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Monday, April 29, 2019

ComicScene #3 (Jun 2019)

The third issue of ComicScene hit the newsstands last week with a one-two double punch from cover star Frankie Stein, setting up this month's theme of "The Funny Pages".

With the recent reprinting of  some classic Ken Reid strips and the upcoming Sweeny Toddler reprint, plus Rebellion's two specials (the Cor!! Buster and the free comic book day freebie, Funny Pages), it's a good time to look back at the traditional weekly British humour titles and celebrate some of the best, with Martin Dallard wandering down memory lane to discuss Cor!! and David Crookes looks back at the history of Buster, while Stephen Jewell and Lew Stringer reveal all about The Cor!! Buster Humour Special through interviews with some of the participants. An interview with Keith Richardson and a look back at the revamped (for Shiver & Shake) Frankie Stein by Irmantas Povilaika wrap up the funny pages for this issue.

There's still space for a great deal more in the 64-page Comic Scene. The issue launches with an interview with one of Britain's longest-serving – and still amongst the best – artists, Ian Kennedy, discussing the launch of The Art of Ian Kennedy with Richard Sheaf. After seventy years in the business, Kennedy has been enjoying a little limelight recently, a well-deserved "three cheers" from both fans and the industry for a man who has toiled so ceaselessly and, for the most part, anonymously. I defy anyone to find an illustration by Ian Kennedy where he has put in anything less than 100%.

My complaint in early reviews about the lack of longer articles in the magazine has been answered; the Kennedy piece is an excellent example of giving someone the space to discuss their art. Peter Gouldson's sprawling history of Marvel UK in the 1970s reaches its third episode, covering the likes of Star Wars Weekly, Hulk, and Doctor Who Weekly.

Other features include an interview with Doctor Who script writer Jody Houser by Ian Wheeler, Batman of the 1950s by Martin Dallard (continuing the series from last issue), and a look at Thor's "War of the Realms" by Stephen Jewell.

There's the usual TripWire section covering comics in other media (interviewing Will Simpson about his storyboards for Game of Thrones, and a preview of  Avengers: Endgame) and an interview with Roy Thomas

The issue is wrapped up with the ongoing comic strips "Our Land" and "Whackoman!", a reviews section that proves the diversity of comics available here in the Independent sector outside the mainstream and Pat Mills' always opinionated "Last Word" column, in which he discusses the vital 8 to 14-year-old age group of comics.

It's another fine issue and I hope editor Tony Foster can keep up the good work. Next month's issue will be taking a look at "To the Death" by Simon Furman & Geoff Senior, which debuted in the ComicScene Annual.

Details about subscriptions can be obtained from Rates for print issues for the UK are £5.99 for one issue; £35 for 6 issues; £68 for 12 issues.You can get a pdf version for £3.99 (1), £22 (6) or £40 (12).

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