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Saturday, 18 June 2011

XIII Questions About Cinebook's XIII

Cinebook began publishing English translations of Franco-Belgian bandes dessinee graphic novels in 2005 and, with well over 100 titles now available, have succeeded in bringing many characters familiar to European audiences to the English speaking world either for the first time with series such as Clifton and Orbital or with multiple releases of series that had previously only had a few books translated like Lucky Luke and Thorgal.

One of the series that falls into this second category is the spy/mystery series XIII from writer Jean Van Hamme and illustrator William Vance which had only previously had the first three of its nineteen albums translated by both CatCom and Marvel in the US. downthetubes' Jeremy Briggs talked to Cinebook publisher Olivier Cadic and XIII translator Jerome Saincantin about the series.

DTT: XIII began in issue 2408 of Spirou magazine in 1984 before being complied into the first album Le jour du soleil noir (The Day Of The Black Sun). When did you both first come across the series?

Jerome Saincantin: XIII was one of the few comics that my father wasn’t buying religiously back then, so my first contact must have been around 13 or 14, when I began going to the local library after school – mostly because I’d run out of new stuff at home! I remember liking it a lot for the “real world” feel it had, something I’d only found in Yoko Tsuno thus far. But XIII was a lot grittier than Yoko, or the other BDs I was used to – Asterix, Achille Talon, Lucky Luke or even Valerian. While I always enjoyed reading it when I could, for a long time it remained a series I’d catch up on at the library or through my friends. It’s a problem – you can’t buy everything!

Olivier Cadic: It was our readers who asked me to publish XIII. I’d never read it back then.

DTT: What do you think sets XIII apart from other spy or mystery series?

Jerome: Well, the obvious answer is its quality. The art is consistently fantastic and didn’t lose anything over the years; and Jean Van Hamme really IS a master storyteller – it’s not just a sales pitch! He can weave suspense, action, humour and a great deal of plot seamlessly into a single story, and there’ll be something for everyone and no one will feel left out – that’s an incredible talent, right there. Not to mention the plot is actually intelligent and consistent. There are many other spy/mystery series available, some of them quite brilliant; but I don’t think any of them have that broad an appeal. Plus, at least for me, it was the ORIGINAL spy/mystery series. The very first! Maybe older readers would have a different take, of course, but as far as I’m concerned, new series get compared to XIII. It’s the reference.

Olivier: The outstanding quality of Van Hamme’s storytelling, combined to Vance’s unique art style.

DTT: Was the fact that the first three albums had previously been published in English in the States an issue in deciding to publish XIII?

Olivier: We had published other series by Jean Van Hamme - such as Thorgal, Largo Winch and Lady S. At first, readers believed that, like all other publishers before, we’d give up quickly. But seeing that we were in fact successful, they began asking us, week after week, to publish XIII. They were very frustrated at having only the first three volumes available. That’s what convinced the French publisher and the authors to sell us the rights.

DTT: The first story arc runs through the first five XIII books. Are there similar story arcs throughout the rest of the series?

Olivier: Buy your XIII book every two months to get the answer. ;-)

DTT: Rather than pause at the end of each series story arc, the Cinebook plan for XIII then is to publish the nineteen books of the series at the rate of one every two months over the course of 3 years to be completed in, appropriately enough, 2013. The only other Cinebook series to get the same speedy releases is the very popular Lucky Luke. Was this ambitious schedule part of your original plan when you were looking to license the series for English publication?

Olivier (left): One visitor at the Bristol Comics Expo had told me: “Never try to publish XIII. It’s cursed. No publisher’s ever gone past volume three.” My answer had been: “If Cinebook publishes XIII, it’ll be blessed.” So, when we got the opportunity to negotiate for the rights, I decided to show both authors and readers that it was Cinebook’s calling to let them find each other. The readers had awaited the rest of the series for too long. We wanted to present all those who believed in Cinebook, and had been waiting to discover the entirety of XIII, with a gift. To do that, it was necessary to let them know when the end would be published—so they’d know for sure that we intended to go the distance. The authors loved my idea: everyone will know who XIII is in 2013!

DTT: Have you had any feed back from writer Jean Van Hamme or artist William Vance about the Cinebook versions?

Jerome: I haven’t met William Vance, though I hope I get the chance at some point. I did meet Jean Van Hamme at Angoulème this year. He’s a bit of a formidable character! The man is quite nice, but he also has a no-nonsense, I-have-paid-my-dues-and-will-not-take-any-crap attitude that discourages the lowly translator from asking outright if he’s happy with the work done! I was afraid I might get eaten, you know! Joking, of course. He’s not an ogre! It’s just that I’m still in the “I can’t believe I’m working in this field” phase and am easily intimidated by celebrities! As far as I know, he has made no complaints about our translating work – and he does speak English. So I’ll take this as an endorsement!

Olivier: Jean Van Hamme came to London for the launch of XIII by Cinebook. We’d organised the launch in a club at midnight. I’d told our distributor that, exceptionally, Big Ben would strike thirteen times. They believed me - and luckily enough, no one went and checked!

DTT: The work of a translator, like that of a letterer, is often taken for granted - a good translation passes unnoticed but a poor translation is very obvious. The translation of XIII is so natural that it feels as if it was originally written in English. Did you find the series easy to translate in comparison to other albums or books that you have worked on?

Jerome (right in white with Orbital artist Serge Pelle): It’s important to note, first, that I’m the PRIMARY translator for this series and several others – but that every translation job is team work. I translate; the first draft is looked over by a first person in the UK for easy mistakes, then corrected by a professional proofreader in the US. It goes back to me, and back and forth as needed until we’ve reached a consensus on everything. Then it’s re-read yet again by a couple of fans in the UK for a fresh look. I think that’s one of the reasons for Cinebook’s success – from the beginning, Olivier decided to do things properly, not half-baked. So, thank you very much indeed for the compliment! But I will accept it on behalf of the whole team, not just me!

Now, about the actual question here - XIII is indeed one of the easier series to translate. I’m naturally at ease with fluid, familiar register dialogue, especially in “American,” and years of reading Tom Clancy and Stephen Coonts novels have given me a passing familiarity with the worlds of military and intelligence. The most difficult sometimes was to stick to the age limit, especially in SPADS – snippets of Full Metal Jacket and Heartbreak Ridge kept pushing their way into the dialogue, stuff that made even me blush!

In comparison, some series are difficult, or bordering on the nightmarish. Long John Silver is an absolute joy, but requires extensive research into period speech and naval vocabulary; The Bellybuttons had me delve into whatever language teenagers find “hip” these days which wasn’t always easy. And of course, there’s our collective bogeyman: Blake and Mortimer… Whole slabs of very formal, very British, 50’s text… Sometimes, when I’m working on B&M, at night, I curl up and cry… :p

DTT: How far ahead of the publishing schedule are your translations and how long on average does it take you to translate a book?

Jerome: I’m currently working on the September/October batch, for example. So I’d say 3 or 4 months in advance. The publishing side of things isn’t my department, so mostly I translate when I’m told! Speed of translation varies widely, depending on my schedule, on how inspired I feel by the comic at the time, and of course on difficulty and research needed. On average, though, I’d say it takes about a week of actual work to produce a proper first draft, then maybe another week or two of back and forth for an almost-final version. Last typo-catching sessions can still take place a lot later. That’s for normal comics of course. Blake and Mortimer, now… *shudder*

DTT: Since Jerome is not credited as the translator in the Cinebook versions of the first three books, did the Cinebook versions use the previously published translations those three books?

Olivier: Erica worked from Catcom’s version.

Jerome: Yes; the texts were given to Erica, our American proofreader, first, to check the language; then I was asked to read them to make sure there wouldn’t be any conflicts with the following volumes – on choices of names, for example, or the meaning of acronyms (SPADS), etc…

DTT: XIII Book 1: The Day Of The Black Sun was available free with issue 5 of Comic Heroes magazine. How did this come about?

Olivier: They contacted us and came with this great idea. I love great ideas!

DTT: The original covers that the XIII albums were published with have been updated with new illustrations by William Vance and Cinebook are using the new versions. Was there an option to use either the old or new covers or does original publisher Dargaud prefer that all foreign editions standardise on the current French covers?

Olivier: We use most of the new covers. We were free to decide which one we preferred.

DTT: There are French live action TV series and films of many of the Cinebook titles including Largo Winch and Iznogoud while XIII was made into a mini-series XIII: The Conspiracy in 2008 starring Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff and broadcast in the UK on channel Five. Have either of you seen it and is it any good?

Jerome: I must confess I haven’t watched it yet. Not out of doubt as to its quality, but because I don’t want to muddle my own (and by now, established) “sound” of what XIII is like with the movie’s take on it. I also have a backlog of DVDs to watch that’s bordering on the ridiculous!

Olivier: The Largo Winch movie is really great. The special effects are worthy of the effort, and our blue-jeans wearing hero was perfectly cast. The Iznogoud movie didn’t fare quite as well. It takes enormous talent to adapt Goscinny’s humour. But the fans can see their heroes ‘live’, and that’s always nice. I found the XIII mini series with Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff really outstanding. I’m not surprised NBC decided to broadcast it twice, a year apart, in the USA.

DTT: The main XIII series concluded with the nineteenth book however there is a sister series entitled XIII Mysteries currently running to three books and a 20th main series title due later this year in France, all of which have been produced by different creative teams. Could you tell us a little about these and if Cinebook might consider translating them in the future?

Jerome: Well, as far as publishing it, I cannot tell. Regarding the spin-off XIII Mysteries, I haven’t looked at it yet. I’ve lived in Ireland for ten years, a country where finding comics – especially European BDs – is akin to looking for snow in the Serengeti. I’ve been back in France for a year, but the backlog of comics I missed, and sometimes didn’t even hear about, is quite extensive. I’ll get to it eventually! As for volume 20, I just heard about it, and I’m very much looking forward to it! Youri Jigounov is an excellent artist who should be a good successor to William Vance. And I want to know what’ll happen to XIII – he’s a bit of a personal friend by now!

Olivier: The XIII Mysteries series is a massive success and I found the books really great. There’s every chance we’ll include them in our schedule for 2014 onward.

DTT: Olivier and Jerome, thank-you both for your time.

Jerome: Thank you kindly.

Olivier: Thank you!

There are more details of the English language XIII titles at the Cinebook website.

There are more details of the original French language XIII titles at the official XIII
website (in French).

Grant Morrison in Glasgow in July

Glasgow's Forbidden Planet International has secured something of an exclusive next month, with comics writer Grant Morrison in store on Thursday 14th July signing his new book, Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero.

Published by Jonathan Cape, Supergods is described as "a mind-bending journey into the world of the superheroes".

In 1938, the first US superhero comic ever published, Action Comics #1, introduced the world to something both unprecedented and profoundly familiar: Superman, a caped god for the modern age. In a matter of years, the skies of the imaginary world were filled with strange mutants, aliens, and vigilantes: Batman, Wonder Woman, and, later, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the X-Men – the list of names is as familiar as our own.

In less than a century they’ve gone from not existing at all to being everywhere we look: on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and dreams. But why?

For Grant Morrison, these heroes are not simply characters but powerful archetypes whose ongoing, decades-spanning story arcs reflect and predict the course of human existence: through them, we tell the story of ourselves. Morrison draws on history, art, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this alternate universe to provide the first true chronicle of the superhero – why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are.

The signing is not a ticketed event but Forbidden Planet Glasgow anticipate a large number of attendees and advise queueing early to guarantee admission.

More info on Facebook here

Friday, 17 June 2011

Japan Charity Craft Fair 2 July 2011

Eiko Meredith, director of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival , is organizing a Japan Charity Craft Fair on 2 July 2011 at the Visit Caerphilly information centre in aid of The Japan Earthquake Tshunami Children in Emergency Fund.

There will be a special guest from London, a professional Japanese Calligrapher, who will demonstrate from 11:00 am The event itself starts at 10.00 am.

Treat yourself to some Shock Therapy

Illustrator and comics artist Howard Priestley has released a limited edition collection of horror tales called Shock Therapy, available from him direct and some select northern comic shops.

Howard's long term comics project, Soul Man, is still in development but he told us last year  that he started getting the urge to do another volume of short horror stories, and this one's got some great tales, especially a grisly opening tale set in a World War Two concentration camp.

If the title sounds familiar, you might remember Harrier Comics six issue run of Shock Therapy, published in the 1980s, which featured work by Stephen Baskerville and Andy Lanning, two artists who have gone on to work for both Marvel and DC Comics.

"I just wanted to get a new issue out and get the money back," Howard tells us. "I'm not a desperate young wannabe anymore (or a desperate old has been, hopefully!)."

Shock Therapy, which costs £2.50, is on sale from Legacy Comics in The Piece Hall, Halifax and OK Comics and Forbidden Planet in Leeds. You can also buy it direct from Howard by emailing him via or via the funkpriest website at

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Overload yourself at the Glasgow Comic Con

If you're at the Glasgow ComicCon this Saturday, then look out for copies of Martin Conaghan's new title, Overload, which comes wrapped in this ace cover by Roy Stewart.

All work in the title is creator-owned, with Overload reserving some reprint and digital rights.

"I started up my own company, The Copydesk Ltd, a few months ago with a view to publishing some of my own projects," Martin says of the project "and I'm starting with a US-format black and white anthology title called Overload. It'll be short run stuff, but will hopefully build.

"Issue #0 comprises my old six-page stories, previously published in Negative Burn and some other places, but it helps me get it off the ground.

"I'm planning for it to be semi-regular, perhaps quarterly at first and I'm aiming to crowdsource some of the money to cover costs etc.

"I've started gathering a roster of names for issue #1," he reveals, which I'm aiming to have done by October (in time for the Leeds' Thought Bubble convention) and then I'll work on a schedule from there.

"So far, I've recruited Gordon Rennie, James Peaty, Vito Delsante, Cy Dethan, Matt Gibbs and Martin Hayes (plus me) for issue #1. It's a good blend of established, semi-established and up-coming writers. For now, it's invite-only, so I'm being careful about how I source contributors."

Overload #0 will be sell at the Glasgow Con, price  £4 (44 pages, b/w, colour cover).

Comic Football launches as subscription-only comic

Hinckley-based publishers Comc Football Ltd. have just launched a subscription-only title - also called Comic Football - featuring strips by artists such as Karl Dixon, Nick Brennan and Duncan Scott.

The 32-page title is the latest venture for Pete Wildrianne and Clive Ward, who have been creating football comics such as Rammie, sold at the Derby County matches (see 2008 news story) which have had limited distribution to newsagents.

Comic Football is a more general purpose football comic and is only available at present by subscription.

"We are looking at other outlet opportunities though not the conventional news trade route at the moment" Comic Football director Pete Wildrianne, who is responsible for the sales, marketing and promotion of the company, told Lew Stringer for Blimey! It's Another Blog About Comics. "We launched at the Grass Roots show at the NEC last weekend, and distributed about 4000 comics to kids and parents."

Pete Wildrianne
Wildrianne says that although the title is subscription only at present, they're hoping to wholesale the comic to local junior football clubs, who can sell it to their players and the profit goes to funding grass roots football.

"This is receiving a lot of interest, and we are exhibiting at two further major shows this month which target junior managers, coaches etc.," says Pete. "We have also linked up with a company who provide fundraising nights for clubs, and another company who hold events across the country promoting street football."

A subscription to  Comic Football costs  £9.99 for six months (six issues) or 12 months for £19.50.

• Download a sample issue from

Desdaemona by Ben Macallan

There's a new book out from Solaris books which should be of interest to dtb readers. Here's the blurb:

New town. New girl. New job. That’s good, right?

Not really. Not when the girl can pretty much tear a vampire in two and the job is trying to find her kid sister, who’s in trouble with creatures even worse than the ones that have been trying to find you for how-many-years-has-it-been?!

In Ben Macallan’s terrifying, sexy, sinister urban fantasy debut, Jordan may look like a teenager but he treads the line between mundane reality and the supernatural in a world where vampires don’t glitter and runaways don’t just disappear – they’re hunted.

Macallan is not only a pseudonym of award-winning crime and thriller writer Chaz Brenchley, but has also appeared as a character in his books, Dead of Light and Light Errant. Brenchley has now let Macallan out to speak for himself in Desdaemona, a whole new kind of urban fiction. Dynamic and emotionally charged, Desdaemona will delight fans of Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker.

Check it out at the the publisher's website. Or you can buy the kindle version on Amazon.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Boldy Go: Writing SF Workshop

Successful science fiction author Philip Palmer will lead a workshop on writing for the genre within the weird ambience of the MacRae Gallery at the Hunterian Museum, London on 9th July.

Run in association with The Arthur C Clarke Award, you will discover your own 'starts' of stories and, from skeletal robots to climate change and its consequences, Philip will help you touch and connect science into your own stories.

This workshop is open to writers of all levels, those new to writing science fiction are especially welcomed.

Philip Palmer is the author of three science fiction novels published by Orbit books - Debatable Space, Red Claw and Version 43 - and is currently working on his next two novels. He is also a screenwriter, script editor, teacher and producer. His screen writing credits include the BBC1 film The Many Lives of Albert Walker, Rebus, and The Bill, and his radio dramas include The King’s Coiner, Breaking Point and The Faerie Queene.

The founder of Afan Films., he's currently works as a screenwriting tutor at the London Film School, and has previously worked as a part-time lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University, the National Film and Television School, and Bournemouth University.

• To Boldly Go: Writing Science Fiction, Saturday 9 July, 10.30am – 5pm | £45/£30
, the Hunterian Museum, The Royal College of Surgeons of England, 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE

Click here to book

2000AD - Weekly on both sides of the Black Atlantic!

Since it's 2000 AD day (as it is every Wednesday), a quick note to celebrate a step change in the way it is distributed in the US, which we didn't get chance to plug last week.

From August, the legendary title will be featured in Diamond Distribution’s Previews magazine as individual issues, with October’s Prog 1754 being the first retailers and consumers can order as a single issue.

Presently, copies of 2000 AD are bound in monthly packs of four or five issues that can be ordered from Diamond. This means readers have to shell out up to $25 for a single item.

However, this distribution change means that 2000 AD will once again be a weekly comic on both sides of the Atlantic – giving readers the chance to pick up thirty-two pages of action every week for a fraction of the cost of one of the monthly packs.

Overseas readers who prefer their comics digitally can also download copies of 2000 AD via, with digital releases only a week behind physical copies, and for just £1.49 ($2.44) – making them great value in the current market.

“This is a great step forward in 2000 AD’s mission to bring the best of British to American readers and we’re delighted that we are to become a weekly publication in the US, just like we are in the UK," says Matt Smith, editor of 2000 AD.

“Twenty dollars for one of the monthly packs is a lot of cash to hand over for a single purchase, especially for what to many in the US remains an unknown quantity, so by distributing each issue every week we’re hoping American readers will be tempted by our blend of high-octane action and first class comics talent.”

Rebellion certainly seem to be pushing hard to boost 2000 AD's presence in the US, which is no easy task given the title's different size to US comics - often considered a barrier to grabbing American readers in the past.

New British publisher Acrasia seeks comic creators

Acrasia Works, an independent British publishing house is looking for new talent.

The Canterbury-based company says it is committed to producing beautiful graphic novels and one-shot comic books for international sale.

They say they are currently accepting submissions from writers, artists, inkers, colourists, and letterers.

Acrasia are accepting portfolio links and samples from artists, both digital and traditional. They say they have an extremely high standard and  art must be at a professional level with exceptional personal style and ability.

You do not necessarily need to have had experience with sequential art, but if that is the case, you may be required to complete a few test pages from a script.

Email low res submissions to, or links to online portfolios. They do not accept artists’ submissions by post. (Which might prove hard, anyway, as the company does not list an address on their web site...)

For writers guidelines on submissions. click here.

• Visit the Acrasia web site:

Strange New Worlds - in Worthing...

Saturday July 23rd and Sunday July 24th 2011 sees Team Strange New Worlds put on their second Science Fiction and Fantasy festival at St. Paul's, Chapel Road in Worthing, with guest authors and artists from the worlds of comics and novels, including the legendary creator of 2000AD, Pat Mills and famed artists Glenn Fabry and Simon Bisley for presentations, signings, drawing and Q&A.

The free event for children under 12 also has great exhibitions from some favourite SF movies and TV shows, along with master classes in creating comics and cartooning and a wide range of merchandise on sale from toys to comics, DVDs and Tee shirts. There's also a big Sci-Fi quizz to test the super geeks amongst you.

For the younger ones there's monster model making, face painting and reading time amongst fighting Daleks and Stormtroopers alike and much, much more. Go in costume for their costume competition and the winner gets a special prize and secon and third places get runner up prizes.

"This is an unmissable weekend of fun packed activities celebrating Science Fiction and Fantasy on the coast for everyone," enthuses organiser Alan Mitchell.

The event is free to children under 12 and just £2 to everybody else.

- For more details go to or follow them on Facebook

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Madam Samurai takes Best Digital Comic prize at LA New Media Film Festival

The first volume of Madam Samurai publised by Scar Comics has won Best Digital Comic prize at the May 2011 LA New Media Film Festival, an event described as “Sundance for the Facebook generation”.

The graphic novel about a female samurai who travels to Victorian London is written by Gary Young, with art by Eagle Award winner David Hitchcock.

Work on Madam Samurai: Volume Two is progressing well, and Scar Comics plan to launch the book on 27th August at the new Birmingham Comiccon 2011 BC. The action-packed sequel concludes the story of a female samurai warrior who travels to Victorian London on a mission of vengeance.

Fans will be pleased to hear that the original creative team are reunited, with Empire award-winning screenwriter Gary Young (known for Michael Caine thriller Harry Brown) and Eagle award-winning artist David Hitchcock (Springheeled Jack) working together to complete the Madam Samurai origin story in style.

Madam Samurai: Volume One received highly complimentary reviews from websites and publications such as Ain’t It Cool News, 2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine, Tripwire, Geek Syndicate, Zedura Magazine, Geeks Of Doom, and comics legend Dez Skinn.

Ain’t It Cool News said of Volume One; “This is a very cool origin story by writer Gary Young… a story of a badass samurai vixen and there are copious amounts of action and blood. I can’t wait to see her enact some swift samurai vengeance in future volumes. Highly recommended.”

You can find out more about the Madam Samurai graphic novels at the following links:

• The official website
Madam Samurai Facebook page

Madam Samurai Twitter

Imagined Cities: New londonprintstudio exhibition

Imagined Cities, a new exhibtion at lononprintstudio, opens this week (17th June) and features the work of a number of great British comic artists including Al Davison and Karrie Fransman.

The exhibition will launch with a party on 16th June - more details on Facebook (although it's listed as 'Private View' it's also been classified as a Public Event).

From mad bird gods to man-eating women, from a run down Northern suburb to an Eastern block city; the work you will see in the Imagined Cities exhibition showcases the varied imaginations of some of the best young, British comic artists.

This exhibition is the culmination of a six month internship run by the londonprintstudio where five interns (Rachel Taylor, William Goldsmith, Isabel Greenberg, Freya Harrison and Joe Kelly) mentored local teenagers, ran workshops and created an anthology. 

Their work, and that of the 16-20 year old students, is displayed alongside professional British comic artists who have acted as project mentors: Al Davison (Vertigo), Ellen Lindner (Whores of Mensa), Karrie Fransman (Random House) and publisher SelfMadeHero

The book also features a foreword from Posy Simmonds, creator of Tamara Drewe.

• Imagined Cities runs at the londonprintstudio from 17th- 25th June. More information:

Imagined Cities preview Blog

Monday, 13 June 2011

Andersonic 12 is Go!

The latest issue of the Gerry Anderson-inspired 'zine Andersonic (Issue 12) is now available via the title's website (and eBay for a short period) and features a new interview with former APF sculptor John Blundall in which he discusses his time working on series from Supercar up to Thunderbirds.

John discusses how he got involved in puppetry, working with Christine Glanville, Wolfgang Manthey and Mary Turner, his favourite creations and what went into designing characters such as Robert the Robot, Professor Matic and of course Parker.

Other features include:

  • Robin McDonald Interview - Century 21's Clapper Loader/Focus Puller recalls his time working on series from Thunderbirds to Space:1999, working with alligators, Ed Bishop & Mike Billington and even The Sweeney and Terrahawks.
  • A Breath of Death - a look at an unfilmed Space:1999 script by Irving Gaynor Nieman.
  • Supermarionation Stamps - the Royal Mail's special issue commemmorating 50 years of Supermarionation. With comment from artist Gerry Embleton
  • The Return of Victor Bergman - Robert Wood outlines the making of this touching fan-made short film.
  • Space:1999: The Last Sunset - Alpha's finest are stranded on the lunar surface with only a corroding Eagle and a crazed Paul Morrow for company.
  • UFO: Destruction - Four writers give their view on Dennis Spooner's sole contribution to UFO.
  • Fireball XL5: Space City Special - The Subterrains' plan with Manchurian overtones...
  • Plus more of Joe 90 A-Z, a free competition to win a trip to Vostula and more!
The new issue comprises 44 pages with colour inner & outer covers and is available via the website - price 2.25 including UK postage. If you'd prefer to pay by cheque or PO, please get in touch for a postal address. All back issues are in print.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Markosia's new British Superteam debut in August

Orang Utan Comics co-founder Peter Rogers’ first graphic novel The Interactives, hits shelves this August from Markosia Enterprises.

scallywag is a guru in the geek community, having developed a very loyal and active online following. When creatures from mythical fantasy fiction start to attack Britain, scallywag has to call on his friends and followers to help keep them at bay. But does having the cult of personality online mean you’ve got what it takes to be a true leader? And are five geeks really ready to take on hordes of angry dragons, elves, orcs, goblins and giants?

"For those missing Captain Britain And MI:13, don't fret," says Rob Williams (Ghost Rider, Low Life) of the new tale. "Your new favourite British superteam are here."

Rogers (Fame: Beckham, Eleventh Hour, FTL) is joined on The Interactives by two rising stars, artist Luciano Vecchio (Cartoon Network Action Pack, Cruel Things) and colourist Yel Zamor (Hero 9 to 5, Alpha Gods).

“Setting the book here in the UK was really liberating” Rogers said. “Knowing the locations so well meant I had more scope to up the ante turning all my wildest ideas and most interesting daydreams into a very modern fantasy adventure”.

“The public are obsessed with reality and the creatures from fantasy fiction fear extinction," says Orang Utan's Managing Editor Ian Sharman. "Dragons, giants, orcs, goblins and trolls one by one they’re all breaking through from The Realm to The Real. War is coming to Britain and only geek blogger scallywag and his online followers stand in their way. Let your imagination run wild and get ready for some inter action….”

The 100 page graphic novel includes superhero back-up strip Seniors, reuniting Rogers with long time collaborator and Eagle Award nominee Azim Akberali.

The first half of the fully painted superhero story appeared in critically acclaimed anthology title Eleventh Hour in 2008.

The foreword to The Interactives is written by Marvel and 2000AD writer Rob Williams.

- To order from your local comic shop, quote Diamond order code JUN11 0783 from the June Previews catalogue. Find out more, follow scallywag on twitter and read the first 15 pages at

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