Thursday, October 19, 2017

The first MINNIE THE MINX! (1953)

Over on Beano.Com this week they've uploaded the very first Minnie the Minx strip, when she debuted in The Beano back in 1953. 

The artwork is by Leo Baxendale, but it's from his early days as a cartoonist when he was still experimenting with his style. Minnie looks somewhat different to how we know her today, and Leo's style was less confident and not as distinct. 

Leo would of course go on to become the most influential artist in British comics from the 1950s to the present day, so it just goes to prove that artists should be given a chance to develop their styles, and strips should be given time to grow. 

See the full strip over at here:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A good weekend at the Lakes!

My thanks to Julie Tait, Carole Tait, Sandra Wood, and the whole team for organising The Lakes International Comic Art Festival last weekend. It was a pleasure to be a guest again at such a well organised and diverse event. As always at such shows it's great to meet the readers, catch up with old friends, and meet new people too. Thanks to John Freeman, Marc Jackson, Davey Jones, Jim Stewart, Eli Winter, Steve MacManus, Rian Hughes, John McShane, Pete Renshaw, Jeremy Briggs, Hunt Emerson and Jane, Tony Bennett, Tim Pilcher, John and Sandra of Metaphrog, Emma Vieceli, Steve McGarry, Brad Brooks, Emmeline Pidgen, Andrew Jolly, Peter Doherty, Graham Dury, Simon Thorp, Charlie Adlard, Bryan Talbot, Steve White, and many more for being good company, even though I only saw some of you briefly. Hope you all enjoyed the weekend too.

I didn't get a chance to take many photos but here's a few...

Even the Clocktower looked good, despite the scaffolding, thanks to the huge banner promoting the show!

Kendal is a very picturesque town. The hotel I stayed in is a converted 18th Century tannery. (Far more comfortable inside than the exterior would suggest!) 

My thanks to everyone who attended my Comics Gold talk (a whirlwind presentation on the history of UK comics). Special thanks to John Freeman for co-hosting it.

The talks and interviews mostly took place at the Brewery Arts Centre (shown at the top of this post) with exhibitors a short distance down the road at the Clock Tower. (This photo was taken towards the end of the event when things were quietening down.)

Saturday evening gave us a chance to relax with live entertainment, including the band Blue Harvest at popular town centre pub Ruskins...

I missed most of the panels but on Sunday I did catch the prolific artist Steve McGarry giving a fascinating and entertaining talk on the history of football comics.

By 4pm on Sunday I had to dash off to catch my train home but I'd had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend! No doubt more in-depth reviews of LICAF will be appearing online soon so look out for them! (In fact, this one over at the Page 45 site is pretty comprehensive: )

All photos in this report ©2017 Lew Stringer.


The next event I'll be at will be Loughborough Comic-Con, this coming Sunday, 22nd October, at Loughborough Leisure Centre. See you there!

Preview: MISTY Volume 2

The Scream and Misty Halloween Special comes out today featuring all new material, and in four weeks' time Rebellion will publish Misty Volume 2, featuring classic material from the 1970s. Interesting to see them revert to the original logo, as Volume 1 had a new logo designed for it. (See here.) I suppose it has brand recognition of sorts but I never thought it evoked a supernatural vibe befitting the comic. Still, it's the logo people remember so it's appropriate that it's back.

Misty Volume 2 will feature two complete serials, collected from the Misty weekly comic. Here's some info and preview images...

CREATIVE TEAM:  Malcolm Shaw (w) Mario Capaldi, John Richardson (a)
REGIONS: UK, North America, worldwide digital
RELEASE DATE: 16 November 2017
PRICE: £13.99 (UK) $21.99 (US)
ISBN: 9781781086001

Following up our hit first volume of the ‘horror comic for girls’ with another collection of two stories: The Sentinels and End of The Line. Misty was a revolutionary concept by 2000 AD’s creator Pat Mills in 1978 and left its mark on a whole generation of young women. The two identical tower blocks, known as ‘The Sentinels’ to the locals, stand tall over the town of Birdwood – but only one is occupied while the other remains mysteriously empty. When Jan Richards’ family lose their home they decide to hide out in the abandoned block so they can stay together, only to be sent into a parallel world where the Nazis conquered Britain in 1940… 

In End of the Line, Ann’s father was one of a group of engineers believed to have been killed whilst working on an extension to the London Underground but when she and her mother are invited to the opening of the new train tunnel, Ann discovers a mysterious time portal through which several workers are being kept as slaves by an evil Victorian called Lord Vicary.
Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


This Thursday, 19th October, Rebellion publishes the fourth in its Treasury of British Comics books with The Dracula File collected from the pages of Scream! (and Scream! Holiday Specials). As well as the strips, it features a brand new cover by Chris Weston, an introduction by Scream! editor Ian Rimmer, A gallery of Scream! covers that featured Dracula, and a back up article by Dave McDonald charting the history of the path that led IPC to publish Scream!

Here's more info and images, courtesy of Rebellion...

CREATIVE TEAM:  Gerry Finley-Day, Simon Furman, Ken Noble (w) Eric Bradbury, Geoff Senior, Keith Page (a) John Aldrich, Peter Knight (l)
REGIONS: UK, worldwide digital
RELEASE DATE: 19 October 2017
PAPERBACK - 101 pages
PRICE: £15.99 (UK) $19.99 (US)
ISBN: 9781781085998

Fleeing vampire hunters from behind the iron Curtain, Count Dracula returns to Great Britain with an unquenchable thirst for blood! Unable to accept that the supernatural defector has slipped through his fingers, Rumanian KGB officer Stakis decides to defy his disbelieving superiors and destroy the unholy horror that has plagued the world for centuries. Will 1980s London become the Count’s permanent, new feeding ground? Written by 2000 AD stalwart Gerry Finley-Day and featuring Eric Bradbury’s nightmarish vision of horror’s greatest icon, The Dracula File is a book that you can really sink your teeth into!

Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and comic book stores via Diamond
Available in digital from: Treasury of British Comics webshop

COMMANDO comics out this week...

Brand new Commando issues 5063-5066 are coming soon, featuring Motor Boat malaises, Commando bomb disposals, Heinkel hesitations and Ypres revenants all to test the mettle of our men at war!

5063: Home of Heroes: The Crew

What was better for a crew at war: the men to be specialists or jacks of all trades? That was the question that faced Lieutenant Frank Temple on his new Motor Boat. Surely to be the best at your job was key to success and survival, but, indeed, with so few men aboard if something happened how would they cope without an able replacement? So, when Frank decided to give his new men extra training for the different positions he thought he was doing the right thing, but his crew weren’t very happy…

With stylish accompanying art from Vicente Alcazar, Ferg Handley’s stiff-upper lip rivalry between Frank and his second in command Steve Hewitt is lovingly brought to life.

|Story | Ferg Handley | Art | Vicente Alcazar | Cover | Janek Matysiak |

5064: Gold Collection: Spy Trap

Mission Brief: parachute into Germany to defuse a British bomb buried in the ruined interior of a feared Nazi prison and rescue to the British agent held inside. Time to detonation: twelve hours.

Commando Lieutenant Phil Searle always stayed cool under pressure, that’s why he was so skilled at defusing enemy bombs and mines. So, naturally, he didn’t flinch when his C.O. volunteered him on a mission to defuse an unexploded bomb in a German prison, or to rescue the British agent held there. But what did throw Phil was his partner on this mission, Helmut Malke, a Jerry with a habit of disappearing right before trouble started…

With Gentry’s combination of big personalities, ‘Spy Trap’s tension is just as high-octane, with enemies around every corner in Bielsa’s detailed artwork and guns aimed right on our hero in Penalva’s bold cover.

|Story | Gentry | Art | Bielsa | Cover | Penalva |
Originally Commando No 396 (April 1969) Reprinted No 1147 (1977)

5065: Action and Adventure: Wings of Woe

Flying from a young age with hopes of becoming a pilot, our hero is instead assigned as a bomb aimer and navigator, but strives to rise in the ranks and take control of his aircraft.  His name is Jurgen Loden and he flies in a Heinkel...

Desperate to live up to his older brother and idol, a German fighter pilot in the First World War, Jurgen wants nothing more than to defend his country, but when he sees the destruction his bombs inflict he begins to question the Nazi cause.

A compelling perspective from George Low, with detailed artwork by Rezzonico and a suitably stunning aerial cover from Ian Kennedy, ‘Wings of Woe’ is a stand out issue for any collection.

|Story | George Low | Art | Rezzonico | Cover | Ian Kennedy |

5066: Silver Collection: Dead Men’s Revenge

Lying under rubble from a fallen building, Nick Gray’s life was slowly draining. That’s when he saw them. Hazy wraiths in uniforms from the last great war. They were at Ypres, they told him. Betrayed by their C.O. they were court martialled and executed on the ground Nick’s broken body lies on. “It’s not your time,” they tell him. Nick must complete the task given to him by these revenants if they are ever to be at peace…

A dark number from Ian Clark, ‘Dead Men’s Revenge’ deals with sacrifice and the young men of World War Two being haunted by the heroics of the past generation which they must live up to. Combine that with artwork and cover by Ibanez and this eerie issue really packs an equally supernatural and poignant punch.

|Story | Ian Clark | Art |Ibanez | Cover | Ibanez |
Originally Commando No 2647 (March 1993)

Monday, October 16, 2017


A quick preview of a few pages from Judge Dredd Megazine No.389 out this Wednesday.

UK & DIGITAL: 18th October 2017 £5.99
NORTH AMERICA: 18th October 2017 $13

In this issue:
JUDGE DREDD: DEFROSTED by Rory McConville (w) Paul Davidson (a) Chris Blythe (c) Annie Parkhouse (l)

ANDERSON: NWO by Alan Grant (w) Paul Marshall (a) Dylan Teague (c) Simon Boland (l)

DEVLIN WAUGH: BLOOD DEBT by Rory McConville (w) Mike Dowling (a) Simon Bowland (l)

LAWLESS: BREAKING BADROCK by Dan Abnett (w) Len O'Grady (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

DOMINION by John Wagner (w) Nick Percival (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

New Comics: Scream! and Misty Special
Interrogation: Simon Furman
Interrogation: Leonardo Manco
New Books: Comic Book Hero

Bagged graphic novel: Tharg's Terror Tales by Arthur Wyatt, Al Ewing, Nicolas Jean, Alec Worley, John Smith, David Baillie (w) John Cooper, Tiernen Trevallion, Cliff Robinson, Yann Valeani, Warren Pleece, Graeme Neil Reid, Mark Harrison, Edmund Bagwell, Will Morris, Tom Foster, Peter Doherty (a) Ellie De Ville, Simon Bowland, Peter Doherty (l)

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

DWM 518 preview

Here's a quick preview of Doctor Who Magazine No.518, in shops this Thursday, 19th October. Packed with news, reviews, interviews, and more. Plus another Daft Dimension from me! Don't miss it!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Your advance preview of the next 2000AD!

2000AD Prog 2053 will be in the shops on Wednesday, but you can see a few preview pages here right now, courtesy of Rebellion! 

UK & DIGITAL: 18th October 2017 £2.75
NORTH AMERICA: 18th October 2017 $7.99

In this issue:

JUDGE DREDD: ADAPTIVE OPTICS by Arthur Wyatt (w) Simon Roy (a), Annie Parkhouse (l)

GREY AREA: HOMELAND SECURITY by Dan Abnett (w) Mark Harrison (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)

SLÁINE: ARCHON by Pat Mills (w) Simon Davis (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

INDIGO PRIME: A DYING ART by Kek-W (w) Lee Carter (a) Simon Bowland (l)

ABSALOM: TERMINAL DIAGNOSIS by Gordon Rennie (w) Tiernan Trevallion (a) Ellie De Ville (l)

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

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Maximum Chill-Power! My thanks to Rebellion for a PDF preview of the special that will arrive in newsagents and comic shops this Wednesday, 18th October. Newsagents will have the Scream dominant cover, whilst comic shops will have the Misty variant. The interiors of both versions are identical. 

It's a very slickly produced 52 page comic, with some great artwork from veterans such as the amazing John Stokes to fantastic newcomers such as DaNi. There's a few very unexpected surprises too! I really hope it sells well so there'll be more next year.

Without further ado, here's a few preview pages to whet your appetites...

UK & DIGITAL: 18th October 2017 £3.99
NORTH AMERICA: 18th October 2017 $7.99

In this issue:
THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR by Guy Adams (w) John Stokes, Frazer Irving (a) Simon Bowland (l)

THE DRACULA FILE by Grainne McEntee (w) Tristan Jones (a) SG (l)

DEATH-MAN: THE GATHERING by Feek (w) Henry Flint (a) SG (l)

BLACK MAX by Kek-W (w) Simon Coleby (a) Len O'Grady (c) Jim Campbell (l)

RETURN OF THE SENTINELS by Hannah Berry (w) Ben Willsher (a) Annie Parkhouse (l)
FATE OF THE FAIRY HUNTER by Alec Worley (w) DaNi (a) Maz Smith (l)

plus: Pin-ups by Warwick Fraser-Coombe and Mike Hoffman 

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

This weekend's schedule at the Lakes

Just a quick reminder of my schedule for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival this weekend.

1.00pm to 2.00pm 
Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal.
Editor,writer,blogger John Freeman and I will be doing a powerpoint presentation covering the highlights and changes of over 100 years of British comics.

After that, at around 2.30pm to 4.00pm I'll be moving up the road to the Clocktower to do a relatively brief signing/sketching session before I have to rush off to catch my train. 

There are of course LOADS of other things taking place at the festival over the weekend from artists from all over the world. See the Lakes website for full details!

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Video ad for Scream and Misty Special!

Back in the heyday of British comics, every new launch (and many free gift issues) from the mainstream publishers was advertised on TV in short, snappy ads. Now, Rebellion have replicated that to an extent with an online ad for the upcoming Scream and Misty Halloween Special, out on 18th October. 

You can see the ad on You Tube here:

More info on the comic here:

Out today from Panini UK

Marvel Legends Vol. 3 #16. On sale 12th October 2017.
76 Action-Packed pages featuring Marvel’s ‘Big 3’ – Iron Man, Captain America and Thor! £3.99!
Is Riri Williams up to the challenge of being the all-new Iron Man?!!
Plus, the alien Chitauri are coming! Can Captain America, Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight stop the invasion?!!
Also, Thor is challenged by the gods of the Shi'ar!
By Nick Spencer, Jesús Saiz, Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli, Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman!
Includes material reprinted from Captain America: Steve Rogers #8-9, Invincible Iron Man #3, and Thor #16!

Astonishing Spider-Man Vol.6 #31. On sale 12th October 2017. 
100-Page special packed with arachnid-adventure! Only £3.99!
The Clone Conspiracy reaches its cataclysmic conclusion! 
The Jackal’s plans may have been thwarted but the aftermath is far messier! Rhino on the rampage! Discover the true fate of Ben Reilly, The Jackal, Doctor Octopus and the Lizard! And what of Spidey’s allies, Prowler and Silk?!!
By Sean Ryan, Jamal Campbell with Javier Saltares, Robbie Thompson, Irene Strychalski
Christos N. Gage, Dan Slott, Cory Smith.
Includes material reprinted from Amazing Spider-Man #24, Silk #17, Prowler #5 and The Clone Conspiracy Omega.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

See you at the Lakes this weekend!

I was hoping to write a few blog posts this week but I'm snowed under with deadlines so that's going to have to pass I'm afraid. Just time though to give a plug for the Lakes International Comic art Show this coming weekend (13th to 15th October) which I'll be attending. On the Sunday, I'll be doing Comics Gold with editor/writer John Freeman; a powerpoint presentation covering the highlights of the history of British comics from Ally Sloper to Aces Weekly, and how they've evolved over the decades. I hope you can make it! 

John has a feature on some new comics that'll be available at the Lakes. See his Down the Tubes blog here:

Find out more about the festival by visiting their website here:
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