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30 June 2019

the newspaper strip gazette - part 2

Finishing off my look at the Newspaper strip gazette then...
Issue 4 (November 2010)
Contents include Jane index (1953-57), Buck Ryan index part 2 (1940-46), sample strips of The Seekers (by John M Burns & Les Lilley), Gun Law (by Harry Bishop), Axa (by Donne Avenell & Romero), and Patti



Issue 5 (January 2011)
Contents include 'collecting corner' (by, er, me!), Jane index (1957-59), Buck Ryan index (1946-52), profile of writer Don Freeman and sample strips of The Seekers (by John M Burns & Les Lilley), Gun Law (by Harry Bishop), Jeff Hawke (by Sydney Jordan), and Patti



Issue 6 - March 2011
Contents include 'collecting corner' (by, er, me!), Buck Ryan index (1952-57), profile of writer Norman Pett and sample strips of The Seekers (by John M Burns & Les Lilley), Gun Law (by Harry Bishop), Susi (by Norman Pett), and Patti
Assuming the same publication schedule then the series continued thus (but I don't have any copies of these)
Issue 7 - May 2011
Issue 8 - July 2011
Issue 9 - September 2011
Issue 10 - November 2011
Issue 11 - January 2012
Issue 12 - March 2012 

Issue 13 - May 2012
Contents include introductions to classic western strips Matt Marriott, Rick Martin, Gun Law and Cisco Kid, Matt Marriott index and sample strips of The Seekers (by John M Burns & Les Lilley), Matt Marriott (by Tony Weare) Gun Law (by Harry Bishop), Cisco Kid (by Jose Luis Salinas) and Rick Martin.

...sadly I've no idea if this was the last issue or if it ran and ran - can you help? Get in touch if you can

29 June 2019

the newspaper strip gazette - part 1

Continuing my interest in all sorts of comics publications, here's something a little different...The newspaper strip gazette. A4 sized, loose leaf, black and white, 12 pages dedicated to all things to do with newspaper strips in comics

Issue1 (May2010)
Contents include...profile of artist Norman Pett, checklist of Jane stories (1938-46), sample strips of The Seekers (by John M Burns & Les Lilley), Gun Law (by Harry Bishop), Carol Day by David Wright and Patti

Issue 2 (July 2010)
Contents include...profile of artist Mike Hubbard, checklist of Jane stories (1946-53), sample strips of The Seekers (by John M Burns & Les Lilley), Gun Law (by Harry Bishop), Carol Day by David Wright and Patti
 Issue 3 (September 2010)
Contents include...profile of artist Jack Monk, checklist of Buck Ryan stories (1937-41), sample strips of The Seekers (by John M Burns & Les Lilley), Gun Law (by Harry Bishop) and Patti




28 June 2019

Comics Iconoclasm at the ICA - part 1

The word "iconoclasm" is defined as the action of attacking or assertively rejecting cherished beliefs and institutions or established values and practices. So in the case of the exhibition that ran at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London June-September 1987 we can expect to see some of our treasured comics idols 'rejected' by some of the famous artists of the day...

Brochure (front cover) - taken from the Roy Lichtenstein painting entitled 'Image Duplicator'

Brochure (back cover)

And here's 'Flash in Venice' by Jean-Michel Basquiat

'Nestor' by Julian Opie


'Supermarkets' by Sigmar Polke


and some more Roy Lichtenstein


27 June 2019

Archive Adventures - part 1

Before there was Treasury of British comics line, acquiring reprints of old British comics was hard work (and even with Treasury there is SO much material that will never be reprinted) so this is where Archive Adventures came in.

First up, I'm not sure who published this (or when) or how many books there in this series so I thought I'd try and start trying to list them all, there's a lot of books out there so bear with me...

First up we have Archive Adventures #1-5. All issues are A4 sized, black and white art and had a print run of 30 copies so this is a very hard set to collect.

In some occasions I have spare copies for sale on ebay, I'll put a link wherever relevant

Archive Adventures #1
NOT reprinted from the well known comic called Ranger but instead an earlier comic called Ranger. 24 pages. Print run of 30.


Archive Adventures #2
At by Ron Embleton, from Mickey Mouse weekly, 40 pages, print run of 30

Archive Adventures #3
Art by Robert Forrest, taken from Top Spot magazine, 28 pages, 30 copies. My spare copy for sale here

Archive Adventures #4
28 pages, 30 copies, 

Archive Adventures #5
From Top Spot 1958/59, 30 copies, 28 pages, art by CL Doughty and Jesus 'the Steel Claw' Blasco

26 June 2019

UPDATED: Commando calendar

Looking at my Ian Kennedy calendar the other day made me start wondering about precisely how many Commando calendars there were out there for the collector...

Updates are shown in red

Not published by DC Thomson (but produced under licence from them) this large calendar (it's about twice the size of the Ian Kennedy calendar, above) was the first Commando calendar to be produced. This was sold mainly in bargain bookshops. 


UPDATED: 2007's 'The art of Commando' calendar 

By 2009 the licence for producing a calendar had changed hands - covers selection is by Calum Laird (better image now used).

Then there was a good run of 3 years in a row when the calendar came out...

Commando calendar 2012

Commando calendar 2013

Commando calendar 2014


Then a few fallow years until 2018...
Commando calendar 2018

Commando calendar 2019

While I don't have all the Commando calendars above, here's a calendar that I REALLY wish I'd got at the time...2009 saw two DC Thomson calendars from 'Unique' (the Art of Commando is shown above) and this is the second one....

25 June 2019

The rudest bit of comics merchandise?

Whilst researching my recent entries on Swift comic merchandise it came to my notice that this jigsaw is, how shall we put this, rather racy?

And I mean racy, not racist - I pass no comment on the depiction of the 4 local tribeswomen - except to say that they are, well, topless!

How did this ever get passed the licensing 'committee' or whatever it was? Or Hulton Press with their 'family-friendly' image of straight-laced comics for children?

Picture the scene on Christmas morning as little Johnny tears the wrapping paper off this jigsaw, gets on with making it and then proudly shows it off to mummy and daddy who promptly ban him from ever doing the jigsaw ever again. Not a merry Christmas in THAT household.  

24 June 2019

Dan Dare calendar

If you've been following the blog recently you'll have seen that I've been having a 'thing' for comics...

For previous blogs in this series the Broons part 1 (1997-2010) is here, part 2 (2011-15) is here and part 3 is here
Beano calendars are here.
Commando calendars are here.
Judge Dredd calendars are here.
Oor Wullie calendars are here
Miscellaneous calendars are here
Anyway, I thought I might finish the series from my favourite comic calendar - yes, it's the 1989 Dan Dare collector's edition calendar, enjoy!









23 June 2019

Final selection of comics calendars

My series on collecting calendars featuring comics characters comes to an end today with this selection of slightly miscellaneous calendars.

For previous blogs in this series the Broons part 1 (1997-2010) is here, part 2 (2011-15) is here and part 3 is here
Beano calendars are here.
Commando calendars are here.
Judge Dredd calendars are here.
Oor Wullie calendars are here

Desperate Dan calendar, 2001



(one copy currently listed on ebay)


Cuddles & Dimples calendar, 2001
(2 copies currently listed on ebay - pretty cheap)


Dan Dare calendar, 1989



Viz calendar, 1996




22 June 2019

To the death signing - today!

This is today - don't forget folks, see you there?

The London branch of Forbidden Planet have announced (here) that Simon Furman and Geoff Senior will be in store for a signing of their new comic, To the Death
As it says on the website, on Saturday 22nd June 2019, from 1pm this new comic will be launcjed...

Earth, 2674: career soldier Aleksy Dryagin comes home to a hero’s welcome… and a death sentence.
Thrust into a maelstrom of power plays, betrayal and entrenched last stands, Dryagin finds enemies at every turn, even within his own Pacifier squadron, and a malignant conspiracy that threatens the lives of his wife and son… and countless billions of others.
Simon Furman is a writer for comic books and TV animation, his name inextricably linked to Transformers, the 80s toy phenomenon. He has written literally hundreds of stories about the war-torn ‘robots in disguise’, for Marvel Comics (US and UK), Dreamwave and most recently for IDW Publishing. His other comic book credits include Doctor Who, Dragon’s Claws, Death’s Head, Alpha Flight, Turok, She-Hulk, Robocop and What If?
Geoff Senior has been a professional artist and illustrator for over 35 years. Although most notorious for his work on Transformers comic in the 1980s, he has provided artwork for many comic titles including Action Force, Dragon’s Claws and Judge Dredd. Geoff also created the Death’s Head character for Marvel in 1987 with Simon Furman.

21 June 2019

Tammy & Jinty signing - tomorrow!

This is tomorrow, don't forget...

Forbidden Planet have announced a signing to celebrate the release of the Tammy & Jinty special 2019 - let's see what the had to say about it...

Tammy and Jinty were two of Britain’s best-loved girls’ comics in the 1970s and ’80s - groundbreaking female-led comics that covered everything from science fiction and fantasy to romance and domestic drama.
This June, these classic titles return in the 48-page Tammy & Jinty Special, retooled for the 21st Century! A host of the finest modern creators pay tribute to this legacy of trail-blazing comics while introducing a new audience to the medium!
None other than Rob Williams (Roy of the Rovers), Jim Campbell, V V Glass (Assassin’s Creed), Emma Beeby (Mata Hari) and many more present daring girl-led tales of roller derby, archaeology, codebreaking, ballet, space adventure and more!


You can join LIZZIE BOYLE, KIT BUSS, ANDY CLIFT, V V GLASS, JIM CAMPBELL and at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Saturday 22nd June 2019 from 3 – 4pm.

20 June 2019

Biker Mice From Mars - well, from Marvel UK actually

Biker Mice from Mars was a short-lived title from Marvel UK - only 7 issues were produced and it's proving a hard title to collect! When I was looking for cover scans there seemed to be more from the German version of the comic than the British!

More details when I get them - the Wikipedia page about the cartoon TV show that the comics were based on is here

Issue 1 - cover dated 17th Feb 1995


Issue 2 - cover dated 3rd March 1995

Issue 3
no cover image to hand 

Issue 4

Issue 5 - cover dated 14th April 1995

Issue 6

Issue 7


From the 3 issue I have (1, 2 and 5) Dan Abnett appears to have been the main writer, David Leach has mainly done the colouring, some pencils by Lee Sullivan.  

19 June 2019

UPDATED: Swift comic merchandise guide

For those who aren't aware Swift was a companion title to the original Eagle - it was a 'feeder' title if you will - and in fact it eventually merged with Eagle. Launched on 20th March 1954 it ran until 2nd March 1963

UPDATED IMAGES HERE...
Swift paintbox! It's for sale here


Previously seen images...

Swift club membership card...

...and here are the club details...

...and details of a particular exhibition



All images taken from this eBay listing. I'd heard of these but not seen them before - unfortunately, I can't even tell you how many 'issues' of the Swift birthday book there were. So I swiped these from the seller and if I ever find out any more I'll add it in...








Compalcomics (part illustrated lot 107 in their Summer 2013 sale (British comics section)) with birthday book 3 & 4 (plus other items) for £181 (incl. buyers premium)

and then (lot 101, part illustrated) in their Autumn 2012 auction (British section) this lot went for £150
And then I thought I'd stay on the Compal website and look at what other interesting Swift items they might ever have sold...From the auction in Summer 2012 (British section, lot 88) there were Girl / Swift / Robin Birthday and Membership Cards & Badges (early 1950s) Girl; 2 Birthday Cards Club Membership Card Badge and Compliments slip Swift; 6 Birthday Cards Club Membership Card Club Badge and six envelopes Robin: 4 Birthday Cards Birthday Club card Club Badge and Happy Birthday postcard Birthday cards and Club cards [vfn] (26) Winning bid incl. 10 Buyer's Premium: £143

Over on 'Dan Dare info' (here) I've spotted an extra Swift birthday card




Lot 101 in the Spring 2010 (British section) is described thus...Swift (1954-56) Vol 1: 1-41 Full year missing issues 11 15 22 and 26; Vol 2: 1-53 complete year and Vol 3: 1-18. With 28pg Swift Quester's Books 1 2 and 3. Vol 1 issues 1-29 front/back cover split [fr/gd] balance 79 issues [vg/fn-] (111) Winning bid incl. 10% Buyer's Premium: £121. The lot is unillustrated so I can't tell you what the Swift Quester books are, but they sound intriguing.

And a Tarna the jungle boy birthday card

There are some Swift comic free gifts shown here

Swift jigsaws
There were a LOT of Dan Dare / Eagle pieces of merchandise, especially jigsaws so I figured there must be some Swift jigsaws out there - here's the only one I've found so far...