downthetubes is undergoing some main site refurbishment...

This blog is no longer being updated

The downthetubes news blog was assimilated into our main site back in 2013.

Hop over to for other British comics news, comic creating guides, interviews and much more!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Top Anime Director Shinichiro Watanabe guest at London Comic Con

Shinichiro Watanabe
Acclaimed anime director Shinichiro Watanabe, best known for helming Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Kids On The Slope, is to be the Anime Guest of Honour at May's MCM London Comic Con, show organisers have announced.

Attending all three days of the show, Shinichiro Watanabe will be taking part in on-stage panels and promoting both Anime Limited's upcoming HD release of Cowboy Bebop and the UK debut of his latest series, Kids On The Slope, released by MVM Entertainment.

Watanabe will also be holding exclusive signing sessions at the Anime Limited booth. MCM London Comic Con visitors who pre-order Anime Limited's Cowboy Bebop either at HMV or Amazon and bring proof of pre-order to the show will receive an exclusive A4 Bebop print to get signed (while stocks last). These prints are extremely limited in volume, however, so go along to the stand early to avoid disappointment.

While Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Kids On The Slope are Watanabe's best known works, the Kyoto-born director's credits also include the Macross Plus OVA, Baby Blue and Kid's Story and A Detective Story, two shorts in The Animatrix anthology.

Europe's biggest comic convention, MCM London Comic Con takes place at London ExCel from 24-26 May, covering everything from films and videogames to manga and cosplay.

• Tickets for MCM London Comic Con are available at:

• You can find more about the event at; on Twitter at; on Facebook at and on YouTube at

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Thunderbirds Are Go! - To Egmont...

Specialist children’s publisher Egmont UK has signed a deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s consumer products division, owner of many classic brands created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, to publish many classic Anderson original comic strips in new formats.

Egmont has acquired the rights to the classic Thunderbirds comic strips first published in both TV Century 21 and strips originated for the 1990s Fleetway Anderson-related comics, along with other much-loved creations such as Stingray, Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet.

They will be published in ‘best of’ gift book format as well as e-books based on the original comic strips.

The last collection of Anderson strips - Menace from Space was published by Signum Books in 2011, the last of five volumes in a treasury format (the first four published by Reynolds & Hearn). These collections did not include any of the originated material published in Fleetway's 1990s Anderson titles, which focused on one show per title, with Thunderbirds proving the most successful. (Egmont purchased Fleetway in 1991).

Demand for Thunderbirds output in particular has reached new heights, boosted by the ITVS GE licensing programme and the imminent fiftieth anniversary of the television series.

The classic Thunderbirds name and brand have remained popular and loved for nearly half a century — which will be highlighted in 2015 when Thunderbirds celebrates its 50th anniversary and ITVS GE launches the hotly anticipated new series of this iconic action-adventure show, Thunderbirds are Go!

Egmont says the return of these comic strips in modern formats is expected to receive an enthusiastic response from original fans of the groundbreaking series which first went on air in 1965, as well as a whole new audience.

The first output from the deal will be available in October this year when Egmont will republish the original 1960s and 1990s Thunderbirds strips both digitally and in special collectable print editions.

David Riley, Managing Director of Egmont’s licensed character division, Egmont Publishing Group said: “We are honoured to have acquired the publishing rights for these Anderson classics and in particular to be launching with Thunderbirds in October. We are now looking forward to building a series of titles that will remind fans, old and new, of the genius of Thunderbirds and so many other incredible Anderson creations.”

Trudi Hayward, Head of Global Merchandising, ITV Studios Global Entertainment, adds: “Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s creations have enchanted and amazed fans of all ages for nearly fifty years. We welcome the appearance of these classic comic strips at a time when awareness of Thunderbirds, and the many other great Anderson titles, is stronger than ever.”

The Anderson comic strips form part of Egmont’s extensive Classic Comics archive which includes Roy of the Rovers, Battle Picture Weekly, Action, Whizzer & Chips, Misty, Tammy and Jinty.

• Egmont’s digital comics (including Roy of the Rovers, Johnny Red, The Thirteenth Floor, Misty, Major Eazy and Charley’s War) are available from the iBooks Store on iPad format for £1.99 each

Panel Nine's SEQUENTIAL project backs upcoming Comica Festival

Digital comics publisher Panel Nine's new SEQUENTIAL is the main sponsor of the Spring Comica Festival, taking place at The Platform Theatre, Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London this coming weekend, where, amongst other things the company will be giving away an iPad mini.

What is SEQUENTIAL, you say? Well, here's the blurb...

"SEQUENTIAL is the forthcoming platform for the tablet that we believe to be the digital future of graphic novels and sequential art," explains publisher Russell Willis.

"We're working with the world's leading graphic novel publishers and creators to expand the market for one of the world's most under-appreciated art forms," he continues, "and, rather than go the tired old commercial route with the inclusion of superheroes, a genre that has tainted and held back the art form for too long, we stand in opposition to what that genre represents and instead will feature only accessible, intelligent, entertaining, life-enhancing storytelling at its visual and verbal best.

"The time is right to evangelise graphic novels and sequential art anew," Russell enthuses. "Quality graphic novels are being nominated for -- and winning -- awards such as the Costa Prize; digital is making access to material available to most, and British publishers are leading a renaissance in quality material.

"SEQUENTIAL will be making quality graphic novels easily available to all in a specially engineered deluxe format, acclaimed as the 'gold standard', with new features that expand the way in which graphic stories can be told."

Sound interesting? We expect SEQUENTIAL to be available for download for the iPad by the end of April, and we'll let you know as soon as it is.

• Moire about Panel Nine, whose titles include digital editions of David Lloyd's Kickback, Terry Wiley's VerityFair and The Certified Hunt Emerson at

• Entrance to the Comica Comiket on the Saturday is FREE, and there are more details here:

• Declaration: Panel Nine is currently the main sponsor of downthetubes

Stephen Goodall collects spooky "Diary of Joseph Stein"

Stephen Goodall has just published the final pages of a haunting and decidedly spooky online comic, The Diary of Joseph Stein, a 30-page horror tale set in Scotland and the third story in a series all published as part of his Institute of Marine Research imprint.

"In creating the comic I’ve drawn on some of my favourite British horror influences," he tells downthetubes. "M.R. James, Nigel Kneale, the Vertigo comics of the early 90s, and, of course, no horror story set on a small Scottish island could work without an offering to The Wicker Man, could it?

"I’ve designed The Diary of Joseph Stein as a standalone story but it also forms part of the ongoing narrative of my long-form webcomic IMR," he continues. "The idea was to provide a ‘jumping on point’ for new readers. 

"I intend to try and make each future chapter work in the same way too.  The whole thing is available online, the link is below. I am in the process of getting some physical copies of this latest part printed too.

"I originally devised The Institute of Marine Research as a way of regularly writing and drawing comics so that I could improve my understanding of the craft," he reveals. "I have been really enjoying creating the comic and have a lot of places I would like to take the story.

"At the moment I don’t make any money from this so am also working part-time and on other endeavours too... Hopefully as time goes on, my understanding of the medium and my art skills will improve and this will be reflected in the writing, storytelling and art."

•  Institute of Marine Research comics

• For more about IMR, and other stuff Stephen does contact him on twitter or tumblr and the comic has a facebook page too. 

Caption, the comics creator’s convention, returns in August

This summer, the East Oxford Community Centre is once again host to the comics festival ‘Caption’, Britain's longest continuously-running comics convention

Comic cons have been popping up left, right and centre like mushrooms recently with the larger London shows taking their cue from American cons like San Diego. But it's easy to forget that it was the UK that started the phenomenon and indeed it is Oxford that is proud to boast the longest running convention in the UK.

The festival established itself from the outset as the comics creator’s convention. The emphasis on workshops, panels and social interaction has meant that over the years some of the biggest names in the business have been drawn to Oxford to talk about their work, whilst at the same time new creators have been given a chance to be involved in the festival and rub shoulders with successful writers and artists.

All this has been happening under the very noses of Oxonians for years in the unpretentious surroundings of East Oxford Community Centre.

To quote Paul Cornell, a guest at Caption 2010: “It's good to have a comics event that feels right in a church hall with a tea urn!”

Creators from Oxford based comics companies 2000AD and The Phoenix will be in attendance, there will be fun workshops and activities for anyone who wants to get involved and a wide variety of comics will be available to buy from the Caption table.

(Don’t expect a dealer’s hall with endless merchandise and back issues - do expect fascinating panel discussions and excellent workshops all in an informal friendly environment).

Caption is proud to announce that guests include Rian Hughes (Dan Dare), Andrzej Klimowski (Stanisław Lem’s Robot…), Danusia Schebal (Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde graphic novel), Al Davison (Doctor Who comics), Paul Collicutt (Robot City Adventures), Karen Rubins (Victoria & Albert Museum comic artist in residence), Ian Rakoff (V & A comics lecturer, writer The Prisoner: Welcome to Harmony) and Charles Cutting ( artist for The Doings of Vincent John McKeown, Poet), with more to be announced in the weeks to come.

The convention will take place on 24th-25th of August and tickets are £6 per day or £10 for both days, so get yourself along! The EOCC bar will be open from noon to 5.00pm, for drinks and crisps as well, what more could you want?

• Caption, East Oxford Community Centre, 44 Princes St, Oxford OX4 1DD - 11am – 11pm Saturday 24th August / 11am – 5pm Sunday 25th August. More info at

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

In Review: Ron Turner's "Space Ace"

Out: Now
Publisher: John Lawrence
Originally published by Atlas Publishing & Distributing Co. Ltd

The Magazine: Four vintage stories from the pages of Lone Star Magazine and Lone Star Annual featuring Space Ace.

"Space Ace was a labour of love for Ron," says John Lawrence, who was Ron's agent, in his introduction to this collection. "It attracted possibly the lowest page rate ever compared to much of his other work, but it was free from any editorial constraints ... His enjoyment shines through in the four stories I've selected... These stories originally appeared in black and white, but now, for this publication, Ron's marvellous artwork has been enhanced by the superb colouring of John Ridgway, an artist absolutely in tune with Ron's own colouring sensibilities."

The Review: While Ron Turner wasn't the first artist to work on Space Ace, a character first appearing in Lone Star but who later gained his own title in the 1950s, published by Atlas, he made the character his own during his time on the strip.

(The strip was taken over by the Selecciones Ilustradas agency on his departure - Turner was to go on to drawing many covers for magazines such as Practical Mechanics, drawing The Daleks for TV Century 21 and more, right up until his death in 1998).

The central character was Ace Hart, sheriff of Tarrant County Texas, who is struck by a meteorite and gains immunity to radioactivity. He becomes Space Ace, Space Squadron Commander, captaining the new spaceship LS1, aided by a crew that at one point included an inventor and a monkey but, by the time of the strips in this volume, is partnered only by Ace's NCO, Sergeant Bill Crag.

Produced by John Lawrence, this first volume of Space Ace tales presents four complete stories from Lone Star Magazine and Lone Star Annual. (Together with Philip Harbottle John created Nick Hazard: Interstellar Agent in the 1990s, which was illustrated by Ron in black and white originally, but more recently was also re-coloured and re-formatted, also by John Ridgway).

The Space Ace strips were drawn in the early 1950s - a period in which Turner also drew Rick Random - Space Detective for Fleetway's Super Detective Library. While Rick Random is perhaps better known - and there too, Turner gave that strip a distinctive look - Space Ace has a similar quality, enhanced further in this edition by John Ridgway's tremedous work on colouring the stories.

While the stories themselves are positively quaint in comparison with today's SF – humanoid Martians rubbing shoulders with other bipedal aliens as well as humans – there's no disputing Turner's flair for designing stylish future vehicles and buildings.

This 40-page collection may have a high cover price but it's a price on a par with similar short-run comic magazines such as Spaceship Away and definitely something fans of Ron's work should be tracking down.

John Lawrence has produced this first Space Ace as a non-profit publication, purely for the love of Ron Turner’s work. The number of copies sold that will determine whether or not there are future volumes published.

• Space Ace: Volume 1 costs £8.95 including p&p. To order, send John a cheque (John Lawrence, 39 Carterweys, Dunstable, Bedfordhire LU5 4RB) or pay via PayPal (larryjohn.21 AT

• Ron Turner Cover Collection:

2000AD nominated for Eisner Award


2000AD has been nominated for an Eisner Award for the first time.

Last night, the weekly sci-fi and fantasy comic was announced as one of the five nominations in the ‘Best Anthology’ category.

It is the first time that 2000AD has ever been nominated for an Eisner, which are named after ground-breaking American cartoonist and writer Will Eisner, and are the comic book industry’s most prestigious awards (

The winners will be announced at the famous San Diego Comic Convention in July.

The editor of 2000AD, Matt Smith, said: “I’m delighted that 2000AD has been nominated in the Best Anthology category for the 2013 Eisner Awards, the first time in its 36-year history that its made the prestigious list.

"It’s testament to the amazing work the creators and everyone associated with the UK weekly title put into making it truly the Galaxy’s Greatest, and I hope its appearance here encourages more people to check out the incredible stories found within this British institution.”

Other Brit-related nominees include artist Tom Gauld for his graphic novel Goliath, artist Sean Phillips, publisher NoBrow and writer-artist Luke Pearson.

The full list of nominations are as follows:

Best Short Story
  • “A Birdsong Shatters the Still,” by Jeff Wilson and Ted May, in Injury #4 (Ted May/Alternative)
  • “Elmview” by Jon McNaught, in Dockwood (Nobrow)
  • “Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch,” by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8 (Fantagraphics)
  • “Moving Forward,” by drewscape, in Monsters, Miracles, & Mayonnaise (Epigram Books)
  • “Rainbow Moment,” by Lilli Carré, in Heads or Tails (Fantagraphics)
Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
  • Lose #4: “The Fashion Issue,” by Michael DeForge (Koyama Press)
  • The Mire, by Becky Cloonan (self-published)
  • Pope Hats #3, by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse Books)
  • Post York #1, by James Romberger and Crosby (Uncivilized Books)
  • Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8, by Michael Kupperman (Fantagraphics)
Best Continuing Series
  • Fatale, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
  • The Manhattan Projects, by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra (Image)
  • Prophet, by Brandon Graham and Simon Roy (Image)
  • Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Best New Series
  • Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
  • Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
  • Fatale, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Marvel)
  • Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)
Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)
  • Babymouse for President, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House)
  • Benny and Penny in Lights Out, by Geoffrey Hays (Toon Books/Candlewick)
  • Kitty & Dino, by Sara Richard (Yen Press/Hachette)
  • Maya Makes a Mess, by Rutu Modan (Toon Books/Candlewick)
  • Zig and Wikki in The Cow, by Nadja Spiegelman and Trade Loeffler (Toon Books/Candlewick)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)
  • Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
  • Amulet Book 5: Prince of the Elves, by Kazu Kibuishi (Scholastic)
  • Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse, by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos (Archaia)
  • Crogan’s Loyalty, by Chris Schweizer (Oni)
  • Hilda and the Midnight Giant, by Luke Pearson (Nobrow)
  • Road to Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)
Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
  • Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens, by Meredith Gran (kaboom!)
  • Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)
  • Ichiro, by Ryan Inzana (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Spera, vol. 1, by Josh Tierney et al. (Archaia)
  • A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)
Best Humor Publication
  • Adventure Time, by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb (kaboom!)
  • BBXX: Baby Blues Decades 1 & 2, by Jerry Scott and Rick Kirkman (Andrews McMeel)
  • Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown (Chronicle)
  • Naked Cartoonists, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
Best Digital Comic
Best Anthology
  • Dark Horse Presents, edited by Mike Richardson (Dark Horse)
  • No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, edited by Justin Hall (Fantagraphics)
  • Nobrow #7: Brave New World, edited by Alex Spiro and Sam Arthur (Nobrow)
  • 2000AD, edited by Matt Smith (Rebellion)
  • Where Is Dead Zero?, edited by Jeff Ranjo (Where Is Dead Zero?)
Best Reality-Based Work
  • Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joseph Lambert (Center for Cartoon Studies/Disney Hyperion)
  • The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, by Frank M. Young and David Lasky (Abrams ComicArts)
  • A Chinese Life, by Li Kunwu and P. Ôtié (Self Made Hero)
  • The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, by Julia Wertz (Koyama Press)
  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me, by Ellen Forney (Gotham Books)
  • You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart, by C. Tyler (Fantagraphics)
Best Graphic Album—New
  • Building Stories, by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
  • Goliath by Tom Gauld (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • The Hive, by Charles Burns (Pantheon)
  • Unterzakhn by Leela Corman (Schocken)
  • You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart, by C. Tyler (Fantagraphics)
Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • Chico and Rita, by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal (Self Made Hero)
  • Homer’s Odyssey, adapted by Seymour Chwast (Bloomsbury)
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
  • Road to Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)
  • A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson (FSG)
Best Graphic Album — Reprint
  • Cruisin’ with the Hound, by Spain (Fantagraphics)
  • Ed the Happy Clown, by Chester Brown (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Everything Together: Collected Stories, by Sammy Harkham (PictureBox)
  • Heads or Tails, by Lilli Carré (Fantagraphics)
  • King City, by Brandon Graham (TokyoPop/Image)
  • Sailor Twain, or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel (First Second)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim, vol. 2, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/Library of American Comics)
  • Mister Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin, by Johnny Gruelle, edited by Rick Marschall (Fantagraphics)
  • Percy Crosby’s Skippy, vol. 1, edited by Jared Gardner and Dean Mullaney (IDW/Library of American Comics)
  • Pogo, vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
  • Roy Crane’s Captain Easy: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, edited by Rick Norwood (Fantagraphics)
Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Crime Does Not Pay Archives, edited by Philip Simon and Kitchen, Lind & Associates (Dark Horse)
  • David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Wally Wood’s EC Stories: Artist’s Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
  • Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics, edited by Michel Gagné (Fantagraphics)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • Abelard, by Régis Hautiere and Renaud Dillies (NBM)
  • Athos in America, by Jason (Fantagraphics)
  • Blacksad: Silent Hell, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (Dark Horse)
  • The Making of, by Brecht Evens (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Monsieur Jean: The Singles Theory, by Philippe Dupuy and Charles Berberian (Humanoids)
  • New York Mon Amour, by Benjamin LeGrand, Dominique Grange, and Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • Barbara, by Osamu Tezuka (Digital Manga)
  • A Chinese Life, by Li Kunwu and P. Ôtié (Self Made Hero)
  • Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
  • Nonnonba, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Thermae Romae, by Mari Yamazaki (Yen Press/Hachette)
Best Writer
  • Ed Brubaker, Fatale (Image)
  • Matt Fraction, Hawkeye (Marvel); Casanova: Avaritia (Marvel Icon)
  • Brandon Graham, Multiple Warheads, Prophet (Image)
  • Jonathan Hickman, The Manhattan Projects (Image)
  • Brian K. Vaughan, Saga (Image)
  • Frank M. Young, The Carter Family (Abrams ComicArts)
Best Writer/Artist
  • Charles Burns, The Hive (Pantheon)
  • Gilbert Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories, vol. 5 (Fantagraphics)
  • Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories, vol. 5 (Fantagraphics)
  • Luke Pearson, Hilda and the Midnight Giant, Everything We Miss (Nobrow)
  • C. Tyler, You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart (Fantagraphics)
  • Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)
Best Penciller/Inker
  • David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
  • Becky Cloonan, Conan the Barbarian (Dark Horse); The Muse (self-published)
  • Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
  • Sean Phillips, Fatale (Image)
  • Joseph Remnant, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland (Zip Comics/Top Shelf)
  • Chris Samnee, Daredevil (Marvel); Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW)
Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Brecht Evens, The Making Of (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad (Dark Horse)
  • Teddy Kristiansen, The Red Diary/The RE[a]D Diary (MAN OF ACTION/Image)
  • Lorenzo Mattotti, The Crackle of the Frost (Fantagraphics)
  • Katsuya Terada, The Monkey King vol. 2 (Dark Horse)
Best Cover Artist
  • David Aja, Hawkeye (Marvel)
  • Brandon Graham, King City, Multiple Warheads, Elephantmen #43 (Image)
  • Sean Phillips, Fatale (Image)
  • Yuko Shimizu, The Unwritten (Vertigo/DC)
  • J, H. Williams III, Batwoman (DC)
Best Coloring
  • Charles Burns, The Hive (Pantheon)
  • Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
  • Brandon Graham, Multiple Warheads (Image)
  • Dave Stewart, Batwoman (DC); Fatale (Image); BPRD, Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy in Hell, Lobster Johnson, The Massive (Dark Horse)
  • Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)
Best Lettering
  • Paul Grist, Mudman (Image)
  • Troy Little, Angora Napkin 2: Harvest of Revenge (IDW)
  • Joseph Remnant, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland (Zip Comics/Top Shelf)
  • C. Tyler, You’ll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier’s Heart (Fantagraphics)
  • Chris Ware, Building Stories (Pantheon)
Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Best Comics-Related Book
  • The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist, edited by Alvin Buenaventura (Abrams ComicArts)
  • Marie Severin: The Mirthful Mistress of Comics, by Dewey Cassell (TwoMorrows)
  • Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, by Sean Howe (HarperCollins)
  • Mastering Comics, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden (First Second)
  • Team Cul De Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s, edited by Chris Sparks (Andrews McMeel)
  • Woodwork: Wallace Wood 1927–1981, edited by Frédéric Manzano (CasalSolleric/IDW)
Best Educational/Academic Work
  • Autobiographical Comics: Life Writing in Pictures, by Elisabeth El Refaie (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Comics Versus Art, by Bart Beaty (University of Toronto Press)
  • Crockett Johnson & Ruth Krauss: How an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children’s Literature, by Philip Nel (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Lynda Barry: Girlhood Through the Looking Glass, by Susan E. Kirtley (University Press of Mississippi)
  • The Poetics of Slumberland, by Scott Bukatman (University of California Press)
Best Publication Design
  • Building Stories, designed by Chris Ware (Pantheon)
  • Dal Tokyo, designed by Gary Panter and Family Sohn (Fantagraphics)
  • David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again: Artist’s Edition, designed by Randy Dahlk (IDW)
  • Mister Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann’s Sprightly Cousin, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
  • Wizzywig, designed by Ed Piskor and Chris Ross (Top Shelf)


Beano 3681 On Sale Now

Don't miss your weekly helping of comics, jokes, puzzles and pranks! The Beano no. 3681 is on sale today in all good UK newsagents and supermarkets.


Expect 'Bedlam' in May as Nick Spencer and Frazer Irving descend on Forbidden Planet London

Nick Spencer and Frazer Irving will be signing Bedlam Volume 1 (published by Image Comics and collecting #1-6) at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Wednesday 1st May from 6 - 7.00pm.

One of the hottest new series of the year gets its first, new reader friendly-priced collection.

Fillmore Press was once Madder Red, a homicidal maniac and criminal overlord who ruled the city of Bedlam. Now he's been cured of his mania, and says he wants to help protect the place he once terrorized - but can he be trusted?

Nick Spencer is best known for his creator-owned titles at Image Comics. After working in politics and other fields, Nick successfully pitched Existence 2.0 to Jim Valentino at Image, and the first issue was released in July 2009. Nick has also written The Infinite Vacation, Ultimate Comics X-Men, Cloak & Dagger, Victor von Doom, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and Thief of Thieves.

Frazer Irving's credits include Necronauts for 2000AD and more. He studied art at the University of Portsmouth and since breaking into the US market he has worked on a various superhero titles, including a number with Grant Morrison.

More info on the Forbidden Planet web site

Comica Festival preps for launch with Brian Bolland and many more

Comica 2013

Brian Bolland, Frazer Irving, Warren Pleece, Mark Stafford and many more comic creators will be part of this year's fantastic Comica Festival thus weekend (April 19th and 20th) at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, King's Cross, London.

Don't miss the chance to hear Brian Bolland, famed for his iconic versions of Judge Dredd and Batman, discussing his infuences, career, projects and passion at Comica Festival on Friday April 19th from 5.30-6.30pm. Tickets are only £8 or £4 for all concessions and are bookable online at or on the door (subject to capacity).

Then on Saturday April 20th, at the Spring Comica Comiket Fair, a host of comics creators will be drawing live on the big screen in the Drawing Parade, every 30 minutes from 11am to 6.30pm, on stage before your very eyes - and admission is completely free.

Here's the Festival's line-up (publisher name in brackets after each title mentioned):

11.00-11.30: Stephen Collins - The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil (Cape)

11.30-12.00: Terry Wiley - Sleaze Castle (Markosia) and VerityFair (Sequential)

12.00-12.30: S.J. Harris - Eustance (Cape)

12.30-1.00: Vivane Schwarz - The Sleepwalkers (Myriad) & Welcome To Your Awesome Robot (Nobrow)

1.00-1.30: Gary Northfield - Derek the Sheep (Bloomsbury), Gary’s Garden (The Phoenix) and Teeny Tinysaurs (Walker)

1.30-2.00: Oliver East - Trains Are... Mint, Proper Well High, Berlin, Swear Down (Blank Slate)

2.00-2.30: Hannah Eaton - Naming Monsters (Myriad)

2.30-3.00: Dan Berry - The Suitcase (Blank Slate)

3.00-3.30: Warren & Gary Pleece - Montague Terrace (Cape) and The Great Unwashed (Escape Books)

3.30-4.00: Frazer Irving - Batman (DC), Uncanny X-Men (Marvel), Gutsville (Image)

4.00-4.30: Chie Kutsuwada - As You Like It (SelfMadeHero), The Story of Lee (NBM), Hagakure (Kodansha)

4.30-5.00: Darryl Cunningham - Psychiatric Tales (Blank Slate) and Science Tales (Myriad)

5.00-5.30: Mark Stafford - The Man Who Laughs (SelfMadeHero) and Cherubs (Dark Horse)

5.30-6.00: Inko - Ketsueki (Markosia) and Fantasy World (Adjiey Media)

6.00-6.30: Neill Cameron - Mo-Bot High (The DFC Library) and Pirates of Pangaea (The Phoenix)

• For full programme and details visit


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Lara Croft to Raid London Comic Con

Screenshot via Katie's Tomb Raider Screenshots

Image: Square Enix
Lara Croft is coming to MCM London Comic Con. Camilla Luddington, who plays the iconic action heroine in the new Tomb Raider game, released in March, will be meeting fans and talking about her role as the intrepid Lara on the Saturday and Sunday of Europe's biggest comic con.

British-born Camilla is both the voice and performance actress for Lara in the critically-acclaimed Tomb Raider reboot. Published by Square Enix, the new Tomb Raider explores the gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor as she explores a mysterious island inhabited by a sinister cult.

Camilla was cast last year, after an international talent search using scouts in Europe and the US. The game makers felt she  stood out as delivering both a depth of emotion and the youthful tone needed for Lara Croft in the reimagining.

“This has been one of the most important jobs for us to get right,” said Darrell Gallagher at the time, head of studio at Crystal Dynamics. “This Tomb Raider game is very different to any other and we are demanding far more from the voice and performance acting than ever before as we take the franchise in a new direction.”

Luddington's other credits include Jo Wilson in Grey's Anatomy, Claudette Crane in HBO vampire drama True Blood and Lizzie in the fifth season of Californication.

Camilla Luddington joins a host of special guests at May's MCM London Comic Con, including the stars of Once Upon a Time, cast and crew from Steven Spielberg's Fallen Skies, famed anime director Shinichiro Watanabe and Mass Effect star Mark Meer.

Meanwhile, games publishers already confirmed for the show include Capcom, Nintendo, Square Enix, Rising Star, Tecmo Koei and Koch Media.

• Tickets for MCM London Comic Con are available at:

Twitter: @MCMExpo
YouTube at

Tomb Raider Links

• For more information, visit 
• Twitter:
• Facebook:
• Tumblr:
• YouTube:

Monday, 15 April 2013

Print Media releases online STRIP Magazine Guide and 'Taster'

Print Media has released a special "Taster" guide to STRIP: The Adventure Comics Magazine (now on sale in UK newsagents) which includes the first episode of Black Ops Extreme by John Freeman and PJ Holden (published in the first volume of the title, sold only in UK comic shops and for iPad), and outline plans for new books through 2013 and 2014.

The Supplement which features a cracking cover by John McCrea, coloured by Andrew Elder, was also bundled with the iPad edition of the relaunch issue of STRIP, published last Monday.

Print Media say new subscribers to STRIP Magazine will receive a print edition of this guide as part of their subscription with a future issue.

View the 'Taster' here

• STRIP Magazine blog:

STRIP Magazine on facebook

Al Ewing 'Fictionals' signing announced at Forbidden Planet London

Al Ewing will be signing his new novel The Fictional Man at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Thursday 2nd May from 6 – 7.00pm.

In Hollywood, where last year’s stars are this year’s busboys, Fictionals are everywhere. Niles Golan’s therapist is a Fictional. So is his best friend. Fictionals – characters ‘translated’ into living beings for movies and TV using cloning technology – are a part of daily life in LA now. Sometimes the problem is knowing who’s real and who’s not.

Divorced, alcoholic and hanging on by a thread, Niles – author of The Saladin Imperative: A Kurt Power Novel and many others – has been hired to write a big-budget reboot of a classic movie. If he does this right, the studio might bring one of Niles’ own characters to life. But somewhere beneath the movie – beneath the TV show it was inspired by, the children’s book behind that and the story behind that – is the kernel of something important. If he can just hold it together long enough to figure it out...

Best known for his terrific work on 2000AD, Al Ewing's work in comics has seen him hailed as one of the most exciting new voices in the field. His work for Abaddon Books has been equally lauded and his unique visions of pulp fantasy have found their home in five different novels for Abaddon Books.

Fictionals is his first novel for Solaris and is one of the list’s most keenly awaited titles.

More info on the signing here on the Forbidden Planet web site
Buy Fictionals from Forbidden Planet

Cooking up a treat: Busiek, Hine, Lloyd and Emerson join Lakes International Comic Art Festival line-up

Kendal's Lakes International Comic Art Festival has revealed more of the writers and artists who will be taking part in the event later this year.

The festival, which will run from 18-20 October 2013 in Kendal in Cumbria, now has a guest list running to more than 50 writers and artists from the United States, Europe, South America and the UK.

The latest guests announced by the festival again show the diversity of the medium including superheroes, comedy, adaptations of historical novels and innovative new story-telling.

American Kurt Busiek has won over two dozen industry awards for his work.  He has had runs on Avengers, Spider-Man, Superman, Conan and others, and has co-created books such as Thunderbolts and Arrowsmith.

He is best known for his work on the multiple-award-winning Astro City and Marvels.  A commercial and critical hit, Marvels tells the story of superheroes like Spider-Man and the X-Men from the point of view of an ordinary man on the street.  Stan Lee described it as 'a giant leap forward, bringing us to a new plateau in the evolution of illustrated literature'.

David Hine is a British writer who has worked with Marvel on comics such as X-Men and Spider-Man, as well as writing Batman comics for DC.  He is currently working with fellow festival guest Doug Braithwaite on Storm Dogs and has also worked on a comic adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel The Man Who Laughs, illustrated by Mark Stafford, which is published this week by SelfMadeHero.

Hunt Emerson has received several comics industry awards and in 2000 was named one of the 75 Masters of European Comics by the CNBDI, the noted French comics Academy.  He has produced witty adaptations of stories such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, as well as two books based on the ideas of Victorian philosopher John Ruskin. His latest book is a riotous take on Dante's Inferno.

David Lloyd, who launched a new digital comic Aces Weekly, last year, is the well-known illustrator and co-creator of V For Vendetta. He has also produced stories for the Hellblazer series, Aliens, Marlowe, War Stories, and the acclaimed crime thriller, Kickback.

Pete Doherty is an artist and colourist who is particularly known for his work on Judge Dredd.  He is currently colouring Jupiter’s Legacy, a new epic tale by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely.

Stephen Collins began cartooning for The Times in 2003, and has since won several awards, including the Jonathan Cape/Observer Graphic Short Story Prize 2010. He contributes regular comics to the Guardian Weekend and Prospect magazine. His first graphic novel The Gigantic Beard that was Evil is published by Jonathan Cape next month.

Warren and Gary Pleece’s Montague Terrace, published by Jonathan Cape last month,  is a series of surreal vignettes based in and around a decrepit London block of flats. The Observer's Rachel Cooke said the Pleece brothers' black and white drawings are 'brisk and economical, they have an energy that pulls you along. Their story gets under your skin.'

Steven Harris is a British cartoonist and writer, based in London. His first graphic novel Eustace was also published by Jonathan Cape last month.

Artist Rob Davis is best known for reinventing Roy of the Rovers and for drawing Judge Dredd. He has recently finished illustrating a second volume of Don Quixote stories, which will be published by SelfMadeHero in May.

Belgian Ivan Petrus is the author of The Nieuport Gathering, a moving historical comic book on World War One, in which a Belgian, French and English soldier meet each other on the front line, starting a friendship that will transcend life and death.

Nicola Streeten is an illustrator and the co-creator of Laydeez do Comics, a graphic novel forum with a focus on the new wave of comic work based on the drama of everyday life.  Her first graphic book, Billy, Me & You, was published by Myriad in October 2011.

Gareth Brookes is known for his unusual approach to materials, using embroidery, textiles, lino-cut print, stenciling and even pressed flowers in his work.  In 2012 he was the winner of the First Graphic Novel Competition. Myriad Editions is due to publish his book The Black Project in September 2013.

The guests who have already been announced include Ed Brubaker, Jose Munoz, Posy Simmonds, Viz creators Simon Thorp and Graham Dury, Judge Dredd creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, comics journalist Joe Sacco and Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard. The founder patrons of the festival are Bryan and Mary Talbot, and Sean Phillips.

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival aims to make the whole town of Kendal part of the festival, like the popular festivals on the continent in places such as Angouleme.

There will be a wide range of talks, special live drawing events, workshops, films, exhibitions and a kids’ zone.  Some of the events, including the exhibitions and the kids’ zone will also be free.

The festival's Comics Clock Tower will champion breaking talent from all styles and genres.  Many of the big name writers and artists visiting the festival will also be appearing in the Comics Clock Tower over the weekend.

Festival Director Julie Tait says: “We want to turn Kendal into a comics town for the festival weekend and we are looking forward to welcoming all the writers and artists who will be coming here from across the UK, the US and Europe.

"Whether you call them comics, graphic novels or sequential art, this is a medium that is growing in popularity, so this new festival couldn’t be starting at a better time.

"We want to give the comic fans the chance to discover something new and encourage others who think comics are just for kids to pick up a graphic novel and find out what they're missing.

"We'll be celebrating people like Kurt Busiek and David Hine who have made their names taking forward the stories of some of our most famous superheroes.  We'll also be exploring the work of the many talented young British graphic novelists who are using comic art to tell a huge range of exciting and innovative stories.”

More details about the new event are available at  It is also possible to keep up to date with plans for the festival by following @comicartfest on Twitter or by liking the Lakes International Comic Art Festival Facebook page. Tickets will go on sale 13 May 2013.

Kieron Gillen to sign variant "Uber" editions at Forbidden Planet London

Forbidden Planet have announced a signing for a limited edition variant of Uber #0 and Uber #1 by writer Kieron Gillen.

Join Kieron at the London Megastore on Saturday 11th May 1 - 2.00pm.

Uber #0. 1945. Germany is in ruins. The war in the west can only be days away from ending. Threats of wunderwaffen to be unleashed by the dying Reich have become laughable. There are no miracle weapons here. It's over. It has to be over.

It's not. There's been stories which have mixed enhanced humans and World War 2 before. There's never been one like this. See super beings in a whole new light as Gillen presents an epic new series that not only rewrites history, it redefines the genre. From the jaws of defeat, the Nazi war machine is resurrected by walking battleship superhuman soldiers who turn the tide of World War Two.

In Uber #1, Super soldiers now turn the machinations of the Twentieth Century's greatest madman into reality. The Ubers are here and the world will tremble at their feet. But a deeply entrenched spy could be the difference in seeing the world remade in the Nazi vision and the Allies finding a way to stem the tide.

In this new, ongoing comics series, Superstar writer Kieron Gillen (Invincible Iron Man, Uncanny X-Men) delivers a brutal alternate timeline tale of super humans first appearing during World War Two.

More info here on the Forbidden Planet web site

Latest News on

Contact downthetubes

• Got a British Comics News Story? E-mail downthetubes!

• Publishers: please contact for information on where to post review copies and other materials:

Click here to subscribe to our RSS NewsFeed

Powered by  FeedBurner