Saturday, 15 June 2019

Beryl the Peril Annual 1969 (DC Thomson)



Beryl the Peril was a tearaway tomboy character that was a regular feature in The Topper, a weekly comic for boys and girls and is one I fondly remember from the sixties. The Topper was an oversized almost "broadsheet" sized comic along the lines of The Beezer. It's stable mates included the better known Dandy and Beano of which the latter has managed to survive until this day.

Like many strips this changed over the years. When I was a nipper Beryl's antics would earn her a good whacking with a slipper. of course political correctness has ended such practices but it was a fate suffered not just y her but Dennis the Menace and many other comic book characters over the years.

Mind you they usually deserved it..



Beryl had her own annuals which appeared every other year between 1959 and 1988. I had a couple of which this was one. A collection of strips featuring Beryl and her misadventures. Oh what fun.

Sadly The Topper like most British comics have long gone and Beryl is now part of comics history.

Mind you now that Rebellion is gradually reviving IPC/Fleetway material maybe DC Thomson will consider their back catalogue of not just humour comics but adventure titles such as The Victor and Hotspur which were on my reading list way back then......


 

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Previews Picks June 2019

PREVIEWS #371 AUGUST 2019

The latest issue of Previews is now available with orders due in (in my comic shop anyway) by June 16th so whats to choose for this month.

BATMAN SUPERMAN #1 BATMAN COVER

DC has nothing new of interest to me though they are launching a new Batman/Superman title it's focus on the "Batman who Laughs" is not of interest for me personally.  The number of DC titles I am ordering reduces further this month as I stop Batman and and the Outsiders which I find a huge disappointment. As a big DC fan I continue to be disappointment by their current output.

MARVEL COMICS #1000


Marvel on the other hand has been of renewed interest of late as the Fantastic Four return as do a slew of Conan titles. Of particular interest this month is Marvel Comics #1000 a bit of a constructed title to jump on the sales boom DC made with both Action and Detective Comics passing the 1000 mark. However these titles were continually published.

Nevertheless I'll be picking up a copy. Sad fan-boy that I am even in my sixties!

AGE OF CONAN VALERIA #1 (OF 5) CONAN THE BARBARIAN EXODUS #1

There's more additions to the world of Conan as Valeria is next up in the Age of Conan mini-series. If it's as good as the Belit one we're in for a treat. There's also a one shot Conan the Barbarian: Exodus one-shot chronicling an early "untold" story of when Conan left Cimmeria. Both up for grabs on my pull list!

HACK SLASH VS CHAOS TP (MR)

Of interest from Dynamite is the  Hack/Slash vs Chaos TPB. I've read a few of Tim Healy's comics featuring the duo and was a fan of Chaos back in the day. Chastity was always my favourite. However these characters sans Lady Death (who survives with Brian Pulido, her original creator) are now owned by Dynamite so I'm going to pickup this volume. Might be fun.

Don't forget the latest Red Sonja, Vampirella both in their solo comics and their team up with Betty & Veronica all continue this month!

ARCHIE MARRIED LIFE 10 YEARS LATER #1 CVR A PARENT

Ten years ago Archie Andrews walked down memory lane first one way (ending up marrying Betty) and then the other (marrying Veronica). It was this series that revived interest in these characters and eventually led to their updating, a wonderful slew of horror orientated adventures and of course the terrific Riverdale TV series, (I'm about to start the boxed set of season 2).

It also circumvented the question of who Archie will go for in the end. Mind you another story line saw him marrying Veronica of the Pussycats. Currently in his regular comic Archie has copped off with Sabrina (the witch).... Still the TV series resolved the question of "Betty or Veronica" for me. It has to be Veronica!

Pre-order Archie The Married life 10th anniversary mini series. Should be fun!

VIGILANT LEGACY

Last but by far from being the least is a comic from British publishers Rebellion. Last year a one-shot The Vigilant surprised fans with the revival and updating of old British comic heroes. Now they are back and Rebellion own a lot more back catalogue. Can't wait to get this.

Vigilant: The Legacy in stores August 2019!

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Comic Sales Top 30 (Ending April 2019)



The April sales of comic books in North America have just been published. The new top 30 are published below which shows Marvel gaining traction over DC after a strong showing by the latter last month. As expected Marvel's mega-event War of the Realms is the top selling book for the month but the second issue is already in 4th position so sales are expected to drop.

Just as a reminder British sales are not included and they add a further 10% to the market. Other sales outlets are also not included in this chart which only includes Direct Sales to specialist comic shops.

 1. War of Realms #1 (Marvel)
 2. Symbiote Spiderman #1 (Marvel)
 3. Batman Who Laughs #4 (DC)
 4. Immortal Hulk #16 (Marvel)
 5. Batman #69 (DC)
 6. Batman #68 (DC)

 7. Thanos #1 (Marvel)
 8. Heroes In Crisis #8 (DC)
 9. Web of Venom Cult of Carnage #1 (Marvel)
10. Amazing Spider-Man #20 (Marvel)
11.Amazing Spider-Man #19 (Marvel)
12. War of Realms #2 (Marvel)
13. Detective Comics #1001 (DC)
14. Detective Comics #1002 (DC)
15. Justice League #22 (DC)
16. Justice League # 21 (DC)
17.Avengers #18 (Marvel)
18.Venom # 13 (Marvel)
19.Amazing Spider-Man #18. HU (Marvel)
20. Amazing Spider-Man #19. HU (Marvel)
21. Fantastic Four #9 (Marvel)
22. Green Lantern #6 (DC)
23. Superman #10 (DC)
24. Uncanny X-Men #15 (Marvel)
25. Uncanny X-Men #16 (Marvel)
26. Detective Comics 1000 (DC) *
27. Star Wars #64 (Marvel)
28. Major X #1 (Marvel)
29. Spider-Man City at War #2 (Marvel)
30. Action Comics #1010 (DC)


Marvel released twice as many titles as DC which partially accounts for their dominance of the market. A total of 5.84 Million copies were sold. Marvel had 50.7% of the Market whilst DC managed just 25.89%. Image came in third place with a little over 7%. The smaller publishers accounting for the rest.

Detective Comics #1000 was the top selling comic in March shifting over 500,000 copies. A further 45,000 were ordered in April

The highest selling comic from another company was Walking Dead which ranked #31 with a revived Spawn title at #44 both from Image. The 300th issue of Spawn is solicited in this months Previews (see tomorrows post). Of other publishers Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Boom! charted at #78 and their Firefly title came in at #88.  The only other three top 100 titles not from the big two were from Image.

On a personal note only three of my purchases reached the top 30 of these I no longer read Heroes in Crisis as it is so dire. But a pre-order is an order so I'm stuck with it.  Still it's finished now. Avoid the trade if tempted. It's really not worth the trees.

The Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy and the three Conan titles from Marvel remain high on my reading list and all made the top 100. Red Sonja, despite being a cracking read languishes further down the chart at #136. Fans of Conan should add this to their pull lists. Dynamite's rendition is worth buying.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

The Dandy Summer Special 2019

Dandy Summer Special 2019

Sometimes we overlook the fact that DC Thomson are still out there producing comics and amongst their output is the latest Dandy Summer Special. A smaller size than we had as kids but more pages and it's not cheap either at £6.99 but after skimming through it in one of the remaining WH Smith shops around this part of London (down from 4 to I and a 30 plus minute bus ride away) I decided to buy a copy.

It looked an add compartment to History Today but why should I care. As I told the assistant this comic was full of reprints starting in 1964 from around the era I started moving on from The Dandy and The Beano due to the attraction of Power Comics.....

Nevertheless with a range of stories Desperate Dan (1964,Bodger the Bookworm (1965), Winker Watson (1966), Greedy Pig (1967) and of course Korky the Cat from 1968 we are sent on a journey through the years to the present day.

 

Sadly of course The Dandy Comic itself ceased publication with it's last issue in 2012  a copy of which I have buried somewhere. It's stablemate The Beano is still going and the readership is going up apparently. Good news for kids young and old.

The Annuals are on their way to. Three in fact, The Dandy, The Beano and the usual reprint volume of The Beano and Dandy together.

  





Saturday, 25 May 2019

From Beyond the Unknown #3 (DC/1970)



From Beyond the Unknown #3 (DC)

Various (w) & (a)

Whilst there were many horror or mystery titles on the market actual science fiction comics were sadly few and far between back in the day, there were a few. Mystery in Space was published by DC was the longest running and Charlton did have Space Adventures one comic albeit a reprint title is always worth picking when a copy comes along. This, the third issue in the short lived series is no exception.

Starting with a tale, When the Earth Turned Into  A Comet penned by Gardner Fox and illustrated by Carmine Infantanio is a charming little story about an alien threat and some hallucinogenic moon rocks hence the cover is then followed by Prisoner Of The Electric Eye with art by Gil Kane & Frank Giaoca make the price of entry worthwhile on their own.

Two other stories appear in this issue linked by a plague that afflicted an alien race then the human race round of the issue. I rather enjoyed The Space Hermit and Escape From Earth with a warning for future generations

From Beyond The Unknown lasted 25 issues from 1969 to 1973.

 

Friday, 17 May 2019

Riverdale

It's been a week since I last posted on this site and apologies from me for taking longer breaks between posts. Truth is I have had a lot and not been reading comics as much as I should do. I have been listening to quite a few new Doctor Who adventures from Big Finish (I may do a post on these shortly) late at night and erm..falling asleep having to at least twice listen to the ending again!

Then there's the elections (did a bit of canvassing) and I finally got around to watching Riverdale having purchased the first two seasons on DVD. Ive watched 8 episodes of season one so far this week and a couple more after I've posted this.

It's different and a very engaging drama involving the guys and gals from Riverdale. I like all of the changes bar one. I would have preferred the Pussycats to be the three in the comics. I understand the need for diversity but I miss Melody. OK.

Still that criticism aside and I'll probably adjust to the change despite being a fan of the move made a while back this is a great series that everyone should be watching.

The TV programme finally made me make up my mind to that age old question, Betty or Veronica.

Veronica it has to be!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Red Sonja/Tarzan TPB (Dynamite) Out Now!



Red Sonja/Tarzan TPB (Dynamite)

Gail Simone (w) Walter Geovani (a)

This is another of those improbable and seemingly impossible crossovers but thanks to the concept of time travel we treated to two classic characters meeting up to fight a rather nasty villain who himself is out of time.

I just love these "mashups" especially when they work and this one certainly does as Lord Greystoke and our favourite flame haired barbarian are a perfect match for this adventure. 

The two face Eson Dull, a man who has no respect for life whatsoever. He threatens Trazan's family and sets out after his pack to exterminate his opponent to extinction. Red wants her sword back after losing it in a drunken fight to one of his minions. It is this that is the key.

This well worth picking up!

Rating: 5 Stars
















Friday, 10 May 2019

New Releases: Batman and the Outsiders, RedSonja & Vampirella meet Betty & Veronica

Image result for Comics vine Batman and the Outsiders 2019


Batman and the Outsiders #1 (DC)

Bryan Hill (w) Dexter Soy (a)

Somewhat delayed from it's original solicitation the latest incarnation of Batman and the Outsiders hit the shelves this week. A somewhat messy comic it has turned out to be. I'm a fan of Batman but his supporting cast, except maybe Cassandra who made a great Batgirl are are somewhat disappointing. The arts a bit off-putting and the story average.  Can't see me staying with this one for long.

Rating: No Stars



Red Sonja & Vampirella meet Betty & Veronica #1 (Dynamite)

Amy Chu (w) Maria Sanapo (w)

Being a big fan of inter-company crossovers this comic was a must buy for me and I was not disappointed. I am a big fan of both Red Sonja and Vampirella (who's 50th anniversary takes place this year) and the revamping of the Archie line of characters has made their comics well worth picking up.

Vampirella and Red Sonja arrive in Riverdale looking for answers to what seems to have something to do with vampires and seek out the mortuary. It just happens that Betty and Veronica are also breaking in and the two pairs of ladies meet for the first time.

Going undercover in Riverdale High using Veronica's outfits and daddy's influence is going to be a  treat and in the classroom Red meets a certain red-headed bot but as Betty says cheekily to the readers:

"That's our friend Archie, but this is our story not his."

Nice touch.

Rating: 5 Stars 










Sunday, 5 May 2019

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch #66 (Archie/1981)



Sabrina The Teen-Age Witch #66 (Archie)

No credits (w) & (a)

Created in 1962 Sabrina The Teenage Witch has been one of Archie's successes over the years if not in comics but on TV.  Cartoons and Two TV series, one of which is current and critically acclaimed as Riverdale the modern adaptation of Archie that I have yet to see.

This comic was one of Sabrina's original series and published 7 times a year. It's obviously aimed at the younger teenage audience but read by a wider one myself included. This is so different from the modern Sabrina comics and the current mini-series is pure Archie horror!

Melissa Joan Hart 2011.jpg
Photo: By MingleMediaTVNetwork

These comics provide for mild amusement but it's the TV version with Mellissa Joan Hart (1996 - 2003) that is probably best known in the UK. Archie comics were never that big here but do have a certain following and I have a soft spot for the franchise.

The first adaptation on the box was the cartoon series which had one season with 31 episodes broadcast between 1970 and 1974. I don't think these were ever shown in the UK so here's an adventure for the Bank Holiday weekend.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

New Releases: Year Of The Villain, DCEASED

[DC's Year Of The Villain #1 (Product Image)]

Year Of The Villain #1 (DC)

Various (w) & (a)

Published for Free Comics Book today this 25 cent special will be found on sale across the country for around 50p in participating comic shops and showcases DC's annual event which from the look of it is yet another crisis without the actual use of the word crisis as something or should I say someone arrives from behind the shattered Source Wall and the universe starts breaking down.

Not entirely sure why the JLA is at the forefront of activity at the edge of universe there are higher powers in the DC universe like the Guardians (though I'm a bit out of touch so they might not be around any more) or the New Gods who looked far too powerful when the confronted the Green Lantern Corps but I digress and anyway this their story.

Another expensive crossover that I will have to miss and maybe just pick up a couple of the inevitable trades when they come out.

Here's a couple of pages to wet yer appetite so to speak!

Rating 3 Stars
Image result for dcs year of the villain #1

Related image



DCEASED #1 (DC)

Tom Taylor (w) Trevor Hairsine Stefano Gaudiano & James Harren (a)

This is more like it. A six-issue mini series in which DC history takes an alternative course. After the JLA beat Darkseid and meet for last time afterwards they notice one of their number is missing and Bats in his usual Machiavellian manner has placed a tracker on Cyborg which shows that he's not on Earth or even in the solar system...

Darkseid has found what he was looking for inside Cyborg and in his attempt to take it uses the Black Racer to create a disaster.

The anti-life equation has evolved and millions are infected on Earth.

A cracking start to an "Elseworlds" or "What If" adventure though not advertised as such.

Rating 5 Stars 

Friday, 3 May 2019

New Feature: Comic Book Sales



One of the things I used to look forward to as a teenager was the announcement of the top 30 with Alan Freeman on a Sunday every week. With comics getting hold of similar information is actually more difficult because although there is a sales chart produced by Diamond  with "estimates by both Comichron and ICv2 these are just estimates and don't actually tell us what was actually sold.

These charts represent the orders that comic shops make. These do not include sales elsewhere and only relate to North America. As we all know some comics are over-ordered because sometimes shops don't guess fans "wants" correctly and in all the large shops there's usually a comic that just isn't selling. At the same time others are woefully under-ordered and never seen by some punters.

It was the "speculators" that drove me out the hobby in the nineties. The last straw for me was going to pick up a title of a comic of which there were two copies left but the guy in front to me took both. One the read one to sell on if it took off. I can't even remember what it was but fortunately that has more or less gone out of the window.

These days very few newly published comics attract premium prices, though there are a few chancers on E-Bay. The advent of the Trade Paperback has ensured access to stories that we might want to catch up on if we've missed the originals. I was in hospital during the release of The Doomsday Clock and am now happy to wait for a collected edition when they eventually finish the damned thing!

Meanwhile I do like to see what's selling and although there is a Top 500 chart, it's the top 30 that interests me most. Just like my teenage years I thought I'd publish a monthly look at the charts, what's in it, what's bubbling under and where the stuff I buy has gone!

These charts are several weeks old so to speak and the latest info is for March so here's the top 30

1.  DETECTIVE COMICS #1000  (DC)
2.  BATMAN WHO LAUGHS THE GRIM KNIGHT #1  (DC)
3.  DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9  (DC)
4.  BATMAN #67 (DC)
5.  BATMAN #66 (DC)
6.  HEROES IN CRISIS #7 (DC)
7.  AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17 (MARVEL)
8.  AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #18  (MARVEL)
9.  SPIDER-MAN CITY AT WAR #1 (MARVEL)
10. JUSTICE LEAGUE #20 (DC)
11. VENOM #12  (MARVEL)
12. JUSTICE LEAGUE #19 (DC )
13. INCREDIBLE HULK #181 FACSIMILE EDITION (MARVEL)
14. COSMIC GHOST RIDER DESTROYS MARVEL HISTORY #1  (MARVEL)
15. SPIDER-MAN LIFE STORY #1 (MARVEL)
16. FANTASTIC FOUR #8  (MARVEL)
17. IMMORTAL HULK #15  (MARVEL)
18. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16. (MARVEL)
19. DAREDEVIL #3  (MARVEL)
20. UNCANNY X-MEN #13 (MARVEL)
21. AVENGERS #16  (MARVEL)
22. SUPERMAN #9 (DC )
23. UNCANNY X-MEN #14  (MARVEL)
24. AVENGERS #17 (MARVEL)
25. GREEN LANTERN #5  (DC)
26. STAR WARS VADER DARK VISIONS #1 (MARVEL)
27. IMMORTAL HULK #14 (MARVEL)
28. HARLEY QUINN #59  (DC)
29. CATWOMAN #9 (DC)
30. WALKING DEAD #189 (MR) (IMAGE)


DC take the top six positions and Detective Comics is overwhelmingly the top seller as expected with over a half a million copies sold! Marvel have more entries and only one title from another company takes a place, Images top selling Walking Dead. I stopped reading that a long time ago and is the only part of my collection I sold. (Needs must at the time).

 

The number of copies is quite low if you look closely. Detective Comics had large sales because of it's collectability and multiple covers. Only the next two The Batman Who Laughs The Grim Knight and Doomsday Clock sell over 100,000 copies. The main Batman title at four sells 84,000 copies and even the popular Spider-Man drops to just 78,000.  The Walking Dead at 30 sells just 43,000 copies.

There was a time when comics were million sellers, Superman for example but comics are no longer cheap, self contained or as easily available due to the arrival of the Direct Market. Even in the UK it's no longer possible to pick up comics in the local newsagents. Comic shops are almost the sole place to go.

Firefly: Bad Company takes the number 100 slot with just 19,000 odd copies. The chart lists 500, the sales of some are quite derisory and that's excluding re-orders which also appear at the bottom end of the charts.

2000 AD Prog 2129 Judge Dredd Megazine 407

These sales figures do not cover the UK which is what I would be interested in. But then the circulations of our own surviving comics are not known. Neither 2000AD nor Judge Dredd Megazine publish figures. I believe the humour title The Beano sells 34,000 copies but the circulation of Commando from the same publisher is not publicly available. Of course these comics are mostly sold in newsagents though I subscribe to 2000AD & the Megazine because the nearest stockist is quite a journey away!

  

There are of course Marvel UK reprints, several titles in fact. Not cheap but contain the equivalent of at least three US comics sometimes more making them pretty good value. Titan has stopped publishing DC Comics leaving them with just The Simpsons (now in US format) and Doctor Who.

Avengers Universe 16 Mighty World of Marvel 12


However the monthly coverage of comic sales will concentrate on US editions. There is no way of telling what sells in the 100 plus comic shops in the UK (plus mail-order outlets) all I know is that Britain sells the equivalent of 10% or so of US publishers output.

 

So this post will cover only the US charts, mostly the individual comics but also sometimes the trades as the smaller companies particularly Image do better here. The top selling TPB was The Walking Dead Volume 31 though DC's more expensive Detective Comics: 80 years of the Batman Hardback was top for price. Still haven't read that, I must get around to doing that soon!




A lot of comics I buy feature well down the charts such as Blossoms 666 which lingers at 190 with just 7,900 sales! Starting next month I will concentrate on commenting on the US charts.

For the full March 500 go to: www.comichron.com/