Monday, July 28, 2014

Stay cool at ICE next Saturday!

With this current heatwave the coolest place to go is ICE, the International Comic Expo, that takes place in the centre of Birmingham next Saturday, August 2nd. 

The venue is just a few minutes walk from New Street Station, at The Studio conference centre in Canon Street, just off from New Street. I'm pleased to say that I'm one of the guests and I'm proud to be amongst a great list of comics professionals. Here's the full guest list:
Artwork © Yishan Li

For more details visit the ICE website:

See you there! 

Photographs © their respective copyright owners.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dredd hits 350!

I don't cover 2000AD or related product here that often because those comics already receive good coverage in various places (such as the Everything Comes Back to 2000AD blog). However, a milestone is worth mentioning and currently on the stands is the 350th issue of Judge Dredd Megazine.

The 64 page issue kicks off with a brand new cover by Brian Bolland, and there's a free A3 poster of the same artwork, sans masthead, bagged with the comic. Inside, three new stories begin; Judge Dredd: Deadzone by John Wagner and Henry Flint, Lawless by Dan Abnett and Phil Winslade, and a series set in the movie continuity, Dredd: Uprise by Arthur Wyatt and Paul Davidson.

There's also the third part of The Man from the Ministry by Gordon Rennie and Kev Hopgood. Speaking of which, the comic also features a four page interview with Kev.

There are also interviews with the artist Trevor Hairsine, plus a chat with Leah Moore and John Reppion about their writing career. 

As always, the Megazine comes bagged with a 68 page collection of past material and this month it's Harke and Burr by Si Spencer and Dean Ormston, reprinting the 2000AD strip from 20 years ago. 

All in all issue 350 is a great package with high quality content. The price of £5.70 may seem steep at first glance, but you're getting a lot for your money here. This issue will be on sale until August 19th, but grab it before it sells out. 


Also on the stands now is 2000AD Prog 1891 which sees the start of Moore and Reppion's great new series, Black Shuck, with art by Steve Yeowell. Cover by Alex Ronald. £2.45  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tales from Gimbley collected

The 1980s was a very interesting time for British comics. There were a lot of new creators emerging with their own stripzines (or 'small press comics' as they're called now) and breaking into the comics industry. There was also a lively social scene thanks to the monthly meet-ups at the Westminster Comic Marts. (Although all the real fun took place at the end of the street at the Westminster Arms.)

One of those talented creators was Phil Elliott, who produced his own Tales of Gimbley mini-comics as well as drawing the strip for the comics anthology / Escape magazine. Now Phil has collected all of the Gimbley strips into one book, - In His Cups, a 184 page paperback (also available as a downloadable PDF).

Here's the info about the book:
In His Cups is a complete collection of Phil Elliott’s comic strip, Tales from Gimbley featuring the eponymous everyman, Dave Gimbley. Gimbley recounts tales from his youth including his one-night stand with the Mona Lisa; a fight to the death with a sumo wrestler; deconstructing a de stijl chair; being an integral member of a Performance Art piece; meeting the Holy Man and many other surreal, humorous and often poignant adventures.  

You can order a copy of the book directly from Lulu at this address: 

Phil's work has also appeared in Aces Weekly, The Real Ghostbusters, Power Rangers magazine and many other comics over the years. Visit his website here:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Your attention please

Techno Troll gets the message.

There comes a time when you have to ask yourself "Why should I put up with this rubbish?". I'm talking about the occasional abusive or confrontational posts I receive from anonymous people who have nothing better to do than troll. Yes, 'trolling'. If you don't like the phrase, stop doing it. It's cowardly and it's childish, and it's not welcome here.

Effective from today I'm blocking the option for anonymous comments both here and on my other blog. This should also cut back on the numerous spam comments that are notoriously frequent (as anyone on Blogger will know). 

Comments are already moderated so they don't appear until I approve them, but I needed to cut out the time spent deleting trolling and spam, so getting rid of the anonymous option seems the best way. 

Thing is, I know this will sadly inconvenience a few of you genuine readers who don't have accounts to log in with. I'm sorry about that. If you can log in with Google or whatever, please continue to leave comments as they're always appreciated. If not, we'll see how it goes, and if it proves counter-productive I'll reinstate the anon option. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Comic Heroes - The final issue

Issue 24 of Comic Heroes is now on newsagent's shelves and, as reported here the other week, sadly it's the final issue.

From the sounds of things, its demise was not only due to low sales but to company restructuring at Future Publishing. However, many fans have often stated that it was the £7.99 cover price that put them off. Even though that was approximately the same price as three flimsy comics and that Comic Heroes contained more to read than three comics. 

Comic Heroes tried valiantly to be all things to all fans, with articles covering a diverse range of comics. Unfortunately, this may have gone against it, as some fans only have specific interests. So someone who's a big Marvel/DC fan might have thought £7.99 was too much to pay when half the mag was taken up with other themes, or vice versa. 

A few issues back Future abandoned the £7.99 format of mag plus extras in a packet and redesigned the mag as a chunky 164 page bookazine at £9.99. The frequency switched from bi-monthly to quarterly, presumably with the notion that surely fans wouldn't think ten quid every three months was too much to pay for a nice long read? Didn't work.

Personally, I've always been interested in the whole world of comics, so Comic Heroes was ideal for me to read about Marvel, DC, European comics, British comics, interviews with creators, advance previews of comics, etc. This last issue has a good variety of content too. Although dubbed 'The sci-fi issue' it covers more than that. There's a feature on Charley's War for example...

A six page preview of Bryan Talbot's new Grandville book...

A look at Titan's new Doctor Who comics...

Paul Gravett choosing his top ten items from the Comics Unmasked exhibition...

Walt Simonson on his new Ragrarok comic...

Plus an interview with Dave Gibbons, features on Superman, John Constantine, cosmic Marvel, and much more.

I get the impression that the fate of Comic Heroes hadn't been determined while most of this issue was put together. The only mention of its demise is a quickly designed half page notice on the inside back cover stating 'Comic Heroes 2010 - 2014 Thank you for reading!' 

It's a shame that yet another comic feature magazine has closed. Even its digital companion weekly, Comic Review, is gone now. I'll miss buying Comic Heroes from my corner shop. It was a good mag. Not every item interested me but that's the nature of such magazines. 

I suppose most fans get their info from the Internet, which is understandable as it's 'free' and constantly being updated, but personally I still feel it's more comfortable to read longer articles in paper format. And Comic Heroes never needed plugging into the mains to recharge.

Comic Heroes No.24. 164 full colour pages. £9.99. Available in newsagents, WH Smith, comic speciality shops and other retailers. 
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