Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Announcing the COR!! AND BUSTER SPECIAL

Cover by Neil Googe.
This April, Rebellion are launching a Spring Special featuring brand new stories of classic humour characters!

Cor!! and Buster Special features a cover by Neil Googe showing a cast of classic characters in Trafalgar Square, including Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, Faceache, Frankie Stein, X-Ray Specs and Buster himself, - and I'm pleased to say that the special will include a three-page intro strip that I drew, from a script by John Freeman.


Here's the PR....

The greatest characters from Britain’s golden age of humour comics return this Easter for a one-shot celebration of daft and zany fun!

Rebellion Publishing is proud to announce the Cor!! and Buster Special will be tickling your funny bone this spring and a whole new generation of readers are about to experience comics’ humour at its finest! 

The 48-page special will hit newsstands in the UK and Ireland, and comic book stores in the UK, Ireland, and North America, on 17th April, retailing at £4.99. 

It will be the first use of the vast number of classic humour characters by Rebellion since it acquired the archive of comics publisher IPC and the Cor!! and Buster Special offers new takes on some of the greatest characters from Britain’s golden age of humour comics, with an edgy celebration of daft, zany fun.

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), Abigail Bulmer (2000 AD) and Tanya Roberts (TMNT).

The special will also complement Funny Pages, Rebellion's title for Free Comic Book Day on 4th May, which will be available for free from participating comic book stores around the world.

Editor on the Cor! and Buster Special, Keith Richardson, said: "Humour titles like Cor!! and Buster were a massive part of many a childhood but have been sadly missing from the newsstand for years - the time is ripe to bring these amazing characters back for a new generation. Just at a time when many kids will be on their Easter break, this special will introduce them to some of our favourite classic characters, but all with a modern twist. For us, it's time to put the comical back into comics!"

Humour comics were once a constant staple of the British newsstand, with dozens of titles filled by some of the industry's greatest talents, such as Leo Baxendale and Ken Reid. IPC/Fleetway titles such as Cor!!, Buster, Whizzer and Chips, and Shiver and Shake entertained generations of children for decades. They were part of the acquisition by Rebellion of arguably the world's largest archive of English-language comics in 2016 and 2018.

More info soon, - and keep an eye on the Down the Tubes website for an exclusive interview with the project's editor, Keith Richardson! 




Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Original art sale!

I'm selling off some of my original artwork from Oink! comic and this week there are two Tom Thug half-pagers up for auction on eBay. These are the original strips I drew back in 1987 and are still in very nice condition. Black ink on Bristol board. 

You can find out more about them, and see more photos of the pages, at my eBay store here:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/graphite47/m.html

All bids appreciated! Good luck! 



Monday, January 28, 2019

A Tribute to Mike Noble, by Lee Sullivan

As mentioned on this blog last year, the wonderful artist Mike Noble passed away in November after an illness. Fellow artist Lee Sullivan, who worked with Mike in his later years, has produced this heartfelt tribute to the great man. I agree with every word. Mike was my favourite adventure strip artist too, and a fine man. 

Follow this link to see the video:
https://youtu.be/V-3kRxx6nFI


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Announcing BUSTER comic... in 1960

From my blog's archives, here's how Buster comic was announced to readers of the Daily Mirror. The full page advert above appeared in the Mirror dated Monday 23rd May 1960....

...but two days before that, on Saturday 21st May 1960, this news item was the first announcement of the character...
Update: To explain further, back in 1960 the Mirror Group owned Fleetway, so this was a legitimate connection. However, I understand that Reg Smythe (Andy Capp's creator) wasn't happy about it so he never put Buster in the Andy Capp strip. Buster dropped the "Son of Andy Capp" sub-title after several months, but the comic continued until the last week of 1999, just five months short of its 40th anniversary! One of the longest-running comics in history. 
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This blog is rarely updated now but you can still follow my other blog here:
http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com




Remembering TV Century 21

It's 54 years this week since the first issue of TV Century 21 arrived in newsagents. Better known as TV21 (which it later became officially) it's still regarded as the best comic of the 1960s. 

Above is the full page advert for issue 1, which appeared in the Daily Mirror on Wednesday 20th January 1965.

I've covered TV21 a few times on this blog over the years, including this look back at that very first issue....

https://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2015/01/50-years-ago-today-tv-century-21-no1.html

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I don't post on Blimey! so often now, but my other blog, which focuses on my own work, is regularly updated...

http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thrills in your future...

I couldn't resist posting about this. Top Shelf and Knockabout have revealed the cover for the final issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest, and it's a perfect homage of the early issues of 2000AD

The traditionally ironic "Great News" splash is even there, because not only is this the final issue, it's also the last comic that Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill will be doing. Not great at all. Very sad news indeed, but they've maintained such a high standard of work throughout their long careers I'm sure we can wish them both well for their retirement from comics, and thank them for brightening up our lives. 

I think I have something in my eye.

Although Blimey! is rarely updated now, I'll be posting more about this series in the future as not only is it my favourite current comic, Alan and Kevin are always worth blogging about! 

Here's the info for The Tempest No.6. Pre-order this landmark issue from your local comic shop now! 

In Moore and O’Neill’s final comic-book, this issue masquerading as a British science-fiction weekly, the plot-strands of our concluding volume and loose ends from twenty years of continuity are tied in an ingenious starry bow, as Mina Murray and her legendary confederates transition from the world of fiction past and present to the world of fiction future. Planets end in visual spectacle, lovers are united in the matrimonial event of the millennium, and deadly enemies draw close in the conclusion of their fatal dances. This is your last call for the immaculate crescendo of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV, The Tempest. -- 
Issue #6 in a 6-issue mini-series, each issue 32 pages in (mostly) full color, saddle stitched, 6 5/8” x 10 1/8” (standard comic-book size).
Co-Published by Top Shelf Productions (US) and Knockabout (UK).
SHIPPING MAY 2019!

http://www.topshelfcomix.com/mobile/catalog/league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen-the-vol-iv-the-tempest-6-of-6/1033




Comic anniversaries

As this blog isn't updated very often now you could check out the archive for 3,000 old posts, - many of which you may not have seen. For example, this week marks the significant anniversaries of two short-run comics...

It's been 50 years this week since City Magazines launched Joe 90 Top Secret. Read all about it here...
https://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2015/05/joe-90-top-secret-1969.html


...and it's been 40 years since D.C. Thomson launched The Crunch No.1. You can read about that here:
https://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2015/01/when-it-came-to-crunch.html

Happy hunting through the Blimey! archives! 


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ron Smith passes away

Terror Tests, ADVENTURE, 1956. © D.C. Thomson

Veteran comic artist of many British comics, Ron Smith, has passed away at the age of 94. 

Many fans will remember him as one of the prominent artists on Judge Dredd for 2000AD in the 1980s (and on the long-running Judge Dredd newspaper strip in the Daily Star) but his career in comics began long before that. 

Ron was a popular artist for D.C. Thomson throughout the 1950s up to the early 1970s, drawing for story papers such as Adventure and comics such as The Topper and Hotspur on strips such as British superhero King Cobra.

Although respected by his peers in the industry, it wasn't until he freelanced for 2000AD from 1979 onwards that he came to the attention of organised comics fandom. Along with Mike McMahon, Carlos Ezquerra, and Brian Bolland, Ron Smith became one of the most distinctive artists on Judge Dredd.

Ron later freelanced for comics such as Wildcat and MASK before retiring in the 1990s.

My condolences to Ron's family and friends on their loss. Truly one of the greats whose work will always be remembered and admired. Here's a small selection of his amazing output...

Lone Wolfe. BEEZER, 1962. © D.C. Thomson
The Last Warriors. TOPPER, 1962. © D.C. Thomson.


HOTSPUR ANNUAL 1976. © D.C. Thomson (Image from eBay.)
King Cobra, HOTSPUR, 1976. © D.C. Thomson. Image from internet.

2000AD, 1979. © Rebellion.
See John Freeman's tribute at Down the Tubes:
https://downthetubes.net/?p=103667

Ron Smith's Lost Adventure Comic:
http://boysadventurecomics.blogspot.com/2019/01/ron-smiths-lost-adventure-comic.html


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This blog is rarely updated now, but you can follow my other blog, which focuses on my own work, at this link:


Monday, January 07, 2019

Exclusive Preview: THE TEMPEST No.4

As promised, here's the first of a very occasional series of posts for 2019. Don't expect many this year! Choices to blog about will be down to quality not quantity. 

...and the first choice is definitely high quality. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest No.4 should be on sale in a comic shop near you from Wednesday 9th January. (Or it might be 16th Jan. Vagarities of distribution.) It's another top standard issue from Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill and I'll definitely miss this series when it ends with issue 6. 

One of the many highlights of this series have been the covers designed as homages to British comics of the past, and this month we get one that's a perfect spoof of traditional old UK weeklies. I'm sure it'll confuse the heck out of our American cousins but we had to put up with ads for Grit and Tootsie Rolls for years in U.S. imports and it never did us any harm. 

Inside, the story of Mina and the League continues, with our pals Alan and Kevin including everything from Smash!-type parodies to nods to Little Nemo in Slumberland, Charlie Drake, James Bond, and a bit of Bill Shakespeare thrown in for good measure. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has always homaged literature and pop culture of the past but this series takes things to a whole new level. The story requires the reader to focus more than your standard comic book but it's one you'll want to read and re-read anyway. It's absolutely brilliantly bonkers.
I should point out at this point that if your only experience of the League is that terrible film "adaptation" from years ago then you need to jettison that from your mind and read the comics to appreciate the proper version. 
If you thought the excursion onto 3-D in the previous issue was a one-off gimmick, you'll be pleased to hear it's also in this issue on certain pages, and really well accomplished too. You've never seen a comic quite like it!
The extra features in this issue include an item on Ken Reid and a spotlight on obscure 1950s British superhero Marsman who was apparently drawn by Paddy Brennan back in the day. These items are a great addition to the comic. 

You don't just read The Tempest, you experience it, absorb it, and emerge with a big grin on your face. It's like no other comic on the stands and is all the better for it. As always, I completely recommend it. Here's the solicitation information:

Legendary swords clash atop the Paris Opera in 1913, while almost a century later a declining London witnesses assassination attempts, summit meetings in Haggerston Park, and the catastrophic return of a 1960s super-adventurer. Elsewhere, in the four-dimensional territories adjacent to the North Pole, a lost Shakespeare play sees its first and last performance, while Queen Gloriana's conjurer finally reveals the nature of his five-hundred-year-old game. Topping off an already heady mixture, this issue's classic Seven Stars reprint depicts our halcyon heroes as "Captives of the Creepyverse," another reason not to miss the unfolding of Moore and O'Neill's fulgurant finale in issue four of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: The Tempest.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest No.4 is co-published between Knockabout in the UK and Top Shelf in the USA. 36 pages (including covers) for $4.99. Worth every penny/cent. 

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Remember that my other blog is still being updated regularly! You'll find it here:


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