Sunday, July 15, 2018

The unseen Warrior!

Every comic starts with an idea, and often with a "dummy issue" to give publishers or distributors an idea of what it'll look like. Those dummy issues are often quite different to the end product, and can utilise edited material from other comics just to give a flavour of the style of content. Once approved, the dummy issues are forgotten, and never released to the public, as work commences on production of the actual comic that will be issue one.

Well, now you can see what the dummy issue of Warrior was like, way back in 1982. Dez Skinn has published it (which he's titled No.0) in a limited quantity that you can order by post directly from him. Payment to be made by PayPal to for £15.95 plus £2.00 UK postage, or by postal order (uncrossed) made payable to Quality. Details are on the supplied graphic below...

Dez has also set up a Warrior Facebook page which gives updates on the project and I'm sure he'll answer any queries you might have:

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Preview: Judge Dredd Megazine No.398

The latest info on the next issue of Judge Dredd Megazine, on sale this coming Wednesday...

UK and DIGITAL: 18th July 2018 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 18th July 2018 $6.75

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: THIS CORROSION by Michael Carroll (w) John Higgins (a) Sally Hurst (c) Annie Parkhouse 

THE RETURNERS: IRMAZHINA by Si Spencer  (w) Nicolo Assirelli (a) Eva De La Cruz (c) Annie Parkhouse 

DEVLIN WAUGH: KISS OF DEATH by Rory McConville (w) Mike Dowling (a) Simon Bowland (l)

CHOPPER: WANDERING SOUL by David Baillie (w) Brendan McCarthy (a) Len O'Grady, Brendan McCarthy (c) Ellie De Ville (l) 

STRANGE BRIGADE by Gordon Rennie (w) Tiernen Trevallion (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Features: How To Write A Future Shock, Strontium Dog miniatures game.

 Bagged reprint: THE STREETS OF DAN FRANCISCO by Arthur Wyatt, Al Ewing (w) Paul Marshall (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Friday, July 13, 2018

It's here! The Dandy Annual 2019

The weekly Dandy comic sadly ended on its 75th birthday in 2012 but the annual continues every year with all-new content. The Dandy Annual 2019 is available now, with 112 full colour pages featuring favourites such as Desperate Dan, Cuddles and Dimples, Corporal Clott, Korky the Cat, and many more, including a new Jack Silver adventure story. 

I've produced four new Keyhole Kate pages for this book, plus a puzzle page. I've created a new nemesis for Kate in the form of Doorknocker Donna, who spoils Kate's nosey antics and gets wrongly accused for the door-knocking. 

Another supporting character I created, Kates's mad inventor uncle Black Hole Bert, returns in one of the other stories, bringing with him Dupli-Kate, a robot double of Keyhole Kate!

The Dandy Annual 2019 (along with its companion the Beano Annual) is out now at a R.R.P. of £7.99. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Review: The Tempest No.1

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest is the conclusion to the long-running League saga, and is being issued as a six-issue mini-series, co-published by Knockabout in the UK and Top Shelf in the USA. The first issue is available in comics shops now, and it's a treat to read.
There's a sense that Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill are really having fun with this comic, as evidenced right away from the cover, which is a homage to the old Classics Illustrated comics. (Subsequent issues will homage other comics, such as TV21 with No.2.)

On the inside cover there's a tribute to Leo Baxendale, covering his life, achievements and legal battle against D.C. Thomson. It's likely that a lot of League readers won't have known who Leo was, when really he should be as well known to comic fans as Jack Kirby, so this feature was very welcome (and will spotlight other creators in subsequent issues).
In the comic itself, the story techniques incorporate traditional colour comics, a parody of the Daily Express James Bond strip (above) and even a spoof of an old-style British superhero comic (complete with fake ads and an hilarious letters page). The latter brings back Mick Anglo's Captain Universe, a fairly obscure British superhero from the 1950s (used with permission). 

Of course, as is expected with League stories, there are numerous visual references inspired by pop culture from The Beatles to Stingray and many more dotted throughout. Each turn of the page offers us a delightful nod to the past either prominently or tucked away in the background. It's a dazzling mixture that brought a smile to my face several times, and a few laugh out loud moments too. 

I've followed the work of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill practically most of my life, and its been fascinating to see their styles develop and mature over the decades and remain as enjoyable as ever, with both creators still at the top of their game. 

With so many comics today being part of the factory system of creators playing musical chairs as writers and artists are replaced on a frequent basis it's always refreshing to read a creator-owned comic that can maintain its own vision. To accomplish that in such an enjoyable way is a bonus. If you enjoy well crafted comics you'll like this. If you're a fan of old British comics and pop culture you'll get even more of a kick out of it. Jump on board The Tempest today!

Here's the story synopsis as published in Previews:

After an epic twenty-year journey through the entirety of human culture, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their equally legendary comic-book careers with the series' spectacular fourth and final volume, "The Tempest." This six-issue miniseries is a celebration of everything comics were, are and could be. Opening simultaneously in the panic-stricken headquarters of British Military Intelligence, the fabled Ayesha's lost African city of Kor and the domed citadel of 'We' on the devastated Earth of the year 2996, the dense and yet furiously-paced narrative hurtles like an express locomotive across the fictional globe. This is literally, and literarily, the story to end all stories. Here's how it begins.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest No.1. Writer: Alan Moore. Artist: Kevin O'Neill. Colourist: Ben Dimagmaliw. Letterer: Todd Klein. Publisher: Knockabout (UK), Top Cow (USA). 32 pages (plus covers). $4.99. Out now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Commando comics out this week

Cover art: Ian Kennedy.
The latest info on the new Commando comics from D.C. Thomson. Yes, it's still being published with four issues every fortnight, and every other issue is a brand new story! 

5139: Home of Heroes: The Forlorn Hope
The Forlorn Hope was the name given to those who were placed on the front line in battle. The 45th Sherwood Foresters Regiment of Foot were among those who would advance on the sieged City of Badajoz. It would be one of the bloodiest battles in the Napoleonic Wars, but on they fought against French cannons and muskets, ready to take out the best of Napoleon’s men.

Manuel Benet’s stellar interior and cover art looks straight out of a scene from Sharpe, the dedication to regimental uniform astounding!

|Story | Andrew Knighton | Art | Manuel Benet | Cover | Manuel Benet |

5140: Gold Collection: Shooting Star
Rex Barton was used to action — both on and off the camera. A film star used for propaganda pictures, Rex had had enough and took to the skies in his own kite, desperate to take down any Jerries in his path — and he was dang good at it. But when the Nazis got their hands on Rex they decided to make their own propaganda piece. The only problem was that Rex wasn’t game to play ball…

Instantly recognisable, Gordon C Livingstone’s cover shines just as bright as Newark’s film star come RAF pilot hero.

|Story | Newark | Art | Gordon C Livingstone | Cover | Gordon C Livingstone |
Originally Commando No. 483 (June 1970). Reprinted No. 1404 (April 1980).

5141: Action and Adventure: Outfoxed!
In the last bitter days of the Second World War, many soldiers were happy to wait out the end in a sleepy prisoner of war camp in the Scottish Highlands — but not Gefreiter Fritz Schmitt. He wore the uniform and had the identity papers, but he did not act like a corporal, and he did not speak to any of the other Germans. No, his only ally was Military Police Sergeant Fred Foxley… but even he would balk when he found out what Schmitt had done in the Ardennes and why he must escape…  

Inspired by Cultybraggan in Scotland, Ian Kennedy brings the POW camp to life, the perfect backdrop for Watson’s adversaries, Police Sergeant McKay and MP Sergeant Foxley, to play out their battle of wits.

|Story | Colin Watson | Art | Morhain | Cover | Ian Kennedy |

5142: Silver Collection: High Risk Rescue
First World War Coastal Motor Boat skipper Lieutenant Frank Judge was no stranger to danger; CMBs had a top speed of forty knots and launched eighteen-inch torpedoes at enemy U-boats. But when Frank is assigned a mission to sneak ashore behind enemy lines and rescue missing naval Commander Richard Berry, he wishes he had just stayed at sea!

Ian Kennedy’s moody cover perfectly suits the vintage tone of Clark’s unique World War I naval issue.

|Story | Ian Clark | Art | Olivera | Cover | Ian Kennedy|
Originally Commando No. 2824 (January 1995).

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