Friday, June 26, 2020

Comic Cuts - 26 June 2020

News on the pagination, price and contents of the new Longbow books from Bear Alley, plus details of some of our future publications. As always you can find more information on our books at the Bear Alley Books web page, but watch the video to find out the name of my favourite artist.

The book mentioned in the video is The Don Lawrence Westerns, which contains reprints of Tales of Wells Fargo and Pony Express and is still available, although in limited numbers. The book also had a quite attractive German edition. Don is, of course, one of twelve artists of Longbow, the others being Geoff Campion, Keith Shone, Jesus Blasco, Juan Gonzalez Alacreu, R. Charles Roylance, Francisco Cueto, Gerry Haylock, Frank Humphris, Cesar Lopez, Rodney Sutton and Martin Salvador... hopefully something to everyone's tastes!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Commando 5343 – 5346

Brand new Commando issues are out today, with special issues commemorating the formation of the British Commandos, 80 years ago!

Get global action and adventure delivered right to your door when you subscribe to Commando or subscribe for digital copies

5343: The Lone Wolf

Kommandant Josef Jewinski smells trouble aboard U-1215 — a wolf in sheep’s clothing. With a traitor amongst the men in whose hands he must place his life each day, the tension is hull shattering as the iron coffin starts to live up to its name! Friendships fray and trust is left in tatters in this thrilling U-boat journey by writer Kate Dewar, with a remarkable cover from renowned artist Ian Kennedy.

Story: Kate Dewar
Art: Morhain & Defeo
Cover: Ian Kennedy

5344: Night Ace

Ken Barr’s interiors really sing in this classic Commando from 1967, as a new pilot finds himself plagued by vertigo! But the insufferable spinning fades away in the blackness of the night, and pilot Nick Kirby soon proves himself as a formidable flyer. For every night, there is a dawn but at 30,000 feet, will Nick be able to overcome his challenges and a CO who doesn’t believe a word he says?

Story: Newark
Art: Ken Barr
Cover: Ken Barr
Originally Commando No. 304 (1967).

5345: Churchill’s Commandos

80 years ago, Churchill gave orders for a ‘hunter class’ to fight back against the Nazi onslaught, and so the British Commandos were born. In this new adventure from Heath Ackley, it isn’t all smooth sailing as the fiery Ambrose struggles to contain his rage… but with the capable instruction of the endlessly patient Sergeant MacKay, the trials he faces to defeat the Nazis will help him forge the bonds that made Commando units such a formidable fighting force. Featuring a Commando-celebratory wraparound cover by Neil Roberts.

Story: Heath Ackley
Art: Khato
Cover: Neil Roberts

5346: Find the Treasure

A strange tale from the archives where pre-war sporting rivals, Sandy and Otto, are brought together to hunt down a legendary treasure. But with only half the details each from their mysterious benefactor, they must work together to find it — and survive! Reunited during the Second World War, they reminisce over their failed attempt to retrieve the Kellenburg Collection, something Otto cannot let go…. Soon the search is on again and only Sandy’s Commando training can help him escape Otto’s greed!

Story: Bernard Gregg
Art: Enriquez
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 1542 (1981).

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rebellion Releases (2000AD) -- 24 June 2020

This week's releases from Rebellion include the latest 2000AD Sci-Fi Special, which this year marks 20 years since the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic joined games developer Rebellion, with a massive 100-page celebration of the last two decades! Inside, you’ll find brand new stories with classic Rebellion-era archive strips – with some special guests cropping up to really make this a true 2000 AD birthday celebration!

The special features brand new work from superstar comics talent⁠—including Jock (Batman), Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk), Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) and more⁠—and, as well as classic cuts from the archives, the special pits some of the biggest characters and series from past and present against each other in explosive, thrilling, humorous, and brand new adventures! It also dives into the archives to explore Rebellion's tenure as the publisher of 2000 AD.

Originally launched by publishing giant IPC in 1977, 2000 AD’s unique blend of innovative and hard-hitting sci-fi, fantasy and action saw it survive and thrive, despite the declining fortunes of the UK comic publishing industry. After being moved to IPC’s Fleetway comics subsidiary, it was sold to Robert Maxwell in 1987 and then to Danish publisher Egmont in 1991.

In 2000, the title, its characters, and its legacy were purchased by brothers Jason Kingsley and Chris Kingsley, the owners of games developer Rebellion. In post as ‘Tharg the Mighty’ since 2002, editor Matt Smith is now the longest-serving editor in 2000 AD’s history and the title has gone on to win multiple domestic awards, as well as being nominated for an Eisner Award in 2013.

2000AD Prog 2187
Cover: Mark Harrison

Judge Dredd: End of Days by Rob Williams (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Simon Bowland (l)
The Out by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Full Tilt Boogie by Alex de Campi (w) Eduardo Ocana (a) Simon Bowland (l)
The Order: Land of the Free by Kek-W (w) John Burns (a) Simon Bowland (l)
The Diaboliks: La Vita Malvagia by Gordon Rennie (w) Dom Reardon (a) Jim Campbell

2000AD Sci-Fi Special
Cover: Jock / Chris Blythe (col)

Judge Dredd: The Immigrant by Al Ewing (w) Jake Lynch (a) Jim Boswell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Terror Tales: Scene of the Crime by Al Ewing (w) Dom Reardon (a) Tom Frame (l)
Kingdom: Shako's Kingdom by Dan Abnett (w) Richard Elson (a) Simon Bowland (l) 
Sinister Dexter: Bullet Time by Dan Abnett (w) Andy Clarke (a) Chris Blythe (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
Storm Warning: Black Storm by John Reppion (w) Clint Langley (a) Jim Campbell (l)
Nikolai Dante: A Farewell to Arms by Robbie Morrison (w) Simon Fraser (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
The Red Seas vs Ant Wars by Ian Edginton (w) Steve Yeowell (a) Jim Campbell (l)
Dreams of Deadworld: Fear by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Judge Dredd: Leaving Rowdy by John Wagner (w) Carlos Ezquerra (a) Tom Frame (l)
Features: Jason Kingsley interview, Twenty Thrills For Twenty Years

Concrete Surfer by Pat Mills & Christine Ellingham
Rebellion ISBN 978-1781-08763-3, 25 June 2020, 80pp, £9.99 / $19.99. [DIGITAL RELEASE ONLY]
Note: Standard print edition will be released 17 September 2020. Pre-order via Amazon.
A Skateboarding rivalry, timed to coincide with skateboarding's 2020 Olympic debut! Sent home to Britain after her parents fail to establish a new life in Australia, Jean Everidge is forced to rely on family charity, moving in with her Aunt, Uncle and cousin Carol, successful gymnast, beloved of teachers and pupils alike, and all round charming "top girl". Jean has one solace left to her - skateboarding, surfing the concrete pavement, while forgetting all her troubles, and feel free. But Jean's freestyling talent soon attracts attention, and if there's one thing Carol can't stand, it's being out of the spotlight. With the new skatepark freestyle contest coming up, just how far will Carol go to stay number one?

Friday, June 19, 2020

Comic Cuts - 19 June 2020

Computer woes, a short history of my thirty years trying to put together a Who's Who of British Comics, and why the letter 'S' is so important to the upcoming Longbow books.

Here are the two pages from 1992 that were written for inclusion in The Comic Book Price Guide For Great Britain. Plans were afoot to greatly expand the fourth (1992/93) edition but even with 600 pages compared to the previous edition's 386, there was enough room to include artist bios.

The Blasco piece was recycled from an article written for a fanzine follow-up to to my Mike Western Story (1990) while the other entries were written especially. I think this illustrates one of the problems of doing a Who's Whoa single title like Commando has 140 artists and 180 writers, plus 100 artists who painted covers (although there will be some overlap with artists of internal pages), but that's probably 380 entries required for that title alone. There's almost no overlap with any pre-war titles and most humour titles, and little overlap with Eagle or 2000AD. You can begin to see why I believe a comprehensive record of the creators of British comics and story papers is a multi-volume project.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Rebellion Releases (2000AD) - 17 June 2020

They’ve battled the greatest threat to the universe and now the story of The Vigilant comes to an end with an explosive grand finale in the pages of the Judge Dredd Megazine #421, on sale today.

After two spellbinding special issues, these home-grown superheroes – Dr. Sin, Blake Edmonds, Thunderbolt the Avenger, The Steel Commando, Dr. Sin, Pete’s Pocket Army, Death-Man, Yāo and The Leopard from Lime Street – leap forth once again from the Rebellion archive of more than a century of classic comics.
Writer Simon Furman (Transformers), artist Simon Coleby (Judge Dredd), colourist Len O’Grady (Jaegir), and letterer Simon Bowland (The Boys) reunite for this explosive climax to The Vigilant saga – Nightcomer Beth Rogan has had a vague vision that one of the team will betray his or her comrades, and that’ll allow the evil Doktor Von Hoffman to usher in a Hell on Earth. Can Dr Sin’s crew stop the demon Mazoul’s terrifying Blood Rapture from becoming a reality?

Readers will once again get the chance to enjoy the return of these iconic British characters as they face their deadliest threat – one that may destroy them for good!

This issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine will also come bagged with a 64-page collection featuring stories from the original incarnations of these legendary comic book heroes⁠—Doctor Sin, the Leopard from Lime Street, Blake Edmonds (Death Wish), Steel Commando, Dr. Mesmer's Revenge, Von Hoffman's Invasion⁠—giving readers fascinating context to The Vigilant’s final mission!

The complete story of The Vigilant, featuring work by Simon Furman, Simon Coleby, DaNi, Henrik Sahlstrom, Warwick Fraser-Combe, Staz Johnson, Will Sliney, and Jake Lynch, will be collected in a 128-page paperback graphic novel this September.

Editor Keith Richardson said: “It has been an honour to usher in the new era of exciting stories featuring some of the greatest adventure characters in British comics, created by the best of British talent. Stay Vigilant!”

2000AD Prog 2186
Cover: Cliff Robinson / Dylan Teague (col)

Judge Dredd: End of Days by Rob Williams (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Sinister Dexter: Boys in the HUD by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) John Charles (c) Jim Campbell (l)
Full Tilt Boogie by Alex de Campi (w) Eduardo Ocana (a) Simon Bowland (l)
The Order: Land of the Free by Kek-W (w) John Burns (a) Simon Bowland (l)
The Diaboliks: La Vita Malvagia by Gordon Rennie (w) Dom Reardon (a) Jim Campbell

Judge Dredd Megazine 421
Cover: Simon Coleby / Len O'Grady (col)

Judge Dredd: The Fugitive by Rory McConville (w) Staz Johnson (a) Jim Boswell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)
The Vigilant: Rapture by Simon Furman (w) Simon Coleby (a) Len O'Grady (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Blunt III by TC Eglington (w) Boo Cook (a) Simon Bowland (l)
Lawless: Boom Town by Dan Abnett (w) Phil Winslade (a) Jim Cambell (l)
Features: The Vigilant, Lion
Bagged reprint: The Vigilant: Origins

Friday, June 12, 2020

Comic Cuts - 12 June 2020

This week we reveal the cover to volume two of Longbow, the forthcoming book from Bear Alley and take a brief look at a couple of Kickstarter projects that have just launched, or are just about to be launched.

From Saturday the 13th you can help Ben Cullis put together the second issue of The 77. I don't have full details at the time of writing, but you can find out more by following this link to where the kickstarter will launch [UPDATE: Now launched and open until 12 July].

Tony Foster's The State of Independents Yearbook 2020 is also issue 14 of his ComicScene magazine. Issue 13 (celebrating the 70th anniversary of Eagle and Dan Dare) will be available in comic shops from June 15th, but distribution into newsagents is being delayed until at least August 13th. All upcoming titles and back issues can be obtained from the ComicScene online store.

The Kickstarter for the ComicScene The History of Comics volumes can be found here.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Commando 5339-5342

Brand new Commando issues are out today

Get global action and adventure delivered right to your door when you subscribe to Commando or subscribe for digital copies here.

5339: Siege of Musa Dagh

All eyes watched the First World War raged on, but in the background, there were disturbing rumours of a humanitarian crisis in the midst of the Ottoman Empire. Secret Service agent Aaron Hassan thinks he can chalk it up to a day’s work, but the barrel of a Gewehr 98 and the woman behind it soon change his mind! In a frantic escape across Aleppo, Aaron tries to get Suzanna, Karine and the intelligence he carries to Musa Dagh, but he doesn’t recon on assassin, Omar Konevi!  With a story by new writer R Tate and art from Commando veteran Manuel Benet!

Story: R Tate
Art: Manuel Benet
Cover: Manuel Benet
5340: Death Flies Fast

Classic Commando alert with Gordon C Livingstone interior art and a Ken Barr cover! On the ground or in the air, Powell’s heroes were a pair of fighting fools. On civvy street, Mike Tulley and Terry Stark were bitter rivals for the middleweight boxing title. Then, in wartime, as Spitfire pilots they were never done trying to outfly and outfight each other — whether or not they died in the attempt.

Story: Powell
Art: Gordon C Livingstone
Cover: Ken Barr
Originally Commando No. 184 (1965).

5341: Retribution!

Our resident writer from Down Under, Brent Towns teams up with interior artists Klacik and Muller to create an epic tale of revenge in the First World War. Across the battlefields of Gallipoli and the Western Front, Aussie soldier Charlie Grubb will fight to survive — and to find and kill the man who murdered his father!

Story: Brent Towns
Art: Klacik and Muller
Cover: Neil Roberts
5344:  On Target!

This Silver Reprint is from 1981! With a stunning cover by British comic art legend Ian Kennedy, this Commando features a soldier who couldn’t fire a rifle straight, but give him a crossbow and he could shoot a feather out of the air!

Story: Staff
Art: Blasco
Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 1544 (1981).

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Rebellion Releases (2000AD) - 10 June 2020

This week's comics from Rebellion include their first Roy of the Rovers Summer Special just in time for the return of league matches! along with the collection Roy of the Rovers: The Best of the 1970s, which gathers up a few stories from the 1973-1975 period in Tiger. Artwork for the latter is by Yvonne Hutton and David Sque. Forty-five years on, David is continuing to draw and has a short Hot-Shot Hamish and Mighty Mouse strip in the Summer Special.

Whether it’s the Melchester team getting to test their skills against the finest teams in Europe, reuniting legends such as Hot-Shot Hamish, Gerry Holloway, Johnny Dexter and keeper Charlie ‘The Cat’ Carter for a special five-a-side tournament, or Roy and Rocky trying to see out lockdown without driving each under up the wall, there’s plenty to cheer thanks to creators such as Tom Palmer (Roy of the Rovers fiction), Rob Williams (Suicide Squad), Elkys Nova (Tammy & Jinty Special) and David Sque!

2000AD Prog 2185
Cover: Patrick Goddard / Dylan Teague (col)

Judge Dredd: End of Days by Rob Williams (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Sinister Dexter: Boys in the HUD by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) John Charles (c) Jim Campbell (l)
Full Tilt Boogie by Alex de Campi (w) Eduardo Ocana (a) Simon Bowland (l)
The Order: Land of the Free by Kek-W (w) John Burns (a) Simon Bowland (l)
The Diaboliks: La Vita Malvagia by Gordon Rennie (w) Dom Reardon (a) Jim Campbell

Roy of the Rovers Summer Special 2020
Cover: Lisa Henke

Euro Adventure by Rob Williams (w) Elkys Nova (a) John Charles & Guilherme Lindemberg Mendes (c) Jim Campbell (l)
Fiction: One In A Million - A Rocky Race Story by Tom Palmer
Football Funnies by Ken Reid
Old School by Rob Williams (w) David Sque (a) Jim Campbell (l)
Features: Rob Williams interview, Roy Race’s England Career Explored, Tom Palmer interview, David Sque interview.

Roy of the Rovers: Best of the 1970s The Tiger Years by Tom Tully, Yvonne Hutton & David Sque
Rebellion ISBN 978-178108792-X, 11 June 2020, 192pp, £19.99. Available via Amazon.

The best comic strips from the golden age of Roy of the Rovers.
The seventies was a very turbulent time in Britain. Following on from the optimism of the sixties, the country faced a decade of strikes and power cuts. Luckily for the fans of Melchester Rovers, Roy Race and his loyal time mates provided great moments of glory for their fans, starting with European Cup final win in 1973 in the year that the club celebrated its 50th anniversary.
    It was the decade in which footballers became real superstars a time when Melchester goalkeeper Charlie Carter had to choose between staying at the club or perusing a burgeoning career as a pop singer.  And it was a period when Roy Race truly cemented himself as the heart, soul and brain of the club by taking on the role of player manager.

Strontium Dog: Search and Destroy by John Wagner, Bill Henry & Carlos Ezquerra et al.
Rebellion ISBN 978-178108765-7, 11 June 2020 [DIGITAL EDITION ONLY]. Note: The print edition will be released on 12 November 2020 and can be pre-ordered here.

The toughest bounty hunter in the galaxy!
There was a time in the 22nd century where man s lawless spread out amongst the stars across new frontiers. Enter the Search and Destroy Agents mutants warped from birth by Strontium 90 fallout from the last, great war. Known by the norms as Strontium Dogs , these men and women enact justice throughout a cruel and unforgiving universe. It s a hard and dangerous life where only the toughest can survive. Men like Johnny Alpha a mutant with the ability to emit powerful Alpha-Rays from his eyes!
   The earliest adventures from one of 2000 AD’s greatest series – Strontium Dog – is now reprinted in colour for the first time in decades. Reprinted with its original colour pages, Strontium Dog: Search and Destroy is a sumptuous 144-page hardcover collecting the origins of John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s hard-hitting story of prejudice and violence.
     The 210 x 276mm book, with a new introduction by co-creator John Wagner, feature gorgeous artwork by Ezquerra, along with Brendan McCarthy, and Ian Gibson. Strontium Dog: Search and Destroy brings back into print one of the seminal series of British comics, a science fiction Western that merges everything from time travel to a trip to Hell itself. This new edition, with colour centre spreads lovingly restored, is a must for fans and collectors alike, putting these stories back to their rightful place as one of the key series in the annals of British comics. Originally published in Starlord, 2000 AD’s sister comic, the strip transferred to 2000 AD and remains one of the most iconic strips in the history of British comics.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Comic Cuts - 5 June 2020

This week's Comic Cuts video has a cover reveal of the first volume of Bear Alley's next book, due out later this month, and the story of how we ended up looking after a stray dog (don't worry, the story has a happy ending).

You'll hear the story in the video, but here are a couple of pics of our doggy pal, Hamish.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Rebellion Releases (2000AD)

👉 New Judge Dredd epic by Rob Williams, Colin MacNeil, and Henry Flint begins!
👉 Full series of Alex De Campi and Eduardo Ocana's Full Tilt Boogie debuts!
👉 Caballistics Inc. spin-off The Diaboliks by Gordon Rennie and Dom Reardon begins!

All new stories begin in 2000AD Prog 2184 - the ideal issue for new readers and reviewers alike, with FIVE hot Thrills by top creators such as Chris Burnham (Batman), Rob Williams (Suicide Squad), Alex de Campi (Madi), Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy), Dom Reardon (James Bond) and more!

2000AD Prog 2184
Cover: Steven Austin / Quinton Winter (col)

Judge Dredd: End of Days by Rob Williams (w) Colin MacNeil (a) Chris Blythe (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Sinister Dexter: Boys in the HUD by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) John Charles (c) Jim Campbell (l)
The Order: Land of the Free by Kek-W (w) John Burns (a) Simon Bowland (l)
Future Shocks: Journey to the Edge of the Earth by Chris Burnham (w+a) Len O'Grady (c) Simon Bowland (l)
The Diaboliks: La Vita Malvagia by Gordon Rennie (w) Dom Reardon (a) Jim Campbell


Click on the above pic to visit our sister site Bear Alley Books