Sunday, July 23, 2017

BUSTER AND COR!! - First merged issue (1974)

At fifteen years old in 1974 I was going through my "British comics are just for kids" phase and didn't really appreciate what a good comic the merged Buster and Cor!! was. At the time, I was beginning to "grow out" of humour comics and stopped buying Buster shortly after. 

In truth, Buster and Cor!! was a solid comic with some great talent working on it. At 15, I was too old for it of course, but in retrospect, looking at it from a creative viewpoint, it was one of the best comics around at that time. Let's take a look at a few of the strips from this first merged issue...

One of the significant things about this issue is that the Buster strip itself saw a change of artist from Angel Nadal to Reg Parlett (who also drew the front cover). I'd grown up with Nadal's version and wasn't too keen on the change, but it can't be denied that Parlett was ideally suited to the strip and its fast paced slapstick situations...



The merger also saw some new strips starting that week that hadn't been seen in either Buster or Cor!! before. One of which was Snooper, by the always-wonderful Leo Baxendale...

Whenever comics merged, it was always a concern that some favourites would be pushed out. Thankfully, Ken Reid's excellent Faceache strip had proved popular to survive. (A collection of Faceache strips will be published by Rebellion in November.)


Another new strip was Marney the Fox, written by Scott Goodall and drawn by John Stokes. It was rare for strips in Buster to tug on the emotions as much as Marney did but it made for compelling reading. (Marney the Fox is another collection coming from Rebellion this year, and the one I'm looking forward to the most.)


Val's Vanishing Cream was one of the strips that had transferred over from Cor!! and was drawn by Mike Lacey. A typical IPC humour strip in that it featured a kid with a gimmick. That could restrict the humour somewhat but this is a good episode...

This issue gave the comic the opportunity to fill in new readers with the backstory of Fishboy before he embarked on a new adventure. A kind of British equivalent to Aquaman, this is another strip by Scott Goodall and John Stokes that deserves collecting.


There was a lot of good material in this issue and this was just a sample of pages. Rebellion now own a lot of classic material ripe for reprinting so I hope that readers support the Treasury of British Comics books so that we see more!
https://treasuryofbritishcomics.com

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Advance preview: 2000AD Prog 2041

Here's a look at a few pages from next week's issue of 2000AD, on sale Wednesday 26th July...

UK & DIGITAL: 26 July 2017 £2.65
NORTH AMERICA: 26 August 2017 $7.99
DIAMOND CODE: MAY171757
COVER: ALEX RONALD

In this issue:

Judge Dredd: Ouroboros by Michael Carroll (w) Paul Marshal (a) Quinton Winter (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Future Shocks: The Body Politics by James Peaty (w) Andrea Mutti (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Greysuit: Foul Play by Pat Mills (w) John Higgins (a) Sally Hurst (c) Ellie De Ville (l)

Grey Area: Border Ops by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)


Hunted: Furies by Gordon Rennie (w) PJ Holden (a) Len O'Grady (c) Ellie De Ville (l)
Available in print from: UK newsagents and all good comic book stores via Diamond 

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Dandy Annual 2018 is here!

The Dandy Annual 2018 has just been published so I thought I'd give you a quick glimpse at some of its contents.

Kicking off with cover art by Nigel Parkinson, this year's book marks the 80th anniversary of The Dandy, first published in December 1937. Admittedly the weekly comic finished five years ago on its 75th anniversary, but the annual continues, so it seems appropriate for a celebration.

Perhaps to avoid mentioning that the weekly is no longer with us, The Dandy Annual chooses instead to celebrate 80 years of Cactusville, Desperate Dan's home town. In this respect, the book features a 33 page story written by Nigel Auchterlounie, featuring a thread that links through several strips drawn by various artists! 

That multi-page epic takes place at the back of the book, and before then there are loads of self-contained strips featuring the Dandy stars. There's been a bit of a change around of artists this year, so we get Winker Watson drawn by Alan Ryan...

...Bully Beef and Chips drawn by Laura Howell...

...The Smasher by Wayne Thompson...

...plus Korky the Cat by Hunt Emerson, Fiddle O'Diddle by Nick Brennan, and more.

Some strips retain the same artists as previous years, and Cuddles and Dimples wouldn't be the same if Nigel Parkinson wasn't drawing it...

I've contributed several pages to the book, with new strips of Kid Cops, Postman Prat, and Keyhole Kate...

The Dandy Annual 2018 has a healthy page count of 112 pages, although it looks very thin due to lighter, glossier, paper stock. The reproduction of the strips is excellent though, with sharp art and colours. 

Although it's sad that the weekly isn't around these days, it's great to know that the annual keeps going, with all-new content every year. (I'm actually writing/drawing pages for the 2019 annual at the moment!) Long may it survive!

The Dandy Annual 2018, published by D.C. Thomson. 112 pages. R.R.P. £7.99.
Available to buy now from online sellers such as Speedyhen and Amazon, and in the shops soon.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen returns for its conclusion

News just in....

After an epic seventeen-year journey through the entirety of human culture – the biggest cross-continuity ‘universe’ that is conceivable – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill will conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their equally legendary comic-book careers with the series’ spectacular fourth and final volume, The Tempest.

Tying up the slenderest of plot threads and allusions from the three preceding volumes, The Black Dossier, and the Nemo trilogy into a dazzling and ingenious bow, the world’s most accomplished and bad-tempered artist-writer team will use their most stylistically adventurous outing yet to display the glories of the medium they are leaving; to demonstrate the excitement that attracted them to the field in the first place; and to analyse, critically and entertainingly, the reasons for their departure.

Opening simultaneously in the panic-stricken headquarters of British Military Intelligence, the fabled Ayesha’s lost African city of Kor and the domed citadel of ‘We’ on the devastated Earth of the year 2996, the dense and yet furiously-paced narrative hurtles like an express locomotive across the fictional globe from Lincoln Island to modern America to the Blazing World; from the Jacobean antiquity of Prospero’s Men to the superhero-inundated pastures of the present to the unimaginable reaches of a shimmering science-fiction future. With a cast-list that includes many of the most iconic figures from literature and pop culture, and a tempo that conveys the terrible momentum of inevitable events, this is literally and literarily the story to end all stories.

Commencing as a six-issue run of unfashionable, outmoded and flimsy children’s comics that will make you appear emotionally backward if you read them on the bus, this climactic magnum opus will also reprint classic English super-team publication The Seven Stars from the murky black-and-white reaches of 1964. A magnificent celebration of everything comics were, are and could be, any appreciator or student of the medium would be unwise to miss The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: THE TEMPEST.
-- a 6-issue mini-series, each issue 32 pages in (mostly) full color, saddle stitched, 6 5/8” x 10 1/8” (standard comic-book size), $4.99 (US). Issue #1 is scheduled for June 2018.
Co-Published by Top Shelf Productions (US) and Knockabout (UK).


ALAN MOORE is widely regarded as the best and most influential writer in the history of comics. His seminal works include From Hell, Watchmen, Lost GirlsV for Vendetta, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Never one to limit himself in form or content, Moore has also published two novels, Voice of the Fire and Jerusalem, an epic poem, The Mirror of Love, various short films and oral performances, and four of his ground-breaking graphic novels have been adapted into feature films. He was born and still resides in Northampton, England.
KEVIN O'NEILL is a British comics illustrator with one of the most unique and detailed styles in comics, who has deservedly earned an enormous worldwide fanbase. He is best known as the co-creator of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (with Alan Moore), Marshal Law (with Pat Mills), and Nemesis the Warlock for 2000 AD (also with Pat Mills).

NEW! The Scream and Misty Special is coming this Halloween!

Just like a good spooky story, this was unexpected! Classic supernatural comics Scream! and Misty return this October in one combined Halloween special, featuring all-new stories! (Cover by Henry Flint.) The two comics never merged back in the day (they weren't even around at the same time) but they're a perfect match for this special! 

Cover image taken from Facebook's Hibernia Comics page. Seems it's public knowledge now so I thought readers of this blog would be interested.

Scream! and Misty are just two of the fan-favourite comic titles that Rebellion acquired a while back. Until now, Rebellion have been reprinting classic strips in their Treasury of British Comics books, so it's fantastic news that the Scream and Misty Special will contain brand new stories! 

I understand the special will be on sale in newsagents and has a cover price of £3.99. According to the date on the bar code it'll be on sale from 18th October until 13th December.

Here's the story info. (Thanks to Neil Taylor for sourcing this.)

Two of Britain's best-loved supernatural comics have been resurrected this Halloween and merged into one terrifying tome featuring all-new stories! 

Max the crazy computer makes a welcome return in The Thirteenth Floor by Guy Adams, John Stokes and Frazer Irving; the fangs are out in The Dracula File by Grainne McEntee and Tristan Jones; weirdos, warriors and weasels plucked from the pages of various 70s and 80s British comics congregate in Death-Man: The Gathering by Henry Flint; Kek-W and Simon Coleby collaborate on Black Max, the German World War One fighter pilot that's descended from a race of bat-people; the high-rise horrors of Birdwood are back in Return of the Sentinels by Hannah Berry and Ben Willsher; and fairies can be frightening in Fate of the Fairy Hunter by Alec Worley and DaNi.

It sounds like quite a variety, and of course Black Max is a character that used to appear in Thunder (and later Lion and Thunder). It'll be great to see him back! 

I'm sure this comic will be greeted very enthusiastically by fans old and new! Great news, chums!
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