Thursday, May 31, 2018

Upcoming conventions

It's a busy period at the moment with strip deadlines and conventions so please forgive me for not running a post on old comics for a while. (Those posts always take time to prepare, scan, research etc.)

This Sunday I'll be a guest at STC25, a celebration of 25 years since the launch of Sonic the Comic, which became one of the most successful comics of the 1990s. Other guests will include Richard Elson, Nigel Kitching, Carl Flint, Nigel Dobbyn and Feran Rodriguez Sanchez. It takes place at the Fab Cafe, Manchester, and tickets are very limited and must be purchased in advance. (No on-the-door ticket sales.) If you're interested in attending, contact the organiser via their Facebook page at this link:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1996449803730588/


Then, the following week...


On Saturday 9th June, it'll be the first Wythenshawe Comic Con at the Forum Centre, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 5RX. As well as myself, guests will include Nigel Parkinson, David Leach, Mike Collins, and Accent UK Comics. For more info, see their Facebook page here:
www.facebook.com/wythenshawecomiccon/
Two events in Manchester on consecutive weekends! Hope to see you there!




Wednesday, May 30, 2018

This week from Panini UK...

Info on the latest Marvel Collector's Editions, - 76 page comics from Panini UK in the shops from tomorrow...

ESSENTIAL X-MEN #2. On sale 31st May! 
76 PAGES OF MUTANT MAYHEM! £4.50!
The Gold X-Men team clash with the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants! By Marc Guggenheim and Ardian Syaf!
The Blue X-Men team encounter a mutant from another universe: the son of Wolverine!!! By Cullen Bunn and Julian Lopez!
Featuring material first printed in X-Men: Gold #2-3 and X-Men: Blue #4-5.


MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #3. On sale 31st May!
FREE MARVEL TRADING CARDS! 76 PAGES OF MARVEL UNIVERSE ADVENTURE! £4.50!
The Silver Surfer and Dawn race through the cosmos, heading for Earth – but Warrior Zero stands in their way! By Dan Slott and Michael Allred!
The Black Panther defends Wakanda against Klaw’s army! By Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr!
The Champions struggle to clear their name as the world turns on them! By Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos!
Doctor Strange battles an extra-dimensional menace! A 1960s Marvel classic by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee!
Featuring material first printed in Silver Surfer #11, Black Panther #5, Champions #8 and Strange Tales #120.






Four COMMANDO comics out this week

The info on the latest issues of Commando, on sale this week...

5127: Home of Heroes: Last Boat Home

Stranded east of the border in Blitzkrieged Belgium, Lieutenant Jack Dodds was going to get his men home at any cost — but with no hope of reaching Dunkirk, survival looked slim. However, with home just across the Channel, Jack’s family would face the treacherous, mine-filled waters and Panzer shells that awaited them just to try and bring Jack home!
 
A Dunkirk story set outwith Dunkirk, Richard Davis’ latest issue of Commando is a microcosm of the event, centring on family and how the people of Britain did whatever they could to save the ones they loved. Beautifully illustrated by Paolo Ongaro, and with a moody over by Neil Roberts, this Commando will stand out on any shelf.

|Story | Richard Davis | Art | Paolo Ongaro | Cover | Neil Roberts |


5128: Gold Collection: Terror Drop

Parachuting straight into Nazi-occupied Poland, Lieutenant Ron Barclay had read his orders and burned them. This was a top secret mission and even he didn’t know all the details. He had been told only that they were to infiltrate the Gestapo HQ and capture the reviled SS officer, Schafer. But, when they found him, Ron couldn’t believe what he saw…

Allan’s gritty story starts in a rain of fire and does not relent! Meanwhile, award-winning interior and cover artists Victor de la Fuente and Jordi Bosch Penalver enhance the action with striking artwork.

|Story | Allan | Art | V Fuente | Cover | Penalva |
Originally Commando No. 433 (December 1969). Reprinted No. 1247 (August 1978).


5129: Action and Adventure: Desert Deception

Sipping Spatburgunder and listening to classical music on their gramophone in the middle of the North African desert, Swiss cousins Theo and Lena Zug seemed completely out of place in a war zone. But with SPA-Viberti AS.42 Saharianas patrolling the dunes, and Kittyhawks and Macchi C.202s duelling in the skies above, it was difficult to know just who this eccentric pair were and what deceptions they might be hiding.

Possibly the most ‘Commando’ issue ever, ‘Desert Deception’ features a stunning aerial cover from Ian Kennedy, story by former editor George Low and chunky interior art by Morhain.

|Story | George Low | Art | Morhain | Cover | Ian Kennedy |


5130: Silver Collection: Air Pirates

He glided over the murky jungle, hunting the North Vietnamese troops who lurked beneath the treetops, but Roy Armour had more than Charlie to worry about. With commie spies and drug dealers among the ranks, Roy had to watch his back every second at base — and in the air!

With an unforgettable cover by Jose Maria Jorge, we see Ian Clark’s steely Roy Armour up-close, fire blistering the Vietnamese jungle behind him — it doesn’t get much more macho than that!

|Story | Ian Clark | Art | Jose Maria Jorge| Cover | Jose Maria Jorge |
Originally Commando No. 2753 (April 1994).




Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Preview: Doctor Who Magazine No.526

There's a new issue of the official Doctor Who Magazine out this Thursday, 31st May, and it includes an exclusive interview with Tom Baker as he revisits his first series as the Fourth Doctor. Plus interviews with Roger Murray-Leach, Georgia Tennant and actor/singer/comic creator Jessica Martin.


There are comic strips too of course, with part 3 of The Clockwise War by Scott Gray, John Ross, and James Offredi which has a very unexpected and pleasing cliffhanger...

...plus a new Daft Dimension strip by me. Here's a preview of one panel...
All in Doctor Who Magazine No.526, available from newsagents, supermarkets, and comic shops this Thursday!


Monday, May 28, 2018

Great News, Pals! Your two favourite comic events are joining forces!

Originally advertised for July, Comics Uncovered will now become part of ICE 2018 in September. No need for alarm of course, as the two events used to be on the same weekend a few years ago, and are both organised by the same people. 

Here's organiser Shane Chebsey with the details...

Due to circumstances beyond my control I have had to postpone this year's Comics Uncovered and re integrate the conference with ICE BIRMINGHAM in September.

All those booked in and all guests and staff have been informed.

Most guests are still attending on the new dates and all tickets bought are vaild for the new dates with a VIP ICE ticket added on.

There are also extra events added to existing tickets to ensure those already booked in will receive value for money in consideration of the possibility of inconvenience to them.

Refunds to those unable to attend the new dates will go out over the next few weeks as we establish which delegates require refunds, if any.

I have done everything in my power to try and find an alternative solution to postponing the event, but after consultation with my staff and friends within the industry I have concluded that postponement and a change of dates is the only way forward that minimises the impact on current delegates and on our other events.

Therefore ICE BIRMINGHAM in September will now be a much more substantial event with much more to offer than originally billed and the full details of both aspects will be communicated through the usual marketing channels over the coming weeks and months.

You can of course also now book tickets for both events with confidence.

Thanks for reading and please bear with us while we re structure and re market the evolved event for September.


More info about this great event soon!




Coming up this week in 2000AD...

Here's the latest PR on 2000AD Prog 2083, courtesy of Rebellion. In newsagents this Wednesday...

* UK and DIGITAL: 30th May 2018 £2.75
* NORTH AMERICA: 30th June 2018 $6.75
* DIAMOND: MAY181942
* WRAPAROUND COVER: NEIL GOOGE

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: THE PARADIGM SHIFT by Michael Carroll (w) Jake Lynch (a) John Charles (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

SKIP TRACER: HEAVY IS THE HEAD by James Peaty (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon Bowland (l)


SURVIVAL GEEKS: GEEK-CON by Gordon Rennie, Emma Beeby (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

THE FALL OF DEADWORLD by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

DURHAM RED: BORN BAD by Alec Worley (w) Ben Willsher (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond




Sunday, May 27, 2018

Photos from Wigan Comic Con 2018

My thanks to Paul Prescott and his team for their kind hospitality at Wigan Comic Con yesterday. They looked after the guests well and it was a pleasure to attend. 

As with all of these multi-media events, the majority of attendees are there to see the actors and cosplayers and haven't read a comic since they were little kids, but that often works to a comic creator's advantage because it means we meet people who might otherwise never see our work. It's always good to attract a new audience outside of the usual comics community. 

My thanks to those who stopped by for a chat, sketch, or to buy a comic! It was great to see Paul Twist again, and to finally meet Caroline Chadwick, who's been a fan of Tom Thug since the days of Oink! It was also good to catch up with comics buddies Dave and Paul Windett and Graham Pearce.

Here's a few photos from the day...


9a.m.... Guests and traders setting up, ready for the 10a.m. opening.

Graham Pearce, creator of Sgt. Mike Battle!

Cartoonist Dave Windett!

Sam Johnson, creator of Geek Girl!


Tools of the trade.


Tom Thug's No.1 fan Caroline, pleased with a sketch.


Look out! It's Doctor Robotnik!





Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review: The Complete Future Shocks - Vol.1

There's a skill to writing a self-contained science-fiction comic strip that works within the limitations of a few pages. It was the norm at one stage, but it seems to be a lost art in some cases today. We can perhaps blame decompressed storytelling for that, with young writers and artists using a more slow paced technique. Thankfully, Rebellion are about to publish The Complete Future Shocks Volume 1 to show how it used to be done. 

Some of these stories are only a page and a half in length, but they manage to set up the plot and deliver a twist ending within a few panels. Bang, wallop, the point is made and the story is over. By narrowing it down to its basic elements it has more impact, - and the early issues of 2000AD where these strips appeared were all about making an impact. Future Shock by name, Future Shock by nature.
Art by Ron Turner.

It's a hit and miss collection of course. Not every short story works as well as it should, and some have predictable outcomes, - but these appeared back in the days when the comic was mainly aimed at kids, so subtlety and sophistication were not the prime directive. The list of writers is like a who's who of comics fandom of the 1970s, with names like Martin Lock, Philip Greenaway, Mike Cruden, and Hunter Tremayne appearing alongside more established pros such as Alan Grant and Steve Moore. There's work by a young Alan Moore here too, from his early days in the business. (Incidentally, these days Hunter Tremayne is an established actor, appearing in the movie The Bookshop with Bill Nighy.) 
Art by Mike Dorey, as "J. Clough".

The artwork is supplied by veterans such as John Cooper, Ian Kennedy, Carlos Pino, and Ron Turner, but also features then-newcomers such as Steve Dillon, Brian Bolland, Brett Ewins and many more. 

If you're interested in the history of British comics, these strips are nice examples from an interesting period where a lot of new talent was emerging. If you just want an entertaining read, the book is ideal for that too. Recommended! 

CREATIVE TEAM: VARIOUS
REGIONS: UK, North America, worldwide digital
RELEASE DATE: 14th June 2018
PAPERBACK, 322 pages
PRICE: £19.99 (UK) $25.99 (US)
ISBN: 9781781085592
DIAMOND: APR181719


Tharg’s Future Shocks are one-off, twist ending, sci-fi thrills that have introduced many of the biggest names in the comic book industry through the pages of 2000 AD. From Alan Moore to Al Ewing, Kevin O’Neill to Jon Davis-Hunt, Future Shocks have been a staple of the UK's best-selling comic 2000 AD! This exciting first volume takes us back to the earliest days of the strip and showcases the burgeoning, immense talents of such luminaries as Steve Moore, Alan Moore, Brett Ewins, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, John Cooper, Carlos Pino, Jesus Redondo, Steve Dillon, Peter Milligan and many, many more.

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






Have you visited my other blog?

Seems that some of you didn't know that I have two blogs. While Blimey! is for general comics news, my other blog, lewstringercomics focuses solely on my own work. I've been working in the comics industry for 35 years so if you're interested in my strips, past or present, please take a look and feel free to comment:
http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.co.uk 


Friday, May 25, 2018

Revealed: The new Roy of the Rovers

Rebellion have given us our first look at the all-new Roy Race who will debut in a brand new Roy of the Rovers comic strip serial in Match of the Day magazine on 5th June, running every week until 21st August.

The original Roy of the Rovers first appeared in Tiger comic No.1, back in 1954, and his exploits with Melchester Rovers proved popular for many years, even spinning the character off into headlining his own weekly comic, Roy of the Rovers, in 1976. The strip's combination of football drama and character driven plots made the strip a huge hit with loyal readers. As the years progressed, Roy married, and had children, and later suffered a terrible accident, losing his foot. Retiring from the game, his grown up son, Roy Jr, took on the mantle. 

The new series will be a complete reboot and a fresh start for the character for a new generation of readers, with a 16 year old Roy Race in a modern setting. The Match of the Day strip is written by Keith Richardson and Rob Power, with Lisa Henke illustrating. (Good to see a woman drawing the strip again, as the late Yvonne Hutton was the artist on Roy of the Rovers for many years in Tiger in the 1960s and 1970s.)

There will be new Roy of the Rovers graphic novels published by Rebellion, with the first due in the autumn written by Rob Williams with Ben Wilsher on art.

You can read more about it here:
https://royoftheroversofficial.com/news/444







Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wigan Comic Con - this Saturday!


Hopefully I'll see a few of you up North at Wigan Comic Con this Saturday, 26th May. I'll be bringing along my comics, and will be doing sketches on request, so drop by for a chat! 

More info:
https://www.facebook.com/WigancomicconNWCCEvents/

BATTLE is back... sort of. All-new comic from Rebellion

Battle Picture Weekly (later known simply as Battle) was one of the most successful UK comics of the 1970s, and enjoyed a long 13-year run, notching up over 600 issues. Now, Rebellion have revived the name and logo as a new imprint for a three-issue mini-series starting in August.

Sniper Elite: Resistance is the actual title of the comic, and it's based on the popular videogame. It will be in the American sized format and on sale through comic speciality shops. (No word yet on whether it'll be available in newsagents.) Written by Keith Richardson with art by Patrick Goddard, issue No.1 goes on sale August 29th. 

Although it's highly unlikely we'll ever see Battle or any other old comic revived as a weekly anthology comic, (those days are long gone) this is a good way to use the name for today's audience. It's not the first time the title has been associated with a licensed product of course, having used the Action Force name in the 1980s.

It's also interesting to see Rebellion getting into the American market directly. They've previously licensed characters to U.S. companies (such as IDW's Judge Dredd comics) but this approach seems similar to that used by Titan. Basically they're British comics, edited and created in the UK, but printed and distributed in the USA (and imported into the UK). Rebellion have done it before with their Free Comic Book Day editions of 2000AD but I think this is the first time they've done it with a mini-series.

You can find out more information on Sniper Elite: Resistance at the 2000AD website here:
https://2000ad.com/post/3545





Wednesday, May 23, 2018

TOXIC No.306 - out today

In the latest issue of Toxic, our heroes Team Toxic go to a mad planet, fight robots, and daft things happen. Hopefully it'll appeal to the demographic of 7 to 12 year old boys. It's the sort of thing that I liked at that age anyway, which is always the guideline I use when creating strips. 

This issue has 40 pages, plus an 8 page pull-out Avengers poster magazine, that fold out to a poster four times the page size. 

There's also a bunch of other goodies bagged with the mag. This is the foil bag to look out for...

That's Toxic No.306, out now, at £4.99. 
http://www.toxicmag.co.uk/on-sale-now/





BEANO No.3936 out today

Issue No.3936 of the Beano is in the shops today. (Does anyone out there have every issue?) Another 36 pages of all-new material featuring the long-running Beano stars. You can see a taste of the contents here:
https://www.beano.com/posts/inside-beano-no-3936

It also includes another Big Eggo strip by me.

Beano No.3936, available from newsagents and supermarkets across the UK!


Monday, May 21, 2018

Cover reveal: DANDY SUMMER SPECIAL 2018

Here's the cover to this year's Dandy Summer Special, as revealed on the D.C. Thomson website this week. It'll be published on June 13th but you can pre-order it from the publishers themselves:
https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/our-brands/dandy/dandy-summer-special-2018.html

I understand the contents will be entirely all-reprint again, as they have been for the last few years, but it'll be interesting to see what selection of stories have been chosen. 

The cover, by Ken Harrison, is brand new, and in the fine tradition of Summer Specials of old.

The Beano Summer Special is already out, and contains all-new content. It can also be ordered from the publisher.


Dandy Annual 2019 - cover reveal

D.C. Thomson have revealed the cover of The Dandy Annual 2019, set to go on sale this August. Once again it will have 112 pages of all-new strips featuring the top Dandy stars from the comic's long history such as Desperate Dan, Brassneck, and Keyhole Kate. The cover art is by Ken Harrison.

The book will of course be available to buy on its own, but at the moment you can pre-order it with the Beano Annual 2019 as a discounted "Double Trouble Pack" from the D.C. Thomson shop:
https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/our-brands/the-beano/double-trouble-pack-2019.html



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Preview: BELLA AT THE BAR Vol.1

July's release from The Treasury of British Comics will be Bella at the Bar Volume 1, a collection of the first year of Bella stories that first appeared in Tammy weekly from 1974 to 1975. (There's also a back up strip reprinting a Bella story, That Barlow Kid, from a Tammy Annual.) A favourite amongst many collectors who read it at the time, this softback book is sure to be a winner. 

Here's the PR from Rebellion, along with a preview of the first episode...

CREATIVE TEAM: Jenny McDade (w) John Armstrong (a)
REGIONS: worldwide & digital
RELEASE DATE: 12th July 2018
PAPERBACK, 114 pages
PRICE: £10.99 (UK)
ISBN: 9781781086254
DIAMOND: MAY183143

Bella’s gymtastic adventure begins here! Bella Barlow is a young orphan with ambitions to be a world class gymnastic. She has the talent, but is hampered by her cruel Uncle Jed and Aunt Gert who constantly exploit her for their own selfish gains. While out cleaning windows for her uncle’s business, Bella comes across an exclusive school with a great gymnastics programme. A kind teacher named Miss Mortimer would happily accept her, but the young athlete faces great opposition from her guardians and the horrible snobbery of the school’s headmistress.






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

Available to pre-order now directly from the publishers:
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com/catalogue/RCA-G0005



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