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Friday, January 15, 2021

Comic Cuts - 15 January 2021

Welcome back to Bear Alley. This week we have another pair of covers to reveal for our reprints of the Bill Kellaway series by Gwyn Evans. Each of the four books has a beautifully designed cover by Martin Baines, which capture the essence of these thrillers from the Thirties.

A brash, bright young ex-reporter who had spent years in Africa, returning to England when Egypt regained its sovereignty, readers first meet Bill Kellaway at his lowest. Penniless, he stands by Cleopatra's Needle on Victoria Embankment, wondering where he can find the money to pay for a cigarette... and then he feels a hand touch his sleeve and a voice asks: "Would you like a million pounds, my friend?"

A born venturer, Kellaway follows the stranger and finds himself at the whim of a group of millionaires who challenge him to complete six tasks that will acquaint him well with the underworld. On condition that his agreement remains a secret and that he makes no attempt to identify his employers, or seek their help if arrested, Kellaway receives the first of his six "labours" in a note attached to a dead body.

I've had proofs back for the four books and with some minor adjustments they should be available for sale within the next few weeks. I'm currently putting together a version of my Gwyn Evans biography, The Lunatic, the Lover and the Poet, so that it will appear in the same trade paperback format alongside the quartet of Kellaway books. The original A4-sized edition will continue to be available as this was fully illustrated with images from across Evans' writings in Detective Magazine, Union Jack, Detective Weekly, The Thriller and elsewhere. Both books contain three almost impossible-to-find short stories and two otherwise unpublished poems.

These books were planned way back in March 2019 and were meant to be my Christmas project for that year, with the books being published in March 2020. That didn't quite happen, although I was able to put out three books that month — the Rocket index, plus reissues of the Hurricane/Champion index and the Complete Eagles Over the Western Front. Although I doubt if the Evans books will sell many, one of the reasons for setting up Bear Alley Books was so I could publish a few titles that deserved to be available even if there wasn't necessarily a big audience for them.

I had a similar "Christmas Project" planned for this year that I've had to put on hold in order to get other things done. Hopefully all this delay and catching up on things that I've been meaning to get to over the past few years, will mean that Bear Alley Books can celebrate its 10th Anniversary in a few weeks time with some new titles and on a firmer footing as we enter our second decade.

Before our birthday in March I'll be having a little sale, so that's something to look forward to if there are any of the 30 or so titles that I currently have in print. More news on that soon.

I'm also planning for a couple of books that have previously only been available on Amazon to be made available through my usual channels. I've had to make some minor adjustments to some books, so I'm getting proofs of those delivered ahead of making any announcements.

I've also got a couple of short articles to write for cold, hard cash. Once they're out of the way I should be able to get back to BAM! full time. I'm still hopeful of getting the first issue out in February and I'm already working on the second issue and looking for features for issue three.

There... I think that's all the news that's fit to print. More next week!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Rebellion Releases - 14 January 2021

Note: Rebellion appear to have moved the on-sale date of 2000 AD from Wednesday to Thursday.

2000 AD Prog 2214
Cover: Neil Roberts

Judge Dredd: Desperadlands by Mike Carroll (w) William Simpson (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Durham Red: Served Cold by Alec Worley (w) Ben Willsher (a) Jim Campbell (l)
Sláine: Dragontamer by Pat Mills (w) Leonardo Manco (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Proteus Vex: The Shadow Chancellor by Mike Carroll (w) Jake Lynch (a) Jim Boswell (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Hershey: The Brutal by Rob Williams (w) Simon Fraser (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Friday, January 08, 2021

Comic Cuts - 8 January 2021

Yes, I almost dated this 2020...

Welcome back to Bear Alley. I hope you all had the best Christmas possible and are looking forward to getting your jabs in 2021. It could be some months, but don't lose patience and waste the almost-a-year you've already spent in various states of lockdown. Keep you and your family safe. That way you'll be keeping your friends safe when we get back to Tier 2 or wherever we go next.

Christmas at Bear Alley was fairly quiet. Mel and I hunkered down, all our plans made impossible by the creeping approach of Tier 4 which cut Essex in two for a couple of weeks in December. It didn't take long for it to dawn on us that we weren't going to be able to see family or friends and, like everyone else, had to replan everything with only days to go.

But it all worked out nicely in the end. I managed to cook on both Christmas and Boxing Day without anything going up in flames, although our pigs in blankets were close to being cremated but it turned the bacon really crispy, American style, which went down a treat. We had roast chicken and a pork joint over the two days, and no Brussels sprouts or parsnips (a Mum favourite), just the good trimmings—roast potatoes, yorkshire puds, stuffing, peas, carrots and gravy. And trifle later that evening because, frankly, we were both stuffed.

We're back to our regular schedule now: breakfast, walk, work, break, work, lunch, work, walk, dinner, watch TV, sleep. Neither of us have a clue which vaccination category we fall into. Mel might be 6 because of her asthma, otherwise she'll be in double digits due to her youth. As an old fart, I might be in tier 8 or 6, depending on how close to being diabetic the doctor thinks I am. Taking the latter into account, the Omni Calculator recons I might get my first dose some time between 2 April and 19 May, and a second dose between 25 June and 11 August, if certain conditions prevail. Given that I may have dodged the diabetes bullet by losing weight, that might push my chances back to getting my first dose in June and my second in September. So there's still a long way to go.

Of course, it's all guesswork, but we all got to have something to talk about, so why not try the Omni Calculator yourself. I will just add that it is based on a vaccine rollout of one million vaccinations a week, with a 70.6% uptake, and as of Tuesday (5th January) there had been 1.3 million vaccinations since the first on 8th December. Boris hoped, on Monday, that the top four priority groups would all have received their first dose by mid-February (approximately 13.9 million people), which would require some 300,000 vaccinations per day. We shall see, but obviously the pace of roll out will will determine the accuracy of the calculation, so treat it as... fun?

Although things have seemed to be a little slow-moving on the Bear Alley Books front, I haven't stopped working on various projects. Yes, the pandemic has slowed me somewhat, but problems elsewhere have been popping up like a whack-a-mole. The end of the transition period is causing problems as companies get to grips with what the UK's deal with Europe actually means.

For me it may involve charging VAT on books in countries that require such taxes to be paid. Postage costs went up on 1st January: I think the two main bands that my books fall into have gone up 16p and 22p. I've been absorbing price rises for years, so it's something I've got to look at. Similarly, the cost of posting to Europe and America has soared. American prices jumped last July and European prices are up as part of the January increases.

Given the various changes, I'm thinking of changing how Bear Alley books are ordered, but making the various changes has turned out to be a slightly longer process than I originally anticipated. I spent part of Christmas finishing off a project that has been stalled for a year, thanks to the pandemic. With the tenth anniversary of Bear Alley Books approaching, and with the help of the talented Martin Baines, I'm pleased to say that I'm finally almost finished with plans to reprint the quartet of books by Gwyn Evans featuring the character Bill Kellaway, otherwise known as Hercules Esq. I first mentioned this way back in March 2019 when I picked up a copy of the title I was missing, Satan Ltd. I did a bit of work at that time, but the bulk was done this time last year. Circumstances meant that nothing more could be done until now.

The good news is, the books are finished and I'm waiting on proofs. I'm hoping that they will then be available before the month is out. The first two covers adorn this column and I'll reveal the others over the next couple of weeks.

I've also had to make some revisions to a couple of older titles to hopefully take advantage of some improvements to printing over the past few years. All of this takes time, so if you don't hear me talking about BAM! over the next couple of weeks, don't panic—I'm still working on it, but I also need to make sure that when I launch I can actually get copies into people's hands.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Commando 5399-5402

Drama, deserts, and dynamic visitors from beyond space and time in this off the wall set of Commando issues 5399-5402 — out today!

5399: Lords of the Vortex

It’s been thirty hours since US Army nurse Emma Wade last had any sleep. Landing at Anzio beachhead had been no picnic, but now an unusual and overconfident stranger calling himself Rek Starlo is dragging her round the front lines, intercepting a suspicious brand of German Soldier. Is this normal sleep deprivation? Or is there more to these Nazis — and Rek Starlo — than meets the eye?

Jaume Forns’ crisp interiors add bounce and amusement in this entertaining Science Fiction story by Stephen Walsh, complemented by a throwback-style cover from Ian Kennedy.

Story | Stephen Walsh
Art | Jaume Forns
Cover | Ian Kennedy

5400: Common Foe

Deep in the desert, as the Axis and Allied forces do their dance of death, another war is waging — one for a hidden treasure, buried far from prying eyes and guarded by a nomadic people, wise in the ways of the blistering sands. As rumour spreads of untold riches, loyalties will be tested and true natures will be revealed!

Aguilar’s detailed interiors add pace and drama to this exciting action-adventure from Skentlebery, with a painterly classic cover from Fernando.

Story | Skentlebery
Art | Aguilar
Cover | Fernando
Originally Commando No. 375 (1968).

5401: Not in My Name

German resistance during the Second World War was an interior menace to be stamped out — and that’s exactly what Orpo leader Johan Brunner plans to do to boost his career prospects. When Lisl and her fellow patriots hear about an Allied plane being downed nearby, they hatch a plan to rescue the crew and add another blow to local Nazi morale… but Brunner is scheming and not all may be as it seems.

Muller & Klacik’s dramatic interiors highlight Iain McLaughlin’s examination of interior politics, wrapped in a dynamic cover from Neil Roberts.

Story | Iain McLaughlin
Art | Muller & Klacik
Cover | Neil Roberts

5402: Desert Mystery

There seems to be a flap on and Tom Smith is keen to get to the heart of the action — but not for the reasons he should be! Indeed, this fella always seems to find himself at the heart of major trouble, but this time the monsters are closing in and he needs to reveal the truth if he’s to survive!

Well-loved artist Gordon C. Livingston adds charm to this unusual action story by Bryan Perrett. An intense cover from K Walker captures the mood but belies the Science Fiction elements hidden within.

Story | Bryan Perrett
Art | Gordon C Livingstone
Cover | K Walker
Originally Commando No. 1631 (1982).

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Rebellion Releases - 5 January 2021

Konnie Huq, Rufus Hound, Al Murray, and Janet Ellis are just some of the celebrity voices behind Future Shocks Radio - a brand new series of audio adaptations of classic 2000 AD stories!

2000 AD is proud to announce this new series of half-hour audio dramas based on classic Future Shocks, which will be available exclusively to 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Megazine subscribers!

Future Shocks have been a staple of 2000 AD since 1977, when writer Steve Moore pioneered the short comic book story with a sting in the tail that have seen legendary writers such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Neil Gaiman hone their craft into the pages of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comics.

Now, those classic stories are gaining new life in new interpretations from some of the most exciting new and established talent in audio drama!

Produced by two-time BAFTA winner Nathaniel Tapley (Have I Got News For You, The News Quiz) with an exciting team of writers and creatives, Future Shocks Radio offers bold, witty takes on classic stories with well-known performers like former Blue Peter presenters Konnie Huq and Janet Ellis, comedians Rufus Hound and Al Murray, Eastenders actor Nitin Ganatra, Hollyoaks actor Lizzie Roper, and Spitting Image voice actor Steve Nallon, as well as compelling new voices like 2020 BAFTA-winner Gbemi Ikumelo and a veritable torrent of comic talent.

They will be available to current and future print and digital 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Megazine subscribers to listen for free via the 2000 AD app. To access the free podcasts, subscribers will need to sign-in to the app with their Rebellion ID - the same email they use to control their digital or physical subscription.

Print and digital subscriptions to 2000 AD and/or the Judge Dredd Megazine are available from the 2000 AD webshop at with monthly, annual, and two-year options.

The first episode, which went live on the app on Monday 14 December, is Christmas-themed and is an adaptation of 'One Christmas During Eternity’ (from 2000 AD Prog 271 in 1982) by Alan Moore and Jesus Redondo and 'The Star' (from 2000 AD Prog 297 in 1983) by Chris Lowder and Massimo Bellardinelli, starring Katherine Jakeways, Nitin Ganatra, Steve Nallon, Thomas Tapley, Darren Strange, Lisa Bowerman and Zoe S Battley.

Subsequent episodes will be released in 2021.

Nathaniel Tapley said: "It's been a real honour to get to work with some of the treasured holy texts of British sci-fi. It's been incredibly exciting to be able to find some of the most exciting talents at work today, combine them with stories and characters of extraordinary writers and artists, and to get them all to record the whole thing under their duvets as the world outside falls apart.

"Bringing these stories to a new medium with its potential for new audiences feels like a tremendous responsibility, and it's been amazing to see how the cast and crew have done frankly extraordinary work under difficult conditions. We hope we've created something both respectful of the past and new and unique in its own right. Where else can people hear Al Murray as an Australian alien in a story by Alan Moore, Janet Ellis as Nadia, futuristic companion of Blast Barclay in a story by Grant Morrison, or Rufus Hound vigorously pretending to be a car? We'd like to thank Tharg for the opportunity and request that he release our families now."

Ben Smith, head of publishing at Rebellion, said: “Subscribers are a vital part of 2000 AD and we are always looking for ways to reward them. This year more than any has been incredibly tough for everyone including our own readers, so to be able to give them these podcasts which have been made with such humour and enthusiasm by Natt and his team who have proven themselves to be long-standing admirers of 2000 AD is a real treat. We can’t wait to hear what they make of these first episodes and the rest of the series over the next few months.”

The news comes just days after Penguin Random House announced the first set of 2000 AD series to receive major audiobook adaptations, with Judge Dredd: America, Judge Dredd: The Pit, The Ballad of Halo Jones, Sláine: The Horned God, and Brink, due for release on Audible in 2021.

The Future Shocks that will be featured in these episodes are:

'Grawks Bearing Gifts' by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson
'Dear Mum' by John Richardson
'One Christmas During Eternity' by Alan Moore and Jesus Redondo
'The Star' by Chris Lowder (writing as J.H. Teed) and Massimo Bellardinelli 
'Long Live the Queen' by Kelvin Gosnell and Eric Bradbury
'The English/Phlondrutian Phrasebook' by Alan Moore and Brendan McCarthy
'The Sacrifice' by Alan Hebden and Mike White
'A Cautionary Fable' by Alan Moore and Paul Neary
'Burping Hitler' by Rob Williams and Simon Gurr
'Beware the Men in Black' by David Perry and Jesus Redondo
'Robot Repairs' by Robert Flynn and Brett Ewins & Jim McCarthy
'Drive He Said' by Al Ewing and Edison George
'Spaceland' by Al Ewing and Edmund Bagwell
'Blast Barclay' by Grant Morrison and Mike White
'Sunburn' by Alan Moore and Jesus Redondo
'The Armageddon Game' by Peter Milligan and Anthony Jozwiak

2000 AD Prog 2213
Cover: Cliff Robinson / Dylan Teague (col)

Judge Dredd: Desperadlands by Mike Carroll (w) William Simpson (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Durham Red: Served Cold by Alec Worley (w) Ben Willsher (a) Jim Campbell (l)
Sláine: Dragontamer by Pat Mills (w) Leonardo Manco (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Proteus Vex: The Shadow Chancellor by Mike Carroll (w) Jake Lynch (a) Jim Boswell (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Hershey: The Brutal by Rob Williams (w) Simon Fraser (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Third World War Book Two: Back to Babylon by Pat Mills, Alan Mitchell, Malachy Coney,) Angela Kincaid, John Hicklenton, Carlos Ezquerra, Duncan Fegredo, Sean Phillips, Richard Piers Rayner and Glyn Dillon
Rebellion ISBN 978-178108929-3, 5 January 2021, 256pp, £19.99 / $24.99. Available via Amazon.

After her eye-opening experiences of corporate interference in Central America, Eve returns to Britain with a renewed political drive and determination to fight for what she believes in. Written in the late 80s by Pat Mills (Nemesis the Warlock, Slaine), this incendiary second volume of the ground-breaking political comic not only contains contributions by legend Carlos Ezquerra (Judge Dredd, Preacher) but also introduces international comics stars Sean Phillips (Criminal, Kill or Be Killed) and Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy, Kid Eternity).

Armoured Gideon Book One by John Tomlinson, Alan McKenzie, Simon Jacob and Sean Phillips
Rebellion ISBN 978-178108962-0, 6 January 2021, 90pp, £9.99. DIGITAL.

The first of a brand new series of digital-only 2000 AD collections for 2021 - the adventures of fan favourite character Armoured Gideon are collected in a digital-only graphic novel for the first time. Armoured Gideon is a demon-slaying robot who only says one word... 'Annihilate!' His task? To protect our world from the demonic threat of a parallel dimension known as 'The Edge'. This classic 2000 AD story is presented in a new edition, aimed at fans new and old!

2000 AD Regened by Matt Smith, Chris Weston, Rory Mcconville, Alec Worley, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Cavan Scott, David Baillie, Ned Hartley, Karl Stock, Owen Johnson, Colin Bell, Henry Flint, Arthur Wyatt, Neil Googe, Chris Weston, Ilias Kyriazis, Ben Willsher, Davide Tinto, PJ Holden, Nick Roche, Rob Davis, Tanya Roberts, Brett Parson, Luke Horsman, Indio!, Henry Flint and Pye Parr
Rebellion ISBN 9780178108813-5, 7 January 2021, 96pp, £10.99 / $13.99. Available via Amazon.

2000 AD Regened is a collection of comics written for younger readers. Featuring all-ages re-imaginings of legacy 2000 AD characters - including break-out fan favourite Cadet Dredd, a teenage Judge Dredd in training. 2000 AD Regened is a collection of comics written for younger readers. Featuring all-ages re-imaginings of the all-time great legacy 2000 AD characters! Join Cadet Dredd in three astonishing caper! Discover how Johnny Alpha became a teenage bounty-hunter Strontium Dog! Alien delinquents DR and Quinch hijack Free Comic Book Day! All this and more new takes on old favourites!

King's Reach: John Sanders' 25 Years at the Top by John Saunders
Rebellion ISBN 978-178108821-0, 7 January 2021, 280pp, £12.99. Available via Amazon.

From within King's Reach Tower on the banks of the Thames, John Sanders masterminded the output of Britain's biggest comics publisher over twenty-five years.
     Overseeing the launch of hugely popular titles like TammyBattle and the revolutionary 2000 AD, Sanders fought corporate battles to expand the UKs' comics output, faced down the government and the media in censorship battles and ultimately came up against a crooked business tycoon.
     Leading an industry that at its peak sold 10 million comics per week, Sanders launched over a hundred new titles, faced massive social change and strove to keep comics relevant to generation after generation.
     In this memoir he reveals, for the first time, his story and that of the medium that would go on to dominate global culture.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Treasury of British Comics - new titles for 2021

From long lost classics to new adventures, Rebellion is proud to announce the full schedule of Treasury of British Comics graphic novel titles for 2021!

Acclaimed by critics and readers, the Treasury of British Comics is bringing classics from the world’s largest archive of English language comic books back into print for young and old alike, and also reinventing some of the world’s most thrilling and enthralling characters for new generations.

The schedule for 2021 includes never-before-reprinted classics, as well as new volumes in on-going series, and collections of Rebellion’s new comics inspired by legendary titles.

These collections will be available from all good book and comic book stores, as well as online retailers, and digitally from the Treasury of British Comics webshop and the 2000 AD app.

Lovingly restored by Rebellion’s in-house reprographics team, next year will see new archive editions of The Steel Claw (February), in which a scientist’s prosthetic hand allows him to become invisible; the early misadventures of the laconic war hero Major Eazy (March); the first stories of the terrifying master criminal, The Spider (April); the time-hopping escapades of alchemist Adam Eterno (May); and the battles of Tiger tank commander, Hellman of Hammer Force (December).

There are also collections for new audiences, including the stunning reinvention of Britain’s greatest superheroes in The Vigilant (April) by Simon Furman and Simon Coleby, while a host of established creators and new talent bring back two of the country’s most popular comics aimed at girls - Tammy and Jinty - with Tammy & Jinty Remixed (June), an anthology of stories from Rebellion’s popular specials.

The incredible legacy of legendary artist Hugo Pratt will continue to be revealed with more of his forgotten war comics for the British market in two new hardcover volumes, Night of the Devil (February) and Battler Britton (June).

In November, two groundbreaking creators receive special tribute collections that showcase the very best art British comics has to offer, master of comedy Tom Paterson and Spanish comics maestro Jaume Rumeu. The Treasury of British Comics Presents: The Tom Paterson Collection (November), showcases Scottish-born Paterson’s unmistakable work for titles such as Buster, Whoopee!, Jackpot, Whizzer & Chips and Oink!, which established him as one of the most inventive and influential cartoonists British comics has ever produced. Lesser known but no less talented, Jaume Rumeu’s work for the girls’ horror comic Misty is nothing short of stunning. Misty Presents: The Jaume Rumeu Collection (November) will collect his short horror stories and the stories of one of the most iconic villains in British girls' comics—the lethal Mrs. Webb, a raging femme fatale with killer style and a bone to pick with the British Establishment!

The Treasury list will continue to focus on bring continuing series back into print, including the bestselling title of 2020 - Mike Butterworth and Don Lawerence’s The Rise and Fall of The Trigan Empire (July). This third volume continues to reproduce Lawrence’s lush painted comic art, which cemented his reputation as one of the greatest comic book artists of all time. This volume also includes the series’ never-before-reprinted short stories. There will also be new collections of Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra’s searing political polemic, Third World War (January); the bizarre adventures of World War One German air ace Black Max (October) and his giant bats; and The Thirteenth Floor (September) reaches its chilling conclusion with the third volume of John Wagner and Alan Grant’s wildly popular horror series from the pages of Scream!, featuring the malevolent caretaker computer Max!

There’s football action classic, new, and funny as the popular series of archive collections of classic Roy of the Rovers (March & June) stories continue into the 1970s and 1980s, with the mystery of who shot Roy! The most sensational storyline in Roy of the Rovers history sees an attempt on the life of the star strike, leaving him in a coma! Can Melchester Rovers survive without him? Meanwhile, in Rebellion’s reboot of the legendary footie strip, in Roy of the Rovers: New Digs (October) it’s the start of a terrific new season for Melchester Rovers, with a new kit, new owners and a fabulous new stadium. Rocky Race and her brother Roy couldn't be happier - but a personal tragedy and an appalling incident will push the footballing siblings to the limit!

And just in case things get too serious, there’s sporting laughs aplenty with the first collection of Ken Reid’s Football Funnies (August). The first time that many of these uproarious strips have been reprinted, Football Funnies collects silly scores and chucklesome kick-offs from the imagination of one of Britain's greatest cartoonists! Drawn for Scorcher and Score between 1970 and 1972, this collection joins the Treasury’s bestselling collections of Reid’s other classic comics, Faceache and World Wide Weirdies.

Editor Oliver Pickles said: “2020 was full of challenges but was nonetheless the Treasury of British Comics’ best year so far, so we’re very excited about our schedule of new titles for next year. We’ve tried to strike a balance between our continuing mission to bring comics from the archives back into print, often for the very first time, while also giving new creators the chance to breath new life into classic characters. We think there’s something for everyone next year!"

January 2021

Third World War Book Two

Written in the late ‘80s by Pat Mills (Marshal Law), this incendiary second volume of the ground-breaking political comic not only contains contributions by legend Carlos Ezquerra (Judge Dredd, Preacher) but also introduces international comics stars Sean Phillips (Criminal, Kill or Be Killed) and Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy, Kid Eternity). After her eye-opening experiences of corporate interference in Central America, Eve returns to Britain with a renewed political drive and determination to fight for what she believes in.

ISBN: 9781781089293
Release Date: 05 Jan 2021
Price: £19.99
Pages: 256
Format: standard paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover with cover by Sean Phillips
Dimensions: 259×168mm
Available via Amazon.

February 2021

Night of the Devil – War Picture Library
by Hugo Pratt

Two exciting and explosive war stories lushly illustrated by Hugo Pratt, comics legend and creator of iconic character, Corto Maltese. In Night of the Devil, take a hallucinatory trip through the oppressive heat of the Burmese jungle along with British soldiers engaged in desperate skirmishes with the enemy. In Bayonet Jungle, Private Jack Green’s presence is seen as an omen of bad luck but he struggles to prove himself to the experienced soldiers of Third Platoon as they fight against the Japanese army that surrounds them.

ISBN: 9781781089033
Release date: 16 Feb 2021
Price: £14.99
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
Dimensions: 240x172mm
Available via Amazon.

The Steel Claw: Invisible Man

Written by stalwarts of the British comics industry, Ken Bulmer (Jet-Ace Logan) and Tom Tully (Roy of the Rovers, Janus Stark) and illustrated by the legendary Spanish artist, Jesús Blasco (Capitán Trueno), Rebellion’s Treasury of British Comics is proud to present the first in a series of graphic novels collecting together for the first time every strip of 1960s adventure comics like none other! Louis Crandell was but a lowly lab assistant with a prosthetic, steel hand until an experiment gone awry results in a horrific explosion. Surging with electric charge which bestows Crandell the power of invisibility with the exception of his steel hand, so commence a series of uncanny thrills!

ISBN: 9781781089064
Release date: 02 Feb 2021
Price: £14.99
Pages: 128
Format: Standard pperback and webshop exclusive hardcover with cover by Brian Bolland
Dimensions: 276×210mm
Available via Amazon.

March 2021

Major Eazy: The Italian Campaign

Before Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog for 2000 AD, comic maestro Carlos Ezquerra created an iconic star character of bestselling British war comic, Battle. Now, collected in order for the first time, Rebellion is proud to present all of Major Eazy’s adventures remastered and from the beginning. From pulse-pounding invasion of Sicily to the German surrender at Brenner Pass, Major Eazy Volume 1 collects all of the character’s adventures across the Italian arena of war.

ISBN: 9781781089811
Release date: 02 Mar 2021
Price: £14.99
Pages: 160
Format: Standard paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover with cover by John McCrea
Dimensions: 276×210mm
Available via Amazon.

Roy of the Rovers: The Best of the 1970s Volume 2

The second outstanding archive collection of the classic Roy of the Rovers comics! This volume collects some of the  best stories from the Roy of the Rovers comic, including Roy becoming a father and being offered the job of England Manager!

ISBN: 9781781088043
Release date: 04 Mar 2021
Price: £19.99
Pages: 176
Format: Hardcover
Dimensions: 210x276mm
Available via Amazon.

April 2021

The Vigilant

Lost in the mists of time, home-grown British superheroes once entertained and enthralled millions of kids… Now, the likes of Adam Eterno, Blake Edmonds, Thunderbolt the Avenger, and The Leopard from Lime Street are back for a new generation of readers! This volume collects the trilogy of The Vigilant stories written by Simon Furman (Transformers) and drawn by an all-star roster of artists including Simon Coleby (Dark Souls), DaNi (Coffin Bound), Henrik Sahlstrom (The Thirteenth Floor), Warwick Fraser-Combe, Staz Johnson (Spider-Man), Will Sliney (Spider-Man 2099) and Jake Lynch (Judge Dredd).

ISBN: 9781781088593
Release date: 15 Apr 2021
Price: £14.99
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 259×167mm
Available via Amazon.

The Spider’s Syndicate of Crime

(US title: Jerry Siegel’s Syndicate of Crime)

Enter The Spider – comics’ lost Golden Age supervillain from the co-creator of Superman, Jerri Siegel! Equipped with a razor-sharp mind, superb athletic ability and a vast array of cutting edge gadgets, The Spider has his sights set on taking over the New York underworld and establishing a 'Syndicate of Crime'. Join the menacing Spider on his earliest adventures, recruiting other fiends into his fledging empire and seeing off competition from other villainous foes, including the master of illusion, Mirror Man! Fully remastered and collected for the first time, this volume presents many of the super-crook's exciting 1960’s adventures which featured the most popular British comic book villain and sprang from the imagination of Superman co-creator, Jerry Siegel.

ISBN: 9781781089057
Release date: 15 Apr 2021
Price: £14.99
Pages: 144
Format: Standard paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover with cover by Chris Weston
Dimensions: 276×210mm
Available via Amazon.

May 2021

Adam Eterno: A Hero For All Times

From the high seas of 1770 to the Western Front in 1916, follow Adam Eterno's earliest adventures from the pages of Thunder. 1580, London - Adam Eterno was working as an assistant to the great alchemist Erasmus Hemlock who had just achieved his life's goal – creating the 'Elixir of Life'! Adam swallowed the potion, defying his masters orders. With his last breath, Erasmus placed a curse upon Adam, wishing him immortality. Unless Adam is struck over the head with a solid gold object, he is, "doomed to wander through the labyrinths of time…!"

ISBN: 9781781088692
Release date: 27 May 2021
Price: £12.99
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover
Dimensions: 276×210mm
Available via Amazon.

June 2021

Battler Britton – War Picture Library
by Hugo Pratt

The master of Euro comics, Hugo Pratt, meets the classic comic book air ace who's as skilled a fighter on land as he is in his Spitfire! In this thrilling collection, Britton helps resistance fighters smuggle gold from Nazi occupied Yugoslavia, before escorting a ballistics expert on his mission to analyse an unexploded V2 rocket in Poland! Reprinted in graphic novel form for the first time, these two fast-paced Battler Britton stories from 1960 - Wagons of Gold and Rockets of Revenge - are drawn by the legendary artist behind Corto Maltese.

ISBN: 9781781087664
Release date: 24 June 2021
Price: £14.99
Pages: 64
Format: Hardcover
Dimensions: 240x172mm
Available via Amazon.

Tammy & Jinty Remixed

Collecting the critically-acclaimed Tammy & Jinty specials from 2019 and 2020, this 112 page anthology includes contributions from some of the most exciting female creators working in the industry today. New characters such as Rocky Race, ace footballer are showcased with updated classic characters like Cat Girl, Bella at the Bar and the Justice of Justine. A range of stories are included, from a mysterious boarding school that caters to just two pupils to action packed roller derby escapades, this collection pays tribute to the past while blazing a trail for girls' comics of the future! This collection also includes exclusive new interviews and features, plus a reprint of the fan favourite classic Cat Girl strip.

ISBN: 9781781089316
Release date: 10 Jun 2021
Price: £12.99
Pages: 112
Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 259×187mm
Available via Amazon.

Roy of the Rovers: The Best of the 1980s - Who Shot Roy Race?

Collecting the most sensational storyline from Roy of the Rovers history! The dawn of this new decade was one that Melchester Rovers would want to forget. The 80/81 season was far from their finest hour with the threat of relegation snapping at their heels all throughout the season and exits from the F.A. Cup and the European Cup leaving the trophy cabinet bare. For star striker Roy Race it couldn't be worse. His obsession with the team had caused a strain on his marriage and fractured his relationship with teammates like the hot-headed Vic Guthrie. And then there was an attempt on his life... After being shot in December 1981, Roy lay in a coma for several weeks while Sir Alf Ramsey stepped into the dugout for Melchester. Life in a lower division beckons, but at least the Rovers will be the most stylish team on the pitch with their new Gola sponsored kits!

ISBN: 9781781088968
Release date: 10 June 2021
Price: £19.99
Pages: 176
Format: Hardcover
Dimensions: 210x276mm
Available via Amazon.

July 2021

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Volume III

The third thrilling omnibus of the lost Sci-Fi classic from the 1960s. This is the epic story of the Trigan Empire’s rise and fall, and of how Trigo, often alone, had to fend off usurpers and monstrous threats to save his people. The lush painted comic art that Don Lawrence produced in this period would solidify him as one of the greatest comic book artists of all time. Collected within are all the Trigan Empire stories published in chronological order including the never before reprinted short stories not illustrated by Don Lawrence, to give you the complete saga of the Trigan Empire.

ISBN: 9781781089323
Release date: 20 July 2021
Price: £19.99
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover with cover by Chris Weston
Dimensions: 276×210mm
Available via Amazon.

August 2021

Ken Reid’s Football Funnies: The First Half

Go football crazy with comics' comedy master, Ken Reid! The first time that many of these uproarious strips have been reprinted, Football Funnies collects silly scores and chucklesome kick-offs from the imagination of one of Britain's greatest cartoonists. Drawn for Scorcher and Score between 1970 and 1972, this collection includes strips such as Sub, Manager Matt, Hugh Fowler and the Football Forum pundits.

ISBN: 9781781088838
Release date: 5 August 2021
Price: £19.99
Pages: 140
Format: Hardcover
Dimensions: 282×216mm
Available via Amazon.

September 2021

The Thirteenth Floor Volume 3

The thrilling conclusion to the classic 1980s horror comic strip! Max the maniacal computer is back in Maxwell Tower, dishing out his twisted form of retribution on anyone who dares to cross his beloved residents! From a conniving milkman to thuggish street urchins, anyone who enters Max’s territory looking for trouble is going for a one-way trip to the thirteenth floor! However, Max's past exploits have not gone unnoticed. The K.G.B. have sent their own super-powered computer called Boris to make Max an offer – help them conquer the world or face obliteration!

ISBN: 9781781089347
Release date: 16 September 2021
Price: £14.99
Pages: 176
Format: Paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover
Dimensions: 276×210mm

October 2021

Black Max Volume 2

Thrilling supernatural war comics from the pages of classic British comics Lion and Thunder! Ace fighter pilot Baron Maximilien Von Klorr is the scourge of the skies, menacing the Allied forces during the bloodiest battles in WWI. Skilled, ruthless and in possession of two giant, mutated kingbats who fight by his side, Von Klorr AKA Black Max is almost unstoppable. Only the brave pilots of the Royal Flying Corps, including Lieutenant Tom Wilson, oppose the Black Max's complete dominance of the air...

ISBN: 9781781086551
Release date: 4 October 2021
Price: £10.99
Pages: 96
Format: Standard paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover with cover by Ian Kennedy
Dimensions: 276×210mm

Roy of the Rovers: New Digs

It's the start of a terrific new season for Melchester Rovers. They are now a Championship club with a new kit, new owners and a fabulous new stadium. With Sowerby now fully integrated into the club, Rocky and Roy Race couldn't be happier. But a personal tragedy and an appalling incident during a Melchester Rovers match in Europe, will push the footballing siblings to the limit.

ISBN: 9781781089361
Release date: 28 October 2021
Price: £12.99
Pages: 72
Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 259×187mm

November 2021

The Tom Paterson Collection

Scottish artist Tom Paterson is one of the most inventive and influential cartoonists British comics have produced. Inspired by the work of George Martin, Leo Baxendale and Ken Reid, Tom’s work was unmistakable - packed with visual comedic gags and giving each one that instant re-readability. This collection features some of Tom’s outstanding work for IPC/Fleetway from titles like Buster, Whoopee!, Jackpot, Whizzer & Chips and Oink! amongst others. With quotes from the man himself and some extra, added treasures, this is a must have for fans of British humour comics both young and old!

ISBN: 9781781089408
Release date: 25 November 2021
Price: £19.99
Pages: 192
Format: Standard hardcover and webshop exclusive hardcover with cover by Tom Paterson
Dimensions: 210x276mm

Misty Presents: The Jaume Rumeu Collection

Black widows, mad scientists, femme fatales and giant spiders abound in this collection of horrifying Misty stories, all drawn by comics maestro Jaume Rumeu Perera! This collection celebrates one of the most iconic villains in British girls' comics: the lethal Mrs. Webb, a raging femme fatale with killer style and a bone to pick with the British Establishment. Determined to take over the country with her army of giant arachnids, only two schoolgirls stand between her and global domination! Full of stunning artwork, terrifying twists, beautiful - but deadly - women, and, of course - giant spiders, this is an essential comic for any horror connoisseur.

ISBN: 9781781089378
Release date: 11 November 2021
Price: £12.99
Pages: 112
Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 259×187mm

December 2021

Hellman of Hammer Force

This isn't your grandad's war comic - never had there been an anti-hero like Hellman of Hammer Force! One of the major highlights of the controversial 1970s comic, Action, Major Kurt Hellman is a Panzer commander in the 1940 German invasion of Belgium. But this man is no Nazi - he avoids taking life wherever possible, all while facing foes without and treachery within! Collected for the first time, and from the very beginning, this groundbreaking series of thrilling combat is written by Gerry Finley-Day (Rogue Trooper) and drawn by Mike Dorey (Ro-Busters).

ISBN: 9781781089422
Release date: 9 December 2021
Price: £12.99
Pages: 112
Format: Standard paperback and webshop exclusive hardcover
Dimensions: 276×210 mm

Sunday, January 03, 2021

The Captain

In his introduction, Chris Harte examines the origins of The Captain in the growth of "Muscular Christianity", with its emphasis on athleticism that influenced public schools and the military and was spread to the corners of the British Empire in the latter half of the 19th century. It was aided by the emphasis of sporting stories, especially tales centred around cricket, in papers such as The Captain, which debuted in April 1899, adding to a small group of quality papers aimed at young men that already included Boy's Own Paper and Chums.

The Captain ran from 1899 to 1924, a total of 300 monthly issues, although its heyday was prior to the beginning of the Great War. As Harte notes, the following four years saw a fall of around 90% of subscribers. "Most of the writers had done their best work by 1914. They were to go on writing into the next decade but none of their later fiction had much impact on the world." Early writers such as P. G. Wodehouse (whose Psmith stories were serialised in The Captain) disappeared from its pages. Editor R. S. Warren Bell named his favourites among the contributors to the first 100 issues, including Wodehouse, Frederick Swainson, John Mackie and Hedley Hervey, of whom only Mackie made a contribution after the war (and then to only one post-war volume).

The post-war world changed around The Captain, leading to its demise, although its early influence in shaping those that changed the world cannot be dismissed when three-quarters of secondary school-aged boys—and many girls—read the magazine every month.

Harte's The Captain: A History, Index and Bibliography is a 394-page brick of a book, that introduces the paper, its publisher and editors. The bulk of the book, some 250 pages, is dedicated to an issue-by-issue listing of the stories, serials, articles and illustrations in each monthly issue. There are 150 brief biographical sketches of authors, along with a list of some 1,300 other contributing writers, followed by a similar breakdown of illustrators, with 150 receiving brief sketches and a further 500 or so listed.

In a postscript, Harte briefly covers the history of the paper and its emphasis on the military, from the long tail of the Boar War, which helped shape attitudes to foreigners, to the Great War. Public schools and their captains were a regular feature during the era of Warren Bell, who also instituted The Captain Club, less so under Reeves Shaw who took his place in 1910. Shaw saw the magazine struggle through the war, through paper shortages and price rises. The popular Captain Club was disbanded.

Reeves Shaw left in 1922, The Captain continuing for two more years under his former assistant editor, Augustus Baker. But the paper's time had gone and it folded without fanfare with its March 1924 issue.

The book is solidly produced with a wealth of photos of contributors and covers. Chris Harte is to be congratulated for a thorough and entertaining read.

The Captain: A History, Index and Bibliography by Chris Harte. Sports History Publishing ISBN 978-189801913-5, 1 February 2021, 394pp, £10.95. Available from the author, price £13.00 including p&p. Make cheques payable to Chris Harte, Braemar House, St. David's Avenue, Carmarthen, SA31 3DN, Wales. The book is limited to 100 numbered copies.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Commando 5395-5398

Happy Christmas with Commando issues out today! Issues 5395-5398 have everything from patrol boats to glider pilots, from Blitz to telepathic links with eagles! It’s a pre-Christmas miracle!  

5395: HMAS Expendable

There’s something fishy going on in the Coral Sea — and it’s not the fish! A new kind of terror is lurking there and reports coming out of the area are shocking to say the least. According to the survivors, American Patrols Boats are attacking their own allies! Well, leave it to the crews of the HMAS Wombat and HMAS Tiger to get to the bottom of it!

Story | Brent Towns
Art | Morhain & Defeo
Cover | Keith Roberts

5396: War Eagle

A Commando whose pre-published title was ‘Spy in the Sky’, Issue 5396 ‘War Eagle’ is a yarn you won’t want to fly by! When Sergeant Bill Drake takes a whack to the noggin, he soon finds that he is connected to an injured eagle he helped. The bird of prey seems to listen to his very will — his will to prey on the nasty Nazis on a mountain!

Skentleberry’s penchant for oddball Commandos is marvellously brought to life by Victor de la Fuente’s interior artwork with a Penalva cover perched on top!

Story | Skentleberry
Art | V. Fuente
Cover | Penalva
Originally Commando No. 371 (1968).

5397: Cardiff Blitz

For the people of Cardiff, the evening of the 2nd of January, 1941, was just another night and another raid from the German Luftwaffe. Except this night, the Jerry bombers were determined to blitz the Welsh capital to ruins. On the ground, the Martin family was determined to do their bit, Charlie Martin as a firefighter in the AFS and his daughter, Freda, as an Air Raid Warden. Their paths didn’t often cross while they were at work, but fate had plans for the pair — whether they knew it or not!

Story | Gary Dobbs
Art | Khato
Cover | Neil Roberts

5398: On Silent Wings

Being a glider pilot was a tough gig in World War Two but imagine having the guts to do a loop the loop with a glider packed to the brim with troops while under attack by German fighters! That’s exactly what Sergeant Hugh Miller, co-pilot of the glider in question, was about to do. He had little other choice — what with his pilot injured and the men in the back depending on him — he had to do something!

Story | RA Montague
Art | Gordon C Livingstone
Cover | Cox
Originally Commando No. 1624 (1982).

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Rebellion Releases - 24 December 2020

This week's  Rebellion release is of a keystone in British comics. The second volume of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire brings together another huge chunk of the famous Look and Learn strip by Mike Butterworth and Don Lawrence, and includes, as a bonus, a fill-in episode painted by Ron Embleton that was not included in the 12-volume DLC collection of Don's run of the strip.

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Volume II by Mike Butterworth, Don Lawrence & Ron Embleton
Rebellion ISBN 978-178198775-6, 24 December 2020, 288pp, £19.99. Available via Amazon.

The second thrilling omnibus lost Sci-Fi classic from the sixties the New York Times called "highly detailed visions of fantastic worlds". Among the distant stars, fractious tribes come together to found a mighty empire that will wage war against aggressive kingdoms, battle alien invaders, and conceive of incredible new technologies. This extraordinary volume continues to chart the glorious Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire!
    A landmark in British comics history, painted by the legendary Don Lawrence in stunning, classic style, and springing from the grandiose pen of Mike Butterworth, this is an epic tale that creates a new far-future science fiction mythos that captured the imagination of a generation.

Monday, December 21, 2020

David Ashford (1941-2020)

David Ashford, actor, radio presenter, teacher and writer, died on 17 December 2020, aged 79. He had been diagnosed with terminal cancer some months earlier and was being cared for by his sister, but succumbed in the end to pneumonia. He was hospitalised on Sunday, 6 December, and at first seemed to be responding well to antibiotics, but the cancer had taken its toll and he was already quite frail. He remained positive throughout his illness and had not been in pain.

David was well-known in the comics community for his articles in the pages of Golden Fun, Illustrated Comics Journal and Antiquarian Book Monthly. His magnum opus was The Art of Denis McLoughlin (2012), a stunning, 270-page journey through the art of one of his favourite artists, whom he had first encountered at the age of seven or eight at Woolworth’s in his home town of Torquay. Already a reader of comics and a fan of Saturday morning serials at the local cinema, David’s favourites were the swashbuckling adventures to be found in Thriller Picture Library, Knockout, Sun and Comet, where he fell in love with the work of H. M. Brock, D. C. Eyles, John Millar Watt, Sep. E. Scott, and Patrick Nicolle.

He was born David John Ashford in Torquay on 16 October 1941, the son of John James Stanton Ashford, who was serving with the Royal Artillery when he married Charlotte Elsie Stigings, a photographer’s assistant in 1941. David was the eldest of four children—younger siblings were Charlotte, Peter and Susan—who grew up in Torquay. He was educated at Torquay Grammar School and Reading University where he earned an honours degree in Fine Art.

He began appearing in television dramas in the mid-1960s, his earliest known role an episode (‘The Vanishing Trick’) of Drama ’65 in February 1965. His various credits include No Hiding Place, Strange Report, The Wednesday Play, Sunday Night Theatre, Mistress of Hardwick, The Pathfinders, The Edwardians, The Brontes of Howarth, Dickens of London, Cottage to Let, Agony, Mystery! Malice Aforethought, Screenplay, Crossroads, ffolkes, Cribb, Rings On Their Fingers, The Dick Emery Show, BBC2 Playhouse, The Gentle Touch, on the Line, Angels, Juliet Bravo, Moving, C.A.T.S. Eyes, Casualty, Howards’ Way, The House of Eliott, Lovejoy, Keeping Up Appearances, The Final Cut, The Bill and Down to Earth. He appeared in two made-for-TV movies All’s Well That Ends Well (1968) and Indiscrete (1988).

Tall (he was a half inch off six foot) and well-spoken, he was often cast as official figures – lawyers, officers of the military or law – and his most  regular appearance was as solicitor Charles Lottery in 126 episodes of ITV’s courtroom drama Crown Court in 1972-78. He also played lawyer Gordon in the short-lived John Sullivan comedy Sitting Pretty in the early 1990s.

David also made a number of appearances in cult TV shows, including Quatermass and Doctor Who, playing a father in the 1988-89 serial ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’, and had previously appeared in the London stage play The Curse of the Daleks (1965).

He also wrote and broadcast on radio, his Turpin Hero (1989), investigating the life and legend of the famous highwayman, although he was more regularly to be found reading stories on Morning Story and Woman's Hour.

David taught English and Drama at Park High School, Harrow in the early 1990s.

In the early 1980s he scripted a number of adaptations of classic novels for Look and Learn, including ‘Rookwood’ (1980), ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ (1980) and ‘Lorna Doone’ (1981). In the mid-1980s he was one of the stalwarts of Golden Fun, where he put his pen to use as an artist as well as a feature writer, adapting ‘Horseman in the Sky’ from a story by Ambrose Bierce. With Golden Fun’s editor, David co-wrote The Art of Roy Wilson (1983).

In 1990, he wrote introductions for two classic reprint series from Eagle, Riders of the Range and Harris Tweed, both published by Hawk Books and, in collaboration with Steve Holland, helped compile indexes of Thriller Comics Library (1991-92), Comet (1992), Super Detective (1992), Sun (1992), Cowboy comics Library (1993) and Knockout (1997). Some of these were combined and expanded as The Thriller Libraries (2010).

For much of his writing he teamed up with Norman Wright, a long-time friend and dealer, with whom David could often be found at comic marts, selling comics and original artwork. Their books included Sexton Blake A Celebration of the Great Detective (1994), Lightning Swords! Smoking Pistols! (1995), The Thriller Comics Companion (2001), Masters of Fun & Thrills (2008) and a great many articles for Book and Magazine Collector and Rare Book Review.

David was a regular contributor to the art magazine Illustrators, most recently working on the recently published Pirates special issue. A number of articles written by David have still to see print, including features on British western artists and highwaymen.

David lived for many years in Harrow with his wife Monika-Mathilde (née Faasch), whom he married in 1966. She died in 2017. He is survived by his son, Luke.