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Friday, 2 September 2011

Toffs, Killer Condors and deadly Paras in new Commandos

The latest issues of Commando are on sale now in all good newsagents – and there's a fine mix of stories this month, which also sees the start of the exhibition of art from the long-running comic at London's National Army Musueum.

We've included a reminder about that and some special events tied in with it at the bottom of this feature.

Commando 4423: Mercy for None!
Originally Commando No 4 (July 1961), re-issued as No 2547 (March 1992)
Story: Castle Art: Gordon Livingstone Cover Art: Ken Barr

Sitting tensely together in the Dakota on their way to the night drop into Occupied Europe, ten hand-picked paratroopers jokingly nicknamed themselves the ten little soldier boys. Fate must have smiled, for it turned out to be a grim and deadly jest.

One by one, at the hands of the Nazis, they were picked off. One by one, they died the death of heroes…

Mercy For None!

"They say that gallows humour is the darkest of all," notes by Commando Editor Calum Laird in his introduction to this reprint issue of Commando. "And this story has the blackest stripe of that type of humour running right through it. As the Paras at the centre of the action begin to meet their fates, one of their numbers starts to recite a macabre rhyme which can have only one fatal ending.
Artist Gordon Livingstone, in one of his earliest outings for Commando, enhances the darkness of the tale with generous use of black ink while cover artist Ken Barr leaves you in no doubt that there’s plenty of action waiting inside.

"Classic Commando — you can see, and read, why they were such a runaway hit from Day One."

Commando 4424: Tunnel of Doom
Originally Commando No 450 (January 1970), re-issued as No 1271 (November 1978)
Story: Allan Art: Bielsa Cover Art: Jordi Penalva

Flat on his stomach on the railway line, Private Andy Morgan crawled forward grimly. It was up to him to stop a Nazi armoured train — and all he had to do it with was one single hand-grenade.
And what made it even tougher for Andy was that the only two guys with him were the type who would pack up and run if things got dicey.

In this brilliant tale we meet a couple of ne’er’do’wells who seem to positively revel in their bad attitude and lack of discipline," notes Commando Deputy Editor Scott Montgomery.

"The aptly named Dodger Harland and Scrounger Dunville are classic Commando characters and it’s not long before they’ve had a bad influence over Andy Morgan, our fledgling hero.

"However, when push comes to shove, perhaps these two aren’t quite what they seem…Redemption is a common Commando theme and this cracking story, with its gritty interior art and a superbly painted cover by Penalva, has an eerily original spin on it.

Commando No 4425: Pride of the Desert
Story: Alan Hebden Art: Benet Cover Art: Benet

What do you get if you send a marauding, aristocratic “Toffs Brigade” on a race against time to recover their stolen regimental silver?

You get a rip-roaring adventure, that’s what!

And if that’s not enough, don’t forget to add a battered but trusty Bedford QL lorry nicknamed “Queenie”…better known as the Pride of the Desert!

Commando 4426: Killer Condor 
Story: Mac Macdonald Art: Carlos Pino Cover Art: Carlos Pino

“Relax, it’s one of ours.” So said the U-boat’s look out as the looming shape of a Focke-Wulf Condor appeared over them.

Unfortunately the crew of the bomber didn’t seem to realise that the sub was on their side for its lethal payload was soon tumbling down to bring destruction and death to the men below.

The Killer Condor had struck again but surely at the wrong target…

Draw Your Weapons Special Events

Here's a reminder of the run down of events that are part of the Draw Your Weapons exhibition featuring art from Commando at the National Army Museum in London this month.

When the Comics Went to War
8th September 2011, 7.00pm

Exploring the history of the British war comic book genre, from the first publications to the present day, this talk charts the evolving depiction of warfare and the experiences of the children who lived through it.

Draw Your Weapons Art Workshop
5th, 12th and 26th November 2011 2.00pm-3.30pm

Exclusive workshops for budding artists of all ages to learn new techniques, design their own storyboard and hear the tales behind the artwork. These Saturday workshops will be hosted by popular comic illustrators and by acclaimed war artists.

• For the latest information visit: www.nam.ac.uk/exhibitions/special-displays/draw-your-weapons-art-commando-comics

• Official Commando web site: http://www.commandocomics.com/

Commando Official Facebook page

• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846  

• Commando is also available for iPad and iPhone. The apps are free to download through the Apple iTunes App Store and a digital subscription is priced at £4.99 per month, compared to a £99 annual print subscription. For those not sure there are four free issues to download prior to making a purchase.  

Commando Comics iPhone App on iTunes

Commando Comics iPad App on iTunes

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