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Thursday, April 09, 2020

Rebellion's Revised Schedule

Responding to virus lockdown pressures, Rebellion have announced a new 2020 publishing schedule but have assured fans that weekly and monthly comics will continue to appear as usual. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge to the comic book industry but as a publisher Rebellion is determined to support creators, readers, and retailers as best it can at this difficult time.

With the safety of printers, distributors, and staff in mind, Rebellion has revised its 2020 graphic novel schedule to ensure readers can still enjoy the best collections in comics, making sure we are able to support retailers that remain open while also helping those that are closed by staggering new releases through to 2021.

Printing and distribution of our periodicals will continue - this includes the weekly 2000 AD, the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine, and the range of Rebellion specials. These are available from open retailers, such as newsagents and selected grocery chains, as well as in print and digital from 2000 AD and the Treasury of British Comics webshop, and the 2000 AD app.

Some graphic novels due for release in May, June, July, and August 2020 will go digital-first, with standard print editions postponed until later in the year. Webshop-exclusive print editions of some titles will still go ahead. This means readers can still enjoy collections while in lockdown, while avoiding a glut of titles hitting retailers when they reopen.

Ben Smith, Head of Publishing, said:
“Due to the challenges facing the book and comic book industry in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have revised Rebellion's 2020 publishing schedule, pushing back some graphic novel releases until later in 2020 or 2021.
    “We won't be going on hiatus - the periodical comics will continue while some book collections will go digital-first so we can continue to share and shout about the amazing work our creators and editors are putting together while we're all in lockdown. Where special hardback editions have already been printed we will release these from our webshop on the planned dates.
    “We look forward to getting back to normal service, but in the meantime our mission to deliver to best in new and classic comics continues.”
Digital titles will be available from the 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics webshops, as well as from the 2000 AD app. By registering with the same details on the webshop and app, readers will be able to purchase and read titles in both.

The revised Rebellion graphic novel schedule:

War Picture Library: Battle of Britain
Ian Kennedy
ISBN: 9781781087794
16 April (UK) No delay
Pages: 128 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

The second in the new ‘War Picture Library’ series showcasing the finest combat comics illustrated by legendary and iconic artists. Two true stories of aviation heroism and derring-do - ‘Never Say Die’ and ‘Steel Bats’ - set during the Battle of Britain in 1940 and drawn by comics legend Ian Kennedy! A talented pilot who never loses his determination to defend his country against immense obstacles both technical and personal. A squadron undertakes heart-stopping missions to combat the intense night-time assaults of the Axis air force. Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Britain comes an enthralling collection of aviation and heroism featuring daredevil pilots and the lengths they go to stop the German Luftwaffe attacking Britain.

The Complete Johnny Future
Alf Wallace, Luis Bermejo
ISBN: 9781781087589
30 Apr 2020 (UK) 28 Apr 2020 (US) No delay
UK £19.99 // US $24.99
Pages: 208 // Hardcover
Available via Amazon.

One of the most memorable comic strips of the 1960s, which asks the question “What if King Kong became Superman”? This is the complete hardcover collection of breathtaking Pulp adventure comics - beloved by fans and the creators it inspired – Alan Moore among them! ‘The Missing Link’ - a creature of limitless strength, is drawn to Britain in pursuit of an expedition party he encountered in his homeland. The man-ape causes havoc until he accidentally stumbles into an experimental nuclear research facility and is bombarded by radiation. Instead of killing him, the creature evolves into an advanced human. Now possessing a genius mind, super-strength, enhanced senses and the ability to fly, as Johnny Future he protects mankind from such sinister beings as The Master, Disastro, Animal Man and the Secret Society of Scientists. Perfect for fans of Rebellion’s only other superhero property – ‘Zenith’, the first superhero saga penned by comics legend, Grant Morrison!

Judge Dredd Case Files 35
John Wagner, Alan Grant, Gordon Rennie, Richard Elson, John Higgins, Ian Gibson, Siku, Ben Willsher, Colin MacNeil, Kevin Walker, Paul Marshall, Cam Kennedy, Carlos Ezquerra
ISBN: 9781781087541
14 May 2020 Digital version released on schedule; standard print edition delayed until 1 October 2020
Pages: 304 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

The latest in the smash-hit, best-selling graphic novel series! Almost half a million copies sold! The floating multi-story metropolis of illegal delights known as “Sin City” has anchored outside Mega-City one, and Dredd has seemingly been sent aboard to keep what order can be kept on a lawless floating city. His real task? Locate Ula Danser, the De-Megification terrorist determined to destroy the Mega-Cities at any cost! But Danser isn’t working alone – Dredd’s old enemy Orlok is coming to meet her, and he’s carrying a cargo intended to pay back everything Dredd did to East-Meg one – with interest! The latest in the world-wide best-selling, flagship 2000 AD graphic novel series which has become a perennial classic. Includes artwork by some of 2000 AD’s very best, including Cam Kennedy, Ian Gibson, Carlos Ezquerra, and Marvel artist Kev Walker!

Smash! Special
27 May 2020 No delay

They’re the home-grown superheroes who gave Superman and Spider-Man a run for their money — and now they’re back in the Smash! Special! Featuring some of the most original and unusual caped crusaders you’ll ever encounter, this 64-page special features supervillain-turned-hero The Spider by Rob Williams and John McCrea, supercharged secret agent The Steel Claw by Danijel Žeželj, the ‘missing link’ who became the man of the future Johnny Future by Tom Raney, the giant robot ape Mytek the Mighty by Suyi Davies Okungbowa and Anand Radhakrishnan, and many more!

Sláine: The Horned God Collector's Edition
Pat Mills, Simon Bisley
ISBN: 9781781087626
28 May 2020 No delay for digital and webshop-exclusive edition; standard print edition delayed until 3 September 2020
UK £19.99 // US $24.99
Pages: 308 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

Rediscover one of the most influential graphic novels ever, with the Sláine: The Horned God – Collector’s Edition. Timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of its first publication, this new, larger edition of the bestselling 2000 AD collection, written by industry visionary Pat Mills, features the groundbreaking fully-painted art of comics legend Simon Bisley. One of the most popular stories ever published in the pages of 2000 AD, The Horned God is a heady mix of Celtic mythology, extreme violence, and beautiful artwork. As well as Mills’ fascinating characters and saga-like storytelling, the stunning enormity of Bisley’s work on the series cannot be understated, with epic battles and vast landscapes evoking everything from the work of Frank Frazetta to Gustav Klimt. This deluxe collector’s edition returns us to the mist-wreathed realm of Tír na nÓg, the ancient land suffering under the dominion of the Drunes; strange druids who have poisoned the land with their magic. Sláine has had enough of their tyranny and, through the Earth Goddess, he learns some shocking truths about the priesthood and his own future. Now Sláine must unite the four kings of Tír na nÓg and use their mystical weapons as he and the Sessair tribe prepare for all-out war!

Strontium Dog: Search and Destroy
John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra
ISBN: 9781781087657
11 June 2020 No delay for digital and webshop-exclusive edition; standard print edition delayed until 12 November 2020
Pages: 144 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

There was a time in the 22nd century where man s lawless spread out amongst the stars across new frontiers. Enter the Search and Destroy Agents mutants warped from birth by Strontium 90 fallout from the last, great war. Known by the norms as Strontium Dogs , these men and women enact justice throughout a cruel and unforgiving universe. It s a hard and dangerous life where only the toughest can survive. Men like Johnny Alpha a mutant with the ability to emit powerful Alpha-Rays from his eyes!

2000 AD Summer Sci Fi Special: Twenty Years of Rebellion
24 June 2020 No delay

The year 2020 marks two decades since Rebellion stepped in to save the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. The 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special celebrates 20 years of Rebellion with a specially curated look at 2000 AD during the tenure of its longest-serving owners and longest-serving editor. Featuring some of the best talents of the past 20 years, this 48-page special celebrates the evolution of 2000 AD since its namesake year with comics and features about Britain’s biggest and best comic!

Concrete Surfer
Pat Mills, Christine Ellingham
ISBN: 9781781087633
25 June 2020 Digital version released on time; print edition delayed until 17 September 2020
Pages: 80 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

A skateboarding rivalry, timed to coincide with skateboarding’s 2020 Olympic debut! Sent home to Britain after her parents fail to establish a new life in Australia, Jean Everidge is forced to rely on family charity, moving in with her Aunt, Uncle and cousin Carol, successful gymnast, beloved of teachers and pupils alike, and all round charming “top girl”. Jean has one solace left to her – skateboarding, surfing the concrete pavement, while forgetting all her troubles, and feel free. But Jean’s freestyling talent soon attracts attention, and if there’s one thing Carol can’t stand, it’s being out of the spotlight. With the new skatepark freestyle contest coming up, just how far will Carol go to stay number one?

War Picture Library: Battler Britton
V.A.L. Holding, Hugo Pratt
ISBN: 9781781087664
30 July 2020 Digital version out early on 9 July; print edition delayed until June 2021
UK £14.99 // US $19.99 // CAN $26.99
Pages: 64 // Hardcover
Available via Amazon.

In this second book in the series of collections reprinting every story drawn by Hugo Pratt, the Italian art maestro meets one of the most popular British comic book characters: Battler Britton! Battler Britton is a World War Two air ace as skilled a fighter on land as he is in his Spitfire. In 1960, Hugo Pratt drew two of his adventures - Wagons of Gold and Rockets of Revenge - and they are to be reprinted in graphic novel format for the first time. These fast-paced adventure stories feature the classic character facing off against the Nazis and this second book continues Rebellion’s mission to bring all of Pratt’s work back into print. Readers of Corto Maltese will love these forgotten classic war stories from the worldrenowned comic book artist, published in a format larger than originally published to show off his impressive and universally-lauded artwork.

Judge Dredd: Control
Rob Williams, Chris Weston
ISBN: 9781781087770
9 July 2020 Digital version released on time; print edition delayed until 10 December 2020
Pages: 128pp // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

Following on from the best selling Judge Dredd Small House this thrilling new modern classic by two of the greatest contemporary Dredd writers and artists.
The psychopathic SJS Judge Pin murders officers that fall short of her standards, and Judge Dredd is in her sights in this collection of stories featuring flesh-eating Kleggs, hijacking ape gangs and out of control war robots reprogrammed by insane accountants in tales ranging from deathly serious to outrageously funny, all from one of the most popular contemporary Dredd writer/artist teams; Rob Williams and Chris Weston.

Tammy & Jinty Special
29 July 2020 No delay

Tammy & Jinty return for two feature-length stories from modern creators in a new 48-page comic, continuing the work of last year’s hit special! Tammy and Jinty were ground-breaking female-led comics that covered everything from science-fiction and fantasy to romance and domestic drama. Now retooled for the 21st century, the Tammy & Jinty Special pays tribute to this legacy of trail-blazing comics while introducing a new audience to the medium!

Hope Book 2: Hope... Under Fire
Guy Adams, Jimmy Broxton
ISBN: 9781781087718
20 August 2020 Digital version released on time; print edition delayed until 21 January 2021
64pp // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

The second volume of the dazzling 2000 AD debut mixing Hollywood noir and occult magic!

In an alternate post-war 1940s Los Angeles, where dark magic is a fact of life, Mallory Hope is a private detective haunted by his past...and by the occult forces he uses.

The Essential Judge Dredd: America
John Wagner, Garth Ennis, Alan Grant, Colin MacNeil, John Higgins, John M. Burns, Jeff Anderson
ISBN: 978-1781088609
3 September 2020 No delay
160pp // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

The graphic novel of Fall 2020, The Essential Judge Dredd line is the very best Dredd stories in a format that is accessible for new readers. The first volume of Essential Judge Dredd, a curated line of graphic novels showcasing the very best storylines of all time and presented in a fresh new package. In Mega-City One, the Judges are the law - acting as judge, jury, and executioner. But how do the citizens really feel about a system where they are powerless? America Jara and Bennett Beeny grow up as best friends, living a fairly trouble-free life in a dangerous city... bar the odd, negative encounter with a Judge. Time draws them apart, and when they are brought back together, Beeny is a successful singer and America has become involved with a terrorist organisation known as Total War, which has the Justice Department in its sights! This dark and complex tale, considered to be one of the best stories to ever come out of the Judge Dredd universe, has been contextualised with contemporarily thematic stories with re-coloured art by Watchman's John Higgins

Battle Special 2020
16 September 2020 No delay

It was the comic than inspired a generation and introduced readers to some of the realities of war —  and now Battle is back, and it’s bigger than ever! This 96-page special features the returns of Rat Pack, Destroyer, El Mestizo and more of your favorite characters — direct from the comic book front lines! Inspired by the classic comic and ground-breaking characters, creators such as Garth Ennis, Alex De Campi, Alan Hebden, Brent McKee, Keith Burns, Rob Williams and more bring you stories of war inspired by real events but with the flair and excitement that made Battle the innovative comic it was!

Misty & Scream Special 2020
30 September 2020 No delay

Following the success of last year’s fright-filled outing, the Misty & Scream! Special returns this Halloween! Two of Britain’s best loved comics reunite for an anthology of brand-new tales that are guaranteed to terrify and entertain you — courtesy of a coven of creators, including Kek-W, Simon Coleby, Vincenzo Riccardi, Cavan Scott, Alec Worley, DaNi and many more!

The Dracula File
Gerry Finley-Day, Eric Bradbury, Simon Furman
1 October 2020 No delay
Paperback ed.

KGB officer Colonel Stakis desperately hunts for Count Dracula, who is spreading terror in 1980's Britain after escaping from behind the Iron Curtain. Blending Cold War paranoia with horror staples, Gerry Finley-Day and Eric Bradbury's strip overcame sustained attempts at censorship to become one of the most popular strips in the 1980s best horror comics.

The Thirteenth Floor Vol Two
John Wagner, Jose Ortiz
ISBN: 9781781087725
15 October 2020 No delay
Pages: 176 // Paperback

Collecting the darkly comical series from the pages of Eagle, this second volume of the hugely popular The Thirteenth Floor continues the misadventures of the murderous machine A.I., Max! The Thirteenth Floor exists in Maxwell Tower - an experimental tower block run by an A.I. called Max who looks after his tenants and take revenge on those who threaten them by sending them to The Thirteenth Floor - a place where nightmare and reality become one! This second collection of the popular series which began in Scream! and continued in Eagle carries the story further into the Eighties with the authorities becoming more aware of Max’s out of control vindictiveness, and their attempts to shut him down.

Thriller Picture Library Special
11 November 2020 No delay

Thriller Picture Library was the pocket book series packed with thrilling tales of danger and adventure, which delighted audiences for more than a decade in the mid-20th century, establishing the careers of D.C. Eyles, Mike Hubbard, Eric Parker and Septimus E. Scott. With a brand-new cover by VV Glass, this 128-page special includes two classic John Steel adventures from the 1960s, drawn by Luis Bermejo (Eerie, Vampirella) and colored for modern audiences!

Faceache Vol.1
12 November 2020 No delay
Paperback ed.

Features an introduction by Alan Moore and Antony Reid. Ken Reid is consistently name-checked by the greats of comics from Alan Moore to Kevin O Neill, John Wagner to Pat Mills for his unique art that is matched only by his enduring sense of humour. We present Faceache the humorous adventures of Ricky Rubberneck, the boy with a "bendable bonce" whose skin stretches like rubber. At will, he could scrunge his face into anything, whether it s mimicing others or turning into grotesque creatures but always coming a cropper!

Death Squad
Alan Hebden, Eric Bradbury, Carlos Ezquerra
ISBN: 9781781087688
20 August 2020 Delayed until 26 November 2020
UK £14.99 // US $19.99 // CAN $26.99
Pages: 128 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

Meet the deadliest band of fighters on the Eastern Front in an all-out all-action, complete-in-one brutal war story from the pages of the classic war comic, Battle! During World War Two the Eastern Front was Hell on Earth - German Punishment Battalions were thrown into the thick of the conflict where they were expected to fight well and die hard. In these harshest of conditions only the strongest warriors survived. Enter the Death Squad – Grandad, Swede, Licker, Gus and Frankie. Alone they were failures and outcasts, but together they were one of the most formidable combat units the Russians ever faced! One of the all-time classics from the groundbreaking and hugely influential Battle comic, this features gritty art from Eric Bradbury and Carlos Ezquerra, bringing the horrors of the Eastern Front to readers in a brand new collection!

Misty Creepy Christmas Special
2 December 2020 No delay

Christmas is the perfect time for a ghost story and this year’s Misty Presents… special will bring a few seasonal scares with a 48-page special that will shock your Xmas stocking off the wall and have you cowering under the tree with your presents! Prepare yourselves for a Yuletide shocker as M.R. James meets Black Mirror in a brand-new title to round out a very special year!

Sláine: Web of Weird
10 December 2020 No delay

The Best of Sugar Jones
Pat Mill, Rafael Busóm
ISBN: 9781781087701
20 August 2020 Delayed until 24 December 2020
Pages: 112 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

Sugar Jones is the charming twenty-something host of her own late night variety show, beloved by viewers up and down the nation. Only her assistant Susie knows her secret – Sugar is really selfish, sour, scheming - and 40 years old! She do anything to make a quick buck. Written by 2000 AD legend Pat Mills, Sugar Jones features stunningly beautiful art from Spanish illustrator Rafael Busóm - it’s not just a comic book but an archive of 1970s fashion too! A luscious collection that will appeal to readers young and old, a morality tale that combines fashion and soap opera in only the way ‘70s British comics could! Sugar Jones is a forgotten gem from The Treasury of British Comics’ archive!

Cor! Buster
Cavan Scott, Neil Googe, Hilary Barta, Tom Paterson, Sheli Paroline, Olivia Hicks and Brett Parson
ISBN: 9781781088647
November Delayed (print and digital) until 24 December 2020
UK £10.99 // US $13.99
Pages: 96 // Paperback

Brighten up the Xmas holidays with this bumper collection hilarious stories filled with laughs and fun, for kids of all ages! Britain's golden age of humour comics returns for the 21st century, with brand new stories by today’s top talents. Featuring characters like Kid Kong, Grimly Feendish, Faceache, and Frankie Stein are given new life in this compendium of hilarity by Neil Googe (The Flash), Cavan Scott (Doctor Who), Tom Paterson (The Beano, The Dandy), Shelli Paroline (Adventure Time) and Hilary Barta (DC Comics Plastic Man)!

King’s Reach: John Sanders’ Twenty-Five Years at the Top of Comics
John Sanders
ISBN:  9781781088210
9 July 2020 Delayed (print & digital) until 7 January 2021
306pp // Hardback
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 Tammy, Battle 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. With artists employed across the globe to service the voracious appetite of readers, Sanders was in the hot seat for battles with his creative workforce and saw changing standards and industry disputes. In this memoir he reveals, for the first time, his story and that of the medium that would go on to dominate global culture.

2000 AD Regened Collection
ISBN: 978-1781088135
7 January 2021 (print & digital)
96pp // Paperback
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!

Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol.36
John Wagner, Gordon Rennie, Andy Diggle, Henry Flint, Ben Willsher, Ian Gibson, John Ridgway, Mick McMahon, Jim Baikie, Simon Fraser, PJ Holden, Carl Critchlow, Staz Johnson, Carlos Ezquerra
3 September 2020 Delayed (print and digital) until 4 February 2021
304pp // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

The best-selling Judge Dredd graphic novel series continues with the most popular crossover story in its history – a tussle with xenomorphs from Ridley Scott’s Alien film franchise!  
    Mega-City One – a nightmarish enclosure located along the Eastern Seaboard of North America. Only the Judges – powerful law enforcers supporting the despotic Justice Department – can stop total anarchy running rife on the crime-ridden streets. Toughest of them all is Judge Dredd – he is the law and these are his stories...
    Judge Dredd has brought countless monsters to justice but now the ultimate killing machines, cinema’s most famous xenomorphs, surface in Mega-City One and it may well be more than the Justice Department can handle!

The Vigilant
Simon Furman, Simon Coleby, DaNi, Henrik Sahlstrom, Warwick Fraser-Combe, Staz Johnson, Will Sliney, Jake Lynch
19 September Delayed (print & digital) until 1 April 2021
Pages: 128 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

Classic British Superheroes remade for a 21st Century audience! 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 Vigilant stories written by Simon Furman (Transformers) and drawn by an all-star roster of artsists including Simon Coleby (Dark Souls), DaNi (Coffin Bound), Henrik Sahlstrom (Thirteenth Floor), Warwick Fraser-Combe, Staz Johnson (Spider-Man), Will Sliney (Spider-Man 2099), Jake Lynch (Judge Dredd)

TC Eglington, Simon Davis
ISBN: 978-1781087787
1 December 2020 Delayed (print and digital) until 29 April 2021
64pp // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

Midsommar meets The Wicker Man in this break-out original folk-horror series from the pages of 2000 AD!
    England, 2019. The secluded rural village of Harrowvale holds a dark past — that years earlier, on a farm bordering the vast tracts of woodland, it hosted a cult that was seeking to escape civilisation and find purity in the old ways, namely worshipping an ancient deity called THISTLEBONE. Led by the charismatic Jasper Hillman, their pagan beliefs grew ever more radical to the point where they held the young Avril Eason captive with the intention of sacrificing her. But Avril escaped...

Devlin Waugh: Blood Debt
Ales Kot, Rory McConville, Mike Dowling
ISBN: 9781781087671
23 July 2020 Delayed (print and digital) until 13 May 2021
176pp // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

Vatican exorcist, freelance paranormal investigator and altogether dashing rogue, Devlin Waugh is in the business of getting up close and extremely personal with the occult!
    This time he'll have to rescue his debtor brother Freddy from a casino suspended over an unending interdimensional void, save Brit-Cit from a plague of mutagenic nightmare spores, and befriend a possessed demonic dildo, all while negotiating boyfriends ex- and current...

Ken Reid’s Football Funnies
Ken Reid
ISBN: 9781781087794
3 December Delayed (print & digital) until July 2021
Pages: 144 // Hardcover

The master of British humour comics turns his pen towards the hilarity of people who play football! For four years from 1970 Ken Reid drew a weekly humour strip for Scorcher and Score, this collection collects the first two years of those strips.  Featuring the characters Sub,Manager Matt, Hugh Fowler and the Football Forum pundits, this collection combines Ken Reid’s love of football with his natural ability to find the funny side of the great game. This is the first collection of the never before collected strips from Scorcher and Score.

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Vol. 2
Mike Butterworth, Don Lawrence
ISBN: 9781781087756
November Delayed (print and digital) until July 2021
UK £19.99 // US $24.99 // CAN $33.99
Pages: 288 // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

The lost sci-fi classic from the 1960s continues in gloriously restored collections! 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. This new collection features an introduction from one-time Don Lawrence apprentice Chris Weston (The Filth).

Essential Judge Dredd: Origins
John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Kev Walker
ISBN: 9781781088630
November 2020 Delayed (print and digital) until 2 September 2021
192pp // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

The essential Judge Dredd graphic novel series - the ultimate introduction to the Lawman of the Future!
    An unusual delivery is made to the Grand Hall of Justice, a package that will force Dredd to lead a mission into the Cursed Earth and into the darkest recesses of the history of the Judges and Mega-City One...
    Now in this much-anticipated Dredd epic, history is written by Dredd co-creators John Wagner (A History of Violence) and Carlos Ezquerra (Strontium Dog) with a special introductory tale featuring the art of Kev Walker (ABC Warriors: Khronicles of Khaos).

Fiends of the Eastern Front
Gerry Finley-Day, Carlos Ezquerra
ISBN: 978-1781087749
4 October 2020 Delayed (print & digital) until 14 October 2021
176pp // Paperback
Available via Amazon.

Buried deep underground are the remains of Wehrmacht soldier, Hans Schmitt, and his diary, which journals his eerie encounter with the Romanian Captain Constanta and his platoon of blood-sucking freaks! Back in 1943, with the Russians willing to fight until their last man in order to defend Stalingrad, Panzergrenadier Richter discovers Constanta's secret and learns than sometimes your allies can be just as dangerous as the enemy!
     Featuring the breathtaking art of Carlos Ezquerra (Judge Dredd) and Colin MacNeil (America, Chopper: Song of the Surfer), with stories from Gerry Finley Day (Rogue Trooper), David Bishop (Thrill-Power Overload), and recent classics from Ian Edginton (Stickleback, Scarlet Traces), Dave Kendall (Fall of Deadworld).

Black Max Vol. 2
Ken Mennell, Alfonso Font
ISBN: 9781781088623
October 2020 Delayed (print & digital) until October 2021
UK £14.99
Pages: 112 // Paperback

Bi-planes vs giant vampire bats in this thrilling collection of war comics with a horror twist! Lieutenant Tom Wilson returns to battle Baron Maximilien Von Klorr and his attack force of giant vampire bats in a continuation of the popular series. The World War One era story moves to England with a monstrous albino bat attacking London with each page beautifully drawn by Alfonso Font working on one of his very first comic series. This exciting World War One aviation adventure is ideal for fans of Charleys War, Battle, and Hammer horror films!

Please note: this list does not include all graphic novel titles slated for release in 2021, just new dates for titles that have been postponed from the 2020 schedule.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Prepare your funny bones for the biggest and brightest humour comic in Britain – the Cor!! Buster Special is back!

A smash hit with kids, the Cor!! Buster Easter Special brings together two of Britain’s most beloved humour comics for 48 pages of belly laughs and silly japes from some of the best creators around!

Out on 8 April from all good newsagents and comic book stores, this bumper issue includes: Buster & Delbert by John Freeman & Lew Stringer; Kid Kong by Alec Worley & Hilary Barta; Faceache by Matt Smith & John Lucas; Gah! by Keith Richardson & Tom Paterson; Deadly Hedley by Paul Goodenough & Rositsa Vangelova; Ivor Lott & Tony Broke with Penny Less and Milly O’Naire by Ned Hartley & Mick Cassidy; Sweeny Toddler by Tom Paterson; Swines Of Anarchy by Lee Langford & Pye Parr; Daisy Jones’ Locker by Olivia Hicks, Sheli Paroline & Braden Lamb; Birdman & Chicken by Keith Richardson & Edward Whatley; Frankie Stein by Cavan Scott & Steve Mannion; Duck Turpin by Robin Etherington & David Follett; Creature Teacher by Lee Langford & Brett Parson; and Grimly Feendish by Ned Hartley & Tom Paterson.

2000AD Prog 2176
Cover: Simon Fraser

JUDGE DREDD: THE BIRD LADY OF AL CAPONE by Kenneth Niemand (w) Nick Dyer (a) Barbara Nosenzo (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SURVIVAL GEEKS: CRISIS OF INFINITE NERDS by Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SKIP TRACER: NIMROD by James Peaty (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon Bowland (l)
AQUILA: THE BURNING FIELDS by Gordon Rennie (w) Patrick Goddard (a) Pippa Bowland (c) Jim Campbell (l)
HERSHEY: DISEASE by Rob Williams (w) Simon Fraser (a)

Cor!! Buster Easter Special
Cover: Neil Googe

Buster & Delbert by John Freeman (w) Lew Stringer (a) Leila Jess (l)
Kid Kong by Alec Worley (w) Hilary Barta (a) Wesley Wing (c) Simia Magma (l)
Faceache by Matt Smith (w) John Lucas (a) Ozvaldo Sanchez (l)
Gums by Lizzie Boyle (w) Lew Stringer (a) Squaio Azzurro (l)
Ivor Lott & Tony Broke with Penny Less and Milly O'Naire by Ned Hartley (w) Mick Cassidy (a) Albert Cornelius (l)
Sweeny Toddler by Tom Paterson (w+a) Bili Rubin (l)
Swines of Anarchy by Lee Langford (w) Pye Parr (a+l)
Deadly Hedley by Paul Goodenough (w) Rositsa Vangelova (a) Oz Osborne (l)
Birdman & Chicken by Keith Richardson (w) Edward Whatley (a) Ward West (l)
Frankie Stein by Cavan Scott (w) Steve Mannion (a) Chris P. Bacon (l)
Daisy Jones' Locker by Olivia Hicks (w) Sheli Paroline, Braden Lamb (a) Amber Cee (l)
Creature Teacher by Lee Langford (w) Brett Parson (a) Petitecreme (l)
Duck Turpin by Robin Etherington (w) David Follett (a)
Grimly Feendish by Ned Hartley (w) Tom Paterson (a) Moma Miller (l)

Friday, April 03, 2020

Comic Cuts - 3 April 2020

Week two of Goatmageddon – they're coming! Look to Llandudno if you don't believe me – and I'm pleased to be able to share a bit of good news. After a fairly lazy, laid back weekend, I began prepping for the next book I'm going to work on when, for the first time in a fortnight, the door bell rang.

Proof copies of the three books I have been waiting on. Finally.

The crowd, both of us, went wild. All three looked pretty good and Bear Alley Books was back in business, which, I don't mind telling you, is a huge relief. As if to let us know everything was going to be OK, when we stepped out for a walk on Monday we saw a rainbow arcing over the whole of the neighbourhood.

I've spent the past couple of days going through the books with a fine tooth comb. Except I had to go pick up a prescription on Tuesday, so trekked off to the local pharmacy, twenty minutes walk away. The streets were as quiet as they have been for the past couple of weeks, with little traffic and almost as little footfall from passers by. Approaching the pharmacy, I could see a queue extending back to the junction and as I approached on the other side of the road, I began to realise that it extended around the corner and down the road. I joined the queue around 9.45 and eventually got back home at 11.45, having queued for an hour and a half.

Not that it was a chore. Everyone was very friendly and we were chatting like old friends within a few minutes. The only point where the conversation dried was when I dared to suggest: What if we discover that football is irrelevant during this lockdown? What if everyone discovers that there are enough football matches already recorded that they can rebroadcast? You could have channels dedicated to your favourite team only ever winning..." This was met with stony silence and then a guy standing a couple of people down just said: "No... I love football, me," and we all carried on discussing whatever the next topic was.

When it came to picking up her prescription, the woman next to me said she didn't really want to leave. "It's the first adult conversation I've had for a week," she told us, explaining that she has been stuck in the house with two young children.

Albert Uderzo obit, as it appeared in Saturday's Guardian
At the pharmacy we discovered that my new medical card had been sent to me with the wrong name printed on it – Molland instead of Holland – which meant I had to pay for my prescription rather than getting it for free. That meant a chunk of the afternoon was wasted on the phone as I tried to get a new card sent. I did get through to talk to the right people and hopefully that will be sorted out and the card delivered before I need to go to the pharmacy again.

Back at home, I've been reading through the three new books that will be available shortly from Bear Alley Books. The best news is that the Hurricane and Champion update requires no more work and  came out perfectly. The other two will require a little bit of tinkering, but not much. As of me writing this (Thursday afternoon) I've sorted out the text of Rocket and need to slightly adjust the cover so that the text rests on the spine more centrally (it was about 1mm out); the Eagles book requires a short piece of text to be reset as, for some reason unknown, it came out a bit mangled. It's fine on the PDF I sent in, mangled on the printed proof. Should be easily fixed even if I've no idea what caused the problem.

Next step: finish tidying up the last bits of the books, resend them to the printers over the weekend, get payment pages set up at Bear Alley Books, cobble together a few little adverts to go up on Facebook and on the Bear Alley blog, and then, Goat-willing, people can start ordering copies. I'm not letting this goat thing go! Personally, I welcome our new overlords and the dawning of the age of Capricorn.

I'm taking a look at The Mandalorian below the pic, so skip to the end if you don't like spoilers.

I've been wanting to see what all the fuss was about for some while and I have to say that it was worth the wait and worth the watching.

At only eight episodes, the show doesn't outstay its welcome. Its the show that Solo should have been, but the movie blew its chance. Unlike some, I don't mind the movie as it stands, but it's no more than a reasonably made (it's Ron Howard, after all) sci-fi actioner with money thrown at it to make the special effects effective. What I wanted was the film that it could have been: if you're going to make a science fiction comedy western, make Maverick rather than Wild Wild West. We're unlikely ever to see the Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (the original directors) version of Solo as (I think) they were taken off the movie before they finished shooting, but it would certainly have been interesting.

(I'm thinking here of the Brian Helgeland-directed Payback, which was taken out of his hands and re-shot and re-edited to make the lead (played by Mel Gibson) more viewer-friendly. This was based on one of Richard Stark's (Donald E. Westlake's) Parker novels (the same one that was made into the classic Point Blank) and was a disaster when originally released. Subsequently there has been a Helgeland "Director's Cut" made available, which is vastly better than the version that reached cinemas.)

Mind you, the script for Solo didn't exactly offer any surprises – did we really need the origin movie that showed how Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon and how he did the Kessel run in twelve parsecs? Something with Han and Chewie at their peak would have been nicer. The original Star Wars dropped everyone into the middle of a story and succeeded. We don't need everything to begin with an origin story.

The Mandalorian proves my point. We know nothing of his origins as the show opens, nor do we get any clues to his identity or origins as we progress through the story.

And, more good news, turns out you can make a light-hearted action western set in the Star Wars universe, as Disney+ have now found out to their advantage. It would be wrong to say the new streaming service was launched off the back of this – they're Disney, after all, and they also own Fox and the Marvel movies as well as Star Wars – but I think it would be fair to say The Mandalorian was the most anticipated new show.

And it certainly lives up to that anticipation. A bounty hunter is hired on a frontier planet to capture an unnamed asset – fifty years old, but otherwise unidentified – to be found on the outpost world. The client (played by Werner Herzog) is clearly Imperial and protected by Stormtroopers. Despite this, the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) accepts the off-the-books commission.

On the planet, the Mandalorian is led to the asset's location by a farmer, Kuill, tired of the chaos that bounty hunters have brought to the area in search of the target. Overlooking a heavily defended encampment, the Mandalorian spies a robot bounty hunter, also on the same mission; they work together to rescue... a tiny Yoda-like baby. When the droid tries to take the child's life, the Mandalorian blows a hole in it's circuits and returns to his ship with the child.

There are encounters with Jawas and a battle with a monstrous Mudhorn before the Mandalorian returns to Nevarro and delivers the child and receives his generous payment. However – there had to be a "however" or you wouldn't have a story – he returns and saves the child, only to have every other bounty hunter in the city hired to prevent him escaping.

I loved it. Maybe it's the circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment, but this is comfort TV, like settling down in front of a John Wayne western you've seen twenty times already but, you know, if that's what you're in the mood for, you can do no better. The Mandalorian is a pair of space opera slippers, well-worn as far as the plot goes, but a snug, comfortable fit for these trying times.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Commando 5319 - 5322

Brand new Commando issues are out today! All the latest action and adventure, featuring two World War One forays, a stint in a Spitfire, and a weird romp in the North African desert!

You don’t even have to leave your house to get Commandos! DC Thomson are finalising one of their best print subscriptions deals yet — and you can buy the latest copies digitally through Amazon Kindle, Comixology, or directly on the DCT Shop.

5319: Out of the Woods

Canadian twins Tom and Harry McDonald were as different as they come — Tom a burly lumberjack and Harry a weedy schoolteacher — but Tom would always look after his brother no matter what. As World War One broke out, they both volunteered to do their bit. Harry struggled to fit into the fighting life but Tom thrived. Then in 1915, when the Germans unleashed their first horrific gas attack, Harry found himself in Kitcheners’ Wood among the men choking on the deadly fumes. Tom came to find Harry but he too began to gag on the gas as the Germans surrounded him. Tom had always had Harry’s back – but would Harry have Tom’s now that he needed him?

Story: Andrew Knighton
Art: Klacik & Muller
Cover: Tom Foster

5320:  The Silver Spitfire

A classic Commando from 1966, ‘The Silver Spitfire’ has it all — a vibrant cover by Ken Barr, stunning interiors by Gordon C Livingstone, and a gripping plot by Ken McOwan which spans the jungles of Burma, the island of Malta, and the skies over Italy before heading back to the Far East again — all in just the one Commando! And that’s not even mentioning that the Spitfire’s pilot carries with him a special talisman and the weight of a prophecy all about him and his silver Spitfire!

Story: McOwan
Art: Gordon C Livingstone
Cover: Ken Barr
Originally Commando No. 199 (1966).

5321: Conchie!

The second Commando in this set about The Great War, Issue 5321 ‘Conchie!’ is one of, if not the only, Commando about a part of that war often overlooked and looked down on. Conscientious objectors in the First World War were brave men who chose not to fight. Berated and the source of contempt, the conchies were courageous enough to stand up for their own beliefs — but that didn’t mean they didn’t do their part. Men like Will Miller joined the Non-Combatant Corps who were on the front line but unarmed when they came face-to-face with the enemy!

Story: Iain McLaughlin
Art: Morhain & Defeo
Cover: Ian Kennedy
5322: Man of Mystery

Get ready for a Commando that will blow your socks off! Writer Brenchley weaves a tale of intrigue in the North African desert the like of which is seldom seen in a Commando. When Sergeant Dave Wilson’s squadron is wiped out, he and Corporal Neil Rudkin are forced to wonder the desert to get back to their camp. Then things get really weird as a man who calls himself Corporal Kenneth Kane approaches them in the middle of nowhere. Only, when they get back, Dave soon discovers that Kenneth Kane is dead and has been for some time. Then who was that Man of Mystery?

Story: Brenchley
Art: Enriquez
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 1511 (1981).

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

Death is the longest walk - but for Judge Barbara Hershey, it’s only the first step!

HERSHEY: DISEASE by Rob Williams (Suicide Squad, Unfollow) and Simon Fraser (Nikolai Dante, Kingsman) begins in 2000 AD Prog 2175 and sees Judge Dredd’s long-time ally using the cover of her faked funeral to head out into the world and right the wrongs committed by Judge Smiley!

Readers were saddened last year when a microbial virus first forced Hershey to resign her position as Chief Judge of Mega-City One and then apparently took her life in John Wagner and Colin MacNeil’s Guatemala (2000 AD Progs 2150-2157). But all was not as it seemed - Judge Hershey was alive all along and she’s now on a mission of revenge that will take her far beyond the walls of Mega-City One!

Williams and Fraser have crafted a tense, moving new series that gives one of the Dredd world’s longest-standing characters a brand new lease of life - or is it merely borrowed time?

2000 AD Prog 2175 is out on 1 April 2020 and is available in print from some newsagents and comic book stores, as well as digitally from 2000 AD’s webshop and apps.

Created by John Wagner and Brian Bolland in 1980, Judge Barbara Hershey was one of Justice Department’s most respected and capable young officers before she became Chief Judge. But it was during the critically-acclaimed The Small House storyline (2000 AD Progs 2100-2109) that her bond with long-time colleague Judge Dredd was near fatally damaged, following the revelation that there was a vast clandestine operation at the heart of Justice Department run by Judge Smiley, a Machiavellian manipulator who had controlled world events for decades. During last year’s Guatemala storyline, and after Hershey’s apparent death, the new Chief Judge was seen talking to an anonymous voice by radio - the identity of that voice remained unknown … until now!

Editor of 2000 AD, Matt Smith, said: "When Hershey stood down as Chief Judge, Rob came to me with the idea of a solo series, with her repairing Smiley's legacy in the wake of The Small House storyline. John said he had no plans for Hershey, and was happy for us to use her as we saw fit. When John wrote the first episode of Guatemala, he came up with a cover story that would take Hershey out of the game, with no one but Logan, Dredd and a select few others knowing the truth - and Rob worked his scripts in tandem with that. Hershey is still dying - she's taking medication to stave off whatever microbe she's been infected with - but she's going out with the intention of righting wrongs that were done on her watch. Rob and Si's series is a redemptive, violent, propulsive new arc for Hershey, with lots more surprises still in store."

Co-creator of Judge Hershey, John Wagner, said: "When discussing the new series with Matt Smith and how it might fit in with Guatemala, I suggested Hershey's death could just be a subterfuge - I had no plans for Hershey and am happy to see others take her in new directions, so there's a little clue in Guatemala, that I don't think anyone spotted, that things were not as they seemed! And who doesn't love a good old story of revenge?"

Rob Williams said: ”The idea for the series came off the back of The Small House. I felt the "I no longer recognise your authority" line had been building for years, and was organic and justified, but it also didn't really let Hershey tell her side of things. I felt we'd undersold her a bit. And even in the scene that followed it that John wrote, when Hershey and Dredd meet on their bikes - that we play on in Hershey episode one - that was still written from Dredd's point of view. I felt, after how long she'd been in the strip, she deserved a version that told her side of the story. A Long Walk for someone who's deserved a journey that isn't just going into The Cursed Earth. A Long Walk for someone burnt out and dying, who is asking herself the question - my life's run its purpose. So, what's left? Can she find that?

"Simon and I have worked together a bunch of times and he's a good friend. I thought he'd be great for this. He said he wanted to draw her looking her age. Which was tonally exactly the themes of the story needed.

"John agreeing we could tell this story, and to fit it in around Hershey's 'death' in his story was important. Ultimately, she's his character. Boorman's Point Blank was one of the big inspirations behind this series. A revenge thriller, with Hershey as this unstoppable, grim force. There's a school of reading Point Blank as how Lee Marvin's character dies in the opening scene, and everything that follows is his fantasy just before he dies. Maybe this is Hershey's fantasy just as she dies. Or maybe not..."

Simon Fraser said: "The planning process was, and I'm paraphrasing, "Hey Si , you want to do a hard as nails revenge thriller, kind of like Point Blank , but with Judge Hershey?" My reply, also paraphrasing, was " Yes!" or maybe "**** Yes!", which is my usual response when Rob suggests things.

"I was looking for a story to stretch my new digital drawing tools. Lots of world building , which I love, but not much dialog ... which I also love. I'm also very happy to be drawing a lady of advancing years being very angry and violent.

"Hershey has been the good and dutiful public servant for a long time, she's taken a lot of crap, stoically and responsibly, now let’s see how she chooses to close her account! I know that people get upset because we're bringing a character 'back from the dead', but I think we're giving an amazing woman the ending she deserves."

2000AD Prog 2175
Cover: Brett Parson

JUDGE DREDD: HAIR OF THE DOG by Ian Edginton (w) D'Israeli (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SKIP TRACER: NIMROD by James Peaty (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon Bowland (l)
SURVIVAL GEEKS: CRISIS OF INFINITE NERDS by Emma Beeby, Gordon Rennie (w) Neil Googe (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
AQUILA: THE BURNING FIELDS by Gordon Rennie (w) Patrick Goddard (a) Pippa Bowland (c) Jim Campbell (l)
HERSHEY: DISEASE by Rob Williams (w) Simon Fraser (a)

Masters of British Comic Art by David Roach
Rebellion ISBN978-1781-08759-6, 2 April 2020, 384pp, £39.99 / $50 (hardcover, cover by Brian Bolland) Available via Amazon.

This wildly entertaining and educational tome is a journey through the history of British comics – from the birth of the 20th century to the ‘80s invasion of American comics and through to today’s best contemporary artists! A high-production hardcover compendium perfect as a coffee table book or academic encyclopedia, Masters of British Comics is painstakingly researched. Behind a brand new cover by superstar artist Brian Bolland, and featuring artwork from a vast number highly-acclaimed artists carefully scanned from original artwork, Masters of British Comic Art is the definitive study and celebration of a beloved industry! Featuring a Who’s Who of talent, including Brian Bolland, Yvonne Hutton, Dave Gibbons, celebrated greats such as Don Lawrence and lost masters like Reg Bunn and Shirley Bellwood. Author and 2000 AD artist David Roach takes us on a journey through time detailing the surprising and fascinating evolution of the art from its humble beginnings to its current world-conquering status.

Kingmaker: A World Lost by Ian Edginton & Leigh Gallagher
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781-08757-2, 2 April 2020, 144pp, £14.99 / $19.99. Available via Amazon.

‘Lord of the Rings’ meets ‘Independence Day’ in this brand-new fantasy epic from the pages of 2000 AD! The inhabitants of the Nine Kingdoms fought hard to liberate their world from the tyranny of Ichnar the Wraith King. Little did they suspect that a greater threat would soon fall upon them in the form of the Thorn – a race of aliens intent on strip-mining all of the magic from the world. Now old enemies have formed an alliance - Wizard Ablard, ork Crixus and the dryad Princess Yarrow have set aside their differences and are seeking to use the Ebora world spirit against the invaders… Perfect
for fans of deconstructed fantasy stories like ‘The Princess Bride’ and ‘Coda’!