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Monday, December 23, 2019

Comic Scene #11 (February 2020)

The latest issue of Comic Scene celebrates the best of 2019 and rewards the best of the year in its inaugural ComicScene Awards. I won't run through all the winners in all its many categories, but I will just say congratulations to all the winners and its nice to see some British titles getting some recognition, from Aces Weekly and Rebellion to Ramsey's Raiders and Combat Colin.

This issue contains Richard Bruton's excellent review of 2019, a fascinating, sprawling look back at everything from what has been happening in the major American comics universes (Marvel, DC) to the highlights of British publishing, including the wide range of material being published by Rebellion supporting its 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics brands. That there is still life in the old dog yet can be seen from this year's celebration of 4,000 issues of The Beano and 400 issues of The Phoenix. Even Commando, which will publish its 5,300th issue in January, has been in experimental mood, reintroducing characters and experimenting with historical and horror tales.

Bruton also covers the small presses, comic shops and conventions, making recommendations along the way. It's entertaining, informative and probably the best thing the magazine has published this year.

Another retrospective looking at 40 years of Doctor Who strips in Doctor Who Weekly and Doctor Who Magazine begins in 2005 with the arrival of the ninth Doctor in the pages of DWM. Ian Wheeler's article weaves in interviews with Mike Collins, Scott Gray, Tom Spilsbury and others, who offer plenty of first hand insight.

Viz also celebrates its 40th birthday with an all-too-brief interview with Simon Thorp. Then we're into the reviews of small press comics, the coverage being as good as ever.

It seems a little odd to complain about comics dominating a magazine about comics, but comics now take up almost 50 of the magazine's 80 pages. The heart of Comic Scene is now a pull-out 24-page comic, Corker!, containing the adventures of 'Gallant & Amos', 'Slash Moron' and 'Megatomic Battle Rabbit'. Of these, 'Slash Moron' continues to be the most entertaining. Outside of the pages of Corker!, there are still more comics, reprints of 'Rok of the Reds', 'Lady Flintlock' and 'Captain Cosmic.

Out now, Comic Scene is available for £5.99 per issue at selected comic shops, W H Smiths, McColls/Martins, Easons (Ireland) and can be ordered at any comic shop.  The magazine is also now on sale in Australia, Canada and the USA. Details about subscriptions can be obtained from Get My Comics: £29.94 for 6 issues (save £6 plus free digital copy); £55.20 for 12 issues (save £16.68 plus free digital copy). Digital copies can be had for £2.99, on £30 for 12 issues (save £5.88‬).

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