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31 May 2018

Correcting comic myths (1) - How many issues of Eagle were there?

Part 1 of an occasional series dedicated to pedantry, I mean correcting common comic mis-conceptions,...

How many issues of the original Eagle comic/magazine were there?
Easy you say, just look it up some likely places and surely they'll all agree? Ok, let's have a look at some of those likely places then...
1). Denis Gifford's 'Complete catalogue of British comics' (1984) says 991.

 2). The international book of comics (Denis Gifford, 1984) says 991

3). The British comic catalogue 1874-1974 (Denis Gifford, 1974) says 991

4). British comics and story paper guide 1982 (Denis Gifford) says 991
(so the four Denis Gifford publications, unsurprisingly, agree on 991 issues)

5). Penny Dreadfuls and Comics (Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, 1983) also has 991

6). Wikipedia says 991 issues

7). Comic Vine says 991 issues

8). The comic guide (1983) says 991 issues

9). The Comic Book price guide for 1997-8 says 987 issues 

10). The online version of the Comic Book price guide (here) says 987 and 997 issues depending on which bit of the entry you read.

So, that's not exactly clear - it's either 991 issues or 987. I think safe to say that all the places quoting 991 issues draw on the work of Denis Gifford as their source material.

So the final choice then is between 991 or 987 (the figure, remember, quoted only by the Comic Price guide), which is it?

The correct answer is 987 issues - so well done Steve Holland, commiserations Denis Gifford.

This is broken down as follows:
volume issues notes
1 52
2 52
3 52
4 38 short year as the end of the volume moved from the anniversary of the launch of Eagle to the end of the calendar year
5 53
6 52
7 52
8 52
9 52
10 45 printers striker so fewer issues
11 53
12 52
13 52
14 52
15 52
16 52
17 53
18 52
19 52
20 17 Eagle merged with Lion

Note that for volumes 1-3 the start/end date of the volume were in April (to co-incide with the April launch date of Eagle; volume 4 was shortened to get to the end of the calendar year; volume 5 (and all subsequent volumes) ran from the start of January.

30 May 2018

Alan Moore in conversation

Alan Moore will appearing in the small, but perfectly formed, space that is the Elgar Rooms at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday, yes this Monday, (4th June).

He'll be talking to Robin Ince and Josie Long as they, it says here
they bring a special live version of the popular Book Shambles podcast to the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room as part of Festival of Science: Space.

In their hilarious podcast, Robin and Josie use books as their springboard into shambolic, often ludicrous and always passionate conversations into literature, science, philosophy, comedy, politics and, well, everything and anything. Expect high standards of both wisdom and nonsense.

This show will feature British science communicator and solar researcher Professor Lucie Green and the man behind graphic novels, Watchmen, V for Vendetta and Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore
There's a trailer, on youtube, for the talk that can be found here

29 May 2018

Doctor Who Weekly #0

Dez Skinn continues his one man effort to bring '70s comic strips back to the present day with this little beauty...

As he says on that facebook…
Talking about dummies (no jokes, please!) a while back I produced a special commemorative Doctor Who Weekly #0 - a printing of the original mock-up that I took along to the BBC to secure the license in 1979. Only 100 copies printed, which disappeared pronto. So, as a guest of the forthcoming Vworp convention and feeling I couldn't turn up empty-handed, I produced another limited edition of DWW #0 (a slight variant and without the s+n certificate so as not to devalue the original 100 but still with the explanatory "Letter from the Dezter").

Anybody not attending or impatient can actually get it from me now. It's £24.95 inc postage (UK; plus £4.00 Europe, £5.50 rest of world). Just Paypal the amount to and we'll mail it out pronto.

28 May 2018

Oxfam bookshop in Kingston-Upon-Thames - pop-up comic shop last day

Today is the least day of the comic book pop-up shop in Kingston-upon-Thames Oxfam (which is near, but not to be confused with, their regular Kingston store), snagged these photos while I was in their yesterday 

27 May 2018

Infinity magazine 09 - Dan Dare, Look-In and Dick Barton

Following on from my post yesterday (here) about the latest issue of Infinity magazine (issue 10) I ought to have added that you should check out at least one of their back issues as well.

Issue 09 was a cracker as far as fans of British comics were concerned...
First up we had Dan Dare on the cover and then a 4 page article inside that covers the whole history of the Dan Dare strip from the very earliest days up until today

You then also get a 4 page career retrospective on Dick Barton (not many other magazines can say that about their contents last month)... 

...and then there's also 4 pages on Look-in 

All the features are well written and well illustrated, more details  here on the Infinity website  

26 May 2018

Infinity magazine #10 out now!

This is issue 10 of Infinity magazine so it's hardly a new magazine but it's pretty new to me and at £3.99 it's well worth taking a punt on.

This issue has, as its lead article no less, a 4 page feature on radio series Journey into space. Not many magazines would lead with a feature on a radio programme, let alone one first broadcast in the 1950s but Infinity seems happy to be aimed at the retro end of the sci fi market and good luck to it.  

 Here's page 1 of that feature...
...which does also crossover into the Dan Dare radio series on radio Luxembourg and some other SF radio dramas. 

Retro also, clearly, covers the '70s so there's also a 4-page feature on short-lived TV show (and The Sweeney imitation) Target which also recalls the short-lived (18 issues only folks) Target comic that was published in 1978. Featuring strips based on Charlie's Angels, Kojak, Cannon and Hazel it appears that the only pantone they had access to was 'garish'.  
There's loads of other stuff as well (Buck Rogers, Blake's 7, 2001, The Clangers) that I'll leave you to discover for yourself.

There website is here - back issues are available but not for all issues as they've soled out already of some issues.

25 May 2018

Van Helsing's Terror tales has risen from the grave!

...or come back from the printers to be more precise and what a volume it is! Hardback, 80 pages, its even got a dustwrapper, it's like a proper annual and everything.
Image may contain: 3 people

And then there's the roster of writers & artists no particular order...Angus McKie, Brian Lewis, Chris lowder, Donne Avenell, Jim Baikie, Joe Colquhoun, John Bolton, Martin Asbury, Patrick Wright, Ramon Sola, Steve Moore, Steve Parkhouse and Dave Gibbons

20 stories from the cream of British comics talent
70+ pages 
What more could you want? An essential purchase, well done to Dez Skinn for getting this published

Just search for "Monster Mag" on facebook

A Brian Lewis page...

A Joe Colquhoun page

 A Ramon 'Hookjaw' Sola page

24 May 2018

Space Ace volume 10 is now out!

Issue 10 of John Lawrence's great magazine celebrating Ron Turner's 1950s space hero Space Ace is now out
44 pages long (including covers) - this issue is 4 pages longer than usual. Included within those pages are:
  • Space Ace and the looters of Lomar
  • Space Ace and the menace from Minos
  • Space Ace - the complete story - part 2
  • Space Ace and the asteroid
  • Space Ace and the race with death
  • letters page
All content is full colour - having been re-coloured by artist John Ridgway.

You can contact John via
John Lawrence, 39 Carterweys, Dunstable, Beds, LU5 4RB

Priced at £8.95 for UK customers - but please contact John before paying for an issue

23 May 2018

Peter Milligan signing tonight

Don't forget that this is happening tonight people...

Fresh from his Prisoner and Dan Dare recent signing at Forbidden Planet (see his scribbles on my comics here), Peter Milligan has been, er, signed up for a signing at Orbital comics on Thursday 23rd May. Maybe see you there?

22 May 2018

Treasury of British Comics exhibition

In case you missed it Orbital comics are having an exhibition to celebrate all the good things associated with Rebellion's 'Treasury of British Comics' line, look forward to some beautiful British original art in the month of June in central London...

The website is here

21 May 2018

A (7th) Doctor Who signing is announced

Over here on the Forbidden Planet website a Doctor Who signing has been announced for the London megastore on the evening of Wednesday 20th June, from 6-7pm.

[Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel and Lee Sullivan signing at Forbidden Planet!]

A the website says...
BEN AARONOVITCH, ANDREW CARTMEL and LEE SULLIVAN will be signing DOCTOR WHO SEVENTH DOCTOR #1 and RIVERS OF LONDON WATER WEED #1 at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Wednesday 20th June from 6 – 7pm!
From the writers of the fan-favourite episode Remembrance of the Daleks, Andrew Cartmel and Ben Aaronovitch, Doctor Who Seventh Doctor #1 brings us a brand new comic adventure featuring the Seventh Doctor as played by Sylvester McCoy, and Ace as played by Sophie Aldred. Also includes a short back-up strip, written by Richard Dinnick, with art by Jessica Martin.
And in Water Weed #1, the digital and bookstore smash-hit series returns with an all-new miniseries. When two of the less well-behaved river goddesses, Chelsea and Olympia, decide to earn a few quid on the side, Peter Grant and Bev find themselves drawn into a sordid cannabis smuggling operation, controlled by London’s new queenpin of crime, the brutal and beautiful Hoodette.

[Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel and Lee Sullivan signing at Forbidden Planet!][Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel and Lee Sullivan signing at Forbidden Planet!]

[Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel and Lee Sullivan signing at Forbidden Planet!]

20 May 2018

Final selection of Asterix exhibition photographs

Just taken on my camera phone (so apologies for the poor quality) but here is a final selection of images from the Goscinny exhibition at the Jewish museum...

...who have wittily changed their branding from saying "Jewish Museum London" to "Jewish Museum Londinium"

Upcoming events...

International translations of Asterix books...

Some of Goscinny's reference book for the Lucky Luke series - including one by Britain's own Denis McLoughlin!

Details of Lucky Luke reprints from Champion

...pages of original art...

...original art from the Nicholas series of books created with (artist) Sempé  

19 May 2018

A John Bolton signing is announced

London's Forbidden Planet megastore have announced a rare signing by comics artist John Bolton, as they say themselves...

JOHN BOLTON will be signing HOPE at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday 2nd June from 4 – 5pm
Continuing the successful and acclaimed SHAME series. A graphic novel like no other, philosophical, clever and thrilling!

Shame is dead, her demon father blasted back to Hell. Hope, newly born into the body of a young woman, stumbles from the battle-scarred castle still filled with Shame’s malevolent servants. The evil witch may have been defeated, but her dark forces are determined to stamp out Hope’s return to the world.

John was seven when he first encountered a paintbrush and it was love at first sight, offering him an output to visualise and create what he saw in his mind and put it to paper. Thus began a life-long ambition of creativity, with influences acquired from a wide variety of sources, but all connected by one underlying theme – the interesting and bizarre. John has been painting now for three decades. His painting displays a thorough understanding of each medium and subject he chooses to tackle. Inspiration comes not from outside influences, but from the story he is illustrating. The style stems from the content and emotion of a particular story. John has worked with many notable writers and editors and is currently working with Lovern Kindzierski on the continuing Shame Series. He works from his studio in London surrounded by giant aphids, grotesque masks, animal skulls and other bizarre objects.

18 May 2018

You want Major Eazy for 99p?

You want Carlos Ezquerra's art? You want Alan Hebden's writing? You want Major Eazy? You want 128 pages of this stuff? For £1.99 (including postage)?

Then today is your luck day as the Forbidden Planet sale is now on and you can get you mitts on the Major Eazy volume for 99p (plus £1 postage) just here.

Oh, and here's a Carlos Ezquerra interview all about the ol' Major...