Thursday, July 25, 2024

  • 23 Jul. Thinking Critical's Wes catches up with Mark Millar to talk about his new Millarworld comics from Dark Horse. Including Nemesis: Rogues Gallery, the direct sequel to Millarworld' first crossover event Big Game. Mark also discusses his plans to finally write Superman and where he feels the comic book industry is heading in 2024. (video, 1h 26m)
  • 19 Jul. Garth Ennis and Patrick Goddard talk time-twisting frontline combat in Rogue Trooper: Blighty Valley. (video, 19m)
  • 17 Jul. "Horror comics in the UK indie scene are doing some amazing things"—Aly Fell and Letty Wilson discuss working on the Misty Special. "I loved so many of the “Beasts” type stories, such as those by Jordi Badia Romero with all their murky fairytale settings and ravenous, but often also fairly affable werewolves and vampires."
  • 13 Jul. The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast talks to writer Al Ewing and artist Boo Cook about jamming together two Thrill-powered classics: Harlem Heroes and Zombo! The gang also delve into the allure and challenges of sports comics, and whether Ewing might soon return to the pages of 2000 AD! A second interview looks at the swashbuckling 2000 AD adventure, The Red Seas. (audio from your usual provider, video at the link, 1h 12m)
  • 11 Jul. Forbidden Planet TV interviews Mike Moorcock who discusses the new Titan Books reprint of Moorcock's Multiverse and the JG Ballard-inspired anthology Reports from the Deep End.
  • 9 Jul. Dave McKean returns to the Lakes International Comic Art Festival this September to perform Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash. Paul Nash "went into the war a young, idealistic, romantic, rather wishy-washy symbolist, and emerged the other side a hardened, angry, expressive and committed socialist”, says McKean. “He didn’t label himself an ‘artist’, he had become a ‘messenger’."
  • 9 Jul. Mark Millar interviews Brian Bolland. (video, 1h 38m) 
  • 8 Jul. Simon Bisley and Lew Stringer are among the inductees into the second annual London Film and Comic Con's Hall of Fame. They join last year's inductees, Brian Bolland and Hunt Emerson.
  • 26 Jun. The latest 2000AD Thrill-Cast is a lengthy interview with John Higgins. "From drawing dead bodies to colouring two of the biggest graphic novels of all time, the artistic career of John Higgins can only be described as unique. Even after decades in the industry, the 2000 AD great is still hard at work – with the second book of Judge Dredd prequel series 'Dreadnoughts' underway, John talks to the 2000 AD Thrill-Cast about his work, from his thoughts on 'Watchmen' and 'Batman: The Killing Joke' to 'Judge Dredd' and beyond..." Available as a podcast and also as a video (2h).
  • 19 Jun. Tom Shapira reviews Rebellion's Hugo Pratt collection The Iron Fist. "Other than Corto Maltese, a series that was fully translated by IDW / EuroComics in one of the noblest efforts for bettering the world of English-speaking comics, and the single-volume graphic novel The Man from the Great North, most of Pratt’s work remains untranslated. I’ll take the scraps offered by War Picture Library over staying hungry."
  • 18 Jun. Due to appear perhaps as early as August, Watchmen a two-movie adaptation of the Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons series, with the second part due in 2025.
  • ... and if you want to hear what Alan Moore sounds like playing Rorschach, you only have to look here. (video, 2m)
  • 13 Jun. Garth Ennis talks Battle Action with Nick Fausti of Previews. "What I always liked about the classic Rogue Trooper was the sense of tragedy hanging in the background - the godawful massacre of his entire regiment that drove his quest for revenge, his only comrades now dead men encoded on microchips in his equipment. You always knew that Gunnar, Bagman and Helm were that bit more determined to find the Traitor General than Rogue."
  • ... Talking of Garth, Eric Kripke has announced that Prime Video's adaptation of The Boys will end with season five, tweeting "Seaon 4 Premiere Week is a good time to announce: Season 5 will be the Final Season. Always my plan. I just had to be cagey till I got the final OK from Vought."

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Rebellion Releases — 24 July 2024


The summer of love starts now! Rebellion is delighted to announce the Kickstarter launch of its brand new romance comic, Roxy!

Available to back today and featuring a host of exclusive rewards, merch, and surprises for backers, Roxy is guaranteed to leave you gasping for air.

Backers can take their pick from digital, paperback or hardback editions, with covers from superstar artists Tula Lotay, Hannah Templer and Marguerite Sauvage, Roxy will feature four unexpected and dynamic stories of fun and flirty love and lust from some of the best storytellers in comics today:

  • a brand new supermodel heist thriller from Dracula, Motherf**ker power couple Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson
  • a spirited walk in the undead woods from artist writer Sarah Gordon (Vicious Creatures)
  • a trip back in time to the regency era from GLAAD & Eisner-nominated writer Magdalene Visaggio and Sterric (De Vloek van Rood);
  • a futuristic romance between soldier and mech courtesy of Nadia Shammas (Squire, Ms. Marvel) and Jaws Stone (Dames Zine: Magical Knights)
  • Shipping for fans old and new worldwide. Whatever your level of spice, Roxy has something for you as it revives the spirit of classic British romance comics for the 21st century.

Originally launched in 1958, the original Roxy ran for 288 weekly issues which caught the imagination of young readers across Britain. Now, the title returns for an all-new anthology featuring four modern romance stories bound to inspire a whole new generation.

Roxy will run on Kickstarter from 16th July until the 8th August - don't miss out on your chance to take home the hottest comic of the Summer!

And now, this week's release...


2000AD Prog 2392
Cover: Mike Perkins.

New! JUDGE DREDD // MACHINE RULE by John Wagner (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
BRINK // CONSUMED by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
New! HERNE & SHUCK // SUFFER THE CHILDREN by David Barnett (w) Lee Milmore (a) Quinton Winter (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
New! FUTURE SHOCKS // CRESCENDO by James Peaty (w) Andrea Mutti (a) Jim Campbell (l)
SILVER // UNEARTHED by Mike Carroll (w) Joe Currie (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Friday, July 19, 2024

Comic Cuts — 19 July 2024


The first orders for HIGH SEAS AND HIGH ADVENTURES have been processed and should be landing with people who pre-ordered any day now. I'm still accepting orders at the pre-order price of £19.29 in the UK (a bit more abroad because of higher postage charges).

Copies of the book are also heading here, so I will be able to post links to eBay and Amazon in the next few days.

I do have some big news, but there's paperwork to deal with before I can announce anything. But I think you'll like it.

While I've been waiting on news of the next project, I began a "between projects" project. Usually it's an essay for a future FORGOTTEN AUTHORS essay—and I'll have to get some more together now that volume five is out. I only have one completed and a second about half done and usually there are 12 or so essays in each volume. There are some essays I'd love to write, but they'll take time, which is why I can afford to write them one at a time between other projects until I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, which is usually when I've about eight in hand.

So that's a project that quite a way off. At the moment I'm concentrating on a history of Scion Ltd., an old paperback publisher who pumped out an astonishing number of gangster, science fiction, western and romance novels, kept a guy locked up until he completed his books, had beautiful "good girl art" covers by the likes of Philip Mendoza, Roger Davis and John Richards, published comics by Ron Embleton, Ron Turner and Joe Colquhoun, and collapsed when the company faced prosecution over the publication of an alleged obscene novel. Along the way they published sexy blonde Dail Ambler, diamond hunter Vic Norwood, ex-con Donald Cresswell and a quality science fiction line by E.C. Tubb and 'Blackpool Wonder' John Russell Fearn, that was so good that all bar three books are still in print.

I've set myself a deadline of having the history of Scion finished by next Tuesday. Why? Because we're planning to take a trip down to the beach on Wednesday and I'm going to treat that as my reward for finishing the first draft. Will I make it? You'll have to wait until next week to find out.

There's nothing like getting a little bit of jeopardy into these columns to liven things up! While I enjoy researching books and comics and putting together the results as books, my life is quite boring, as it mostly involves sitting in front of a computer, digging around in old folders for correspondence, trawling the internet for information, or writing little blog posts about what I've been up to over the past week.


I do take breaks: went for a walk down to the Post Office this morning and, as it was a beautiful sunny day,  decided to keep going and walk down to the river. There I bumped into someone I used to work with at Aceville and had a long chat about the old days; I also bumped into a couple of dog-walking acquaintances, one of whom had a new puppy that needed fussing (an opportunity I wasn't going to turn down). The whole journey was topped off with a pleasant walk back through the park.

And there's always the garden. The new grass is growing and I'm cutting back some trees and the tangle of rogue plants and ivy that was blocking the view out of our front window. I can almost see where the original garden was supposed to end and the lawn begin, but it'll take a few more days to see whether I can clear it enough to put down some more grass seed. Fingers crossed.

I hope to have an announcement about what's next for Bear Alley Books in seven days time.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Commando 5767-5770


Brand-new Commando issuesgo on sale today, Thursday 18th July 2024!


5767: Simple Simon

In 1944, the unluckiest soldier in the world, Billy Mooney, parachuted straight into enemy territory, landing right in the middle of a POW camp! The German soldiers in charge couldn’t believe they had captured the thickest Tommy in the entire fighting force.
You see, after several accidents and mishaps throughout the war, this was Billy’s last chance to prove himself — and it had gone wrong again! Would his luck turn around in the end?
    Commando welcomes writer James Moran to its ranks in his first-ever Commando. With the talents of Jaume Forns and Marco Bianchini beside him, he’s in good stead!

Story: James Moran
Art: Jaume Forns
Cover: Marco Bianchini


5768: Framed!

Mitch Mitchell had had his fill of the army. He’d lost his corporal’s stripes when they busted him for taking a swipe at an officer. But through hard work and guts, he eventually climbed back to the dizzy heights of sergeant. But then he’d lost his temper once more... and bang went his stripes again.
So now Mitch was a dangerous customer — a lone wolf with no loyalty to anyone. At least that’s the way it was until Regimental Sergeant Major Barton came along, a man with a voice like a battery of six-pounders. He’d lick Mitch into shape and hit the Nazis hard while doing it!
    Issue 5768 is a classic Commando with a classic pun title! With amazing artwork from the talented Victor de la Fuente and an eye-catching Jordi Penalva cover!

Story: Bullen
Art: V Fuente
Cover: Penalva
First Published 1971 as Issue 521


5769: Agent Crime!


Sally Grimes always had trouble with the law, especially since she was always on the wrong side of it. She had dodged more coppers than you could shake a stick at, always managing to get away scot-free. But her luck ran dry when she was clapped in irons ready for prison. That was until Captain Bob Kendricks of the SOE came a-calling. Now Grimes was going to use her ill-gotten skills as a petty criminal for the good of the British Army!
    Another debut for Commando, as cover artist Simon Pritchard is welcomed to the ranks! This SOE story written by Andrew Knighton is brought to life by Marc Viure’s splendid artwork! It would be a crime to miss this Commando!

Story: Andrew Knighton
Art: Marc Viure
Cover: Simon Pritchard


5770: The Secret Torpedo

Lieutenant Bob Warren was an expert at defusing German bombs and mines, and was quite used to odd hours and strange workplaces. So when he was awakened in the middle of the night and told there was another job to be done, he wasn’t too concerned. But when he realised that his destination was enemy-occupied Norway, he knew that this was not going to be a routine operation. And he was right — it was going to be the most dangerous job of his life!
    Jeff Bevan’s masterful naval art is triumphant on the cover of Issue 5770 ‘The Secret Torpedo’! With RA Montague on scripting and Philpott on artwork – what an issue!

Story: RA Montague
Art: Philpott
Cover: Jeff Bevan
First Published 1982 as Issue 1613

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Rebellion Releases — 17 July 2024


COVERS UNCOVERED

The early 80s saw 2000 AD hit its golden era. With Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper, Sláine and more firing on all cylinders it became the UK’s most exciting and innovative comic. Its covers played no small part in its appeal, and those covers were the brainchild of Robin Smith whose job was to lay out a cover design to pass to an artist who would transform it into the finished product.

This collection of some of Smith’s cover layouts shows just how integral his ideas were to some of 2000 AD’s most famous and revered covers, and it’s a fascinating glimpse into the creative process.

Featuring covers by some of the galaxy’s greatest artists, including Brian Bolland (The Killing Joke), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), Carlos Ezquerra (Judge Dredd), Kevin O’Neill (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Mick McMahon (Judge Dredd), Ian Gibson (The Ballad of Halo Jones), Alan Davis (Captain Britain), Steve Dillon (Preacher), Cam Kennedy (Rogue Trooper), Massimo Belardinelli (Ace Trucking Co.), Eric Bradbury (Mytek The Mighty), Brett Ewins (Johnny Nemo), Glenn Fabry (Sláine), Ian Kennedy (Dan Dare), José Ortiz (The Thirteenth Floor), Cliff Robinson (Judge Dredd), Kim Raymond (Roy of the Rovers), Ron Smith (Judge Dredd), Brendan McCarthy (Rogan Gosh) and Bryan Talbot (Nemesis the Warlock).

The book is due out on 12 February 2025 but can be pre-ordered at the 2000AD Web Shop.

And now, this week's releases...


2000AD Prog 2391
Cover: Dan Cornwell.

JUDGE DREDD // THE BAM-HUNTERS by Ken Niemand (w) Richard Elson (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
BRINK // CONSUMED by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
ROGUE TROOPER // SOUTHER BELLE by Geoffrey D. Wessel (w) Dan Cornwell (a) Chris Blythe (c) Jim Campbell (l)
New! FUTURE SHOCKS // CRESCENDO by James Peaty (w) Sedat Oezgen (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SILVER // THE UNEARTHED by Mike Carroll (w) Joe Currie (a) Simon Bowland (l)


Judge Dredd Megazine #470
Cover: Andy Clarke.

New! JUDGE DREDD: HIVE by Ian Edginton (w) Kevin West (a)  Dylan Teague (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
ARMITAGE: BULLETS FOR AN OLD MAN by Liam Johnson (w) Warren Pleece (a) Jim Campbell (l)
New! MEGA-CITY 2099: NU-YOO by Ken Niemand (w) Tom Foster (a) Simon Bowland (l)
JUDGE DREDD: TOXIC by Paul Jenkins (w) Marco Castiello (a) Jason Millet (c) Shawn Lee (l)
PANDORA PERFECT: PERFECT SOUNDS by Roger Langridge (w) Gary Welsh (a) John Charles (c) Simon Bowland (l)
DEPARTMENT K: MECHA-CITY ONE by Ned Hartley (w) Mike Walters (a) Jim Campbell (l)
HARROWER SQUAD: URBAN ROTATION by David Baillie (w) Steve Yeowell (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
DREADNOUGHTS: NOTHING TO FEAR by Mike Carroll (w) John Higgins (a) Sally Hurst (c) Simon Bowland (l)


Misty 2024 Special
Cover: Tula Lotay.

ELEVEN LONELY DEATHS by Gail Simone (w) Carola Borelli (a) Ellie Wright (c) Jonathan Stevenson (l)
THE PUB AT THE END OF THE ROAD by Gail Simone (w) Aly Fell (a) Jonathan Stevenson (l)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS PARKER by Gail Simone (w) Marianna Ignazzi (c) Jonathan Stevenson (l)
THE CRACKED GLASS by Letty Wilson


Steel Commando: No Time To Lose! by Ned Hartley (w) Dan Boultwood (a)
Rebellion ISBN 978-183786190-3, 17 July 2024, 144pp, £9.99. Available via Amazon.

Get ready for time travelling adventures in this epic graphic novel as heroic robot soldier Steel Commando battles his way across past, present, and future to stop the forces of evil and save the day!
    Invented by Professor Brayne, The Steel Commando is a robot created at the height of World War II. Fighting giant bats whilst riding a missile above London the story only gets more awesome from there, with the nefarious Doktor Von Hoffman sending his minions after Professor Brayne's new secret weapon plans! Together with his friends, Ernie and Penny, Steel Commando will have to travel into the future, the past and modern day London in order to stop Von Hoffman from winning the war.
    Part of the Monster Fun Collection, spinning from the pages of the hit UK comic, this brilliant range of books aims to inspire children to love reading through incredible stories and cool characters.


The Leopard From Lime Street: Birthright by Simon Furman (w) Laurent LeFevure, Nick Roche, PJ Holden (a)
Rebellion ISBN 978-183786191-0, 17 July 2024, 144pp, £9.99. Available via Amazon.

Billy Farmer may look like your average teenager, but he has a big secret: he’s a super-hero! After being scratched by a radioactive leopard (happens all the time, right?), young Billy soon discovered he had the powers of the mighty jungle cat – but is there more to this power than he thinks?
    Taking to the streets to fight crime as “The Leopardman”, Billy soon finds himself up against a whole horde of spooky villains intent on stopping him and hatching some evil plans. Teaming up with his long lost sister, the vigilant hero “Alleycat”, the dynamic duo must uncover the fate of their family and the source of their powers – before it’s too late!
    Part of the Monster Fun Collection, spinning from the pages of the hit UK comic, this brilliant range of books aims to inspire children to love reading through incredible stories and cool characters.


The 2000 AD Art of Steve Dillon: Apex Edition
Rebellion ISBN 978-183786201-6, 17 July 2024, 128pp, £95.00.

The 2000 AD Art of Steve Dillon: Apex Edition contains pages from throughout his 30+ year career working at 2000 AD, from his art on Rogue Trooper and Harlem Heroes, His work on Judge Dredd is showcased with a range of stories from his incredible work on the Block Mania, to one of his first collaborations with Garth Ennis on the Emerald Isle storyline.
    Also included in this book is the complete art for Alan Moore's sole A.B.C. Warriors story, Red Planet Blues, with painted colour by Watchmen artist John Higgins.
    The Apex Edition series is a deluxe, over-sized facsimile edition reproducing his original art pages at their actual size.


2000 AD vs Battle Action: Comics Collide! by Ken Niemand, Geoffrey D. Wessel, Chris Weston, Karl Stock, Arthur Wyatt, Gordon Rennie, Mike Carroll, Alec Worley, Alex De Campi (w), Simon Coleby, Nick Dyer, Paul Marshall, Jake Lynch, Dan Cornwell, Nick Percival, Kieran McKeown, Staz Johnson, Patrick Goddard (a)
ISBN 978-183786189-7, 17 July 2024, 112pp, £16.99. Available via Amazon.

THE CROSSOVER 50 YEARS IN THE MAKING!
    What if the old Battle Action comic was merged with 2000 AD in the early ‘80s? That’s the question posed by this all-new collection that reveals the answer is – action-packed thrills by the bucket-load. It takes old Battle Action strips and reworks them as 2000 AD-appropriate adventures, while remaining true to their original concept and continuity.
    This kick-ass crossover sees Judge Dredd feature in a brand-new reimagining of Action’s most controversial strip – Kids Rule O.K., and also includes Darkie’s Mob, Death Game 2049 and Major Eazy amongst others.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Commando Presents…Braddock of Bomber Command Volume 1


Commando and Heritage comics are proud to announce the return of Braddock to comics pages, celebrating over 70 years of the beloved pilot!

In 1952, The Rover story papers introduced a new hero — Matt Braddock, bomber pilot VC! For years he entertained readers with prose and comic stories alike. Then, in 2019 Braddock dive-bombed into the pages of Commando, the world’s longest-running war comic. That issue, as well as selected original stories and art from DC Thomson’s Rover, Red Dagger and Victor, is collected in DC Thomson’s Heritage Comics and Commando Presents… Braddock Volume 1.


“Better you just forget about being a pilot”, said Squadron Leader Roy Suddaby when Matt Braddock first tried to enlist in the auxiliaries. But he wasn’t a quitter, and the blue-eyed man with uncanny talent would fight his way to the best bombing squad in Britain before he could bring the fight to Nazi Germany. The war is on, and the RAF’s best known bomber ace is back in this all-new adventure!

Delight at over 180 pages of classic Braddock comic artwork, behind-the-scenes looks at the original features, iconic covers and spreads that featured in some of DC Thomson’s most legendary titles, including part one of the iconic ‘I Flew With Braddock’ novel!

Braddock Volume 1 goes on sale 17th July 2024 and is available to buy from WHSmith, Amazon, Magdirect.co.uk and DCTHOMSONSHOP.co.uk, you can also pre-order it from DCTHOMSONSHOP.co.uk right now!

Friday, July 12, 2024

Comic Cuts — 12 July 2024


I'm short of news this week as I've had my nose to the grindstone, trying to make sense of a number of mysteries surrounding Scion, the paperback and comic publisher active in 1948-54, during which time they produced 500 novels and over 100 comics.

This is my "between projects" project as I'm still waiting on the arrival of printed copies of HIGH SEAS AND HIGH ADVENTURES and news on my next planned book. I hadn't planned on writing about Scion (in fact, I'd had my eyes on a different publisher entirely), but... you know me... I'm easily distracted. I was simply poking around trying to find the familial connection between two of the company's directors and, before I knew it, I was writing up my notes and delving ever deeper into their history.

I had a broad outline of the company as I'd written about Scion a couple of times, for Golden Fun and for Paperback Parade in 1988 and 1992 respectively. I've learned an awful lot more in the past thirty years, so I'm trying to make this as definitive a history as possible, answering such questions as: why didn't the man in the cellar write enough books? and what was Jim Holdaway doing in those cellars? Which Scion author was an ex-jailbird? What was the company's connection with the London Mystery Magazine? Which editor ran off with his secretary to Canada?

These and many more questions will eventually be answered. I still have a lot of writing to do and I've got to get my hands on many more cover scans if I'm to do the book in a similar style to BEYOND THE VOID. I want to illustrate it as fully as possible, so I'm looking for books and magazines published by Scion, Milestone, Ken Publishing, Gannet Press, Teal Publications. Anything but science fiction as I think I have the great majority of those already as that was where I started collecting these old Fifties paperbacks, back when you could get hold of them at a reasonable price... indeed, back when you could get hold of them full stop.

I thought you might like a look at a trade advert that Scion published in 1951. Unfortunately it came from a bound book, so the two pages don't quite join up. (If they had, I would probably have kept the ad for the book!)

I'm off now to see if I can do some "back of a fag packet" maths and work out how much profit Scion made on Vargo Statten.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Rebellion Releases — 10 July 2024


Comics megastars Simon Bisley, Gail Simone and Kevin Eastman are headlining Rebellion’s panels at San Diego Comic Con this year – just part of its presence at the massive US comics show!

The publisher of the legendary 2000 AD returns to the greatest comics and culture show on Earth with high-profile guests, signings, panels, exclusive collections, freebies and more!

Celebrating 35 years since the debut of his groundbreaking, industry-changing work on Celtic-lore fantasy series Sláine: The Horned God, Simon Bisley will be Rebellion’s guest of honour at San Diego Comic Con, with exclusive signings.

And Bisley will join Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman for an unmissable panel as they discuss the swords, sorcery, and legacy of one of comics’ most rock’n’roll anthologies, 2000 AD!

To celebrate the release of her revival of the classic horror series for young women, the game-changing Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Red Sonja) will be signing copies of the brand new Misty anthology as well as joining Simon Bisley on the official 2000 AD panel, and heading up a panel focusing on the twin worlds of horror and romance comics!

Rebellion and 2000 AD will once again be at the heart of the San Diego show floor, with show-exclusive products, signings, free merch, free comics, and the best comics available anywhere.

This year’s show-exclusive edition is the complete Rogue Trooper: Blighty Valley, and features a stunning brand new cover by artist Francesco Francavilla (The Black Beetle, Batman) in a hardcover collection from Garth Ennis (The Boys, Preacher) and Patrick Goddard (Battle Action, Judge Dredd) featuring 2000 AD’s legendary blue-skinned Genetic Infantryman, Rogue Trooper. This edition will be exclusively available at Booth #2121 at San Diego Comic Con and for 2000 AD subscribers to purchase direct through the 2000 AD webshop from 1 July.

The stunning 35th anniversary edition of Pat Mills and Simon Bisley's The Horned God will be available from the Rebellion booth in both over-sized paperback and breathtaking three-volume slipcase editions. This brand new, over-sized collection features art scanned from the original archive film and printed at a size closely matching Bisley’s original artwork – giving readers the opportunity to see the greatest Sláine epic in unparalleled detail.

There will also be limited copies of Misty, the classic horror series for young women revived in a brand new 48-page anthology, featuring megastar writer Gail Simone alongside Carola Borelli (The Deadliest Bouquet, Spider-Woman), Aly Fell (A Trick of the Light) and Marianna Ignazzi (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Letty Wilson (Owl People), with a spectacularly spooky cover from Eisner-winning artist Tula Lotay (Barnstormers)!

The booth will have free collectible tote bags featuring the Judge Dredd art of Robin Smith, free poster tubes sporting an iconic Judge Dredd cover by Brian Bolland, and free copies of Rebellion’s huge range of comic book titles.

Comics fans shouldn’t miss this year’s three incredible Rebellion panels, with times and dates to be announced:

Heavy Metal Comics With Simon Bisley & Kevin Eastman

  • Make some noise for comics’ rock ‘n’ roll superstars – Simon Bisley and Kevin Eastman – as they discuss the swords, sorcery, and legacy of one of comics history's most beloved, and most rock n roll, anthologies, 2000 AD.

Roxy and Misty: Horror and Romance Collide!

  • Horror! Romance! Gail Simone heads up a fantastic panel of creators and critics to explore the worlds of 2000 AD's incredible new genre anthologies Misty and Roxy: from reviving classic scares to kickstarting spicy stories of love and intrigue!

2000 AD: The Galaxy's Greatest Panel!

  • Comics superstars Simon Bisley and Gail Simone headline a panel of top talent to talk about the powerhouse of comics, 2000 AD, and its new and classic comics: from horror and romance to war and fantasy! Featuring exclusive announcements from across Rebellion's exciting comics range!

And to make sure that fans unable to attend don’t succumb to FOMO, the Rebellion webshop will also be celebrating San Diego Comic Con with exclusive Sláine: The Horned God T-shirts featuring Simon Bisley’s unmistakable art in fresh new designs, exclusively available online!

So stay tuned for dates and times for our fantastic schedule of panels and signings – with so much going on for San Diego Comic Con, it truly will be an unmissable and Thrill-powered year!

Rebellion/2000 AD will be at Booth #2121 in the main show hall at San Diego Comic Con from Previews Night on 24 July until close on Sunday 28 July.

And now, this week's release...


2000AD Prog 2390
Cover: Dave Kendall.

JUDGE DREDD // THE BAM-HUNTERS by Ken Niemand (w) Richard Elson (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
BRINK // CONSUMED by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
ROGUE TROOPER // SOUTHER BELLE by Geoffrey D. Wessel (w) Dan Cornwell (a) Chris Blythe (c) Jim Campbell (l)
FUTURE SHOCKS // STATION MADNESS by Honor Vincent (w) Mike Walters (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
SILVER // THE UNEARTHED by Mike Carroll (w) Joe Currie (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Friday, July 05, 2024

Comic Cuts — 5 July 2024


And the good news is... HIGH SEAS AND HIGH ADVENTURES is almost ready. I've had a second proof and it looks good. Now I need to order up some copies so I have them for publication day, which I've set as Monday 29th July. I've had some delays with delivery, so I'm trying to make sure that the release date can actually be met. That said, if the books come in earlier, I'll send 'em out to anyone who has pre-ordered.

I've set up a page for the book, so you can find some more details here at the HIGH SEAS AND HIGH ADVENTURES order page. I can only sort out my Ebay and Amazon shops once the book is in hand and I will work out the price once I can figure out how much Ebay and Amazon are going to sting me for in fees.

With that one in the can, I have been able to concentrate on another book... which is almost done. I'm just waiting on permission from the copyright holder to launch it, so hopefully there will be some news on that front next week.

In the meantime I have been working on my "between projects" essay. I try to write something for myself between jobs and this time I've chosen to tackle another paperback company, Scion Ltd. I'm turning up all sorts of interesting information that I'll eventually put together into a book in the style of the recent Badger Books' book, BEYOND THE VOID.

It may be a while before it appears as I have my eyes on another project that I want to work on before I tackle another book on paperbacks. Maybe I can work on them in parallel as one is a comic strip reprint and I'll want to have some breaks between cleaning-up artwork.

There's also orders to deal with — I've just had my first order for HIGH SEAS AND HIGH ADVENTURES come through.

All these comic strips and books... and all you want to know about is the garden. Well, gardening fans, I'm pleased / amazed to say that there's now a reasonable grass coverage of far end of the back garden, as you can see from the photos below.


When you look a little closer, it is a little patchy, but I want to let the new grass establish itself before I attack any gaps and put down some more seed.

So while I was waiting for the grass to grow in the back garden, I took the opportunity to attack the front garden, which had the same problems with rampant weeds and ivy, and wildly overhanging trees. In order to do something about the weeds in the grass, I'm mowing every couple of weeks, but I had left a patch that needed to be dug out and reseeded.

I've now done the top (the grass is on quite a slope down from the road) and recovered an area between four and five feet deep and fourteen feet wide, so something like sixty square feet. The grass seed is in and I have been watering it regularly when the rain hasn't been doing the job for me, and some grass shoots are just starting to show through. My next job is to cut back the trees to the right of the picture and see what lies beneath.


Thursday, July 04, 2024

Commando 5763-5766


There's war comic action across the globe in Commando this week, with zeppelins in World War I, a cursed trio, race to Dunkirk in World War II, and a foray into the Napoleonic War! On sale from today, Thursday 4th July, 2024!


5763: Zeppelin Raid

In 1915, Germany took The Great War to the British people when mammoth zeppelins rained bombs, fire, and destruction on Great Yarmouth. Seeing the devastation of his hometown, Royal Navy Lieutenant Billy Cavendish couldn’t be stopped from joining the Royal Navy Air Service as a fighter pilot to take down the Kaiser’s deadly airships once and for all!

Our first story is set during World War I, when the Germans brought the war to British shores via their ferocious zeppelin bombing raids. With story by Rossa McPhillips and artwork by Guille Galote!

Story: Rossa McPhillips
Art: Guille Galote
Cover: Guille Galote


5764: Date with Destiny

An old woman looked into the palms of three men — an Englishman, a German and a Frenchman — and foretold what strange and fearful fates lay in store for them. She was probably dead by the time the Second World War engulfed Europe in flames but not one of the three ever forgot their prophecies. They were caught up in the savage fighting — one in the RAF, one in the Wehrmacht, one in the Maquis — and as events moved on it became clearer and clearer to all three that they were powerless to avoid their… Date with Destiny!

Issue 5764 features everything that makes a good Commando comic — a fate being read, that fate coming true, and the work of Gentry, Lucas and Sanfeliz! It is your destiny to read it!

Story: Gentry
Art: LC Lucas
Cover: Sanfeliz
First Published 1971 as Issue 574


5765: Ice-Cold Alex

Corporal Alex Fraser had ice water in his veins. If you touched his heart, you’d freeze stone-cold dead. He was as cold as the Arctic when he walked into a billet in France, balled up his fist, and knocked the block off a British officer. But Ice-Cold Alex had his reasons… and no military policeman was going to stand in his way.

Here comes a corker of a Commando by Ferg Handley. Bitter and jaded by his experience in the war, the last thing Alex Fraser wanted was to be brought in by the MPs for striking an officer — but things weren’t as they seemed as they were forced to retreat to Dunkirk!

Story: Ferg Handley
Art: Paolo Ongaro
Cover: Marco Bianchini


5766: Men of War

For over a century, the old naval cutlass had hung in the hall of the French chateau along with many other relics of past wars. But this weapon was different from the rest — it was British, made of British steel, only ever wielded in wartime by British hands. How it had come to be in France was a strange tale...
But even stranger were the events yet to befall it, as the Second World War erupted across Europe and once again British shores were threatened.

CG Walker always delights with an intricately woven story that takes us from ancient war to World War II, with the tales of two family being inexplicably linked! With excellent artwork from Carmona and Jeff Bevan!

Story: CG Walker
Art: Carmona
Cover: Jeff Bevan
First Published 1982 as Issue 1605

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

Rebellion Releases — 3 July 2024


Rok On! – John Wagner & Dan Cornwell's creator-owned strip coming soon to Judge Dredd Megazine!

Major news has hit the world of football today, with the announcement that highly sought-after free agent Rok of the Reds has been dramatically signed by Judge Dredd Megazine for a run in their 2024/25 Season!

The creator-owned series from legendary writers John Wagner (Judge Dredd), Alan Grant (Batman), and breakout artist Dan Cornwell (Rogue Trooper), Rok of the Reds is a hilarious and chaotic blend of sci-fi and sports that puts the shooting back into the penalty shoot-out!

The first explosive season will launch in the Judge Dredd Megazine later this year – to be followed by the second, and then a much-anticipated brand new third season by Wagner and Cornwell!

Speaking on the surprise signing, co-creator John Wagner said: “Rok fans kept asking for a third series of our alien footie saga, but keen as Dan and I were to do it we couldn’t see a way to make it happen. So when Rebellion stepped in and agreed to run it in the Judge Dredd Megazine we went from ’sick as parrots’ to ‘over the moon’ quicker than you could say ‘Fergie time’!

“We’re more than pleased, too, that books one and two will be reprinted first, helping to bring the story to a wider audience. As regular readers will tell you, you don’t have to love football to enjoy Rok of the Reds.

“As for book three – provisionally titled ‘Rok the World’ – in our alien hero’s hands may lie the fate of the human race…not to mention the more weighty matter of promotion for the Radford Reds!”

2000 AD's intergalactic ‘Manager’ Tharg the Mighty said: “With a proven track record, Rok of the Reds is a zarjaz addition to our back line, and will add even more depth of play to the already stacked roster we have in the Meg”

Originally published in two volumes, Rok of the Reds is a black comedy about revenge, redemption, and relegation. It follows Rok of Arkadi, an alien who seeks refuge on Earth after his homeworld is destroyed by bounty hunters. However, his attempts to hide under the radar are complicated when he has a chance meeting with arrogant young footballer Kyle Dixon, a bad boy who has been causing problems for his struggling team.

Assuming Kyle’s identity, Rok finds himself thrust unexpectedly into the spotlight: not only does he have to keep himself safe from ruthless alien bounty hunters – but he’s got games to win! Rok is going to have to learn to love the beautiful game if he’s going to keep his cover intact, or he’ll risk being captured by his enemies… or worse, relegated!

The first two Rok of the Reds stories will begin to be republished in Judge Dredd Megazine towards the end of 2024 – and will be followed by an all-new run from Wagner and Cornwell in 2025!

And now, this week's releases...


2000AD Prog 2389
Cover: Toby Willsmer.

JUDGE DREDD // THE BAM-HUNTERS by Ken Niemand (w) Richard Elson (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
BRINK // CONSUMED by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
ROGUE TROOPER // SOUTHER BELLE by Geoffrey D. Wessel (w) Dan Cornwell (a) Chris Blythe (c) Jim Campbell (l)
PROTEUS VEX // DEVIOUS by Mike Carroll (w) Jake Lynch (a) Jim Boswell (c) Simon Bowland (l)


2000AD Sci-Fi Special 2024
Cover: Mike Perkins.

JUDGE ALPHA // PORTRAIT OF A MUTANT by Karl Stock (w) Ben Willsher (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
ROBO-SHARKS by Dan Abnett (w) Anthony Williams (a) Jim Campbell (l)
ROGUE/DOG by James Peaty (w) Nicolo Assirelli (a) Jack Davies (c) Simon Bowland (l)
STICKLEBACK // SECRET HISTORIES by Ian Edginton (w) Paul McCaffrey (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
HARLEM ZOMBOS by Al Ewing (w) Boo Cook (a) Simon Bowland (l)


Monster Fun #21 – Beastly Books!
Cover: Matt Baxter.

GUMS by Stacey Whittle (w) Brett Parson (a & l)
KID KONG by Alec Worley (w) Karl Dixon (a & l)
SALLY ASTRO by Roger Langridge
THE FRIGHT-SHIFT by Matt Baxter (w) Andrea Butzbach (a) Leila Jess (l)
CAPTAIN ZOM by Ned Hartley (w) Wayne Thompson (a) Anna Nass (l)
SIR RENDER by Pete Wells (w) Stephen Webster (a & l) Barbara Nosenzo (c)
MARTHA'S MONSTER MAKE-UP by Dave Bulmer (w & l) Abigail Bulmer (a)
WITCH VS WARLOCK by Derek Fridolfs (w) Rebecca Morse (a) Ozwaldo Sanchez (l)
REX POWER by Ramzee (w) Claude TC (a) Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (l)
UNISCORN by Stacey Whittle (w) Jose Ruiz (a) SqakeZz (l)


Rogue Trooper: Blighty Valley by Garth Ennis (w) & Patrick Goddard (a)
Rebellion ISBN 978-183786195-8, 2 July 2024, 96pp, £18.99. Available via Amazon.

Together with the bio-chipped “ghosts” of his dead comrades, Rogue walks the wasted lands of Nu-Earth in search of their killer, determined to see justice done.

But a war world on the edge of an unstable black hole holds terrors beyond the bounds of sanity, and now the last GI finds himself wrenched away from his bloody quest. Hurled across reality to another world - another war - Rogue is marooned in an ancient conflict no less terrible than his own. With no way home and unknown dangers at every turn, the lone warrior must do what he was bred to do: and fight like hell for his very survival.

Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys) and Patrick Goddard (Judge Dredd, Aquila) present a brand new tale featuring the classic 2000 AD character, blending sci-fi action and historical adventure in unforgettable, action-packed drama.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Comic Cuts — 28 June 2024


As we wave goodbye to the first half of the year, I'm rather frustrated that I failed to get a second book out. Waiting on the second proof of HIGH SEAS AND HIGH ADVENTURES, I received a message from the printer saying that it was running late, along with the rest of my order (I needed a few books for stock). No revised schedule for when it will be dispatched, just "Your order is running late. We apologize that your order has not printed and shipped as quickly as we originally estimated."

These things happen, I guess, but that doesn't make me any happier about it.

With that aside, it has been a fun week, starting last Thursday with a trip down the pub for an open-air comedy gig at the Wivenhoe Funny Farm. There's a big, wooden gazebo at the back of the pub, open-sided so that people can also see the acts if they're sitting in the large tent on side or the pub garden on the other. It's a great venue if the weather is kind.

This month's acts were Jake Baker, Hazel Donovan and Robin Ince, compared by Hazel Humphreys. It might have been the longest day of the year, but the gig still managed to clash with the football as England drew against Denmark on their way to becoming one of the most disappointing success stories of the Euros — they're through to the next round but nobody seems to be happy about it. Come on, this is England we're talking about! (That's my football bants for this year.)

The gig started half an hour later, but as it was originally scheduled for six-thirty, that actually worked in our favour, as it gave Mel a chance to get home and to eat something before we had to rush out. All acts were very good and Robin Ince now has a copy of BEYOND THE VOID. Robin mentioned lending a John E. Muller to Frank Skinner, so the number of secret Badger fans is increased by one (I already knew Robin was a fan!).

Our attempt to visit the pram race on Friday was a resounding failure as we started out late, weren't sure where it started from or where it ended. We figured both out, but only in the aftermath of people milling around. And it was more of a wheelbarrow race than a pram race.

Still, we took the opportunity to go and look at the gallery opening of a new exhibition featuring watercolouro art by Emma Wren and Hanna Buck, plus some ceramic by Frankie Atkinson, at The Old Grocery. I wrote about the building ten years ago – scroll down and you'll see a couple of pictures. For some years the place was empty, but it's now a little gallery and has had some very nice exhibitions over the past couple of years.

This one was dominated by watercolours of flowers, colourful, vibrant and calming after our disappointing dash around the lower end of town (and not even a drink to show for it!).

After fourteen years living in Wivenhoe, we finally managed to see the annual Regatta, with its swarm of sailing boats and a lot of stalls set up along the quays. As the nearest I've ever got to sailing is reading Swallows and Amazons, I was prepared for a disappointing hour of boating types clogging up the roads, but it turned out to be a delightful hour of everyone just having a good time in the sunshine.

There were bands, food stalls, arts and crafts stalls, drinks, clubs, a charity tombola, a first responders training class, various stalls promoting everything from the local youth football team to the Freemasons, lots of food stalls, drinks stalls, expensive ice creams (£5 for a 99!) and—the first thing I spotted—a secondhand book stall. Drawn like an object into a black hole, I promptly spent my pocket money on a few books, including a couple of British Library Crime Classics that I didn't have, and two books by Alan Villiers, whose name I recognised as a contributor to Look and Learn.

The book-sellers were raising money for the Nottage Maritime Institute, which is a small museum dedicated to maritime history and the history of Wivenhoe's shipyards, boat building by hand, models, paintings and—useful to me—an extensive library. I was there on Tuesday trying to find a photo of a building, now demolished, called Wivenhoe Hall to use as an illustration for a forthcoming article.

In between, I have been filling in my time doing a little write-up on a guy called Philip Shoosmith and getting to grips with the history of an old paperback publisher called Scion. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that I can put together another paperback history along the lines of the Badger one, although it will depend on what cover scans I have and what I can get. I have a feeling it might take a while as I have only a couple of handfuls rather than the 500 I had for Badger.

No time for gardener's corner... let's just say that there are now two corners and one is filling up nicely with new grass. More on that next week.

.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Rebellion Releases — 26 June 2024


War Has Been Declared!


This September, the Nort Army are setting out to conquer the 2000 AD Multiverse - and it's going to take some unlikely allies to stop them!

The massive crossover event story Nordland Rising will see Rogue Trooper's oldest enemies invade multiple different storylines from across 2000 AD's history, as they take on Judge Dredd, Bad Company, Fiends of the Eastern Front, The VCs and more. Spread across 2000 AD Prog 2400 and Judge Dredd Megazine 472, this is an all-out action assault - and The Norts aren't taking any prisoners!


Featuring stories from Ken Niemand, John McCrea, Peter Milligan, Ian Edginton, Nick Percival, Dan Abnett, Gordon Rennie, Simon Coleby, and more, Nordland Rising will see the return of familiar faces including Jaegir and Major Eazy as the War begins in 2000 AD and then crosses over for the epic climax in Judge Dredd Megazine. With both issues out on the 18th September, readers will be able to read the whole saga in one go - a veritable overdose of Thrill-power!

This is a great way to jump onboard 2000 AD for the first time and get a blast of action from some of The Galaxy's Greatest writers and artists. Easily accessible for new readers - but packed with surprises for long-term fans - the crossover will then be followed by 2000 AD Prog 2401: a jump-on issue featuring the return of Garth Ennis and Patrick Goddard on Rogue Trooper; the follow up to Judge Dredd: A Better World from Rob Williams, Arthur Wyatt and Jake Lynch, and the return of fan-favourite series The Out for an all-new run!
 
It's never been a better time to become a regular reader of 2000 AD - or as we call it, a "Squaxx dek Thargo"! That is... assuming we escape The Norts in one piece...

Nordland Rising will begin in 2000 AD 2400 on the 18th September, and conclude the same day in Judge Dredd Megazine 472. Make sure to grab both halves of the story, Earthlets!

And now, this week's release...


2000AD Prog 2388
Cover: Andy Clarke.

JUDGE DREDD // RADICALISED by Ken Niemand (w) John McCrea (a) Mike Spicer (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
THARG'S TERROR TALES // THE ESSENCE OF THE PIECE by Ed Whiting (w) Sinu Senan (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
BRINK // CONSUMED by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)
ROGUE TROOPER // SOUTHER BELLE by Geoffrey D. Wessel (w) Dan Cornwell (a) Chris Blythe (c) Jim Campbell (l)
PROTEUS VEX // DEVIOUS by Mike Carroll (w) Jake Lynch (a) Jim Boswell (c) Simon Bowland (l)

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