Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Carlton Unleash Hell

Carlton have officially announced the War Picture Library and Battle Picture Library titles I put together for them and released cover images, so I guess that means I can talk about them here. The two titles are Unleash Hell and Death or Glory and they're both due for release on 3 September. Carlton, and their Prion Books imprint, have a whole bunch of new titles due that day, including the next new Commando Library book and a Best of Look-In. There may be some I've missed or some that have yet to be announced, but the following are the titles I know have been announced:

Unleash Hell (ISBN 1853756296)
In all its grim glory, the Second World War is brought to life in 12 of the grittiest war dramas ever committed to paper. "War Picture Library" was the daddy of them all - the first pocket library and for many fans, the best. The conflict that engulfed Europe forced ordinary men to give up their safe, happy lives and fight for freedom against an enemy who had been preparing for war for years. Debuting in 1958, "War Picture Library" celebrated the heroic actions of the Allies as they fought back on land, at sea and in the air. No theatre of conflict was ignored. Written by authors who had themselves seen combat, from the baking deserts of Africa to the steaming jungles of the Far East, these complete stories gave youngsters growing up in the years after the war an answer to the question, "What did you do in the war, daddy?" Gathered here is some of the most striking war art ever produced, reproduced 25 per cent bigger than the originals so you can feel every bullet hit, every crashing wave and every nerve shattering explosion. This is military history as you've never read it before.

Death or Glory (ISBN 185375630X)
When it comes to telling stories about the Second World War few did it better than the authors of "Battle Picture Library"! Here at last is the collection you've been waiting for, gathering together 12 of the toughest tales of war ever told. From the bomb-shattered roads of Europe to the stifling jungles of the Far East, below the crashing waves of the Atlantic or in the war-torn skies over England's green fields - these stories of courage and comradeship stirred the imaginations of generations of British children whose parents and grandparents struggled against the Axis powers bent on enslaving nations. The stories you'll find in this volume have an incredible range, from action with the Desert Rats to top-secret missions for Military Intelligence via the nightmare dreams of a Captain in the airborne division and the heroic rise of Jack Charlton (not that Jack Charlton) to the head of Baker Company. It's not just rattling good history... it's explosive! Attracting some of the finest talent from across Europe, these visceral pocket novels are reproduced 25 per cent bigger than the originals so you can revel in every glorious detail. If you remember these books from your schooldays, get ready to relive the excitement. If you're new to them... have we got an experience for you!

Commando Library
The next Commando Library book from Carlton Books will be appearing in the UK on 3 September 2007 under the title All Guns Blazing!. The Anzacs at War title previously announced is still coming out in Australia as far as I know and I'm pretty sure this isn't just a retitling of that book. Update: Terry from New Zealand has confirmed (8 May) that the book was available in NZ well in time for ANZAC Day on 25 April. According to, the book (ISBN 1844420590) will be available in the UK from 6 August 2007.

All Guns Blazing! (ISBN 1844422844)
Handle this latest bumper book of the best of "Commando" war stories with care. You'll need nerves of steel to cope with the drama and the excitement, and once you've found a safe spot to settle in and open the book... well, you'll be hooked and unable to put it down. Where else could you come across titles like "Desert Fox", "They Flew by Night", "Sea Strike", "The Death or Glory Mob", Zero Smasher". And where else could you go into action alongside a British army sergeant hunting down a Jerry tank with only his Tommy gun and a couple of grenades... or the Lancaster pilot who knew no fear until he was put behind the controls of a bomber that was jinxed. You can read about all these ordinary men turned into heroes and their stories for yourself. They are all here in this great collection of the best of "Commando" picture stories where all guns are blazing and every page is packed with action and adventure.

More titles to look out for...

The Best of Jackie Annual: All Your Favourites (Prion, ISBN 1853756261)
No Christmas is complete for the 30-40-something woman without a "Jackie Annual". "All Your Favourites" is another treasure trove of hilarious nostalgic gems, reproduced in facsimile form true to the original, to pore over and enjoy. With compulsive quizzes, such as 'Are You Nice or Nasty?', great advice, including 'A Jackie Guide to Kissing', super fashion stories, pop and TV news, plus a cautionary Reader's True Experience photo story 'I Tried to Change Him', nobody is going to want to miss out on this.

The Best of June and School Friend (Prion, ISBN 1853756253)
"Schoolfriend" was the biggest-selling girls' comic throughout the '50s, followed closely by the slightly more modern "June", then publishers Fleetway combined the two in the 1960s, keeping the most popular features of each. And this book is a wonderful collection of the best of those, from the 1960s and 1970s. There are comedy capers with Bessie Bunter, the funniest girl in school; uplifiting tales of triumph over terrible adversity with "The Girl with Big Feet"; the heart-wrenching ordeals of "Emma in the Shade - the girl who is a nobody", and thrilling short stories such as Gwenda's "Desperate Ride". All this, plus fashion, advice, competitions and charming pinups of beautifully groomed dogs, "The Best of June and Schoolfriend" is a wonderful oasis of innocence from times past.

(Steve: This is a 144-page title similar to last year's Best of Girl title from Prion containing a mixture of comic strips, features, beauty tips, letters' pages and pin-ups mostly from the mid and late-1960s issues of June & School Friend.)

Charm School (Prion, ISBN 1853756245)
'Did you know that the way you treat your feet today could very easily have an effect on the sort of woman you will be in ten or fifteen years from now?' Throughout the 1950s, Girl picture-strips "Charm School" and "Concerning You" offered firm guidance to young girls on how to make the best of themselves. Strict footcare regimes, daily manicures, sensible shoe shopping ('if bewildered by a wide choice of styles, always choose the plainest'), and good grooming were all instilled into Girl readers beginning to take an interest in their appearance, before any bad habits had a chance to set in. And for the young woman with ambitions beyond the home, the paper ran a careers advice picture strip, 'I Want To Be...', which each week would feature a suitable calling such as nurse, nanny, typist, receptionist, air hostess or riding teacher. This book gathers together the best of those strips for a complete tutorial in making the most of your skills and natural assets. For former Girl readers who didn't care for their feet perhaps this will be a painful reminder of where it all went wrong, but those who did can bask in the good sense offered by their favourite weekly paper all those years ago. And everybody else can enjoy the comedy.

Look-In: The Best of Look-In From the Seventies (Prion, ISBN 1853756229)
"Look-in", aka "Junior TVTimes", was the essential subscription for children growing up in Britain in the 1970s. It offered behind-the-scenes glimpses of their favourite TV shows, interviews with stars, pin-ups and TV spin-off picture-strip adventures. With exciting installments of "Black Beauty", "The Six Million Dollar Man", and "Sapphire and Steele", hilarious "Robin's Nest", "On The Buses" and "Please Sir!" picture strips, features on "TisWas," "Junior Show Time" and "How", an exclusive Roger Moore interview and pin-up and much, much more, this compulsive book takes you back to a time when we had three TV channels, we listened to LPs and singles on our record players, our crackly transistors were tuned to 275/285m Medium Wave for Radio 1, and the Bionic Man could have all that work done for a mere $6m.


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