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31 July 2017

Argon the Savage - book 2

Following on from 'Argon book 1' there was even a book 2 - again this is badged '2000ad' but it had never been printed in 2000ad so this seems a little bit optimistic to say the least!

Fernando Fernandez (according to this obituray here) died on the 9th August 2010. The obituary notes "...Only 17 when his first strips were published, Fernández filled the pages of British comics for the next decade, though he did so anonymously.

In the UK, he earned his reputation for his work on Fleetway's Air Ace Picture Library, the romance comics Valentine, Marilyn and Roxy, and a variety of book covers. In the US, he is remembered for his highly stylistic contributions to the publisher James Warren's horror comics, including the eerie Rendezvous, which was voted one of the leading stories to appear in Warren's magazines."

30 July 2017

Tesco fun 'n games comic - part 1

A recent acquiition for me...yes back in the day before they (nearly) became the supermarket the planet relied on, Tesco used to publish  comics! Or one comic to be precise, which, according to this other very useful article here lasted for at least 38 issues and sold 150,000 copies a week, and yet it turns up so very rarely!

Here is some interior art for the catchily names 'Albert and Sidney and the Kennomeat men" - they don't make stories like that any more!

Here's famed Dan Dare artist Don Harley drawing a Captain Birdseye strip...

Not sure of the artist here, but as per all the other strips it's a one-pager for a particular foodstuff. Art is reminiscent of John Worsley, but I don;t think it's by him

29 July 2017

Argon the Savage book 1

Argon the Savage (book one) has always seemed like an anomaly of a 2000ad/Fleetway Quality reprint. It's 62 pages of black & white art (printed slightly larger tha standard US comic book size) for a strip that did not appear in 2000ad or indeed in any Fleetway title, this is its sole appearance from an artists who you could hardly claim was a household name here in the UK.

As you can see from the blurb above its your "typical" psionic caveman meets spaceman tale, with art (see below) that reminds me a little of Jose Ortiz's masterful use of black and white.

An oddity by the artist who so beautifully illustrated "Dark Visions - an illustrated guide to the Amtrak Wars" - which we looked at (here) a while ago.

page 3 of the book

page 3 original art...

page 1 original art...

The last 2 imgaes are swiped from here and are for sale for 700 euro's each.

28 July 2017

Misty volume 2 colour cover revealed

A couple of weeks ago I posted (here) the black and white cover to the next volume of Misty reprints from Rebellion....

Well the good news is that the colour version is now available for your viewing pleasure on Amazon and here...

27 July 2017

last chance to buy Striker volume 2


a message over ont he Strikerworld forum (here) has revealed that there are a final 30 copies of volume 2 now available

Write to stating whether you want an unsigned copy @ £25 (inc. p&p) or a signed copy @ £30 inc. and you will be sent you a PayPal invoice

Hurry though, these are the last copies available

Striker - the complete collection volume 2!
is now available for pre-order and looks great...
The second book of the entire Striker collection is ready to order!

Entitled Thamesford to Warbury, it’s another quality heavyweight hardback of nearly 300 pages, featuring every Striker episode from the start of the colour strips in 1990 to the early Warbury adventures in 1994. As with the first book, there’s an introduction by Striker creator Pete Nash with his thoughts and memories from that particular period in Striker’s fascinating history.
There are two purchase options: £25 (including post & packing) for an unsigned copy or £30 for a signed copy

Books will be dispatched around the end of April 2017

More details here

26 July 2017

rare Charley's War original artwork for sale

Back in May we reported (here) on  the opportunity to acquire some original Charley's War artwork - those pieces went for c. £1500 and c. £3000 respectively (more details here).

Now another opportunity to acquire some rare Joe Colquhoun artwork has arisen here on ebay...
As you can see it's the cover of Battle for 2nd April 1983 and shows a German sniper preparing to shatter the peace of a British trench.

Bids have started at £495and you have until 7:20pm on Monday 31st July to out-bid the current bidder, good luck!


sold for £1370!

25 July 2017

Comic Heroes - issue 32 out now

The latest issue (#32) of Comic Heroes, priced at £7.99, is now out
The latest issue, in case you weren't sure celebrates women in comics with a selection of features.

The focus on British comics this month features itesm such as
  • Mike Stirling talking baout Beano Studios
  • Treasury of British Comics line from Rebellion
  • Leah Moore on Leo Baxendale
  • Q&A with Frank Quitely
  • a great selection of new comic / collection/ reference book releases
  • 4 pages (!) on Flintlock
So, probably not as much as usual as then, apart from the 4-pages on Flintlock, a comic that I think is great, so I'm vert happy to see it getting so much coverage in the magazine.

As ever with Comic Heroes, the font is large, the pictures big (and some of those are really pixellated - which is slightly embarrassing I'd say from a magazine that wants £7.99 of your hard-earned cash).

With comics pre-eminent in pop culture at the moment it seems amazing that this is the only magazone out there devoted to comic (heroes) - so, go have a flick through it at a WHSmith store near you now!

24 July 2017

Illustrators magazine - British war comics special

Over on the Book Palace website (here) there are details of their next special edition (following from their initial special on the spanish artists used by Warren magazines, details here), one which is bound to interest collectors of British war comics such as Commando...

As the website say...Illustrators Special #2 War Is Hell, covering the history and artists of the two agencies Bardon (Spanish) and D'ami (Italian) which supplied Spanish and Italian artists to the publishers of British War Comics from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Artists featured include Biffignandi, Caroselli, De Gaspari, Dell'Orco, Penalva, D'Antonio, Macabich, Ortiz, Blasco, Lopez, Romero, Scott.

It's due out in November 2017, so watch this space!

22 July 2017

Famous 5 fun at Wisley

No, it;s not the name of one of those new-retro 'famous 5 go gluten-free' type books, this is a real thing happening throughout the Summer holidays at RHS Wisley gardens in Surrey.

Timed to co-incide with the 75th anniversary of the first Famous 5 book being published RHS Wisley are promising that from 22 July - 3 September, their summer activities have a Famous Five on a Garden Adventure theme - and we're all invited! Follow the self guided trail to crack the mystery of missing Uncle Quentin, sow cress for your egg sandwiches, watch amazing birds of prey in flight, and much more.

Free self-guided trail: Five go on a Garden Adventure The Kirrins are on holiday with Julian, Dick and Ann. Uncle Quentin has been called away by the secretive Ministry of Research on a rendezvous with a mysterious person at RHS Garden Wisley. He was expected back for tea, but there has been no word.....

Choose a character, pick up a free trail and set off around the garden to help crack the mystery, solving puzzles and gathering clues as you go!

Surely, this'll be the best book-themed kids activity near the A3 this summer?

There are plenty more details here

And then once you've got them all home you can introduce them to the wonders of Famous 5 comics - previously featured hereherehere and here

21 July 2017

Eagle Times - Summer 2017

The latest issue of Eagle Times, the journal of the Eagle Society (dedicated to the memory of Britain's national strip cartoon weekly), has just been published.

The Summer 2017 issue (volume 30, part 2) has much of interest - as well as a very striking cover...

Highlights look set to include...

  • 'Life after Eagle' - a recollection of the merged Lion and Eagle from 1969 - 1970 - where 'Dan Dare' lived on for a while, albeit as repeats and in black-and-white 

  • 'Hulton's Boys and Girls Exhibition: 1959' - a look at the programme of the fourth Hulton's Boys and Girls Exhibition, held at London's Olympia in August 1959

  • 'Leo Baxendale (1930 - 2017)' - an obituary of the comic genius who created The Beano's 'Bash Street Kids' and so many other wonderful characters for D.C. Thompson and I.P.C. including 'Danny Dare' for Wham! 

  • 'The Shepherd King', part 2 of a three-part examination of Clifford Makins' and Frank Bellamy's strip about the biblical King David, comparing Eagle's strip with biblical accounts of David's life

  • 'The Road of Courage' - an appreciation and an ethnic criticism of Eagle's back-page story of Jesus as told by Marcus Morris and drawn by Frank Hampson 

  • 'Space Fiction Movies in Eagle’s Times', part 2: a look at films about space exploration and alien visitations to the earth, the bread-and-butter of the Eagle's Dan Dare's adventures between 1950 and 1969. This part covers 1954-1956, including Conquest of Space, and Forbidden Planet

  • 'PC 49’s Last Case', part 1 - beginning a new story, based on the characters originally created for the radio series by Alan Stranks 
  • Two Tributes: Martin Aitchison and Howard Corn 

  • 'Eagle Times - What’s Next?' As we near the completion of 30 years of Eagle Times, the editors seeks the views of members on the future of the Eagle Society's journal

  • Full details can be found here - including how to subscribe - currently the price for UK subscribers is £27 per year, for which you receive 4 (A4) magazines a year.

    20 July 2017

    Lee Sullivan's satirical take on the Transformers

    Here's Lee Sullivan's irreverent (heretical?) take on of "Spitting Image - the giant komic book" (which is filled full of strips by great names)

    19 July 2017

    an introduction to Buddy comic

    Stood at a car boot sale on Sunday morning with a pile of comics in front of me wondering whether to buy them or not...that was me last Sunday...I'd vaguely heard of Buddy but didn't know much about it, I knew it was a DC Thomson title and my collecting interests are based around Hulton/Longacre/IPC/Fleetway titles - there's only so much room in the house, you've got to draw the line somewhere. I could see that the seller had 20ish issues for sale, I could see they weren't all consecutively numbered but I could see they went from issue 1-40. A quick google told me that the complete set of Buddy went well beyond issue 40 so this would only be a sample of the whole run, I wasn't on the verge of completing the set with my first purchase.

    Anyhow, thought I should have a quick flick through and see if I could be tempted to buy 'em...

    Cover's a bit bland, who's this lad? Buddy I guess. Very DC Thomson cover. Not inspired. Pop pistol long gone.

    Ooh, but hang on, turn the page and there's the Wolf of Kabul that I've heard about (I'm a cricket fan so any story involving cricket in some at will grab my attention) - and the artwork is by Mike Dorey, all those dirty, smudgy pictures that he does so well.

    I'm les interested in Andy Gray - although they must cover more interesting people from time to time.

    Turn the page from Andy Gray and blow me down but there's 4 pages of Denis Mcloughlin's fantastically detailed art,

    Jonah? Count me in some more, I love Jonah.

    Hmmm, Billy the Cat - never read it but  people enthuse about it, maybe I should give it a go.

    So my quick flick through encouraged me that there was more to Buddy than meets the eye, so I took the plunge and purchased the 22 issues for a fiver, why nor give buddy a try yourself?

    18 July 2017

    Joseph Merrick #6 - coming soon

    It seems only the other day that Tom Ward & Luke Parker were sending out copies of 'Merrick the sensational elephantman #5', in fact it was only in May. But my copy is still sat in its wrapper as I've yet to read it, the shame, the shame!

    Anyway, they haven't been hanging around as Tom has just announced that the next issue (#6) has been completed and the printed copies should all be out by the end of July. Great news for all those who backed this great Kickstarter campaign.

    Here's the cover to issue 6...

    There are things to buy here - and you can even pre-order issue 6 - but be warned there is a limited print run of only 500 copies - and you can only order 2 issues, so don't delay.

    17 July 2017

    What else can you do in Birkdale if you don't love golf?

    As it's the Open golf tournament this week, I wondered if there were comic-y things you could do if you were in the area and not interested in the golf, so the question is what else can you do in Birkdale if you don't love golf (but do love comics)?

    Plenty! The original Eagle magazine specifically as this part of the North-West is where the magazine has its genesis.

    Located in the middle of Southport there's the Atkinson (formerly known as the Atkinson Art Gallery) has, as part of its permanent display, a section on Dan Dare...
    photo: Dan Whitehead, from his review that he posted over on Down the Tubes (here

    Then there's The Bakery in the Churchtown suburb where the very first issues of Eagle were put together, in recent times (as Mike Burrows shows on his blog here) it's been in a pretty dilapidated state...

    ...but it's looking much happier now...

    And there's always St James church in Birkdale where Marcus Morris was the incumbent before he left to find fame and fortune as the editor of Eagle (and many other titles eventually)
    More details here on the church.

    Hope that's given you a few ideas for how to pass the time when you're not trudging around the course at Royal Birkdale this week.

    16 July 2017

    Tennis comics - sort of

    To round off this most tennis-y of weekends here are the most tennis themed covers I could find, both are Lucky Charm covers....this 30 issue reprint series is hard work to track down, certainly harder work than it's 'brother' paper Red Dagger. It's worth it though for an introcduction to girls comics and a snapshot of stories that are not likely to be reprinted any time soon. And the Ian Kennedy covers (like issue 12 below), did I mention the Ian Kennedy covers?

    I've got copies of both these volumes on my shelf but I lazily lifted these scans from the fantastic Girls comics of yesteryear website (here)

    15 July 2017

    Tank Girl on the beach

    Tank Girl writer and co-creator Alan C. Martin has announced that Friday 4th August (the day of his birthday) is the very day you should rush to Worthing beach!

    Over on the Tank Girl facebook page (here) he explains is thus...

    SIGNING! After last year's craziness, we'll be returning to Worthing Beach on Friday 4th August (my birthday) with our pop-up shop, crisps and cider! This time we'll be joined by the majestic artiste Warwick Johnson-Cadwell. We'll be happy to scribble obscene images and our illegible signatures on anything you bring along! we'll also be selling sets of our exclusive new mini-prints! Hope to see some of you there, Alan XXX

    You can also check out the Tank Girl shop here for all sorts of cool Tank Girl merchandise, including this rather eye-catching badge...

    14 July 2017

    Ant Wars is back!

    Coming, from Rebellion, in February 2018 is one of my least favourite comic strips ever! Who demanded it? Who knows? Not me! I'm featuring this only because it was re-printed in new Eagle , so out of a misguided sense of loyalty to that here are the details, all courtesy of Broken Frontier (here), about the Ant Wars reprint coming next year...

    Inspired by cult B-movies like Them!, early 2000 AD serial Ant Wars will be collected by UK publisher Rebellion in early 2018, bringing the bug-based horror favourite to an entirely new audience of readers. Written by the prolific Gerry Finley-Day and illustrated by a number of artists associated with the early days of 2000 AD, Starlord and Tornado – Jośe Ferrer (Robo-Hunter), Lozano (M.A.C.H.1), Pena (Planet of the Damned) and Azpiri (Black Hawk) – Ant Wars plays on our primal fears of the insect world with an edgy underlying ecological twist.
    The story originally appeared in 2000 AD #71-85 way back in 1978 and has been reprinted a handful of times over the years, including in Eagle #217-231 (1986), the Quality reprint series Scavengers for the US market in the late ‘80s and 2000 AD Extreme Edition #4 in 2004. There was also an Ant Wars cameo appearance in 2000 AD’s Armoured Gideon serial in the mid-‘90s

    This compilation also includes Simon Spurrier (Godshaper, The Spire) and the legendary Judge Dredd artist Cam Kennedy’s related Zancudo tale from the Judge Dredd Megazine in 2005. Ant Wars is a perfect complementary package to Rebellion’s ongoing Treasury of British Comics volumes.

    RELEASE: FEB 2018
    PAGECOUNT: 112
    CREATORS: Gerry Finley-Day, Simon Spurrier, Jose Luis Ferrer, Alfonso Azpiri, Cam Kennedy
    When military personnel spray an untested insecticide on ants in the Brazilian rainforest, the colony mutate into super-intelligent creatures with a taste for human flesh! As the terrifying army head closer towards civilisation, Captain Villa and a young forest native race ahead in the vain attempt to warn a thoroughly unprepared world! Also includes Zancudo – bonus story by Si Spurrier and Cam Kennedy!

    For anyone collecting the Quality Comics reprints, note that a different numbering system was used for the US reprints compared to the UK reprints. So, issue 10 in the US is issue 22 in the UK; issue 11 in the US is issue 23 in the UK; and so on up until issue 14 in the US which is issue 26 and is the only issue to have the Ants on the front cover, thus...

    Ant Wars only appears in these 5 issues.

    13 July 2017

    Pat Mills - Be pure! to be published as actual book


    The Secret History is now available to buy from ...

    I've just ordered mine...

    Great news for all fans of Pat Mills and historians of British comics...the (currently e-book only) volume Be pure! Be vigilant! Behave! not only has a smashing new, Roy Lichtenstein inspired cover by Alex Ronald but the book will shortly be going on sale in paperback! 

    As Pat says"...This will just take another week or two for it to become available. I'm working on the rest of the cover design right now (spine, back cover), and our formatter is working on the book interior. Once complete (hopefully tomorrow) it gets uploaded to CreateSpace; they send us a proof copy, we okay it; and then it goes on sale."

    And a few more bits of Pat-based news:
    • Pat gave a talk at the Marxism Festival in London last Saturday: The Politics of 2000AD, which went down a storm. The talk was recorded and it should be available for replay soon.
    • He has just completed three days in the Spokenworld Studio, narrating Be Pure! for audiobook.  According to producer Neil Gardner, Pat is a natural! The audiobook version of Be Pure! will be on sale direct from Spokenworld Audio from the second week of August, followed by Amazon a month or two later.
    • In addition to the Marxism Festival and audiobook narration, Pat managed to squeeze in an interview with Afshin Rattansi, the host of RT's Going Underground show. Talking 2000AD and Be Pure!, the show will be broadcast on Saturday 22nd July

    Pat Mills, Lisa Mills and John Freeman at the 2000ad con in February 2017