Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Christmas 2000AD preview!

Cover by Staz Johnson and Chris Blythe.
Rebellion have released details in advance of this year's bumper-sized 100 page Christmas issue of 2000AD, and an opportunity for readers to pre-order it so they don't miss it in newsagents, - and pre-orders will come with an exclusive Starlord Trooper print by Henry Flint. It sounds like a real cracker! Ho-ho-ho!

Here's the info...

A brand new cover by Staz Johnson and Chris Blythe

Bad Company are hunted men as they search for the truth behind the Ararat war in Bad Company: Terrorists by Peter Milligan and Rufus Dayglo

The ABC Warriors are at each other's throats as Mars descends into chaos in ABC Warriors: Fallout by Pat Mills and Clint Langley

Merlin has awoken and unleashed the Motherless Men in Brass Sun: Engine Summer, by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard

Bill Savage discovers the reality behind the Savage: Thousand Year Stare, courtesy of Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard

We flashback to a significant Justice Department character in a one-off The Fall of Deadworld story by Kek-W and Dave Kendall

Ace Garp celebrates the festive season in his own unique way in Ace Trucking Co. by Eddie Robson and Nigel Dobbyn

The long-awaited tale of what became of Starlord can finally be told, courtesy of Kenneth Niemand and Henry Flint

and lawman Judge Dredd is caught in a fix! much more! Interested? Pre-order it from the publisher here:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Why I won't be buying Doomsday Clock

DC Comics are about to release Doomsday Clock No.1, a 12 issue limited series which, according to the publishers, is a sequel to Watchmen.

That's right. Watchmen. The sublime 1986 groundbreaking series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (superbly coloured by John Higgins) that has worked perfectly well as a stand-alone story for 30 years. Now, DC have decided it's time to do a continuation, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank, which will co-star Superman and the other DC Universe superheroes. Gibbons and Moore were not consulted (and would no doubt have declined even if they were asked). The only true link with Watchmen is they're using the font based on Dave Gibbons' lettering.

To make something clear from the outset, both Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are top of the range creators with impressive CVs in comics. I've nothing personal against them and I've enjoyed work from both of them in the past. I'm sure Doomsday Clock will be a well produced comics series, but I won't be supporting it.

Thing is, Watchmen was created as a complete story and achieved that superbly. It's an intelligent, well structured graphic novel (or fat comic if you prefer) set on an alternate Earth where a godlike being named Dr.Manhattan changed the course of history. (Perhaps you've seen the film.The comic is far superior.) In three decades it has never needed a sequel. It certainly was never intended to tie in with the DC Universe and have guest appearances from Superman, Batman, and other members of the Justice League. Yet that's exactly what DC are doing. It's like some movie company suddenly deciding that Citizen Kane would be improved with a sequel featuring Ant and Dec.
There's been rumours that this was going to happen since DC introduced the often meandering Rebirth theme to their comics last year. Off-panel suggestions that Dr.Manhattan was pulling the strings. Apparently Doomsday Clock is about the DC Universe being broken, presumably due to Dr.Manhattan's doing, and Superman and co. trying to fix it. No doubt it'll end with another big revamp for the DC Universe. DC produce some great comics, but follow them long enough and the company tends to lurch from one reboot to another, from Crisis, to Zero Hour, to Rebirth. Wait a few years and there'll be another.

The metaphor of Superman vs Dr.Manhattan is that Watchmen was one of the comics responsible for superhero comics becoming darker and grittier, and it's time to put things right. It's a very flawed excuse, because Watchmen was never designed to be a template for the DCU to "go dark". It's the fault of editors and creators who followed who chose that path with their characters. Watchmen can't be blamed for the appalling Identity Crisis storyline for example, where goofy supervillain Doctor Light became a rapist. 

Okay, the concept of Superman fighting Dr.Manhattan is something that will no doubt have many of the "who's the strongest" infatuated fanboys drooling with delight, but even if you think it sounds like a good idea, consider the moral aspect. As I understand it, when Watchmen was created, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons had a contract that said that the rights of the book would revert to them when it went out of print. Only problem was, DC made sure it never went out of print. Now, this latest fiasco, merging Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, ensures they're DC property indefinitely.

I don't want to support tactics like that, and I won't be buying Doomsday Clock on principle. The Watchmen creators aren't interested in it (Dave Gibbons has said "I won't be reading it") and I stand with them. I knew Alan and Dave very well back in the days when they were working on Watchmen and it was always a pleasure to hear of their passion for the comic and how they were structuring it. They were good, optimistic times for comics and creator's rights. I'm sickened by this "sequel" and will be steering well clear of it. 

Obviously I won't be chastising anyone who does buy it, and I won't be falling out with anyone over it, but I wanted to put my own thoughts out there. Agree or disagree; it's up to you.

If you haven't read Watchmen, buy that instead. No sequels necessary.

DOCTOR RADAR arrives in the UK

Well this looks interesting. As well as producing a fleet of home-grown comics, British publisher Titan Comics are now translating some European comics for the UK and American market under their Statix Press imprint. One such comic, Doctor Radar No.1, arrives in comic book stores this Wednesday (22nd November).

Originally published in French in 2014, Doctor Radar is written by Noël Simsolo with art by Bezian. I really like the look of Bezian's art and will be buying it on the strength of that alone. The story looks intriguing too. Here's a preview...

Paris, 1920. A gentleman detective plays a deadly game with a criminal mastermind, Doctor Radar, while investigating a series of horrific deaths!An atmospheric masterpiece perfect for the fans of pulp noir and deadly criminal masterminds!“Doctor Radar is a surrealistic, riveting, beautifully executed thriller unlike anything else I’ve ever read.” – Joe Keatinge (‘Shutter’, ‘Flavor’, ‘Ringside’)

Covers by Bezian, with a variant cover to No.1 by Francesco Francavilla. 

Preview of the cover to issue 2...

Monday, November 20, 2017

Simpsons Christmas issue!

The Christmas issue of Titan's UK Simpsons Comics arrived in newsagents last Thursday, and here's the festive cover! You'll find it in WH Smith and selected other shops. 76 full colour pages full of Christmas strips for £3.99. For more info, visit the publisher's website here:

I'll be showing the covers of as many of the latest Christmas issues of British comics as I can. Not that there'll be many, unfortunately! I've recently completed the Christmas stories for Toxic, Epic, and Doctor Who Magazine though, so that's three I'll be plugging here over the next few weeks!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Meanwhile, on my OTHER blog...

If you're new to the Blimey! blog you may not know that I have another blog I regularly update too. That's lewstringercomics, which is focused on my own comics work, covering all the news about my current strips as well as showing material I've done over the 34 years of my career (and sometimes even material older than that from my fanzine days). 

If you're interested, hop over there and have a rummage around to see the various stuff I've posted over the years! Thanks for your time. 

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