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Friday, 31 July 2009

2000AD Covers Uncovered

comic_2000ad_Miller_cover.jpgBeing a huge 2000AD fan and collector of its artwork, Pete Wells gets a thrill from seeing covers and artwork for the comic in their original state. Back in early July, he announced he'd decided to write a blog where he can upload as many logoless covers as he can get his hands on so fans can see the artists' original visions without all other gubbins - the masthead, barcode box, cover lines etc. - cluttering up the page.

One month on, there's some fabulous stuff on the site, including this unused Judge Dredd cover by Frank Milller and the story behind it, too.

Pete's also uploaded work in progress and uncoloured stuff too. Check the blog out at: 2000adcovers.blogspot.com

The Sun Still Besmirching Ron Smith

UPDATE, 5th August 2009: We're pleased to report that since this story was first published, The Sun appears to have removed the offending story referred to from its web site (see news story). We have left this report live for archival purposes...

Back in June, The Sun - Britain's top-selling newspaper - reported on the opening of the trial of 80-year-old comics artist and former Spitfire pilot Ron Smith who had, as it turned out, been wrongfully accused of rape and indecent assault.

Rather than publish anything, at downthetubes we chose to await the outcome of the trial.

Mr Smith was, to his many fans' delight, unanimously cleared of all charges made against him by the jury and therefore we felt this story deserved no coverage.

Commenting on the trial Ron's daughter, Sue Carr subsequently told fans she was relieved that her father’s innocence had been proved and that his name had been cleared.

"It has been a very, very difficult time for him," she said, "and it's been a great comfort for him to learn that his many fans have been behind him in this simply dreadful matter.”

Unfortunately, although the result in favour of Ron was widely reported online and in comic circles, it has not been covered by The Sun, unless it chosen not to publish a story reporting the outcome of the trial online but only in print. Instead it has kept the original story, unchanged on its web site (5th August 2009 update: story now removed, see news story), with a link title that perpetuates the totally untrue allegations against Mr Smith.

Here at downthetubes we have to wonder: why is The Sun perpetuating this totally false story about Ron Smith? Why does its actual link title effectively repeat the disproved allegation made against him? And why has The Sun chosen not to update its original story to report the outcome of the trial?

Ron has a huge number of fans who were deeply upset by these false allegations but, despite writing to the paper we have not had an explanation for what of course may be simple but very unpleasant oversight.

The Sun story can still be found online without update and gives a totally false impression of a highly regarded artist. We think this is wrong, immoral and, despite the careful wording of the article itself potentially libellous, simply because of the link construction.

UPDATE, 5th August 2009: The Sun appears to have removed its story from their web site. See news story

• Michael Molcher comments on the reporting of the trial in the wider context of modern journalism here. Joe Gordon at the Forbidden Planet International blog comments on that here

Panel Borders: The Art of Kevin O’Neill

Alex Fitch talks to Kevin O Neill at Sci-Fi London below a couple of pages from Metalzoic


Concluding Sci-Fi comics month on the podcast Panel Borders, Alex Fitch talks to artist Kevin O’Neill about his work with writer Pat Mills, from his early days working on Nemesis the Warlock and A.B.C. Warriors for 2000AD to the hero hunting cop Marshal Law the paid have created for various publishers.

Recorded live in front of an audience at Sci-Fi London, Alex and Kevin also talk about the film adaptations of his work, from the infamous Hardware (based on the short story, Shok!) to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, loosely based on the comic he co-created with Alan Moore.

The Art of Kevin O’Neill was originally broadcast as an episode of Strip! on Resonance 104.4 FM.

• For more info about this podcast and a variety of formats you can stream or download, visit the home of this episode at www.archive.org

• Listen to Alex’s interviews with Kevin’s comic collaborators Alan Moore and Pat Mills including his discussion with both of them about the late humour cartoonist Ken Reid

Join the Panel Borders Facebook group / follow Panel Borders on twitter

GI Joe UK - First issue Details

GI Joe Issue 1 UK
Following up on our sneak peek at the cover of Panini UK’s new G.I. Joe title earlier this week, which launches 13th August, editor Simon Frith has winged over more info on the title, which includes comic strip from Ferg Handley, John Royle and others.

Coinciding with the release of Paramount Pictures GI. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra film, Panini is pitching the four-weekly frequency title at boys in the 7-12 age range, coprising 36 pages of comic strip, fact files, competitions, postersand features. Every issue will come with a fantastic G.I. Joe gift – the first issue is features an ammo box pencil case and stickers.

We don't expect the free gifts will include anything too militaristic, as otherwise airports won’t stock it. (One publisher fell foul of this when they offered a waterpistol, apparently). Now there’s a challenge.

G.I. Joe is a highly trained, classified Special Operations Unit composed of men and women
from around the globe. Officially, these warriors don’t even exist. Few know the truth – that G.I. Joe fights a secret war, as the first and last line of defence against forces that seek to plunge our world into chaos. Wherever there’s trouble, G.I. JOE is there.

• More info from: www.paninicomics.co.uk

Tube Surfing: Harker, Comic Book Signings, Manwha UK and a Creators Union

comic_harker6.jpg• Brilliant news! The much-praised indie title written by Roger Gibson and drawn by Vincent Danks, Harker - described by one reader as a detective series with an X-Files/Avengers twist, which doesn't do it justice - is now available in 15 comic shops across the UK, with more about to jump on board. More info here on the Harker and Critchley blog

• New Scottish comic store Kingdom of Adventure has announced somme upcoming signing events: on 1st August Al Ewing and Colin MacNeill will be making the trip to Kirkcaldy, quickly followed on 8th August by Gary Erskine and Gordon Rennie.
Kingdom Of Adventure is a games and comic book shop in Kirkcaldy, Scotland and can be found at 21-23 Whytescauseway, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1XF. Tel: 01592 328121 Web: www.kingdomofadventure.co.uk

• (via the FPI Blog): Talking of signings, Forbidden Planet International Belfast plays host to two local artists, PJ Holden and John McCrea on Saturday 15th August. PJ, of course, has carved himself a good (and growing) rep with his work for Image and 2000AD, while John has worked on Garth Ennis’ Hitman, Captain America and The Boys spin-off Herogasm. John and PJ will be in the Belfast FPI, 52-54 Ann Street (phone 028 9043 8744) from 2 to 4.00pm.

• Online, the Facebook Comic Con Summer Gala scheduled to start on Thursday 13th August gathers pace, with an impressive line up of talent due to take part, including Paul Grist and Strangehaven creator Gary Spencer Millidge heading up the British Comics Panel. More info on the entire weekend, which will include Art Jams, contests, competitions and the launch of the Comic Book Creators Union, a coalescence of industry fans and professionals striving to improve conditions under which comic book creators work here on Facebook

ComicBitsOnline reports on Seoul Graphics, a company aiming to get Korean Manhwa graphic novels onto the English speaking market, starting with the UK. The company is fronted by Dr. Jeeyeon Kim (BA, MA, PhD), Managing Director of Seoul Graphics and Korean / English Translator, who is looking for a British co-publisher.
One of the main projects is Hong’s Classical Mythology. Official site (under construction):
www.seoulgraphics.com



Redeye 2.1: Buy It, Read It and Plug It

Generous Redeye editor Barry Renshaw has just sent us a comp copy of the re-launched British indie comics magazine - and it's simply brilliant.

Relaunched as a pdf-only monthly magazine mainly focusing on the indie British comics scene, the mag comes crammed with news, reviews, features and stuff worth talking about, and is more than worth the measly £1/$1.50 cost of a download.

As well as a quick response to Marvel's purchase of MarvelMan in the news section it includes interviews with Leah Moore and John Reppion on The Complete Dracula and the critically-acclaimed The Trial of Sherlock Holmes and artists Colton Worley and Aaron Campbell. Cartoonist and festival organiser Oliver Smith talks about throwing out the rule book for the British small press and building something better; New York born and raised illustrator Liz Baillie discusses her comics, her love for the Bouncing Souls and her Jabba the Hutt face; Ben Dickson talks to Garen Ewing about Rainbow Orchid blossoming under a new deal with publisher Egmont; Northern Irish illustrator Bridgeen Gillespie talks about curious rabbits, hissy fits and being open to interpretation; and as part of his 100 Days, 100 Cartoonists series, Citizen Badham talks to creators Adam Cadwell and Jim Medway about unconventional narratives, the value of the everyday and deflated balloons.

And as if that wasn't enough, there's The Secret History of... Irish Comix, in which Niall Kitson uncovers the growing Irish Comics scene ready for the international stage.

With great design and fascinating content, this is a terrific new start for Redeye and, in the continued absence of Comics International, well worth checking out. Highly recommended! Grab it now and tell your friends...

• REDEYE MAGAZINE ISSUE 2.1: 114 pages, colour, PDF format, 82mb direct download. Just £1/$1.50! Dowload it from www.enginecomics.co.uk/redeye

Matters of Convention - We are Family: A conversation with Vicky Stonebridge

Continuing our series of interviews with British comic convention organisers, for this fourth instalment, Matthew Badham chatted to Vicky Stonebridge, the co-organiser, alongside Richmond Clements, of Hi-Ex!, a convention held in Inverness, Scotland, regularly reviewed on downthetubes by Jeremy Briggs.

These convention features are being cross-posted on downthetubes, the Forbidden Planet International blog, Bugpowder and Fictions. Our aim is to give the conventions themselves some well-deserved publicity and also to, hopefully, spark a wider debate about what’s good and bad about the convention circuit in the UK.


(NB: Answers have been edited only in terms of spelling, punctuation and grammar, and not for style or content.)

downthetubes: Please tell us about a little about the history of your con/event and how it's evolved over the years.

Dennis the Menace at Hi-ExVicky Stonebridge: The next Hi-Ex! will be the third. It’s been rather a runaway monster and hopefully by then we will have caught up and tamed it!

It started when we were talking to the outreach worker for the venue, who suggested we ask a couple of comic creators up for a book festival. There was such a positive response it quickly turned into the idea of a weekend event, the venue talked about £10,000 funding, we got carried away and then it turned out that there was no funding or support or time. Somehow, despite the roads being blocked by snow for both years one and two, we have managed to pull it together and it has wildly exceeded our expectations.

Where we have drawn strength is from the industry itself. Other con organisers past and present have been wonderfully helpful. Publishers, businesses, small and big comic companies, the creators themselves and some of our friends have assisted way beyond the call of duty. Its a shame the arts, education and funding agencies in the area have been less so.

downthetubes: How is your con funded, by ticket sales, the exhibitors, a grant from the council, some other means or a combination of these?

Vicky: Funding!?! Don't get me started! In year one, we got a third of the cost to have Kev F Sutherland in schools for two days from the council. We funded the rest ourselves. Year two, nothing, de nada, from anyone. The ticket sales just about pay for the venue, while the sale of exhibitor spaces and our personal credit cards pay the rest.

It’s very frustrating as we know this event is good for the area, good for comics, good for local families, charity, the venue and yet business wise its a really, really stupid thing to do and we end up living off baked beans all year to pull it together...

Year three we hope will be different! We are onto it...

downthetubes: What are the overall aims of your con/event?

  • To plug a gap in the market as there were no main comic weekend events north of Leeds.
  • To give folks in the North a chance to participate in something cultural as there is very little happens up here that is relevant to normal people.
  • To raise money for a children’s charity.
  • To encourage children and families to get into comics.
  • To promote literature, and comics as an art and literary form.
  • To encourage new talent in the area.
  • Words like inclusion, opportunities and participation are important too.
We want to get away from the 30-something male clutching a superhero comic idea. Comics is a huge diverse wonderful art form, that overlaps so many other exciting media. We want to encourage and represent that.

downthetubes: Who is your con aimed at? What sort of punters do you hope to attract? Are you family-friendly?

Judge RoseVicky: 'Family' is our core audience. While we want to cater for diehard fans, we want to attract people who know nothing about comics, especially children and local families.

downthetubes: How effective have you been in getting those types of people to attend?

Vicky: 15% of our attendees last year were under 16, which for a UK comic event is a major achievement.

We work hard to promote Hi-Ex! through Schools, youth groups and libraries. We are very pleased that it seems to work and intend to build on this.

downthetubes: Can you give a projected (or actual) attendance figure for your event?

Vicky: The first two years came in at around 500-600 attendees. We hope to have more in 2010 as we have managed to push the date back away from snowy season.

downthetubes: What lessons have you learnt during your time (co-)running a con, in terms of marketing and advertising your event?

Vicky: Loads! We have been very lucky in that the press have picked up on Hi-Ex! in a big way and you can't buy better advertising than that, although all the headlines seem to carry a "zap, kerpow!" and refer to pants over tights.

We also learnt very quickly to watch what we say to anybody. Within days of the first event being announced someone was telling an Internet forum that they were organising it and that a certain big name guest would be there... They weren't and he wasn’t going to be.

downthetubes: Do you use emerging technologies to spread the word about your con? Do you have a website or blog, or use email mailing lists?

Eden Court Arts Centre, InvernessVicky: Absolutely! Without the Internet, Hi-Ex! simply wouldn’t happen, we [Vicky and co-organiser Richmond Clements] wouldn’t be involved in comics and in fact wouldn’t have met. I'd be knitting haggises for tourists in a remote glen and Rich would still be daydreaming 9 to 5.

We have a wonderful website -- hi-ex.co.uk -- that sci-fi and comics author Mike Carroll kindly built and runs for us. We have groups and pages on social networking sites. We do have a mailing list but try not to spam people too much!

downthetubes: What about print? Do you use print advertising, have a newsletter, anything like that?

Vicky: We produce flyers in advance and posters, and have had a couple of adverts, like a page in 2000AD.

downthetubes: What's the mix in terms of exhibitors at your con? Do you even have exhibitors?

Vicky: We take everyone who wants to come, big or small! We try and contact as many people as we can, the more of a mix the better. We are very keen to attract more European publishers and creators.

downthetubes: What are your thoughts on the small press comics scene in this country? How do you try and support it (do you try and support it)?

Vicky: Rich co-edits FutureQuake publications, Zarjaz and Dogbreath. The small press is very close to our hearts. Many of our favourite comic people are small press. I don't really differentiate, it’s all comics.

downthetubes: How much are the tickets for your event? How did you arrive at that price? Please tell us about any concessions.

Vicky: We generally have a concession for under-16 and family groups. We have yet to set the ticket rate for 2010. A lot depends on if we get funding and what the venue are going to charge us, but we would love to make it as affordable as possible. We also look at the other events in UK to try and be within the same ballpark.

downthetubes: How much are exhibitor tables for your event (if you have any)? Again, how did you arrive at that figure?

Vicky: As above, we try and keep it low as people have to travel a long way to attend and we appreciate that. But we do have to try and cover print costs etc.

downthetubes: Do you run workshops/events/panels at your con? Please tell us about those and how they are organised.

Vicky: Yes these are integral to the event: talks, a portfolio session, fancy dress, a charity auction and raffle (which raised over £1600 in 2009), discussion panels, face painting, children’s activities and art competition, children and adult writing and drawing workshops. We'd love to do more but there’s only so much we can squeeze in. What we do depends on our guests and what we can press-gang them into doing. The children’s art workshops are hugely popular.

downthetubes: Are there any external events connected to Hi-Ex!? Educational stuff, talks, workshops, comics promoting, that kind of thing?

Vicky: We'd love to do more outreach events all throughout the Highlands, as its woefully unfair on folks in rural areas that they can't access cultural happenings. The council are funding me to do over 20 workshops this summer in 'How to draw comics and manga', from Ullapool to Dingwall, which is great fun. There's always such a positive response from young people who are hungry for this sort of thing. We have loads of great ideas for other weekend events or festivals, but all are subject to funding.

downthetubes: As you’ve been kind enough to answer these questions, please feel free to big your con up a bit. Tell us what you do well, what your event’s main attractions are and why our readers should attend the next one.

Vicky: We like to think of ourselves as one of the most fun, family-oriented and friendly of events... come and join us!

• Hi-Ex! 2010 is the week before Easter, 27th - 28th March 2010, in Inverness. More information can be found on the Hi-Ex Website

• downthetubes review of
Hi-Ex in 2008

• downthetubes review of Hi-Ex 2 in 2009

More Matters of Convention...

LUC 176: And Then We Bought Some Chairs
The British International Comic Show: Something for Everyone
Caption: We Like Original Voices

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Tube Surfing: Apple Comic Reader Rumours, Alternative Press and Excalibur

• We're now just days away from the opening of London's Alternative Press Festival will have officially begun. Jimi Gherkin reports that he's seen the first copy of Publish You, the APF Book which includes a huge range of comic creator contributions, "and it looks really awesome!" he says. The Book's official launch is on Wednesday: more info here on Facebook.
During the events the book will be on offer at a special Festival only price of £6! So, if you're London-bound, get along and get your copy, before they're all gone! More info: www.alternativepress.org.uk

• You can already get comics on iPhone, but what about a bigger 'comic reader' from Apple in time for Christmas? Various web sites, including IT Pro, are reporting rumours that the cash rich Mac makers may soon be launching a 'tablet' computer, prompted by a report in the Financial Times suggested the tablet computer would tie in with plans to sell albums, as part of a new deal with record labels. The device itself would have a 10-inch screen, the anonymous source said. More on the downthetubes Mobile Comics blog...

• Over on his blog Warren Ellis has announced he's working on a new film script based on Arthurian mythos.

• Hot on the heels of its recent deal to merchandise Dan Dare, Cynopsis Kids reports Chorion has inked new licensing deals for the Beatrix Potter brand, appointing Haven Licensing as a new agent for the brand in Australia and New Zealand and Bull's Licensing for Scandinavia. Both Haven Licensing and Bull's Licensing will work with Chorion locally to develop and execute a brand strategy to grow the Beatrix Potter program.

• US channel Syfy has announced its new original series Caprica to premiere on 22nd January 2010 at 9pm with a two-hour episode. Subsequent episodes will air on Fridays at 10pm. Caprica - a Battlestar Galactica prequel - is about two rival families headed by Daniel Graystone (played by Eric Stoltz) and Joseph Adama (Esai Morales) who compete in the future world of the 12 Colonies.

The Adventures of Tank Boy

Rufus DaygloBased on an interview conducted last year, we're delighted to present an interview by Matthew Badham with London-based comic book artist and British comics aficionado Rufus Dayglo, whose credits include animation, work for IDW Comics in the US and 2000AD in the UK.

He's the artist on the new Tank Girl, drawn Judge Dredd and Low Life for 2000AD and is a mine of information about British comics and has some fascinating insights into creating comics and applying yourself to the comic freelance way of life...

Read the Interview on the main downthetubes web site

GI Joe UK Issue 1: Sneak Peek!

comic_GIJ_1_P1.jpg


Here's a peek at the cover to Issue One of Panini UK's G .I. Joe comic, out in mid August.

The issue's comic strip is written by Ferg Handley, with pencils by John Royle, inks by Lee Townsend and colour James Offredi.

This taster of the new comic comes courtesy of John, who's just finishing off Issue Two in the next few days, and with permission of Panini.

Tube Surfing: Billy the Cat, Cradlegrave and Cla$$ War for iPhone

Billy the Cat by Sean Phillips• Over on his brilliant site Bronze Age of Blogs, Pete Doree has posted a short article on DC Thomson's much-loved teen hero Billy the Cat, prompting artist Sean Phillips to respond with this fab drawing of William Grange in action...

Cradlegrave, from John Smith and Edmund Bagwell, has proven to be one of the most popular stories in 2000AD for years. Over on the 2000AD Review Siet, thanks to John Smith, you can now read the script for episode 9 - so you can see how it made the transfer to the page. Warning: there are spoilers and there is bad language...

• Geek Syndicate is running a competition to win a signed copy of ComX's upcoming superhero-styled Forty-Five comic, due for release in December.
Forty-Five is a series of Superhero interviews documented by James Stanley. As a soon-to-be father, James wants to find out what lies in store for his family if his unborn child turns out to have a Superpower.
Forty-Five features Forty-Five different industry artists, all having just one page to capture the essence of each interview. More info on the Com.X web site: www.comxcomics.com

• Talking of Com.X, a company never averse to innovation, they've just announced, in collaboration with Iconology, Inc., that Com.x comics are now available for download from the iTunes store. The first wave of releases features Cla$$war #1, #2 and Path. These will be followed by the rest of the Cla$$war series and other, soon to be announced, titles.
The application is available for £0.59 or ¢99, dependent upon your location. Once you have purchased the app, which enables you to read the comics, you will be able to download Cla$$war #1 and the first chapter of Path free of charge. If you like what you see, you can then download the rest of the books for 59p/99¢ and £1.79/$2.99 for Cla$$war and Path, respectively.

2000AD #1646 features a new Future Shock with art by the legendary John Cooper, from a script by Mike Carroll.

David Hine and Shaky Kane are working on a new Image comic called Bulletproof Coffin.

• Over on the BBC web site writer Mark Gatiss and radio producer Simon Hollis offer a revealing insight into their love of Doctor Who Target books, the focus of their recently-aired Radio 4 documentary, recent Radio 4 documentary, 'On The Outside It Looked Like An Old Fashioned Police Box'. They rightfully sing the praises of those with painted art covers...

• Over on the Coventry Telegraph's web site, David Bentley has an interview with Coventry-based artist and author Al Davison, who is taking Tennant's popular Time Lord to a whole new dimension. Al's new Doctor Who comic for IDW Publishing will consist of alternating two-part and four-part stories, all written by Tony Lee.
Al is drawing the two-parters while the artist on the four-part arcs ironically has the same name as the new Doctor Who, Matt Smith.

The ongoing series is launched with Al's first story arc, called Silver Scream and sees the Time Lord investigating an unearthly mystery in 1920s Hollywood.

"The first arc has already had a very good response, it's a very strong Doctor Who story," Al says. "Tony has really captured David Tennant's voice and personality: you read it and it really does sound like Tennant. Read the full interview, which covers much of Al's prestigious comics career Coventry Telegraph - The Geek Files.)



• Swindon will play host to the Swin City Comics Retro Fair on 26 September, to be held at Wharf Green. More details here on Facebook.

• After a few months concentrating on his The Spine Chillers webcomic, artist Ben Clark has moved hisMagic Beans! to a new location on Blogger. Expect the usual Clark madness to ensue in the coming days!

• Talking of web comics, Forbidden Planet International honcho Kenny Penman has been talking to Richard Cowdry and Daniel Locke recently, with the result that they’re going to be doing the new resident strip for the FPI blog. First Somersault went live recently and should be every Tuesday, just like they did with Darryl Cunningham’s Super-Sam.

• Complied with thanks to Matthew Badham

Monday, 27 July 2009

Fanderson's FAB (Magazine, That Is...)

FAB 63, the latest issue of the Gerry Anderson Fanderson club, now in the post to all Fanderson members, is a bit of Thunderbirds special and includes some not-to-be-missed comics attractions, including the finale of an epic Fireball XL5 strip and a feature by acclaimed sci-fi author Stephen Baxter continuing his exploration of post-TV 21 comics with Lady Penelope.

With more information on the mooted UFO feature film in the club's FAB News web page (there has been a lot of media attention over Gerry Anderson's UFO since the recent press release that legendary Hollywood producer Robert Evans is working with ITV Global to make a movie based on the 1970 series), now's also a good time to catch up on the cast and characters from the original series with the second part of a SHADO Personnel Dossier.

The magazine also examines four of the original Thunderbirds TV show scripts that provide a unique insight into the making of the series, an fans memories are put to the test about the Thunderbirds Are Go feature film.

Also included is an exclusive interview with producer Tim Mallett of Kindred Productions on the making of Fanderson's Stingray Soundtrack CD and a glowing reappraisal of a certain Space:1999 Year 2 episode..

FAB Magazine is available exclusively to Fanderson members. A one year membership also gives you the chance purchase the Club's brilliant range of merchandise - books, CDs, DVDs and much more. Find out how to join and order your membership online here: www.fanderson.org.uk/aboutfanderson.html

First Look at new Prisoner Mini Series



Various websites, including Forces of Geek has posted a news story featuring a preview of the new ITV/AMC version of The Prisoner.

The footage offers an intriguing first look at the upcoming six-part mini-series remake of the original 1960s series, which followed a British former secret agent who is held prisoner in a mysterious seaside village where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job.

The new version features Sir Ian McKellen, James Caviezel, Jamie Campbell Bower, Lennie James, and Will Kemp and will air in November in the US.

AMC The Prisoner Video Link

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Marvelman - Copyright Marvel Comics

MarvelMarvelman.jpgBritish superhero character Marvelman is a character that had become mired in a legal quagmire for years, his modern re-telling and reinvention by Alan Moore and others forcing a name change to Miracle Man thanks to Marvel legal concerns. It seemed that in the ongoing confusion over rights to material and who exactly owned the 1950s hero created by Mick Anglo, there would never be a Marvelman adventure. Until now...

Incredibly, those problems (quickly revisited here and in more detail here by Rich Johnston) have now been solved with a solution no-one expected - Marvel has bought the character and made him their own and the 1980s Miracleman adventures written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by Mark Buckingham look set to soon be back in print. Whether this also means Alan Moore's original re-invention stories will also be republished has yet to be confirmed but it seems a safe bet.

T-shirts featuring the original 1950s Marvelman logo are already available from the online Marvel Comics shop, and a Marvelman poster drawn by Marvel's Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada (above) - will be released in September. Quesada says that in designing it he had to keep in mind that there would be other pieces that connected to it, but what those are we’ll just have to wait and see.

"Very few things in all my years as Editor-in-Chief and all my years in comics has thrilled me to the point that this has," says Quesada. "[Marvelman] has finally found a home where it can get published and we can see new stories.

"What sort of incarnation he will take within Marvel publishing? That's stuff that we'll discuss in the future."

"I did not think it would ever happen," says Mick Anglo of the news. "It's a wonderful thing to see my creation finally back."

downthetubes is as stunned as others by this news, although given the number of people contacting us recently to try and locate Mick Anglo, our news senses must have been set to "duh" for not realizing something was up.

"Obviously, for Neil and I this is a wonderful opportunity for us to finally get the material that we were doing back in the early 1990s back in print again because it's been 16 years since our last issue hit the stands," Mark Buckingham told US comic news site CBR moments after the announcement by Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada at the San Diego Comic Con, where he also revealed his first new official art for the character (above). "Beyond anything else, we can get that stuff back in print now. There's material that was produced that's never been published, so from a fan's point of view that's fantastic. There's more Gaiman and Buckingham just waiting for printing already."

Trawling through the legal tangles surrounding the character cannot have been easy but Marvel's lawyers have done it, cutting a deal with the character's 93-year-old creator Mick Anglo and Anglo's representatives, Emotiv Records, a Glasgow-based company who, Steve Holland explains on his Bear Alley blog, purchased Mick Anglo Limited, a company incorporated by Anglo on 21 August 1954 for the purpose of "Artistic and literary creation", possibly around the time that Emotiv Records and Products Limited was incorporated (11 February 2009).

Steve also notes that that, according to UK Data, an application to have the company struck from the register was made on 16 July. Emotiv's involvement with Anglo dates back to at least 2006 when Jon Campbell of Emotiv was involved in putting together the documentary about Marvelman. A website was set up in 2007 which still announces that Who Stole Marvelman a.k.a. Miracleman? is "coming soon" to DVD: we imagine that will soon be re-directing to the Marvel Comics site.

"It is an honour to work with Mick Anglo to bring his creation to a larger audience than ever before," says Dan Buckley, CEO & Publisher, Print, Animation & Digital Media, Marvel Entertainment Inc. "Fans are in for something special as they discover just what makes Marvelman such an important character in comic book history.

"I'm pretty sure if you go on the internet right now, within the next five minutes you'll hear every rumour associated with this character from the 1950s through the '80s to the '90s,: Buckley said during the ComicCon panel where the deal was announced. Describing the process behind the purchase he revealed Marvel started talking to Mick Anglo's people in 2007 "and it was a very exciting prospect.

"I first became aware of it through our relationship with Neil Gaiman," CBR reports. "I really didn't know much about Marvelman at that time, but the conversation started about how we could get involved with the character and bring him back. Mick Anglo and his folks are great to work with."

Buckley also said Marvel was "reaching out" to all the creators involved in the 1980s reinvention of Marvelman, said new publishing connected with the character would begin next year.

"The impact of this story that the character had on the industry is akin to what happened with Watchmen, and we're very excited about it," he commented. "We'll have a lot more details in the near future."

• To find out what’s next for Mick Anglo’s legendary creation, link to this Marvel.Com news thread (http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.8869) for all the news on Marvelman


Joe Quesada on creating the new Marvelman poster: visit the Marvel Shop to purchase limited edition Marvelman t-shirts

Mark Buckingham on Marvelman

Bear Alley: I'm Marvelman - And I'm Back!


• Marvelman © Marvel Entertainment. Like Steve Holland we never expected to write that!

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