Search This Blog

30 April 2017

Bank holiday reading sorted - part 3

And last but not least I present a rather battered copy (by which I mean the cover isn't attached to the rest of the summer special any more) of the 2nd (of) 8 Frankie Stein summer specials - this is 1976 edition.
Cover is by Robert 'Bob' Nixon but (and with apologies to him) the real reason I got it was for the Ken Reid strips inside.

You get 7 Ken Reid illustrated strips (most single page; some double page and one in colour (the back page)), here's a few examples to wet your appetite for all things Ken Reid...

Plus an adventure strip called Crabbe's Crusaders which was new to me - anyone able to enlighten me?

29 April 2017

Bank holiday reading sorted - part 2

Oh, I got more than just those 4 comics shown yesterday, I also got...

New issue of Tales from the Tardis is now out, I find this impossible to get anywhere apart from WH Smith's, and I don't live near any branches of WH Smith's, so I was delighted that the Forbidden Planet megastore seemed to have a few copies in early....

Reading Asterix and Tintin books from the library was one of my earliest comics reading experiences, I've slowly (by which I mean acquiring copies only when I seem them for sale, I'm not trawling the net for copies - where would the fun be in that?) been collecting  this series by Rene Goscinny for a while now. The books have been published in English before but I'm focussing on this set by Phaidon. There are hardback and softback versions available. There are 5 volumes in all - Nicholas; Nicholas again; Nicholas on holiday; Nicholas and the gang; Nicholas in trouble.

And just popped through the letterbox today - review in full coming soon, in the meantime just enjoy that Ian Kennedy cover

28 April 2017

Bank holiday reading sorted - part 1

A quick trip to London last night allowed me to rush around a few (comic) shops where I managed to buy enough stuff to keep me busy over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend...

First up is 50p well spent in the bargain corner of Forbidden Planet megastore on Shaftesbury Avenue. This is an A5 sized volume of Marvel UK Transformer repeats. Bad news for me is that it's book 4 (of 5) so I won't actually be reading it this weekend. I have got volumes 2 and 3 but I want to get volumes 1 and 5 as well.

The latest issue of Comic Heroes magazine is now out, a quick flick through but nothing that grabs my attention hugely so far with regards to British creators / strips etc.

An indie press moment for me as the Beast Wagon draws to a close. If you haven't read this comic then it's hard to describe it adequately. It's has an amazing rhythm to it, a terrible sense of events spiralling out of control as man and beast struggle to stay on top of their animal desires. It's brilliant.

What I actually went to London for...the opening of The Inking Woman exhibition at the Cartoon Museum. Review and photos coming soon. More details here

What are you going to read this weekend then?

27 April 2017

Posy Simmonds selection (1)

In honour of the opening of the 'Inking Women' exhibition at the Cartoon Museum I thought I'd highlight some early work by one of my favourite cartoonists (male or female) - Posy Simmonds.

Her earliest book (1969)

signed at the British Library in 2014

The Bear in that book then became the 'star' of long-running series of gag cartoons in the Sun newspaper

These cartoons were then collected in 2 books - the first published in 1974 and "More Bear by Posy" in 1975.

More tomorrow!

26 April 2017

Death of a legend - Leo Baxendale dies

It is with great sadness that I re-run the text and images that I posted only a few days ago in tribute to the great Leo Baxendale who death has been announced. To bring so much pleasure, so much joy to some many people over so many years is a rare privilege but it is one that was afforded to Leo. For this, we are all in his debt. I shall be re-reading one of his books today in tribute. Thanks, Leo.

Every comic collector out there wants Leo Baxendale book on their shelves right? I certainly do and I've managed to acquire the following from second hand bookshops, charity shops and the like over the years (so, that's why I haven't posted a picture of Willy the Kid book 1).

I remember this from the Guardian but don't recall realising somehow that is was by Baxendale
 Willy the Kid book 2 - front cover
and rear cover

Book 3 - this has a dustjacket over a plain blue cover
and here's the back cover

What this was doing in a 2nd hand record shop in Croydon (about 20 years ago) I have no idea

Acquired in the socialist bookshop just by the British Museum for a very comradely price, I was very happy.
You can buy Leo Baxendale items from his website here

Down the Tubes added to my scans and limited text thus here

The art of Stranski - by Lorenzo Etherington

Who's Stranski? I hear you ask
Who's Lorenzo Etherington? I hear you ask

Ok, so he's not really called Lorenzo he's called Lawrence but he draws ace adventure comics - he often works with his brother (they're the Etherington brothers dont'cha know) - and their work has appeared in many places including The DFC comic and currently in the Phoenix comic where Lorenzo has illustrated Long Gone Don and Von Doogan.

He seems incredible prolific and he uses Kickstarter to fund some of his publishing ventures - he's produced a couple (!) of 600 pages books filled with his illustrations. He currently has a new Kickstarter running (here) for his latest project "Stranski" - see book scan above. It's got a week to go and is funded way in excess of his original target but I wanted to flag it up because it looks so cool and thought it might appeal.

In other news he's currently on a run of producing 4 covers for the Phoenix comic...

Last week's cover...
This week's cover..
More details about all things Etherington can be found here

25 April 2017

DC Thomson - how times change - part 2

Following on from yesterday is the main body of the article noted, the pages are slightly bigger than A4 so (for my convenience) I've had to do double scans for most pages to get the final column in.

24 April 2017

DC Thomson - how times change - part 1

As an inveterate collector of comics published by Hulton / Longacre / Fleetway / IPC I have only a few items in my collection that relate to titles published by DC Thomson, but I was aware of the antipathy that some have felt towards them as a publisher and so set out to collect a very few items that I thought were relevant to the history of British comics.

I duly acquired 'A very funny business' by Leo Baxendale
The DC Thomson fun book
and this issue of the Sunday Times magazine
Dated July 29th 1973 it shows (on the front cover) W. Harold Thomson and inside (over 5 pages) it recounts some of the history of the firm, but mainly the secrecy that surrounded DCT at the time and their antipathetic attitude towards the press - "...we never give any information about anything to anybody" is a quote from their spokesman.

As the magazine is harder to track down than the books I will share scans of the magazine (which I have just acquired). The magazine is lightly larger than A4 so the scans have had to be 'doubled up' for each page, so apologies for that.

23 April 2017

The Inking Woman @ the Cartoon Museum opens this week!

The Inking Woman
26 April‒23 July 2017

‘Why are there no women cartoonists?’ Well, actually, there are – lots of them. The Inking Woman showcases the work of 96 named British artists, and a few more anonymous ones, revealing a wealth of women’s wit and insight spanning 250 years. A wide-ranging selection includes prints from the 18th century, caricatures, joke, editorial and strip cartoons from magazines and newspapers, postcards, comics, zines, graphic novels and digital comics. The exhibition – the largest of its kind to date – demonstrates that women have always had a wicked sense of humour and a perceptive view of the world. Some of the cartoons will be familiar, but there are also forgotten gems from the past. We hope that it will be a voyage of discovery for the visitor.

For many years the world of cartoons and comics was seen as a male preserve. The reality is that women have been drawing and publishing cartoons for longer than most people realise. Mary Darly (fl. 1760–1781) made satirical prints and ran her own print shop with her husband, Matthew. In about 1762, she illustrated, wrote and published the first book on caricature drawing published in England, A Book of Caricaturas. In the nineteenth century, Britain’s first comic character, Ally Sloper, was developed by the actress and cartoonist Marie Duval (1847–1890?), who drew hundreds of humorous cartoons and comic strips for Judy magazine and other penny papers.

The early years of the twentieth century saw women taking the stage politically in their fight for the vote. The suffragettes used cartoons in their campaigns, and the exhibition features posters, postcards, newspaper cartoons and even a board game, which rejoiced in the name ‘Pank-a-squith’. The early 1900s was also the height of the postcard boom, with women such as Flora White and Agnes Richardson producing comic postcards, including light-hearted propaganda during the Great War.

From the 1920s, a few women cartoonists began to appear regularly in print. Artists such as Annie Fish, Victoria Davidson, Margaret Belsky and Antonia Yeoman were published in magazines such as Lilliput, Punch, Eve, the Daily Sketch and the Daily Herald. The practice at the time was for artists to sign with their surname, so most readers were unaware of the cartoonist’s gender. In 1920, Mary Tourtel created Rupert Bear for the Daily Express, and nearly a hundred years later he is still going strong. In recent years, women joke cartoonists such as Grizelda and Kathryn Lamb have become regular contributors to Private Eye, The Spectator, the New Statesmen and The Oldie.

From the 1960s, feminism inspired both professional and aspiring cartoonists to question the roles assigned to them and address subjects, such as patriarchy, equal rights, sexuality and child rearing, previously unseen in cartoons. Groups such as the Sourcream Collective broke new ground. With limited access to the mainstream press, feminist cartoons often appeared on postcards, T-shirts and mugs published by companies such as Leeds Postcards and Cath Tate Cards. Collections of cartoons by artists such as Fanny Tribble, Angela Martin, Jo Nesbitt and Cath Jackson were published by feminist publishers such as Virago, Sheba and The Women’s Press.

The most famous woman cartoonist to come out of the 1960s was Posy Simmonds, who began her career in 1969. The exhibition features a number of her Guardian strips, including a sample of her bestknown strip, which followed the lives of Wendy Weber, a former nurse, her polytechnic lecturer husband, George, and their family and friends. Posy would later go on to produce Gemma Bovery and Tamara Drewe, retellings of classic novels later republished as award-winning graphic novels.

Over the last thirty years, women have come increasingly to the fore in comics, zines and particularly graphic novels. Fanny, set up in the early 1990s by Carol Bennett and Cath Tate, published six topical comics and two anthologies, the first featuring exclusively the work of women artists. In 2009, the network Laydeez do Comics was formed by Sarah Lightman and Nicola Streeten. Open to everyone, but led by women, LdC aims to give a voice to women cartoonists and space to the domestic and the everyday.

The comics and graphic novels in the exhibition cover all genres and topics: history, politics, health, nature, fantasy and classic literature. Recent examples include stories about the refugee crisis – Threads by Kate Evans; mental health – On Sanity by Una; and the experience of dealing with ageing parents – Life, Death and Sandwiches by Teresa Robertson. There is even a kids’ horror comic – Karen Rubins’ The Shivers –Crybaby from The Phoenix.

Self-publishing of comics by women, in print and online, comic conventions and events and the use of social media have allowed more and more women, of all backgrounds, classes and races, to find their voices, tell their stories and attract a growing audience. The Inking Woman is a celebration of the
vibrancy and variety of women’s cartoon and comic expression in the UK.

For images or more information contact Anita O’Brien on
020 7631 0793 or 020 7580 8155 or email

Follow us on twitter #inkingwoman

Sponsored by Cath Tate Cards

Open: Tues – Sun, 10.30 – 17.30 Closed Monday.

Admission: £7, £5, £3, Free to Under-18s.

List of artists included in the exhibition:
Carol Adlam, Sally Artz, Ros Asquith, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Angela Bailey, Charlotte Bailey, Rachel Ball, Henny Beaumont, Margaret Belsky, Hannah Berry, Marie Brackenbury, Jess Bradley, Lucy C. Byatt, Kate Charlesworth, Gemma Corell, Mary Darly, Riana Duncan, Victoria Davidson, Caroline della Porta, Jean de Lemos, Wallis Eates, Hannah Eaton, Kate Evans, Annie Fish, Jacky Fleming, Karrie Fransman, Janis Goodman, Sophie Grillet, Grizelda, Katie Green, Isabel Greenberg, Ottilie Hainsworth, Merrily Harpur, Gill Hatcher, Rozi Hathaway, C. Headley Charlton, Rachel House, Laura Howell, Cath Jackson, Nicola Jennings, Lee Kennedy, Paula Knight, Kathryn Lamb, Nicola Lane, Annie Lawson, Simone Lia, Sarah Lightman, Maggie Ling, Sue McCartney-Snape, The Surreal McCoy, Liz Mackie, Cinders McLeod, Angela Martin, Jessica Martin, Ernestine Mills, Jo Nesbitt, Sofia Niazi, Danny Noble, Edie Op, Corrine Pearlman, Phyllis M Purser, Viv Quillin, Elizabeth Querstret, Agnes Richardson, Carolyn Risdale, Teresa Robertson, Christine Roche, Karen Rubins, Lesley Ruda, Alison Sampson, Fiona Scott, The Suffrage Atelier – several unknown artists, Posy Simmonds, Ginny Skinner, Zara Slattery, Erica Smith, Jackie Smith, Snowy Lake, Nicola Streeten, Carol Swain, Annie Tempest, Mary Tourtel, Fanny Tribble, Matilda Tristram, Myf Tristram, Una, Suzy Varty, Emma Vieceli, Judith Walker, Flora White, Bev Williams, Women’s Social and Political Union artist, Antonia Yeoman and Paula Youens.  

22 April 2017

Havok - part the first

Ages ago I ran a series of postings about the Havok toy line and spin off comic that appeared in 2000ad - anyway, one of the issues of 2000ad that I was missing has now been acquired (for 50p!) so without further ado here are some ultra-violent adventures from the Havok universe, in fact as this is episode 1 it all starts here...

Creators involved are Robbie Morrison, Robert McCallum, David Millgate and Annie Parkhouse,

Previous postings can be found here...
prog 1022 - episode 2 - here
prog 1023 - episode 3 - here
prog 1025 - episode 4 - here
prog 1026 - episode 5 - currently missing
prog 1028 - episode 6 - currently missing
prog 1032 - episode 7 - here
prog 1036 - episode 8 - here