Saturday, November 17, 2018

Coming up in the next 2000AD...

Here's the info (and the few preview pages) for 2000AD Prog 2108, in the shops this coming Wednesday!

UK and DIGITAL: 21st November 2018 £2.85
NORTH AMERICA: 21st December 2018 $6.75
DIAMOND: SEP181942
COVER: PYE PARR


In this issue:


JUDGE DREDD: THE SMALL HOUSE by Rob Williams (w) Henry Flint (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)


SKIP TRACER: LEGION by James Peaty (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Dylan Teague (c) Ellie De Ville (l)


BRINK: HIGH SOCIETY by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)


THARG'S 3RILLERS: INFESTINAUTS ARE GO! by Arthur Wyatt (w) Pye Parr (a+l)


KINGDOM: ALPHA AND OMEGA by Dan Abnett (w) Richard Elson (a) Abigail Bulmer (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond
Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10


Preview: JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE No.402

There's a new issue of Judge Dredd Megazine arriving in the shops on Wednesday (21st November). This time the cover is a wraparound by the amazing Phil Winslade who is creating some fantastic work every month on the Lawless strip. Phil's one of the best artists in the business, so if anyone thinks modern comics are somehow inferior to those of decades ago, think again and check it out. 

In fact, the Megazine hits a high standard every issue with its roster of talented creators. Definitely a comic you should be buying.

This issue there's a tribute to the king of the 2000ADverse, Carlos Ezquerra, who sadly passed away recently. As well as a feature on his distinguished career there's also a comic bagged with the Megazine, reprinting some of his classic triumphs.

Here's the info, courtesy of Rebellion, who own the Copyright on the images.

UK and DIGITAL: 21st November 2018 £5.99
NORTH AMERICA: 21st December 2018 $6.75
DIAMOND: SEP181944
COVER: PHIL WINSLADE


In this issue:


JUDGE DREDD: RIOT IN ISO-BLOCK 9 by Alex De Campi (w) Mack Chater (a) Jose Villarrubia (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)


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


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


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


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


Features: Carlos Ezquerra obituary.


Bagged reprint: 
Hail to the King: A celebration of the work of Carlos Ezquerra - Alan Grant, Pat Mills, John Wagner (w) Carlos Ezquerra (a)

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond
Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10



Friday, November 16, 2018

Cover preview: INFINITY No.15

Here's the cover to Infinity No.15, which arrives in shops on 6th December. Infinity is my favourite media magazine, as it covers a wide range of retro material. As you can see from this cover, next issue brings us features on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Stan Lee, Action Transfers, and more! 'The Story of Comics' sounds interesting. How are they going to fit over 100 years of history from Ally Sloper to The Phoenix into one article? Worth checking out for that alone!

Infinity is on sale in WH Smith (and some comic shops too I believe) and is published every six weeks for just £3.99 an issue. You should find it next to SFX, Doctor Who Magazine, and 2000AD. Check out their Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/ghoulishpubs/

...and their website here:
infinitymagazine.co.uk/





Thursday, November 15, 2018

It's full of festive cheer, the Christmas VIZ is here!

Yes, you know it's November when the Christmas issue of Viz hits the shops, and 52 pages of festive frolics await you from today! 

You'll have seasonal fun with Roger Mellie, The Fat Slags, Johnny Fartpants, 8 Ace, The Drunken Bakers and all your regular rude chums in jolly adventures with snow on the logos and that. 

Plus you get a free full-colour calendar too! Not bad eh? 

Viz No.281, out now, £3.50. 



Out today from Panini UK...

THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #9. On sale 15th November. £4.50.
100-PAGE SPECIAL!
We celebrate the life and art of Marie Severin, Marvel’s First Lady! Don’t miss a special 5-page feature on her career, rare artwork and some of her best Marvel humour stories!

A new series begins! The Thing and the Human Torch are still in despair over the end of the Fantastic Four – but Doctor Doom has plans for them both! By Chip Zdarsky and Jim Cheung!

The Guardians of the Galaxy go in search of the Infinity Stones – with a couple of unexpected stowaways! By Gerry Duggan and Rod Reis!
Hawkeye enters the lair of the Take Back Control cult! By Kelly Thompson and Leonardo Romero!

A Marvel classic! Doctor Strange confronts the Dread Dormammu for the first time! By Stan Lee and Steve Ditko!

The Aging Spidey-Man battles Gnatman and Rotten! By Stan Lee and Marie Severin! 

The Inedible Bulk tries to remember his own origin! By Gary Friedrich and Marie Severin!
The fantastic back cover to MWOM. A gallery of Marie Severin's classic covers!
Plus! Marie Severin reveals all her secrets in… “How to be a Comic Book Artist!”
Featuring material first printed in Marvel Two in One #1, All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #12, Hawkeye #32, Strange Tales #126 and Not Brand Echh #2, 3, and 11.



ESSENTIAL X-MEN #8. On sale 15th November. £4.50.
100-PAGE SPECIAL!

The ‘Mojo Worldwide’ saga begins now! The maniacal madman kidnaps both the Gold and Blue X-Men teams, and throws them into a nightmarish series of their greatest battles!

Featuring material first printed in X-Men: Gold #13-15 and X-Men: Blue #13-14.


DEADPOOL UNLEASHED #21. On sale 15th November. £4.50.
76 pages of the Merc with the Mouth!

Deadpool makes a deal with Cable to take down Stryfe – but the sinister clone has a few tricks of his own! Also: will Deadpool actually kill Cable for real this time?! By Gerry Duggan and Scott Koblish!

The conclusion to ‘Too Soon?’ is here! Deadpool teams up with the Punisher, Doctor Strange, Squirrel Girl, Spider-Ham and Howard the Duck to take on a shadow demon! By Joshua Corin and Todd Nauck!

Featuring material first printed in Despicable Deadpool #289-290 and Deadpool: Too Soon? #4.



DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE No.532. On sale 15th November. £5.99

84 pages. Exclusive interview with Mandip Gill in issue 532 of Doctor Who Magazine! Plus previews of the final four episodes of Series 11, Ray Holman's Team TARDIS cosplay tips, Bernard Cribbins answers questions from our TARDIS tin, comic strips and much more!



DOCTOR WHO: THE PHANTOM PIPER (Graphic novel). 

The latest Doctor Who graphic novel from Panini Publishing is here, collecting the acclaimed comics series from the award-winning Doctor Who Magazine!

The Phantom Piper stars the Twelfth Doctor (played on TV by Peter Capaldi) and his companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie). The Doctor and Bill are plunged into four incredible adventures…

THE SOUL GARDEN
The Doctor and Bill land on Saturn’s moon and encounter the crazy quadrillionaire Rudy Zoom, classical poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the deadly plant creatures called the Haluu!

THE PARLIAMENT OF FEAR
A journey to America’s Wild West leads the Doctor and Bill into a lethal showdown with a myth come to life: the legendary were-owls known as the Stikini!

MATILDUS
Bill finds herself in the alleyways of the spaceport Corncucopia, and meets the streetwise Kaballus Kids!

THE PHANTOM PIPER
The Time-travellers arrive in the lunar city Athenia, home to the world-famous code-breaker Alan Turing – and the android race called the Galateans! But a malevolent creature from humanity’s darkest dreams is ready to strike… The Phantom Piper!

Stories and art by Scott Gray, Martin Geraghty, Staz Johnson and Mike Collins!

Also: a 15-page commentary section by the creators, revealing the secrets behind the stories! Featuring never-before-published artwork, photos and character designs!

148 pages – full colour
£14.99
$19.99
ISBN: 978-1-84653-926-8

On sale November 14th




Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Preview: Doctor Who Magazine No.532

The new issue of the official Doctor Who Magazine is published tomorrow (15th November) and is another packed issue with 84 pages of Who-related features and strips. 

This time, the interviews include Mandip Gill and Bernard Cribbins, there are previews of all the remaining episodes for this season, John Freeman reports on the new 13th Doctor display at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool, and much more.

Comic strips? Yes indeed, with Scott Gray, John Ross, and James Olfredi doing fantastic work on part two of The Warmonger...

...and another Daft Dimension strip by me, this time featuring T'Zim-Sha (or Tim Shaw if you prefer). 

Doctor Who Magazine No.532, published by Panini UK and available from WH Smith, supermarkets, comic shops, and various newsagents. £5.99





Christmas incentive for fans of Ken Reid


The Power Pack of Ken Reid is a stunning two-volume set of hardback books published by Irmantas Povilaika earlier this year under license. They reprint Ken Reid's entire strip contribution to Wham!, Smash! and Pow! in the 1960s, covering Frankie Stein, Jasper the Grasper, Dare-A-Day Davy, Queen of the Seas, and The Nervs

Regular readers of this blog will have seen me singing the books' praises before, and deservedly so. It really is Ken Reid at his peak, and some of the best work to ever appear in comics. The good news for any of you who haven't bought them yet is that copies are still available, and as a Christmas incentive, if you order them now you'll also receive new prints shot from Ken Reid's original artwork.


Irmantas explains...
"It's a total of 4 prints, each measuring 297 x 190 mm, so they are smaller than those that came with the books during the crowdfunding campaign. They will fit perfectly inside the books so won't have to be folded when packed.
All 4 are of Frankie Stein - 2 complete episodes. I will include 2 prints per book."

You can order them directly from Irmantas at his website here:
https://www.kazoop-comics-shop.com

Remember, these are limited edition books, so they're not available in High Street bookshops and won't turn up in The Works in a sale after Christmas, so don't delay in ordering your copies!




New issues of Commando out today

5175: Home of Heroes: Michael’s War

While his family fought on land and the sea, Lieutenant Michael Weekes took to the sky in his Armstrong Whitworth FK8, sweeping over German archies in the lead up to the Saint‑Mihiel offensive. Reconnaissance and fighter, Michael’s plane did more than its fair share of shooting.

But after crash-landing behind enemy lines, armed with only his Webley revolver and wits, Michael Weekes came face to face with a front of a different kind…

Issue 2 of ‘The Weekes’ War’

| Story | Richard Davis | Art | Morhain & Defeo | Cover | Ian Kennedy |


5176: Gold Collection: Flames of War

A line on a map separated British and German colonies in East Africa, but that meant nothing to Tom Denning and Hans Block. They had always been friends as boys, but when war came in 1914, they were put on opposite sides. It made them enemies.

And then they were both posted to France to experience the horrors of trench warfare at first hand. There their friendship would face its toughest test ever in the flames of war…

| Story | Ian Clark | Art | Ibanez | Cover | Ibanez |
Originally Commando No. 2918 (January 1996).


5177: Action and Adventure: Billy’s War

Lieutenant Billy Weekes wanted desperately to see some action aboard the British Destroyer HMS Meadfoot. He had two brothers in the trenches, one in the skies, and a sister on the front line as an ambulance driver. They would all have amazing stories about their war experiences, but Billy… all he had to talk about was the weather reports.

That is, until a U-boat went rogue after ignoring the order to return to port, and the HMS Meadfoot was tasked with bringing it in.

Issue 3 of ‘The Weekes’ War’

| Story | Heath Ackley | Art | Klacik & Defeo | Cover | Ian Kennedy |



5178: Silver Collection: The Condemned Men

The chances of survival were poor for the officers and men in action in the trenches during the First World War. They all knew it, and courageously got on with the dangerous job at hand.

One British officer found this harder than most, though. He was as brave as the next man, but he had a secret he knew he must try to keep to himself – a secret so frightening it will chill your blood…

| Story | Sean Blair | Art | Olivera | Cover | Ian Kennedy |
Originally Commando No. 3257 (July 1999).


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




Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Rebellion books for summer 2019

Amazon and other sites have revealed the covers of three new Rebellion books in their Treasury of British Comics line so here's the details...

Leo Baxendale's Sweeney Toddler Hardcover – 25 Jul 2019
by Leo Baxendale (Author)

THE COMIC WORLD’S GREATEST MENACE!
Sweeny Toddler was his greatest creation for IPC – a two-year-old terror who manages to cause mayhem from beyond his pram and cot.
www.amazon.co.uk/Leo-Baxendales-Sweeney-Toddler-Baxendale/dp/1781087261


Invasion 1984 Paperback – 2 May 2019
by John Wagner (Author), Alan Grant (Author), Eric Bradbury (Author)

British comics’ take on War of the Worlds beams down for some classic comics carnage!
 SPACE INVADERS!
 1984. Skeletal-looking alien warriors have invaded the Earth, bringing many large cities like London to the brink of total destruction! Taken by surprise, mankind must now dig deep to survive! In Britain the tough-as-boots military outfit known as Storm Squad mount the fightback against the ‘Spooks’ while professor Ed Lomax looks into a way of permanently ridding the plant of this unearthly foe for good!
www.amazon.co.uk/Invasion-1984-John-Wagner/dp/1781086753


Deathwish Volume 1: Best Wishes Paperback – 11 Jul 2019
by Barrie Tomlinson (Author), Vanyo (Author)

EVIL KENEVIL MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA IN THIS ORIGINAL FAST AND THE FURIOUS!

 THE GREATEST DAREDEVIL OF THEM ALL – BECAUSE HE DOESN’T CARE IF HE LIVES OR DIES!
 Blake Edmonds had it all – fame, money, looks... and then the world-famous F1 driver suffered a terrible accident which left him hideously disfigured. Fashioning a mask to hide his terrible visage, Edmonds has taken on a new career as a stuntman, flirting with death on a regular basis.

www.amazon.co.uk/Deathwish-1-Wishes-Barrie-Tomlinson/dp/178108680X/

As yet, no news of any pre-1970 collections but Rebellion only acquired the rights to those comics recently so it's early days yet. Presently they're producing some fine books that will delight many readers of the '70s and '80s. Something we never thought would happen a few years ago so let's appreciate what we have. These are great times for fans of classic UK comics!

Other books scheduled for 2019:
https://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2018/09/new-treasury-books-for-2019.html



Monday, November 12, 2018

The passing of a hero

There's a cloud hanging over the comics industry tonight as we've learned that Stan Lee has passed away. American comics, and pop culture, would have been far poorer without him. In fact, I doubt U.S. comics would have survived without Marvel's success in the 1960s inspiring other publishers, and the growth of fandom leading to the creation of the direct market. 

Stan Lee inspired many of us too. His characters were flawed, but they had dignity, a sense of fairness and equality, and showed strength in the face of adversity. Marvel Comics of the 1960s showed us hope, and were an inspiration for me and many of you too, I'm sure. 

I've written a personal tribute over on my other blog:
http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com/2018/11/thanks-stan_13.html 

Thank you, Stan! I never met you, but you were my hero.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-46186552

It's been the top story on the BBC website all evening.




Willie and Tim in 1932

Who's for another dip into the past? Here's the cover to Illustrated Chips No.2165, dated March 5th 1932 scanned from my collection. The permanent cover stars of the comic are Weary Willie and Tired Tim, drawn by Percy Cocking.

Willie and Tim were very popular with the readers of the time. Possibly the most popular comics characters of the early 20th Century... although Ally Sloper and Tiger Tim probably gave them a run for their money. 

Illustrated Chips is now one of the comics owned by Rebellion Publishing, so it'd be nice to see a collection of such vintage material. I doubt it'd happen though, as interest in such strips these days is too small to make it viable. Perhaps somehow, one day though...! 



Coming from Rebellion this week...

Rebellion are very busy publishers these days and this week sees three items from them; two graphic novels plus the regular issue of 2000AD. Here's details of all three...

HOPE
CREATIVE TEAM: Guy Adams (w) Jimmy Broxton (a) Simon Bowland (l)
RELEASE DATE: 13th November (UK) 13th December (US)
HARDCOVER, 68 pages
PRICE: £10.99 (UK) $14.99 (US)
ISBN: 9781781086582
DIAMOND: TBA
In an alternate post-war 1940s Los Angeles, where occult forces are a fact of life, Mallory Hope is a private detective haunted by his past… and by the demon he works with. When a new case involving a missing boy reminds him of his own lost child, Hope is determined to find him. But he soon discovers all is not what it seems, with dark powers lurking behind the lights of Hollywood… A gritty detective tale from Guy Adams and Jimmy Broxton that blends classic Hollywood noir with the occult!

Available in print from: 2000 AD webshop, book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond

Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop & apps for iPadAndroid Windows 10


2000AD Prog 2107

UK and DIGITAL: 14th November 2018 £2.85
NORTH AMERICA: 14th December 2018 $6.75
DIAMOND: SEP181942
COVER: CLINT LANGLEY

In this issue:


JUDGE DREDD: THE SMALL HOUSE by Rob Williams (w) Henry Flint (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)


SKIP TRACER: LEGION by James Peaty (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Dylan Teague (c) Ellie De Ville (l)


BRINK: HIGH SOCIETY by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)


THARG'S 3RILLERS: INFESTINAUTS ARE GO! by Arthur Wyatt (w) Pye Parr (a+l)


KINGDOM: ALPHA AND OMEGA by Dan Abnett (w) Richard Elson (a) Abigail Bulmer (c) Ellie De Ville (l)


Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond
Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10


EL MESTIZO

• CREATIVE TEAM: Alan Hebden (w) Carlos Ezquerra (a) 
 • RELEASE DATE: 15th November (UK) 28th November (US)
 • HARDCOVER, 65 pages
 • PRICE: £14.99 (UK) $19.99 (US)
 • ISBN: 9781781086575
 • DIAMOND: SEP181945

A bitter sweet and much-needed collection of the late Carlos Ezquerra's unconventional Western series. In 1862, as the American Civil War tears a nation in two, dangerous men prosper through bloodshed. El Mestizo was once a slave who managed to escape to Mexico. Now he's come back over the border, a mercenary for hire. But is he really allied to neither side? High-octane revenge Western from the co-creator of Judge Dredd. Perfect for fans of Moebius's Blueberry and the motion picture Django Unchained.


Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop & apps for iPad, Android and Windows 10

Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop & apps for iPadAndroid Windows 10


Friday, November 09, 2018

Thoughts on Charley's War

I hated war comic strips when I was a kid in the 1960s and early '70s. So much so that I'd skip strips such as Captain Hurricane in Valiant and Paddy Payne in Lion and would avoid comics such as Victor and Hornet as they seemed to feature so many stories of armed conflict. Commando? Not a chance.

Why did I dislike them so much? Perhaps it was because unlike most people of my age, I didn't grow up hearing anecdotes about life in the military. In World War 2 my dad had failed his medical due to ill health, so he couldn't enlist, and my grandad was in the A.R.P. (During WW1 my grandad had worked on farms and the railway.) However, my family and their friends had often talked about the nightly horrors of the bombing raids. Therefore I knew that real war wasn't a jolly adventure as depicted in Captain Hurricane and I think I resented war comics for not being more honest.

Perhaps it was also because my parents let me watch the evening news and I often read the Daily Mirror where it was clearly evident that war (then raging in Viet Nam) was a grim affair. Admittedly I was well into sci-fi comics and superheroes, so perhaps war strips were too grounded for me, but it wasn't just that. It was the gung-ho attitude that really put me off. 

When Battle Picture Weekly came along in 1975 I was 16, so I was "growing out of kids' comics" as I considered them. I had the first issue because it was a first issue, read it quickly, stored it away in my collection, then didn't bother again. What changed things was years later noticing Charley's War on the cover on the latest issue whilst browsing the comic racks in a newsagents. The issue dated 12th July 1980 (shown below). I recognised the artist as being that of the guy who'd drawn Football Family Robinson for Jag and Kid Chameleon for Cor!! so I bought the comic out of curiosity.
My perceptions of war comics changed immediately. Charley's War didn't glorify war as so many of its predecessors had. Here was an anti-war strip, right in the heart of a boys' war comic! It felt radical, it felt real, and I was hooked! The other strips had some merit too, but the only reason I started buying Battle was for Charley's War, which I'd cut out and save. The writer was Pat Mills, and the artist was Joe Colquhoun.
I know now of course that I'd done the early issues of Battle Picture Weekly a disservice by ignoring them. The comic was superb, part of an important new direction for UK comics, and didn't pull its punches. I've since collected the first five years of the comic so I can enjoy the tightly-written and grittily illustrated stories at my leisure.

All that is a long preamble to give another promotion to Rebellion's superb Charley's War books, but, heck, it's my blog so I'll waffle if I want to. Plus, as we reach the 100th anniversary of the WW1 armistice I wanted to put my thoughts about war comics out there. War has always appalled me, and I still dislike the unrealistic types of war comics, but Charley's War is the antithesis of that and an essential read!
In Charley's War, we see the story from the perspective of a young lad, Charley Bourne, who enlists with the optimism to serve his country in the Great War. His naivety is soon shaken by the harshness of his environment, and the tragedies and hardships that he encounters. Unlike many war comics that had officers as the main hero, Charley Bourne is a tommy, a working class hero.
Although the depictions of warfare are well researched and realistic, some artistic license had to be employed because one soldier could not possibly experience all that befalls Charley throughout the saga. In that respect, Charley Bourne represents the everyman. In other situations that would be too far removed for a soldier in the trenches the story shifts to depict the stories of Charley's brother Wilf, or the French deserter, Blue. 
I consider Charley's War to be the greatest war story in comics. Perhaps the greatest adventure story in any British comic. The three books published by Rebellion collect the entire saga which runs to almost 1,000 pages in total. To me, it's the best work of Pat and Joe's long careers. They clearly both felt very passionate about the subject matter and they succeeded in treating it with respect for ordinary soldiers caught up in the conflict, and a contempt for those that put them through it.

At the moment, Rebellion are doing a special offer of all three books for £39.99. A good deal considering that each book is over 300 pages. Go to the publisher's website here:
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/B0001
The motto "Lest We Forget" is used in remembrance ceremonies but, sadly, politicians did forget, or didn't care, and there have been multiple conflicts since. Books like Charley's War are essential reading for all ages as a reminder that war is not to be taken lightly.

All artwork in this post is Copyright © Rebellion Publishing Limited.





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