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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Commando 4571-4574

Commando releases today

Commando No 4571 – Frenzy Of Fear

With the exception of Private “Jelly” Jakes – the unit’s resident coward – the Convict Commandos were three of the most fearless fighters in the British Forces. So why were they running in terror from a unit of Germans leaving their quaking comrade behind in their haste?

Something was badly awry, something had happened to throw the Convict Commandos into a
Frenzy Of Fear

Story: Alan Hebden
Art: Benet
Cover: Benet

Commando No 4572 – Barracuda Attack!

At flying training school, they said Sub-Lieutenant Martin Archer wasn’t good enough to be a fighter pilot. Too steady, they said, not quick enough to react. What they didn’t say was that he lacked nerve. And that was just as well because they gave him a Fairey Barracuda dive-bomber to fly into the teeth of flak and fighters.

That took guts of a different kind altogether.

Story: Bill Styles
Art: Carlos Pino
Cover: Carlos Pino

Commando No 4573 – Torpedoes Away!

They called it the riskiest job in the RAF...

To throw a big Beaufort torpedo bomber around the sky like a fighter-plane; to battle through flak and air attack right up to target, to roar in on your torpedo-run a bare 50 feet above the waves and lay your single “tinfish” right in the belly of a German warship – and then to fight your way back out of the flame and fury you’ve stirred up and bring your bomber and crew safe home. This was the job of a Beaufort pilot – and it took a special breed of hero to do it.

Young Bill Overby was a Beaufort pilot, one of the best. He couldn’t help becoming an ace. You see, it looked as if Bill didn’t care about staying alive…

Introduction

Just to prove that Ken Barr didn’t do every Commando cover in the early years, here’s one from Graeme Millar, one of the many talented artists who worked on the staff at DC Thomson’s Dundee headquarters at that time.

His efforts are ably backed up by the team of Ford and Maitland, both of whom seem to have had a penchant for air stories. They must have done as this one works very well indeed with some crackerjack fighting and flying scenes.

Enjoy!

Calum Laird, Editor

Story: Maitland
Art: Ford
Cover: Millar
Originally Commando No 55 (February 1963)

Commando No 4574 – Dragon-Ship

A Viking longship, its fierce dragon head staring proudly out from the prow, rode the choppy seas as it pulled away from the Norwegian coast. But this was nineteen-forty, and the ship was manned not by Vikings but by the crew of an RAF flying-boat, a couple of British army officers and a Norwegian.

Just what was going on?

Introduction

Following last fortnight’s Silver Collection wintry wonder ‘Arctic Victory’ (No 4570), here’s another classic Commando with a decidedly chilly Scandinavian setting. Not only that but we also have the astonishing premise of a small group of Allied heroes battling the Germans from the prow of a fearsome Viking longship! Kudos to all the creators involved in this brilliant adventure yarn from a quarter of a century ago – but with a special mention in particular for staff artist Jeff Bevan and his stunning, evocative cover.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Story: Bill Fear
Art: Keith Shone
Cover: Jeff Bevan
Originally Commando No 2178 (April 1988)



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Recent Releases: January-April 2013

JANUARY 2013 
 
All-Star Future Shocks by Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Peter Milligan, Kevin O'Neill, Brian Bolland, Frazer Irving, John Higgins, et al.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781080740, 8 January 2013, 192pp, £12.49. [£11.23 from Amazon]
Future Shocks – these self-contained short stories from the pages of 2000 AD have been the testing ground for many of comics greatest writers and artists. From the far reaches of the galaxy to the lowest depths of hell, discover what lurks within the fevered imaginations of such luminaries as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Kevin O’Neill, Brian Bolland, Alan Grant, Peter Milligan, John Higgins, Alan Davis and Mark Millar to name but a few.
Order from Amazon.

Cartoon and Comic Strips by Terry Bave.
Terry Bave, 11 January 2013, 308pp. £14.99. [£12.74 discounted]
Terry Bave was at the heart of English cartooning and had a long, successful career as an artist working on children's comics, such as Whizzer and Chips, Cor!!, Buster, Whoopee, Dandy and Beano. From the heyday of the sixties and seventies, Terry saw the rise, and eventual decline, of creative cartooning for children's comics. His story is not just a tale of one artist, working in creative partnership with his wife Shiela, but the story of comics themselves.
Order from Lulu Marketplace.


Johnny Red Vol. 3: Angels Over Stalingrad by Tom Tully & Joe Colquhoun.
Titan Books ISBN 978-1848564381, 29 January 2013, 104pp, £14.99. [£9.59 from Amazon]
The final collection of Joe Colquhouns work on the seminal aerial combat story! After Johnny Redburn is discharged from the RAF for killing an officer, he takes to the skies in a stolen Hurricane. Soon, he meets the Falcon Squadron of the 5th Soviet Air Brigade, and begins his fight against Germany from the other side of the Iron Curtain! Includes a feature on Stalingrad by comics legend Garth Ennis (The Boys, Preacher, War Stories).
Order from Amazon.

Judge Anderson: The PSI Files Volume 3 by  Alan Grant, Steve Sampson, Arthur Ranson & others.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081068, 17 January 2013, 304pp, £19.99. [£15.99 from Amazon]
Cassandra Anderson, Psi Division's finest Judge, has faced many tough challenges in her career - from saving Mega-City One from total annihilation at the hands of the Dark Judges to dealing with a loss of faith in the Justice System, but her toughest challenge is still ahead. Something evil from the depths of space is about to crash down into the 'Big Meg', presenting the Judges with a bigger crisis than they have ever faced before...
Order from Amazon

Lion: King of Picture Story Papers by Steve Holland.
Bear Alley Books ISBN 978-1907081675, 18 January 2013, 262pp, £25.99.
Lion King of Picture Story Papers is a massive, 262-page volume covering the story of one of the most popular titles released in the post-Second World War "silver age" of British comics. Launched in 1952, Lion was Amalgamated Press's answer to Eagle, featuring its own space hero, Captain Condor on its cover.
__This was one of the company's first adventure story comics and its twenty-two-year history is the story of British adventure strips in the 1950s and 1960s. Over the years Lion starred some of the most popular characters in British comics, including Robot Archie, Paddy Payne, Karl the Viking, Zip Nolan, The Spider, The Spellbinder, Black Max and Adam Eterno. 290 authors and artists are identified in the index which also covers the Lion Annual, Lion Holiday Special and Lion and Valiant Special Extra.
__Heavily illustrated throughout, Lion King of Picture Story Papers includes a lengthy historical introduction, an index to the weekly comic covering comics, text stories and features, contents listings for all 35 Lion Annuals and spin-off annuals, all 17 Lion Holiday Specials and Lion and Valiant Special Extras and includes a title index and creator's index.
Order from Bear Alley Books.

Space Ace Vol. 1 by Ron Turner
John Lawrence [no ISBN], January 2013, 40pp, £8.95.
Four vintage stories from the pages of Lone Star Magazine and Lone Star Annual featuring Space Ace. From John Lawrence's introduction: "Space Ace was a labour of love for Ron. 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."
Order from John Lawrence.[see review here for details]

The Ten Seconders: The American Dream by Rob Williams, Dom Reardon & Mark Harrison.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781080665, 3 January 2013, 144pp, £14.99. [£11.99 from Amazon]
Earth, the near future. Humanity has been all but destroyed by a race of super-powered beings, who initially offered to help mankind, but really intended to rule them. Those that fought back against the tyranny of the Gods were nicknamed the Ten-Seconders their name based on the average life expectancy of those brave enough to battle to face of against such powerful opposition. This is their story of resistance.
Order from Amazon.


FEBRUARY 2013

Commando: Airborne Assault, ed. Calum Laird.
Prion ISBN 978-1853758928, 14 February 2013, 208pp, £5.99. [£4.49 from Amazon]
Following the bestselling success of Carlton's man-size "Commando" anthologies, here is a new pocket-format compilation of three classic comic-strip war stories printed the same size as the original "Commando" comics. "Here Come the Paras" features a trio of explosive Brits-versus-Wehrmacht yarns that show this elite British fighting force at their best during such operations as D-Day and Market Garden. This action-packed but handily formatted collection of stories will thrill "Commando" fans of all ages.
Order from Amazon.
Commando: Behind Enemy Lines, ed. Calum Laird.
Prion ISBN 978-1853758911, 14 February 2013, 208pp, £5.99. [£4.49 from Amazon]
Following the bestselling success of Carlton's man-size "Commando" anthologies, here is a new pocket-format compilation of three classic comic-strip war stories printed the same size as the original Commando comics. "Behind Enemy Lines" features a trio of explosive Brits-versus-Wehrmacht yarns that show the heroic British Tommy at his best. This action-packed but handily formatted collection of stories will thrill "Commando" fans of all ages
Order from Amazon.
Commando: Tank Attack, ed. Calum Laird.
Prion ISBN 978-1853758935. 14 February 2013, 208pp, £5.99. [£4.49 from Amazon]
Following the bestselling success of Carlton's man-size "Commando" anthologies, here is a new pocket-format compilation of three classic comic-strip war stories printed the same size as the original Commando comics. "Tank Attack!" features a trio of explosive Brits-versus-Wehrmacht yarns that show the heroic British Tommy at his best. This action-packed but handily formatted collection of stories will thrill "Commando" fans of all ages.
Order from Amazon.
Commando: Weapons of Vengeance, ed. Calum Laird.
Prion ISBN 978-1853758942, 14 February 2013, 208pp, £5.99. [£4.49 from Amazon]
Following the bestselling success of Carlton's man-size "Commando" anthologies, here is a new pocket-format compilation of three classic comic-strip war stories printed the same size as the original "Commando" comics. "Weapons of Vengeance" features a trio of explosive Brits-versus-Wehrmacht yarns that show the heroic British Tommy and the stoic British home front at their best. This action-packed but handily formatted collection of stories will thrill "Commando" fans of all ages.
Order from Amazon.
Everybody Loves Tank Girl by Alan Martin & Jim Mahfood.
Titan Books ISBN 978-0857687500, 22 February 2013, 80pp, £14.99. [£9.59 from Amazon]
Everyone's favorite outback anarchist is back to blow things up, swear profusely and offend the elderly in your household!
__This time, Monsieur Alan Martin teams up with wunderkind Jim Mahfood to bring you Tank Girl as you've never seen her: wild, raw, foul-mouthed and forever rockin' but rendered in a style that will bring pleasure to thine eyes.
Order from Amazon.
Judge Dredd Day of Chaos: The Fourth Faction by John Wagner, Colin MacNeil, Staz Johnson, Ben Willsher & Henry Flint.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081082, 14 February 2013, 160pp, £17.99. [£9.59 from Amazon]
Legendary Judge Dredd-co-creator John Wagner has written the longest, most eventful and world-shattering Dredd-epic of his career. Mega-City One has seen nothing like this since the Apocalypse War, and this time things are looking even darker. With the much-loved mayor of Mega-City One presumed dead by the citizens, an election has been scheduled to choose his successor. Cadet Judge Hennessey has predicted that something terrible will happen on the Election Day and she may be right. East-Meg assassin Nadia has arrived in the Big Meg, looking for a scientist who has created a very dangerous virus... This is the first of three volumes chronicling Day od Chaos.
Order from Amazon.

Unearthing by Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins
Knockout/Top Shelf ISBN 978-0861661824, 25 February 2013, 184pp, £19.99. [£16.99 from Amazon]
Knockout/Top Shelf ISBN 978-0861661817, 25 February 2013, 184pp, £49.99. [£42.49 from Amazon]
One of the world’s foremost authors of the fantastic, Alan Moore, joins internationally esteemed photographer Mitch Jenkins for an unprecedented visual and literary experience. An intensely poetic and innovative work of biography, Unearthing maps the lifetime of author, orientalist and occultist Steve Moore, while simultaneously investigating the extraordinary history of South London with which that life has been intertwined. Integrating text with haunting and exquisite imagery, Unearthing excavates a territory at the margins of a city, of reality, and of human imagination.
Starting life in Iain Sinclair’s seminal anthology LONDON: City of Disappearances, this dazzling and hypnotic piece has evolved through a series of live performances and acclaimed recordings, culminating in this breathtaking full-color volume. Two formats are available, a deluxe softcover edition, as well as a special oversized hardcover edition limited to 1,500 copies worldwide.
Order from Amazon: paperback or limited edition hardcover.


MARCH 2013 

H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines, Allan Quatermain, Montezuma's Daughter, edited by Steve Holland.
Book Palace Books ISBN 978-1907081163, 16 March 2013, 128pp, £15.99.
Three stories from the pen of the master storyteller H. Rider Haggard. In 'King Solomon's Mines' (art by Bill Baker & C. L. Doughty) adventurer and hunter Allan Quatermain is approached by Sir Henry Curtis and his friend Captain Good to help find Sir Henry's brother, last seen travelling into the heart of unexplored Africa in search of the legendary King Solomon's Mines; in 'Allan Quatermain' (art by Mike Hubbard), the hunter persuades his friends to set out once again for Africa; and in 'Montezuma's Daughter' (art by Jesus Blasco), Thomas Wingfield sets off to avenge the murder of his mother. After a brush with the Spanish Inquisition, shipwreck and slavery, his search eventually leads him to the shores of Mexico, where he is captured by Aztecs.
Order from Amazon.
Judge Dredd: Judge Child Saga by John Wagner, Alan Grant & Brian Bolland.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081099, 14 March 2013, 160pp, £6.99. [£5.24 from Amazon]
When Judge Feyy, Mega-city One's oldest pre-cognitive, has a vision of the city being destroyed in 2120, Judge Dredd and a select group of other Judges, including future Chief Judge Hershey, are sent on a mission to find the Judge Child. Apparently, young Owen Krysler may be the only one with the power to stop the apocalyptic event from ever happening. With the fate of the 'Big Meg' in the balance, Dredd will travel through the irradiated wastelands of the Cursed Earth and venture out into the depths of uncharted space to find him!
Order from Amazon.

Judge Dredd: Origins by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra & Kev Walker.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781080993, 19 March 2013, 192pp, £12.49.[£11.36 from Amazon]
History is written in this land-mark Dredd story. The severed hand of Chief Judge Fargo, the very first chief judge, is delivered to the Grand Hall of Justice with a ransom note. Dredd and his team must travel into the Cursed Earth to try and recover the body of the Judge Father. But this is more than just a journey across America, this is a journey into the past and into the history of the Judges and Mega-City One itself! Reissue (originally published in May 2007).
Order from Amazon.

King Solomon's Mines by Mike Butterworth & Mike Hubbard.
Bear Alley Books ISBN  978-1907081-69-9, 15 March 2013, 44pp, £9.99.
Welcome to H. Rider Haggard's classic novel adapted in full colour by Mike Hubbard, originally serialised in the pages of Ranger and reprinted for the first time! This was a daring attempt to publish the novel in its original language, using Haggard's own words, although abridged, making it one of the most faithful of all adaptations.
Order from Bear Alley Books.

Mean Team by John Wagner, Alan Grant, Alan Hebden & Massimo Belardinelli.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081105, 14 March 2013, 160pp, £13.99. [£9.65 from Amazon]
In the year 2886, Death-Bowl is the most popular sport in the galaxy. In the history of the game, 'Bad' Jack Keller and his squad of hardened killers, known as the Mean Team, have racked up more wins than anyone else their incentive being the hope of freedom! But team owner Richman Von is not so eager to lose him champions, So Jack, Amok the alien Beester, the robotic steelgrip - and Henry Moon the telepath trapped inside the body of a panther - will have to bring their battle out of the arenas and out into the big, wide world!
Order from Amazon.

Modesty Blaise: The Girl in the Iron Mask by Peter O'Donnell & Enric Badia Romero.
Titan Books ISBN 978-0857686947, 22 March 2013, 104pp, £11.99. [£8.27 from Amazon]
Features the classic stories "Fiona", "Walkabout" and "The Girl In The Iron Mask" written by popular British crime writer Peter O'Donnell and beautifully illustrated by Enric Badia Romero! Willie's admirer Fiona returns, Modesty faces the outback alone and an iron mask could mark her end in this latest gripping volume! It features story introductions by "Blaise" archivist Lawrence Blackmore!
Order from Amazon.

Nemo: Heart of Ice by Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill.
Knockabout ISBN 978-0861661831, 5 March 2013, 56pp, £9.99. [£6.89 from Amazon]
In the grim cold of February 2013 a new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book will surface: Nemo: Heart of Ice, a full-color 48-page adventure by the inestimable Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. It's 1925, fifteen years after the death of Captain Nemo, when his daughter Janni Dakkar launches a grand Antarctic expedition to lay the old man's burdensome legacy to rest. Accompanied by Nemo's shipmate Ishmael, a ration of rum, and her father's log, Janni embarks on a perilous journey to the bottom of the world pursued by employees of the megalomaniacal Charles Foster Kane, who seek the return of plundered loot. Jules Verne meets H.P. Lovecraft in the final showdown beneath the Mountains of Madness – the uncharted gap in the map where time is broken and our hero's reality is about to crack! Ready the Nautilus! She's going back to the South Pole!
Order from Amazon.

Superior by Mark Millar & Leinil Yu.
Titan Books ISBN 978-0857685957, 26 March 2013, 200pp, £10.99. [£7.58 from Amazon]
Simon Pooni had it all going for him - plenty of friends at school, good looks, and his coach called him one of the most talented basketball players he's ever seen. But that was when he could still move his legs. Now he's living with multiple sclerosis - until SUPERIOR entered his life! The newest smash graphic novel from Mark Miller ("Kick-Ass") and Leinil Francis Yu ("Secret Invasion")! Softcover edition.
Order from Amazon.

Tales from Beyond Science by Rian Hughes, Mark Millar, John Smith & Alan McKenzie.
Image Comics ISBN 978-1607064718, 5 March 2013, 88pp, £25.99 [hardcover; £22.09 on Amazon]
Image Comics ISBN 978-1607067177, 5 March 2013, 88pp, £12.99 [softcover; £11.69 on Amazon]
Follow your host Hilary Tremayne on eight surreal journeys into the unknown. Discover the truth behind the mysteries of spontaneous human combustion, the Bermuda Triangle, the lost 13th month, and the real reason men have nipples.
Order from Amazon: hardback, paperback.

Treasure Island by Mike Butterworth & John Millar Watt.
Bear Alley Books ISBN 978-1907081-68-2, 15 March 2013, 44pp, £9.99.
Here for the first time since it was serialised in the pages of Ranger is one of the finest adaptations of the classic Treasure Island, beautifully painted by John Millar Watt and retold in Robert Louis Stevenson's original language – making it one of the most faithful adaptations and well as one of the most visually stunning.
Order from Bear Alley Books.

APRIL 2013 

Indigo Prime: Anthropocalypse by John Smith & Edmund Bagnell.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081112, 11 April 2013, 160pp, £14.99. [£9.59 from Amazon]
There are an infinite number of realities within the multiverse. With the risk dimensional instability as an ever-present threat, these parallel worlds all need to be managed; enter Indigo Prime, troubleshooting reality agents. So what do Indigo Prime want with Lance Corporal Danny Redman? Why is a Neanderthal walking around in modern Britain? How do you catch a dimension-jumping Bewilderbeast? And where in the multiverse is Spacesick Steve? All of these questions and more are answered in this mind-warping adventure from the fertile minds of John Smith and Edmund Bagwell, the team who brought you Cradlegrave, and Lee Carter (Judge Dredd, Greg Area).
Order from Amazon.

Kick Ass 2 by Mark Millar & John Romita Jr.
Titan Books ISBN 978-1781166123, 9 April 2013, 208pp, £14.99. [£9.59 from Amazon]
This is the sequel to the biggest creator-owned comic of the decade - the one that spawned the No. 1 hit movie and the worldwide phenomenon! "Kick-Ass" is back! As everybody's favourite psychotic 11-year-old Hit Girl trains "Kick-Ass" to be...well, a bad-ass, nemesis. Red Mist gathers a team of super-villains to take them down! It's superhero mayhem as only Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. can bring you!
  Originally published in hardcover (ISBN 9780857687869) and also in a hardcover edition with a variant cover (ISBN 9781781164631) in June 2012.
Order from Amazon.

Marshall Law: The Deluxe Edition by Pat Mills & Kevin O'Neill.
DC Comics ISBN 978-1401238551, 30 April 2013, 480pp, £37.99. [£32.29 from Amazon]
In the spirit of Judge Dredd and the current hit series "The Boys", "Marshal Law" is a violent, satirical series about a futuristic law official charged with policing super-heroes gone rogue by any means necessary, all while fighting his own self-hatred for being the thing he hates most: a super-hero. Featuring art by Kevin O'Neill, illustrator of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", the centerpiece of this massive volume is the original six-part tale in which "Marshal Law" hunts down the Sleepman, a serial killer who is somehow connected to the popular hero known as The Public Spirit.
Order from Amazon.

Ranger. The National Boys' Magazine by Steve Holland & David Slinn.
Bear Alley Books ISBN 978-1907081705, April 2013, 162pp, £15.99.
Where did the Trigan Empire begin its epic rise? Where did schoolboy Rob Riley and space cadet Jason January first attend school? The answers are in Ranger, the National Boys' Magazine, first published in 1965. Intended as a rival – if not a replacement – to Eagle, the paper featured some astonishing strips and illustrations by the likes of Don Lawrence, Mike Hubbard, J. Millar Watt, Frank Hampson, Francis Marshall, and dozens of other talented artists.
  Ranger. The National Boys' Magazine features an extensive history of the magazine, a comprehensive index to its contents. And to give you a flavour of the original magazine, it also features three classic strip features: adaptations of 'The Adventures of Macbeth', with art by Ruggero Giovannini, and 'Moby Dick', with art by Franco Caprioli, and a series about flying aces of the two world wars by artist Colin Merrett.
Order from Bear Alley Books.

Slaine: The Grail War by Pat Mills & Steve Tappin.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081129, 11 April 2013, 176pp, £17.99. [£9.59 from Amazon]
Sláine MacRoth Celtic warrior and High King of the tribes of the Earth Goddess Danu, continues his journey through time. Sláine arrives in thirteenth century France, where he comes face to face with Crusader Simon De Montfort, the sworn enemy of the Cathars. While searching for the tortured reincarnation of his lover Niamh, Sláine is compelled to join forces with De Montfort in order to seek out the Grail Stone. The quest won't be easy, however Sláine will have to defeat the dark forces of El if he is to stand any chance of saving Niamh s soul!
Order from Amazon.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Superman vs Nick O'Teen!

Weird how many people remember this campaign. I was asked about it ages ago and eventually stumbled across this advert from January 1981 ... and you know how I hate to have stray pictures sitting around on my hard drive.

Update: When I posted this back on 2 April 2009, I thought that would be the end of it. However, I've just stumbled across this letter in the pages of Look and Learn from 2 January 1982 that directly tackles the question of why Superman was fighting cigarette addiction for the Health Education Council whilst also promoting "sweet cigarettes" for Bassetts:


Monday, January 28, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Comic Cuts - 25 January 2013

As expected, this week has been a bit of a disaster as far as work is concerned, beginning with a long weekend with Mel, who had taken a couple of days off. Having her home during the day can be distracting ... but when those distractions include, for instance, a trip down to the pub for lunch, you won't find me complaining!

With the workmen due on Wednesday and Thursday, I thought I'd work on something relatively easy. So I scanned and cleaned-up a strip that will be appearing in one of the Bear Alley books later this year. It was a nice change of pace. I've had some metadata work in, so there has been a short pause in the production of the next book. I should be back on it next week.

At eight o'clock Wednesday morning, the water went off as the workmen came in to remove the old boiler and replace it with a nice new one. A combination boiler, far more efficient than the old boiler, is now installed where we once had a hot water tank. I'm hoping that it will also save us on our water bill, as the old tank used to overflow if the hot water wasn't used immediately. This might not sound a huge problem, but it increased our water "consumption" by quite a bit and added at least £30-40 to our water bill.

Now, if we can just get the insulation done, that will be the cherry on the cake.

Pure coincidence, but on the same day I published some random scans relating to Lion's Epic summer special, Matt Emery blogged about some of the original boards for the strip Tobruk, which was the lead strip in that very issue.

You can read my review of Illustrators issue 2 at the Book Palace Books blog. It is a thing of beauty.

Talking of which, Ron Turner's Space Ace has made a colourful return to print thanks to John Lawrence. John has long championed Turner's work and, rather than wait for someone else to reprint it, has decided to publish a volume himself. Space Ace Vol. 1 is a 40-page A4 book with full-colour contents. Full-colour? Yes indeed! Turner's black & white originals have been coloured up by John Ridgway and they look superb. John's colouring has the quality of classic air-brushed comic strip artwork rather than modern-day computer-generated imagery and sits beautifully with Turners' artwork, which relied of chiaroscuro to create shape and texture.

The book costs £8.95 including p&p. I can vouch for the fact that John is pretty much selling at cost. "I'm doing it for the love of it and for keeping Ron's work alive," he says. Hopefully some readers of Bear Alley will play their part and send John a cheque (John Lawrence, 39 Carterweys, Dunstable, Beds. LU5 4RB) or pay via PayPal (larryjohn.21 AT tiscali.co.uk).

 
In celebration of the recent series of Father Brown yarns that appeared on the BBC, here's a selection of books by G. K. Chesterton for this week's random scans.

 
 
 
Next week will see the conclusion of our Treasure Island strip on Monday. I'll also be running our usual monthly upcoming and recent releases columns, plus whatever else I can squeeze in.