Monday, September 30, 2013

Recent Releases: September-December 2013


50 Years of Jackie.
Prion ISBN 978-1853759017, 12 September 2013, 144pp, £19.99. [£16.99 from Amazon]
Jackie magazine was the iconic must-have read for all teenage girls in Britain from the 1960s to the 1990s. Covering everything from the latest gossip on the current pop idols to high-street fashions and mixed with comic-strip stories of love and romance, it provided a wealth of advice on makeup trends, understanding relationship with boys and parents and how to choose careers. Whether you wanted to shape up for the summer or wrap up for Christmas, Jackie had it covered. In a bumper-packed, full-colour nostalgia feast, Jackie at 50 celebrates a golden anniversary by taking a walk down memory lane with a compilation of stories, articles, quizzes and practical advice galore from the original Jackie magazines. Along with special articles written by many of the original editors who worked on Jackie, this fun-packed assortment of highlights recalls the days when Donny Osmond and David Cassidy ruled the airwaves, Elton still had his own hair and 10cc was a band and not just a measurement.
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ABC Warriors: Return to Earth by Pat Mills & Clint Langley.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081440, 12 September 2013, 96pp, £14.99. [£11.99 from Amazon]
Pat Mills is the creator and first editor of 2000 AD. For the Galaxy's Greatest Comic, he is the writer and co-creator of ABC Warriors, Finn, Flesh, Nemesis the Warlock and Slaine. He also developed Judge Dredd and helped write one of the early Dredd serials, The Cursed Earth. Clint Langley began his 2000 AD career with the fully painted artwork of his co-created series Dinosty and he has also illustrated Judge Dredd, Nemesis The Warlock, Outlaw, Sinister Dexter and Tales of Telguuth. As well as working for 2000 AD, Clint has produced covers for Games Workshop and Marvel publications and is the winner of the 2007 Inquest Gamer Fan Awards for Best Artist.
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The Best of Alex 2013 by Charles Peattie & Russell Taylor.
Prion ISBN 978-1853759024, 12 September 2013, 88pp, £9.99. [£7.99 from Amazon]
Among other things, Alex Masterley is forced to deal with the political (and financial) fallout of 'austerity Britain', a change at the head of the Bank of England, and a transformation of the banking industry's regulatory body - things can only get better!
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The Best of Milligan & McCarthy by Pete Milligan & Brendan McCarthy.
Dark Horse ISBN 978-1616551537, 24 September 2013, 264pp, £18.99. [£12.72 from Amazon]
One of comics' most fruitful collaborations gets its due in this deluxe collection of hard-to-find gems from Peter Milligan (Hellblazer, X-Statix) and Brendan McCarthy (Judge Dredd, The Zaucer of Zilk)! Collecting twenty years' worth of the pair's finest work from Vanguard Illustrated, Strange Days, 2000 AD, and Vertigo, this beautiful hardcover includes art that has been newly touched up by McCarthy and features original commentary by both creators. There is still nothing else like Freakwave, Paradax!, Skin, and Rogan Gosh, and this volume is both the perfect retrospective for fans and the ideal starting place for new readers!
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Boys' World Ticket to Adventure by Steve Holland.
Bear Alley Books ISBN 978-19070812, 9 September 2013, 208pp, £19.99.
Boys' World is one of the most fondly remembered of all British comics from the 1960s. An Eagle for the new decade, it featured across its centre pages the mighty 'Wrath of the Gods', an epic tale of deities and demons beautifully drawn by Ron Embleton. Readers thrilled to the adventure of 'The Sea Ape', puzzled over the question 'What Is Exhibit X?' and roared at the sporting antics of 'Billy Binns and his Wonderful Specs'.
     Giants of science fiction Mike Moorcock and Harry Harrison were both contributors, Harrison writing one of the text story serials as well as adapting his novel Deathworld as 'The Angry Planet'. Harrison also penned the original Brett Million story 'The Ghost World', one of the finest science fiction strips to appear in British comics and complimented by some outstanding artwork by Frank Bellamy. Moorcock's contributions were more esoteric, ranging from numerous episodes of the feature 'Do You Know Your Name?' to essays on lost cities, submarines and volcanoes. Harrison and Moorcock were also among the many writers who contributed short stories to Boys' World, a list that also includes Barrington J. Bayley, Sydney J. Bounds, Wilfred McNeilly, Rex Dolphin, Donne Avenell, Jim Edgar and Tom Tully.
     The paper's roster of artists included many of the finest illustrators of the early Sixties, including John M. Burns, Frank Langford, Colin Andrew, Brian Lewis, Frank Humphris, Gerry Embleton, Harry Bishop, James McConnell, Don Lawrence, Roy Cross, Luis Bermejo and Gino D'Antonio.
     Boys' World: Ticket to Adventure relates how the paper came into existence at a turbulent time for comics, how its original editor was replaced before the first issue even reached the newsstands and how it eventually folded into the paper it was meant to replace.
Order from Bear Alley Books.

Button Man: Get Harry Ex by John Wagner & Arthur Ranson.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081389, 17 September 2013, 304pp, £19.30. [£16.80 from Amazon]
The world didn't seem to need a man like Harry Exton anymore. An ex-soldier and mercenary, Harry was a human-killing machine without a vocation, until an old colleague told him about 'The Game'. The players, known as 'Button Men' are paid to fight to the death in a modern-day gladiatorial contest. Organised by mysterious backers known as 'Voices', the killing game offers bountiful financial reward...
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The Dandy and The Beano Classic Christmas Comic Covers 1937-1969 by Phil Shrimpton.
Phil-Comics ISBN 978-0992663506, 30 September 2013, 76pp, £19.99.
With vintage style paper and matt laminated covers and dust jacket, this book is a genuine collector's item and a real treat to the eye. The Dandy and The Beano comics are British institutions evoking fond memories with their bold, bright front covers familiar to millions of boys and girls. Korky the Cat from The Dandy and Biffo the Bear from The Beano were long-standing front cover stars and firm favourites with readers. The Christmas issues had particularly attractive, stand-alone front covers and are widely collected today. This unique compilation of every Christmas cover from the classic years, 1937 to 1969, of these two great national comic treasures will be relished by collectors, enthusiasts, nostalgia seekers and all those who recall their weekly comic treat! Get into the festive spirit and enjoy vintage festive fun with Christmas puds, slap-up feasts, crackers and jokes galore! You're in for a slap-up treat!
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Fight the Power! by Sean Michael Wilson, Hunt Emerson and others.
New Internationalist Books ISBN 978-1780261225, September 2013, 176pp, £9.99. [£7.99 from Amazon]
In his famous history series A History of the English Speaking Peoples Winston Churchill seemed to think that history was about wars and made by great leaders. Fight the Power! begs to differ and instead presents A Visual History of Protest Amongst the English Speaking Peoples.
    Today’s occupy movements are part of a long history of struggle. This book visualises key moments in history where ordinary people have risen up and fought governments, corporations, even empires. When the 99% have stood up to combatexploitation and abuse or in pursuit of freedom of action and a better life. In other words, to show times in history, just like today, when people have struggled forward to FIGHT THE POWER!
    This comic book covers 14 cases of such struggle over the last 200 years and in several English speaking countries including not just the US and UK but Australia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, India and Jamaica.Order from Amazon.

Harker: The Black Hound by Roger Gibson & Vince Danks.
Titan Books ISBN 978-1781166987, 27 September 2013, 128pp, £14.99. [£13.28 from Amazon]
DCI Harkers seaside holiday in the Northern British town of Whitby is ruined when he witnesses the murder of a well-known mystery novelist. Bloody murder, a chase across the moors and wry, cutting humor all combine in this love letter to classic British detective TV series. Written by Roger Gibson and illustrated by Vince Danks, Harker takes police investigation to a true heart of darkness.
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Monster Massacre Volume 1 ed. Dave Elliott.
Titan Books ISBN 978-1782760177, 10 September 2013, 160pp, £17.99. [£15.50 from Amazon]
From all around the world, the greatest comic talents are given full and free rein to explore the universe, to seek out new life and new civilizations... to boldly go where no one would dare let them go before!
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Nemesis the Warlock: Deviant Edition by Pat Mills & Kevin O'Neill.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081716, 12 September 2013, 240pp, £30.00. [£19.20 from Amazon]
SPECIAL COLOUR HARDBACK! Termight, a world at the heart of a cruel galactic empire. Located deep in the bowels of the Earth, its inhabitants live in fear of their leader - the diabolically evil Torquemada. Determined to rid the universe of all ‘deviant’ alien life, the Grand Master and his army of Terminators are opposed by legendary alien freedom fighter, Nemesis the Warlock. Credo!
    Written by 2000 AD creator Pat Mills (Marshal Law) and featuring the stunning artwork of Kevin O’Neill (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and Jesus Redondo (Star Trek: Voyager), this edition collects the fully-coloured Eagle Comics editions altogether for the first time and also includes the very hard to find Nemesis Poster Prog strip, The Tomb of Torquemada.
    Also available in a special Termight Edition.
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Razorjack by John Higgins. 
Titan Books ISBN 978-1781164709, 17 September 2013, 104pp, £14.99. [£10.34 from Amazon]
When three students inadvertently create an opening into our dimension from an alternate universe known as The Twist, they become the focus for the evil death-bitch Razorjack. Maverick cops, Frame and Ross, are assigned a disturbing serial killer case which draws them into what is potentially the final battle between good and evil. Written and illustrated by John Higgins (Watchmen).
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Sirens: The Pin-Up art of David Wright by Terry Parker. 
Titan Books ISBN 978-1781166697, 6 September 2013, 192pp, £24.99. [£16.49 from Amazon]
David Wright was one of the leading pin-up artists of the 20th Century. Unlike his American contemporaries Alberto Vargas and Gil Elvgren, the British-born Wright brought a sense of realism to his willowy beauties, who appeared in publications on both sides of the Atlantic, especially during WW2. Now, finally, access has been granted to his archive, and this is the first ever collection of his work.
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Warren Ellis: The Captured Ghosts Interviews by Patrick Meaney & Kevin Thurman. 
Sequart Research & Literacy Organization ISBN 978-1940589022, 4 September 2013, 130pp, £8.37. [£8.06 from Amazon]
In 2010 and 2011, legendary comic-book creator Warren Ellis sat down over several days to film career-spanning interviews for the documentary film Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts. In these extensive interviews, Ellis discusses his life, his work, and his thoughts. He looks back over how his career has evolved, describes his writing process, explores the themes that fascinate him, and details the role technology has played in his work (and in the development of his famous online persona). Only a small fraction of this material made it into the film. This book is a record of these historic interviews, as well as a fascinating portrait of one of comics' greatest writers.
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70s Girls' Comics: 100 Postcards.
Egmont ISBN 978-1405268387, 10 October 2013, 200pp, £14.99. [£11.99 from Amazon]
A unique collection of 100 postcards, each featuring a different girls' comics image from Misty, Tammy and Jinty. From gymnastics and school hijinks to spine-tingling mystery and menace, there's an abundance of classic images in this sturdy gift box. A perfect nostalgia gift for all fans of 1970s girls' comics.
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Battle: 100 Postcards.
Egmont ISBN 978-1405268370, 10 October 2013, 200pp, £14.99. [£11.99 from Amazon]
A unique collection of 100 postcards, each featuring a different Battle comics image. From Rat Pack and Major Eazy to Johnny Red and Charley's War, there's an abundance of classic images in a sturdy gift box. A perfect nostalgia gift for all fans of British classic comics.
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Charley's War: The End by Pat Mills & Joe Colquhoun.
Titan Books ISBN 978-0857683014, 29 October 2013, 120pp, £14.99. [£10.34 from Amazon]
In the final explosive volume of never-before-collected comic strip, including for the first time reproductions of strip pages from Joe Colquhoun's original artwork, we finally reach the epic conclusion of Charley's story, and the harrowing final days of World War I. The tenth action-packed volume of Charley's War is rich in the detailed minutiae of the terror-punctuated existence of a Tommy.
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Heros the Spartan by Tom Tully & Frank Bellamy
Book Palace Books ISBN 978-1907081194, 10 August 2013, 272pp, £95.00. [hardcover limited edition of 600] 
Book Palace Books ISBN 978-1907081200, 10 August 2013, 296pp, £265.00. [leatherbound, limited edition of 120]
In 1962 Frank Bellamy was asked to draw a new Roman epic strip for the Eagle, written by Tom Tully. Bellamy had previously honed his artistic skills on Robin Hood and King Arthur in the Swift (both available from Book Palace Books) and The Happy Warrior, the Story of Winston Churchill, Montgomery of Alamein, Marco Polo and Fraser of Africa also in the Eagle.
     At the pinnacle of his artistic skills, this new commission gave him a unique opportunity. The new strip Heros the Spartan was being presented on the centre double page spread of the Eagle. This enormous canvas gave Bellamy a format few comic strip artists ever achieve or even dream of. The double page format enabled Bellamy to create the greatest comic strip adventure ever presented to the public. He excelled himself with revolutionary page and panel design and dramatic ink line work all in glorious colour and his ink lines and colour work on this strip have yet to be equalled by any other artist on any strip.
Order from Amazon: hardcover edition / leatherbound, edition.

Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files Vol.21 by John Wagner, Dan Abnett, Carlos Ezquerra, John Higgins, Trevor Hairsine.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081754, 10 October 2013, 320pp, £19.99. [£13.39 from Amazon]
Volume 21 in the bestselling series of Judge Dredd's collected cases, from the pages of 2000 AD. Mega-City One: the future metropolis bustling with life and every crime imaginable. Keeping order are the Judges, a stern police force acting as judges, juries and executioners. Toughest of all is Judge Dredd. From encountering another 2000 AD legend – Rogue Trooper – to Dredd's disgrace and arrest, this is another slab of future law enforcement!
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Soho Dives, Soho Divas by Rian Hughes. 
Image Comics ISBN 978-1607066385, 8 October 2013, 360pp, £22.50. [£14.85 from Amazon]
Rian Hughes (Yesterday's Tomorrows, Tales From Beyond Science) has created a unique series of portraits of London's underworld burlesque artists. Collected here are stylish and erotic sketches from life, bold graphic illustrations, and beautiful paintings in an eclectic variety of media and styles.
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Thunderbirds: The Comic Collection
Egmont Classic Comics ISBN 978-1405268363, 10 October 2013, 288, £25.00. [£16.25 from Amazon]
Blast off on a thrilling adventure through Thunderbirds comic history! Discover the iconic comic strips that captured the thrill and excitement of the cult TV series, read about the geniuses who created them, and look inside the spectacular Thunderbirds vehicles. With original comic artwork by leading British artists and a F.A.B. selection of Thunderbirds cross-sections, this exciting collection is perfect for Thunderbirds fans everywhere. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...Thunderbirds are Go!
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Wallace and Gromit: The Complete Newspaper Strips Volume 1 by Brian J. Robb, Jean-Paul Rutter, David Leach, Jimmy Hansen, Mychailo Kazybrid. 
Titan Books ISBN 978-1782760320, 8 October 2013, 136pp, £9.99. [£7.19 from Amazon]
52 weeks, 52 stories and 312 individuals strips. Each fully originated and self-contained story runs over six days and contains more jokes and silliness than you could shake a left-handed widget plunger at. From tales about home dentistry and bee keeping to battles with Feathers McGraw and out-of-control robotic scarecrows, Wallace and Gromit's lives are anything but normal!
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Zenith by Grant Morrison & Steve Yeowell. 
Rebellion. October 2013, 480ppp, £100. Hardcover, limited edition of 1,000.
Pre-publication ordering began on 1 July 2013 and the print run was sold out by the morning of 4 July.

Zomba: You Smell of Crime and I'm the Deodorant by Al Ewing & Henry Flint.  
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781080344, 15 October 2013. 128pp, £13.99. [£11.99 from Amazon]
When the Government's latest crime deterrent, Obmoz goes completely off the rails and starts to destroy everything from the underfunded super team Planetronix to the president himself, who ya gonna call? Not Zombo, because he s dead and not in a zombie-type of dead way, but in a brain-melted-by-laser kinda way! Now the only thing standing between mankind and total annihilation is a male stripper and a well padded pair of underpants! I don't think we re going to make it...
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A1 Annual ed. Dave Elliott.
Titan Books ISBN 978-1782760160, 26 November 2013, 120pp, £15.99. [£10.87 from Amazon]
Innovation requires experimentation. A1 has always been a laboratory for creators to experiment. To do or try something new or tell a story in a genre they're not familiar with. To encourage them to break away from corporate creations and unleash their own ideas. A1 is their platform. This is the exciting return of the award-winning graphic anthology series!
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The Art of Sean Phillips, with Eddie Robson.
Dynamite Entertainment ISBN 978-1606904206, 13 November 2013, 312pp, £29.99. [£19.49 from Amazon]
The Art of Sean Phillips is a lavish, career-spanning retrospective of the acclaimed artist behind Criminal, Sleeper, Incognito, and Fatale. Sean has personally selected the very best, most interesting examples of his art for inclusion, from comic strips assembled with childhood friends in his bedroom, through his work for British girls' comics and 2000AD, to his role as a key artist in the early years of Vertigo, through his superhero work for Marvel, DC, and WildStorm, and finally from his creator-owned series with Ed Brubaker. Also, the renowned artist has been extensively interviewed, along with many of his key collaborators, for the book's in-depth commentary on his work and career.
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Comics Art by Paul Gravett.
Tate Publishing ISBN 978-1849760560, 7 November 2013, £18.99. [£13.39 from Amazon]
The phenomenal growth of graphic novels and manga and the explosion of comics on the internet and other platforms have given their creators unprecedented freedom to innovate. Many can enjoy widespread acclaim in the art world, literary circles and through their multimedia adaptations. Comics Art takes an international approach by tracing lines of influence around the world to give historical contexts and contemporary perspectives for this huge current interest in the medium. Richly illustrated with many images taken from original artwork and rare artefacts, Comics Art gives a fascinating, accessible guide to some of the special properties of sequential art, such as panels, page layouts, speech balloons and wordless or 'silent' narration. It addresses concerns about how comics perpetuate stereotypes and support the status quo, while assessing their growing significance, notably through autobiography and reportage, as vehicles for provocative voices often silenced in other media. Comics Art also explores the diversity of styles, media and approaches now possible in the medium and exciting developments in digital comics and in comics conceived for galleries and installations.
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Gino D'Antonio: Worlds of Adventure, edited by Steve Holland.
Bear Alley Books ISBN 978-190708172-9, November 2013, 90pp, £23.99.
Worlds of Adventure gathers together four never previously reprinted, full-colour strips illustrated by Gino D'Antonio.
    In the late 1960s, while he was writing the epic Storia del West in his native Italy, D'Antonio was collaborating with Mike Butterworth to adapt some of literature's most famous adventure stories: 'The Wanderings of Ulysses', 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea', 'Quo Vadis' and 'A Tale of Two Cities'. These tales span history from Greek myth and the gladiatorial circus's of Rome to the French Revolution and an innovatory French tale describing the adventures of Nemo, a 19th century Ulysses wandering the oceans in the wake of the Industrial Revolution.
    D'Antonio was a popular artist in England, although his name was known only to the editorial staff and agents through whom he worked. He had been drawing for British comics for over a decade, his first illustrations appearing in 1955 followed by his first strips in 1956. D'Antonio worked for some of Britain's finest comics, including Eagle, Express Weekly and Boys' World, although he will always be remembered for his war comics, drawn for War, Battle, War at Sea and Front Line in 1958-68. Thanks to their constant recycling, they influenced a hugely diverse range of artist, including Dave Gibbons, Mick McMahon and Rufus Dayglo.
Order from Bear Alley Books.

The James Bond Omnibus 005 by Jim Lawrence & Yaroslav Horak.
Titan Books ISBN 978-0857685902, 22 November 2013, 272pp, £14.99.
The daring James Bond is back in a definitive bumper edition collecting more of Jim Lawrence's celebrated run in comic strip form! It includes nine of Bond's most thrilling and dangerous missions: Till Death Do Us Part, The Torch-Time Affair, Hot-Shot Nightbird, Ape of Diamonds, When The Wizard Awakes, Sea Dragon, Death Wing, and The Xanadu Connection!
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The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Forrest, Patrick Nicolle & Gerry Embleton.
Book Palace Books ISBN 978-1907081071, 1 November 2013, 140pp, £15.99.
Four of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's greatest stories engagingly adapted into graphic novels by three of the greatest illustrators of our time.
    Enjoy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of Four and Sir Nigel in these black and white comic strip adaptations from the 1960s.
    Dinosaurs, Sherlock Holmes and knights in armour add up to a feast of comic strip glory. The definitive adventure strip version of The Sign of Four, The lurking menace of The Hound of the Baskervilles, the rousing action-packed pageantry of Sir Nigel and the visual impact of savage ape-men battling ferocious carnivorous dinosaurs and swooping pterodactyls in The Lost World.
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Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore by Lance Parkin.
Aurum Press ISBN 978-1781310779, 7 November 2013, 432pp, £20.00. [£11.02 from Amazon]
For over three decades comics fans and creators have regarded Alan Moore as a titan of the form. With works such as V for Vendetta, Watchmen and From Hell, he has repeatedly staked out new territory, attracting literary plaudits and a mainstream audience far removed from his underground origins. His place in popular culture is now such that major Hollywood players vie to adapt his books for cinema. Yet Moore's journey from the hippie Arts Labs of the 1970s to the bestseller lists was far from preordained. A principled eccentric, who has lived his whole life in one English town, he has been embroiled in fierce feuds with some of the entertainment industry's biggest corporations. And just when he could have made millions ploughing a golden rut he turned instead to performance art, writing erotica, and the occult. Now, as Alan Moore hits sixty, it's time to go in search of this extraordinary gentleman, and follow the peculiar path taken by a writer quite unlike any other.
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Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu Earth 2 by Gerry Finley-Day, Cam Kennedy, Steve Dillon, Brett Ewins, Robin Smith & Trevor Goring.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081631, 12 November 2013, 400pp, £12.34. [£12.32 from Amazon]
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Slaine: The Book of Scars by Pat Mills, Clint Lanley, Mick McMahon, Glenn Fabry & Simon Bisley.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081761, 7 November 2013, 192pp, £19.99. [£13.39 from Amazon]
THIRTY YEARS OF MYTH AND LEGEND! Marking 30 years of the Celtic barbarian s adventures, this special anniversary book brings together a sequence of new stories from creator Pat Mills and the biggest artists to have worked on Sláine over the past three decades. This hardback volume also includes The Art of Slaine, a retrospective of Sláine covers and commentary. A great collector's item and not to be missed by fans of great storytelling, art and warp spasms everywhere! Includes and afterword by Graham Linehan.
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Judge Dredd: Mutants in Mega-City One by John Wagner, Warren Ellis & Carlos Ezquerra.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081679, 10 December 2013, 224pp, £15.44. [£14.30 from Amazon]
MUTIES OUT! The great Atomic Wars of 2070 created a population of mutants who, due in part to their bizarre (and in most cases grotesque) deformities, have been denied citizenship in Mega-City One. Rejected by the prejudiced ‘norms’ and forcibly kept away from the city by the Judges, the mutants have had no choice but to live in the vast, radioactive wasteland known as the ‘Cursed Earth’. Harboring resentment and hatred against those that have exiled them, bands of mutants now prey on those that stray from behind the city walls – and sometimes even launch all-out attacks in a bid to gain entry to the Big Meg! This action-packed collection features classic encounters between Judge Dredd and mutantkind!
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Number Cruncher by Si Spurrier & P. J. Holden.
Titan Books ISBN 978-1782760047, 31 December 2013, 90pp, £14.99. [£13.51 from Amazon]
Dying young, a brilliant Mathematician enters the afterlife and discovers a way to cheat the terrifying Divine Calculator. He schemes to be endlessly reincarnated within the lifespan of the woman he loves, no matter how often the violent bailiffs of the Karmic Accountancy cut-short each life. It falls to one such agent - the surly Bastard Zane - to put a stop to the time-twisting romance!
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Solid State Tank Girl by Alan C. Martin & Warwick Johnson Caldwell.
Titan ISBN 978-1782760030, 3 December 2013, 88pp, £14.99. [£10.34 from Amazon]
Tank Girl, Jet Girl, Booga and Barney are back, in a mission to save their favourite little radio store. Everything goes to plan, but somewhere along the line Booga manages to electronically summon a gang of evil counterparts, fronted by the darkest bitch on the planet - ANTI-TANK GIRL. Things are about to get very dark, very bloody, and very stupid.
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Tomorrowland by Paul Jenkins & Stellar Labs.
Titan Books ISBN 978-1782760207, 17 December 2013, 88pp, £14.99. [£13.45 from Amazon]
There are two worlds in front of our eyes - the world we see, and the one we sense. In these two worlds, we are all two people: we each carry two avatars - one connected to destruction and one connected to creation. That is the way of the universe. But what we don't know is that creation and destruction wage an eternal war for the energy we carry inside us. And it is a war that we are rapidly losing...
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2000AD Presents: Sci-Fi Thrillers by Pat Mills, Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan, Ian Gibson, Will Simpson & Henry Flint.
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781081778, 5 December 2013, 320pp, £19.99. [£13.39 from Amazon]
From alien invasions to man-hating dinosaurs, this bumper-sized anthology features a collection of work from industry legends Pat Mills (Marshal Law), Ian Gibson (The Ballad of Halo Jones), Grant Morrison (JLA), Will Simpson (Vamps), Peter Milligan (X-Statix) and Paul Cornell (Dr. Who) amongst many others. This volume collects much sought after stories, many of which have never been collected before. 2000 AD Presents: Sci-Fi Thrillers is an essential purchase for any comics reader!
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

John Masters

Born in Calcutta on 26 October 1914, John Masters was of the fifth generation of his family to live, serve and work in India. He was the son of John Masters, a Captain in the 16th Rajput regiment, and his wife Ada (nee Coulthard).

After being educated in England at Wellington (1928-33), where he won a prize cadetship to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst (1933-34), he returned to India in 1934 as a 2nd lieutenant with the 1st Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, a year later joining the Prince of Wales Own Ghurka Rifles, then serving on the North-West Frontier. He saw active service in Waziristan and Razmak in 1936-38, in Baluchistan in 1939 and, after the outbreak of war, in Iraq, Syria, and Persia.

He left his division in 1942 for training at Staff College and became a Brigadier Major with General Wingate's Chindits in Burma in 1944. Later, as Chief of Staff to the 19th Indian Division, he fought at the Singu Bridgehead, the capture of Mandalay and at Toungoo, and on the Mawchi Road.

After the war he was assigned to teach mountain and jungle warfare at the Staff College, Camberley. Masters retired from the Army in 1948 as Lieutenant-Colonel with the D.S.O. (awarded in 1944) and O.B.E. (1945), and shortly afterwards went to the U.S.A., which he had visited in 1938 and liked.

He lived for a while forty miles from New York City. He turned to writing and soon had articles and short stories published in many well-known American magazines. He had previously written a book on angling in India in 1938, published by Country Life. Despite this, he embarked on a wildly ambitious project – a series of thirty-five novels covering the 350-year history of the British in India and linked by the fortunes of the same family, the Savages, although he eventually wrote only nine. The first of these novels, Nightrunners of Bengal, about the Indian Mutiny, was published in 1951. It was followed by The Deceivers (1952), about the Thugs (about whom Masters had a good deal of detailed knowledge), and The Lotus and the Wind (1953), about the Russian scare of the early eighteen-eighties.

He is probably best known for Bhowani Junction, which dealt with the dilemma facing Anglo-Indians on the eve of Independence, and which was made into a popular film starring Stewart Granger and Ava Gardner.

He became an American citizen on 9 August 1954 and settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Masters died, aged 68, on 7 May 1983 in hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, following complications after he had received heart surgery. He was married to Barbara Phoebe Allcard (1910-1998), who served with the Women's army Auxiliary Corps in India, in March 1945 had had two children, one son and one daughter as well as a son and a daughter from her previous marriage.

John Brook, in The Guardian, recalled that Masters "once said that he was not a philosopher, a pamphleteer or a reformer. he was quite simply determined to tell the truth about men and war, and if the critics sneered that his characters were cardboard, they had no idea of the men he had lived, fought, and got drunk with." (9 May 1983)

The Times noted that "His knowledge of India was profound ... and drawing on his Indian experience [he] wrote eight best-sellers on which his reputation is largely based. In later years his theme was judged by some to have worn thin, but there was no doubt about the popularity of his story-telling. He showed the same proficiency in the world of books as he had shown professional skill as a soldier." (9 May 1983)

Masters wrote three well-received volumes of autobiography: Bugles and a Tiger, The Road Past Mandalay and Pilgrim Son.

(* Artwork from John Bull © Advertising Archive Ltd.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

John Masters Cover Gallery

Nightrunners of Bengal (London, Michael Joseph, 1951; New York, Viking, 1951)
Penguin 1076, 1955, 361pp, 2/6.
---- [Xth imp.] 1959, 3/6.
---- [4th imp.] 5/-. Cover by Charles Raymond
Sphere 0722-10551-7, 1977, 331pp.

The Deceivers (London, Michael Joseph, 1952; New York, Viking, 1952)
Penguin 1085, 1955, 253pp, 2/6.
---- [2nd imp.] 2/6. Cover by David Caplan
---- [3rd imp.] 2/6.
---- [Xth imp.] 3/6. Cover by Charles Raymond?
Corgi 0552-09142-1, 1973, 286pp.
Sphere 0722-15873-4, 1982, 285pp.

The Lotus and the Wind (London, Michael Joseph, 1953; New York, Viking, 1953)
Penguin 1166, 1956, 265pp, 2/6.
---- [Xth imp.] 3/6
---- [6th imp.] 3/6.
Corgi 0552-09256-8, 1973, 283pp.
Sphere 0722-15807-6, 1984, 283pp, £1.95.
John Masters' third novel about India has as its central figure Robin Savage, a strange, contradictory character. He seems never to need the love or company of his fellow beings, yet as a soldier he is a careful, considerate officer. Through a misunderstanding he is accused of cowardice and this book has as its theme the mission he undertakes to live down this rumour, for the sake of his wife and the military traditions of his family, and to try to find what he is seeking in the emptiness of the wild and barren border country. His mission in 1880 was one of the most dangerous and important secret service appointments in the history of British India.
    His relationship with his wife, who wants both to bind him and to free him with her love, with his faithful Gurkha orderly, and with his Russian quarry Marulev, a man who is also seeking self-realization, are understandingly described, and the violence and fear of his journey give this book intensity in excitement as well as in tranquility. (Penguin, 1956)
The North-West Frontier, 1880. Behind lay such peace and security as India knew. Ahead the land was jagged and the people harsh and the sky unrelenting. In this violent and inhospitable landscape the new Bengal Army battled to maintain the rule of the Raj.
    Into these wild hinterlands an inexperienced Gurkha officer named Robin Savage rode off on a desperate mission to probe the rumours of a threatened Russian invasion. It was a task to test the mettle of even the most hardened regular, let alone one who carried with him the cruel stigma of cowardice in the face of the enemy.
    Success would make a hero of the  young soldier. Failure would blacken forever the reputation of the great army family whose name he proudly bore... (Sphere, 1983)
Bhowani Junction (London, Michael Joseph, 1954; New York, Viking, 1954)
Penguin 1439, 1960, 381pp.
---- [2nd imp.] 3/6. Cover by Denis Piper
---- [Xth imp.]
Corgi 0552-09691-1, 1975, 414pp.
Sphere 0722-15874-2, 1983, 414pp.
Bhowani Junction is set in India at the time of partition. The events are related first-hand in three separate narratives by the main figures: Patrick Taylor, Victoria Jones and Rodney Savage. It is through their eyes that we see some of the personal and social problems of modern India. (Penguin, 1958)
Coromandel! (London, Michael Joseph, 1955; New York, Viking, 1955)
Penguin 1305, 1958, 298pp, 3/6.
---- [2nd imp.] 3/6. Cover by Denis Piper?
---- [Xth imp.]
Corgi 0552-09616-4, 1975, 295pp.

Far, Far the Mountain Peak (London, Michael Joseph, 1957; New York, Viking, 1957)
Penguin 1543, 1961, 395pp.
Corgi 0552-09572-9, 1974, 444pp, 50p.
Sphere 0772-15808-4, 1985, 375pp.
Far, Far the Mountain Peak is a portrayal of twenty years in the life of Peter Savage, British civil servant and mountaineer. A man of ruthless will and ambition from his Cambridge days to his time of near glory in India, Peter Savage is determined to reach the top and his motto is 'at all costs'. Talented, brilliant, lonely, he wins the love of a woman who both understands and fears him, and he enjoys the loyalty and friendship of an English peer and an Indian patriot.
    But this life and career are cold-bloodedly plotted so that the people close to him are essential to his design for fame and greatness, and he is indifferent to his destructive effect on them as human beings.
    A tragic revelation of his own false values is the turning point of his life, and how he finds his way to self-redemption is the magnificent climax of the novel. (Penguin, 1961)
Towering over the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan mountain range was the proud virgin summit of Meru—twenty-seven thousand and forty feet of icy splendour which had stood unchallenged since time immemorial, until, in the spring of 1913, a man led his party to begin the long, perilous climb to the top.
    The man was Peter Savage, and all his life he had betted against ridiculous odds—taken decisions where others had hesitated. Friends both loved and feared him—would do anything in their power to help him. Now Savage wanted Meru, and no matter what it cost, he was determined to win the battle between the mountain and the man... (Corgi, 1974)
Fandango Rock (London, Michael Joseph, 1959; New York, Harper, 1959)
Penguin 1662, 1961, 350pp.
Sphere 0722-15977-3, 1976, 330pp.
Fandango ... Rock ... Pasodoble ... In three action-crammed movements John Masters works out the destiny of Cesar de Aguirre, an arrogant hidalgo turned bullfighter 'on principal', and of Kit Freemantle, an impulsive, headstrong American girl. Against the setting of an American strategic air-base in Spain, in the wild, colourful, often terrifying drama of this magnificent story, Cesar comes to stand for the very soul of Spain – perhaps of Europe – and Kit for the free human heart of America, yearning to be loved.
The Venus of Konpara (London, Michael Joseph, 1960; New York, Harper, 1960)
Penguin 2357, 1965, 253pp.
Corgi 0552-09400-5, 1973, 254pp.
Sphere 0772-15806-8, 1985, 212pp.

To the Coral Strand (London, Michael Joseph, 1962; New York, Harper, 1962)
New English Library/Four Square 1168, 1965, 383pp.
---- [2nd(?) imp.] 1968, 383pp.
Corgi 0552-10078-1, 1976, 320pp.

Trial at Monomoy (London, Michael Joseph, 1964; New York, Harper, 1964)
New English Library/Four Square 1700, 1967, 315pp.
New English Library 2788, 1970.
Corgi 0552-09898-1, 1975, 347pp, 65p. Cover by Paul Wright
Monomoy is a small American coastal town... smug, prim, sinful, and ripe for disaster. As Monomoy's inhabitants go about their daily business and nightly intrigues, disaster is gathering as surely as the waves that break on her sandy beaches.
    For Monomoy is confronted with annihilation as a tornado heads straight for her: for ten dreadful and revealing days her fate hangs in the balance... fear, hope, strength and weakness are ruthlessly laid bare. Can the townspeople survive the threat from nature? Do they deserve to?
The Breaking Strain (London, Michael Joseph, 1967; New York, Delacorte, 1967)
Corgi 0552-08253-8, 1969, 252pp.

The Rock (London, Michael Joseph, 1970; London, Putnam, 1970)
Corgi 0552-08832-3, 1971, 475pp.
Sphere 0747-40391-0,  1989, 383pp.

The Ravi Lancers (London, Michael Joseph, 1972; New York, Doubleday, 1972)
Corgi 0552-09452-8, 1974, 366pp.
Sphere 0722-15825-4, 1985, 365pp.
The fields of Flanders were a tough proving ground for the Ravi Lancers in the bitter opening months of the Great War. They had come to Europe as the private army of a powerful Indian prince; the Rajah's heir, the demi-god Prince Krishna Ram himself, was among their number. But now they were being forged into a first-class fighting unit by a new C.O. – the hard, uncompromising Warren Bateman, a professional soldier who cared little for the Lancers' customs and traditions.
    In such circumstances, the clash of interests between Bateman and Krishna was inevitable. So too was a conflict of loyalties among the men. And there, in the trenches far from home, the Ravi Lancers found themselves torn between allegiances to their own ancient deities and their debt to an alien god of war – a god under whose auspices, for a cause that was not their own, many of them would be called upon to perform the supreme sacrifice...
Thunder at Sunset (London, Michael Joseph, 1974; New York, Doubleday, 1974)
Corgi 0552-10096-X, 1976, 320pp.

The Field-Marshal's Memoirs (London, Michael Joseph, 1975; New York, Doubleday, 1975)
Sphere 0722-10408-1, 1976, 303pp, 65p.
Field-Marshal Sir John Durham is approaching the end of his life. Twenty-eight years have passed since the World War II Balkan campaign and his finest hour. Suddenly he decides to write his memoirs – to tell what really happened in the legendary campaign. And the truth will explode like a grenade in the corridors of power...
The Himalayan Concerto (London, Michael Joseph, 1976; New York, Doubleday, 1976)
Sphere 0722-10550-9, 1977, 316pp, £2.25.
Rodney Bateman's visit to Kashmir was intended as a nostalgic working holiday. He was a composer inspired to write a concerto to convey all the haunting grandeur of the Himalayas. But then he encountered an old flame, Ayesha, a beautiful government agent who needed his help. The Chinese were massing troops for an attack on Bengal ... Where? When? A composer, travelling the troubled border areas to research into local music, would have an ideal opportunity for espionage. Rodney's Himalayan Concerto began to take on a deadly counterpoint.
Now, God Be Thanked (London, Michael Joseph, 1979; New York, McGraw, 1979)
Sphere 0722-10553-3, 1979, 699pp.

Heart of War (London, Michael Joseph, 1980; New York, McGraw, 1980)
Sphere 0722-10467-7, 1981, 695pp.
January 1, 1916: Europe is bleeding to death as the corpses rot from Poland to Gallipoli in the cruel grip of the Great War...
    Heart of War – follows the fate and fortunes of the Rowland family and those people bound up in their lives: the Cate squirearchy, the Strattons who manage the Rowland-owned factory, and the humble, multi-talented Gorse family.
    Heart of War – during the years 1916 and 1917, the appalling slaughter of the Somme and Passchendaele cuts deep into the hearts of the British people as military conscription looms over Britain for the first time in a thousand years.
    Heart of War – is the second self-contained volume in a trilogy entitled Loss of Eden. It is probably the crowning achievement in the long and distinguished career of one of our leading contemporary novelists.
By the Green of the Spring (London, Michael Joseph, 1981; New York, McGraw, 1981)
Sphere  0722-10468-5, 1982, 660pp, £2.50.
---- [Xth imp.] 1990, £4.99.
Warner Books 0751-50176-X, 1993, 660pp.
1918 dawns desolate over the fields of Flanders. Decimated by the worst war the world has ever seen, neither British nor German troops can break the deadlock of the trenches. After four years of murderous stalemate, peace seems buried for ever. But finally, one by one, the guns fall silent...
    From the North-West Frontier to the war in France and the civil war in Ireland, John Masters follows the fortunes of four Kent families – the Cates, the Rowlands, the Strattons and the Goreses – through the cataclysm that ended the golden Edwardian dream for ever.
    By the Green of the Spring is the third self-contained volume in the Loss of Eden trilogy, a magnificent conclusion to an enthralling epic of war and peace by a major novelist.
Man of War (London, Michael Joseph, 1983; as High Command, New York, William Morrow, 1984)
Sphere 0722-15877-7, 1984, 371pp.
---- [Xth imp.] 1987, £3.50.
---- [Xth imp.] 1989, £3.99.
Miller was a career soldier—one of the best. He had twenty years and more of active service behind him—from the trenches of World War 1 to riot-torn India, from the Spanish Civil War to a heroic rearguard action at Dunkirk.
    His tactical brilliance and unquestioned courage played their part, of course. But there were other battles he had to fight—with the old guard who despised his unorthodoxy with brother officers who could never accept a shopkeeper's son as one of their own, with the women whose love he jeopardised in his determination to succeed.
    This is Miller's story—a vivid, unforgettable portrait of a soldier. And this too is John Masters' epitaph—the novel that only he could write.


The Compleat Indian Angler, illus. by the author (London, Country Life, 1938)
(no UK paperback edition)

Bugles and a Tiger: A Personal Adventure (London, Michael Joseph, 1956; as Bugles and a Tiger: A Volume of Autobiography, New York, Viking, 1956)
New English Library/Four Square 715, 1962, 256pp.
---- [?2nd imp.] 1964.
New English Library/Four Square 1931, 1967.
Corgi 0552-09230-4, 1973, 254pp.

The Road Past Mandalay: A Personal Narrative (London, Michael Joseph, 1961; New York, Harper, 1961)
New English Library/Four Square 947, 1964, 333pp.
New English Library/Four Square 1932, 1967
Corgi 0552-09291-6, 1973, 332pp.
Cassell 0304-36157-7, 2002, 344pp.

Fourteen Eighteen (London, Michael Joseph, 1965)
Corgi 0552-98558-9, 1970, 177pp.

Casanova (London, Michael Joseph, 1969; New York, Bernard Geis Associates, 1969)
Futura 0860-07368-8, 1976, 256pp.
Cardinal 0747-40388-0, 1989, v+224pp.
Penguin 0141-39038-7, 2001, 303pp.

Pilgrim Son: A Personal Odyssey (London, Michael Joseph, 1971; New York, Putnam, 1971)
Corgi 0552-09330-0, 1973, 318pp.


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