Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Scream & Misty Halloween Special (Rebellion)



The long awaited Scream & Misty Special finally hit the newsagents and comic shops across the UK today. And well worth buying it turned out to be for not just old fans of British comics but new ones too!  There are no less than six all-new stories to read with some recognisable old British comic characters updated for the 21st century but there's also a Misty orientated "variant cover".



Scream was a short lived horror comic that was published for just 15 issues between March and June 1984 which failed due to industrial action that took place affecting the publishing industry. It was merged with the second volume of the long running Eagle comic in September 1984.



Misty was a weekly "gothic" horror comic aimed at girls which ran for 101 issues between 1978 & 1980 before being merged with Tammy another title aimed at girls which had quite gritty and realistic stories whose writers included a certain Pat Mills of 2000AD fame.

 

The publishers of 2000AD recently managed to purchase the rights to a whole swathe of British comics from the seventies and have started publishing collections of stories under the Treasury of British Comics imprint. Dracula (Scream), Marney the Fox and The Leopard from Lime Street (Buster) plus Monster from Scream & Eagle are amongst the volumes already published with more on the way.

This special kicks off with one of the longer lasting strips from Scream which continued well into the later runs of Eagle after the Scream logo was dropped from the cover. The Thirteenth Floor features Max who controls a tower block and has a secret for any who dare threaten his building or the tenants who live there.

However the years have not been to Max as we find in this splendid little story.....



Of course Dracula has to return after some years in hiding....



Plus there's this chap from the FCBD copy of 2000AD in 2016. Something is coming and he meets some allies at the end who will be remembered by long term fans of Lion, Thunder, Buster and 2000AD.



Talking of Thunder where has Black Max been all these years since the First World War. He should be dead by now surely?



Then there's the return of two strips from Misty. This tale from The Sentinels will send a shiver down your spine mixing horror and politics in one stunning story.



Then there's this....



In my opinion the best comic published all year! (I'm a biased Brit!) Grab a copy before they all go!

Also out today! Latest issues the weekly 2000AD and this month's Judge Dredd Megazine. All titles available from WH Smiths and all good newsagents.

  

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Buster Summer Special 1969



One of my favourite comics as a schoolboy was Buster, a weekly mixture of action and comedy. Named after the son of Andy Capp from the Daily Mirror, Buster was the lead character for the near on 40 years that this title appeared. In addition to the weekly comic there were the annuals for Christmas and of course the Summer Special of which this one was the start of a run which lasted until 1997.

 

This was a massive 96 page tome which took a long time to read and for  half a crown was damned good value, though my copy cost a lot more than 2/6!

Features included Fishboy who had somehow learned to breath underwater and speak to fish including it turns out oysters. Don't ask, just go with the flow. Dizzy Dimwitty and the Haunted Lake which was a retitled story from the Eagle in 1964 originally published as Cornelius Dimworthy. Set in a public school this adventure involved crooks and the search for a lost treasure chest.

Charlie Peace, a Victorian crook who time-travelled to the 20th Century and carried on well doing bad things and not very well most of the time appeared in a complete adventure! Also in this issue published in two parts was Red Scarlet and the Siege of Stowford set in medieval times as civil war raged between supporters of King Richard and Prince John. This was also a reprint but I'm not sure where from? possibly Swift? Perhaps a reader could let me know.

Finally of course there was the comedy. Buster was joined in his comic antics by Rent-A-Ghost and Freddie Parrot Face Davis (a well known comedian of the era), Tin Teacher, Cruncher and The Happy Family amongst others.

A much missed comic.

 

There was a distinct lack of comedy sketches from Freddie Parrot Face Davies on Youtube but there was this.......

Friday, 13 October 2017

Forbidden Gallery #2 (ACP)

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Forbidden Gallery #2 (ACP)

William Mull, Rene King Thompson, Nicola Cuti (w)
Craig Hamilton, Karl Comendador, Tim Holtrop, Brian Postman, Nik Polikwo (a)

There was a time when mystery/horror/science fiction anthologies were published by all the major comic companies Marvel had Tales of Suspense, Strange Tales & Journey into Mystery these were turned into superhero comics as Marvel challenged the ascendency of DC in the sixties. DC lasted longer than most with it's House of Secrets, House of Mystery, Ghosts and Mystery in Space titles amongst other but these too fell by the wayside as comics changed.

Then of course there were the smaller publishers most notably Charlton who put out a whole range of mystery books with both new and old material employing people like Steve Ditko to turn out some excellent material (and let's face it some bad) over the years until the company gave up the ghost...

ACP Comics

Recently there has been a successful attempt to revive a black & white horror mag for the "top shelf so to speak with Creeps from Warrant publishing. Now another company, ACP has appeared on the scene with Forbidden Gallery, an anthology of stories to entertain and horrify!

There have been two issues so far with the format improving with the second issue. There are five stories plus a "risque" opening scene with the series host Archimedes. 


The Book opens with sacrifices being made in Scattercrow only for everything to go wrong. Reflections in a Black Pool comes up next with a rather compelling tale of lynchings, savagery and prejudice by the human race. This has a twist which I won't spoil but brings back memories of other similar if not so violent stories from the old days.

Pumpkin Smoosher, The Other Side and my personal favourite The Wire Brain finish off the book. No spoilers here. Overall a high standard of art and writing that renews the genre for the modern age.


The first issue is still available. Here's a sneak peak!

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See more at: www.acpcomics.com. Available through Diamond and digitally from Comixology. You can also order here: www.indyplanet.us

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Fighting American #1 (Titan)



Fighting American #1 (Titan)

Gordon Rennie (w) Duke Mighten (a)

The return of a classic Joe Simon & Jack Kirby creation, the patriotic Fighting American. Courtesy of a British comic company Titan! Who says we don't have a "special relationship" with our North American cousins.....

Originally published in the 1950's by Prize Comics this comic was yet another all-American boy fighting the good fight against the red menace! The commies were a real threat to freedom back in the fifties as the Cold War got colder and the Cuban missile crisis was still in the future. The Soviet Union was at the height of Stalinism, though the murderous dictator himself died in 1953.

 

Kruschev's speech exposing Stalin's crimes was also yet to come as was the suppression of Hungary in 56. The world was a truly divided place. There were "reds under the beds" everywhere according to contemporary ideology.  The Communist Party and it's cadres were agents of a foreign power biding their time to seize power if freedom loving americans and their allies didn't watch out.

With that in mind the arrival of Fighting American and his sidekick Speed Boy by time travel into the 21st Century is going to prove a real culture shock. The Communist threat is long gone (except in the British Labour Party Party with Jeremy Corbyn and his Marxist mates) and the threat today comes from religious fanatics.

Pursing Red Ivan and his cronies the Fighting American is at first oblivious to some changes despite being forced to sleep in an alleyway as his Liberty HQ has long been torn down....

There's some great quotes in this first issue well worth the price of entry on their own, though perhaps someone does need to explain the difference between Stalinism and Trotskyism to the writer. Variations of a theme I know but the followers of Stalin and Trotsky hate each other more than, well even the Capitalist ruling class and their running dogs......

Put that little "Red Book" away.







Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Dan Dare #1 (Titan)



Dan Dare #1 (Titan)

Peter Milligan (w) Alberto Foche (a)

First appearing in the Eagle way back in 1950, Dan Dare went on to be become one of the most famous and longest lasting British comic characters. Dare also appeared in Lion after the Eagle merged with that comic and was recreated in a more "modern" format for 2000AD in the seventies.

  

When the Eagle was revived it was a descendant of Dan's (also called Dan Dare) that took up the mantle of the eponymous hero until the original eventually retook the strip. Virgin comics revived Dare for a short but very memorable mini-series which was reprinted by Dynamite Entertainment in a collected trade paperback edition.

  

Now the franchise (still owned by the Dan Dare Corporation) is back in mainstream comics, albeit in the American format for a four issue miniseries from British publisher Titan.

Dare, Digby and Space fleet face off against an unknown threat to all life in the universe plus the Mekon makes his inevitable appearance. Well you just knew that was going to happen!

Milligan and Foche have made a good job of this and hopefully this will be the first of many new Dan Dare comics.

Don't delay get your copy now! Time to support what seems to be a minor revival of British comics!








Sunday, 8 October 2017

October Previews Choices



A little later than normal this month due to the fact that Diamond UK sent last months catalogue to several shops and I had to wait an extra week for the new one! Still that's not happened before so lets get down to business.

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The comic of the month as far as I am concerned is the return of The Mighty Crusaders from Archie Comics. A mixture of old and new versions of Archie's super-heroes I hope this one doesn't fall by the wayside like their other Dark Circle & Horror titles due to tardiness in release. It was so aggravating having to wait so long between issues and then discovering they were being cancelled after just one story arc.

Even Fly-Girl (woman?) is back though The Fly/Fly-Man is not. Costs them for each appearance due to an agreement with the Joe Simon estate. Good for his heirs but not for the fans. There are two Shields (again....?), a new version of The Jaguar and at least one I don't know/cannot recall.

Still I was a big fan in the sixties reading both the colour Mighty Comics and black & white reprints from Alan Class. Can't wait!



Dynamite Entertainment have revived Barbarella. Who didn't remember "that scene" with Jane Fonda in the movie which went on to be copied by Kylie Minogue...

Barberella is solicited as an "ongoing" series. Not sure there's much of a demand but I'll give it a go even if it only lasts one story arc!

IMMORTAL MEN #1 DAMAGE #1

DC's new releases disappoint. More "secret history" and characters we haven't seen before. The Immortal Men, Damage and Assassin all get their premieres this month. The fact they have "gatefold covers" sounds like even DC thinks they need that "extra something" to promote them. Might try The Immortal Men for the first story arc. There's art from Jim Lee (with Scott Williams) so it might be worth a go.

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2  DARK NIGHTS METAL #5

Don't forget the second issue of DC's mega Doomsday Clock event is out with a tribute to the Watchmen in it's opening pages apparently. The excellent Dark Knights: Metal reaches it's penultimate issue.

Finally for the first time since they cancelled the Fantastic Four I'll be ordering a Marvel comic in the form of Marvel 2 In One. The Thing & the Human Torch search for Sue, Reed & the kids. Doc Doom holds a secret (when doesn't he) and the fate of Marvel's "first family" begins.....

MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #1 LEG