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30 April 2018

the Johnny Red figure that never was

When I saw the front cover of the current issue of Wargames Illustrated (issue 366 - April 2018) poking out of the shelves of my local WH Smith's the other day I was intrigued. Why? There, on     the front cover (even though he's smoking a cigar) was Battle's Johnny Red. What on Earth is he doing there I thought 

The answer lay inside with a 2 page feature on how to use a character like Johnny in an aerial wargame. You also get a whole page of Johnny's backstory in Battle.
Seeing that the figure was described as being a new figure in the 'Giants in Miniature' range produced by Wargames Illustrated sounded good to me. However, a look on their website showed no sign of Johnny, where was he hiding? Eventually I e-mailed Wargames Illustrated who told me that the model had only ever been available to pre-order but that due to unforeseen circumstances all casts of the model had had to be melted down and that the figure would not be going onto production. 

And that was that, so near but yet so far...pick up the current issue of the magazine for your one and only chance to see this model. 

29 April 2018

The Gauls are coming!

London's Jewish Museum has announced that from 10th May until 30th September 2018ad they'll be hosting an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of René Goscinny - the writer of Asterix. 

It's billed as... 
An immersive and playful exhibition that explores the unique imagination of the co-creator, with Albert Uderzo, of the Astérix comics. René Goscinny’s story, from a childhood in Argentina to a glittering career that began in New York and flourished in Europe, is brought to life through rare original scripts, storyboards, photographs, films, sketches, dressing up stations, games, and more than a little wild boar...

The exhibition is adapted from the exhibition originally produced by the Museum of Jewish Art and History in Paris in partnership with the René Goscinny Institute.

Many linked talks are planned, more details here - perhaps the most interesting sounding talk is on the 28th June 7-8pm and features.... 
Oliver Kamm, leader writer and columnist for The Times and son of the literary translator Anthea Bell, reflects on how Asterix has become an icon of British humour.
Anthea’s translations of Asterix are acclaimed for their distinctive English wordplay while retaining the spirit of the French originals. Hear how Asterix has become an icon of British humour and learn more about Anthea's process of translating.
You can book tickets for that here

The museum is just 3 minutes walk from Camden tube station and is open daily 10am-5pm (but only 10am-2pm on Fridays). 

28 April 2018

Dan Dare signing this afternoon - don't forget!

This is happening this afternoon, don't forget!

The Forbidden Planet megastore on Shaftesbury Avenue (in central London) has announced that on Saturday 28th April 2018 1-2pm, writer Pete Milligan will be signing copies of the collected edition of his recent Titan comics series.
As they say on the website...

Dan Dare returns in an all new adventure, written by Peter Milligan, in which he faces a sinister new foe sent by a deadly ancient evil that threatens not only all life in the solar system, but the very galaxy itself!

Peter Milligan is an award-winning London-based writer of comic books and graphic novels, published in many languages throughout the world. His work includes ground-breaking titles such as the psychedelic Shade The Changing Man and SKIN, about a skinhead suffering from the effects of Thalidomide, up to Greek Street, an homage to Greek myth seen through the prism of violent modern-day London. His work also includes the more mainstream, from Batman to the successful and critically acclaimed re-imagining of the X-Men myth: X-STATIX, described by Kevin Smith as “the most well-observed scholarly analysis of media-manipulation filtered through a pop-culture lens ever committed to the page”. He has also had two films produced: Pilgrim starring Ray Liotta and An Angel For May, starring Tom Wilkinson.

The signed edition is available to pre-order from the Forbidden Planet website here priced at £13.99

The unsigned edition is available to pre-order from the Forbidden Planet website here priced at £11.99

27 April 2018

26 April 2018

The Trials of Nasty Tales - early Dave Gibbons work

There's a copy (my copy actually) of 'The Trial of Nasty Tales' magazine for sale on that ebay (here) - if you've never seen this piece of early Dave Gibbons art before then you're in for a treat! Published in 1973. 

25 April 2018

Cartoonaid Kidz - part 1 - Bryan Hitch

I acquired a copy of this annual recently, it's from 1989 (and is easy to acquire online) and features some top comic talent writing and illustrating stories based on characters that kids have (initially) written and drawn themselves. Plenty of interesting creators involved and I'll showcase their various contributions over the next few days. 

First up we have a humour strip by that 19-year old veteran of the British comics industry Bryan Hitch. Yep, that Bryan Hitch. THE Bryan Hitch.

Cheers Bryan!

The project was created in an effort to raise funds to help run the Wad Sherifay refugee camp in the Sudan (the Cartoon Aid project the previous year had raised enough money for the Swiss Red Cross to look after the 50,000 people in the camp). 

The Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain helped supply the cartoonists and chose the overall winner at their 1988 Christmas party.

The director of the project was Graham Cooke, the project organisers were Frank Plowright and Melanie Smith. The Cartoon Aid team were Jackie Brannan, Annie Woods, Amanda Cooper and Leslie Kett. 

24 April 2018

Postcards in the mancave

I love postcards, I really love comic postcards and I love my man-cave so it seemed a natural fit to bring them all together to help decorate

23 April 2018

Erik the Viking - continental reprints

I've always wanted to acquire the lovely looking 4 volume set of Erik the Viking stories (illustrated by Don Lawrence) - but as the set usually retails for £100+ I've never been able to afford it. It did start me looking on ebay for a cheap(er) copy,  which in turn showed me that Erik's adventures have been reprinted on the continent far more than they ever have here, grrr... 

22 April 2018

Comic Treasures - The REALLY Big Books!

And now we're on to the REALLY big books in my collection, as you can see they are weighing down a corner of the house all by themselves...

Big books on the left - unread books on the right (starting at Tintin)

21 April 2018

Simon Bisley & Cam Kennedy signing today

Don't forget that this is today...

Forbidden Plant have announced (here) that SIMON BISLEY and CAM KENNEDY will be signing at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday 21st April from 4 – 5pm

If you can't make the signing you can pre-order a sign copy of Judgement on Gotham here

Simon will surely need to no introduction to readers of this blog but have you ever seen his work for 'Shit the dog' comic / magazine? Packed full of great artists I covered
issue 1 here
issue 2 here
issue 4 here

20 April 2018

Dan Abnett signing at Forbidden Planet megastore

Don't forget that this is tomorrow...

Dan Abnett will be signing CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday 21st April from 1 – 2pm

In the depths of Eastern Europe, the legendary vampire hunter, Captain Kronos and his two assistants, Grost and Carla are called upon to help rid a town of its vampire plague.
However, beneath the surface of the beleaguered town a malevolent force far more evil and deadly is awakening and it might just be the match of Kronos…
You can pre-order the title here for £13.99

Dan Abnett is a bestselling author and an award-winning comic book writer. He has written over fifty novels, and his 2008 run on The Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel formed the inspiration for the blockbuster movie. He is a regular contributor to 2000AD and is the writer on Aquaman, The Titans and Earth 2 for DC Comics.

19 April 2018

Secrets of comics in North and South Korea

Don't forget that this is tonight...

To tie in with their current exhibition The House of Illustration have announced (here) a talk by comics expert Paul Gravett on 'Secrets of North and South Korean comics', tickets are from £15 (note this includes free entry to the 'Made in North Korea' exhibition, which this talk complements).

The talk is on Thursday 19th April @ 7pm

As the blurb says...
In 1991, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il declared that the nation should ‘develop the comic-strip genre’. This official endorsement led to increased production of kurimch’aek or ‘picture books’, many in comics form and several adapted from the writings of the ‘Great Leader’, his first wife or their son and successor. During and since the Korean War, North and South Korea have harnessed the cartoon medium for propaganda, while they also share historical folk heroes who live on in both sides of the demilitarised zone. On the other hand, modern manhwa, or comics made in South Korea, survived censorship and public burnings to earn government support and compete directly with manga from Japan. Today, South Korea's searing graphic novels can confront the traumas of history. Their phenomenally popular digital comics or webtoons can also give a voice to critical cartoon journalists and North Korean defectors.

18 April 2018

Bryan Talbot @ the British Library tonight!

This is tonight, don't forget people!

The 3nd and final talk at the British library this spring/summer...

Digital Conversation: Digital Comics


Venturing off the page: exploring multimedia, animation and new narrative forms
How are comics venturing off the page? Join us to explore the impact of new technologies on how we read, create and understand comics, chaired by John Freeman with Bryan Talbot, Yomi Ayeni, Kate Ashwin and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey.
In partnership with

Link to the British Library website is here
Full Price: £6.00
Member: £6.00
Senior 60+: £5.00
Student: £4.00
Registered Unemployed: £4.00
Under 18: £4.00
Friend of the British Library: £6.00
+44 (0)1937 546546

17 April 2018

South London comic & zine fair

Just a quick shout out for this event that's happening near me this Summer - more details as and when I get them but for now it's just to remember the date - Saturday 14th July. Free entry!
Bar open all day!

Here's a review of what the fair was like in

The above (great!) poster is by Tom Bird @T_J_Bird

16 April 2018

15 April 2018

Striker comic launches on Kickstarter!

As reported 3 weeks ago (here) Pete Nash, the creator of the Striker newspaper comic strip, was looking at ways to be able to launch a brand new weekly football comic.

And now he's found a way, all the details are on the Kickstarter campaign here. If the project gets funding, and it needs a lot of cash, then the plan is as follows...

...Launching in September 2018, the comic will be A4 size with a minimum 32 pages, all in colour. The first section will be devoted to the main serialised storyline, and we also plan to do at least one secondary strip focusing on the young wannabe footballers at the academy. At the back of the comic will be four or five pages of classic football strips from the seventies and eighties. In between will be news, interviews and features on the characters, plus stats on the world league clubs and players. 

Pete has already printed 4 volumes of the Striker archive, these are great collections, and very reasonably priced for the amount of content you get (hundreds of full colour pages in the latest volume).

Pete's looking to raise a whopping £35,000 - but that's not to print one comic - this is to print a dozen comics, so if (like me) you'll probably back the first dozen issues in print format that'll cost you £30 - so that's £2.50 a comic, the price of a cup of coffee. That's great value for money. 

Striker was a comic once before of course, and it lasted a very respectable 87 issues. It ran from August 20th 2003 - May 12th 2005 and also featured Billy's Boots reprinted strips as well as reprints of early Striker strips. 

So, a big target but Pete's 10% of the way there in less than 24 hours, watch this space for more updates on this ambitious comics project.