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31 January 2019

Comics For The Apocalypse podcast

Listening to the Awesome Comics podcast (available here) I heard about a new comics podcast, Comics For The Apocalypse (available here), so I tuned in and loved the show, so I thought I'd get in touch with host Samuel George London and ask him all about it...

Hi Samuel, so what's the concept behind your new podcast?
On my new podcast, Comics For The Apocalypse, I interview interesting guests about what comics they'd take into the apocalypse. It's basically Desert Island Discs but for comics. 

Surely you're too busy creating comics, running Kickstarters to do a weekly podcast AS WELL, what inspired you to do this?
Last year was my first year creating comics and really getting involved in the comics community, and after a really fun year I wondered what else I could contribute to comics apart from making comics and thought, maybe I could do a podcast. However, I wanted to make it different and an actor called Brett Goldstein (Superbob) started a podcast called Films To Be Buried With. Where he interviews guests about what films they'd like to be buried with. It's a great podcast and I thought at the start of the year wouldn't that be cool to have for comics, and I took upon myself to create it.

So, a new episode every Monday - who have you had on so far and who would you REALLY like to have on as a guest?
Of the episodes that have gone live, I've interviewed Sarah Millman of NPC Tea, Dan Butcher of Vanguard and the next episode is with Aaron Rackley of Little Heroes. I'd really like to interview Mark Millar, Robert Kirkman and Jen Bartel.

So, for anyone who hasn't read Milford Green (picture above) - what can you tell them about it? And, more important, where can they get it?
Milford Green is a Kickstarter-funded comic I made last year that centres around a socially awkward Victorian inventor called Aklfie Fairfield who lives in an ordinary English village in 1897. That is until one Summer's evening, Alfie sees some kind of flying vehicle shoot across the sky and crash land into a field. Being a curious fellow who is interested in any type of machinery, he investigates to find out that we are not alone in this universe. You could describe it as Victorians vs aliens but in the next instalment, Beyond Milford Green, it's more Victorians working with Aliens. People can find out more on the publisher website, Signal Comics (here)

What can you tell us about your new Kickstarter campaign?
Beyond Milford Green immediately follows on from Milford Green with Alfie and his next door neighbour, Mary, heading to the United Galactic Alliance in a spaceship. When they arrive, the president of the U.G.A. asks them to go on a peace negotiation mission with the Cinux, which will decide the fate of the galaxy. Will there be peace… or war?

The Kickstarter runs through February but began yesterday and folks can take a look by following this link...

signed prints from the Milford Green kickstarter

How long does it take you to write an issue of Milford Green?
It varies. The first instalment was 40 pages and my first comic, which took about 3 months. This second instalment is 60 pages and I worked with an editor to improve my level of writing. All in all that took about 3 onths as well, so maybe I'm getting a bit faster per page. Before beginning a scrips I always try to have an outline using an 8 point story arc, which prevents as many stumbling blocks during the process as possible but I think it varies from script to script and what else is happening in my life at the time as well.

What do you like to do away from comics?
Apart from comics I like to exercise, usually strength training stuff as well as yoga. Pub walks are always a winner too. Finally, I'm a big cinema-goer and usually go once a week.

There were beermats for the last Kickstarter - Best. Reward. Ever.

What comics are you reading at the moment?
I read The Walking Dead, which got me into comics in the first place a few years ago, on top of everything that Robert Kirkman writes. I also read everything by Mark Millar. Finally, at the moment I'm enjoying Blackbird by Jen Bartel and Sam Humphris, as well as Redneck by Donny Cates and Lisandro Estherren.  

Who would you get to ask about your Apocalypse comics and why?
This is pie in the sky thinking but I'd love Jonathan Ross to interview me about my choices for Comics For The Apocalypse

30 January 2019

The collector's guide to Pat Mills's 'The Redeemer'

There are many good things to be said about the quality of art and stories that graced Warhammer monthly comic which ran from February 1998 to late 2004. As I didn't buy it at the time most of these strips are new to me, one that stands out amongst all of them though is 'The Redeemer' by Pat Mills.

Wikipedia sums up the plot (here) as...set on the Hive World of Necromunda, The Redeemer chronicles the battles of a small band of Redemptionists, fanatical and homicidal cultists of the Emperor, led by their supreme leader and arch-maniac, Klovis the Redeemer, as they fight to stop the Caller, a deadly and extremely powerful Ratskin Shaman, who is leading a horde of Ratskins, Scalies, Plague zombies and other Underhive Scum in a revolution against the nobles of the Spire. 

Inspired to read more about a chainsaw wielding maniac with a burning brazier on his head (whose catchphrase isn't quite 'be pure, be vigilant, behave' instead it's a deviant-taunting 'scourge and purge')? Well this is where to start...

In the Summer of 1999 Warhammer monthly went bi-weekly so that 3 special issues, featuring just material related to The Redeemer, could be published...

Issue 16, June 1999

Issue 18, July 1999

Issue 20, August 19999

Issue 22, August 1999

And this is what you got for your money
Issue 16 = a one-off introductory story 

Issue 18 = chapters 1-4 of The Redeemer & a Wayne Reynolds interview
Issue 20 = chapters 5-8 & a Debbie Gallagher interview
Issue 22 = chapters 9-12 & a Pat Mills interview & a Wayne Reynolds interview
All of the above is black & white art

The (black and white) work was then collected in this paperback volume in 2000, yours for £7.50, ISBN = 1-84154-120-6

Then in 2002 the main series (so ignoring the material in Warhammer monthly #16) was coloured and published in its own stand-alone mini-series (only one other Warhammer strip got this special treatment but that's a story for another day). So now you have...

June 2002, cover recycled from Warhammer #22; chapters 1-3

July 2002, cover recycled from Warhammer #18; chapters 4-6

August 2002, cover recycled from Warhammer #20; chapters 7-9

September 2002, cover recycled from Warhammer #16; chapters 9-12

This coloured material (plus a previously unpublished strip) was then itself collected, in 2002, in this fine volume, yours for £12.95, ISBN 1-84154-274-1

Note that in story-telling terms The Redeemer story arc is made up of 3 'books' - chapters 1-4 are Book 1, chapters 5-8 are Book 2 and chapters 9-12 are Book 3.

29 January 2019

The unseen art of Ron Embleton - last chance to see

This week is your last chance to catch The unseen work of Ron Embleton at Messum's art gallery in central London. I've been intrigues by this exhibition ever since I was announced and I managed to get along to it on Saturday... 

If you're thinking about buying anything here's the price list...most works are still for sale...

Nude (green) and I am the King (on the next column)

Some of the landscapes I found much more impressive in real life rather than on the pages of the catalogue

London street scene...

This image below (#18) is my favourite of the exhibition, it's just so beautiful (and maybe it should be at £16,500), I would love this on my wall. But it's not going to happen.

Ken Smith's sculptural works are exhibited at the same time as Ron's work.

The nearly 40 works on show representing almost all of Ron non-illustration work that the Embleton family own. The paintings cover a variety of styles and subjects with varying degrees of abstraction (#36 and #37 are VERY different to #22-24), so presumably cover a long period of Ron's artistic output. Most are unsigned (at least on the front). 

For me, the best paintings are the landscape pieces with the more restrained colour palette (#5, 13, 14, 18, 21). Like I say, it's on until Friday so you still have a few days left to go and make up your own mind.

The catalogue is available to download here.

28 January 2019

More Book Palace publications coming soon

Back in November (here) I posted about some upcoming projects from the Book Palace, well the Ron Embleton special is out (you can buy it here), and I've just noticed some other updates from them....

Coming in May 2019 is this beauty, limited to 500 copies this is (it says here) ...Wonderful collection of four complete 64 page stories by Ron Turner and Kurt Caesar featuring the classic SF strips Jet Ace Logan.

Reprints Thriller Picture Library #383, #410, #418 and #442 from 1962/63; plus comprehensive artist checklist and introduction.

Also in May we have this
As it says here...
Stirring collection of four complete 64 page stories by Del Castillo featuring the classic Western strip Larrigan.

Reprints Lone Rider Picture Library #1, #4, #9 and Cowboy Picture Library #463 from 1961/62; plus comprehensive artist checklist and introduction.

Both titles are already available to pre-order for £25 each and contain 268 pages.

27 January 2019

Further Scream adverts from new Eagle

For all you Scream completionists out there, here are the adverts that appeared in new Eagle... 

From new Eagle 31st March 1984...for issue 2 

From new Eagle 7th April 1984...for issue 3

From new Eagle 9th June 1984...for issue 13

26 January 2019

Scream advertising in new Eagle

From the pages of new Eagle here is the advertising campaign for Scream - which launched 24th March 1984...

From 3rd March 1984

From 10th March 1984

From 17th March 1984

From 24th March 1984

25 January 2019

new Roy of the Rovers comic released

To celebrate it being FA cup 4th round weekend (is that a thing that is normally celebrated? whatever) the FA have released a special tie-in Roy of the Rovers comic that itself celebrates the 3rd round of the cup (keeping up at the back?) - it's a pdf but a few printed copies have made their way out in to the world..

The pdf is here (although you'll have to register for it) and it looks like this...
As the FA website says..
The heroes of the Emirates FA Cup third round have been immortalised in a limited edition Roy of the Rovers comic book released today.
The commemorative cartoon depicts action from an exhilarating Cup weekend which saw Barnet, Gillingham, Oldham Athletic and Newport County all overcome the odds to record famous upsets.
Following Oldham and Newport’s stunning victories against Premier League opposition, the managers of both sides described their achievements as “Roy of the Rovers stuff” and the new comic, published in partnership with official Roy of the Rovers publishers Rebellion, features a Cup-themed storyline and artwork by Roy of the Rovers artist Ben Willsher.
It includes Latics keeper Daniel Iversen’s penalty stop against Fulham at Craven Cottage, Padraig Amond’s 85th-minute winner for the Exiles against Leicester City, Elliott List’s winner for Gillingham against Cardiff City and Barnet’s victory at Sheffield United.
Here they are enjoying a signing at Newport County...

A limited number of the free comic books were released today by each of the teams, with fans queueing up to own a piece of history.  They were joined by players and managers who signed copies and looked ahead to the fourth round ties taking place this weekend.
You can download your own copy of the comic at the bottom of this page.
Oldham caretaker boss Pete Wild said: “I described our win as ‘Roy of the Rovers stuff’ and I wasn’t lying.
“When I heard that The FA were actually creating a Roy of the Rovers comic book I was over the moon. To put this club and the players who worked so hard to secure the win in the spotlight is really special. I’m sure the fans are going to love it.” 
Amond added: “Growing up I used to read Roy of the Rovers comics, so seeing myself in comic book form is crazy.
“The Emirates FA Cup has given us a chance to prove ourselves and I’m delighted that our fans can now keep a bit of that history with this comic. It’s brilliant, I’ll certainly be keeping my copy in a special place.”

Andy Ambler, The FA’s director of professional game relations, said: “Anything is possible in the Emirates FA Cup as results in the third round showed.
“The competition is for all and a chance for players and teams across the football pyramid to write their names into folklore.
“We are delighted to create this commemorative comic book featuring the stars of Barnet, Gillingham, Newport County and Oldham Athletic and hope the fans across the country enjoy looking back on these memorable moments in cartoon form.”
Roy of the Rovers returned to print in 2018 with a brand new story and a new contemporary look and feel after a 17-year hiatus.
The latest edition features hero Roy Race as a 16-year-old footballing prodigy taking his first steps in the professional game, and retaining the same talent and passion that made him a favourite for football fans since the 1950s.
The Emirates FA Cup fourth round kicks off on Friday 25 January.
Following the doubling of The FA’s prize fund this season, winning clubs will receive £180,000 in prize money and a place in the fifth round.

23 January 2019

Frank Hampson exhibition @ Bourne Hall Museum, part 4

Some images of the '100 years since the birth of Frank Hampson' exhibition currently running until mid-March at Bourne Hall museum in Surrey...with apologies for the light reflections on the images. More details here.

Ladybird original art

Preparatory sketches

all images are (c) Peter Hampson