Saturday, March 25, 2017

Prog Preview: 2000AD Prog 2024

Here's your weekly advance look at the next issue of 2000AD! On sale Wednesday! Very few of you comment on these Prog Previews which does make me wonder how many of you buy 2000AD. Are you interested in these weekly advance peeks (which usually appear before anyone else shows them) or do you skim past these posts? (And I suppose if you do skim past them you won't see the question. Hmm, if a bear falls on a cat in the woods and there's no one to hear it, is it alive or dead? Or something like that.

UK & DIGITAL: 27 March 2017 £2.65
NORTH AMERICA: 27 April 2017 $7.99

In this issue:
Judge Dredd: Harvey by John Wagner (w) John McCrea (a) Mike Spicer (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Brink: Skeleton Life by Dan Abnett (w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Future Shocks: Family Time by Rory McConville (w) Nick Dyer (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Scarlet Traces: Cold War - Book 2 by Ian Edginton (w)  D'Israeli (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Cursed: The Fall of Deadworld by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

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

Thunderbooks no more

©Bill Hughes, Bill Hughes Photo.
I'm sorry to hear that Blackpool's comic shop Thunderbooks is no more after nearly 30 years. It's now under new management and has been completely refurbished and renamed Infinity Comics. I wish the new owner and his shop well, but I'll definitely miss Thunderbooks. It was one of the last of the old style comic shops and I always dropped in on my visits to the seaside resort every summer. 

At least, for now, Thunderbooks still exists on Instant Street View, and you can have a virtual reality cyber-walk around the shop as it was in Summer 2012. Click on the following link for a tour...,-3.050182,155.95h,-5.16p,1z,Nhqgvq_UDoCOB7HGRhxw2A

©Bill Hughes, Bill Hughes Photo
It looks like the mail order arm of Thunderbooks, Star Trader, is still trading though, and you can find their website here:

The Facebook page of the new Infinity Comics store is here:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Essential Doctor Who No.10

The 10th issue of The Essential Doctor Who has just been published; the thrice-yearly companion to the monthly Doctor Who Magazine. This time the theme is Robots, looking at the various Doctor Who stories that have featured such artificial intelligence over the years. 

An essential buy for Doctor Who fans to be sure, but this issue may also be of interest to comics historians. There's a feature on the Mechonoids that includes their comic strip appearances....

...and a six page article entitled Comic Strip Robots that covers robots in the numerous Doctor Who comic strips, from TV Comic to Doctor Who Magazine.

The 116 page Essential Doctor Who No.10 is published by Panini UK and is out now at £9.99.

Return of the Leopardboy

Rebellion have just revealed the cover to their Leopard from Lime Street collection, reprinting the early adventures of the popular 1970s Buster strip. The book will be published in June.

The Leopard from Lime Street – Book 1
Originally published: 1976-1985
Release date: July
Trade Paperback
One of the most requested reprints from the Fleetway/IPC archive, The Leopard from Lime Street is the British Spider-man – a hugely popular home-grown teenage superhero! Billy Farmer lives with his Aunt Joan and Uncle Charlie in the when he is scratched by a radioactive leopard  at the local zoo. Gaining leopard-like strength, speed, reflexes, and tree-climbing abilities, when he’s not fighting crime, Billy sells photographs of himself to the local paper, using the money to support his frail aunt while contending with his violent, greedy and lazy uncle. With warmth, wit, and stunning artwork by Mike Western and Eric Bradbury, The Leopard from Lime Street is a gem of 1970s and 1980s British comics.
More info about Rebellion's other classic reprints here:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BATTLE cover selection 1975 to 1979

Right from its early issues in 1975, Battle Picture Weekly used a combination of terse captions and striking artwork to deliver dynamic, eye-catching front covers. Admittedly, D.C. Thomson's Warlord had been the inspiration (see here), but IPC's Battle took it to another level, making previous kids' comics look sedate in comparison. 

Here's a selection of some of the best Battle covers...
Art: Geoff Campion
Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Geoff Campion

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Mike Western
Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Ian Kennedy

Art: Joe Colquhoun

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

Art: Mike McMahon

Composite artwork.

Art: Joe Colquhoun

Art: Carlos Ezquerra

All covers scanned from my own collection of comics.
Artwork © Rebellion A/S

If it's Wednesday it must be BEANO day!

Cover by Nigel Parkinson.
Here's the cover of this week's Beano, taken from the lively website. Another 36 pages packed with all-new fun stuff! Pressing deadlines mean that I haven't had chance to go into town to buy a copy yet but if my strips are being published in the order I did them, this should be an accurate preview of today's stories...

Ivy the Terrible has a nightmare. What could possibly have caused that? Are there clues in this panel? 

Tubby finds a piece of rope! It's tug of war time in Pup Parade!

Beano No.3877, - out now! Only £2.50.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Previews: COMMANDO Nos.5003 to 5006

Just in from Commando HQ, the latest info on the four issues of the comic that will be in newsagents this Thursday, 23rd March. Thomsons have sent a new look press release this time, in the form of a jpeg rather than a Word document, so you'll have to click on it to read it full size. On the positive front, it shows preview panels from each of the stories...

5003 Home of Heroes: American Eagles
Story – Steven Taylor
Art – Jaume Forns
Cover – Janek Matysiak

5004 Gold Collection: Trouble Squadron
Story – Boothby
Art – Auraleon
Cover – Ken Barr

5005 Action And Adventure: Urban Gunners
Story – Ferg Handley
Art – Manuel Benet
Cover – Manuel Benet

5006 Silver Collection: Go Down Fighting!
Story – Ian Clark
Art – Peter Foster
Cover – Jeff Bevan

Comic event in Sheffield this Saturday

I know some of you aren't interested in attending comic conventions but if any of you are visiting Sheffield this Saturday I'll be at Robot: Illustration and Creative Arts Convention at the Millennium Gallery. Other guests will include Fiona Stephenson, David Leach, Mychailo Kazybrid, Peter Doherty, Bambos Georgiou and more. There'll also be loads of exhibitors and indie comics publishers. Come along and meet us for sketches and comics!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fake news!

According to today's Metro, I designed Dennis the Menace's iconic red and black jumper. That's quite an accomplishment I should be proud of... considering it happened in 1951, eight years before I was born!

The article even quotes me on stuff. I've never even spoken to the Metro but my quotes are from a BBC item from a while back. However, Metro didn't do their research properly, and somehow confused me with David Law. Heck, they even reckon that Dennis "made his debut" on the back of a cigarette packet, intimating it was published like that.

The facts: when The Beano were creating Dennis the Menace in 1951, editor Ian Chisholm did a rough sketch of the character on the back of a fag packet to show artist David Law what he wanted. As we know, David Law did a fantastic job on the character, later adding the distinctive striped jumper.

While the Metro mistake amused me, there's also a serious edge to it because it denies David Law his credit, and there's a possibility the error will be copied by other sources in the future. Ironically, the Metro's tagline is "News... but not as you know it".

Unless, of course, I'm a time-traveller and the story is true. With the crackpot way the 21st Century has gone so far anything is possible. 

Team Toxic in space!

Team Toxic begin a three-part adventure that has them head into space in the next issue of Toxic, on sale Wednesday 22nd March. Signal from Space sees the team respond to a distress call in deep space. What will they find? A bloomin' great Space Shark for one thing! 

Toxic No.286, available from newsagents and supermarkets from Wednesday. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017


I'm very pleased to be able to add another event to my "gig guide" this year as I'll be one of the guests at the Birmingham Comics Festival on June 24th and 25th 2017. 

The convention takes place at Birmingham City University and other guests will include David Lloyd, Hunt Emerson, Phil Winslade and more!

There'll also be an exhibition of comic art at the university from June 1st, and other events related to the show taking place in June. Keep an eye on the festival website for more details...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

MCM Comic Con report

Comic conventions! I can't get enough of 'em. Like minds coming together to display their art and talk comics. Therefore, although I wasn't a guest at the MCM Comic Con in Birmingham today I thought I'd drop in for a browse as it wasn't far for me to travel. 
Very busy day with attendees of all ages.
I knew a few of my friends in the comics industry would be there so it'd be a good opportunity to catch up with them. Admittedly, the MCM Comic Con doesn't devote a lot of floor space to actual comics. Most of the tables in the vast hall at the NEC are taken up with dealers selling merchandise related to comics, film, and tv. There's an area called 'Comic Village' where you'll find people who create comics, covering the small press, independents, and full time professionals.
One of the few stands selling U.S. comics.
The MCM events also give priority to guests from film and television, where today you'd see people from Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Red Dwarf and more. And a couple of wrestlers too, which seem to go down well with some attendees.
I've no idea why a wrestler was dressed as the Scarlet Witch.
I know that events such as MCM have been criticised by some for not being "true" comic cons because of their emphasis on actors. Personally, I think there's room for events like this and the smaller, comics-only shows. Talking to friends today echoed that view, and we agreed that these multi-media shows bring in people who wouldn't normally attend a comics-only event and some of them are happy to discover or rediscover comics. (I found this to be very true at ones I was at last year.) Hopefully some of those fans will then check out more events, including the shows dedicated to comics.

Here's a few of the comics creators who were there today...

Steve Tanner, whose Time Bomb Comics company has now been running for ten years. 

Rachael Smith, creator of wonderful books that deserve a place on your bookshelf.

Laura Howell, fellow Beano artist and self-publisher.

It was also great to see Jessica Martin, who as a comic creator and actor was at home in both sides of the hall (, Stuart Gould, who does a fine job printing my comics and those of others (, Adam Cadwell, who produces some amazing comics ( and several other pals from the comics world. 

MCM Comic Con is on all over the weekend, so there's still time to visit on Sunday 19th March if you're in the area. 

Next Saturday, 25th March, I'll be a guest at Robot: Illustration and Creative Arts Convention in Sheffield. See you there! 

2000AD hits the readers with a new line-up

This coming Wednesday is a good chance for new and lapsed readers to start buying 2000AD as it features the start of a new line up of stories. Here's the info from Rebellion...

UK & DIGITAL: 22 March 2017 £2.65
NORTH AMERICA: 22 April 2017 $7.99

In this issue:
Judge Dredd: Get Jerry Sing by John Wagner (w) Carlos Ezquerra (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Brink: Skeleton Life by Dan Abnett 9w) INJ Culbard (a) Simon Bowland (l)

Future Shocks: The Best Brain In The Galaxy by Andrew Williamson (w) Tilen Javornik (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

Scarlet Traces: Cold War - Book 2 by Ian Edginton (w)  D'Israeli (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

Cursed: The Fall of Deadworld by Kek-W (w) Dave Kendall (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

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

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