off every one of them. Viz became so popular it was selling over a million copies an issue, and being passed around at universities and in the pubs so that it was being read by many more. 

Some may dislike its vulgarity, missing the point of its sharp satire, but its longevity has to be admired. Published every five weeks, Viz remains the top selling comic in the UK outside of a few nursery titles.

The latest issue kicks off with another superb cover by Simon Thorp and includes 8 Ace, Gilbert Ratchett, The Real Ale Twats, The Bacons, and much more from creators such as Davey Jones, Tom Paterson, Alex Collier and others. 

Let's keep supporting this national institution, and spread the word that, yes, Viz is still being published, and is still worth every penny. 

Viz No.279, 52 pages, £3.50. In shops now. 
Official website: http://viz.co.uk




2000AD Prog 2098 Cover Preview

Here's what's coming up in 2000AD Prog 2098, on sale Wednesday...

UK and DIGITAL: 12th September 2018 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 12th October 2018 $6.75
DIAMOND: JUL182098
COVER: DAVID MILLGATE


In this issue:


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


SURVIVAL GEEKS: SLACK N' HASH by Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Ellie De Ville (l)


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


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


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

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

Thursday, September 06, 2018

See you at HI VIS FESTIVAL this Saturday!

It's something totally different from the comic cons we're used to. Hi Vis is a street culture festival including music, dance, graffiti, and comics (and more!) and it takes place at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham, on Saturday 8th September.

I'll be one of the guests, along with comics creator Sammy Borras, Simon Myers (artist of many covers for Titan's Doctor Who comics) and Steve Tanner (publisher/owner of Time Bomb Comics) and more, so come along and join us! 

I don't know what to expect. Sounds wild! Sounds fun! Let's find out!

More info:
https://twitter.com/highvisfest

Update: Here's a map so you'll know where to find us, in (2) the Market Hall... along with the Dance Battles!?! It's going to be memorable!





Brickman Returns has SOLD OUT!

Brickman Returns has SOLD OUT! I have the handful remaining shown here to meet existing orders but I've just deleted it from my online shop as there's no more left. 

Launched at ICE 2015 (back in September 2015) Brickman Returns collected together all the Brickman pages I'd done as back-up strips to Image Comics' Elephantmen. It swiftly sold out of its first print run and went to a second printing.
Launch day, 5th September 2015 at ICE 2015 in Birmingham.

I'm not sure whether to do a third printing yet, or maybe combine it with Brickman Begins as 'The Complete Brickman'. Or just the best bits from Begins and all of Returns as simply 'Brickman'.

I'll think on it for a few months, but in the meantime I need to press on with Combat Colin No.3, which I'm now hoping to have ready in October. 

Thanks to all of you who bought Brickman Returns for making it a success!



Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Ken Reid books: Last chance to get your slipcased edition!

The chance to order the limited slipcased edition of The Power Pack of Ken Reid ends on September 9th so if you want the books with the sturdy slipcase to protect them you need to go to the Indiegogo site here:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-power-pack-of-ken-reid#/

After Sept. 9th, the books will still be available but without the slipcase. If you want to buy the individual books (or both) you can purchase them here:
https://www.kazoop-comics-shop.com


I've gushed about how good these books are in previous posts but it's worth mentioning again that they really are quite astounding. The publisher, Irmantas Povilaika, has done an excellent job with restoring the artwork to superb clarity, even for the finer lines of Ken's work. Pages that were once printed in muddy colours on 1960s newsprint have been cleaned up to sharp greyscale and black and white on quality matt paper. For example...


Ken Reid was of course always head and shoulders above his contemporaries. So much so that it's often unfair to compare other humour artists to him. Judging the work on its own merits, I've always felt that his 1960s material was the highpoint of his distinguished career so it's wonderful that these strips are finally back in print half a century after their original publication.

If, like me, you read these strips as a child you'll want to own them again. If you're a Ken Reid fan who discovered his work after they appeared, this is the creme de la creme of his work. If you're unfamiliar with Ken's strips, these books will blow your mind. Either way; don't miss out! They're worth every penny. 

By the way, don't forget to follow Irmantas' Kazoop! blog which features some rare Ken Reid material that didn't make it into the books!


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