Friday, November 29, 2019

It's (nearly) Christmaaaas

A quick reminder that my Christmas merchandise is still available to order from my Redbubble store, but order quickly as they'll be deleted after Christmas. Made to order and shipped to buyers by Redbubble.
https://www.redbubble.com/people/LewStringer





Preview: 2000AD Prog 2160

Here's an advance preview of next week's 2000AD, including its wraparound cover by Stewart Kenneth Moore.

UK and DIGITAL: 4th December 2019 £2.99
NORTH AMERICA: 4th January 2019 $25.19 (per pack)
DIAMOND: 
COVER: STEWART KENNETH MOORE

In this issue:

JUDGE DREDD: THE HARVEST by Michael Carroll (w) Nick Percival (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

DEFOE: THE DIVISOR by Pat Mills (w) SK Moore (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

BRINK: HATE BOX by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)

HOPE: UNDER FIRE by Guy Adams (w) Jimmy Broxton (a) Simon Bowland (l)

THE FALL OF DEADWORLD: DOOMED by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond
Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10
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Apologies for still not catching up with the reviews of comics I promised some of you I'd do. Deadlines and another cold bug have slowed me down and haven't had time to sit and digest comics for a while. I'll get to it soon!

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Thursday, November 28, 2019

SUGAR JONES collection coming in Summer 2020

A browse on Amazon today revealed this new book to be published in August 2020. The Best of Sugar Jones will collect strips from the series that ran in Pink, a girls comic published by IPC from 1973 to 1980. 

Sugar Jones was written by Pat Mills and illustrated by Rafael Busóm. Like the other material in Pink it was aimed at older girls rather than the juvenile market of comics such as June or Bunty. As the book's description puts it:

"Sugar Jones is the charming twenty-something host of her own late night variety show, beloved by viewers up and down the nation. Only her assistant Susie knows her secret – Sugar is really a selfish, sour, scheming hag of 40, who’ll do anything to make a quick buck!"

An interesting addition to Rebellion's Treasury of British Comics, The Best of Sugar Jones is listed as a 224 page paperback and is available for pre-order from Amazon's site here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Sugar-Jones-Pat-Mills/dp/1781087709


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Not one, not two, but four 2000AD REGENED specials set for next year

News just in from Rebellion...

2000 AD’s all-ages special issue, 2000 AD Regened, is returning in 2020 – but this time there’s even more!

Rebellion is pleased to announce that after the huge success of this year’s 2000 AD Regened issue, Regened will take over FOUR issues of the legendary 2000 AD in 2020, with dedicated stories suitable for all ages.

Drawing on four decades of genre-defining characters while encouraging new readers to pick up the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, 2000 AD Regened has something for everyone with a stellar lineup of talent on some of the biggest characters in comics, including Ilias Kyriazis (Collapser), Cavan Scott (Doctor Who), Nick Roche (Transformers), Rob Davis (The Motherless Oven), and more!

The new 2000 AD Regened issues follow on from the successful Free Comic Book Day issue in 2018 and 2000 AD Prog 2130, which was 2000 AD’s best-selling issue of 2019.

The first Regened issue of 2020 will be 2000 AD Prog 2170 – a bumper 48-page special issue with a roster of complete stories, on sale from newsagents, comic book stores, and online on 26 February 2020.

The subsequent Regened issues will be 2000 AD Prog 2183 on 27 May, 2000 AD Prog 2196 on 26 August, and 2000 AD Prog 2206 on 4 November.

2000 AD editor Matt Smith said: “2000 AD’s 2019 Regened takeover issue was the best-selling issue of the year, so I’m excited to bringing the all-ages concept to four issues across 2020. We’ve got some great stories and artwork lined up – many by creators making their debut for the title – so I hope these will go down equally as well with readers young and old.”

In the first issue, a young Judge Dredd must defeat an interdimensional invasion in Cadet Dredd: School Trip by Rory McConville (Judge Dredd) and Ilias Kyriazis (Collapser); the lone genetic infantryman enters dangerous ground in Rogue Trooper: Savage Swamp by Cavan Scott (Doctor Who) and Nick Roche (Transformers); ghost-hunters Eliot and Meera tackle an entity loose in a graveyard in Finder & Keeper: Dead Signal by Leah Moore and John Reppion (Storm Warning) and Davide Tinto (Spider-Man); and the timid aliens from Strontium Dog, the Gronks, have a fierce new neighbour in The Gronk: The Trouble with Gronkses by David Baillie (Red Thorn) and Rob Davis (The Motherless Oven).

This issue is available to order from comic book stores in North America as part of the monthly 2000 AD packs, using the Diamond Distribution code DEC191838.

The 2000 AD Regened schedule for 2020:
2000 AD Prog 2170 – 26 February
2000 AD Prog 2183 – 27 May
2000 AD Prog 2196 – 26 August
2000 AD Prog 2206 – 4 November
2000 AD is available from all good comic book stores and newsagents in the UK and Ireland. Outside the UK and Ireland, it is available to order through comic book stores via Diamond Distribution. It is also available digitally from the 2000AD.com webshop and the 2000 AD apps for Apple, Android, and Windows 10 devices.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Coming in COMMANDO this week...

On sale Thursday 28th November!

5283: Home of Heroes: Legions of the Damned

In 9CE, the Romans forged a path into the wild heart of the Germanian forests to unite the fierce tribes under the banner of the Roman Empire. However, the XVII Legion would not have everything their way as they walked into a ferocious Barbarian ambush. Their numbers annihilated and their Eagle stolen, the Legion’s commander Legionary Primus Pilus Decimus is one of the few survivors. Disgraced and betrayed by a fellow legate, Decimus had a plan to regain his destroyed Legion’s honour, reclaim its stolen eagle and get revenge, all in one fell swoop!  

| Story | Brent Towns | Art | Khato | Cover | Neil Roberts |



5284: Gold Collection: Escape from Tobruk 

When you’re in the sprawling desert of North Africa, a compass is your best friend. But the compass in a British Matilda tank was off and only the newest recruit to Royal Tank Regiment Corporal Larry Holden knew why. He had to get this information to the top brass — only, he had just been captured by the Italians with his mate, Chunky Brown, and their only hope of escape was with a mysterious, shifty bloke who wouldn’t even tell them his first name.

| Story | Lomas | Art | CT Rigby | Cover | Penalva |
Originally Commando No. 786 (1973).



5285: Action and Adventure: Gaslight

Dead men walk again in Colin Watson’s ‘Gaslight’. They roam the halls of a chateau in Nazi-occupied France seeking revenge on the man who killed them — the ruthless Major Erich Guttman, murderer of British prisoners of war, French Resistance fighters and even his own German soldiers. But all is not what it seems as someone or something may have slipped something into his hot cocoa. With Tom Foster’s creepy second-ever Commando cover, you may want to sleep with the lights on after reading.

| Story | Colin Watson | Art | Muller & Klacik | Cover | Tom Foster |


  
5286: Silver Collection: Shot at Dawn

“An eye for an eye.” That was the motive behind a killing spree that spanned two World Wars and across the high ranks of the British Army. It was a dastardly plot, so evilly conceived that it went undetected for decades until a Dornier bomber, shot down over England, flew straight into the isolated house of a recluse. His diary detailed facts about the murders — which had been ruled suicide, and the events leading up to the avenging spree — and Captain Ben Walsh of the Army’s Special Investigations Branch — was going to track down the murderer before he could kill again.

| Story | Alan Hebden | Art | Phil Gascoine | Cover | Phil Gascoine |
Originally Commando No. 2789 (1994).

Monday, November 25, 2019

ORIGINAL Viz artwork for sale

I'm selling a piece of my original artwork on eBay this week. It's a large 460mm square illustration of The Pathetic Sharks that I did for the 1992 Viz Calendar. Drawn on Bristol board with black ink, water colours, and Caran D'Ache colour pencils. 
The auction runs until Sunday 1st December. Good luck if you're bidding! More info at this link:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ORIGINAL-VIZ-ART-PATHETIC-SHARKS-CALENDAR-PAGE-1992-Lew-Stringer/202830311004


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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Coming from Panini UK this week...

Conan joins the Avengers?!? Yep! It's the story you thought you'd never see... unless you read the original comic last year of course that this issue reprints. It's surprisingly good actually as it's written by Al Ewing who for my money is currently one of the best and most inventive writers in comics. 
Here's the solicitation info from Panini...

Avengers Universe No.7 Release date: 28/11/2019
76 pages of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! The team-up you never thought you'd see is here – the Avengers travel back to the Hyborian Age and meet the legendary Conan the Barbarian!!! Don't miss the shocks as the awesome ‘No Road Home’ saga continues! By Al Ewing, Jim Zub, Mark Waid & Paco Medina! Featuring material first printed in Avengers: No Road Home #6-8.

...of course, this isn't the first time Conan and The Avengers have appeared in the same scene. At least not if you followed Marvel UK in the 1970s. Although back then it was the result of two comics merging and Conan didn't actually meet The Avengers like he has now. (There's also a US Marvel comic called Savage Avengers featuring Conan in the present day with Wolverine, The Punisher, Elektra and more. That one jumped the shark for me I'm afraid. :)) 


Anyway, here's the rest of the pulsatin' Panini comics that will be in the shops on 28th November... 

Astonishing Spider-Man No.41.
76 action-packed pages of arachnid adventure! Spider-Geddon continues, as a beaten and nearly dead Spider-Man faces the favoured son of the Inheritors, Morlun! The wall-crawler has fought Morlun three times and almost died everytime. Can Spidey beat the vile vampire again?! By Sean Ryan & Juan Frigeri! Also, Miles Morales leads the Spider-Army on a raid on the Inheritors! But is it just a suicide mission?! By Christos Gage, Dan Slott, Todd Nauck & Carlo Barberi! The Spider-Army desperately needs new recruits! No one’s too weird to die for – er – serve the cause! So brace yourselves for SPIDER-MA’AM, a spider-powered Aunt! Also, a nightmare world where monsters roam the streets and a SPIDER-MAN strange enough to call it home! Plus, a Spider-Powered Captain Stacy! Police Officer by day, vigilante by night in a way you’ve never seen before! By Jed Mackay, Scott Koblish, Cullen Bunn, Mark Bagley, Ryan North, David Williams, Geoffrey Thorne & Todd Harris!



Wolverine and Deadpool No.7.
76 pages of Marvel’s toughest heroes! Three great stories! Logan discovers a deadly web of deceit in Alaska – and starts slicing through it! ‘The Long Night’ continues, by Benjamin Percy & Marico Takara! X-23 and Gabby face a new challenge: the X-Assassin! A new story begins by Mariko Tamaki & Diego Olortegui! ‘Night of the Living Deadpool’ continues as Wade Wilson fights to survive a zombie apocalypse! By Cullen Bunn & Ramon Rosanas! Featuring material first printed in Wolverine: The Long Night #3, X-23 #7 and Night of the Living Deadpool #2.

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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Order your Six Pack for Christmas!

Now you can order all six of my comics in one parcel and save money! That's Combat Colin issues 1 to 4, Derek the Troll, and Pedantic Stan the Comics Fan. Six separate comics, 200 pages in total! 

Combat Colin reprints the strips that appeared in Action Force and Transformers in the late 1980s'early 1990s. Most pages have been scanned from my original art. 

Derek the Troll reprints the strips that appeared in Warlock and White Dwarf magazines in the late 1980s. PLUS the second half of the comic reprints the complete Rock Solid, Space Hero series that appeared in Swiftsure comic in 1985. 


Pedantic Stan, the Comic Fan reprints the 1990s strip that appeared in Speakeasy fanzine. It was created by John Freeman and myself. John wrote the first six or so and I drew it, then I took over as writer and artist from then on.

Six comics in one parcel. Shop early for Christmas! Here's the link:
http://www.lewstringer.com/page7.htm 

Please note: The prices on my website are for UK customers only. If you live outside the UK, contact me at lew.stringer@BTopenworld.com for postage rates. 


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Friday, November 22, 2019

Purita Campos 1937 - 2019

The comic artist Purita Campos has passed away at age 82. The highly regarded Spanish artist was a prolific contributor to girls comics in the UK throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Her most popular strip was Patty's World which began in Princess Tina in 1971. She also illustrated many covers for that comic and others. (One Princess Tina cover is shown above, taken from the Bear Alley blog.)

I must admit that as I never followed girls comics I was unfamiliar with the superb work of Purita Campos until recent years. Even now, my knowledge of her output is limited so I don't feel I could do her justice in a proper tribute. However, the comics historian Steve Holland has written a superbly researched obituary over on his Bear Alley blog which you can read by clicking this link:
https://bearalley.blogspot.com/2019/11/purita-campos-1937-2019.html

My condolences to the family and friends of Purita Campos for their loss. 

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Here comes CORKER!

A new British comic on the newsstands? Yep, in the form of Corker! a 24 page pull-out comic in the latest issue of Comic Scene magazine. 

Corker! has a new cover by Marc Jackson (who also provides the Whackoman comic strip on the back page) and contains three long strips; Gallant and Amos by Rob Barnes, Slash Moron by Bambos Georgiou, the late James Hansen, and coloured by John Burns, and MegaAtomic Battle Rabbit by Stu Perrins and Israel Huretas. 

There are also strips in Comic Scene itself, such as reprints of Rok of the Reds and Lady Flintlock

A good showcase for modern indie talent, Comic Scene No.10 is in WH Smiths and comic shops now, or you can subscribe at this link:
https://getmycomics.com/comicscene



Advance Preview: 2000AD Prog 2159

A striking cover by Rob Davis for next week's 2000AD. Prog 2159 goes on sale Wednesday 27th November, but you can have a sneak preview of some of the amazing artwork in a few pages below, thanks to Rebellion. 

UK and DIGITAL: 27th November 2019 £2.99
NORTH AMERICA: 27th December 2019 $25.19 (per pack)
DIAMOND: SEP191936
COVER: ROB DAVIS

In this issue:

JUDGE DREDD: THE HARVEST by Michael Carroll (w) Nick Percival (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)


DEFOE: THE DIVISOR by Pat Mills (w) SK Moore (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

BRINK: HATE BOX by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)

HOPE: UNDER FIRE by Guy Adams (w) Jimmy Broxton (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

THE FALL OF DEADWORLD: DOOMED by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Available in print from: newsagents and comic book stores via Diamond
Available in digital from: 2000 AD webshop and apps for iPadAndroidWindows 10
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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Chris Weston cover to retailer Trigan Empire Vol.1 hardcover revealed

Breaking news! Rebellion have just released an image of the alternative cover to their Trigan Empire collection as a retailer variant, and it's stunning artwork by Chris Weston. (If ever the series was revived for new stories Chris would definitely be the perfect artist for it.) Here's the PR just in...

The Invisibles artist pays tribute to greatest work of legendary creator who mentored him early in his career

The Treasury of British Comics is pleased to unveil Chris Weston's brand new cover for a retailer exclusive hardcover edition of the first volume of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire.

With this special cover - available only from selected comic book stores - the artist on Judge Dredd, The Filth and The Invisibles has paid tribute to the inimitable work of the legendary Don Lawrence, artist on Trigan Empire, one of the finest comics creators in British comics history, and Weston's mentor early in his career.

The retailer variant hardcover with Chris Weston cover will be available to buy from Forbidden Planet, Forbidden Planet International, OK Comics, Book Palace, and other selected stockists.

The hardcover variant, individually numbered with a cover by Don Lawerence, is also available to pre-order from the Treasury of British Comics website until 4th December.

The standard paperback collection will be available in March from all good retailers and comic book stores.

Featuring stunning artwork taken from crisp scans of Lawrence's original artwork, this 304-page volume includes a touching introduction from Liam Sharp (Green Lantern), who was also mentored by Lawrence, and marks the first time the series is being collected in a mass market edition.

Co-created by Lawrence with writer Mike Butterworth, The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire merges the movie serials of the 1930s, Flash Gordon, John Carter, and ancient history into a sprawling, classic science-fiction epic. It has been named as a major influence by the likes of writer Neil Gaiman (Sandman), artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) and Brian Bolland (Judge Dredd), amongst many others.

Originally published in the anthology title Ranger from September 1965, and Look and Learn from June 19966 until April 1982, the series told the story of an alien empire on the planet Elekton that was heavily influenced by history, particularly that of the Roman Empire. Created by Mike Butterworth, who died in 1986, and artist Don Lawrence, who died in 2004, the series’ mix of political intrigue and Lawrence’s lush painted artwork won a host of fans worldwide, and proved to be highly influential, inspiring a generation of comic book creators with its depth and beauty.

Lawrence, who started out as a comics creator in the Gower Street Studios in London, first working on Marvelman before moving on to Karl the Viking for Lion. Other artists who worked on the strip include Ron Embleton, Miguel Quesada, Philip Corke, Oliver Frey and Gerry Wood. Although the strip has seen only limited English-language release it remains one of the most popular comic series in Holland and Germany, with over two million albums sold.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

This week in 1966: SMASH! No.43

Smash! was my favourite comic when I was a child. Sure, TV21 came very close, and I definitely consider that my favourite adventure comic of all time, but Smash! just had the edge for me because of its variety of material.

It has to be said that Smash! wasn't very slick compared to most of its rivals but when you're 7 years old, the odd sloppy layout and cheap printing isn't a deterrent... in fact that "rough and ready" aspect became part of the comic's appeal! There are a couple of things that were significant about this issue of Smash! as I'll reveal as we go along. 

As I said, Smash! had a good variety of content; mixing up humour, home-grown adventure strips, Marvel reprint and DC's Batman all in one comic! (Yes, Odhams were officially licensed to put those strips in there.) The Batman stories were American Sunday newspaper strips, which actually ran only a week or three in Smash! behind their American printing. Batman was a huge hit on TV at the time so it was perfect for Smash's front cover.

As time moves on, no doubt comics like Smash! begin to look increasingly old fashioned to younger eyes, but in its day this was one of the coolest comics out there. Here's a few examples from its 28 packed pages...

One "tradition" in old comics that's thankfully behind us now (pardon the pun) is kids being whacked. Corporal punishment was of its time and was definitely over-used as a lazy ending in humour strips. The creators could be inventive though. Here's Percy (of Percy's Pets) being spanked by a fish. Art by Stan McMurtry...
The Rubberman was one of Odhams' home-grown superheroes, and a popular series in Smash! Art by Alfredo Marculeta...

Charlie's Choice often boasted excellent cartoon art by the late great Brian Lewis. And, oh-oh, another spanking scene. Sheesh.... British comics were weird...

Bad Penny was created by Leo Baxendale but he'd left Odhams by this point so this strip was by other hands. Not in Leo's league but it did the job and kept up the typical lunacy of over the top comedy situations... 
By this issue, the Incredible Hulk reprints had used up the first six issues of his original mag and were now reprinting the material where he guest-starred in other comics. This is a reprint from Fantastic Four (serialised over a couple of weeks) but still presented as a Hulk strip. Art by Jack Kirby but with UK resizing to accommodate more panels on the larger British page size...
The Swots and the Blots were very popular. Even more so when Leo Baxendale took over the strip in March 1969, but at this time, in 1966, the strip was still being drawn by Ron Spencer...
If ever there was a Smash! strip begging to be collected as part of the Treasury of British Comics books it's The Legend Testers. Weird stories, and fantastic art by Jordi Bernet...

Here's one thing that makes this issue significant. It's the announcement of the 'Power Comics' logo that would start appearing on the covers of Smash! and Wham! (and subsequent companion comics) from the following week. (In memory it feels like the 'Power Comics' imprint was around for a long time but in fact it was only in use for slightly under two years. It vanished from the covers when Smash! was the only "Power Comic" left in late 1968.) 

There's also an announcement about Pow! weekly, which would be on the shelves in early 1967. (The advert for the first Smash! Annual is a nice bonus too. A book I had in my Christmas pillowcase that year.) 
Here's the other significant bit about this issue. The final episode of Ken Reid's Queen of the Seas! Great strip, but not the best printing... but you can see the full series sharply printed in greyscale on quality paper in volume 2 of The Power Pack of Ken Reid available from Irmantas Povilaika at this link:
https://www.kazoop-comics-shop.com
Smash! always brings back a lot of happy childhood memories for me. Rebellion are reviving the title for the Smash! Special next year but it'll be a vehicle for Fleetway characters such as The Spider, The Steel Claw, and Mytek the Mighty. Exciting news in itself, but I hope one day we'll see The Rubberman and The Legend Testers back too. 


(All art in this article Copyright © Rebellion except for Batman ©DC Comics and the Hulk ©Marvel.)

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

This week in 1942: CHIPS No.2,693

There's nothing significant about this issue of Illustrated Chips but it's been a while since I posted an old cover (and "old" to me is anything pre-1959) so I thought I'd select this issue which would have been in shops exactly 77 years ago this week. At that time, Chips (and many other comics) were fortnightly due to wartime paper rationing, so although it carries the date of Nov.28th it would have been published two weeks earlier.

The cover strip Weary Willie and Tired Tim was, as ever, by Percy Cocking, who'd draw it until the comic ended in 1953.

I thought I'd show the Casey Court cartoon from the back cover too, as I know some of you like these busy images. Art by Albert Pease.
Comics of this vintage and older are always the least popular on this blog and receive less views than others. I know most fans are only interested in comics of their own nostalgia but from my point of view if you're interested in comic art it shouldn't matter what decade they're from! These comics appeared 17 years before I was born and I think they're great!


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Hurry! Here's your chance to support a brand new comic book

Artist/writer Rachael Smith has created several popular graphic novels such as House Party and Stand in your Power, and now her latest project is on Kickstarter. 

Entitled Flimsy's Mewsings it's a 40 page full colour softcover featuring Rachael's first character Flimsy in new strips about "life advice, thoughts, dreams, and wine". An uplifting book for all ages. 

There's only 14 days to go until the Kickstarter ends so if you think it'll appeal to you, give it your support so it can reach its target and be published, - and you get a free enamel pin with every pre-order :
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flimsykitten/flimsys-mewsings
One of my favourite comics creators of modern comics, Rachael Smith's books are always worth reading so I hope it'll hit its target. Here are a few sample pages from Flimsy's Mewsings... 



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