downthetubes is undergoing some main site refurbishment...
Saturday, 7th October 2017
The downthetubes news blog was assimilated into our main site back in 2013, but we're glad you're here, because that's currently undergoing some under the bonnet refurb! So we've brought this blog back from the dead to tide us over.
We expect to be back up and running next week, just before the 2017 Lakes International Comic Art Festival - see you there?
Hop over to www.downthetubes.net for other British comics news, comic creating guides, interviews and much more!
A few more images have started to surface regarding the upcoming Dan Dare comic from Virgin. This one, taken from the Virgin website, shows the variant cover to Issue #1 by artist Greg Horn, best known for his work on Marvel's Elektra and Emma Frost titles.
The accompanying issue trailer reveals "...Dan Dare was once a hero. He brokered peace with alien races, pushed the frontiers of space, and save the planet from total annihilation... repeatedly. But now, his Space Fleet disbanded, the United Nations has crumbled, his friends scattered to the solar winds. Britain is once again the world power, but Dare, disilluisioned and disappointed in his once-precious home country, has quietly retired.
But there's trouble mustering in Deep Space. The HMS Achilles is picking up starnge signals when, suddenly, an enormous fleet of hostile ships ambushes the destroyer. As the crew struggles to say alive, they realise with horror that the hostiles have brought a weapon of unimagineable power.
Dan Dare, pilot of the future, has been called out of retirement."
A recent comics 'retailer summit in the US led to the following couple of items being produced.
The first item of the two is the most interesting, revealing some of Gary Erskine's pencils for the series.
The Brides of Dracula is Peter Cushing's second outing as Van Helsing and David Peel's only vampire role. Described as one of the most beautifully photographed movies ever, even if the effects are dated (crappy bat alert!), but the film's redeeemed by great performances from Cushing and Peel plus sterling work from vetrans Freda Jackson and Martita Hunt
Cushing's authoratative Van Helsing carries the movie and David Peel's Baron Meinster, who is causing havoc in a girl's school, is an excellent vampire foe.
Cushing also features in The Evil of Frankenstein, as Baron Frankenstein who, not content with once creating one monstrous creature, returns to his ancestral home in Karlstaad, determined to continue his experiments into the creation of life. This isn't the best of the Frankenstein films, but Cushing is always good value in my book.
Leah Moore (daughter of Alan) and her husband / writing partner John Reppion have written half a dozen comic series over the last couple of years in a variety of genres from Romero-esque Zombie action to re imaginings of classic British characters.
Variety has reported that US broadcaster NBC is bringing back Knight Rider, the show created by Glen Larson that was such a success for them between 1982 and 1986.
Taking a leaf from the recent Transformers movie, expect the show to perhaps include "evil" cars doing their best to destroy a man and his indestructible supercar.
NBC is already at work on a two-hour pilot written by Dave Andron, which may air later this US tv season, produced by director/producer Doug Liman, whose credits include films such as The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Ultimatum and TV series such as The O.C. Variety says Liman is open to the idea of directing the TV movie, assuming his feature schedule allows.
If ratings for the tv movie are good a new-model Knight Rider could be on the air as early as next autumn, with the TV Movie seen as a good drop in during a break in screenings of shows such as Heroes or The Bionic Woman on NBC this year.
The success of Transformers had a role in inspiring NBC Entertainment chief Ben Silverman's decision to revive Knight Rider, executives apparently now confident smallscreen effects have advanced to the point where it would be feasible to have a weekly series in which cars shift shapes.
While there's talk of "evil" cars to battle the heroic talking K.I.T.T. car of the original series, which starred David Hasselhoff, the new series will stay true to the original show, centring on a single man fighting for justice with the help of his super advanced car.
Expect major merchandising opportunities: NBC is already talking to car manufacturers about providing K.I.T.T. and the original show spun off plenty of product, including Look-In's Knight Rider comic strip whose creative team often included Barrie Mitchell.
Let's just hope the new Knight Rider is better than its previous spinoff Team Knight Rider which first aired in 1997. Although that wouldn't be hard...
Neorama has put up new art for the first of IDW's American Doctor Who comics and it shows that, once again, the early Doctor Who Weekly strips drawn by Dave Gibbons are going to be reprinted. The first of these, The Iron Legion, was the story about Roman robots controlled by a demon-like being, while the second, City of the Damned, was set on an alien planet where the populace are kept subservient.
The creator and first editor of Doctor Who Weekly, Dez Skinn, was non-pussed by the news. "Man, how many times is this stuff going to be reprinted?" he commented in a post to the Quality Communications Yahoo group. "This is, what, the fifth time to date?".
Indeed. Since the original Iron Legion appeared in the first few issues of Doctor Who Weekly it has been reprinted in the 1980 Doctor Who Summer Special, the US Marvel Premiere, the 1985 Doctor Who Summer Special Classic, and most recently in the Panini graphic novel The Iron Legion. Perhaps it just goes to show how good the strips that Dez commissioned almost two decades ago were. How many times have the comic strips from the Doctor's adventures in TV Comic been reprinted?
Originally in black and white, colourised versions of the early Doctor Who Weekly strips have been published in the US before, initially in Marvel Premiere, four issues of which tested the American market, which was followed by a regular Marvel Doctor Who title which lasted 23 issues. Marvel deemed American sensibilities too delicate for the second story to remain titled as City Of The Damned and they retitled it as City Of The Cursed.
Let us hope that IDW will remain with the original title this time. After all, while the American publishers of the Harry Potter books retitled the first book from The Philosopher's Stone to The Sorcerer's Stone for the American market, they saw more sense with the later books. Harry Potter and The Very Big Room Of Secrets might have been difficult to fit onto a front cover!
Update, 9/1/08: The IDW Doctor Who comics will only be available in the US for licensing reasons.