Friday, December 09, 2016

Christmas DWM preview

The Christmas issue of Doctor Who Magazine will be in the shops on Thursday 15th December, and it's a whopping 100 pager that comes bagged with a free poster. The image above is what to look out for, as that's the plastic bag design, but inside the bag the magazine cover looks like this...

Sharp eyed readers will notice it's a tribute to the old Lois and Clark TV series, which is appropriate as the Doctor Who episode on Christmas Day has a superhero theme. A superhero in the Doctor Who universe? Well, if we can suspend disbelief for everything else, why not? 

I haven't seen the issue myself yet so I don't know what the contents are, except that there's a special Christmas episode of The Daft Dimension that I did. I won't spoil it by showing any of it here. Check it out when you buy the mag next week!

...and the Gallifreyan goodness doesn't end there, because published on the same day (15th December) is the latest Doctor Who Special Edition, which this time is The 2017 Yearbook. Here's the cover below. Treat yourself this Christmas!

For more news, keep an eye on the Doctor Who Magazine website:
http://doctorwhomagazine.com

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Christmas issue of 2000AD is zarjaz!

Once again, the creative teams working on 2000AD have produced a spectacular issue for the end of the year. 2000AD Prog 2011 is the bumper 100 page Christmas issue and goes on sale on Wednesday 14th December. I've seen the full issue and the line up of talent and stories is incredible. Rather than reveal too much about it, I'm only showing a handful of pages here to whet your appetites. As you can see from the content listing, there are more stories than I'm previewing here, and a couple of unlisted bonus articles about comics too!

UK & DIGITAL: 14 December 2016 £4.99
NORTH AMERICA: 14 January 2016
DIAMOND CODE: OCT161748
COVER: CLIFF ROBINSON


In this issue:
Judge Dredd: Boxing Day by Rob Williams (w) Chris Weston (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
The Fall of Deadworld: Winter Break by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Kingmaker by Ian Edginton (w) Leigh Gallagher (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Aquila: Mors Venetiae by Gordon Rennie (w) Paul Davidson (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Simon Bowland (l)
Ace Trucking Co.: The Festive Flipflop by Eddie Robson (w) Nigel Dobbyn (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
Kingdom: As It Is In Heaven by Dan Abnett (w) Richard Elson (a) Ellie De Ville (l)
The Order:  Wyrm War by Kek-W (w) John Burns (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
Hope: ...For The Future by Guy Adams (w) Jimmy Broxton (a) Simon Bowland (l)





Available in print from: UK newsagents and all good comic book stores via Diamond 

The Christmas Beano is out today!

Cover by Nigel Parkinson.
It's in the shops now, bagged with a bunch of gifts! And here's some info on the Beano website that reveals some of the contents...
https://www.beano.com/posts/inside-beano-no-3864-the-christmas-issue

Also, still in the shops, is the Beano Christmas Special, a 68 page all-new extravaganza. Buy 'em both as a festive treat!

Here come the Invincibles!

Sure to appeal to fans of football strips (comic strips that is), this all-new graphic novel charts the early days of a popular club. Here's the info...

Preston North End – The Rise Of The Invincibles is the exciting story about the birth of Preston North End FC and the early success of their famous Invincibles team. It charts the club’s journey from their formation as a cricket club in 1867, through to them winning the first ever League and FA Cup double in 1889. Along the way we witness the beginnings of the Football Association, the battles over professionalism, and the foundation of the Football League.

Told throughout in comic book-style, (152 pages, 11 chapters) the artwork has been produced by David Sque who illustrated Roy of the Rovers during the 1970s and 80s, and the writing and story is by Michael Barrett. It has the permission of Preston North End FC, plus Mark Lawrenson has kindly written the Foreword.
For more information on this book, and to order a copy, head over to the official website:

Monday, December 05, 2016

A rarity; a Garth comic from 1946

"Comics aren't just for kids anymore" screamed headlines in the press back in the 1980s. Simple research shows that they never were exclusively for children of course, and that "adult" doesn't always mean profanity and sex. When British comics originated in Victorian times they were aimed at adults, and later in the 1950s comics like Top Spot, and digest-sized comics such as True Life Library were too. Then there's newspaper strips, which were often targeted towards older readers (or at least all-ages). 

Back in 1946, the Daily Mirror published the first Garth comic, collecting the character's first adventure from 1943. Garth - Man of Mystery, was in American comic book size, albeit horizontal, and featured 36 stapled pages including covers, for a shilling.  

Garth had been created by cartoonist Steve Dowling (who had also originated Ruggles for The Daily Mirror years earlier) and journalist Gordon Boshell. The strip is still in the paper today, although in reprints of later stories colorised for modern tastes.

Each strip carries an identification number and looking through the Garth comic I noticed that some had been skipped, so I think the story had probably been edited to fit the 36 page format. Also, if these episodes featured any female nudity (as the Garth strips often did) then it's been censored for the reprint. Here are the first three pages of the comic...


...and here's a later page, with Garth showing his tremendous strength...
Later on, the characters return to where Garth was found...
...and in the end, Garth flies off to his next adventure "to seek the land of his origin"...
I purchased this Garth - Man of Mystery comic only recently and it seems to be a mystery in itself. There's hardly any mention of it online, and most listings don't even acknowledge it. Quite a rarity, it seems! As far as I know, there were no more Garth comics published in this format, although there were a few well known Garth books years later of course, which most Garth fans own. 

The comic carried two adverts; one on its inside back page, one on the back, for razor blades and rings. Yep, the comic was definitely pitched at older readers...


A couple of years after this Garth comic, (in 1948 as far as I can ascertain), the Mirror also published another title in the horizontal comic format: Belinda and the Bomb Alley Boys, reprinting a Belinda adventure from the paper. (The character was also by Steve Dowling, and was basically Britain's version of Little Orphan Annie.) Mike Higgs kindly sent me a scan of the cover and an interior page...

The intriguing thing about comics history is that there's always something new to discover! Were there any more Mirror comics in this 36 page format? Let me know if you have any info.
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