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


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.


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 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!


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!


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!


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!


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.