The latest issues of DC Thomson's Commando went on sale a day early this week as we bid goodbye to 2009.
There's also some advance news for the next round of issues on sale in January 2010. "We'll be starting the year by re-issuing the first book featuring an Ian Kennedy cover by way of thanking the man for 40 years of sterling service to Commando," says editor Calum Laird. "The book is No 453 from 1970, and is titled Seek and Strike."
downthetubes hopes to pay its own tribute to Mr Kennedy's stirling service to Commando and comics in the new year, but in the mean time, check out these interviews with the artist in conversation with Chris Weston and Terry O'Donnell.
Here are the new Commando issues on sale now...
Commando No 4255 (previously No 2608 from 1992): Never Volunteer!
Story: Cyril Walker. Art and Cover Art: Ibanez
The Dakota droned away and the canopy cracked fully open above Bob Slade, a private in the Parachute Regiment. He adjusted his rigging lines and took a quick glance at the barren desert wastes below.
Unlike his mates descending all around him, Bob had been here in North Africa before — as a soldier in the French Foreign Legion, charged with the murder of an officer. And he knew as well as every other Legionnaire that the Legion never forgets... nor forgives!
Commando No 4256 (previously No 2618 from 1992): Battling Rust-Bucket!
Story: Ian Clark. Art: Gordon Livingstone. Cover: Jeff Bevan
The Duchess of Alna was a pleasure boat by trade, more suited to ferrying holiday-makers than going to war. Yet that’s exactly what she had done in 1940, as one of the heroic "Little Boats" of the Dunkirk Evacuation.
And now, more than 50 years later, when some said that she was only fit for scrap, this unlikely battleship was off to the rescue again — slap in the middle of a war-zone!
Gordon Livingstone (now retired) and Jeff Bevan were both staff artists on Commando when this book was first published. Jeff’s work was seen throughout the Boys' Papers but Gordon was almost exclusively a Commando artist, taking an average of four weeks to illustrate a complete book.
The two new stories on sale this month are both set in the Ardennes, marking 65 years this month that the Battle of the Bulge was fought there. The Winter Warriors is the last new book drawn by the late Ricardo Garijo, completed before Need To Know but held over for the Ardennes connection.
Commando No 4257: The Winter Warriors
Story: Ferg Handley. Art Ricardo Garijo. Cover: Ian Kennedy
The Ardennes, December 1944. In the murderous confusion of what became known as "The Battle Of The Bulge", Allied soldiers warily stalked the frozen wastes and eerie forests of the battlefield, aware that at any moment they could be cut down by enemy gunfire. Not to mention marauding Nazi panzers or the terrors of hidden minefields.
For a squad of rookie American GIs it was going to take all their wits and courage to stay alive...
Commando No 4258: Friends Or Foes?
Story: Peter Grehan. Art and cover art: John Ridgway
When the Germans launched their Ardennes offensive — the desperate last-ditch "Battle Of The Bulge" — in December 1944, they sewed seeds of confusion amongst their enemies by using special units dressed in Allied uniform.
Royal Engineer Sergeant Bob Ashford wasn't the only one who couldn't tell friend from foe. Nor was he the only one who decided to shoot first and ask questions later...
• For more information, check out the official Commando site at: www.commandomag.com
• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846
In Praise of… Dan Dare and Trigan Empire Comic Artist and Illustrator Oliver Frey - Illustrator Oliver “Oli” Frey is well known for his work in many fields – as a book and magazine cover
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