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Friday, October 04, 2019


Starblazer was a pocket-sized science fiction comic (in the Commando format) that D.C. Thomson published from 1979 to 1991. I've never covered it on this blog because... well, I don't have many of them. Compared to 2000AD, Starblazer seemed a bit dated to me, but it did have a large, loyal following in its day and did feature some great artwork. In retrospect, it was unfair of me to compare it to 2000AD. I should have judged it on its own merits because sadly I missed out on a lot of good comics. 

Well, hopefully those of us who did miss out might have a chance to recapture those days if D.C. Thomson's latest venture proves to be a success. Thomson's new Heritage Comics imprint is reviving Starblazer in the form of a graphic novel, reprinting two classic stories. (Ironically both of which are two of the few that I actually did buy way back when.) Here's the PR I received earlier this morning...

Heritage Comics Launches Starblazer Graphic Novel

Heritage Comics presents Starblazer, in print for the first time since the 1990s, now in graphic novel format.

Originally published between 1979 and 1991 by DC Thomson, Starblazer was the pocket-sized, Science Fiction comic, presenting action and adventure stories set throughout space and time, overflowing with alien alliances, wonderful worlds and tantalising technology. This graphic novel presents issues #45 ‘Operation Overkill’ from 1981 and #71 ‘Jaws of Death’ from 1982, refreshing and rescaling the artwork to full graphic-novel size, whilst retaining the charm of their original black and white format.
‘Operation Overkill’ provides a glimpse into some of British comic legend Grant Morrison’s earliest work, where Argentinian illustrator Enrique Alcatena’s artwork brings such imaginations to life in exquisite detail. Likewise, ‘Jaws of Death’ by D Broadbent showcases Mick McMahon’s instantly recognisable, clean and confident draughtsmanship. Together, they present some of the best of British Science Fiction in a highly-collectible and well considered format, appealing to a contemporary audience as well as fans of the original pocket-size publication.
Supplemented by the original, full-colour cover art by Keith Robson for both issues, a fresh new wraparound cover by Neil Roberts brings these classic stories into a contemporary, yet familiar field.

Bonus content comes in the form of a brief history of the well-loved cult comic with an Ian Kennedy Easter Egg in the mix, an exclusive interview with artist Neil Roberts, and insights from a conversation with Grant Morrison by Professor Christopher Murray. A must-have for Science Fiction and British comic fans alike.

You can also preorder a copy from DC Thomson’s website right now!

The Starblazer graphic novel will be available to buy from WHSmith and the DC Thomson shop from early November 2019 for £12.99.


Kevin Larkin said...

I understand that some people prefer reprints to remain as they originally appeared, but it's a shame these haven't been coloured, like the Commando one you mentioned earlier. Maybe all the black star-scapes didn't leave much else to colour!

Lew Stringer said...

Personally I'm glad they'll be reprinted in black and white. There's a difference between drawing for black and white and drawing for colour and I think it's better to leave them as intended. I've seen some terrible examples over the years of colour being added to b/w pages that made them look too heavy and dark. Yes, one could painstakingly remaster the pages to (for example) replace shaded areas with a colour, but then you end up redrawing the art and it ceases to be the work of the original artist.

SID said...

Great news, Lew and I agree that the art should stay as the original.

David said...

Yes, black and white is best. Ordered.

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