downthetubes is undergoing some main site refurbishment...
Saturday, 7th October 2017
The downthetubes news blog was assimilated into our main site back in 2013, but we're glad you're here, because that's currently undergoing some under the bonnet refurb! So we've brought this blog back from the dead to tide us over.
We expect to be back up and running next week, just before the 2017 Lakes International Comic Art Festival - see you there?
Hop over to www.downthetubes.net for other British comics news, comic creating guides, interviews and much more!
Friday, 26 April 2013
Convict Commandos back in action!
Here's the lowdown on the latest Commandos, on sale now in all good newsagents and on an increasing number of digital hoojimaflips! Good to see the Convict Commandos back, and that one of this round's reprint titles features art by Denis McLoughlin - always a treat.
Commando No 4595 - The Killing Cage Story: Alan Hebden Art: Benet Cover: Benet
It was a straightforward assassination mission for the men of the Convict Commandos; the sort of job they had been sprung from jail to do without breaking a sweat.
But this time they were up against an adversary who had a lot of experience of attempts on his life. He would make things very hot indeed for Major Guy Tenby's men… using a flamethrower!
Commando No 4596 - Battle In The Desert Story: Alex Woodrow Art: Olivera Cover: Janek Matysiak
Sergeant Jack McBride of the French Foreign Legion was on the track of the bandit who had stolen his unit's payroll. When he caught up with the theif, Amadou Bin Farzi, he intended to make him suffer for the crime by throwing him into a French jail.
He had no way of knowing that when he did capture the rogue he would set of a train of events that would end in Bin Farzi being the only man who could keep him alive. The question on Jack's mind then was, would he?
Commando No 4597 - Fast Gun Originally Commando No 85 (September 1963), re-issued as No 571 (August 1971). Story: Clegg Art: Bielsa Cover: Ken Barr
Lieutenant "Duke" Callahan, Yankee, was new to the desert war. He was tough - but green.
Lieutenant Bruce Wilson, Britisher, had been fighting sun, sand and Germans for a long time. He had plenty of toughness too - but he knew how to use it.
These two would have made a great team together. That was the idea. But they took to hating each other's guts - and when that happened that big desert just wasn't big enough.
"In every Commando story it's a given that there's a war going on," notes editor Calum Laird of this re-presented story. "The other given is that's very unlikely to be the main conflict in the tale. Somewhere the characters will be at loggerheads; if they're on the same side and come to blows so much the better.
"Lurking behind Ken Barr's cover art is just such a story, well realised from a Clegg script in strong black-and-white by early regular Commando artist Bielsa. Some of his tank edges look sharp enough to cut you as you read. And reading is what you're supposed to do.
"So if you fancy a sparring contest in the desert, this is one for you."
Commando No 4598 - One Good Turn… Originally Commando No 2191 (June 1988) Story: Peter Mackenzie Art: Denis McLoughlin Cover: Jeff Bevan
They had captured a German Colonel! Quite a good day's work, was that. But in doing it they had also saved him from being murdered by a bunch of brigands, and although they didn't know it at the time it was going to save their own skins pretty soon.
"An intriguing tale, this," feels deputy editor Scott Montgomery. "One where we have some fairly standard Commando heroes and villains but, as the story unfolds and we get to know them, we discover that not every character behaves in the way that we may have expected them to.
"That's a sign of some good writing… and sub-editing. If done properly, editing should be the "invisible" part of a comic strip - something that the reader really should never have to think about. Years ago, as a youngster reading comics, I used to think that they arrived fully formed on newsagent shelves as if by magic every week - hopefully some of you still feel the same way. "
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