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Friday, 27 August 2010

In Review: Clint Issue 1 - does it "Kick Ass"?

(Updated 31/8/10, added other review links): After months of speculation about what Titan Magazines new British anthology title Clint might feature, the magazine itself is finally out in the wild, backed by an impressive promotional campaign on the web, which includes its official web site.

So - does comic creator Mark Millar's baby live up to all the hype?

First things first: this isn't just a comic. Yes, much of the content is comic strip, but it's been styled like a magazine. Even the cover leans more toward the kind of title you might expect to see alongside Nuts, Zoo or Empire; a canny piece of marketing for a new stand where comics have wrestled, sometimes in vain, for attention.

This will not sit easily with many comics purists who've grown up enjoying Eagle, Battle, Action or 2000AD - but it is a brave attempt to make Clint look different to most other comics that have gone before. Whether that gambit will pay off in the long term, none of us yet know.

Content-wise, Titan have embraced Britain's joint obsessions with celebrity and innuendo and pulled them into a well-honed mix that includes Nuts and FHM-styled features as well as a carefully selected line up of comic strip, all of it new to the British news stand if not to the specialist comic store (but then, this magazine is not aimed at that market, so that doesn't really matter). That includes an interview with comedian Jimmy Carr and more, all delivered with the kind of design flair you'd expect from the team that has done so well with its specialist magazines such as LOST and Star Wars.

Again, in my view that's a canny move and one that gives the title a strong selling point beyond the numerous comic strips it features. Whether those features will actually boost sales, given that similar material is something available in other titles, is another unknown quantity – but full marks to Millar and the Titan team for trying.

As for the conics - well, it's a mixed bag of action adventure, heavily weighted toward violent and sweary superheroes. As you'd expect, the first appearance of Millar's Kick-Ass 2, drawn by John Romita Jr., takes centre stage. Given the success of the first Kick Ass series and movie, it's sure to have a following and is a strong sales point. (The series will be published in the US via Marvel's Icon imprint in the future).

Likewise, Jonathan Ross' Turf, drawn by Tommy Lee ticks the strong sales point box. You can be sure Ross will happily promote both the comic and Clint to boot, which will certanly help its chances of success.

While the strip isn't new to comics fans familiar with the US comic scene, published in magazine format I think it actually looks better than its US outing. You can't go wrong with a vampire story right now, and it starts strong in this issue, with plenty more twists and turns to come.

The rest of the comics are in a similar vein - high octane, edgy action adventure that some won't like - but will go down well with a potential audience raised on high spectacle summer popcorn movies who would never squirm seeing Saw 

Rex Boyd by Frankie Boyle & Jim Muir is another all-new strip and, to my mind, the weakest material in the issue - the script jumps rather suddenly half way through the story of a security guard working for someone whose life role appears to be devoted to killing superheroes. Nemesis, by Millar, features some superb art by Steve McNiven and is another Marvel Icon title, and another vicious anti-superhero tale.

The strip content rounds off with The Diner, a three-page strip by Manuel Bracchi that has won out over many other submissions to appear in this first issue, one of many submitted via Millar's own web forum for consideration in the new title.

So - is Clint any good?

Well, it certainly has a firm handle on its potential audience and has a heady mix of strips and features that will appeal to a target market of teens who can buy their own comics (because if Mummy ever buys this for their eight-year-old, we'll soon have the same kind of press hysteria that put an end to Action thirty years ago). In those terms, it ticks all the boxes.

Is it the kind of comic I want to read? Well, no – but it isn't aimed at me, a 50-something comics fan who grew up reading TV Century 21, Valiant and what are, today, other far gentler comics albeit ones crammed with eye-grabbing adventure and characters. I fully accept that, recognize how much work has gone into getting the mix of the first issue right, and sincerely hope Clint does reach its market and is a huge success, because if it is, it will benefit everyone in the British comics industry, long term.

Let's hope we just don't end up with a load of copycat titles, which is what happened when VIZ went large. Do what Mark and Titan have done - something different.

The big questions is: will that target audience buy Clint instead of Nuts, Zoo and similar titles? Right now, no-one knows, but you can be darn sure Titan have done their homework and are well aware they need to cleverly market Clint to ensure it gets the attention it craves.

At a time when sales of the titles it's emulating - aside from the comics element - are in decline, perhaps Clint will also give that sector a much-needed jolt in terms of sales. We'll just have to wait and see... But good on them for at least giving it a go.

Official CLINT web site. Jonathan Ross and Mark Millar will be signing copies on Thursday 2nd September at 4.30pm at WH Smiths in London's Victoria station.

Discuss CLINT #1 on the downthetubes forum (membership required)

News Items

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser (no, really): New comic called Clint from Coatbridge’s Mark Millar
1st September, 2010 (repeats earlier Titan PR for the title with local 'spin'): Coatbridge writer Mark Millar is launching a UK comic that will feature stories by TV presenter Jonathan Ross and comedian Frankie Boyle...

MTV: Mark Millar Drops 'CLiNT' Comics Magazine On Doorsteps Today, Previews The First Issue!
2nd September, 2010 - Includes interview with Mark Millar, who says "It’s really secretly selling people comics. My dad’s generation and my generation all read comics as children but my daughters generation, the boys in her class have never picked up a comic book. So I wanted it to be something teenage boys and young guys in their 20s would feel comfortable with, you know? Something that is a hybrid.”


Bleeding Cool: Copies of CLiNT Seen in the Wild
Bleeding Cool forum thread documenting some of the daft places WH Smiths staff (and other retailers) have racked the new comic. In one case, apparently next to Bob the Builder...


Other Reviews

Comics Alliance: CLiNT is definitely a Magazine
by Chris Sims: "I legitimately like the "Warning! Contains Comics!" blurb in the corner. It plays into the whole attempt at characterizing what they're doing as a faux-dangerous bit of counterculture along the lines of 2000AD's heyday, and while that idea is defeated pretty thoroughly by having a photo cover depicting characters from a major motion picture that starred Nicolas Cage, it does put the emphasis squarely on comics. And that's exactly where it belongs, because that's where CLiNT is at its best."

FHM: New Magazine! New Kick-Ass!

Geeksco.uk: Wossy and Boyle strips in new CLiNT Magazine
"Having had a sneak peek at the 100 page magazine, it’s certainly an exciting new direction for Mark Millar. Jonathan Ross’s vampire comic is a complete surprise and an excellent one at that. A dark tale of vampires and gangs in depression-hit New York, the second installment can’t arrive fast enough. We are also gifted with Millar’s explosive and controversial strip, Nemesis, drawn by artist Steve McNiven with whom Millar had previously worked on Marvels Civil War mini series. The jokey premise for the strip was ‘What if Batman was a total c**t‘ which understandably caused some concern with DC Comics..." 

Journalist Danny Graydon: Clint #1 - The Verdict

"... We have the latest attempt at pushing edgy and irreverent comics in to the mainstream, with the arrestingly-titled “CLiNT” – think about it – produced by writer Mark Millar and Titan Magazines. Ever the connoisseur of hyperbole, Millar grandly claimed that “This is The Eagle for the 21st Century!” and, having read the debut issue, I can only respond to that pearl of wisdom with: you bloody wish, old boy. No, no: the truth is that CLiNT is essentially TOXIC! resurrected... This is by no means a bad thing."

Lew Stringer - Blimey! It's Another Blog about Comics

"The promos talk about it appealing to 16 to 30 year-olds but maybe that's just to sell it to retailers. Personally I think CLiNT will really find an audience of 13 to 16 year-olds excited by the ultra-violence of Kick Ass and Nemesis. Don't be surprised to see some prudes rise up to bang on about comics "corrupting children". Every generation has those spoilsports and they've never proven their case yet. It seems to me that Millar and Titan have preempted such attacks by not making the cover look like a comic and clearly putting an 'Adult Content' advisory beside the barcode. The responsibility is now with retailers to choose who to sell it to, and with parents to monitor what their kids read. No passing the buck this time for the blame culture....

Competition Seeks Illustrator to Bring Cleveleys’ ‘Mythic Coastline’ to Life

Ever fancied seeing your artwork in a published book, or brought to life by a sculptor? Then grab your pens – or your computer mouse – because the hunt is on to find a talented illustrator for a brand new children’s book exploring the history, landscape and folklore of Britain's Cleveleys coast.

Lancaster-based literature agency Litfest and Wyre Borough Council have launched an open competition to find an illustrator for the Mythic Coastline project, which is developing stories, illustrations, public art works and events to inspire and enthuse local people and visitors to the Lancashire coastline between Cleveleys and Fleetwood.

Critically acclaimed children’s author Gareth Thompson is writing the book, provisionally titled Between the Moon and the Earth, which will highlight some of the area’s diverse environments – including the Bowland Forest, the fishing harbour at Fleetwood and the sand dunes at Rossall – as well as mythic or unseen features such as petrified forests and shipwrecks.

Not only will the book will be published in hardback next year by Foxtail, an imprint of Litfest Publications, as well as in e-book format, but it will also provide the inspiration for public art works to be created by sculptor Stephen Broadbent. And there’s a commission fee of £8,000 up for grabs too.

"We’re looking for imaginative, sparky illustrations which invoke the spirit, history and folklore of this fascinating landscape," said Andy Darby, Artistic Director of Litfest, who will edit the book. "We’ve got a great writer on board – now we need a fantastic illustrator who can give the book another dimension."

Councillor Lynne Bowen, Wyre Borough Council Cabinet member with responsibility for culture, added: "The council has a vision for the Mythic Coastline to capture the imagination of all who see it. This is an extra special project, so it's only right that we search for an exceptional illustrator who can make Wyre's new waterfront come alive."

• Entrants are asked to complete an application form and submit two examples of their work. Full entry details, terms and conditions, and the application form can be found on the www.wyreway.org/mythic website, or can be obtained by calling 01524 62166. The deadline for entries is 27th September 2010.

Check out the Cleveleys web site for possible inspiration

British Comics Sales Figures - a quick snapshot


How healthy is the UK comics market? With fierce debate raging among British fans about whether titles like Titan's CLINT, the brainchild of Mark Millar, will be a success, here's a rundown of some of Britain's comic sales on the UK news stand, sourced from ABC, the official auditing body for UK magazines.

The figures listed are the Total Average Net Circulation / Distribution Per Issue between 1st January 2010 and 30th June 2010. (Doctor Who Magazine is included as it features comic strip).

These figures do not include sales in comic shops - where many of these titles aren't stocked, anyway.

The Simpsons - 81,862 (ABC Data here)
VIZ - 76,408 (ABC)
Ben 10 - 74,013 (ABC)
Simpsons Comics Presents - 63,172 (ABC)
Doctor Who Adventures - 53,559 (ABC)
In the Night Garden - 60,060 (ABC)
The Beano - 46,656 (ABC)
TOXIC - 40,235 (ABC)
Doctor Who Magazine - 35,374 (ABC)
BeanoMAX - 29, 067 (ABC)
Spectacular Spider-Man - 28,504 (ABC)
Transformers Comic - 24,617 (ABC)
Lazy Town - 22,604 (ABC)
Dandy Xtreme - 14,355 (ABC Data)

Neither 2000AD or Judge Dredd: The Megazine, and many other comics titles (Commando and many of the Panini US reprint digests, for example) are ABC rated.

Estimated sales of 2000AD and Judge Dredd: The Megazine vary but given that they aren't licensed titles - which today, are the most successful products on the news stand - we would not expect them to be huge. (They're still enough to make money for Rebellion, obviously).

But will CLINT, which now has a sneak preview of Issue 1 live on its official website, be bought by traditional comic fans or will the majority of its audience come from a potential new audience, more used to buying SFX (31,342), Nuts (147,134), FHM (192,586) or, perhaps, titles like Metal Hammer (44,034)?

If so, sales of comics, with which readers of this web site will be looking at, are moot, and this new Titan title may well open up a whole new market for a new wave of comics. Let's hope so...

Discuss this on the downthetubes forum (membership required)

Spider-Man Total Mayhem game for iPhone out next week in UK

Gameloft's Spider-Man: Total Mayhem game for iPhone and iPod touch will be available in the UK on the 1st September 2010.
Sure to be promoted in Panini's superhero comics, the new title offers ultra dynamic gameplay with more than 20 fighting combos, challenging players to master the mayhem by using Spidey's agility to master tricky platforming and quick time events. (Use your Spider-Sense to avoid danger and get in the best position to counter-attack!)

The games storyline inspired by the Ultimate Spider-Man comics as Spidey faces off against six of his toughest enemies gathered in one game for unprecedented mayhem.

In addition to the game, you can even capture your greatest combat moves with a Photography mini-game and search for collectibles to unlock.
• For full details about the game visit Gameloft's official website: www.SpiderManTotalMayhem.com

Collected Elephantmen Return!

The sold out first volume of Richard Starkings ace comic Elephantmen is back in print. With a cover from ace 2000AD artist Boo Cook (who's just been interviewed by downthetubes contributor Matt Badham here), it now includes the sold out Zero issue by with art by Ladronn, as well as an all-new sketchbook section, the 'English & Media Studies' backmatter from the single issues.

This new collection also features an all-new introduction by Jonathan Ross, writer of Turf and contributor to Titan Magazines Clint magazine. (We also hear he works in TV and radio, but we won't hold that against him).

The volume collects Collects Elephantmen #0-7, written by Richard Starkings & Joe Kelly, with art by Ladrönn, Moritat, Henry Flint, Tom Scioli, David Hine and Chris Bachalo and was first published in November 2008.

• More info here on the Elephantmen web site. Diamond order number: SEP10 0455

Thursday, 26 August 2010

New Columbo Fanzine from Eagle Flies Again Editor


downthtubes contributor Ian Wheeler is hoping to launch a new fanzine based on the hugely successful American detective show Columbo which continues to be popular on both sides of the Atlantic - and, while we'll admit there's only a tenuous connection with comics, the show was  parodied in MAD and Cracked, so we're happy to plug his plans here.

Ian's last fanzine, Eagle Flies Again, co-produced with John Freeman, covered the wide topic of British comics (with a bias towars Eagle and Dan Dare) and met with some success - it was twice nominated Fanzine of the Month in SFX Magazine.

"Columbo is equal in my affections to Doctor Who," says Ian, a former Coordinator of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.

"Although there is a terrific fan website about the show, I can't find any evidence of there ever being a fanzine. I'd like to rectify this.

"With constant repeats, the recent UK stage show (which is reteruning in 2011) and a new short story collection, the time is right. I'm therefore hoping to launch This Old Man - the fanzine of Columbo. We'll start modestly - it's likely to be a photocopied affair and, like any fanzine, contributors will not get paid. But hopefully it will be fun to do and fun to read.

"Although many printed fanzines have long-since vanished to be replaced by internet-based content, there are still many people who prefer to actually hold something in their hands they can read and there appears to be a minor revival of A5 photocopied zines, particularly based on Doctor Who." 

• Anyone interested in contributing to the zine should contact Ian at columbozine@hotmail.co.uk

Please note: the cover shown is provisional.

Wiped! What Happened to Doctor Who's Missing Episodes?

In the 1960s, the BBC screened 253 episodes of its cult science fiction show Doctor Who, starring William Hartnell and then Patrick Troughton as the time travelling Doctor. Yet, incredibly, by 1975, the Corporation had wiped the master tapes of every single one of these episodes.

Of the 124 Doctor Who episodes starring Jon Pertwee shown between 1970 and 1974, the BBC also destroyed over half of the original transmission tapes within two years of their original broadcast.

In the years that followed, the BBC, along with dedicated fans of the series, began the arduous task of trying to track down copies of as many missing Doctor Who episodes as possible. The search covered BBC sales vaults, foreign television stations, overseas archives, and numerous networks of private film collectors, until the tally of missing programmes was reduced to just 108 episodes.

For the first time, a new book from Telos Publishing - Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes by Richard Molesworth - looks in detail at how the episodes came to be missing in the first place, and examines how material subsequently came to be returned to the BBC. Along the way, those people involved in the recovery of lost slices of Doctor Who's past tell their stories in candid detail, many for the very first time.

Wiped! covers a somewhat contentious aspect of the BBC's history, that of their wholescale throwing away of archive television recordings from the sixties, in a period leading to around 1977/8 when it was largely stopped by the intervention of concerned individuals.

The hunt for pre-1980s missing television or radio shows continues to this day, with the BBC's Treasure Hunt site detailing what is missing and what they would most like to find, including episodes of shows such as Adam Adamant, Dad's Army, Doomwatch, The Goodies and The Goon Show.

Richard Molesworth has painstakingly peeled back the layers behind these actions, finding out exactly what was destroyed and when, and then chronicling the attempts of fans to locate and replace the BBC's lost archive of Doctor Who material - with a large degree of success.

"I've always been fascinated by the subject of missing episodes: how they came to be missing in the first place, and how they got to be found,' explains Richard. 'I remember reading about the 'first' publically announced recovered episode in Doctor Who Magazine - Part Two of 'The Abominable Snowmen' - and not being able to get my head around the concept of episodes of a BBC programme being in a private collectors hands.  So I wanted to know more.  As I got to know more people in the BBC, and talk to people who had returned episodes, I realised that the stories behind the finds were fascinating.

"I think fans - especially modern ones - just cannot understand why the BBC don't have every single one of the Doctor's adventures sitting on the shelves of their archive," he continues. "Older fans, who were watching at the time of the original series in the late 1970s or 80s, wanted to see the earlier Doctors probably more than they wanted to watch the new Doctor Who programmes that the BBC were making.  The older stories has such a mythos and mystique about them, and many of them had been novelised by Target books, which made you want to watch them even more, especially when photos from these stories began appearing in books and magazines much more at this point.  Those realy, really older fans, who watched the series in the 1960s, wanted to watch the stories they remembered with so much affection again.

"And of course, everyone loves a grail quest, and to Doctor Who fans, that's what the missing episodes are.  If they had all been destroyed, and not a single episode had been found in the last 30 years, then I think fans would accept they're gone, and move on.  But the fact that lost episodes did pop up from time to time (although finds have dried up in the last decade-or-so) gives them hope.  And like all good grail stories, more myths, rumours and misinformation have cropped up around the subject of missing episodes than any other single aspect of the series.

"Practically every other aspect of the series has been studied and documented in meticulous detail over the years, but missing episode rumours persisted."

Richard has been researching the book for a good 30 years, so he had a wealth of information to draw on. "I've written articles for magazine like DWB and Doctor Who Magazine on the subject a fair few times.  But after deciding to actually write the book - which I had been wanting to do for some years - I suppose it took about a year to pull everything together,  to interview the people I wanted to talk to, and to write the text.

"The research was difficult at times, but most of the people I contacted were actually more than happy to discuss things, and were glad that they were being asked to give their side of things for the first time."

"Richard's dedicated research into the story of why so many episodes of Doctor Who came to be missing from the BBC Archive and how many of those episodes came to be recovered, is a fascinating journey of discovery," feels TV historian and researcher Richard Bignell.

"With new information sourced from the original BBC documents of the time, Wiped!  is a detailed account that helps to finally sort out the fact from the fiction and the truth from the hyperbole."


Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes by Richard Molesworth will be published September 2010 price: £15.99 (+p&p)

List of missing Doctor Who episode on the BBC Treasure Hunt Page


• A more wide-ranging list is available from The British TV Missing Episodes Index (http://www.btinternet.com/~m.brown1/homepage.htm)

Draw the World Together Art Auction Begins Tonight

Spider-Man by Mike Collins
Today sees the start of the first of three Draw the World Together auctions, organised by comic creators using comics to raise money for charity.

The auction on eBay features sketches provided by some of DWTs favourite artists and the list will go live at 11pm GMT on the group's eBay page. These sketches were mostly done at the recent Bristol Comic Expo and there are some real gems in there that you won't want to miss, including this Spider-Man by Doctor Who artist Mike Collins.

Draw the World Together hope to make this their biggest online DtWT fundraiser to date, so spread the word.

The auction runs for 10 days. Overlapping with that will be the second auction, which starts on 2nd September. More news on that one soon...

Draw the World Together eBay page

Draw the World Together Official web site

Draw the World Together on Facebook

Draw the World Together on DeviantART 

Draw the World Together on Twitter

Tube Surfing: Drinking, Drawing... and other stuff too!

Manchester Comic Collective Drink n Draw
• If you're in the area this Sunday, you could do worse than pop along to Manchester Comic Collective's (MCC) monthly Drink 'n' Draw. It kicks off at 4pm and is usually lots of fun (although I haven't made it down for a fair few months). From the MCC blog:

'[It's a] casual get together of people who like to draw and also drink. Anyone is welcome... Free entry, materials and snacks provided and 10% off at the bar.'

(This monthly event is usually held at Sandbar, but you better check their official site in case the venue has changed.)




The Shoot from Tony Lee on Vimeo


The Shoot, a short film written by comics writer Tony Lee (Doctor Who, 2000AD, The Gloom), is now online. He'd like feedback, so go watch it and then... well, feed back...

• Indie comics news site  Bugpowder has just done a handy little round-up of activity on the Irish comics scene. Worth a look...

• Can someone please give Dan McDaid the cash to realise this 'Sherlock Holmes meets the Doctor' commision as a full strip?

• And finally, the Blank Slate Books website appears to have had a makeover. (Or maybe I didn't notice and it all happened ages ago.)

Working 9 to 5 - Superheroes for hire is Markosia's latest adventure

British publisher Markosia's new comic Hero 9-5, written by Ian Sharman with art from David Gray focuses on a world where being a super hero is just another job.

A world where only the rich can afford the comprehensive hero protection policies that ensure that the best heroes will come to their aid in an emergency. The poor, however, have to make-do with protection from government sponsored agencies with limited resources whose staff are…shall we say… a little less heroic.

Jacob Reilly, aka Flame-O, is just one such hero, an everyday guy who just happens to be able to shoot flames from his hands. He didn’t want to be a super hero, he wanted to be a musician, but he wasn’t good enough to make a living at it. So he ended up getting a job at “Heroes For Zeros,” a government sponsored hero agency. So, Jacob clocks on, works nine to five (unless he’s short on cash and does overtime or, worse, a night shift) and fights z-list villains for a pathetic pay cheque.

Despite being a super hero, Jacob has all the problems of regular folk – an irritating boss, bills to pay, professional jealousy, and also certain problems that are unique to his profession…like the fact that his girlfriend is also his alter-ego’s nemesis, Frostica (and she’s insanely jealous of his teenaged sidekick, Pink Girl).

Written by Ian Sharman (Alpha Gods, Eleventh Hour) with art by David Gray and colours by Yel Zamor, Hero 9-5 offers a fresh, funny take on the idea of real world super heroes.

Myebook - Hero 9 to 5 - click here to open my ebookIan is perhaps best known as Managing Editor of Orang Utan Comics, and the writer of Alpha Gods and has been working professionally in comics for several years now. His professional inking credits include the Contraband OGN from Slave Labour; work on the Eagle Award nominated antholgy Eleventh Hour from Orang Utan Comics Studio and AAM/Markosia; and work on Marvel's UK comics, Spectacular Spider-Man and Marvel Heroes, published by Panini.
• Available in the UK via specialist comic shops, you can find it in Diamond's August Previews catalogue under publisher AAM/Markosia, where the Diamond order code is - AUG10 0726

A 20-page preview of Hero 9-5 is available for viewing on MyEBook

Hero 9-5 - YouTube Promotion

• Markosia Official Site: www.markosia.com  

• All of Markosia's publications are or will be available from their Markosia Store. You can purchase everything that the company has released, including special editions, signed copies, variants, and merchandise.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Burke and Hare first editions on sale from creators

With the news that Insomnia Publications, the company behind graphic novel Burke & Hare, has ceased trading, its creators Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering can now offer out copies for sale of the first edition of the book.

"Will and I are in the process of negotiating a deal with a new publisher," says Martin, "which will necessitate a new cover and some amendments/additions to the book in the second edition. This means the first edition will never be seen in print again in its current form.

Fortunately, I have around 300 copies that were sent to me by the Insomnia distributor when the company landed in financial trouble."

Burke & Hare delves into the  12-month period from 1827-1828 in Edinburgh, Scotland, when two Irishmen by the names of William Burke and William Hare murdered 16 people and disposed of their bodies to the eminent dissectionist Dr Robert Knox.

Delve into the murky, misquoted history of Scotland's most notorious serial killers with a research-based graphic novel that unravels a ghoulish story of medicine, murder and money.

The price of the book is £10+£2 P&P. if you live in the UK. If you're outside of the UK, contact Martin via sales@burkeandharecomic.co.uk and he will give you a price on postage.

• If you want a copy, you can send Martin the money via PayPal to sales@burkeandharecomic.co.uk and he will get it sent out to you as soon as possible.

Read David Hailwood's review of Burke and Hare

Monday, 23 August 2010

Bellamy's "Happy Warrior" Reprinted

happy_warrior_levenger.jpg(with thanks to Dave Wilson and Norman Boyd): Some web trawling by Eagle comic fans has thrown up the find of new collection of Frank Bellamy's world-famous strip Winston Churchill: The Happy Warrior.

The collection is only available from the US Publisher Levenger Press' web site and is not cheap at $39 a copy, but the new edition was welcomed by Churchill's great grandson, Jack, one of the team working on winstonchurchillshop.com

The edition - available in hardcover, which we believe was published sometime last year - collects all 50 weekly installments of The Happy Warrior as they appeared between 4th October 1957 and 6th September 1958, along with commentary by Richard Langworth, the Churchill Centre historian, offering added background and context.

"The Happy Warrior is history," says Jack Churchill of the book, "but hopefully reading about the adventures that Winston Churchill got up to in his 90 years will inspire others to experience their own exciting stories and write about them.

Drawn by Frank Bellamy, The Happy Warrior told Churchill's life story when the wartime Prime Minister was still alive and is regarded by many as the strip which established Bellamy's name as an artist of note. "His thorough research of actual military ephemera and the beginnings of his attempts to improve the dynamic composition of the page layouts are clearly in evidence throughout the story," notes Bellamy fan Chris Bishop.

The Happy Warrior has reprinted before, first by Eagle publishers Hulton Press themselves in 1958 and by Dragon's Dream in 1981. It has also been published in Dutch. Full details here on the Frank Bellamy checklist site)

Established in 1987 by Steve and Lori Granger Leveen and based in Florida, Levenger, which describes itself as the publisher of "uncommon titles", has retail outlets in Boca Raton, Boston, Chicago and the Washington, D.C as well as offering its catalogue online.

More about Winston Churchill - The Happy Warrior on the Levenger web site

Levenger Press Home Page

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