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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Happy Bat-Day!

Happy 80th birthday... to Batman! Like many of us, I'd never heard of the character until I saw the TV show in 1966, not knowing he'd been in comics since 1939! 

Here's a photo of me in 1966 looking just like him. Well, in truth the official play outfit was nothing like the Batman costume, and nothing like it was advertised as you can see (below), but I didn't care. I thought it was great! (I made the mask myself, out of a bit of red leather when the plastic Batman mask broke.) 

Pictured below is the first time I saw a Batman comic strip, when Smash! weekly started reprinting the American newspaper strip on its cover. 

Don't miss the special 100 page, 1,000th issue of Detective Comics, on sale now in comic shops! There are several variant covers, and I chose the 1950s version by Michael Cho as it seemed to be the only one that properly mimicked the style of the era it was supposed to. Happy bat-days!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

2000AD Prog 2125 cover preview

In newsagents next Wednesday (3rd April).

UK and DIGITAL: 3rd April 2019 £2.85
NORTH AMERICA: 3rd May 2019 $22.40 (per pack)

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: UNEARTHED by Rob Williams, Chris Weston (w) Patrick Goddard (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS by Ian Edginton (w) Leigh Gallagher (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
SURVIVAL GEEKS: DUNGEONS & DATING (BASIC) by Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
MAX NORMAL: HOW THE MAX GOT HIS STRIPES by Guy Adams (w) Dan Cornwell (a) Jim Boswell (c) Simon Bowland (l)
GREY AREA: MAKING HISTORY by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

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

Monday, March 25, 2019


I was going to wait until the weekend before publication to reveal more images from this special but as there are already websites showing a fair bit of it I thought I'd post this discreet preview now. I'm just showing extracts from a few of the strips, which I've cropped to resemble torn clippings. (So, no, I haven't ripped up my copy. It's far too good to do that to it!) 

Since buying the rights to the classic characters, Rebellion have produced a number of excellent reprint books, and that will continue with some absolute crackers lined up for this year and next. They've also ventured into reviving titles with all-new material, as the two Scream and Misty Specials have shown, and this year there will be more, - with The Cor!! Buster Humour Special being the next in line, arriving in shops on the 17th April.

The 52 page full-colour comic has its own distinct identity, featuring strips by creators old and new. Here's a few snippets... 

I'm sure one of the highlights for everyone will be the return of Sweeny Toddler by one of its original artists, Tom Paterson! A brilliant strip back in the day, and if anything this new three page episode is even better than the old strips!
There's a new look for Kid Kong, courtesy of Alec Worley on script, and Tiernen Trevallion on art. If you loved Tiernen's work on the recent Black Max revival, Fiends of the Western Front, in 2000AD, this is an unexpected change of subject matter for the artist but he accomplishes humour as well as he handles grim horror! 
Gums is back, by Lizzie Boyle and Abigail Bulmer. A superb looking strip, modernising the toothless shark for the 21st Century. 
Deadly Hedley is back too! The Vampire Detective from Buster of old in a new strip by Paul Goodenough and Neil Googe, with colours by Jim Boswell. Looking good! 
I've drawn a new three-pager, written by John Freeman, called Who's In Charge?, which unites a bunch of classic characters such as Sid's Snake, Cheeky, Joker, Bad Penny, and Buster himself. I've also put in a bunch of cameos by various vintage characters too. See who you can spot! 
Other all-new strips include X-Ray Specs, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, Frankie Stein, and more, but for me the one I was most excited about was the return of... Grimly Feendish! Yes, "The Rottenest Crook in the World" from Wham! and Smash! is back, and drawn by Tom Paterson who was surely born to illustrate this character! I really hope we see more of Grimly drawn by Tom in the future. The character deserves his own special! 
The Cor!! Buster Humour Special will be in WH Smith, comic shops, and selected newsagents from 17th April, priced £4.99. Don't miss it! 
Cover by Neil Googe. Colours by Jim Boswell.
As an exclusive to my blogs, I thought you might like to see a panel of mine from the Who's In Charge? strip as my original art looked in the inking stage and how it looked after I coloured it (and Leila O'Millar lettered it). You'll note that I added the solid blacks when I coloured it too, along with the old comic covers. Also, I removed the TV set as it was redundant to the story. (It was part of a previous draft of the script, and wasn't needed for the finished version.) 

Friday, March 22, 2019


Copyright ©Rebellion Publishing IP Ltd.
Well done Rebellion in bringing back another classic title with a modern-day makeover. Diamond distributor's Previews website has revealed the cover and solicitation details of the new Tammy and Jinty Special that will be in newsagents and comic shops on 26th June!

The superb artwork is by Mike Collins, a long-experienced professional who has worked in comics for 35 years and these days is the storyboard artist on Doctor Who

Now, bear in mind that it's likely that this might not be the final cover. The illustration is final, but the logo placement might not be, and for all we know there could be added captions... or not. (There'll certainly be a barcode and Rebellion's company logo added later.) I'll post the finished cover when Rebellion send me the PR in the summer. I'm only posting this because it's already being shared on social media so I thought readers of this blog might want to see it too. 

Anyway, following on from The Cor!! Buster Humour Special (on sale 17th April), the Tammy and Jinty Special will be in WH Smith and comic shops on 26th June, with an impressive line-up of creators. Here's the solicitation info...

(W) Rob Williams, Emma Beeby, Grainne Mcentree (A) Rachael Stott, Various (CA) Mike Collins

Tammy and Jinty were two of Britain's best-loved girls' comics in the 1970s and '80s - ground-breaking female-led comics that covered everything from science fiction and fantasy to romance and domestic drama. This June, these classic titles return in the 48-page Tammy and Jinty Special, retooled for the 21st Century! 

A host of the finest modern creators pay tribute to this legacy of trail-blazing comics while introducing a new audience to the medium! None other than Rob Williams (Roy of the Rovers), Rachel Stott (Doctor Who), Rachael Smith, V V Glass (Assassin's Creed), Emma Beeby (Mata Hari) and many more present daring girl-led tales of roller derby, archaeology, codebreaking, ballet, space adventure and more!  

In Shops: Jun 26, 2019 

If you buy your comics from your local comic shop, now is the time to tell them to reserve you a copy as they'll be putting their orders in for June-released comics soon! Order ref: APR191915

The Tammy and Jinty Special is also part of the discounted pack of 2019 Rebellion Specials you can pre-order here:

Are you ready for the COR!! BUSTER HUMOUR SPECIAL?

I've received my complimentary copies of The Cor!! Buster Humour Special and it's a fine publication I'm proud to be part of. Here's a sneak peel of the strip I've drawn for it (from a script by John Freeman), alongside the cover by Neil Googe. 
Loads of old characters are back in 52 pages of fun, rebooted for a modern audience by contemporary creators. As I was one of the regular contributors to the original Buster last Century I'm very pleased to be one of the "old timers" involved with this revamp. The other being the legendary Tom Paterson, whose four pages are worth the cover price alone!

The special will be in WH Smith and comic shops on April 17th, and I'll be posting more about it soon. In the meantime, you can pre-order the special (along with the other specials that Rebellion are publishing) at a discounted price here:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Preview: COMIC SCENE Vol.2 No.2

In the shops now is Comic Scene Vol.2 No.2, an 80 page whopper devoted to all things comic. There are features on Captain Britain, Marvel UK, European Dan Dare comics, Batman in the 1940s, Roy of the Rovers, the unseen Glory Glory comic, Wonder Comics, comics conventions, indie comics, movie news, and more.

This issue also sees the start of a new series of articles I've written in the Corker pull-out section. The first one focuses on some of the important artists who significantly evolved children's humour comics over the decades. Future articles will cover other subjects related to the history of UK humour comics. If you like this Blimey! blog, you should enjoy those features, as they'll be a suitable replacement when this blog ends later this year.

If you're interested in comics (and you wouldn't be here if you're not), then Comic Scene is for you. It's the only High Street magazine dedicated to comics so it deserves your support.

Comic Scene is available from WH Smith and selected comic shops, - or you could subscribe from the website:


...and here's an advance preview of next month's issue, on sale in April...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Fifty Year Flashback: TV21 goes back to basics

Fifty years ago this week, TV21 had one of its revamps, returning to the newspaper-style cover designs that made it so unique in its first three years. In January 1968 it had switched to using comic strips on the covers, but presumably sales had suffered, so now, in March 1969, after dabbling with a few news-style covers over a few weeks, it was going back to basics full time.

With a beautifully designed masthead echoing the Century 21 TV company ident (which itself had been based on the original TV21 logo) the cover gave us tasters of what to expect inside, told in the form of newspaper reports. 

Inside, the previous "editorials" by Colonel White were gone, replaced by Agent Twenty One's message to the readers alongside the Secret Agent 21 strip itself. (Strip art by Rab Hamilton. No idea who drew the cartoon.)

Captain Scarlet, which had previously been the cover strip for a year, was now inside, illustrated in grey wash by Jim Watson...
Reflecting its new "First with the Space and Spy News" sub-title, Department S was based on the ITC series starring Peter Wyngarde, Joel Fabini, and Rosemary Nichols. Not the most flattering photo of Wyngarde for the title header...
The strip did feature good likenesses of the three stars though, with art by Carlos Pino and Vincente Alcazar...
It's easy to see why TV21 was so highly regarded by its readers during the 1960s when the centre pages featured Thunderbirds illustrated by Frank Bellamy. It was a real coup for Century 21 to have this artist on the payroll...

My favourite artist on the comic was always Mike Noble. His Zero X strip had such dynamic power...

I think most of us were probably buying TV21 at this stage for those colour strips, but the black and white strips were entertaining. The Saint and Tarzan were very popular TV shows, and their strips (which had joined the comic the previous year from TV Tornado) had the right tone but were not the main selling point of the comic. 

The back page of this issue of TV21 was part of a series depicting man's journey to Saturn. Yes, by this time, the comic's attempts at connected continuity with its stories was out of whack. How could man only just be landing on Saturn in 2069 when Fireball XL5 had been regularly roaming the galaxy four years previously in 2065? Best not to think too deeply about it. Nice painting though.
This issue also featured two adverts related to Joe 90, who had his own comic at that stage. Ah, Sugar Smacks and Sutherlands spreads. All part of the wonderful 1960s....

It was around this time, a month later, when I started buying TV21 regularly again, so the revamp definitely hooked me. Sadly it wasn't to last. I suspect the change was too late and didn't boost sales enough, so this first series of TV21 ended in September 1969, replaced by TV21 and Joe 90, starting with a new first issue, and unfortunately losing most of what had made it so unique. 

My post on TV21 and Joe 90 No.1:

Joe 90 Top Secret No.1:

TV Tornado:

TV Century 21 No.1:

A selection of comics from one week in 1965:

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Jumping on point for 2000AD next week

Several new stories kick off in the next issue of 2000AD, on sale Wednesday. There's a wraparound cover by Leigh Gallagher too! Here's the PR and an advance preview...

UK and DIGITAL: 20th March 2019 £2.85
NORTH AMERICA: 20th April 2019 $22.40 (per pack)

In this issue:

JUDGE DREDD: CITIZENSHIP by Rory McConville (w) Jake Lynch (a) John Charles (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

SURVIVAL GEEKS: DUNGEONS & DATING by Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse Ville (l)

KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS by Ian Edginton (w) Leigh Gallagher (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

GREY AREA: MAKING HISTORY by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond

...also on Wednesday the latest issue of Judge Dredd Magazine arrives, packed with great stories plus a special feature on girls' comics of yesteryear!

UK and DIGITAL: 20th March 2019 £5.99
NORTH AMERICA: 20th April 2019 $13

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: New Comics: Gryyym, Classic Comics: Tammy & Jinty, interviews with Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard
Bagged reprint: Operation: Overlord Vol.3

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond

Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Preview: VIZ No.284

The new issue of Viz is out now, with another 52 pages packed with fun for all ages, - as long as you're over 18 and don't mind a bit of swearing and smut. 

Viz has always been more than just sweary humour of course. It's the nation's premier satirical comic, - a tradition that dates back to the Victorian comics such as Funny Folks and Ally Sloper's Half Holiday. That's why a lot of Viz's imitators failed. They copied the rudeness, but not the clever social satire. 

This issue sees regular favourites Sid the Sexist, Drunken Bakers, Fat Slags and more, plus many other strips and parodies. Here's a little sample...
NASH GORDON by Tom Paterson.
ROBIN HOOD by Simon Ecob.
I'm very pleased to say that I'm back in this issue, with an all-new Felix and his Amazing Underpants page. Plot and artwork by me, script by Graham Dury and Simon Thorp, in which Felix gets involved in Brexit-related shenanigans. 
I first worked for Viz about 30 years ago, and became a regular in the 1990s until a few years ago, so it's great to be back. I don't know how regularly I'll be contributing as each idea is judged on a case by case basis, but I'm working on another script right now so fingers crossed! 

Later this year, Viz notches up its 40th anniversary, so give one of Britain's longest-running comics your support and buy the latest edition this week! £3.70 for 52 pages, available from newsagents and supermarkets across the UK.

Rare fanzine with first lengthy Alan Moore interview, now on eBay

Back in the early 1980s I produced several fanzines and stripzines (or "small press comics" as they're called today). One of them was Fantasy Express, and the fifth issue contained a lengthy interview by Eddie Stachelski with Alan Moore.

I understand this was the first in-depth interview with Alan Moore that appeared anywhere, although there have been hundreds since of course! In the 11 page interview Alan talks about his then-current work on Captain Britain, V for Vendetta, and Marvelman amongst many other things. 

The print runs on fanzines were very small. Fantasy Express had a print run of 150 to 200 so it's very rare! I sold copies through the post or at comic marts / conventions. Even a local newsagent took a few. 

Most of them were sold back in the 1980s but this week I'm putting an unread, unsold edition from my personal collection up for auction. Condition is excellent, as it's been carefully stored away for 35 years. Interested? If so, head over to my eBay page to find out more and see a few photos. Bidding ends on Sunday 17th March. This Sunday! Good luck!

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