Thursday, February 28, 2019

This week's art auction..

Just a quick reminder that there's another couple of pieces by me on eBay this week. Original artwork with a new Tom Thug drawing and a Pete and his Pimple page from 30 years ago. All bids welcome! 

More info on my eBay page here. Good luck if you're bidding!
https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/graphite47?_trksid=p2047675.l2559



Ken Reid T-shirts!

I mentioned the other week that Rebellion has produced a Faceache T-shirt, well now there's another one showcasing Ken Reid artwork. The Creepy Creations T-shirt features The Fanatical Fungus-Grower of Frogpool, a fantastic monster that Ken drew for the back cover of Shiver and Shake No.4 back in 1973! 

Recently, readers were invited to vote for which Creepy Creation should appear on a T-shirt and the Fungus-Grower won. Deservedly so, as it's a smashing piece of artwork by Ken at his best! 

The T-shirts come in a variety of colours, are available from today, and can be ordered directly from Rebellion here:
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue//XRC019

...and as you'll need more than one T-shirt this summer, don't forget the Faceache one here:
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue//XRC018

...and of course the whole range of books and specials from The Treasury of British Comics!
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/



Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Dan Dare in Blackpool!

First published in Eagle in 1962, The Evil One is a story in a new collection of Dan Dare tales to be published by Titan Books this September. 

This is from the era when Dan Dare had been relegated to black and white inside the comic. A far cry from the character's glory days in the 1950s when he was prominent on the front cover in full colour every week. 

The Evil One sees Dan and his loyal sidekick Digby encounter an alien fugitive... in Blackpool! It may not sound like Dare's finest hour but the artwork by Keith Watson is top class and the script by David Motton is suitably entertaining. As these strips have never been reprinted before they're sure to be of interest to fans of the series!




With Titan's Dan Dare books and Rebellion's numerous Treasury of British Comics collections we're living in a golden age of British comics reprints! 

You can pre-order Dan Dare: The Evil One here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dan-Dare-Evil-Graphic-Novel/dp/1785862936


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Cover preview: COMIC SCENE No.2

Editor and publisher Tony Foster has given us an advance look at the cover to Comic Scene No.2, which goes on sale next month. Amongst its many contents there'll be features on Marvel UK, the 2000AD version of Dan Dare, comics conventions, and a new column written by me. 

My article will be part of the new Corker! section and will focus on British humour comics. Basically it's bringing an element of Blimey! into print, so although this blog is being updated far less than it used to be you'll still be able to read articles by me in the pages of Comic Scene instead!

You can pre-order Comic Scene No.2 directly from the publisher at this website here:
https://tictail.com/comicscene/comicscene-uk-vol-2-issue-2-pre-order

Remember that Comic Scene Vol.2 No.1 is in the shops right now! A great issue featuring 12 pages of features on football comics plus loads of other features including articles on Mike Western, Batman, Marshal Law, the early days of Marvel UK, indie comics, and much more! You'll find it in WH Smith (next to SFX, 2000AD, etc), selected branches of Sainsbury, Easons, and McColls, and comic shops across the UK.  

Robo-Capers art for sale

As several people have been asking me if I have any of my original Robo-Capers strips for sale, I've put a couple on eBay this week. I don't have many left now so when they're gone, they're gone. (Unless the buyers resell them in the future of course.) Some of my earliest published work!

Robo-Capers was a humour strip I created for Marvel UK's The Transformers comic and ran there for about three years in the mid-1980s until it was replaced by Combat Colin when Action Force merged into Transformers. 

People have often asked me ion I'll be publishing a Robo-Capers collection. I'm afraid not, as the rights are still held by Marvel (and I can't see them publishing a humour book anytime soon).  

Anyway, as I said, there are a couple of my Robo-Capers strips on eBay. This is the original art, over 30 years old but still flat and clean. Take a look if you're interested. Bidding ends this Sunday, 24th February...

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/graphite47 


Thursday, February 21, 2019

The popularity of girls' comics

Admittedly I haven't posted about girls' comics very often here. Not because of any irrational dislike of them but because I haven't read that many. As a boy growing up in the 1960s it just didn't occur to me to read comics for girls, and as I didn't have a sister we never had such comics in the house. Later on, I guess I assumed the stories were just based around romance and ballet and wouldn't have any appeal. 

It was Pat Mills who piqued my curiosity as he's often championed girls' comics (and of course he created Misty for IPC 41 years ago). Going on Pat's recommendation I bought the first two years of Tammy and the second year of Misty from eBay sellers, along with a few copies of various other titles such as Diana and Bunty. Pat was right. The stories in girls' comics often have more of an emotional punch, whereas boys' comics tended to be more about punch-ups. Subsequently the stories in comics such as Tammy and Misty engage the reader more with the character, rather than the conflict. The differences aren't always that simple of course but that's it in a nutshell. 

Obviously Pat and his fellow editors of those classic girls' comics knew what they were doing as sales were often higher than the boys' weeklies. It's tragic that the market has been lost, but Rebellion hope to try and reignite it this summer with a new Tammy and Jinty Special on 27th June!

I still haven't read many of the girls' comics I bought but I'll get around to it. (I have loads of other unread comics and books to get through.) 

Anyway, my main reason for this post is to let you know that Pat Mills is currently writing about girls' comics on his blog, and as he knows his stuff it's worth a look:
https://www.millsverse.com/girlscomics1/

Pat's blog is worth visiting any day of course. With over 40 years experience in comics his insights into his craft, and the industry, are essential reading. Don't forget to buy his books too! Read 'Em and Weep, a fictional story closely satirising the UK comics industry is brilliant. Two books at present, and unmissable!
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodnight-John-boy-Read-Em-Weep/dp/099566126X



To find out more about girls' comics, Jenni Scott's blog is definitely a place to go:



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Captain Marvel comes to British newsstands

The March issue of Panini UK's The Mighty World of Marvel begins a new series with the arrival of Captain Marvel to its pages. The 100 page comic reprints the first chapter of The Life of Captain Marvel by Margaret Stohl (writer) and artists Carlos Pacheco and Marguerite Sauvage which was published in the USA last year. 
This is a wise move by editor Scott Gray as this issue of The Mighty World of Marvel goes on sale on Thursday 7th March, and Marvel's latest movie, Captain Marvel, opens in the UK the very next day. A great way to catch the eye of casual browsers in WH Smith and pull in new readers to the world of comics! 

The Mighty World of Marvel Vol.7 No.13 costs £4.99 and also features strips starring The Thing and The Human Torch, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Hawkeye. MWOM is published every four weeks.

Anticipation for the Captain Marvel movie is high, with first reports proclaiming it a hit. It stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and is set in the 1990s with Danvers discovering her origins and fighting Skulls. The 21st movie in the 11-year Marvel Movie Universe, it will lead into Avengers: Endgame, the blockbuster finalé in April. (Although there will be more Marvel movies to come.)
See the trailer for Captain Marvel here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LHxvxdRnYc



STOKE-CON-TRENT 10 is coming this April!

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be reuniting with my old comics pals David Leach and Lee Sullivan for Stoke-Con-Trent 10 on Sunday 14th April, my first convention for 2019. Looking forward to meeting up with readers old and new! Come along and join us! The venue is Staffordshire University, Stoke-On-Trent, a couple of minutes walk from the railway station. More guests to be announced soon!
http://stokecontrent.co.uk/cartoon-and-comic-arts/


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Preview: JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE NO.405

As you know, I'm not posting on Blimey! as often as I did, and the blog will end later this year, but I thought I'd give the latest Judge Dredd Magazine a plug because it's brilliant!

Judge Dredd Magazine No.405 is on sale this Wednesday, 20th February, and the comic is on top form these days. Just look at the sample pages shown here. Anyone who thinks British comics aren't as well illustrated as they used to be clearly isn't looking very hard. 

This issue also contains a nice tribute to the superb artist Ron Smith, who passed away recently.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the info and sample pages. Don't miss it!

UK and DIGITAL: 20th February 2019 £5.99
NORTH AMERICA: 20th March 2019 $13
DIAMOND: DEC182016
COVER: NICK PERCIVAL

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: PLANTED by Rory McConville (w) Jake Lynch (a) Jim Boswell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)


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


STORM WARNING: GREEN & PLEASANT LAND by John Reppion, Leah Moore (w) Tom Foster (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Simon Bowland  (l)


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: 
Ron Smith obituary, new games, Paul Jenkins interview

Bagged reprint: 
Operation: Overlord Vol.2


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

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Day They Changed Smash!

It's almost 50 years to the week when IPC totally revamped Smash! into an almost unrecognisable comic. The new-look Smash! had its fans, but the changes were a step too far for some of us. I eventually warmed to it, but the unique comic it had been was sorely missed. 

A few years ago I blogged about the changes, and if you missed that article you can read it here:
https://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-big-smash-revamp-of-1969.html

Incidentally, I've put The Swots and the Blots into a cameo appearance in the all-new Cor!! and Buster Special, on sale 17th April! 
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue//B0011



Saturday, February 16, 2019

Fleetway flyer for sale

Bidding ends this Sunday on this rare newsagents' flyer for the 1973 IPC annuals. All bids welcome:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IPC-ANNUALS-FLYER-FOR-1973/202593445677

Meanwhile, on my other blog...

As some of you missed the announcement, I'm winding down my Blimey! blog this year so you'll see far less posts here. However, my other blog, which focuses on my own work, LewStringerComics will continue. Over there today, I'm blogging about the time I drew Fred's Bed for The Beano, and showing my pencilled roughs compared to the finished inks. Take a look:
http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com/2019/02/freds-bed-2007.html


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

EIGHT new specials coming our way from Rebellion this year!

Rebellion Publishing have just announced the titles of the specials they'll be publishing this year... and there are more than we expected! We already knew about some, such as the Cor!! and Buster Special and the 2000AD Villains Takeover Special but there will also be several more!

The supplied image states that these aren't the final covers. Hopefully the Cor!! and Buster Special will use the original logos (which were very strong and stylishly timeless).

Anyway, here's the press release...

Rebellion is making holidays special again this year with a whole slate of classic comic book specials for new readers and nostalgic parents alike!

We're resurrecting some of the most beloved comic books in British history – from humour to football, from superheroes to girls’ comics, they'll be packed with all-new material!

SEVEN new specials will be storming the newsstands between April and October, each one honouring a different part of the British comic industry - the Cor!! and Buster Special, 2000 AD Villains Takeover Special, 2000 AD Regened, 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special, Tammy and Jinty Special, The Vigilant, Roy of the Rovers 65th Anniversary Special, Scream and Misty Presents The Thirteenth Floor.

Buster and Cor!! were two of the biggest humour comics in Britain – and now they’re back and they’ve brought their friends! The 48-page Cor!! and Buster Special will hit newsstands in on 17th April, retailing at £4.99. From the world’s naughtiest baby, Sweeny Toddler, to Gums, the most incompetent shark in the seven seas, this one-shot special will feature top comics talent including a cover by Neil Googe (The Flash), and strips by Ned Hartley (Star Wars), Cavan Scott (Doctor Who), John Freeman (Crucible), Lew Stringer (Combat Colin), Abigail Bulmer (2000 AD) and Tanya Roberts (TMNT)!
The dastardly and the iniquitous will be taking over 2000 AD on 4th May – the 32-page US-format 2000 AD Villains Takeover special sees the baddies from some of the 2000 AD’s biggest strips, including Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, and Sláine, get their moment in the spotlight! Available only from comic book stores for the low price of just 99p/99c!

On 8th May, the kids are taking over as 2000 AD gives way to 2000 AD Regened – a one-off special issue of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic intended for all ages! Following the massively successful Free Comic Book Day issue of Regened in 2018, the pint-sized anti-heroes return for another bumper Prog for kids of all ages and species! 2000 AD Prog 2130 will be 100 packed pages, retailing at £4.99 from all good stockists!

In 2018, the comics world lost one of its best creators – Carlos Ezquerra. This June, the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special will pay tribute to the co-creator of Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog with a special issue focusing on some of his greatest moments. It will also include his unpublished work on Specter, a new series he was working on with long-time collaborator John Wagner. The 48-page special hits shelves on 19th June at £4.99.

In the 1970s and 1980s, comics aimed at girls outsold those aimed at boys – and Tammy and Jinty were two of the biggest titles. This June, these classic titles return, retooled for the 21st Century and with a host of new creators producing high-quality strips that pay tribute to the legacy of trail-blazing comics while introducing a new audience to the medium! The 48-page Tammy and Jinty Special lands on 27 June, priced at £4.99.

After its smash hit debut last year, The Vigilant returns in August, resurrecting the greatest home-grown superheroes Britain has to offer – a team unlike any other, a challenge none have faced before! Even if superhero comics have never been your thing, take up the call of The Vigilant with this 64-page special – out on 14th August , priced at £4.99.

Following his spectacular return to comics, Roy of the Rovers gets his first new special in September for his 65th birthday and the start of the new footie season! The golden-footed hero is back for a new generation! The Roy of the Rovers 65th Anniversary Special kicks off on 11th September with a bumper 128-page £9.99 issue!

And in time for Hallowe’en, the Scream and Misty Presents The Thirteenth Floor arrives on 16th October with a 48-page £4.99 special filled with the best chills that British comics can deliver! Created by John Wagner, Alan Grant, and José Ortiz, The Thirteenth Floor is where the homicidal caretaker computer Max puts those he doesn't like – a mysterious floor of the tower block he controls where he keeps their worst fears. Few, if any, survive if they get on Max’s wrong side!

All the Rebellion specials will be available from good newsagents, as well as comic book stores via Diamond Distribution, and through 2000 AD’s webshop and apps.

Release dates for six of the specials are:

Cor!! and Buster Special - 17th April
2000 AD Villains Special - 1st May
2000 AD Sci-Fi Special Carlos Ezquerra Tribute - 19th June
Tammy and Jinty Special - 27th June
The Vigilant - 14th August

Scream and Misty Presents The Thirteenth Floor – 16th October

A mock up by me, using the original logos.
Rebellion currently have a special offer where you can order six of the eight specials as a bundle. The page to go to is here:
https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/specials/B0011




Saturday, February 09, 2019

The funniest strips in British comics history

Humour is subjective of course, but I've never met anyone who grew up on the work of Ken Reid who didn't think he was a genius. As far as I'm concerned, Ken produced the funniest strips ever seen in British comics; in particular his 1960s work for Odhams when he was at his peak. 

Last year, Ken's entire output for Odhams was collected into two quality hardback books published under license by Irmantas Pavilaika. Volume 1 collects all of Ken's Frankie Stein and Jasper the Grasper strips that appeared in Wham! and Volume 2 features the complete Queen of the Seas and Ken's stint on The Nervs that he did for Smash! and the complete Dare-A-Day Davy that appeared in Pow! 
Under the title The Power Pack of Ken Reid, the two volumes feature excellent printing and reproduction of those classic strips, and also carry bonus feature pages with exclusive never-before seen artwork from Ken Reid! 
Rebellion (who now own the rights to that material) recently had a limited number of the books on their online store, and swiftly sold out. However, the good news is that Irmantas still has copies left and you can buy them directly from him from his webshop:
https://www.kazoop-comics-shop.com
Each book contains 200 pages of top quality material and are the definitive collections of a great comics creator at his very best. The volumes deserve a place on your bookshelves, so don't miss out!


Order them today: 

The Power Pack volumes are a perfect accompaniment to the two books published by Rebellion; Faceache and Creepy Creations. You can order those here:
...and there's even a Faceache T-shirt available now! Order that from the Treasury shop too!


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

The future of this blog:
As stated at the end of last year, I'll be winding down this blog during 2019. That means far less posts than I used to do... until they cease altogether. My other blog will continue though, and you can find that here:


Wednesday, February 06, 2019

FRANK FAZAKERLY: The early work of Bryan Talbot

Like many of us in the comics industry, Bryan Talbot started out producing "small press" comics, with very limited print runs and even more limited distribution. Many years before Bryan was a high profile graphic novel creator, famed for his work on books such as One Bad Rat and Grandville, he created Frank Fazakerly, Space Ace of the Future

These science fiction comic-adventures first appeared 40 years ago, and stories were later collected into a comic by the Preston SF Group in 1991. The A5 sized comic had 20 pages (plus card covers) and had a limited print run of just 1,000. 

Although less sophisticated than Bryan's later work, Frank Fazakerly still displayed the imagination and detail that the artist became renowned for. Even 40 years ago it was clearly evident that this was a creator who understood comics, - and it's good fun too!

If you're interested, I'm selling this issue on eBay at the moment. It's signed by Bryan Talbot and is numbered 946/1000. Bidding ends on Sunday 10th February. To find out more, go here:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BRYAN-TALBOTS-FRANK-FAZAKERLY-1991-RARE-SIGNED/202586954228

Good luck if you're bidding! 


Monday, February 04, 2019

COMIC SCENE returns to newsagents on February 21st

The first issue in the new series of Comic Scene will be on sale from Thursday 21st February. You'll find the 68 page glossy magazine on the shelves of WH Smith and Easons, plus various comic shops!

Comic Scene is the only magazine on the high street that is dedicated to features about comics, so give it your support. The new issue spotlights football comics and carries articles on Roy of the Rovers past and present, Billy's Boots in Holland, Striker comic, and more. 

Plus other features, including free gifts in comics and an excellent article on the late, great Mike Western! 

If you'd prefer to subscribe to the magazine and receive it in the comfort of your own home, you can find out how to here:
https://comicscene.tictail.com

From Vol.2. No.2, on sale in March, I'll be on board Comic Scene as a regular columnist too, so those of you who enjoyed this Blimey! blog will find the same sort of focus there, as my features will be mostly on humour comics and creators of bygone years.
https://comicsflix.org

...and last but not least, the Comic Scene Podcast goes live this week:
https://soundcloud.com/ComicScene



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