If you’re a far of Hammer Films, home to Captain Kronos, Dracula, Frankenstein and more horror legends, then you may want to check out a new unofficial fanzine, Claret, which comes crammed each issue with top draw artwork, and much more.
Dedicated to the Horror and Fantasy films produced by Hammer between the 1950s and 1970s, Claret fanzine is the brainchild of long-time horror fan and Rockstar Games artist Alisdair Wood, and the first two issues have included art by Alistair himself, Ian McQue and Staz Johnson, with Graeme Neil Reid on board for the upcoming Issue Three, providing a splendid image of Bernard Quatermass, played by Andrew Keir in Quatermass and the Pit.
Claret fanzine takes you from the everyday world of workaday blockbuster films back to the blood spattering, bodice ripping, over enunciating, set reusing, sense defying, actor recycling, attitude challenging, box-office busting, pot boiling, swash buckling, youth corrupting, incongruously spellbinding, melodramatically mesmerising world of Hammer.
Using the mesmeric talents of Christopher Lee’s Dracula, and employing a range of torture techniques learned from Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing, the A5 zine has corralled, cajoled and coaxed a motley assortment of accomplices and acquaintances to produce a high quality fanzine, with fantastic art and articles inspired by the films.
The title’s articles will cover every aspect of Hammer- from the production of the films, through to their current cultural significance.
Each full colour issue carries its own theme, the first two being ‘Dracula’ and ‘Devil Women’, the first issue, running to 80 pages, reviewing all nine of the Hammer Dracula films, as well as featuring articles around the lore and the film production.
The A5-size title includes over 60 original illustrations and is the perfect pocket guide to Hammer’s wonderful Dracula series.
Issue Two, also 80 pages, features all the truly monstrous Woman of Hammer and another 60 new original illustrations with items on such films as the Karnstein Trilogy, The Gorgon and She – the perfect issue to sink your teeth into. All copies come with free postcard and bookmark.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.