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28 February 2019

John Gillatt books - Billy's Boots artwork, part 2

Final selection of my (incomplete) collection of Dutch reprints of Billy's Boots - interior artwork by John Gillatt and, later on, Mike Western (from volume 25 onwards).

27 February 2019

John Gillatt books - Billy's Boots artwork, part 1

To celebrate the new issue of Comic Scene I thought I'd post these up in celebration of my latest article. Intrigued? Buy Comic Scene now to find out more :)

26 February 2019

Bryan Talbot's history of British comics

To accompany the 2007 BBC series 'Comics Britannia' the Guardian commissioned Bryan Talbot to provide a 3 page illustrated history of British comics. So, without further ado, here's your bluffer's guide to British comics history c/o a master of the comic medium...

Here's Bryan's cover for Sufferin' Satellites fanzine #2 (July/August 1997) which he appears to have used as part of the cover to The Guide above...
...and then there was his cover for the Virgin Comics (2007) re-boot of Dan Dare

all works is (c) Bryan Talbot

25 February 2019

Blasting off from a bakery

In 2000 the Eagle Society (more details here) organised a trip to the spiritual home of Eagle, Southport, part of the trip included going to the Bakery (so named as it was the site of a former bakery) where the very earliest issues of Eagle had been produced by Frank Hampson and his team.

Here's Peter Hampson standing outside the Bakery, as you can see it's a bit of a ramshackle, lean-to sort of building.

Here's Chad Varah (the gent wearing the hat), founder of the Samritans, and early Eagle writer at the Bakery.

Eagle related clippings inside...

A glimpse inside the Bakery

24 February 2019

Southport college - the Eagle remembered

In 2000, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of the original Eagle, members of the Eagle Society (more details here) met in Southport (Eagle's spiritual home). One of the highlights of the weekend was a trip to Southport college where Frank Hampson had studied art.

Society members below, outside the college

There was also the opportunity to view some display boards that the college had erected in recognition of their successful alumni...

The last I'd heard the display boards were no longer on, well, display (but I'd love to stand corrected!) so I present them here just as a record of them.

This is the extract from the college record books and shows the entry to Frank Hampson. 

So, he failed his NDD [National Diploma in Design] Illustration at King George V Grammar school [I'm guessing a bit here] and then off to Hulton Press at the inception of Eagle and then the brief note that he'd been recognised as the 'best comic designer of the world'. That's some progress!

23 February 2019

Ron Smith comics covers - non-2000ad

As someone who didn't read 2000ad as they were growing up I wasn't as exposed to Ron Smith's work as those lucky 2000ad readers. However, Ron worked for a number of Fleetway titles and I grew to recognise (and love) his super detailed style.

Anyway, I've now fished out the covers that he drew that I own...firstly, new Eagle from 21st July 1990 

One Wildcat cover

One Scream cover

Mask comics are a slightly odd size - slightly larger than A4 makes scanning the covers impossible so I've just scanned the most I can. Sorry. Note also that the Mask covers are always wraparound covers so you actually get twice the Ron Smith for your money...

22 February 2019

Thriller picture library - complete set available

Someone (not me!) is selling off (here) a complete set of Thriller comics picture library. The staining from the staples is clearly visible on the picture below but apart from that these look to be in great condition - certainly in much better condition than the copies I've seen at comic marts.

The only thing stopping me putting in a bid for this fine item is the price - £7,000

I know, I know, if you can find a cheaper set out there in better condition why not buy that instead, whatever. It's a great opportunity to buy this great series but, really, £7.000? Good luck. 

21 February 2019

Comics in Swansea - 1995 (part 2)

One of the festival highlights for me was this exhibition of original comic artwork,,,

With apologies to Mike Collins and David Roach but I didn't photograph any of your art :( 
Good news David Pugh I took lots of pictures of your art - the only problem is that many of the photos are blurry so I've included the best quality images.

20 February 2019

Comics in Swansea - 1995 (part 1)

I was in my first year ay university (in Swansea) when this whole programme of comics related stuff kicked off, as ever, this is the sort of stuff that might be lost to the mists of time unless it get recorded, so here we go...

4 A4 page (so a piece of A3 paper) promotional booklet... 

Small accompanying (film) leaflet