First details of “Comic Book Hero: Working with Britain’s Picture Strip Legends” released

Comic Book Hero: Working with Britain's Picture Strip Legends

The first details of former Tiger and Roy of the Rovers editor Barrie Tomlinson‘s next book on British comics, Comic Book Hero: Working with Britain’s Picture Strip Legends, have been released. The book, published byPitch Publishing Ltd, goes on sale in September and looks to be a great follow up to his other recent work, Real Roy of the Rovers Stuff.

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, children’s comics were a massive part of a young person’s life. Comic Book Hero tells the inside story of how Barrie Tomlinson built up a successful boys’ publishing group at IPC Magazines – now the stuff of legend among nostalgic and modern-day fans of the UK comic scene and its surrounding culture.

Barrie started on Tiger comic as a subeditor, went on to be editor and eventually became head of the Boys’ Sport and Adventure Department, in which capacity he launched Roy of the Rovers comic, the new Eagle, Scream, Speed, Wildcat, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and Toxic Crusaders.

The book, with a cover by David Sque, tells about the Geoff Boycott, Big Daddy and Suzie Dando annuals he produced, and the 22 years spent writing the Scorer picture-strip for the Daily Mirror. Barrie also reveals dealings with the top stars as they joined Tiger, to make the title one of the most famous comics in Britain.

Both Barrie and David will be at Lancaster Comics Day on Sunday 11th June – the first time they have ever appeared together at a comics event.

Barrie has begun teasing British comic fans with snippets of some of the items that may be included in the new book over on Twitter, including an attempt to track down a star struck Tiger competition winner who met Ian Botham to gain his prize. Just where is he now?

Then there are some marketing gems, such as this picture of the entire 1974 Manchester United team promoting Tiger as one – I wonder if any comic publisher could afford that now?

• Follow Barrie Tomlinson on Twitter @BarrieEditor1

You can pre-order Comic Book Hero here on amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes

• Real Roy of the Rovers Stuff is available now from all good book shopsReal Roy of the Rovers Stuff is on sale here on amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes

Roy Race was Melchester Rovers’ super striker, and later manager and chairman; he is known everywhere simply as ‘Roy of the Rovers’. Real Roy of the Rovers Stuff is the inside story of his life with Melchester, told by the man who knows him better than anyone: editor Barrie Tomlinson, the man who helped turn him from comic-book hero to a national institution.

From the 1950s, millions of children grew up reading about his footballing adventures in Tiger and Roy of the Rovers. Now they can relive all the memorable moments from Roy’s illustrious footballing career. From his debut as a fresh-faced teen in the comic Tiger, Roy became the hero of his own football comic; with league titles, cup finals, Wembley wins and much more; how he survived near-death experiences, became the first boys’ hero to get married and just why the saying ‘Real Roy of the Rovers stuff!’ became a stock phrase for football commentators everywhere.

Packed with photos from Roy’s life, the book tells how he became a top celebrity of his day, how Sir Alf Ramsey was convinced to be Melchester manager, Geoffrey Boycott became chairman and even how the Duke of Edinburgh once came to write for Roy’s comic!

Read Barrie Tomlinson’s feature for downthetubes on the story behind his new book

• Pitch Publishing is online at www.pitchpublishing.co.uk

Roy of the Rovers © Rebellion

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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