Good news from Classics Illustrated!

Well, i’ve been meaning to make this post after my “christmas” post reviewing the 1914 Christmas issue of The Union Jack. But as that post is taking time to get written (or started) and as we’re nearing the end of the month i suppose i’d better make this one.Basically every issue of Classics Illustrated carries a small preview of the next issue on the back cover, and the preview of next month’s issue, Macbeth, looks as if they are either using the original colouring, or else thier “modern recolouring” is going to be done a lot more skilfully than it has been:


classics 1


When Classics Illustrated’s re-publication was first announced there was no small amount of controversy (well, OK, a few annoyed posters on Comics UK) that the artwork was going to be re-coloured in a “new, modern way”. This meant horrible bright primary colours that destroyed some of the finer line-work and made a lot of the art look needlessley cartoonish. Just take this scene from Jane Eyre, it’s supposed to be her discovery of burned-out ruins on a bleak moorside, but looks like something from a western!


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A grand post to-day, chums!

Yet another long Hiatus ends with some special content (a complete story, no less!) and some important news!

Scramble

I recently bought several issues of “Boys Magazine” from 1933 on Ebay  (not an entirely consecutive run, but they’d make a nicely sized book if i could perhaps find any of the intervening issues for sale anywhere…). The seller kindly chucked in two issues of a late 40’s story-paper called Scramble. Well actually he sent three but two were copies of issue 15. Still the cover of this particular issue immediatley caught my eye – a very Sexon Blake lookalike detective coupled with the name Rex Hardinge!

scramble 15 1

Rex Hardinge was born in 1904, in India, and later made expeditions in Africa. He came to England in 1929 to become a full-time writer for story-papers. And as the editor of “Sexton Blake Wins” puts it, he could “Hammer out fiction by the yard“. His contribution to that particular book (originally published in Detective Weekly issue 20) “The Man I Killed” is very memorable.

scramble 15 2

scramble 15 3

Over the years, many ‘imitators’ of Sexton Blake appeared, from virtually direct copies (Colwyn Dane, Victor Drago) to ones more significantly altered (Nelson Lee*), none of them reached the stellar status of Blake, though. Martin Speed, as seen here, is clearly another – joined by Sam Spry, the boyish cockney assistant, and removed from Blake by Susie Spry, sam’s sister. It would be another 9 years before Sexton Blake was joined by a female assistant “full time”.

scramble 15 4

xdzf

Scramble itself appeared in 1947 and vanished in 1951, running for 57 issues, according to the Magazine Data File. This site also lists it as “weekly / monthly / irregular”. Paper shortages would still have been acute after the war, so it’s not hard to beleive. This particular issue, for instance, is listed as monthly but is a mere 16 pages long – the length of a weekly halfpenny paper in the 1890’s. For that, though, all the stories appear to be complete (or at least if they are serials there’s no recap sections i could see), and all the illustrations are in “colour”. If the format stayed the same up until this paper’s end, though, it is easy to see how it would have been blown to the winds by publications such as Eagle (launched 1950).

*-admittedly not the best example as Nelson Lee also began in the 1890’s, before Blake became hugely sucessful. However Lee eventually moved into a school and became a teacher, before then his adventures had been similar to Blake ones. It was perhaps felt a way of differentiating them was needed in case readers thought one was a copy of the other?

Important News!

Two new books about comics have been published: Football’s Comic Book Heroes and When the Comics Went to War. The football title recieved an enthusisatic response on the Comics UK forums, so i went searching for it, instead i found the war book, despite reading that it wasn’t supposed to be out until October! (psst – the image of the cover may give a clue about where i bought it, and maybe even a special offer!)

comics war

All i can say about the book is it’s incredible – profusely illustrated, lots of descriptions of the STORIES, and not just statistics, dates, real-life stuff unrelated to comics and other boring non-comic guff. It even contains “the perfect war comic” at the back of the book with some reprinted stories to read.

Another thing it does – and something the “Comics Britannia” TV show shamefully didn’t – is acknowledge and celebrate the text-only story-papers alongside the later picture-strip comics. Indeed half the book is about story papers! All the names are there – Boys’ Own, Union Jack (the first one from the 1880’s), Halfpenny Marvel, Pluck and The Boys’ Friend. Later the DC Thomson “Big Five” get thier dues.

It also avoids the predictable PC “what were they filling kids head’s with?” rants entirely – an admirable attitude that must be encouraged.

I urge everybody to go and buy this book and it’s football companion, we have to let the publishers know we want this stuff! One of the authors popped into Comics UK and said that in the initial stages 7 books were planned, and that discussions about number 3 are “ongoing”. What will we see? A sci-fi one is a given. Perhaps one dedicated to Cricket and “field” sports, An Athletics one, A motor-racing one, A police/detective/private eye one, A historical one… if they live up to the high standard of When the Comics Went to War they will be most welcome.

References:

Blakiana – Rex Hardinge

Magazine Data File

Comics UK forums – Football’s Comic Heroes

A new post at last!

Well, it’s been a while since this site got updated eh? But university is finished and job-finding is not going very well (according to probably third-hand information from my mum, one job i applied for at a nearby laboratory got several thousand applicants -_-). I was also working on a videogame but now that is finished i intend to give some attention to comics and story-papers once again. Though primarily my own! It’s well over a year since the last issue of The Red, White & Blue was finished.

To begin with, here’s a scan of a cool page from last week’s issue of 2000AD (prog 1645). If you ask me it perfectly sums up the quirkiness of British comics…

does anybody read these titles?

(2000ad copyright 2009 Rebellion inc).

And now, the logo’s of my own two comic projects. Here is the re-designed logo for my main comic, The Red, White & Blue, which is a mixture of picture-strips and text stories.

RWB logo

Very grand, eh? The pictures depict numerous British (or at least half British for some of them) discoveries, inventions or works that have had a large impact on the world. They include Antibiotics, the Lee-Enfield rifle, an A4 class steam locomotive, Association Football, Cricket, SS Great Britain, Boolean algebra (at the heart of almost every computer), DNA, Newton’s Phiosiphae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, a Spitfire, a Newcomen steam engine, Lawn Tennis, a Mini (far from the first front engine front wheel drive car, but one that gave rise to the imitators that in turn gave rise to almost every car on the roads today), Concorde and of course Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Phew! Left out due to space constraints were Magna Carta, a speech baloon representing the English language, a map of the empire, some representation of Shakespeare, a King James bible (for it’s language, not it’s effects on it’s readers!), Collosus, Television (the invention of this is disputed), a Telephone (and this), an Iron cannon and The Magnet … because Shakespeare was forgotten for a long time then rediscovered and hailed as a genius, in the same way Charles Hamilton will one day be.

Trident logo

The logo of The Trident, this will be an A5 sized all-text story paper. With the occasional full-page illustration, depending on the length of the story the number of these will vary. The first story is going to be an epic Sexton Blake tale set in 1916 which will see him caught up in the mire of the Western Front (i’m aiming for a balance between the jingoistic “let’s get ’em!” of the contemporary story papers and the sombre reflections of Charley’s War), he then travels to a castle in Germany where secret weapons are being tested. After a lot of cloak and dagger (literally, in one scene!) action, during which the “German Blake”, Herr Milzinger, will be introduced to the world, Blake and Tinker escape back to England. Here they find Herr Milzinger has preceded them and a final showdown occurs in the cosy confines of Baker Street.

I hope that issue 3 of the Red, White & Blue, and issues 1 and 2 of The Trident, will both be ready for sale at the UK Webcomix Thing 2010, which is to be held at the Great Hall, Mile End Road, London on the 27th of March. As i tend to be highly lazy with regards to buying envelopes and stamps &c, it’s unlikely i’ll ever be setting up an online shop for my comics – so this event will probably the the only chance to buy them! But watch this space.

Sexton Blake news – Good, Bad and Amazing

It’s been an interesting time on the blakiana front in the past month or so. Starting with the website of that name at www.sextonblake.co.uk, a greatly-expanded and improved new version is reportedly on the way very soon. Part of that new version is already online, an interactive and user-created site located at http://sextonblake.ning.com/ which will eventually be integrated with the main site. Parts of it already link “in one direction”.

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In even better news, some of Sexton Blake’s finest adventures are returning to print in a new anthology! Apparently priced at £2.99 (i can’t beleive that, they must mean £12.99) the book will contain 7 vintage stories from the Union Jack, primarly from the 1910’s, but also one from the 20’s, the undisputed height of the detective’s golden age, and a trio from the 1900’s. According to Amazon, the stories are…

The Slave Market – From 1907, Sir Richard Losely and Lobangu are both under the powers of a ruthless slaver called The White Death in Africa, and Sexton Blake has to ride to the rescue

A Football Mystery – Sexton Blake and the beautiful game! a team made up of dastardly foreign types is cheating it’s way to the top. Sexton Blake has to discover thier secret and then take to the field himself, where he puts in a performance that could teach a certain Roy Race a thing or two.

The Man From Scotland Yard – The introduction of George Marsden Plummer, a brilliant detective in the official police who uses his knowledge of thier methods to turn to a life of crime. The police, in turn, call upon the best detective in the world to catch him…

The Law of the Sea – Sexton Blake is sailing on a huge, four-funneled transatlantic steamer deemed to be “unsinkable”. You can probably guess the rest, and won’t need telling that this is from 1912.

The Brotherhood of the Yellow Beetle – Prince Wu Ling, a chinese criminal with aims of world domination, appears in this story.

A Case of Arson – Deception, theft, insurance fraud and other vices intertwine in this story. Sexton Blake has a lot of unraveling to do! Also features Dirk Dolland, who would later play a part in the epic Criminal’s Confederation series.

The Black Eagle – A man who has been wrongly imprisoned on an isolated island is free – and out for murderous revenge!

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And now, in not-so-good Blake news, comes the announcement of a new radio series. Perhaps inevtiably it is going to be an “oh so hilarious” (read: predictable* and insulting) parody rather than actually good. As if it couldn’t get any worse it’s produced by a company with the ‘raaandom’ (you can just see them now, can’t you?) name of “Perfectly Normal Productions”. Jesus christ… Just look at the description from the press release:

SEXTON BLAKE! A name that spells thrilling adventure for fans across the world,many of whom are still alive.

SEXTON BLAKE! A name that spells certain doom for villainy, no matter how fiendish or dandied.

SEXTON BLAKE! A name that spells mild, lingering confusion for country vicars advertising for a general officer.

A baffling crime — a hapless victim — the cry goes up, “Call SEXTON BLAKE! also some kind of medical representative.”

Now, exactly thirty-eight years, four months and eleven days after his final broadcast,the world’s mightiest and most popular detective returns to the air in the all-new THE ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE. Accompanied in his breakneck hurtle to justice by doughty (not doughy) assistant Tinker, Sexton Blake battles diabolical masterminds — beautiful jewel thieves — mechanical Stalins — in locations as exotic as a portable Congo — a second, secret London Underground — an uphill avalanche. Encountering peril at every turn, only Blake can save the day and solve the case by outwitting his enemies in the head and outpunching them in the jaw.

Yeah, Jesus christ

* – Top three predictions!

3 – Sexton Blake hilariously works out that some people in the distance are not British. When his companions ask how he can tell he hilariously points out that they aren’t wearing hats.

2 – Some “savages” are encountered who hilariously turn out to be more intelligent than anybody else.

1 – A couple of gentlemen who call each other “chum” and “old chap” hilariously turn out to be gay.

Two interesting Commando’s…

Commando comics almost entirely concentrate on World War 2, and with good reason, as there’s such a huge range of stories and scenario’s that can be derived from such a large conflict. However at over 4100 issues (with a lot of reprints, mind) diversification becomes increasingly nessescary. This usually results in stories set in World War 1, Korea or small civil wars set in made-up countries. Science Fiction and Westerns are two much rarer Genre’s, the former last being seen in “War Games” from 2007 (and that was a reprint, and the story was ‘framed’ by WW2) and the latter in “Devil Canyon”, also from last year, which featured some ex-Yankee soldiers looking for lost gold.

commando 4139 01
In the current batch of issues is another Western, issue 4139, titled “Rebel Army”. This time following an ex-Confederate (the politics of the confederation are completley left out, naturally. Though i suspect for the average trooper on the ground they meant little anyway… slaves still cost money that the poor people didn’t have!) officer called Samuel Watts and his former sergeant and business partner Nate Bridges. The story takes them to Argentina after a double-cross by another passenger. Searching that passenger’s cargo they discover he is a gun-runner and decide to sell the weapons to the Argentian government. Told the army already have enough weapons, the two are sent inland to link up with a militia that is suppressing Indian revolts. However after another betrayal and witnessing several acts of brutality, switch sides and defeat the militia. Finally collecting the money they are owed, they ride into the sunset, unable to decide between owning a farm or saloon.

commando 4139 02

The “slight wrap around” cover is normal for Commando. The area the other side of the knife used to be black, but in recent times has had a photograph or other art used to liven it up. Ian Kennedy drew the cover, and is far and away the most prolific Commando cover artist. 

commando 4139 03

The background to the story told in four quick frames. The way comics should be done! “Garijo”, one of Commando’s stable of Spanish/South American artists (i’m presmuming) has done the interior art. There’s a lot of detail packed in.

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Sam and Nate are enticed into the Militia, by being asked to deliver thier weapons in person 

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But they later switch sides, demonstrating the deadly power of one of the main weapons they found in the gun-runner’s stash, a four-barreled Nordenfeld machine-gun.

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…and battle commences! 

Meanwhile, an interesting science fiction Commando from 1994, which i have wanted to read for a long time since seeing it on http://britishcomics.20m.com (currently down) is issue 2774 – “Space Watch”. Today i was wandering Lincoln and decided to look at a book stall on the indoor market which sells Picture Library comics on and off for 40p. Imagine my delight when i discovered this issue! However, it became a proper “Never meet your heroes” moment when i discovered that the story was, in fact, terrible. I’ll let the scans do the talking here…

commando 2774 01

Nice cover, Commando has only recently (within the last year) started to include credits (though for a time before that allowed the interior arists to sign the first or last frame). As this is well before the crediting era at DC Thomson i have no idea who did this, but other people can probably make identifications. 

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A nice wrap-around cover and a rather brief and confusing description of the story in question. This issue is from a ‘short’ period when the barcode was located on the front of issues rather than the back.

commando 2774 03

The story is set in “the twenty-first century”. Japan wants to bring back whaling, and sometimes ‘pirates’ kill whales anyway. In order to get thier own way, Japan decides to go to war with the “World Environmental Council”. Except wars in the future are fought on computers in virtual reality between small teams of experts. So far so never-going-to-happen. The story reeks of early 90’s which will presumably put paid to it’s chances of being reprinted, when the reprint cycle reaches 1994. You won’t be missing much.

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The virtual reality war is set even further in the future, in 2442 to be precise. Once in the VR world the characters (the WEC team are made up of British, American, French and Russian men… to fight against Japan. So far so WW2) take on the personality of characters in the world. Note the commander of the Zakrun battle fleet (Japan) claiming his fictional space navy on a fictional planet have “never lost a war”. Also they have a huge starship which “is not finished yet”. This only adds more unessescary complexity to the story, if you ask me they should have done away with the VR, Whale-saving guff and just made it a straightfoward story actually set in 2442.

commando 2774 05

Weather the participants in the space battle (which is so confusing and messy it’s not worth describing, though it is fought much like WW2 air battles) can actually die in real life if they die in Virtual Reality is none too clear. The Russian doesn’t and the American isn’t mentioned. Neither are any of the Japanese. The Frenchman is killed for real though, but that is because of attacks by hackers who are trying to murder the British man (who is the last remaining ‘real’ player in the game by the end).

commando 2774 06

The hackers, paid by some kind of Arabic Mafia boss, ‘complete’ and send in the massive space battleship, Satori, against the sole surviving Earth ships, the Pennsylvania and a single space frigate. Satori‘s powerful laser cannons narrowly miss the escape pod from the other large Earth ship, Ark Royal, and it is the shock of these near misses which kills the frenchman in real life as well as the VR world. But still the Earth fleet manage to outwit Satori and win the game, keeping Whaling illegal.

At the end of the story we re-join the pirate whaling ship in time to see the crew arrested. The Mafia boss is also unimpressed with the hackers and has them killed. What a dissapointment after wanting to read this story for so long. I wonder what Starblazer is like…

‘Latest’ 2000AD, Meg and Commando

Well i was planning my second post to “come up to date” with the very latest issues of 2000AD, the Judge Dredd Megazine and Commando, however on the day i had no internet and since then have had no motivation, so this entry is actually being made more than a week later. Oh well, at least it’s not more than 118 years later!

Batch o comics for Wed 17th of September 2008

The comics. Judge Dredd Megazine, 2000AD, Snow/Tiger (JDM reprint supplement, and the closest thing here to US comic size), and the four Commandos.

2000AD is a weekly sci-fi themed comic which began life in 1977 on the back of the Star Wars boom (in fact, before Star Wars arrived in Britain, but after everybody knew it had been massive in the US) and has carried on ever since, in a way “growing up with” it’s readers and nowadays featuring more mature themes than it did when it started (at the time pitched at the 8-12 age group). It has had it’s ups and downs and i’m afraid to report this paticular issue (1604) is a “down”. 2000AD is of course Synonmous with Judge Dredd, and this issue features the start of a new story called Firestorm, in which the judge apprehends a criminal who has commited several murders in Mega-City 1 and then fled into space (whilst the earth is a radioactive, crime-ridden hellhole in the Dreddverse, humanity has also spread out amongst the stars and colonised new planets, which begs the question why anybody stays on earth. It would make an interesting story). The judge acts very out of character in this story i feel, stomping onto another planet (albiet one rife with crime and corruption) to catch his man and ignoring the consequences. The Justice Department ship he came on is captured so he has to get the criminal onto a departing luxury space liner, which then (would you beleive it?) comes under pirate attack.

Judge Dredd escapes the alien world

Other stories include The Red Seas, a pirate/occult story always drawn by the same artist in sparse-looking line-art. The crew have come to the recently founded country of America to investigate massacres of townsfolk by apparent vikings, who happen to be bulletproof. They encounter a tribe of Indians who in the past joined with Vikings and have a shared heritage, before spending most of this episode climbing a very large tree, from which they can even see Britain, and ending up at the door of Valhalla. Like you do.

Following that we have ABC warriors, a strip with beautiful and confusing art. In it the “west”, who’s flag looks like that of the USA but with the stars replaced by an eagle, are involved in a war over oil with the Volgans, who are very thinly disguised Soviets. The war is primarily fought by robots. This episode following one of the western robots called Steelhorn, who is designed to be a chivalrous robot knight. He is infected with a Volgan virus and turns on his own side. Eventually the virus is beaten but the shame never leaves him.

After that we have part 5 of Stalag 666, a rubbish prisoner of war story in which very little has happend. Finally something does happen when some kind of large burrowing insect that lives under the camp bites one of the alien guards and kills him instantly (rather than in a few hours as with humans). This gives the prisoners an idea to harvest the venom and use it as a weapon to allow thier escape. 2000AD has recently had a spate (well, 3) of stories in which an old character who has not been seen for a long time returns in a ‘twist’ ending to a seemingly unrelated story. If you ask me this is another one of those.

Finally prog 1604 is wrapped up by Lobster Random, who re-appeared in the ending to one of the above-mentioned twist stories. I don’t know anything about Lobster Random and if this story is anything to go on i don’t want to, it’s mind-numbing.

Moving onto the Judge Dredd Megazine, we have part 4 of Ratfink, a great Dredd story in which the son of Fink Angel (one of the Angel Gang, amongst the best ‘recurring’ villains in the saga, despite dying in thier first appearance). Ratfink is an expert at poisons and has been killing, looting and raping cursed earth travellers for years, but Dredd has finally caught up with him and after a tense chase the final confrontation begins!

Next there is an article on Crisis, a “politically aware” and “adult” offshoot of 2000AD from the late 1980’s. I’ve never read any of Crisis but what i’ve heard about it sounds frankly pathetic. A kind of preachy sci-fi tinged version of Viz’s “Modern Parents” told with a straight face. The article has examples of stickers given away with the first issue, which include slogans like “Mutate and Survive” with a nuclear symbol, “Global Pillage”, “Take back the future” and most hilariously “Caution: Fragile Earth”. Jesus christ… The cover designs weren’t all that either.

The Megazine used to run reprinted strips, but they have been “triumphantly” knocked on the head and replaced with a continuation of Tank Girl. This appeared in another one of the pretentious “adult comics” of the late 80’s, though one that doesn’t sound quite so horrible as Crisis. However Tank Girl is probably the least accurate representation of those comics, but has also become thier most enduring creation. There is some common sense in the world eh? The basic plotline involves her friend being injured in a skateboard accident, the operation she needs costs a gazillion dollars, which just happens to be the prize money for a crazed Deathrace 2000 – style blast across Australia, so our heroine enters, crashes (after using some old boxer shorts to tie her axles together) and is rescued by a lothario in a rather nicely rendered Ruf Porsche Le mans racer.

Tank Girl - Judge Dredd Megazine 276
After a short article on the state of British comics (much being made of recently launched subscription-only title The DFC) we get into a new Black Atlantic story, this follows a group of mutants and outcasts sailing the polluted seas between Mega City 1 and Brit-Cit as a kind of friendly pirates. Whilst salvaging some stuff from an island they find an old oil rig, and after boarding it are set upon by it’s crazed inhabitants. After this the Meg continues to vent it’s absolute worship of TV shows from America and disdain for anything else (Life On Mars only got an insultingly brief mention a year after it had finished) in an article titled “You Should Be Watching… Battlestar Galactica”. As in the new series with it’s terrible “documentary-style” filming. Jesus Christ…

After the usual woeful movie reviews (they are improving though, they used to be written in this agonisingly “matey” way) we reach the conclusion of a Judge Anderson story. She is a judge in the psychic-powered PSI Division, and is investigating a series of murders which take place in “Hyven”, a thinly-disguised parody of an advanced “Second Life” or “Myspace” of the future. Turns out the people who run it have smuggled criminals in now and again for money, but one of the criminals is a powerful psychic who is able to jump into other people’s minds and kill them. At the same time the central computer which controls the program has become sentient, and Anderson has to persuade it to help her rather than allow the killing to go on. There then follows the letters page made up of people praising everything i hate about the current Meg. Fortunately the comments on this blog don’t work or they’ll discover it and send me lengthy tirades.

As the Meg no longer features reprints (a feature i expect to last precisely as long as Tank Girl does), and now that the reprint-only 2000AD Extreme has been cancelled, reprints are bagged in a seperate comic that comes with the meg. The second one of these being Snow/Tiger.

This is, essentially, Eugene Manx, except replace the former Wehrmacht officer fighting neo-nazis in 1950 with two secret agents, a Brit who wants to go carefully and a Yank who wants to shoot everybody, in 2002. The Nazis in question have a genetically engineered version of the Ebola virus (remember 2002 was the year of the Athrax scares) which doesn’t kill white people. It features some cool action scenes like one where a woman remains rather non-blinded despite the fact a gun goes off centimetres from her face…

Snow/Tiger

There’s also your typical mano-a-mano “throw the guns aside and grapple” ever so heterosexual scene on the rocket launch gantry. But i’ll spare you that. The book also features a future shock and a short Dredd story reviving the “anti robot Klans” idea which was first done in 1977!

Onto Commando now, these small-sized war themed comics are the sole surviors of the “Picture Libraries” which used to cram spinning racks in newsagents and where produced on all sorts of subjects, though war was the dominant theme, 8 Commando’s are produced a month in batches of 4, on (supposedly) the first and last tuesday of each month. Currently they are 50% reprint and 50% new.

The two new ones are “The Fighting Storks”, about a very versatile Italian plane which could take off and land in very short distances, handy in a time before widespread use of Helicopters. The artist on this story is one of my Commando favourites – Jose Maria Jorge, who specialises in flying stories, though occasionally does submarine ones too. His style does not actually suit the small Commando books very well, but comes alive in those large collected editions (in shops now!).

jm jorge - fighting storks

The other new issue is “Hollywood Hero”, about a film star going to war and ending up trapped in the jungle surrounded by the Japanese on all sides.

The first of the reprints is “Front Line Fixer”, about a German working for the REME. Would a German really have just been allowed to walk into the British Army during the war? well it still makes for a tense story… the artist is Gordon Livingstone, who has a unique and distinctive style. Personally i don’t actually like it all that much but others do. He has now retired from Commando but has drawn hundreds, so will remain in reprints for a long time to come.

Gordon Livingstone - FLF

And finally we have Outcast! with art by Dennis McLoughlin, another excellent one with a real skill for moody light and shadow. This story follows a member of the French Foreign Legion from Germany who has to leave and join the German army when war is declared, ending up on the eastern front.
D McLoughlin - Outcast

Well there you have a look at more recent British Comics. For the next few entries i have some interesting bits from the Union Jack in 1894, and some stuff from W. Howard Baker reprints of 1920’s/30’s Gem’s and Magnets… so it’ll be back to the past. I’ll have to have a scout around Lincoln again and attempt to find some more recent material, maybe from the 60’s to 80’s, the real “golden age” of British comics!