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Saturday, 24 March 2012

British Comic Stamps: 2000AD

Here's the final post to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

2000AD needs no introduction to regular readers of this site, but for those of you finding us for the first time as a result of these stamp posts, it's a weekly British science fiction-oriented comic, first published in 1977, which has just enjoyed its 35th birthday.

It's most noted for its Judge Dredd stories, and has been contributed to by a number of artists and writers who became renowned in the field internationally, such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison.

There's more about 2000AD at the title's official web site at www.2000adonline.com

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

CamCon 2012 lines up its guests

CamCon 12th May 2012

A new British comic convention will take place in May and has an impressive line-up of guests that includes longtime indie creator Glenn Dakin, 2000AD artist Leigh Gallagher and many others.

The brainchild of Ziggy Newman, CamCon - Cambridge's new comic/cult convention - will take place at the The Junction J2 on 12th May 2012. Guests announced so far include manga creator Sonia Leong, Glenn Dakin, Leigh Gallagher, Emma Vicelli and Murky Depths editor Terry Martin.

"Basically this is a project I have set up and funded myself using money I raised in my gap year," Ziggy tells us. "It is the first of its kind in East Anglia and I have set it up because of my strong interest in pop/geek culture and want to share it with others."

This brand new convention dedicated to comics, anime fandom, gaming, alternative fashion and everything else wickedly cool will include guest talks from manga and other comic creators, a Cosplay Masquerade, Manga Drawing Workshops, Live bands, Gaming Tournaments, an Alternative Fashion Show and more.

- For more information visit www.thecamcon.com or the a facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/camcon/.

 

British Comic Stamps: Twinkle

Here's the ninth of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

Twinkle, 'the picture paper especially for little girls', was published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd from 1968 to 1999. It was aimed at young girls and came out weekly. Nurse Nancy, who ran a toy hospital with her grandfather, was one of the most popular characters.

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

Good Cop, Bad Cop checks into High-Ex

Good Cop, Bad Cop #1

If you're planning a trip to the Highlands for the Hi-Ex Comic Expo next weekend, then be sure to track down the latest comics from Black Hearted Press, run by Jim Alexander, David Brayher, John Farman and Sha Nazir.

Black Hearted Press is a new Scottish comic book publisher promoting new, exciting and diverse creator owned, collaborative comic books whose first release was Black Maria issue 616. Building on that success, they've added several new titles including the much-praised School of the Damned, Gabriel and Scout One.

Their latest title is Good Cop, Bad Cop by ace writer Jim Alexander, whose credits include stories for 2000AD, DC and Marvel Comics and Metal Hurlant.

In a modern and suitably macabre take on Jekyll and Hyde, the Good Cop and Bad Cop just happen to be the same person and the first issue features three all-new stories written by Jim, with art by Garry McLaughlin (Junkie Dad, Year of Fear, Taking Flight).

A panel from Good Cop, Bad Cop

With suitably black humour and some nice touches on the characterisation, it's a project with immense potential - I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops. For example, given the Bad Cop's predilection for killing, rather than arresting villains, how will Good Cop cover the tracks of his alter ego? Do they have entirely different DNA, for example?

I'm sure this is the kind of thing Jim will be having fun with in later issues.

Also out is Scout One, what Jim previously described as "a super-hero strip with a difference." Sha Nazir's art lends the story a gritty DC Thomson look, and the first issue again features three stories from the mythology of Scout One.

"The story has a Doctor Who sensibility to it," says Jim. "There's a real sense of adventure and fun to be had. Something parents and kids can both enjoy."

Hi-Ex takes place at Eden Court, Inverness 31st March - 1st April. Other guests include Jim Montynero, one of the creators on CLiNT, Rok Comics editor John Freeman, artist Graeme Neil Reid, Inko and many more. More info at www.hi-ex.co.uk.

• Black Hearted Press: www.blackheartedpress.co.uk

• Jim Alexander's blog: http://jimalwriter.blogspot.com

In Review: Jennifer Wilde Issue 1

Set in 1921 Jennifer Wilde is the Eagle Award nominated lightly supernatural title from Atomic Diner, written by Maura McHugh, illustrated by Stephen Downey and based on a plot by Maura McHugh and Robert Curley.

Jennifer Chevalier is an artist based in Paris who is visited there by her father. As Jennifer walks to the restaurant the next day to meet him for lunch, she discovers that he has been knocked down by a car and killed. While the French police accept this as an accident, Jennifer believes that he may have been pushed. Visiting her father's hotel room she discovers more about her father than she ever knew before - secrets that her mother had kept from her - including his male lover.

Dublin's Atomic Diner Comics have been putting out a selection of US format comics that in the last year or so have included the WWII team title The League Of Volunteers and the Victorian horror title Roisin Dubh.

The supernatural part of the Jennifer Wilde plot is that Jennifer sees ghosts and this is presented in such a matter-of-fact way that it does not strain the reader's credulity. Jennifer's ghost partner is the Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde, who died in Paris in 1900, who joins her because her dead father's locket, as shown on the front cover, contains a picture of him as well as Jennifer. Stephen Downey uses a much more pencil-like style when drawing the spectral Wilde as opposed to the harder blacks that he uses for his living characters.

A letter to her father from London and written in Gaelic intrigues Jennifer and sets her and Wilde off to London to investigate. Quite where the story is leading plot wise I'm not sure, but that is a good thing as it makes me want to read on. Geographically the plot is heading from France to England and apparently onwards to Ireland at a time when the region that is now the Republic Of Ireland was separating itself from the rest of the United Kingdom and was about to descend into civil war.

To describe Jennifer Wilde as Adele Blanc-Sec meets Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) is an apt, if somewhat brutal, description of what is a lovingly crafted comic. Maura McHugh's script mixes intrigue, scandal and the supernatural in fairly equal measures which, along with Stephen Downey's moody artwork, makes sure that I am already looking forward to future issues.

There are more details of Jennifer Wilde on the title's website

There are details of other Atomic Diner titles on their website.

There are more details of Maura McHugh's work on her
website.

There are more details of Stephen Downey's work on his
website.

Maura McHugh will be appearing as a guest at the
Hi-Ex comics convention in Inverness on Saturday 31 March and Sunday 1 April 2012.

Friday, 23 March 2012

British Comic Stamps: Valiant

Here's the eighth of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

Valiant was a British boys’ adventure comic which ran from 1962 to 1976. It was published by IPC Magazines (but ended up at Egmont) and was one of their major adventure titles throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

Aside from World War II characters like Captain Hurricane, Valiant ran innovative science fiction strips like the Steel Claw, an assistant to a scientist rendered invisible by his artificial hand. At first something of an anti-hero, he went on to work undercover for a British secret service, battling aliens and villains across the globe.

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

Panel Borders: Gods and Monsters by Bernie Wrightson and Rebekah Isaacs

Concluding radio show Panel Borders month of shows about iconoclastic American comic book artists, Alex Fitch talks to a master of horror comics, Bernie Wrightson, and a relative newcomer, Rebekah Isaacs who has made a name for herself in deftly rendered comics in a variety of genres.

Alex talks to Bernie about his work on Warren Comics' horror titles and Swamp Thing in the 1970s, on collaborating with Stephen King in the 1980s and more recently working with Steve Niles at IDW including their new project, Frankenstein Alive, alive.

Alex and Rebekah chat about her career so far, working on superhero comics like Age of Iron and DV8 with Brian Wood and the horror titles that have made her name, The Twilight Zone and the ongoing Panel Borders: Gods and Monsters by Bernie Wrightson and Rebekah Isaacs.

• Panel Borders: Gods and Monsters by Bernie Wrightson and Rebekah Isaacs airs at 8.00pm, Sunday 25th March, Resonance FM (London) / streamed at www.resonancefm.com / podcast after broadcast at www.panelborders.wordpress.com

British Comic Stamps: Buster

Here's the seventh of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

Buster ran from 1960 to 2000 and carried a mixture of humour and adventure strips. The title character, whose strip usually appeared on the front cover, was Buster. He was originally billed as Buster: Son of Andy Capp, the lead character of the Daily Mirror newspaper strip, and wore a similar flat cap to reinforce the connection.

There's a dedicated fan site devoted to the long-running comic at www.bustercomic.co.uk

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

British Comic Stamps: Bunty

Here's the sixth of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

Bunty was published by D. C. Thomson & Co. from 1958 to 2001. It consisted of a collection of many small strips, typically the stories themselves being three to five pages long. The Four Marys was the longest story. The comic ran from its creation in 1958 to its end in 2001. It centered around four young teenagers who lived in a girls-only boarding school in Elmbury.

Bunty is remembered with fondness by its legion of fans and there's a Bring Back Bunty web site here

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

British Comic Stamps: Tiger

Here's the fifth of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication

Tiger was published from 1954 to 1985, and featured predominantly sporting strips. Its most popular strip was Roy of the Rovers, recounting the life of Roy Race and the team he played for, Melchester Rovers. This strip proved so successful it was spun out of Tiger and into its own comic.

• There's more about Roy of the Rovers on his official web site: www.royoftherovers.com

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

British Comic Stamps: The Topper


Here's the fourth of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

The Topper was published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd and ran from 1953 to 1990, when it merged with The Beezer. (Two comics were merged into The Topper during its run: Buzz in 1975 and Sparky in 1977).


Mickey the Monkey was the original cover star. Beryl the Peril , who features on the stamp, was created by David Law as a female Dennis the Menace (also created by Law). The strip ran from the first issue, taking over the cover in 1986.

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

Stephen Downey guest artist on STRIP's 'Black Ops Extreme'

A sketch of BOX characters Karlita and Nero
by Stephen Downey
Print Media Productions has announced that Stephen Downey will be joining the STRIP - The Comic Magazine creative team - as a guest artist on two upcoming episodes of Black Ops Extreme.

Stephen, who's temporarily stepping up to the plate in place of the series regular artist PJ Holden, is already at work on the first story set in Eastern Europe, the first BOX tale written by Richmond Clements. Richmond will be the regular writer on the series from the title's first news stand issue, on sale 31st May, taking over from John Freeman.

Belfast-based artist and game maker Stephen has worked with Insomnia Publications, Titan Publishing, AAM/Markosia, Heske Horror, Comic a Gael and Beserker to bring his comics and artwork to the masses.He is the co-creator of Cancertown and Slaughterman's Creed, both with Cy Dethan and has worked on the Torchwood comic strip for Titan Magazines.

Most recently, he's been busy with the historical mystery adventure Jennifer Wilde, an original three-part comic book series published by Ireland's Atomic Diner, from a story by Robert Curley and Maura McHugh, with a script by Maura McHugh. Stephen provides art, lettering and covers.

Richmond Clements, from Larne, County Antrim, is a writer, editor and colourist for the small press publisher FutureQuake Press. He has also written Wild West Wendy, a supernatural western drawn by Vicky Stonebridge, and Turning Tiger, a two-part science fiction comic drawn by Alex Moore, for Renegade Arts Entertainment.

Richmond is also writing Operation Inferno for STRIP - The Comic Magazine, drawn by Nick Dyer, a steampunck action adventure starring the ninja secret agent Ryuu who debuted in STRIP Issue 3.

Operation Inferno is part of the new line-up for the title when it goes news stand in the UK at the end of May. Recovery Inc. by Michael Penick and Dean Deckard also makes a welcome return and completing the new strips in the first issue is a new science fiction tale, Crucible, by John Freeman and Smuzz.

• Stephen Downey's web site: www.stephendowneygallery.com
• Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephenmdowney


• Richmond Clements's Blog: http://richwriting.blogspot.co.uk
• Twitter: http://twitter.com/richclements

Andrew Wildman talks HORIZON and Transformers at Literary Festival

HORIZON by Andrew Wildman. © Andrew Wildman

If you're in the Chipping Norton area on the 21st April, then get along to the Chipping Norton Literary Festival.  

Andrew Wildman, co-creator of the recently-published weird western Frontier and artist on the new IDW Transformers title will be giving a presentation about his own creator-owned project HORIZON, explaining the process of how he is creating the story and exactly what it is about.

He will also be talking about the new Transformers book and the secret narrative behind it.  

Published by Print Media Productions, Frontier: Dealing with Demons, is an all-ages 'Weird Western' by Jason Cobley and Andrew Wildman. There's more information here about that book.

The Festival line-up also includes a session from the team behind the Alien Invaders books, plus workshops on How to Break into Freelance Writing, How to get published and Writing short stories; and a number of author appearances, ncluding an audience with Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter.

• Andrew Wildman: Creating a Graphic Novel - 10.00am, Saturday 21st April 2012  £7.50  The Chequers Inn, Chipping Norton Click here to book online • Box Office: 01608 642350.

British Comic Stamps: The Eagle


Here's the third of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

The first issue of Eagle was released in April 1950. Revolutionary in its presentation and content, it was enormously successful; the first issue sold about 900,000 copies. Featured in colour on the front cover was Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, created by Frank Hampson. Other popular stories included Riders of the Range and P.C. 49. Eagle also contained news and sport sections, and educational cutaway diagrams of sophisticated machinery.

Despite its decline in the late 1960s, victim to intense competition and bad management, The Eagle was revived in the 1980s - and indeed, 30 years ago this week, as Lew Stringer notes on his Blimey! It's Another Blog about Comics blog.

Dan Dare and elements of both new and old Eagle are today owned by the Dan Dare Corporation, who continue to try to get a feature film and tv series based on Dan Dare off the ground.

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

ThunderCats, Ho! Cartoon Network's heroes head for newsagents

Panini UK's new ThunderCats Magazine will be hitting the shelves on 22nd March 2012, a four-weekly magazine based on the brand new series of ThunderCats currently being shown on Channel 5 and Cartoon Network.

The new title features stunning strips from writer Ferg Handley, art by Cosmo White and colours by Kat Nicholson, alongside a mix of puzzles, competitions, features and, of course, a ThunderCats free gift every issue.

ThunderCats had previously aired in 1987 and fast became a cult pop-culture phenomenon - with over one million fans on Facebook.

Panini’s ThunderCats magazine continues the phenomenon with a fun, inspiring and exciting title that focuses on all the favourite characters along with some new ones. This 36-page publication is available at all major retail outlets across the UK, extending the exciting adventures of the team of heroes onto print with richly-illustrated comic stories.

The ThunderCats brand has had tremendous global success, boosted by the new TV series which launched in 2011. ThunderCats first aired in the UK on Cartoon Network and the first episode was watched by 157,000 viewers. Channel 5 started airing the show on 18th December, netting 197,000 viewers.

2012 will see the second half of the season showing on both channels.

Marvel UK published a long-running comic based on the original series in the 1980s, and it was a huge success, so let's hope this new title proves as popular.

Here's a selection of pages from the first issue, courtesy of Panini UK and title editor Simon Frith.






ThunderCats Magazine – The  Details 

Launch date – Thursday 22nd March
Target age group – 7 – 12 year old boys
Cover price - £2.99
Cover-gift – Free Thundercats cover-mount every issue
Launch cover-gift – Free sword of Omens
Format – 297 x 210mm
Frequency – Four weekly
Distributor – Marketforce

British Comic Stamps: The Beano


Here's the second of our ten posts to mark the release of the Royal Mail's Comic Collection, celebrating 75 years of British comics. The Royal Mail have kindly sent us large versions of each stamp, so we thought we'd show them off in all their glory, in the order of first comic publication.

The Beano first appeared on 30th July 1938. The Dennis the Menace strip (now known as Dennis and Gnasher) first appeared in 1951 and is the longest running strip in the comic. Other iconic strips include the Bash Street Kids, Roger the Dodger and Minnie the Minx.

Still Britain's best-selling weekly comic, the title is also available for iPad and the app had over 72,000 downloads within days of launch earlier this year. There's more about The Beano online at www.beano.com

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

British Comics Stamps Launch this week

Wild-west hero Desperate Dan, who first appeared in December 1937 is the star of The Dandy stamp, released this week. The world’s strongest man, he shaves with a blow torch ands eats cow pies complete with the horns.

Stand by for First Class fun and frolics as Britain's Royal Mail pays homage to the great British comic on ten new stamps launched this week.

As we previously reported, The Comics Collection, commemorating Britain’s rich comic book heritage, features ten iconic comic book front covers that we have all come to know and love from our childhood as 1st Class stamps. From The Dandy, The Beano, Eagle, The Topper and Tiger, through to Bunty, Buster, Valiant, Twinkle and 2000AD, there’s something for all comic fans in this set of stamps.

The stamps - which we'll show off one by one over the next few days - showcase some of the much-loved characters from these comics alongside their respective front covers on the stamps themselves.

The stamp issue also marks the 75th birthday of The Dandy, Britain’s longest, and the world’s third longest-running comic behind the American comic book Detective Comics (first edition in early 1937) and the Italian comic magazine Il Giornalino (first edition in 1924).

During its heyday of the 1950s, sales of The Dandy reached over two million copies a week and The Beano, which quickly raced to a weekly peak of well over a million copies, now remains the UK’s number one selling weekly comic. This popularity led to the launch of the Dennis the Menace Fan Club in the 1970s which had more than a million members and, due to changing times, has been relaunched as Beano VIP, an online only club.

Despite the decline in the popularity of print comics, with an average sale of 38,333 copies The Beano remains the UK’s number-one-selling weekly comic with Dennis and Gnasher also starring in their own successful animated series, shown in the UK on the CBBC Channel. (Sadly, current readership/circulation for The Dandy is just 7,489).

This collection is sure to bring back memories and evoke excitement amongst comic fans both young and old; some of the titles featured being first published in the 1930’s, while the “Galaxy’s Greatest Comic” 2000AD is still in publication, having far exceeded the sell-by date of its title!

DC Thomson first launched The Dandy as a weekly comic in December 1937, featuring the rollicking adventures of Desperate Dan. The Beano followed just over six months later, with an explosion of titles to suit every child introduced after World War II including Eagle and Twinkle, both also featuring within this stamp issue.

A copy of the first issue of The Dandy was sold for £20,350 on 7th September 2004 and is the current highest price paid for a British comic.

Characters as distinctive as Desperate Dan, Dennis the Menace, Roy of the Rovers, Beryl the Peril and Buster are still as recognisable today as they were on the day they were released, icons of our time, and culturally relevant as ever.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, said: “For over a century, Britain’s uniquely eccentric comics have brought cheer to generations of readers. More importantly it has presented us with a cast of characters that, like the memories of those comics themselves, remain with us throughout our lives.

The Dandy, celebrating its 75th birthday this year, and The Beano, which will do likewise next year, are almost British institutions and it feels appropriate to celebrate these comics and their characters on a set of very special stamps.”

• Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office branches, online at www.royalmail.com/personal/comic-stamps-and-collectibles, the Royal Mail eBay shop: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Royal-Mail-Stamp-Collections and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

 

US publisher IDW announces Judge Dredd title

US publishers IDW have announced they're to publish a Judge Dredd ongoing series, which will launch this autumn.


No creators have yet been announced but the title will feature original stories alongside classic reprints from 2000AD - a combination that's worked for the publisher before with titles such as Doctor Who and will certainly get a boost, hopefully, when the Judge Dredd film opens.

"These things always take a while," IDW publisher Chris Ryall told Comic Book Resources. "It's something we wanted to do a long time ago.

"I've been a huge fan since the early '80s when I read some of the Brian Bolland stuff. I don't remember how many months ago it was, but a few months back, we started talking about things with 2000AD, and over the last few months, it's come together really nicely.

"I was in London a few weeks ago and met with the 2000AD guys," he revealed. "We meshed on the ideas of what we'd like to do and where we'd like to take things from here. I'm really excited about this one. It's the crown jewel, for me."

 

Thrill Electric now on iTunes


At long last the wait is over. The Thrill Electric is now free to read on iPad and iPhone via iTunes.

This free ten-part (150 page) enhanced comic is set in Victorian Manchester and demonstrates the extraordinary parallels between the Internet Age and the Telegraph Age.

Beautifully realised by Emma Vieceli, Windflower Studio, and LittleLoud,  and scripted by Leah Moore and John Reppion, the story weaves around the exciting lives of the young women and men working at The Electrical and International Telegraph Company and tackles 21st Century issues such as gang culture, cyber bullying, coming out and on-line flirtations!

Produced by Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4 education, The Thrill Electric also features stunning animations, loads of contextual information, and a secret code that unlocks a hidden storyline.


Grab The Thrill Electric from iTunes

Monday, 19 March 2012

Vanguard 2 anthology now online for free

The second issue of the UK indie anthology comic Vanguard is on sale now, continuing the stories that began in issue 1.

As before, art duties on the International Woman of Mystery tale "Atomic Call" are by David Blankley, while Louis Carter continues to produce some brilliantly bizarre artwork on the sci-fi, fantasy epic Halo and the Gryphon. This issue's violent installment of 1800's When Good Donkey's Go Bad tale "Mammoth-Jack" features a change of artist however, as El Chivo takes over pencilling duties from Owen Watts. (However, Watts is still on board providing some fantastic lettering work for the six page tale...and that's not his only contribution to this issue).

Apart from this there is another Tucker story, featuring glorious, blood-soaked, full colour artwork by Bhuna.

"This tale features a change of direction for the psychopathic character originally created for Hallowscream," says editor Dirk van Dom, "bringing a fantasy-based twist to proceedings in order to 'lighten' the serial-slashing tone somewhat.

"I've also got another two wonderful pages of art featuring the comic's fictional editor 'Redbats' by David Withers, who also provides lettering for two of the strips herein. And, of course, it would be remiss of me not to mention that lettering master Jim Campbell has also deigned to grace us with his presence lettering David Blankley's noir-tastic Atomic Call pages.

Vanguard is 24 pages of cover to cover action, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, alien creatures, ass-kicking babes, angry donkeys, demons and deceased serial killers. You can read it for free online - just make your way here and enjoy the comic, but be sure to leave some comments in return.

If you enjoy Issue 2, then you might want to buy Issue 1. "Only issue 2 is available to view," says Dirk. "I didn't think it would be fair to those who purchased a copy of issue 1 to then make it available for free, so I haven't done so."

Of course, you might still want to buy a print copy of Issue 2 - and that's avialable too and comes with free gifts, including a copy of "Speed Date", a 16-page full-colour A5 comic that collects together both parts of slaser-serial killer story "Speed Date", which originally appeared in Hallowscream's 2010 and 2011 issues. Art on part 1 is by Ghostpockets and on part 2 by Bhuna.

You'll also receive a set of four, full-colour, gloss laminated artcards featuring art by some of the comic's contributors. There's an unlettered version of Liam Byrne's groovy issue 1 cover art, an unlettered version of David Blankley's issue 2 cover and brand new images by Owen Watts and Louis Carter, featuring 'Mammoth-Jack' and 'Halo and the Gryphon' respectively.

If you would like to support us by purchasing a copy, you can order via paypal at the below rates:

For ROI orders, the cost is 3.35 Euros, including p&p.
For NI orders, the cost is 3.00 Sterling, including p&p.
For UK orders, the cost is 3.75 Sterling, including p&p.

Payments should be made to vanguardcomic@gmail.com.

• There are also copies of the comic on sale in Sub City, Exchequer Street, if anybody Dublin-based wants to check that out.

Charting the Marvelman saga

Comics expert Pádraig Ó Méalóid has posted story about the complicated story of Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane's ongoing disputes, presented as a timeline, which you can see here.

"On the 27th January, Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane finally settled their long-running legal dispute over Gaiman's share of various Spawn properties," he explains. "And when I say ‘long-running,’ this is very nearly an enormous understatement.

"Although Gaiman and McFarlane’s first meeting in court was on the 1st October, 2002, nearly ten years ago now, the cause of their dispute goes back nearly ten years before that, with roots set in place some years before that, again. So, in an attempt to put it all into some sort of context, I’m listing what I see as the main points of their dispute, in chronological order, as exactly as I can, along with some earlier events, to put it all into context."

The ongoing debate continyues to intrigue comic fans across the globe: when Pádraig posted a link to the story on Facebook, where it got 'Shared' by Neil Gaiman's fan page, it caused his blog hit-counter to go ka-BLOOEY!

"I still go and look at where he [Neil] said 'Astonishingly well-researched timeline to the Miracleman and Spawn/McFarlane legal case...' and my inner fanboy does a little dance," he tells us.

The story also touches on the complex matter of Marvelman's ownership, a debate which is almost guaranteed to send make your eyes bleed in confusion.

View the post at: http://slovobooks.blogspot.com/2012/03/neil-gaiman-and-todd-mcfarlane-story-so.html.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Marvelman Challenge!

Warrior Issue 1

As it's recently been noted on several blogs and forums that the Dez Skinn-created Warrior was first published 30 years ago (including Lew Stringer's terrific blog, see: http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/30-year-flashback-warrior-no1.html), I thought I'd throw down a challenge to readers and members of the downthetubes forum - draw Marvelman!

It could be a simple dramatic (or humorous) pose, or an imaginary page - it's all just for fun.

Simply post your entries to the forum (note: you'll need to join the forum first if you aren't already a member*) and I'll 'feature' the entries in a new gallery on the forum (Commando artist Keith Page was first to send me an entry, but I've included a couple of historical Marvelman images there, too).

The entry I like the most will win the artist some British comic goodie from my bizarre collection of British comic stuff.

Deadline for entries is 3rd April 2012.

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

View the Marvelman 2012 Challenge Gallery

Marvelman copyright - er, well, let's not go there, shall we? if you don't want to join the forum, just email me your entry to the DTT editorial address on the DTT blog.

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