Check out the main DTT site!

PLEASE NOTE: The main downthetubes.net now features all our news direct, as well as interviews and other features on British Comics. This blog is no longer being updated.

Latest News on downthetubes.net

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Eagle Awards launch worldwide talent search

The Eagle Awards committee is to offer untried talent a chance to demonstrate their abilities before a global audience which has already garnered some prestigious support from the likes of Chris Claremont, Dave Gibbons and Mark Waid.

The project, which launches in July, will include a print anthology, to be published globally.

Unveiled at last weekend's Bristol International Comics and Small Press Expo, the Eagle Awards Initiative hopes to provide a unique platform from which the next generation of writers and artists can promote their storytelling ability in an increasingly competitive market.

Established as an annual event and with the emphasis very much on storytelling, the inaugural competition aspect gets underway on 1st July 2010, when the Initiative will open for submissions.

"I've always thought the Eagles could take a far more progressive and proactive role in the comics industry, especially within the UK which has such an untapped and unsupported pool of talent," explains Initiative director Barry Renshaw, who has been an active creator in the UK independent comics industry for over a decade. "When I was asked to rebrand the Eagle Awards themselves last year, I pitched the idea of the Initiative to the committee and it soon snowballed into something far more expansive."

"When Barry came to me with the idea I thought it was the best way to expand and relaunch the Eagles brand," says Eagle Awards chair Cassandra Conroy. "Considering the Eagles recieve global recognition I believed this would help the industry discover new talent not just from here and the USA, but from places we wouldn't perhaps expect."

In what is an unprecedented global talent search, entrants will be asked to submit an original self-contained illustrated story. The thousands of projected entries will be assessed by a hand-picked jury of comics readers, which will present a final dozen to the panel of judges comprising many of the comics industry's top talents.

Among those who have already agreed to participate are Peter Bagge, Karen Berger, Chris Claremont, David Finch, Dave Gibbons, Geoff Johns, Gilbert Shelton, Jeff Smith, Bryan Talbot, Ethan Van Sciver, Mark Waid and Brian Wood.

The judges will select a top three from the final 12 with the winner be awarded a £1,000 cash prize. The runner up will win £500 with the third place submission being given £250. All three stories are to be included in the Initiative Anthology, which will be released as a print publication and in multiple languages across the digital media.

Barry Renshaw is himself a publisher of his own Engine Comics imprint, the award winning Redeye Magazine, and the popular How to Self Publish - A Rough Guide. He was asked to join the Eagle Awards committee in 2009 to help reinvent the brand, and saw an opportunity for the Awards to play a more progressive and proactive role in the comics industry. The Initiative is the first part of that expanded role. He's also as run or appeared at various workshops, seminars and panels on comics publishing over the years.

"The Initiative is the first stage in a several year plan to reform the Eagles into a tool for developing new talent, for educating young people about the potential in the medium, and to help connect the many disparate elements of the comics industry together," Barry explains. "As an example, we have creators, editors, publishers, journalists, festival organisers, distributors and academics from across the world among our judges."

Announcing his support for the Eagle Awards Initiative, BOOM! Studios editor-in-chief Mark Waid said, "This medium is nothing without new talent, young blood, and fresh perspectives.

"It's our responsibility to nurture the next generation of creators and share what we've learned ? and, in return, learn from and be energised by them. I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and get into this," added Waid whose numerous writing credits include Kingdom Come, The Flash, Impulse and Captain America.

Introduced in 1976, the Eagles are the comics industry's longest established awards. Unique in that they reflect the people's choice, they are awarded by fans who vote for their favourite in each category of the awards. They are named after the fondly remembered 1950's British comic anthology Eagle, and were originated by two British fans, Mike Conroy and Richard Burton. The awards proved to be successful, with American publishers such as Marvel Comics announcing their victories with pride. They have relaunched in 2010 with a new look, a new mandate and a new vision for the future.

• For further details on the Initiative, a full list of judges and complete submission guidelines, go to www.eaglesinitiative.com.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Marvel Super Heroes storm London's Madame Tussauds

Two of the world's leading entertainment brands - Madame Tussauds, part of the Merlin Entertainments Group, and Marvel Entertainment - have joined forces to create a unique new visitor experience at the leading London attraction, scheduled to open in early summer 2010.

Marvel Super Heroes 4D, due to open next month, will feature a mix of 4D animation, interactive themed areas and startlingly realistic Madame Tussauds wax figures over three floors of the attraction.

From the moment you enter a lovingly-created S.H.I.E.L.D (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-enforcement Division) HQ, you'll be immersed in the Marvel superhero world. Hulk’s gigantic legs can be seen standing astride a massive plinth, his torso disappearing through a gaping hole in the ceiling, the green-skinned behemoth free from his Gamma Chamber, triggering warning lights and emergency alarms.

Early design work for the Hulk
as he appears in Marvel Super
Heroes 4D
Next stop is The Hall of Heroes, for some close up and interactive Super Hero action: a very angry Hulk bursts up through the floor with muscles rippling across his huge chest, face contorted in rage. There, you'll be able to measure up to his outsized vital statistics, stand inside his huge outstretched hand and even “turn Hulk” yourself courtesy of a special interactive that will make you appear very, very big and very, very green. Nearby, showing off his amazing arachnid powers, is Spider-Man and a cleverly inverted office scene means you can literally “hang out” with him on the ceiling.

The figure of Wolverine (as portrayed by Hugh Jackman) shows off his awesome foot long Adamantium claws to full effect and you can try them out for size with some special replica versions. No stranger to danger, The Invisible Woman can melt away into the ether and an ingenious graphic effect will allow fans to become semi transparent as you stand alongside her figure (as portrayed by Jessica Alba). You can also find out much more about the featured Super Heroes via graphic light boxes and interactive displays.

Early design work for Doctor Doom
as he appears in Marvel Super Heroes 4D
Linking the Hall of Heroes to the final level is the Heroes Gallery – a futuristic gallery space with Super Hero artwork and a mutant mirror wall that will show some very alternative images.

Also on display is the Super Hero Test Area, full of high tech equipment, where you'll find Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D boss, Nick Fury (as portrayed by Samuel L Jackson), keeping a watchful eye on proceedings as you prepare to enter the final phase of their Super Hero adventure – the Marvel Super Hero 4D auditorium.

The climax of the experience is a new 360º nine minute animated 4D cinema attraction, complete with high impact special effects. Screened in Madame Tussauds famous domed auditorium, the story unites a crack team of Super Heroes including Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Iron Man in a battle against one of Marvel’s most villainous baddies in an all new adventure set in the UK.

The Super Heroes arrive in London to receive special bravery awards from the Queen only to find The Capital under threat from evil genius, Doctor Doom. The deadly Doctor is intent on destroying the Super Heroes and their secret command centre and has created an army of lethal robotic accomplices to help him.

Utilising the entire 70 metre circumference of the dome, Marvels Super Heroes 4D unites amazingly realistic 3D animation with state of the art digi-star projection and then adds in an extra-sensory fourth dimension. The action will spill out of the screen over the audience and thrill-enhancing special effects - from water and smoke to tremors beneath the feet - will touch every sense, drawing you right into the heart of the adventure. As the story unfolds the London skyline is vividly brought to life and you will literally feel the impact of the villain’s invasion and the force of the Super Heroes’ strength as they do battle.

The film has been created by one of the world leaders in CGI feature films and 4D attractions, Threshold Animation Studios, working in close collaboration with Marvel. The figures and themed experience have been brought to life by Madame Tussauds’ creative team and unrivalled sculptors.

• Tickets for Marvel Super Heroes 4D go on sale very soon. Sign up here to receive the latest news and exclusive special offers from Madame Tussauds. Official web site: www.madame-tussauds.co.uk/4d

Councils Of The Galaxy Visit Scottish Schools

After last year's comic adaptation of The First Men On Mercury, created by Metaphrog for the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, was given away free on National Poetry Day to Strathclyde's school children, this year the charity Children in Scotland have gone one better.

This month they have been sending out 25,000 copies of a free comic to all Scottish schools, both primary and secondary, to encourage the pupils to take part in their school councils. The comic, entitled Councils Of The Galaxy, was illustrated and co-written by Edinburgh based artist Tobias Cook.

In Councils Of The Galaxy, Captain Captigan heads the alien crew of the star cruiser Anastas who are intrigued by the idea of Earth schoolchildren being able to contribute their views via their school councils since they come from a planet where head teachers spit acid and pupils don't have any say in the running of their schools.

Children In Scotland, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, conducted a comprehensive study of school pupil councils throughout Scotland between 2007 and 2009 and as well as making their results, entitled Having A Say At School, public through the normal channels of reports and the internet, they chose to present their findings to the school children themselves in the form of a full colour comic. Their director of research, Jonathan Sher, said, "Too often, the results of research done about students is not shared with them. And when it is, it tends to be boring and therefore ignored. We created this comic book because we are keen for students to enjoy the experience of learning the lessons from HASAS."

There are more details of the report on the Having A Say At School website.

There are more details and sample pages of the comic on Tobias Cook's
website.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Zine Symposium this Saturday in London

The London Zine Symposium takes place this weekend at the Rag Factory in East London.

An annual event where people interested in zines, small-press, comics and/ or radical culture can get together, buy or sell zines and share ideas with each other, the event aims to build a stronger DIY network and community by having people meet up, chat, maybe participate in a workshop or two but definitely have a good time.

Started in 2005 and strongly influenced by the Portland Zine Symposium and other radical and small press events that were happening in the USA, organisers say that whilst London had the excellent Anarchist Bookfair every October, there wasn’t something specifically geared towards small press, DIY or handmade publications in London, or the UK.

The symposium has grown each year as those involved with putting it on learn new lessons. More info on previous years can be found in the archive section.

Among the many attendees will be Lil project creator Paul O'Connell, who'll be selling brand-new hot-off-the-press copies of The Sound of Drowning #14 (pictured): 48 pages of dark comic goodness illustrated by Lawrence Elwick. Also on sale will be copies of Lionfish, another recently completed project by Paul with illustrator Simon Fowler.

"I'll also have with me the last few copies of the second print run I did of A Muppet Wicker Man, which Fangoria described as 'Even funnier than Nicolas Cage in the remake' and Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool.com thought 'A brilliant work of parody, done to perfection.' and even Robin Hardy, director of The Wicker Man found (bizarrely!) 'quite sweet'."

• The London Zine Symposium, Saturday 29th May 2010, Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage St, London E1 5LJ (off Brick Lane, nearest tube Aldgate East). More details about the Symposium here: www.londonzinesymposium.org.uk


• If you can't make it on Saturday, Lionfish and the new Sound of Drowning are available to buy online at www.soundofdrowning.com/books.html and you can check out A Muppet Wicker Man online for nothing at issuu.com/soundofdrowning/docs/muppetwickerman

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Britforce finally arrives in stores from Moonface Press

(Corrected credits, 27/5/10): Britannia! Bulldog! Lionheart! Stonehenge! Moonwitch! Helspawn! In the 1990s they were BritForce - the UK’s very own team of super-powered heroes. But driven appart by catastrophe, BritForce disbanded and haven’t seen each other in over a decade... until now.

Waiting in the wings is a threat so huge it might just be enough to throw the team back together. The Grail and his army of meta-human zealots have attacked Downing street and are intent on making Britain the power base for their brutal religious crusade

Will BritForce reunite to combat the threat? Or does Britain face a future crushed beneath the heel of religious oppression, presided over by a man convinced he’s the ressurection of the Messiah himself?

Published by Moonface Press after some distribution delays, featuring a cover by Glenn Fabry and art and story by Andy Radbourne, BritForce is on sale now in all good comic shops, with BritForce Issue 2 on sale soon.

Now a 64 page black and white title, the book was originally released back in 1993 by CM Comics, an attempt to launch a UK based superhero group on the comic buying world.

It actually had a degree of success anecdotally outselling Judge Dredd Magazine before it met an untimely demise," says Moonface publisher Andy Radbourne.

"I decided to relaunch it as I saw the potential of the series having worked on it as well as another couple of titles for CM Comics. It was launched at Bristol in 2009 but only achieved a comic shop release in March/April this year due to unfortunate distributer delays.

• Buy Britforce via your local comic shop or order directly through www.britforce.com or www.moonfacepress.com

• BritForce Blog: http://britforce.blogspot.com

BritForce on Facebook

Wallace & Gromit find a place in The Sun!

A new newspaper strip featuring Aardman Animations' Wallace & Gromit, launched last week, is getting good feedback from the characters legion of fans.

Replacing the long-running 'strip-com' George and Lynne, the new comic is being produced by Titan Comics and is appearing daily.

Launched Monday 17th May, each story will run over six days (Monday-Saturday) and will feature the world famous duo in all-new adventures starring hapless inventor Wallace, who's keen on creating labour saving gadgets, even though they don't always go to plan, and best friend and loyal dog Gromit... Expect Gromit to be saving Wallace from various scrapes and a number of mischievous characters. It's no wonder he's happiest reading the paper in a nice comfy chair.

Titan Magazines is now regarded as the largest publisher of licensed entertainment properties in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand and the debut of the Wallace & Gromit strip marks another step in the company's ongoing development, builing on its suite of magazines that include the Batman Legends Comic, Simpsons Comics, Transformers and more.

• For more information on Wallace and Gromit, visit: www.wallaceandgromit.com


• For more information on Titan Comics, visit: http://titancomicsuk.com

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Tony Lee taks Zombies -- and Jane Austen!

British comics creator Tony Lee is a busy man: popping up at the Bristol Comic Expo last weekend, writing a number of projects, with more in the pipeline. 

This week, he found time to talk to Mike Braff at the Del Rey Internet Newsletter about his work on the new Pride and Prejudice and Zombies graphic novel, and Mike has very kindly given us permission to re-publish that quick chat here on downthetubes...

After penning the graphic novel adaptation of Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith's Victorian Zombie gorefest, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Tony Lee sat down with the DRIN to answer some questions about comics, adapting stories into the graphic novel format, and of course, PPZ!

Del Rey Internet Newsletter: Were you a fan of Jane Austen, zombies, and/or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies when you began this project?

TONY LEE: I was never a massive fan of Jane's work, but I was a fan of the latter -- and in fact had been discussing the book with a friend the evening before Del Rey contacted me to see if I was interested in pitching for the book. Suffice to say that when my editor emailed me, I told her I would kill as many of her enemies as she needed for the chance to do the project!

Del Rey Internet Newsletter: You've written creator-owned comics (Hope Falls and Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood) as well as adaptations (the Gatekeepers series, Horowitz Graphic Horror). What were the particular challenges of this adaptation?

TONY: The biggest problem of any adaptation is how to take the core story and reduce it to a graphic format without losing the core moments, the lines from the book that definitely need to be in the comic. With a book like this, effectively already an adaptation of sorts, not only do I have quotes from the first book to keep in the story, but also new ones and revised versions of the first ones to add into this one. In addition, with a book like this we have a large chunk of action scenes that need to take center stage but at the same time keep from detracting from the main story, of marriage and position in a war-torn society.

The second biggest problem is dialogue. A novel can have a monologue that takes an entire page, but to put that into a comic needs pruning, and as I said above, some times the words simply can't be cut. So you find yourself moving moments, scenes lengthened or even shortened to keep the story continuing along at a pace that doesn't seem disjointed, while at the same time ensuring that it's still the story that the reader remembers from the first time they read the book.

Del Rey Internet Newsletter: Now that you've finished Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, what are you working on right now that you're really excited about?

TONY: Lots of things! Firstly I'm currently writing the ongoing Doctor Who series for IDW Publishing and we're about to start working on the Eleventh Doctor stories. This is a big thing for me, as I grew up on this TV series and it's great to see America really embracing it. In addition to that my first young adult novel is currently being looked at by a couple of large UK publishing houses and I should hear about that (and any possible sequels) by the time Pride & Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel comes out, and I'm currently working on and pitching a graphic novel series of books on the Baker Street Irregulars, another childhood love, so I'm currently living the dream.

That and waiting by the telephone, waiting for the call to adapt Pride & Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn Of The Dreadfulls...


• Reprinted here with the full permission of Mike Braff at Del Rey Books

More about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith; Adapted by Tony Lee; Illustrated by Cliff Richards on the Random House web site

Pat Mills delight at Eagle Award Nomination for Charley's War

2000AD co-creator Pat Mills has expressed his delight at learning that the latest collection of Charley War, written by Pat and drawn by Joe Colquhoun, has been nominated for an Eagle Award.

Nominated in the category for Favourite Reprint Compilation, Charley's War: Underground and Over The Top, the sixth volume in a series from from Titan Books, is in competition with Captain Britain by Alan Moore & Alan Davis Omnibus, Doctor Who: The Forgotten, Saga of the Swamp Thing and The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures.

"I've always felt that Joe was the greatest comic artist I've ever worked with and I have worked with many world-class artists, but there is no one to compare with Joe," says Pat. "This is why I always say that Charley's War is my personal favorite out of all the stories I've written."

Charley's War was first published in Battle Picture Weekly in the 1970s, telling the story of young Charley Bourne on the front during World War 1. Critically acclaimed, it remains one of few war comics to paint an often truly disturbing picture of life for the ordinary soldier during the Great War - and is even more remarkable in that this story was often the most popular in a weekly war comic.

"The fact that Joe's genius does not always seem apparent to the British comics community as a whole has always surprised and - I have to be honest - rather saddened me," Pat continues. "I guess if he'd drawn escapism or men in tights stories it would be very different. But the lack of interest from the fantasy faction in the past is more than offset by the fact that his genius is very apparent to the 150, 000 plus mainstream readers who grew up enjoying his artwork and I'm always thrilled and honoured by their thoughts, feedback and now this commendation.


"Particularly in memory of Joe - one of the greatest unsung comic artists of the 20th Century. I'm delighted that the voice of mainstream readers is finally heard."

Titan's collections feature commentary by Pat on the Charley's War tale and background material on the War from Steve White. A seventh volume, The Great Mutiny, is in preparation for publication later this year.

• Vote online at www.eagleawards.co.uk

Monday, 24 May 2010

In Review: The Bristol Comic Expo 2010

Matthew Badham reports on this year's Bristol Expo, which attracted some 1000 fans and over 100 comic creators...

I promised myself that I was going to do four things at the Bristol Comics Expo this year: make time to watch Doctor Who; get to bed at a reasonable time; make lots of notes for this report; and take lots of photos for this report. The fact that I managed to do none of these things is probably indicative of the absolute blast that I had at the convention.

Fun, fun, fun... and more fun, basically.

I was up bright and early on Saturday – at 4.55am to be precise – not because I had to be off to Bristol, but because my 10-month old was hungry. After feeding him, dozing a bit, then looking after t’kids as my wife had a lie-in, I headed off on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year.

One not-so-quick train ride and I was at Bristol, and the first sight that greeted me was two cosplayers, one of whom was carrying a golden sword that was almost as big as him (and he wasn’t a short chap)… normally, I’d have sneered, but I must be mellowing in my old age, because the sight of the two of them, standing and chatting un-self-consciously at Bristol Temple Meads station, even though they looked liked visitors from another planet just made me smile.

"This is what Bristol and the other cons do best," I thought, "they allow people to cut loose, to be themselves, to escape and to play."

The event proper didn’t have an auspicious start. I arrived at the Ramada (the con is split between two venues, the Ramada and Mercure hotels, with the pro’ contingent in the former and the small pressers in the latter) and had a wander around before checking in. The ambience was distinctly comic mart more than it was comic con, which wasn’t helped by the sweltering temperatures. Things were looking bad.

However, once I’d had a shower and changed, it all started to look up. In terms of the venues, the Mercure was the hands-down winner for me. It was light, airy and the small press/independent comics exhibitors’ room on the fifth floor felt far more spacious than its counterpart at the Ramada. However, I have to admit that I’ve personally got a bias towards the small press/indie side of the British comics industry too, and so that’s probably one reason why I felt more inclined to linger at the Mercure than at the Ramada.

Even though I was on a strict budget, I did manage to pick up a few comics. Martin Eden very kindly gave me a complimentary copy of Spandex 2, which I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s got sharp writing, lashings of super hero hi-jinks and, best of all, pink ninjas. What’s not to love?

I also picked up an issue of There’s No Time Like The Present from Paul Rainey, one of the best comics being published in the small press (and indeed, anywhere). If you haven’t heard of it, you should check it out at your earliest opportunity. And I bagged the latest issue of West (Distance) by Andrew Cheverton and Tim Keable, which is also cracking stuff and recommended.

Having chatted to various other creators, I headed back to the Ramada, which wasn’t looking quite as grim as my first assessment had suggested. There was a steady through flow of punters, lots of laughter and chatter, and all sorts of creators sketching, talking to fans and answering questions, all with remarkable good humour (which was pretty amazing, considering the heat). I suppose this is the core of the con experience, punters getting face-to-face contact with the creators. I had a nice moment on Sunday when chatting to a comics fan and he started to show me, with obvious pride, his collection of sketches, which included contributions from the likes of Colin MacNeill and Steve Yeowell.

The creators also gave very good ‘value for money’ when it came to the panels I attended. I saw a panel on Saturday about creator-owned comics with its focus on the Image Comics model in particular. Featuring Richard Starkings (Elephantmen), Kieron Gillen (Phonogram), Paul Grist (Jack Staff), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead) and Ian Churchill (Marineman), it was a very illuminating glimpse into the benefits and drawbacks that face creators who do try to go the ‘Image Comics’ route.

It also gave tips about self-publishing and the creator-owned route generally, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if some members of the audience were inspired ‘a la Sex Pistols at the Free Trade Hall’ to go and make their own comics.

The other panel I attended was about the Eagle Initiative, an offshoot of the Eagle Awards that hopes to foster new comics talent via a ‘talent search’-style competition. I went in pretty dubious, but if those involved manage to achieve even some of the things they were talking about then the Initiative could be an exciting opportunity.

All in all then, it was a great con and a fab weekend (topped off by a fun Saturday night chatting and also listening to music courtesy of comics super group The Power Cosmic – every con should have a band!) I plan to be back next year and if you’re into comics – of course you are, you’re reading downthetubes – then you should be there too.

• Official web site: www.fantasyevents.org/bristolcomicexpo/

News Items
Bristol Evening Post
"The Bristol International Comic & Small Press Expo may not be the catchiest title but it proved a sell-out at the Redcliffe hotel this weekend."

Mega Comics News reports on a bust-up at the Expo between Insomnia Productions staff -expect some changes there

Reviews

Bleeding Cool: Baking in Bristol
Blimey! It's Another blog about Comics by Lew Stringer: Heatwave for Bristol Comic Expo 2010

Dirty Rotten Comics
My Favourite Books
Ace artist Kevin Levell
Cheryl Morgan (describes the event as "A mixed bag")
Artist Mark Pearce  ("Amazing... I met so many amazing artists and people is was really overwhelming, but inspiring. I'm still kinda wired from it all.")
thirty-nine (includes recommended comics picked up at the Expo)

Emma Viceli (reacting to her Eagle nomination)
Doug Wilson (includes plenty of creator links)

In Review: Classics from the Comics Issue 170

The latest issue of DC Thomson's Classics from the Comics sports a new look, complete with revamped cover masthead reflecting it's 'retro' appeal, but the line up of humour and adventure strips inside is the usual engaging mix of material from yesteryear that again reminds readers of how vibrant British comics used to be. While not every story was a memorable hit - this issue's The Space Kids, from Beezer, drawn, I think, by Ron Smith, being one example - experimentation and enthusiasm for the work positively oozes from most pages.

Highlights this issue include an archive look at 50 decades of Desperate Dan, from an incredibly detailed 15-panel one page story from 1940 (Dan wins a makeover but filing his nails proves near-impossible) through to 1985 (just how will Dan quench his thirst?); a single page of Ken Reid's creation, Jonah, the jinx-ridden sailor (more, please!); Little Plum turns rock star, a barbed tale about celebrity that proves timeless; Davy Law's loose style wonder of a 1967 episode of Corporal Clott; L Cars from Sparky... There's even an episode of the quickfire half pager Desert Island Dick from Topper, as well as more General Jumbo adventure, up against a gang of terrorists with his toys.

Overall, there's a much stronger sense of editorial selection to this issue and somehow it seems less 'scattergun' than recent editions. The continued inclusion of background info on characters such as Desperate Dan is welcome feature material.

The only thing lacking for me is a list of creator credits, even if only the artists, perhaps included in the contents page. While I know that traditionally, DC Thomson never allowed creator credits in the past, it does these days in The Beano etc. I'm sure readers of this title would be fascinated to know more about the character and creator history behind some of DC Thomson's most fondly-remembered strips.

This title offers a well put together example of how a regular 'classics' package could look, and it's one Egmont should be looking at, and, although it's sadly unlikely ever to happen, IPC.

Classics from the Comics, published by DC Thomson, is on sale now in all good UK newsagents, price £2 Click here for subscription information

Japanese publisher seeks colourists

Tokyo-based publisher EigoTown is looking to have around 600 black and white and greyscale illustrations coloured for use on the iPhone and iPad and has put out an appeal for samples to British creators.

"We're creating Apps based on Oxford University Press' graded reader series for learners of English," explains EigoTown's Russell Willis, who some downthetubes readers may recall as the editor of some ace British indie comics magazines such as Infinity  back in the 1980s.

"We only need screen resolution and the maximum size is the viewable area of the iPad's screen (768 x 1004).

• Interested parties should contact Russell via russell.willisATeigotown.com. Please put "Colouring Work for iPad" in the subject line.

Voting opens for Eagle Awards

Voting for this year's Eagle Awards is now open on the official site.

Introduced in 1976, the Eagles are the comics industry's longest established awards. Acknowledged as the pre-eminent international prizes, they have been featured on the covers of leading US and UK titles across the last 30 years.

The nominations are as follows:

Favourite Newcomer Writer
Al Ewing
Jonathan Hickman
Kathryn Immonen
Kieron Gillen
• Mike Lynch

Favourite Newcomer Artist
David Lafuente
Declan Shalvey
Jamie McKelvie
John Cullen
Matt Timson

Favourite Writer
Alan Moore (Wikipedia)
Geoff Johns
John Wagner (Wikipedia Link)
Tony Lee
Warren Ellis

Favourite Writer/Artist
Bryan Lee O'Malley
• Darwyn Cooke (Almost Darwyn Cooke's Blog - But Not Quite)
David Mazzucchelli (Wikipedia Link)
• Paul Grist (The Paul Grist Comics Index)

Favourite Artist: Pencils
Frank Quitely (Wikipedia Link)
Guy Davis
Ivan Reis (Wikipedia Link)
J.H. Williams III
Stuart Immonen

Favourite Artist: Inks
Jackson 'Butch' Guice
Charlie Adlard
Gary Erskine
Kevin O'Neil (Wikipedia link)
Mark Farmer Wikipedia Link)

Favourite Artist: Fully-Painted Artwork
Adi Granov
Alex Ross
Ben Templesmith
J.H. Williams III
James Jean
Favourite Colourist

Ben Templesmith
Christina Strain
Dave Stewart (Wikipedia Link)
Laura Martin
Len O'Grady

Favourite Letterer
Annie Parkhouse
Chris Eliopoulos (Miery loves Sherman webcomic)
Nate Piekos (Blambot)
Richard Starkings (Comiccraft)
Simon Bowland (on Twitter)
Todd Klein

Favourite Editor
• Axel Alonso - Executive Editor, Marvel Comics (on Twitter)
Matt Smith - 2000AD (Wikipedia Link)
Nick Lowe - Marvel Comics (Wikipedia Link)
• Stephen Wacker - Marvel Comics (on Twitter)
• Tom Brevoort - Marvel Comics (Marvel blog)

Favourite Publisher
DC/Vertigo
IDW
Image Comics
Marvel
Rebellion/2000AD

Favourite American Colour Comicbook
B.P.R.D.
Batman and Robin
Captain Britain and MI13
Chew
Doctor Who
Phonogram - The Singles Club
Scalped


Favourite British Colour Comicbook
2000AD
Spandex
The Beano
The Dead: Kingdom of Flies
The DFC

Favourite American Black and White Comicbook
I Kill Giants
Scott Pilgrim
The Venger: Dead Man Rising
Usagi Yojimbo
Walking Dead (Wikipedia link)


Favourite British Black and White Comicbook
Chloe Noonan
Dragon Heir by Emma Vicelli
Futurequake
Space Babe 113 by John Maybury (pictured- adult comic)
Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man?


Favourite New Comicbook
Batman and Robin
Chew
Doctor Who
Rí Rá
Unwritten


Favourite Manga
Fullmetal Alchemist (Wikipedia link)
GoGo Monster
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (Wikipedia Link)
Pluto (Wikipedia link)
Reya


Favourite European Comicbook
The Chimpanzee ComplexThe Chimpanzee Complex
Largo WinchLargo Winch
L'Histoire SecrèteL'Histoire Secrète
Requiem Vampire KnightRequiem Vampire Knightby Pat Mills
Rí Rá


Favourite Single Story Published During 2009
Doctor Who : The Time Machination
Doctor Who: Black Death White Life
  From the Pages of Bram Stoker's Dracula: Harker
  Phonogram The Singles Club 4: Konichiwa Bitches
R.E.B.E.L.S. Annual #1: Starro the Conqueror


Favourite Continued Story Published During 2009
Doctor Who: The Forgotten
Judge Dredd: Tour of Duty
Phonogram: The Singles Club
Scalped #19-24: The Gravel in your Gut
Walking Dead #61 - 65: Fear The Hunters


Favourite Cover Published During 2009
2000AD #1631 (D'Israeli/Dirty Frank)
Batgirl #2
Batman & Robin #4 (Frank Quitely)
Batman and Robin #3
Doctor Who: The Forgotten #6

Favourite Original Graphic Novel Published During 2009
Asterios Polyp
Grandeville
League of Extraodinary Gentlemen: Century
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152
The Hunter

Favourite Reprint Compilation
Captain Britain by Alan Moore & Alan Davis Omnibus
Charley's War: Underground and Over The Top
Doctor Who: The Forgotten
Saga of the Swamp Thing
The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures


Favourite Magazine about Comics
Back Issue
Comics International
Comics Journal
Tripwire
Wizard

Favourite Comics-Related Book
Comic Book Design (Gary Millidge)
Peter and Max
The Insider's Guide to Creating Comics and Graphic Novels - Andy Schmidt
The Marvel Art of Marko Djurdjevic
War Stories (Mike Conroy)

Favourite Comics-Related Movie or TV Show
Heroes
Smallville
Surrogates
The Big Bang Theory
Watchmen

Favourite Comics Related Website
2000AD Online

Bleedingcool.com
comicbookresources.com
Forbidden Planet Blog
Newsarama

Favourite Web-Based Comic
Freak Angels
Order of the Stick
PVP
Sin Titulo
xkcd.com


Roll of Honour
• Brian Bolland
• Dick Giordano
• Joe Kubert
• John Hicklenton
• Peter David

• Vote online at www.eagleawards.co.uk

Contact downthetubes

• Got a British Comics News Story? E-mail downthetubes!

• Publishers: please contact for information on where to post review copies and other materials: editor@downthetubes.net

Click here to subscribe to our RSS NewsFeed

Powered by  FeedBurner


downthetubes British Comics Events Calendar

downthetubes Newsletter

Receive an email version of the downthetubes blog!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner