Friday, November 24, 2017

General Jumbo Saves Christmas!

Over on Beano.com, there's a complete General Jumbo story from the Christmas 1964 issue of The Beano! I threw out that issue over 50 years ago so it brought back memories to see it again. You can read it too, by visiting this link:
https://www.beano.com/posts/throwback-thursday-general-jumbo-saves-christmas-1964

This week's Astonishing Spider-Man

Here's a cover preview of the latest issue of Panini UK's Astonishing Spider-Man fortnightly. Available in WH Smith and selected newsagents. 76 full colour pages for £3.99. Go get it, tiger!

Astonishing Spider-Man Vol.6 #34. On sale 22nd November 2017. 
76 pages packed with arachnid-adventure! Only £3.99!

The Osborn Identity continues! Spider-Man and Silver Sable invade Symkaria to free it from the Green Goblin!!!

Also, Mole Man has captured Annie-May! Better watch out, here comes Spider-Mom (AKA Spinneret) to the rescue!

Plus, Spidey vs. Clash! And there’s big trouble in Shanghai!

By Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen, Christos Gage, Todd Nauck, James Asmus, Tana Ford, Hannah Blumenreich, Cale Atkinson, Gerry Conway, Ryan Stegman.

Includes material reprinted from Amazing Spider-Man #25 and 27 and Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #2.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

It's Doctor Who Day!

As it's officially Doctor Who Day (54 years since the first episode in 1963), here's one of my Daft Dimension strips that appeared in Doctor Who Magazine last year.

Interested in TV shows of the 1960s?

...then this may be the book for you. Here's the info...

ITC Entertainment was a powerhouse of filmed television drama from the 1950s to the 1980s, producing a succession of hit action-adventure series such as The Saint, Danger Man, The Prisoner, Man in a Suitcase, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and The Persuaders!

Edited by Alan Hayes and Rick Davy, Playboys, Spies, and Private Eyes - Inspired by ITC celebrates the company's remarkable legacy with 35 chapters by a wide range of writers, who explore how the series have touched their lives.
Published in aid of the Born Free Foundation, this book also boasts a heartfelt foreword by actress Annette Andre, an afterword by Elaine Spooner (daughter of Dennis), and artwork by Shaqui Le Vesconte.

Chapter writers: Rachael Baez, Greg Bakun, Vanessa Bergman, Matt Courtman, Simon Coward, Chris Dale, Rick Davy, Ian Dickerson, Geoff Dodd, Robert Fairclough, Mike Gorman, Alan Hayes, Alys Hayes, Gabriel Hershman, Annette Hill, Tina Jerke, Neil Jones, Mike Kenwood, Stephen La Riviere, David Mackenzie, Richard McGinlay, Robert Morton, Steve O'Brien, Jon Older, Max Pemberton, Louise Penn, Al Samujh, Sheena Samujh, Linda Kunkle Schley, David Tulley, Jaz Wiseman.

Paperback, 256 pages, ISBN: 978-1-911537-03-8
SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE OF £11.99 (plus shipping if outside the UK). Cover price £12.99 plus P&P from:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Christmas 2000AD preview!

Cover by Staz Johnson and Chris Blythe.
Rebellion have released details in advance of this year's bumper-sized 100 page Christmas issue of 2000AD, and an opportunity for readers to pre-order it so they don't miss it in newsagents, - and pre-orders will come with an exclusive Starlord Trooper print by Henry Flint. It sounds like a real cracker! Ho-ho-ho!

Here's the info...

A brand new cover by Staz Johnson and Chris Blythe

Bad Company are hunted men as they search for the truth behind the Ararat war in Bad Company: Terrorists by Peter Milligan and Rufus Dayglo

The ABC Warriors are at each other's throats as Mars descends into chaos in ABC Warriors: Fallout by Pat Mills and Clint Langley

Merlin has awoken and unleashed the Motherless Men in Brass Sun: Engine Summer, by Ian Edginton and INJ Culbard


Bill Savage discovers the reality behind the Savage: Thousand Year Stare, courtesy of Pat Mills and Patrick Goddard

We flashback to a significant Justice Department character in a one-off The Fall of Deadworld story by Kek-W and Dave Kendall

Ace Garp celebrates the festive season in his own unique way in Ace Trucking Co. by Eddie Robson and Nigel Dobbyn

The long-awaited tale of what became of Starlord can finally be told, courtesy of Kenneth Niemand and Henry Flint

and lawman Judge Dredd is caught in a fix!


...plus much more! Interested? Pre-order it from the publisher here:
https://shop.2000ad.com/catalogue/SPE1702

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Why I won't be buying Doomsday Clock

DC Comics are about to release Doomsday Clock No.1, a 12 issue limited series which, according to the publishers, is a sequel to Watchmen.

That's right. Watchmen. The sublime 1986 groundbreaking series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (superbly coloured by John Higgins) that has worked perfectly well as a stand-alone story for 30 years. Now, DC have decided it's time to do a continuation, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Gary Frank, which will co-star Superman and the other DC Universe superheroes. Gibbons and Moore were not consulted (and would no doubt have declined even if they were asked). The only true link with Watchmen is they're using the font based on Dave Gibbons' lettering.

To make something clear from the outset, both Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are top of the range creators with impressive CVs in comics. I've nothing personal against them and I've enjoyed work from both of them in the past. I'm sure Doomsday Clock will be a well produced comics series, but I won't be supporting it.

Thing is, Watchmen was created as a complete story and achieved that superbly. It's an intelligent, well structured graphic novel (or fat comic if you prefer) set on an alternate Earth where a godlike being named Dr.Manhattan changed the course of history. (Perhaps you've seen the film.The comic is far superior.) In three decades it has never needed a sequel. It certainly was never intended to tie in with the DC Universe and have guest appearances from Superman, Batman, and other members of the Justice League. Yet that's exactly what DC are doing. It's like some movie company suddenly deciding that Citizen Kane would be improved with a sequel featuring Ant and Dec.
There's been rumours that this was going to happen since DC introduced the often meandering Rebirth theme to their comics last year. Off-panel suggestions that Dr.Manhattan was pulling the strings. Apparently Doomsday Clock is about the DC Universe being broken, presumably due to Dr.Manhattan's doing, and Superman and co. trying to fix it. No doubt it'll end with another big revamp for the DC Universe. DC produce some great comics, but follow them long enough and the company tends to lurch from one reboot to another, from Crisis, to Zero Hour, to Rebirth. Wait a few years and there'll be another.

The metaphor of Superman vs Dr.Manhattan is that Watchmen was one of the comics responsible for superhero comics becoming darker and grittier, and it's time to put things right. It's a very flawed excuse, because Watchmen was never designed to be a template for the DCU to "go dark". It's the fault of editors and creators who followed who chose that path with their characters. Watchmen can't be blamed for the appalling Identity Crisis storyline for example, where goofy supervillain Doctor Light became a rapist. 

Okay, the concept of Superman fighting Dr.Manhattan is something that will no doubt have many of the "who's the strongest" infatuated fanboys drooling with delight, but even if you think it sounds like a good idea, consider the moral aspect. As I understand it, when Watchmen was created, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons had a contract that said that the rights of the book would revert to them when it went out of print. Only problem was, DC made sure it never went out of print. Now, this latest fiasco, merging Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, ensures they're DC property indefinitely.

I don't want to support tactics like that, and I won't be buying Doomsday Clock on principle. The Watchmen creators aren't interested in it (Dave Gibbons has said "I won't be reading it") and I stand with them. I knew Alan and Dave very well back in the days when they were working on Watchmen and it was always a pleasure to hear of their passion for the comic and how they were structuring it. They were good, optimistic times for comics and creator's rights. I'm sickened by this "sequel" and will be steering well clear of it. 

Obviously I won't be chastising anyone who does buy it, and I won't be falling out with anyone over it, but I wanted to put my own thoughts out there. Agree or disagree; it's up to you.

If you haven't read Watchmen, buy that instead. No sequels necessary.

DOCTOR RADAR arrives in the UK

Well this looks interesting. As well as producing a fleet of home-grown comics, British publisher Titan Comics are now translating some European comics for the UK and American market under their Statix Press imprint. One such comic, Doctor Radar No.1, arrives in comic book stores this Wednesday (22nd November).

Originally published in French in 2014, Doctor Radar is written by Noël Simsolo with art by Bezian. I really like the look of Bezian's art and will be buying it on the strength of that alone. The story looks intriguing too. Here's a preview...

Paris, 1920. A gentleman detective plays a deadly game with a criminal mastermind, Doctor Radar, while investigating a series of horrific deaths!An atmospheric masterpiece perfect for the fans of pulp noir and deadly criminal masterminds!“Doctor Radar is a surrealistic, riveting, beautifully executed thriller unlike anything else I’ve ever read.” – Joe Keatinge (‘Shutter’, ‘Flavor’, ‘Ringside’)



Covers by Bezian, with a variant cover to No.1 by Francesco Francavilla. 

Preview of the cover to issue 2...

Monday, November 20, 2017

Simpsons Christmas issue!

The Christmas issue of Titan's UK Simpsons Comics arrived in newsagents last Thursday, and here's the festive cover! You'll find it in WH Smith and selected other shops. 76 full colour pages full of Christmas strips for £3.99. For more info, visit the publisher's website here:
https://titanmagazines.com/t/simpsons-comics/uk/4/

I'll be showing the covers of as many of the latest Christmas issues of British comics as I can. Not that there'll be many, unfortunately! I've recently completed the Christmas stories for Toxic, Epic, and Doctor Who Magazine though, so that's three I'll be plugging here over the next few weeks!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Meanwhile, on my OTHER blog...

If you're new to the Blimey! blog you may not know that I have another blog I regularly update too. That's lewstringercomics, which is focused on my own comics work, covering all the news about my current strips as well as showing material I've done over the 34 years of my career (and sometimes even material older than that from my fanzine days). 

If you're interested, hop over there and have a rummage around to see the various stuff I've posted over the years! Thanks for your time.
http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.co.uk 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Coming up in 2000AD...

Here's your weekly advance preview of the next issue of 2000AD, on sale Wednesday 22nd November...

UK & DIGITAL: 22nd November 2017 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 22nd December 2017 $7.99
DIAMOND CODE: SEP171848
COVER: CLIFF ROBINSON (a) DYLAN TEAGUE (c)

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: BLACK SNOW by Michael Carroll (w) PJ Holden (a) Quinton Winter (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)


SLÁINE: ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)


ABSALOM: TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS by Gordon Rennie (w) Tiernan Trevallion (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

THARG'S 3RILLERS: THE HOUSE OF GILDED PEAK by Eddie Robson (w) Steven Austin (a) Gary Caldwell (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)



INDIGO PRIME: A DYING ART by Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)

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

Poll results

I recently ran polls on my Twitter account and on here, to see how often people visited my blog. Not that many people voted unfortunately, but here's the results. Firstly the Twitter poll...

...now the poll I posted here...
I'm pleased that most of you who voted visit regularly, although on average it's not every day so there will be changes to Blimey! in 2018. I won't be posting as often for one thing, and other changes will be considered too. I'll tell you more about that at a later date.

Thanks for your votes. I hope you continue to enjoy this blog however often you visit.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Frank Bellamy's GHOST WORLD (1963)

I recently bought a near-complete run of Odhams' Boys' World, which was a fine comic/magazine that deserved to run longer than the 89 issues it managed over 1963 to 1964. Some of Britain's top comics creators worked on the title, including Frank Bellamy. 
I know some of you are big fans of Bellamy so today I thought I'd show the first three episodes of Ghost World, a strip that ran on the back page of Boys' World from Vol.1 No.46 (7th December 1963) to Vol.2 No.17 (25th April 1964). Ghost World was a sequel to The Angry Planet that had run in the comic previously by another artist. (I'll show some of those at a later date.)
It must be said that from Mickey Mouse Weekly and Modern Wonder in the 1930s to Boys' WorldWham!, Smash!, etc in the 1960s, Odhams produced some great comics/magazines. Admittedly they turned the original Eagle into a shadow of its former self, but even then it still featured some top artists. I'll show some more strips from Boys' World in the future.


Titan's JUSTICE LEAGUE No.5 out today


From Titan Comics...

DC Universe Presents: Justice League #5 is now out and to celebrate the highly anticipated release of the Justice League movie, we've got an exclusive subscription offer to get a #FREEDC Comics Retro Waddingtons Number 1 playing card pack, and SAVE 20% off the cover price! 

There's also a heroic movie cover, a WonderWoman movie poster, plus a chance to win an exclusive, limited edition Police Watches UK Justice League watch!

Don't miss out, subscribe here!

https://titanmagazines.com/t/dc-universe/uk/35/



Be of good cheer, the Christmas VIZ is here!

You know the festive season is definitely here when the snow-capped Christmas issue of Viz is to be found on the top shelves of all good newsagents and supermarkets across the land. Viz No.271 came out yesterday and its sweary, satirical fun is now as traditional as mince pies and undercooked turkey. The 52 page issue comes with a free Rude Kid Calendar for 2018 packed with Not Safe For Work jocularities in stunning full colour.
All your Viz favourites, apart from the ones I used to do, are up to their seasonal pranks, with stories decorated with snow and holly and that. Here you'll find 8 Ace, The Fat Slags, Drunken Bakers, Meddlesome Ratbag, Spawny Get and more, plus new favourites such as Conker Hospital, Victoria's Plumbers, and a fantastic Broon Windsors strip drawn by Stephen White...

All this plus a load of satirical features will keep you warm in the glow of your own laughter on those solitary winter nights. Viz 271, out now, £3.50.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Spaceship Away No.43 arrives with a festive cover

The latest edition of thrice-yearly comic Spaceship Away dropped through my letterbox yesterday and it's another fine issue. The brand new Christmas cover by veteran artist Don Harley (Eagle, TV21, Countdown) is worth the cover price alone in my opinion, but the contents deliver the goods as well.

There's another eight pages of the new Dan Dare adventure Shakedown Cruise, written and drawn by Tim Booth who puts an amazing amount of work into his panels...

Other strips are the second part of Operation Pintos, a reprint from the 1950s (but the original source isn't mentioned unfortunately), and a reprint of The Golden Amazon (part 2) by Philip Harbottle and Ron Turner, based on the novel by John Russell Fearn. This strip is newly coloured by Martin Baines, who does a great job on it, retaining Turner's original linework.

There's also a humour strip, presumably a reprint, called Davy Rocket. Sadly uncredited with no mention of where it first appeared. I presume this has also been newly coloured. Why put credits on the adventure strips but not on the humour strip? 

The rest of the issue is comprised of various articles. Some, such as a history of rockets and an item on a video game, seem out of place in Spaceship Away and I'd have preferred to have seen another strip reprint or a Dan Dare related article in their place. However, some of the other articles are excellent. There's an interview with David Leach, editor of Titan's new Dan Dare comic, and a very informative feature on the 1930s magazine Modern Wonder, a precursor to Eagle. I'd heard of this publication but knew very little about it, so this feature was very welcome. Modern Wonder, published by Odhams (a company behind several good titles over the years), was a glossy tabloid that must have looked very futuristic to the kids of 1937. Sadly, wartime paper shortages and suchlike put an end to it and the later generation that Eagle was aimed at would have had no knowledge that a similar publication had appeared years earlier.

Spaceship Away isn't cheap at £8.50, but the production standards are very high and that price does include postage. This latest issue, No.43, will be available to order soon from the comic's website:
http://spaceshipaway.org.uk


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Beano Christmas Special 2017

It's been out for several weeks now, but if you didn't already know, the Beano Christmas Special is in the shops now. 68 full colour pages in the 'bookazine' format with all-new strips and features, plus 20 free stickers!

I don't have a copy myself, and didn't receive any PR about it, but I thought readers of Blimey! should be informed it exists, so I used the image from the D.C. Thomson website for this promotion. 

This isn't the regular Christmas Beano, but an additional special that has been running for a few years now. The festive issue of the weekly Beano will be published in December as usual.

You should be able to find a copy of Beano Christmas Special in the shops, but if your local retailer hasn't ordered it, buy it directly from the publisher here:
https://www.dcthomsonshop.co.uk/our-brands/annuals-calendars/beano-christmas-special.html

Incoming COMMANDO comics this Thursday...

Thanks to D.C. Thomson for the info and images...

5071: Home of Heroes: Troubled Times

After the horrors of the First World War, Feldwebel Kurt Woden and Unteroffizer Johann Aachen returned from the front line to a battered and impoverished Germany. But not everyone was happy to put the fighting behind them, and not every German was at a loss from the war effort. Soon the rumblings of war reared its ugly head again as Kurt and Johann ran into a familiar face – one they remembered from the other side of the trenches...

Another classic tale from George Low featuring a dynamic pairing of bickering friends, ‘Troubled Times’ is full of battle and high speed chases, with artwork by Jaume Forns breaking through the panels, adding to the excitement of this stellar issue.

|Story | George Low | Art | Jaume Forns | Cover | Janek Matysiak|


5072: Gold Collection: Redcap

M.P. Sergeant Pete Simpson never expected to lead a group of Allied criminals and deserters, but when their transport plane is downed in the Italian mountains, Pete has no choice but to trust his prisoners. However, things quickly take a turn when the rag-tag crew find a Nazi power station and their fight for survival turns to one for honour!

Complimenting Skentleberry’s vagabond team is carefully shaded artwork by Zata, really making the different uniforms and expressions stand out.

|Story | Skentleberry | Art | Zata | Cover | Penalva |
Originally Commando No. 427 (September 1969)



5073: Action and Adventure: Higher! Higher! Higher!

Commando reaches new heights as German reconnaissance flights take old Junkers Ju 86Ps into the stratosphere, but fear not, Tommy has his own plane ready to give chase. Battling at forty-thousand feet, these steel angels have more than bullets or dizzying heights to worry about as less oxygen can be absorbed by the blood, leading to hallucinations, dizziness and even blackouts…  

Framing this is issue is a glorious aerial cover by Ian Kennedy, showing the depth and height of the aircraft showdown high above the African sands.

|Story | Steve Taylor | Art | Castro & Morhain| Cover | Ian Kennedy |



5074: Silver Collection: Jinx and Jonah!

For the entirety of the Second World War, battles were underway to protect and conquer the vital sea lanes of the Atlantic Ocean. But the enemy was not always visible on such a battlefield, as hidden beneath the surface were Nazi wolf packs. One such U-Boat bore the distinctive insignia of a mermaid on a horseshoe – something wireless operator Andrew Collins would never forget…

K. P. MacKenzie’s nautical adventure is skilfully drawn by the illustrious Gordon C. Livingstone, while the sea loving Jeff Bevan provides the cover.

|Story | K. P. MacKenzie | Art | Gordon C. Livingstone | Cover | Jeff Bevan |
Originally Commando No. 2641 (February 1993)




Monday, November 13, 2017

Alan Moore interview from 1983. Read Fantasy Express No.5 for FREE!

Back in 1983, when I was producing fanzines, I published Fantasy Express No.5, which included one of the first (if not the first) interview with Alan Moore. The 'zine is long out of print and fetches a tidy sum on eBay, but you can now read it for free because David Hathaway-Price has uploaded it as a PDF on his website of classic fanzines. 

As well as the interview with Alan Moore by Eddie Stachelski, there's also my look back at Countdown comic, an article on Fantastic's Johnny Future, UK comics news of the period, an early Brickman strip, and an exclusive cover by Alan Davis!

To read or download the issue, visit David's website here:
https://davidprice5.wixsite.com/classicukcomicszines/single-post/2017/11/13/FANTASY-EXPRESS-5

Cover preview: DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE No.519

There's a new issue of Doctor Who Magazine out this Thursday, and Panini UK have just released the cover image, showing David Bradley as the first Doctor. (If you didn't already know, Bradley plays the part of the first Doctor in the upcoming Christmas special, which also stars Peter Capaldi bowing out as the 12th Doctor, and the debut of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor.)

There's a nice wintery look to the cover, but this isn't the Christmas issue yet. That one will be out in December. This issue will contain the usual well-informed mixture of news, exclusive interviews, reviews, previews and articles, and there's another Daft Dimension strip from me, which this time features the Time Lords...
Doctor Who Magazine No.119, on sale Thursday 16th November, price £5.99.

SPACE ACE Volume 9 is here!

A new issue of Ron Turner's Space Ace was published recently, and it's another top value edition. The 40 page comic reprints three Space Ace stories from the 1950s, newly coloured by John Ridgway. 

In truth though, it's more than three stories in a way, because editor John Lawrence has combined three strips into one, to create a 16 page lead story. I'm in two minds about this, as I believe that if classic strips are reprinted they should appear as close to their original form as possible. However, John Lawrence gives good reasons for editing three stories into one, and the finished result moves along at a good pace and proves to be an exciting story. 

Once again, John Ridgway's colourisation is excellent, and I was pleased that he seems to have retained more of Turner's original inking than in some previous issues. Again, I would prefer the strips to be reprinted in their original black and white, as intended, but John's colouring is well accomplished. 

There's a great, informative bonus feature on the history of the Space Ace strip which was very welcome, as there hasn't been a great deal written about 1950s British strips outside of Eagle and The Beano. There's also a two page letters section, which is always good to see in a comic.

Ron Turner’s Space Ace Issue 9 costs is £8.95 UK, £12.50 for Europe and £14.50 for international orders. Copies may be obtained via PayPal (please use friends and family option) at: spaceace.54@virginmedia.comOtherwise cheques (UK funds only) payable to: John Lawrence, to 39 Carterweys, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU5 4RB 

Preview: 2000AD Prog 2057

Here's a preview of a few pages from the next issue of 2000AD, the UK's longest-running weekly adventure comic, on sale this Wednesday...

UK & DIGITAL: 15th November 2017 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 15th December 2017 $7.99
DIAMOND CODE: SEP171848
COVER: BOO COOK

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: BLACK SNOW by Michael Carroll (w) PJ Holden (a) Quinton Winter (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

SLÁINE: ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

INDIGO PRIME: A DYING ART by Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)

SINISTER DEXTER: THE SIGHTS by Dan Abnett (w) Steve Yeowell (a) John Charles (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

ABSALOM: TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS by Gordon Rennie (w) Tiernan Trevallion (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

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