Thursday, November 14, 2019

The end of The Mighty World of Marvel

Sad news just in. Panini UK are ending their Mighty World of Marvel comic effective immediately. The final issue is out today. Here's how it was announced on Facebook this morning:

"Hi, Marvelites.
We’re sorry to report that this will be the last issue of Mighty World.
Thanks to everyone who supported the title. We’re sure it’ll be back someday!
In the meantime, why not check out one of the six other awesome Collectors’ Editions, packed full of mighty Marvel action!
Excelsior!"

The Mighty World of Marvel was Marvel UK's first comic in 1972 and had a long run as a weekly (and short run as a monthly) before being cancelled. It was revived by Panini UK several years ago, initially as a vehicle for Daredevil and Hulk reprints and then as a showcase title featuring various Marvel strips. 

The cancellation of its current run came suddenly, as the latest issue advertises the intended following issue which would have had a revamp featuring The Immortal Hulk and the Champions. Unfortunately these are tough times for periodicals in a very competitive market and with production costs always rising.  Personally I don't think it's helped that various branches of WH Smith hide them behind the counter, claiming they get stolen if they're on display. Such a practice prevents any new readers discovering the comics and intimidates existing ones. 

Here's the PR for the final issue, in the shops now:

MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #22. On sale 14th November. £4.99.
76 pages of Marvel Universe adventure!
The final chapter of the epic ‘Infinity Wars’ saga is here! Heroes and villains unite to face Gamora... ...but she isn't going down without a fight! By Gerry Duggan & Mike Deodato Jr!
First printed in Infinity Wars #5-6


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Happy VIZ-mas!

It must be November if the Christmas issue of Viz is on the stands. Yes, the king of the top-shelf has snow on its logo and seasonal goodwill in its heart from characters such as The Fat Slags, Eight Ace, The Real Ale Twats, Johnny Fartpants and more. PLUS their traditional pull-out calendar, which this time features art from past covers by the brilliant Simon Thorp. 

Simon also provides the cover for this issue too of course, and it's another "cracker", eh, chums? 

This issue will also be the 40th anniversary edition but I didn't notice any mention of the occasion. Well, congratulations to them anyway. Not many comics reach that landmark!

Contributors include Davey Jones, Tom Paterson, Paul Palmer, Simon Ecob, Alex Collier and many more. 

That's Viz No.291, 52 pages plus calendar for £3.70. Out now! 


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MARVEL: 80 Amazing Years

Just published by Panini UK is this 176 page bookazine celebrating the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics. This is the English language version of an international edition and the translation from Fabio Lacari's original Italian text seems a little stilted in places. However that may be due to it being written for all ages, as this is mainly a book for readers unfamiliar with Marvel's long history. 
Chapters take us through key points of 1939 up to the present day, and the bookazine is richly illustrated with plenty of artwork from each era. It reaches the 1980s halfway through the publication so it's evenly balanced chronologically. It's firmly focused on the history of Marvel USA though, so don't expect to see anything about Marvel UK beyond one measly sentence on page 110. Surprisingly the Marvel movies aren't covered either, or the games, but it makes a refreshing change that the text is solely about the comics and their creators rather than diverting off at a tangent. 
If you have a youngster (and these days I include anyone under 30) who's into Marvel then this would make an ideal Christmas stocking stuffer. Older readers may already know Marvel's history inside out but it's still worth it for hardcore collectors too. 
Marvel 80 Amazing Years - The True Story of a Pop Culture Phenomenon is out now in WH Smiths (and hopefully elsewhere) for £12.99. 

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Review: PSYCHO GRAN COMIC CAPERS CAVALCADE No.2

I've had this fine comic since July but I'm only just finding time to catch up with reviews I promised to do. Here we go then with the second issue of Psycho Gran Comic Capers Cavalcade, written and drawn by David Leach.

If you're already familiar with Psycho Gran you'll know what to expect. If not, expect the unexpected. Psycho Gran started out in Oink! comic over 30 years ago, but as David Leach owns the rights he's able to bring her back in all new stories. Well, not entirely all-new, as the strips in this issue originally appeared in the digital comic Aces Weekly a few years ago but this is the first time they've appeared in a physical print form.
As Aces Weekly is a landscape format comic, it threw up a bit of a problem for transferring to print. Should it be a landscape comic? David decided otherwise, and he's come up with Widescreen PsychoVision, which means that when you open the A4 comic you rotate it 90 degrees to read the stories. This is great for two reasons; firstly you get you see David's detailed art in a nice big size, and secondly it's a bit like reading the A3 size Topper or Beezer comics of old.
They're all short stories, with none lasting more than six pages, but are well told examples of how to do snappy comedy-horror tales. The quality of the printing is superb too, with rich colours and sharp reproduction. In comics tradition there's even a pull-out double-sided poster, although putting it on your bedroom wall might bring you nightmares. 

The thing that impresses me the most though is how much David Leach has progressed as an artist since those days on Oink! Like most of us on that comic back then, he was just starting out and finding his style. Now it's well established and he has a good understanding of his craft. 

Psycho Gran Comic Capers Cavalcade No.2 has 36 full colour A4 pages for £5 plus postage. To buy a copy, contact the Psycho Gran Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/PsychoGran/

...or the publisher's Facebook page, Dead Universe Comics:
https://www.facebook.com/DeadUniverse/

...or if you're in the neighbourhood, visit the Dead Universe Comics shop at 5 Bourbon Street, Friars Square Shopping Centre, HP20 2PZ Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.






INFINITY No.23 out this week

There'll be a new issue of Infinity in the shops this Thursday. If you haven't seen this magazine it's worth seeking out for fans of cult tv, movies, toys, and comics! Last month's issue had an article on Krazy comic and the latest one will feature Look and Learn

It's a great magazine for just £3.99 and you'll find it in W.H. Smiths or you can buy it directly from the publisher at http://infinitymagazine.co.uk/shop/



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

This week's COMMANDO comics...

Cover previews and synopsis of the four issues of Commando heading to shops this week!

5279: Home of Heroes: A Boy Goes To War

In World War One “as many as 250,000 boys under the age of 18 served in the British Army…” according to the BBC. This Commando is inspired by them as the hero, Tom Cowrie, illegally signs on to do his part. Spurred on by his brother’s heroic letters, Tom runs away from home only to find out that the war is nothing like his brother had described, and in the harsh reality of the trenches he was just a boy who went to war.

| Story | Iain McLaughlin | Art | Manuel Benet | Cover | Manuel Benet |


5280: Gold Collection: The Savage Sky 

A stunning aerial Ian Kennedy cover sits atop this classic Commando issue from 1973! With amazing artwork by Mira depicting the Commando staple tropes of a reluctant hero and a pilot attached to a bomber squadron when he’d rather be flying fighters. In this case, Pilot Officer Andy Seymour is booted off Hurricanes and onto a mammoth Boeing Fortress – but Seymour will soon learn the flying beasts are equally as dangerous in the sky!

| Story | Staff | Art | Mira | Cover | Ian Kennedy |
Originally Commando No. 772 (1973).


5281: Action and Adventure: On Your Bikes!

Ferg Handley tackles comedy in this World War One story. The Army Cyclist Corps wasn’t Lieutenant Arthur ‘Gormless’ Gormley’s first choice to join, but he was determined to do his bit — even if he did fall off his bike again and again. He had originally wanted to join the cavalry but that’s a different story! 

| Story | Ferg Handley | Art | Morhain & Defeo | Cover | Ian Kennedy |


5282: Silver Collection: The Paras Are Here!

Phil Gascoine’s fiery cover for ‘The Paras Are Here!’ is very emblematic of McDevitt’s tumultuous plot within, which focuses on two sergeants before D-Day who lay the groundwork for the invasion. Sergeant Joe Cougan is already stressed, but when the young, clumsy PIAT gunner, Private Andy Bruce, is around Joe’s stress levels go through the roof! And it’s only made worse when his rival Sergeant Sam Gleeson, tells him to cut the kid a break!

| Story | McDevitt | Art | Keith Shone | Cover | Phil Gascoine |
Originally Commando No. 2544 (1992).



Preview: KEN REID'S WORLD WIDE WEIRDIES



 
In just two week's time, Rebellion will publish their latest Ken Reid collection, and it's a real winner! World Wide Weirdies collects the first two years of full page illustrations that Ken drew for Shiver and Shake and Whoopee! back in the mid-1970s, and they're all reproduced in full colour as in the original comics. 

The "weirdies" were mostly from ideas sent in by the readers and it's clear that Ken must have relished drawing them. These detailed, comic-horror images are easily on a par with his 1960s work for Odhams. In other words, some of the best work of his career! You owe it to yourselves to treat yourselves for Christmas or ask someone to buy you this book as a present. It deserves a place on the bookshelves of everyone who enjoys great artwork! 

Hopefully Rebellion will bring us more Ken Reid classics in the years to come. There's still quite a lot to choose from; Sub and the other football strips from Scorcher, Banger and Masher from Valiant, Tom Horror's World from Whoopee! and of course more Faceache from Buster! (Personally I think Banger and Masher is a good one but it doesn't seem to be a strip that most people remember.) 

Plus it would be great if D.C. Thomson would publish a Jonah collection! 

Anyway, enough waffle from me. Here's the Press Release from Rebellion, along with a few sample pages I'm able to show you...

CREATIVE TEAM: Ken Reid
RELEASE DATE: 28 November 2019
HARDCOVER, 112 pages
PRICE: £19.99 (UK) $24.99 (US)
ISBN: 9781781086926
DIAMOND: SEP191942

Glorious grotesques from around the globe! Beautiful and bizarre illustration collection from the legendary British cartoonist (ir)responsible for Faceache released to coincide with the holidays! World Wide Weirdies collects the almost weekly run of Reid's beautifully bizarre illustrations from IPC's Whoopee! and Shiver and Shake. Usually displayed in color on the back cover, they are among the most striking images to have appeared in British comics!
Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and UK comic book stores via Diamond.


Available in digital from: Treasury of British Comics webshop & apps for iPadAndroid and Windows 10




Monday, November 11, 2019

TV21 No.243 still available!

Five years ago, Network produced a special one-off issue of TV21 as part of their Supermarionation box set. Well, the good news is that copies of that comic, and its free gift, are still available to buy from the Official Gerry Anderson Store! 
Basically, this is a complete 24 page comic, tabloid sized like the original TV21 of the 1960s with all-new material. Its numbering continues from TV21's first series before it was relaunched as TV21 and Joe 90. The premise is that it's an issue from an alternate history where that revamp never took place and TV21 No.243 was published in September 1969 instead of TV21 and Joe 90 No.1. Brilliant eh? 

Creatives involved include John Burns, Martin Asbury, Gerry Embleton, Mike Collins, Brian Williamson, Graham Bleathman, Paul McCaffrey, John Freeman... and me! (I created a new Zoony the Lazoon strip.) 

Strips include all the Gerry Anderson properties that were around had the comic actually been published in the 1960s, so that means Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Secret Service and more! 
That's not all. The comic comes complete with a set of six Mini-Cover Postcards showing the next six covers (had they been published)... and an exclusive Supermarionation Nostalgic Postcards set. 

So, set course for 1969 on a parallel Earth... or just visit the following link to order your copy! 

(If you want to know more about this issue, check out my review from 2014:

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

The End is Nigh!

As you know, I'll be ending this blog in a few weeks' time. At the moment I haven't decided on a date yet. In any case, Blimey! will close before 2020 dawns. 

The reasons why I'm ending this blog are varied, and I'll explain more in my final posting in a few weeks. Basically though, I feel I've done my bit promoting British comics over the past 13 years and it's time to put more effort into promoting my own work. That means of course that my Lew Stringer Comics blog will continue! 

Bear in mind that Blimey! won't be deleted. I'll just stop updating it. All the old posts will still be there to read.

In the meantime, I still have comics I promised to plug, and other posts to write so this blog still has a little bit of life in it yet! More news and reviews to come this week. 

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Who owns what?

Questions and confusion about who owns copyright of the old comics and characters often pops up online and at conventions. Writer and editor John Freeman has taken the time and effort to write a detailed article about it on his Down the Tubes blog to help fans understand he situation. You can read it (and bookmark it for future reference) at this link:
https://downthetubes.net/?page_id=101053


Saturday, November 09, 2019

Power Packed Prints!

Apologies for the flash reflection. It's not on the actual print of course.
My thanks to Irmantas Povilaika for sending me these superb A4 prints, scanned from Ken Reid's original artwork! And copies of them could be yours too! As I explained on my blog the other week, they're part of a new Christmas incentive for new buyers of The Power Pack of Ken Reid books, which reprint all of Ken's 1960s work for Odhams. 

Buy volume 1 and you'll get the Frankie Stein prints, scanned from Ken's original art for Wham!
Photograph of part of the print.
Buy volume 2 and you'll get the Dare-A-Day Davy prints scanned from Ken's original art for Pow! 
Photograph of part of the print.
Buy both books and you'll get the Frankie and Davy prints plus two extra prints which show enlarged versions of the panels where Ken Reid caricatured himself and writer Walter Thorburn...
Who can resist? You need these books! Zip along to Irmantas' shop now and place your order:
https://www.kazoop-comics-shop.com






Cover preview: BEANO No.4011

On sale in newsagents and supermarkets from Wednesday 13th November, Beano No.4011 brings us another 36 packed pages of fun. The cover art is by Nigel Parkinson depicting Minnie Poppins, and inside, the three-page Minnie the Minx story by Andy Fanton and Laura Howell sees Minnie meet Mandy Ploppins! 

All the other regulars are in the issue too, with the Bash Street Kids, Dennis and Gnasher, Billy Whizz and more. Plus another Pup Parade strip from me, with this week's spotlight being on Manfrid! 
Beano No.4011, on sale 13th November, priced £2.75.


Friday, November 08, 2019

Cover preview: 2000AD Prog 2157

In the shops next Wednesday, but the cover is yours to look at today!

UK and DIGITAL: 13th November 2019 £2.99
NORTH AMERICA: 13th December 2019 $25.19 (per pack)
DIAMOND: SEP191936
COVER: Cliff Robinson (a) Dylan Teague (c)
In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: GUATEMALA by John Wagner (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
DEFOE: THE DIVISOR by Pat Mills (w) SK Moore (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
BRINK: HATE BOX by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
HOPE: UNDER FIRE by Guy Adams (w) Jimmy Broxton (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
THE FALL OF DEADWORLD: DOOMED by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)


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



Thursday, November 07, 2019

Jinty's CONCRETE SURFER to be collected next summer

Glancing at the books section of Amazon earlier I noticed that June 2020 will see the publication of Concrete Surfer by Pat Mills and Christine Ellingham. This story first appeared in Jinty in 1978.

The description on Amazon reads:
Sent home to Britain after her parents fail to establish a new life in Australia, Jean Everidge is forced to rely on family charity, moving in with her Aunt, Uncle and cousin Carol, successful gymnast, beloved of teachers and pupils alike, and all round charming “top girl”. Jean has one solace left to her – skateboarding, surfing the concrete pavement, while forgetting all her troubles, and feel free.

But Jean’s freestyling talent soon attracts attention, and if there’s one thing Carol can’t stand, it’s being out of the spotlight. With the new skatepark freestyle contest coming up, just how far will Carol go to stay number one?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Concrete-Surfer-Pat-Mills/dp/1781087636

Jenni Scott's excellent blog A Resource on Jinty, featured a post on the strip a while ago and you can read it at the following link, although it does contain spoilers so I didn't read the whole entry. The blog itself is well worth following though!
https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/concrete-surfer-1978/

It's good to know that Rebellion will be bringing us more classics from the girls' comics. Christine Ellingham is an artist who is new to me so it's good to discover her art 40 years on! These well-told tales and superb artwork deserve to be seen by a new generation, and the emotional punch of their storylines makes a nice balance to the action-orientated stories from the boys' comics of yesteryear. 

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SPOOKIDS! New comic from Marc Jackson

Macclesfield-based cartoonist Marc Jackson is launching his latest humour comic at the Thought Bubble Festival in Harrogate this weekend. Spookids is a 24 page colour comic full of Marc's usual fast paced fun. It's a four-issue mini-series and No.1 is available to buy now from his Etsy store:
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/728041612/new-spookids-1

Here's a preview of the first two pages!


Wednesday, November 06, 2019

'The Best of 2000AD' launches in 2020

Cover of the first issue by Jamie McKelvie.
News just in from Rebellion, announcing their highest ever profile ‘direct market’ release, showcasing the finest stories of the UK publication’s modern era!

2000 AD today announces it is launching a brand new title in April 2020 – Best of 2000 AD – as a new 12-issue US-format, perfect-bound series featuring a selection of the most incendiary and exciting new science-fiction comics from the legendary UK publisher.

Launching in April 2020, Best of 2000 AD is intended as the ultimate 2000 AD mix-tape – an anthology of full-colour stories specially chosen to be accessible to a whole new generation of comic readers who may never have picked up 2000 AD in its traditional format.

The first new major monthly title from the British publisher in almost 30 years, the first 100-page issue will be headlined by a self-contained 48-page Judge Dredd adventure and supported by three of the stand-out series from the ‘Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’, primarily focusing on the critically-acclaimed Rebellion era.

The title boasts brand-new covers from an all-star line-up of New York Times best-selling and Eisner award-winning artists including Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked and The Divine), Becky Cloonan (Gotham Academy), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), and Annie Wu (Hawkeye), with more to be revealed.

The entire 12-issue volume will feature design by highly-acclaimed designer Tom Muller (House of X/Powers of X).

“There are very few comics that have had – and continue to have – the impact of 2000 AD,” said 2000 AD editor Matt Smith. “But we often hear, ‘where do I start reading?’. With Best of 2000 AD that question has a brand new answer – accessible, contemporary, high-quality story-telling, available every month direct from your local comic book store. There’s never been a better way to discover some of the best modern comics.”

Following Rebellion’s hugely successful ‘Day of Dredd’ in September, which reached over 20 million individual social media accounts and saw international sales spike, during which comic stores, libraries and creators celebrated the cultural impact of the fan-favourite character Judge Dredd, Best of 2000 AD is the next step in building a wider international audience, and stands as a major jewel in the crown of Rebellion’s 2020 publishing initiatives. 

“It’s called the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic for a reason,” said Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley. “If you love your comics dangerous, thrilling and life-affirming but have never read 2000 AD then this is your moment. This new publication is precision-engineered for new and curious readers. We want the Best of 2000 AD to convert a whole new generation into 2000 AD readers for life.”

The first issue of Best of 2000 AD is scheduled for release in late April 2020. It will be available from comic book stores through Diamond Distribution in North America and the UK.




Meanwhile, on my other blog...

Don't forget that this blog (Blimey!) will cease to be updated in a few weeks after one last post... but my other blog Lew Stringer Comics will continue. Bookmark it now for future news and updates about my work.
http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com


Preview: MARVEL LEGENDS No.18

On sale tomorrow, published by Panini UK...

Marvel Legends Vol. 4 018. On sale 7th November 2019. £4.99.

76 action-packed pages starring Marvel’s Big 3!

With Sharon missing, Cap must single-handedly invade the stronghold of his enemies! But even if he makes it through, what’s waiting for him is a hundred times more formidable: Taskmaster! By Ta-Nehisi Coates & Leinil Francis Yu.

Iron Man isn't a suit. It's an idea born from the mind of Tony Stark. And in a place where thought and reality are one and the same, a place where Tony's imagination is unchecked, what kind of terrifying, all-powerful Iron Man armor will be born?! By Dan Slott & Valerio Schiti. 

ALL-FATHER THOR FACES HIS DOOM! If you thought Old Man Phoenix was crazy, then wait’ll you see what we’ve done to Marvel’s greatest villain. It’s the end of the universe — and the return of Doctor Doom. A Doom more powerful than anything that has ever lived. Get ready for the greatest battle the far future has ever seen, as Old King Thor and the Phoenix Wolverine stand together at the end of time against an army of monsters and the final Doom. By Jason Aaron & Christain Ward.

Reprinting material from Captain America #4, Tony Stark: Iron Man #10 and Thor #6.
https://store.panini.co.uk/marvel-collectors-editions


Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Smash! Pow! Fantastic Fireworks Fun from 51 Years Ago!

One last fireworks post, and it's a trip back in time to 1968 when Odhams' last remaining comic was Smash! and Pow! incorporating Fantastic. Yes, those wonderfully lively, unpredictable comics had all merged into one by this stage. (This is the second merge issue.) A few months later, IPC would take charge and completely revamp Smash! to fall in line with Fleetway's other comics... but for today, let's appreciate what this great issue had to offer for Bonfire Night. The Odhams comics were some of the most outrageous comics ever published for children. The comedy violence and level of mischief would cause an uproar if it appeared in kids' comics today, so I hope you enjoy this selection! 

The cover strip, The Swots and the Blots, was by Mike Lacey. It's a common myth that Leo Baxendale drew this strip from the start. Not true. Leo only drew the one in issue 159 and then took over with the first revamp issue in March 1969. His version was incredible and brilliant, but let's appreciate the version that Mike Lacey gave us in this issue. 
Inside the comic, readers had a glorious mixture of funnies, adventure strips, and American reprint in the form of the Fantastic Four, Thor, and Batman! I'm just focusing on the firework-related strips today though...

Bad Penny! Now this one was by Leo Baxendale, although several other artists drew lots of episodes too. It's possible that Mike Brown may have inked this one (as Leo and Mike did collaborate during this time) but it looks all-Leo to me...

The Cloak, written and drawn by Mike Higgs. One of my favourite comic strips of the 1960s and a huge inspiration on my work. 

The Nervs! Ken Reid had recently taken over the art on this strip and turned it into one of the greatest comic strips ever. (and Remember, Remember that all of Ken's 1960s Odhams work has been collected in two volumes. Click here for more info.)

Smash! was my favourite comic as a child, and these strips (and others) are the reason. Truly fantastic! Happy November 5th! 

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Remember, remember... one of the greatest comics ever

As it's now November 5th it's an appropriate time to remember one of the greatest graphic novels of all time. Or the less pretentious "fat comics" as its author once called such books. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd made its debut in Des Skinn's anthology comic Warrior No.1 back in 1982, and made an immediate impact on its readers. 
Nothing quite like it had appeared in British comics before, or since. A political thriller with an anarchist as its hero, fighting a corrupted Britain of the (then) near future of 1997. Oh sure, there had been many anti-heroes in UK comics before, and there had been many scenarios of a Britain under a corrupt government (usually via a hostile takeover by a foreign power)... but V for Vendetta was about our own government becoming fascistic, and its treatment of its people. Shades of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, certainly, but a new concept for a British adventure comic. 
The protagonist had the perfect disguise; inspired by Guy Fawkes and wearing a mask to suit, he succeeded where Fawkes had failed, and blew up the Houses of Parliament in episode one. A few issues later, the Old Bailey copped it too, after V gave a stirring speech about Madam Justice not being the lover he once knew. 

It wasn't all about buildings exploding though. The vendetta was dealt to individuals too, who had abused their power and their people. All conveyed with Alan Moore's eloquent writing and David Lloyd's dark, perfectly atmospheric artwork. 

There's more to the story than that... but those of you who have read it won't be interested in me writing a synopsis (I hate reviews that are just synopses) and those of you who haven't read it (if you've reached this far) won't want any spoilers. Perhaps your only knowledge of V for Vendetta is from the movie version of 2005? As movie adaptations go, it had its moments (I felt that Hugo Weaving's voice and delivery was perfect for V) but also had too many changes and not the right tone or depth. To experience V for Vendetta at it's best, read the graphic novel. 

The original comic strips were published in black and white when it appeared in Warrior, but when DC Comics reprinted it, they wanted it in colour to appeal to American collectors who were more used to colour comics. I still prefer the black and white version, but it has to be said that the subtle use of colours under the guideship of David Lloyd works well. 

No article on V for Vendetta today would be complete if I ignored the item of merchandise seen across the world. The 'V' masks, bought in huge quantities and now worn by demonstrators on protests against real life governments. Life has imitated art.

Remember, remember, the 5th of November then... and be safe on Bonfire Night. Why not curl up with a good book instead? And there are few better than V for Vendetta! Check if your local bookshop or library has a copy. 

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Monday, November 04, 2019

JANUS STARK returns!

Great news for fans of the popular Smash! strip Janus Stark. Rebellion are releasing a 48 page comic reprinting some of his classic adventures later this month! Available exclusively via mail order. Written by Tom Tully, with art on most episodes by Francisco Solano Lopez... although Tom Kerr drew some early episodes too, as seen in these samples below. 

Here's the PR direct from Rebellion with all the info...

Treasury of British Comics announces new special perfect-bound magazine featuring the first adventures of the rubber-boned Victorian escapologist!

“Behold, Janus Stark! Master of illusion, son of the unknown! No lock can fetter me … no rope or chain can bind my limbs!”

Prepare to be astounded and amazed as Rebellion Publishing brings a long-forgotten master of the uncanny, Janus Stark!
Art: Francisco Solano Lopez.
The Incredible Adventures of Janus Stark is a perfect-bound 48-page magazine showcasing one of the forgotten heroes of the heyday of British comics – a rubber-boned Victorian escapologist capable of incredible feats of agility and able to squeeze through the smallest gaps!

It will be available exclusively from the Treasury of British Comics webshop from 27th November, with online pre-orders from 4th November. Early preview copies will be available from the 2000 AD stand at the Thought Bubble convention in Harrogate this weekend (Tables 10-12, Comixology Originals Hall).

This is first in a series of specials from Rebellion bringing classic British heroes out of the archive and back onto the page. It follows the company’s acquisition of the vast IPC back catalogue in 2017, creating the world’s biggest archive of English-language comics and encompassing more than a century of comic book publishing.
Art: Tom Kerr.

The Incredible Adventures of Janus Stark collection begins with his very first adventure in the pages of Smash from 1969. Written by Tom Tully and drawn by Francisco Solano L√≥pez, the series ran in syndication until 1971 and was one of the few to survive Smash’s merger into Valiant in 1971.

Janus Stark is an escapologist in Victorian London who appears to be a simple music hall act, but who privately uses his extraordinary abilities to battle crime and injustice. With an unusually flexible bone structure, Stark is able him to get out of an astonishing variety of tight situations at will, all the while either dressed in a three-piece suit or with his shirt off – a unique, unusual, and quintessentially British character.

Born in 1840 as the orphan Jonas Clarke, he was sent to an orphanage where he was mistreated, but escaped and lived in the streets. There he befriended a beggar, Blind Largo, who taught him pickpocketing but also trained Clarke to use his unique gift. As an adult, Clarke became Janus Stark, escapologist and private detective!
Art: Tom Kerr.
Oliver Pickles, editor at Rebellion Publishing, said: “Janus Stark is such an interesting character, but perhaps more beloved abroad that at home, after all his adventures continued with original stories in his own comic in France which culminated with his death in 1990, and none of those tales have been translated back into English. But this is a chance to restore his profile as a mainstay of classic British comic characters in the start of this series of affordable collections of his adventures.”

The Incredible Adventures of Janus Stark 48-page perfect-bound magazine is out on 27th November and available to pre-order now from www.treasuryofbritishcomics.com.


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