NOTE: Blimey! is no longer being updated. Please visit for the latest updates about my comics work.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

It's COMICS SALOPIA this weekend!

What does "Salopia" mean? Well, it's an old French word, Salop, for Shropshire, so a comics convention set in Shrewsbury has adopted the name for its premiere event this weekend, 1st and 2nd June, as Comics Salopia takes place in various venues over town.

With guests from the UK and overseas, Comics Salopia sounds like it'll be an exciting show as readers meet comics creators such as Charlie Adlard, Sean Phillips, Aneke Murillenem, Chip Kidd, Yanick Paquette and many more! 

As I said, we're in various locations across town, and you'll find me in the grounds of Shrewsbury Castle alongside fellow Beano artists Nigel Parkinson, Laura Howell, Hunt Emerson, and Beano editor John Anderson! 
Then, between 12 and 1p.m. on Saturday we'll be trekking over the river to the Guild Hall (room 021) for a Beano panel to talk to the audience and answer questions about Britain's longest running comic.
After that we'll be back at our stalls in the Castle grounds. 

This is the first event of its kind in Shrewsbury, and the weather forecast is good, so I hope you'll join us! More info here:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE No.539 - Deluxe Edition!

Package cover.
Here's an update to the news item I posted the other day. Doctor Who Magazine No.539 is in shops this week... but you'll have a choice between the standard issue and a special deluxe edition!

The Deluxe Edition is exclusive to WH Smith and comes with bonus extras. Alongside the regular 84 page magazine you'll find a 28 page supplement taking us behind the scenes on the Thirteenth Doctor's first series, a Doctor Who bookmark, download codes from Big Finish and BBC Audio, and an Exclusive Vinyl EP featuring tracks from The Evil of the Daleks. All packaged in a card envelope for £9.99. 

(Standard version without extras, £5.99). 

A collectors' item for all Whovians!
Magazine cover.

Exhibition of John McCrea artwork in Birmingham

Last Monday, 20th May, I was pleased to be invited to the launch of John McCrea's new exhibition in the centre of Birmingham, and a very pleasant evening it was.

John has worked in comics for a long time now, on characters such as Batman, Judge Dredd, Hitman, and many more. The exhibition presents a wide range of his work, with original art and prints for sale. John has a great style that's always evolving and it was great to see his original art up close.

If you're in Birmingham, the place to go is the Havill and Travis Gallery at the Primitivo Bar and Eatery, 10 Barwick Street, Birmingham B3 2NT. The exhibition is open from Monday to Friday 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. and runs for another five weeks.

Paul H. Birch was one of the people at the opening night, and he's written about it over on the Down the Tubes blog here:
John McCrea is also hosting some free workshops at the venue. See the flyer above for details.

Have you bought your COR!! BUSTER special yet?

Still on sale foe a couple more weeks is the Cor!! Buster Humour Special, with 52 pages of all-new strips bringing back the classic characters of yesteryear! It was a pleasure to work on this comic and I hear it's selling well so let's hope it leads to more next year! 

The special is on sale in WH Smiths, and various newsagents and comic shops (if they've ordered it!). If you can't find one if your area, don't worry! You can order it directly from the publishers here:

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

This week's COMMANDO comics commemorate D-Day 75th anniversary

Latest press release directly from D.C. Thomson...

75 years since brave men stormed the beaches at Normandy, ready to fight tooth and nail to reclaim occupied land. 

As part of the D-Day 75 remembrance, Commando is releasing a commemorative set of D-Day themed Commandos. From the sappers at dawn break to the Commandos on the beachhead, brand new issues 5231 – 5234 are out this Thursday!

5231: Home of Heroes: First Men Ashore

First up to commemorate 75 years since D-Day is First Men Ashore. A story that focuses on the little-told heroism of the sappers on that fateful day. Writer Iain McLaughlin was inspired by the true events in the predawn hours of Tuesday 6th June, 1944, where the 32 Armoured Engineer Regiment RE cleared the minefields ahead of the vital D-Day landings. Without those courageous sappers, the beach would have been a catastrophe for the Allied troops who were due to land at 0600 hours.  

| Story | Iain McLaughlin | Art | Muller & Klacik | Cover | Neil Roberts |

5232: Gold Collection: Big Joe

Rough and ready boxer, Big Joe Barton is geared up for D-Day. Wronged by a nasty SS Captain who cheated during their match, Big Joe is determined to get even – and no little thing called D-Day is going to get in the way of his fists! With classic cover by Lopez Epsi, this Commando is a belter! 

| Story | Fitzsimmons | Art | Cortes | Cover | Lopez Espi|
Originally Commando No. 203 (1966). 

5233: Action and Adventure: Dead by Dawn

Kate Dewar is Commando’s second female writer in 30 years and she smashes into comics with a whopper of a story! Dewar’s plot starts on the morning of the D-Day landings but focusses on the events of Battle of Port-en-Bessin on 7th June, 1944, where the brave Royal Marine Commandos took the Nazi stronghold. As Dewar says:

“The issue was inspired by a meeting with Royal Marine Commando re-enactors at Military Odyssey in Kent last year. Researching one of their main tasks, Operation Aubery, I knew it would be the perfect setting for a Commando and a great way to commemorate the 75th D-Day anniversary. It’s also a story about family being more than blood and the bonds between these men, all of whom were volunteers.”

| Story | Kate Dewar | Art | Manuel Benet | Cover |Manuel Benet |

5234: Silver Collection: Marked Man

Inspired by Operation Bodyguard, our protagonist Pete Barton – of no relation to Big Joe – is tasked with a mission no man would want; to plant fake invasion plans on a dead British Commando. Only, when everything goes wrong, he’s pegged as everything from a coward to a spy to an actual German soldier! It doesn’t matter to Pete, what really matters is that those fake plans get into Nazi hands – at any cost necessary! 

| Story | Bounds | Art | Gallindo | Cover | Gonzalez |
Originally Commando No. 570 (1971).

Monday, May 27, 2019

Cover Preview: DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE No.539

On sale this Thursday, 30th May, is Doctor Who Magazine No.539 featuring an exclusive interview with Jodie Whittaker, part five of The Heralds of Doom comic strip, plus a new Daft Dimension humour strip by me starring the Zarbi, and loads of features and reviews. Don't miss it! 

Sunday, May 26, 2019


It's terrific news for older readers and true comic enthusiasts that Rebellion are delving into the 1950s for a new addition to their Treasury of British Comics books. Roy of the Rovers: Best of the 1950s goes right back to the very beginning for the character, reprinting his earliest stories from Tiger when it launched on Tuesday 7th September 1954! (Specifically the book covers issues dated week endings 11th September 1954 to 21st May 1955 and 20th August 1955 to 11th February 1956 inclusive so there's a lot of episodes here!)

The strips have been scanned from those old comics and remastered to the best quality for this new collection. Although some of the early Roy of the Rovers strips were reprinted in Hurricane in 1964 retitled as 'Hurry of the Hammers' this is the first time they've been reprinted faithfully, and Rebellion have done an excellent job. 

The back up features include Take a Tour Around Melchester Stadium from a 1950s Roy of the Rovers Annual (previously reprinted in Titan's Best of Roy of the Rovers in 2008) and other strips from the annuals of the period. 

This is a great collection that should please fans of the character old and new. Even non-sports fans should enjoy it because in those days Roy of the Rovers was drawn by Joe Colquhoun, later to find more fame as the artist of Charley's War. This book is a superb chance to see Joe's rare early work! 

Here's the PR for it, along with the strips from the first two issues of Tiger, from way back in 1954! 

CREATIVE TEAM: Frank S. Pepper (w) Joe Colquhoun (a)
RELEASE DATE: 25th July 2019
HARDCOVER, 148 pages
PRICE: £19.99 (UK)
ISBN: 9781781087176

On September 11th 1954 a new weekly sports anthology comic called Tiger was launched in the UK. It’s lead strip, Roy of the Rovers – a story starring a young footballer called Roy Race who played for Melchester Rovers – quickly became a fan favourite. This incredible collection with never-before reprinted stories charts the early days of Roy’s association with Melchester Rovers, from the highs of signing for the club he supported as a boy to the lows of having his boots stolen before a big game! Experience the first decade of Melchester’s greatest soccer sensation in this glorious football action on and off the pitch!

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

Available in digital from: Treasury of British Comics webshop & apps for iPadAndroid and Windows 10

Friday, May 24, 2019

Cover reveal: DANDY and BEANO Annuals for 2020

D.C.Thomson have revealed the covers to their new annuals for the year 2020, (although they'll be published later this summer because annuals are always dated a year ahead). 

The Dandy Annual 2020 features a really nice cover by Ken Harrison, who has superbly captured the styles of the artists associated with each character. The logo is a nice variation of the one used in the comic in the 1970s (and on some previous annuals). The content is all-new, featuring classic Dandy stars. I've written/drawn three full page Keyhole Kate strips for the book. 

The Beano Annual 2020 has a cover by Nigel Parkinson. The logo is the new Beano design that started being used on the weekly a few years ago. Again, the content will be all-new.
The regular reprint collection this time is called Beano and Dandy: Chortle With Chums. At this small size I can't recognise who drew the cover (update: it's by Nigel Parkinson) but it's amusing to see it takes place at a comics convention! You may notice that Ginger is part of the gang too, so presumably the book reprints strips from The Beezer as well as the two titled comics. 
You can pre-order the Dandy and Beano Annuals as a "Double Trouble Pack" from the D.C. Thomson shop here:

Cover preview: 2000AD Prog 2133

On sale next Wednesday! 

UK and DIGITAL: 29th May 2019 £2.85
NORTH AMERICA: 29th June 2019 $32.80 (per pack)
In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: NEW BLOOD by Rory McConville (w) Siku (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
THARG'S THRILLERS: THE CHIMERA by James Peaty (w) Brian Corcoran (a) Matt Soffe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS by Ian Edginton (w) Leigh Gallagher (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
MAX NORMAL: HOW THE MAX GOT HIS STRIPES by Guy Adams (w) Dan Cornwell (a) Jim Boswell (c) Simon Bowland (l)
SCARLET TRACES: HOME FRONT by Ian Edginton (w) D'Israeli (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, May 20, 2019

More classic collections from Rebellion!

A few years ago it seemed very unlikely that many classic British comic strips would ever be reprinted again but thanks to Rebellion's acquisition of the old Odhams / Fleetway / IPC archives there are now collections issued on a monthly basis. 

Two more books have recently been announced and this time Rebellion are delving even further into the archives. On 25th July we can look forward to Roy of the Rovers: The Best of the 1950s, reprinting the earliest strips from Tiger starting with issue No.1. (Specifically the book covers issues dated 11th September 1954 to 21st May 1955 and 20th August 1955 to 11th February 1956 inclusive so there's a lot of episodes here!)

CREATIVE TEAM: Frank S. Pepper (w) Joe Colquhoun (a)
RELEASE DATE: 25th July 2019
HARDCOVER, 148 pages
PRICE: £19.99 (UK)
ISBN: 9781781087176

A highlight for 2020 will be The Rise and Fall of The Trigan Empire, - just announced exclusively on The Hollywood Reporter website:

Written by Mike Butterworth and illustrated by Don Lawrence, The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire began in Ranger magazine in 1965, transferred over to Look and Learn when the two magazines merged in 1966, and continued until 1982 (the later years drawn by other artists). Some chapters of the strip have already been reprinted several times; abridged and edited in a couple of books in the 1970s, in Vulcan weekly in the 1970s, a book compiled by Mike Higgs for Hawk Books in 1989, and most recently in 12 expensive hardbacks by The Book Palace. The new collections promise to be more affordable. The first 304 page volume goes on sale in March 2020.

More info on these books soon!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

2000AD SCI-FI SPECIAL - cover reveal

Rebellion have just revealed the cover to this year's 2000AD Sci-Fi Special (or Summer Special for us older readers). The 52 page publication will be published on 19th June and will pay tribute to Carlos Ezquerra, co-creator of Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Major Eazy, and more, who passed away last year. It'll include the first chapters of Spector, written by John Wagner, a new series that Carlos had been working on before he died.

Lots of great stuff inside, and a cover by Mick McMahon! This £4.99 special is essential summer reading. More info soon!

The Magic of Roy Wilson

Comic Scene No.4 will be out this Wednesday, 23rd May, and one of the many articles inside will be a four page retrospective on the artist Roy Wilson that I've written.

Roy Wilson was one of the most influential humour artists in comics, and the feature is illustrated with various panel and covers of his that I scanned from my collection. One piece of artwork I supplied that wasn't used was The Sports Commentor's Nightmare, the frontispiece from the Radio Fun Annual 1952. Rather than let my scan go to waste I thought I'd post it on my blog today for you all to enjoy. (Click on the image to see it larger.) What a fantastic cartoonist Roy Wilson was! 

Don't miss Comic Scene No.4 on Wednesday, to read my article (and many other features). If your shops won't stock it (their loss!) you can order it directly from the publisher here:

Saturday, May 18, 2019

PSYCHO GRAN returns again!

Psycho Gran was created by writer/artist David Leach way back in 1987 for Oink! comic and appeared on and off throughout its run. She then rested for years before returning in the charity comic Spirit of Hope in 2011, then in digital comic Aces Weekly in 2012, and her own digital comics published by Titan. 

Since then the octogenarian avenger has appeared in two issues of Psycho Gran Versus in full page illustrations, but now she's back in comic strip form in the first issue of Psycho Gran Comic Capers Cavalcade
The full colour 36 page A4 comic features Psycho Gran at her finest, in a collection of short stories where she enacts her own brand of justice to people who quite frankly deserve it. It often ventures into the absurd and surreal because anything can happen in this world! It's full of David Leach's over the top comic violence and is funny stuff indeed. A fine showcase of David's talents as a writer and cartoonist. 
People have been clamouring for more British comics so go for it! To buy a copy you can message David Leach directly for details at the Psycho Gran Facebook page:

...or you can contact the publisher Dead Universe Comics:

...or buy directly from David Leach at the comics conventions he attends. (He'll be at Macc-Pow! on Saturday 22nd June:

Cover preview: Next week's 2000AD

UK and DIGITAL: 22nd May 2019 £2.85
NORTH AMERICA: 22nd June 2019 $32.80 (per pack)

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: NEW BLOOD by Rory McConville (w) Siku (c) (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SCARLET TRACES: HOME FRONT by Ian Edginton (w) D'Israeli (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
MAX NORMAL: HOW THE MAX GOT HIS STRIPES by Guy Adams (w) Dan Cornwell (a) Jim Boswell (c) Simon Bowland (l)
THARG'S THRILLERS: THE CHIMERA by James Peaty (w) Brian Corcoran (a) Matt Soffe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
KINGMAKER: OUROBOROS by Ian Edginton (w) Leigh Gallagher (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

Friday, May 17, 2019

Tommy Donbavand

I'm very sorry to hear of the passing of writer Tommy Donbavand, who lost his long fight against cancer a few days ago. 

Tommy was a successful writer on The Beano, Doctor Who Adventures, and other titles as well as the award-winning author of the Scream Street books (now a TV series), a playwright, and a theatrical actor, to name just a few of his impressive accomplishments. 

Online, he documented his fight against his illness at the Tommy vs Cancer website, which was published in print and available from Amazon:

Tommy's memoirs of his battle are both harrowing and darkly comic, and I doubt many of us would have the same incentive and strength of spirit to do that in similar situations. A multi-talented, good man who earned a huge amount of respect from all who knew him or read about him. I never met Tommy but I had great admiration for his work and his strength of character when faced with such adversity. My condolences to his family and friends on their loss.

If you'd like to help Tommy's family financially you can donate via the JustGiving website here:



My thanks to Rebellion for sending me a copy of Leo Baxendale's Sweeny Toddler, a very nice 100 page hardback collection. The book covers the start of the strip from Shiver and Shake No.1 (10th March 1973) up to Whoopee! dated 7th June 1975 which I think are all the Sweeny Toddler strips that Leo drew before Tom Paterson took over. There are also six "ghosted" pages that I noticed which the book mentions. I wasn't able to identify all the "ghost" artists although I'm pretty sure at least one is by Barrie Appleby.
As well as being a very funny collection, the book is significant because it's some of Leo's last work for mainstream comics before he went independent with Willy the Kid and Baby Basil. It's interesting that Rebellion have chosen to start their Leo Baxendale books with this one, but Sweeny Toddler was such a popular character that it's the obvious choice. I hope in future we'll see collections of Clever Dick, The Swots and the Blots (from when Leo took over the strip in March 1969) and selected highlights from Wham! A Grimly Feendish collection would be good too, but as Leo only drew about 20 of those, credits would have to be shared with Stan McMurtry and others. 

For the moment though, we have the Sweeny Toddler book, and very welcome it is too. Hopefully it'll sell well enough to guarantee more Leo Baxendale books... and a few reprinting Tom Paterson's Sweeny Toddler strips too!

Leo Baxendale's Sweeny Toddler is released on 25th July and will be ready to order soon from the Treasury of British Comics shop:

You can read my review of the book here:

Which humour strips of Leo's (and other artists) from Odhams, Fleetway, and IPC would YOU like to see collected? Post your thoughts below! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

COMIC SCENE No.4 - Coming soon!

There's a new issue of Comic Scene published on 23rd May and you can see a list of the contents here:

This time, I've written a feature about the great Roy Wilson, one of the most influential artists in British humour comics. The article runs across four pages and features samples of his strips and art at a nice readable size. I think it's important to keep the names of such artistic giants alive, not only for nostalgists but for modern readers who may never have heard of them. 

As you can see (if you clicked the link) there's a good variety of other features in the mag too, including articles on M.A.C.H. 1, Batman in the 1960s, Draculass, indie comics and much more!

Comic Scene should be available from WH Smith and various comic shops... but I know how some people are finding it difficult to find it. (My local Smiths has dropped it, despite it selling, and won't order it in. I've heard similar stories from others too.) 

In theory, shops should be willing to order Comic Scene for you, but if they refuse, how can you get it? The best option is to subscribe directly from the publisher... and you can get back issues from them too. Here's the link:

Comic Scene is the only print magazine that is dedicated to supporting and promoting British comics, so please stick by it and... buy it! 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Back from the excellent OLDHAM COMIC CON

A Judge Dredd sketch I was commissioned to draw, and I wasn't going to argue with a Judge!
I had a very enjoyable weekend up North for the Oldham Comic Con which took place at the impressive Queen Elizabeth Hall in Oldham on Saturday 11th May. It was the third year for the show, but my first visit, and I was very impressed. 

Oldham Comic Con is a family run event by Dennis Whittle, his wife Sarah, daughter Amy, and a team of volunteers. (Big shout out to Michael Chandler for guest liaison.) They all looked after the guests very well, sending people to meet us at the station to take us to our hotel, then providing transport on Saturday to take us to the convention (and back to the hotel in the evening). Then, on the Saturday night, free entertainment courtesy of the band Blues Harvest and a nice buffet. Everything ran smoothly and we all had a great time.

The convention itself was very busy. As a free event it attracted seasoned comics fans as well as newcomers curious to see what it was all about. Speaking as someone who's been attending comic cons for 40 years I've noticed the change from the shows only appealing to male comic fans of 15 to 30 years old, to today's wider demographic that brings in lots of families and a more balanced ratio of male and female attendees of all ages. That can only be a good thing!

In case you were wondering, yes, Oldham Comic Con focuses entirely on comics, not actors, not wrestlers, just comics; a traditional comic con in other words. It's good that there are still shows like this, and it's not alone in that regard, with cons such as ICE, Macc-Pow!, NICE, Manchester Comic Fest, Comics Salopia, Worcester Comics Festival, Enniskillen Comic Fest and others also proudly flying the flag for the comics industry, along with multi-media shows such as LFCC and Preston Comic Con that have a good balance of comics and film/TV guests. (So when you hear people claiming "Comic cons ain't about comics any more" you can nip that myth in the bud.) 

Back to Oldham Comic Con, and the whole show had a very nice friendly atmosphere to it with lots of happy attendees. Dennis had invited a good range of guests from the world of comics, and there were exhibitors selling their own self-published comics too. It was great to catch up with lots of people in the industry and hang out with good friends Mike Collins, Aneke Murillenem, Laura Howell, David Leach, Phil Winslade, Ian Richardson, Martin Griffiths, Lee Townsend, Jenika Iolfreda, GM Jordan, Tim Perkins, Nigel Dobbyn, Dan Whitehead, Steve Tanner, Dan and Becky Cornwell, Michael Carroll, Al Ewing, Dave Millgate, Paul McCaffrey, Alan Cowsill, John Jackson, Brian Clarke, Joe Matthews, and to meet Amy Chu, Kevin Enhart, Ellen Stubbings, Keith Williams, Steve Austin, Baden James Mellonie and more! 

As often the case as shows these days I didn't take many photos but here's the handful I did take...
All set up and ready for the doors to open!
Lord Snooty sketch at the pencil stage.
Writer/publisher Dan Whitehead and his son.

John Jackson and Brian Clarke with their new comic, The Mancunian!

With my good friend and artist Aneke from Madrid at the evening party.
Artist/colourist Kevin Enhart all the way from France.
Saturday night entertainment from the band Blues Harvest.
If you have the chance to go to Oldham Comic Con next year I'd thoroughly recommend it! Don't just take my word for it though. Here's a review and lots more photos by Leonard Sultana...

Friday, May 10, 2019

MIND WARS comes to the Megazine!

Next week's issue of Judge Dredd Magazine, on sale Wednesday 15th May, will be 64 pages of all-new material as usual, and also as usual it'll be bagged with a chunky reprint of a bygone strip. This time it's a reprint of a series a lot of people have been wanting for quite some time; Mind Wars, which originally appeared in Starlord weekly back in 1978!

Written by Alan Hebden, with art by Jesus Redondo and Ian Gibson, Mind Wars is sure to be welcomed by readers. Judge Dredd Magazine No.408 features volume 1, and the second volume concluding the series will be bagged with the following month's issue.  

There's lots of great NEW material in this issue too of course! Here's the info and a few preview pages...

UK and DIGITAL: 15th May 2019 £5.99
NORTH AMERICA: 15th June 2019 $13

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: THE CRAZY by Kenneth Niemand (w) Nick Dyer (a) John Charles (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)

TALES FROM THE BLACK MUSEUM: JUST BUSINESS by Rory McConville (w) Neil Googe (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
THE DARK JUDGES: THE TORTURE GARDEN by John Wagner (w) Nick Percival (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Features: Geoff Senior interview, Abigail Bulmer interview
Bagged reprint: Mind Wars Vol.1

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...