Friday, June 30, 2017

COMBAT COLIN No.1 is here!

Copies of Combat Colin No.1 have just arrived from the printers and the comic will launch at Macc-Pow! this Saturday, 1st July, at Macclesfield Town Hall! It's also available to buy directly from me by post at my online shop, (I'll be posting them out next week) or from my table at the other conventions I'll be appearing at around the country.

Combat Colin No.1 features 40 pages and collects the entire run of Combat Colin strips that were published in Action Force in 1987/88. (From issue 2 onwards, the comic will begin reprinting the Combat Colin strips from The Transformers.)
Originally published by Marvel UK, the Combat Colin strip ran from 1987 to 1991 and featured the comedy adventures of gormless-but-heroic Colin and his assistant Semi-Automatic Steve battling robots, monsters, alien warlords, and anyone threatening the peace of Wallytown and neighbouring Skegpool. When The Transformers comic ended in 1991, Marvel UK returned all rights to the character to me, and I've since featured Combat Colin in various comics over the years. 
Now, at last, he's in his very own title for a six issue series that will collect the original Marvel run and subsequent appearances. My intention is to publish two issues a year. (Issue 2 is currently scheduled for December 2017.)
The stories in issue one show the development of the strip from its early half-page gag strip beginnings to its evolution to full page serialised stories. You'll see Combat Colin encounter his first foe, Doctor Nasty, and other villains such as Aunt Arctic of the Antarctic! Colin's adventures take him from his back garden to the pyramids of Egypt and beyond, and this is just the beginning! 

The strips are scanned from the original artwork, where available, or from the actual comics. Although originally published in colour (with colours added by the Marvel UK staff) the collected strips will appear in black and white (or greyscale for the pages scanned from the colour comics).
To buy Combat Colin and/or any of my other comics by mail order, check out my online shop:

...or see you at Macc-Pow! tomorrow! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wonder Woman returns

When Titan Comics published a Wonder Woman Special Edition last month it seemed it was a one-off, but presumably sales were good enough to warrant an ongoing status, and Wonder Woman No.2 is out now. 

Wonder Woman's UK comic has some excellent material too, as it features the first three parts of The Lies, the sensational storyline by Greg Rucka and Derby-born Liam Sharp. 

"In this issue we're featuring parts 1-3 of “The Lies”, in which Wonder Woman tries to rebuild her mission as Earth’s ultimate protector and champion. Daughter of the Amazonian Queen, Hippolyta, Princess Diana of Themyscira is one of the greatest super heroes in history.


She fights for truth and justice, and against cruelty and oppression, with god-like power and her Lasso of Truth. But who is she, really?"

Wonder Woman No.2 is available from WH Smith, selected newsagents, and comic shops, or you can order it directly from Titan Comics here:
http://titan.subscribeonline.co.uk/Products/dc-comics


...and if you want to see some of the original artwork, along with other pieces from Liam's 30 year career, there's currently an exhibition of his work at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery. More information here:
https://www.derbymuseums.org/whats-on/judge-dredd-to-wonder-woman-the-work-of-liam-sharp

Out today from Panini UK

The history of British reprints of Marvel comics dates back to the 1950s with titles such as Captain America Comics and Wyatt Earp, so it's good to see the tradition continues today. Back in the 1950s it was indie publisher Len Miller who was putting out the Marvel reprints. Today it's the international giant Panini, but the reader is the winner either way. 

Here's the info on the three Panini UK comics that are out today...

MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #10. On sale 29th June!
100 page special! Four astonishing tales! £3.99!
A Civil War II chapter! Ms Marvel joins Captain Marvel's crusade, setting her life on a shocking new path! By G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona!
Nick Fury battles a hidden SHIELD sect in another Civil War II chapter! By Declan Shalvey!
The Guardians of the Galaxy take the fight to the deadly Hala! Cosmic action by Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti!
The Silver Surfer and Spider-Man battle enemies from their pasts! By Dan Slott and Michael Allred!
Featuring material first printed in Guardians of the Galaxy #4, Silver Surfer #6-7, Ms Marvel #8 and Civil War II: Choosing Sides #1.



ESSENTIAL X-MEN #12. On sale 29th June! 
100 page special! A Civil War II crossover! Three uncanny tales! £3.99! 
Magneto discovers Ulysses's existence – and he's not happy! The battlelines are drawn as the power of the Inhumans grows, and two teams of X-Men clash! By Cullen Bunn and Andrea Broccardo!
The X-School faces destruction from the World Eater! By Jeff lemire and Victor Ibanez!
Iceman, Idie and Evan go clubbing, and get a lot more action than they bargained for! By Dennis Hopeless and Mark Bagley!
Featuring material first printed in Extraordinary X-Men #15-16, Civil War II: X-Men #1-2 and All-New X-Men #13.


DEADPOOL UNLEASHED #3. On sale 29th June!
76 pages of Marvel’s craziest hero! £3.99!
Deadpool and the Mercs fight to protect the Recorder robot from the Taskmaster! By Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin!
Deadpool and Thanos travel to Hell, and take on every person they ever killed! By Tim Seeley and Elmo Bondoc!
Deadpool and Earth’s greatest heroes face defeat in the Secret Wars! By Cullen Bunn and Mateo Lolli!

Featuring material first printed in Deadpool: Mercs for Money #4, Deadpool vs Thanos #3 and Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #3.


...and it's also worth another reminder that Doctor Who Magazine No.514 is out today too! 84 pages for £5.99

Into INFINITY

Issue 2, on sale now.
Infinity is a new British magazine from the publishers of horror media mag The Dark Side and the second issue is available from newsagents now. 

Whereas The Dark Side focuses on horror, Infinity concentrates on sci-fi. It packs a lot into its 68 full colour pages with well written articles on a range of SF movies, TV shows, books and more. In some ways it reminds me of the sort of SF media mags that were around in the 1970s but that's no bad thing. It's good to have a mag that covers material from the past, rather than being full of the usual hyped-up current movie promos. 

Priced at £3.99 in shops or £5 by post, Infinity is a worthwhile and informative read. The publisher didn't quite anticipate the demand for issue one, which has now sold out, but you can buy No.2 here:
https://thedarksidemagazine.com/product/infinity-issue-2/

If you prefer to buy it off the stands, you should find it in WH Smith displayed alongside SFX and 2000AD.  
Issue 1. Now sold out.


Follow the magazine's Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/ghoulishpubs/

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Interested in The Prisoner?

Not a comic, admittedly, but I thought this might be of interest to those of you who enjoyed The Prisoner TV series. The Prisoner, An Essential Guide by Rick Davy, is a brand new 36 page A5 sized guide book to the show, containing a wealth of officially licensed and previously unpublished photos. 

You can order signed and unsigned copies at the publisher's website, Quoit Media:
http://www.quoitmedia.co.uk

To find out more about this cult TV series, follow The Unmutual website:
https://www.theunmutual.co.uk

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: The Leopard from Lime Street

In this, the second book in Rebellion's Treasury of British Comics line, The Leopard From Lime Street reprints the weekly episodes that originally appeared in Buster from 12th March 1976 to 11th June 1977. 

This was during a period when I'd stopped buying most British comics so the strips are new to me. Well, not entirely true. I'd seen one or two episodes back then, and haughtily dismissed the strip as a rip-off of Spider-Man. On a very basic surface level, it certainly is, but The Leopard from Lime Street has a charm and excitement all its own, and the artwork is of the highest standard seen in British weeklies. 

The plot: young Billy Farmer is scratched by a radioactive leopard and gains the strength and agility of a jungle cat. He makes a costume and sets out to fight crime, whilst taking photos for his local paper. Yep, the similarities to Spider-Man are glaring, but the British working class setting and distinctive UK storylines raise it above being a mere Spidey copy. Tom Tully's lively, fast-paced scripts carry the reader along, making the book an exciting page turner. The art, by Mike Western and Eric Bradbury is crisp and detailed, giving the strips a toughness and streetwise quality. It was very unusual in British comics back then for two artists to work as a pencil/ink team but it really works. In later episodes I'm guessing Western may have only supplied layouts, as Bradbury's style becomes more evident, but it's all great. Two of the best British artists working together? What's not to like?

I know that The Leopard from Lime Street has long had a dedicated following in British comics and I've never really understood why... until now. The advantage of this collected edition is it gives the reader the opportunity to get into the storylines and put aside any concerns of the source that inspired it. 

The book has an introduction by Steve Holland, and in the back there's a preview of forthcoming books in the Treasury of British Comics line, including Marney the Fox and Faceache. It's all looking good, so I hope fans of UK comics who have been clamouring for a return to the "good old days" will support these books so the line can grow. 


  • CREATIVE TEAM:  Tom Tully (w) Eric Bradbury, Mike Western (a) 
  • REGIONS: UK, worldwide digital
  • RELEASE DATE: 13 July 2017
  • PAPERBACK - 162 pages
  • PRICE: £14.99 (UK)
  • ISBN: 9781781085974
  • DIAMOND: MAY171761
Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond

New Commando comics this week

Here's the latest news direct from D.C. Thomson on the four issues of Commando that will arrive in the shops this Thursday...


Brand new Commando issues 5031-5034 are coming soon, with four action packed stories of bravery and duty as our heroes must against the Nazis in the heat of the Second World War!

5031: Home of Heroes:
Race – Or Die!

Set on the sleepy Isle of Man, or not as sleepy as it may seem, a long way from the main battles of the Second World War, conflict still managed to find its way to this secluded island. Nazi spies, secret codes, U-Boats and one thrilling motorbike chase… Colin Watson’s original story has it all!

Rodriguez and Morhain team up again to deliver another beautifully illustrated issue of Commando. With dark, black waters surrounding the island, you can really feel the isolation of the characters. But, as Janek’s cover shows, this is not always a good thing as the stakes are raised to a one-on-one motorbike chase - the island blurred beside the motorbikes, which kick up dust behind them on the quiet country land.

|Story | Colin Watson | Art | Rodriguez & Morhain| Cover | Janek Matysiak|


5032: Gold Collection
The Deadly Game

Lopez Espi’s cover truly captures the hot headed red-head, Corporal Kit Hughes. With hair to match his temper, the Dunkirk evacuee was not one to be trifled with as “the flame haired giant strode the plains of Crete like one of the ancient Gods of mythology.” But these plains in R. Fuente’s interior artwork are not quite the green and gold Mediterranean of the cover, but hard rocky outcrops and dry, bare trees: a hard land which mirrors the fighting that takes place there. 

But now, Kit won’t retreat again in Gentry’s very Commando story of friendship, bravery, duty and revenge. Having evacuated once before, Kit and his best pal Private Len Small have no intentions of leaving Crete, especially when they find out that Nazi Major Mauch, a brutal figure from their past, is leading a base there…

|Story | Gentry | Art | R. Fuente| Cover | Lopez Espi |
Originally Commando No 369


5033: Action and Adventure:
Forgotten Fighters

In the Second World War, Japan actually invaded American soil. It happened in 1942, and the soil in question was the island of Attu, off the coast of Alaska. The battle, the only to take place on American territory, lasted nineteen days and is the subject which inspired writer Richard Davis.

Interior artists Rezzonico and Morhain take full advantage of the island’s mist and rain, contrasting the clear visibility of the soldiers training in America to the harsh conditions of Attu and how unprepared our heroes were for this war. However, no matter the bleak look of the island’s interior, David Alexander’s traditional art cover captures the serene isolation of the island, untouched and mystical, concealing the violence that would take place there.

 |Story | Richard Davis | Art | Rezzonico & Morhain | Cover | David Alexander |


5034: Silver Collection
Escape to Battle

An unconventional hero for Commando, Mike Azonette is a petty thief, growing up in the streets of New York under Don Capardi. But after getting caught robbing the Don’s nephew, Giovanni Castovanni, Mike must go on the run, and what better place to hide than in the armed forces? Little does Mike know that he’s about to be drafted to North Africa now that the U.S. has joined Europe in the Second World War…

With the shadowy face of Giovanni looming in the background, always hanging over Mike’s head, watching, the sense of dread in ‘Escape to Battle’ is felt right through from Ian Kennedy’s remarkable cover. Meanwhile, Welsh illustrator Keith Shone’s illustrations really stand out as he often bleeds images between panels, with characters, objects and explosions breaking free of their frames.

|Story | Ian Clark | Art |Keith Shone | Cover |Ian Kennedy |
Originally Commando No 2581

Monday, June 26, 2017

Missed Deadline Magazine at Macc-Pow!

Cover by Shaky Kane
Another good reason to attend Macc-Pow! this Saturday is that you'll be able to find information on Missed Deadline magazine, the upcoming revival of '90s comic Deadline

Jessica Kemp and Ed Hilyer will be there, and you'll be able to find out how to get access to the digital issue 0 of Missed Deadline.
Down at the Old Hope in Hell by Mark Stafford
What's in that zero issue? Weird and varied comics from people such as Mark Stafford, Craig Conlan, James Howard, David Leach, Marc Jackson and more. Some material is new, some you may have seen before, but it's all good stuff. 
Chicken Boy by James Howard
Ghost Cat by Craig Conlan
Psycho Gran by David Leach
My favourite was the UKIP spoof, BKIP, by PM Buchan and Phillip Marsden, about a bear version of UKIP. Mocking Farage and his ilk never gets old.

Come along to Macc-Pow! at Macclesfield Town Hall on Saturday and find out more!
http://maccpow.co.uk

Here Comes Cat Stevens!

A new comic is always worth celebrating. Here Comes Cat Stevens is a one-off from Marc Jackson's Weirdo Comics that was commissioned by the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival and funded by a grant by the Arts Council England. Where can you get it? At Macc-Pow! this Saturday, 1st July, at the Town Hall, Macclesfield.

What's it like? 32 pages of fun, and Marc Jackson's best comic yet in my opinion. The plot is simple and ideal for all ages: Cat Stevens (a cat, called Cat Stevens) and his friends embark on a journey to deliver pizza to an address in the woods, - but legend has it there's a monster there that eats pizza delivery guys! What happens? Get the comic and find out!

Marc Jackson's artwork has an appealing retro-but-modern style that's very engaging. The flat colours and limited palate suit it perfectly and help the story move along without clutter or distraction. 

Come along to Macc-Pow! on Saturday where Here Comes Cat Stevens will be one of the comics you'll be able to discover!
http://maccpow.co.uk

Thoughts on self-publishing...

On my other blog last week I posted an article regarding my opinions on self-publishing. It's already had hundreds of views but if you missed it, you can read it here:
http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/why-self-publish.html

That blog is entirely about my own work, so it only attracts people who follow my comics (plus the occasional troll) so I thought I'd link to the article so the rest of you could see it. If you feel inclined to comment on that particular subject, please post over at that blog, not here, thanks. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The next issue of Doctor Who Magazine...

Here's a cover preview of Doctor Who Magazine No.514, that will be in the shops this coming Thursday (29th June). Contents will include a preview of this season's final episode, The Doctor Falls, interviews with Michelle Gomez and John Simm, comic strips The Soul Garden and my own Daft Dimension, and much more! 

84 packed pages for only £5.99. Don't miss it!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Coming up in 2000AD...

Here's your weekly preview of the next issue of 2000AD, on sale this coming Wednesday!

UK & DIGITAL: 26 June 2017 £2.65
NORTH AMERICA: 27 July 2017 $7.99
DIAMOND CODE: APR171917
COVER: MARK HARRISON


In this issue:
Judge Dredd: Parental Guidance by Rory McConville (w) Leigh Gallagher (a) Quinton Winter (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Brink: Skeleton Life by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Defoe: Diehards by Pat Mills (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Grey Area: Batch Recall by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)


Hunted: Furies by Gordon Rennie (w) PJ Holden (a) Len O'Grady (c) Ellie De Ville (l)


Available in print from: UK newsagents and all good comic book stores via Diamond 

Friday, June 23, 2017

It's happening!

I've just received the print proof copy of Combat Colin No.1 from the printers who have done a fantastic job on it and I'm very pleased. 40 fantastic pages reprinting all the Combat Colin strips from Action Force. This is the ONLY print copy in existence at the moment, sent for approval, so it's not available to buy yet, but hopefully the rest of the print run will be ready soon! More details as they happen!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Two from Titan

New this week from Titan Comics are the latest issues of Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem and World War Tank Girl

Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem No.4 is written by Kim Newman and illustrated by Paul McCaffrey. Fantastic artwork, and deserves to be seen by as large an audience as possible so spread the word! 

World War Tank Girl No.3 by Alan Martin and Brett Parson continues the irreverent, adults-only saga of Tank Girl in World War 2. Funny stuff, with top class art by Brett Parson and a retro homage to comics of old. 

Both comics were published yesterday so hopefully your nearest comics shop may still have them. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

50 year Flashback: BEANO SUMMER SPECIAL 1967

When I was a kid, I'd wait until I was on holiday to buy the latest summer specials. Picking up this Beano Summer Special from a stall on Blackpool prom in 1967, accompanied by the sea air and the sounds of seagulls and trams, was all part of the holiday experience. It also provided something to read in the guest house during the inevitable rainy days. 

Let's take a look at a few pages from this wonderful special. The cover artwork is by Dudley Watkins, showing a seemingly reckless Biffo the Bear leaping off the pier, but there's a safe resolution on the back cover...

Inside, the 32 tabloid sized pages were packed with all-new strips and features. The layout was often interesting, with strips sharing space, such as this spread with Punch and Jimmy by David Jenner alongside Dennis the Menace by David Law...

Most of the strips had a holiday theme of some sort. This Roger the Dodger page by Robert Nixon shows an old-style railway carriage and a stereotypical boarding house landlady...

This special had a good selection of adventure strips too; General Jumbo, The Q Bikes, and a great full colour centrespread with The Iron Fish, drawn by Sandy Calder...

A really nicely illustrated Lord Snooty and His Pals story by Dudley Watkins...

A very funny Dennis the Menace page by David Law...

...and what I think may be the very first Bash Street Dogs story, simply titled Dogs' Tale. The dogs had appeared in a few Bash Street Kids episodes in the weekly, but this is months before they achieved their own Pup Parade strip. You'll notice that they look a little different to how they appeared in the regular series. Art by David Sutherland...


That was a few pages from the 1967 special. Don't forget that the current Beano Summer Special is in the shops now!
Cover by Nigel Parkinson


All artwork in this post ©D.C. Thomson and Co. Ltd.
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