Sunday, May 27, 2018

Photos from Wigan Comic Con 2018

My thanks to Paul Prescott and his team for their kind hospitality at Wigan Comic Con yesterday. They looked after the guests well and it was a pleasure to attend. 

As with all of these multi-media events, the majority of attendees are there to see the actors and cosplayers and haven't read a comic since they were little kids, but that often works to a comic creator's advantage because it means we meet people who might otherwise never see our work. It's always good to attract a new audience outside of the usual comics community. 

My thanks to those who stopped by for a chat, sketch, or to buy a comic! It was great to see Paul Twist again, and to finally meet Caroline Chadwick, who's been a fan of Tom Thug since the days of Oink! It was also good to catch up with comics buddies Dave and Paul Windett and Graham Pearce.

Here's a few photos from the day...

9a.m.... Guests and traders setting up, ready for the 10a.m. opening.

Graham Pearce, creator of Sgt. Mike Battle!

Cartoonist Dave Windett!

Sam Johnson, creator of Geek Girl!

Tools of the trade.

Tom Thug's No.1 fan Caroline, pleased with a sketch.

Look out! It's Doctor Robotnik!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review: The Complete Future Shocks - Vol.1

There's a skill to writing a self-contained science-fiction comic strip that works within the limitations of a few pages. It was the norm at one stage, but it seems to be a lost art in some cases today. We can perhaps blame decompressed storytelling for that, with young writers and artists using a more slow paced technique. Thankfully, Rebellion are about to publish The Complete Future Shocks Volume 1 to show how it used to be done. 

Some of these stories are only a page and a half in length, but they manage to set up the plot and deliver a twist ending within a few panels. Bang, wallop, the point is made and the story is over. By narrowing it down to its basic elements it has more impact, - and the early issues of 2000AD where these strips appeared were all about making an impact. Future Shock by name, Future Shock by nature.
Art by Ron Turner.

It's a hit and miss collection of course. Not every short story works as well as it should, and some have predictable outcomes, - but these appeared back in the days when the comic was mainly aimed at kids, so subtlety and sophistication were not the prime directive. The list of writers is like a who's who of comics fandom of the 1970s, with names like Martin Lock, Philip Greenaway, Mike Cruden, and Hunter Tremayne appearing alongside more established pros such as Alan Grant and Steve Moore. There's work by a young Alan Moore here too, from his early days in the business. (Incidentally, these days Hunter Tremayne is an established actor, appearing in the movie The Bookshop with Bill Nighy.) 
Art by Mike Dorey, as "J. Clough".

The artwork is supplied by veterans such as John Cooper, Ian Kennedy, Carlos Pino, and Ron Turner, but also features then-newcomers such as Steve Dillon, Brian Bolland, Brett Ewins and many more. 

If you're interested in the history of British comics, these strips are nice examples from an interesting period where a lot of new talent was emerging. If you just want an entertaining read, the book is ideal for that too. Recommended! 

REGIONS: UK, North America, worldwide digital
RELEASE DATE: 14th June 2018
PAPERBACK, 322 pages
PRICE: £19.99 (UK) $25.99 (US)
ISBN: 9781781085592

Tharg’s Future Shocks are one-off, twist ending, sci-fi thrills that have introduced many of the biggest names in the comic book industry through the pages of 2000 AD. From Alan Moore to Al Ewing, Kevin O’Neill to Jon Davis-Hunt, Future Shocks have been a staple of the UK's best-selling comic 2000 AD! This exciting first volume takes us back to the earliest days of the strip and showcases the burgeoning, immense talents of such luminaries as Steve Moore, Alan Moore, Brett Ewins, Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, John Cooper, Carlos Pino, Jesus Redondo, Steve Dillon, Peter Milligan and many, many more.

Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond

Have you visited my other blog?

Seems that some of you didn't know that I have two blogs. While Blimey! is for general comics news, my other blog, lewstringercomics focuses solely on my own work. I've been working in the comics industry for 35 years so if you're interested in my strips, past or present, please take a look and feel free to comment: 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Revealed: The new Roy of the Rovers

Rebellion have given us our first look at the all-new Roy Race who will debut in a brand new Roy of the Rovers comic strip serial in Match of the Day magazine on 5th June, running every week until 21st August.

The original Roy of the Rovers first appeared in Tiger comic No.1, back in 1954, and his exploits with Melchester Rovers proved popular for many years, even spinning the character off into headlining his own weekly comic, Roy of the Rovers, in 1976. The strip's combination of football drama and character driven plots made the strip a huge hit with loyal readers. As the years progressed, Roy married, and had children, and later suffered a terrible accident, losing his foot. Retiring from the game, his grown up son, Roy Jr, took on the mantle. 

The new series will be a complete reboot and a fresh start for the character for a new generation of readers, with a 16 year old Roy Race in a modern setting. The Match of the Day strip is written by Keith Richardson and Rob Power, with Lisa Henke illustrating. (Good to see a woman drawing the strip again, as the late Yvonne Hutton was the artist on Roy of the Rovers for many years in Tiger in the 1960s and 1970s.)

There will be new Roy of the Rovers graphic novels published by Rebellion, with the first due in the autumn written by Rob Williams with Ben Wilsher on art.

You can read more about it here:

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wigan Comic Con - this Saturday!

Hopefully I'll see a few of you up North at Wigan Comic Con this Saturday, 26th May. I'll be bringing along my comics, and will be doing sketches on request, so drop by for a chat! 

More info:

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