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Friday, February 02, 2007

Comic Clippings - 2 February 2007

All of a sudden there's lots happening with old British comics and comic characters...

D. C. Thomson have just announced that they are soon to launch BeanoMAX, a monthly which will go on sale 15 February. According to Thomsons, they will publish 10 regular issues a year with 44 pages (£2.48) plus two bumper issues of 52 pages (£2.98). The magazine will feature games reviews, competitions and jokes alongside the usual comic strips. The characters will be the same as in the regular weekly Beano but will feature in "longer stories to give these established characters more depth." Issues will sometimes be themed around major events; the launch issue, for instance, supports Red Nose Day and features Dennis and Gnasher wearing giant red noses on the front cover. The paper quality will be higher than the weekly and each issue will be bagged with high quality cover mounted gifts and the publishers are promising high profile celebrities will be appearing alongside your favourite characters... the first issue has a headline on the cover promising "Daleks invade Bash Street" and there's a poster of Dennis and Gnasher alongside Wallace and Gromit.

Thomsons are backing up the launch with plenty of trade investment, spending £200,000 in the first year and pushing the title through W. H. Smiths, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Asda and Tesco. The launch print run will be 120,000.
  • Racey's back! Roy of the Rovers is making his comeback in a football fanzine, Players Inc. Fans of the strip have licensed the strip and will be running stories from the beginning of the 1975 season. However, editor Steve Wraith says that they are in negotiations with Egmont about creating new stories. See: 'Return to the Rovers for Roy' (Daily Record, 31 January 2007), 'Move Over Pele, Racey's back' (The Sun, 1 February 2007).
  • Orion Publishing Group have picked up the rights to do a series of 'Best of Eagle' titles from Dan Dare Corp. and have registered ISBN's for two titles, Eagle Annual of the 1950s (ISBN 978-0752888941) to be released on 20 September 2007, and Eagle Annual of the 1960s (ISBN 978-0752888958) with a provisional release date set for 18 September 2008. Both books will be 256 pages and will be edited by Daniel Tatarsky, who wrote Flick to Kick: The Illustrated History of Subbuteo (2004).
  • 25,000 copies of the graphic novel adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped by Alan Grant & Cam Kennedy were distributed around Edinburgh as part of the One City - One Book campaign. Grnat and Kennedy are interviewed here, 'Drawing their inspiration from a timeless classic' (The Scotsman, 1 February 2007).
  • Alan Moore's next League of Extraordinary Gentleman volume -- after the delayed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Black Dossier from DC Comics -- will be entitled 'Century' and will be published by Top Shelf (US) and Knockabout Comics (UK) in 2008. Also upcoming is a 320-page book about magic co-written by Alan Moore and Steve Moore, due in 2009. A detailed outline of both books can be found at the Top Shelf website.
  • Mike Noble, of TV 21 and Look-In fame, is interviewed in Elephantman issue 6. Lew Stringer has written a piece about Mike on his blog: 'The Dynamic Art of Mike Noble' (2 February 2007).
  • Dan Dare got a mention on Coronation Street recently when the character Roy Cropper (David Neilson) was offered £1,500 for his collection of the first year of Eagle and a Dan Dare ray-gun.

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