See New Worlds, A Journey Through Time To Discover The Future of Dundee was the free 24 page full colour comic which was created for the Six Cities Design Festival.
The same size and paper type as the current Beano, 50,000 were printed by DC Thomson.
Written by Dr Chris Murray, who organised the Comics Conference, it was illustrated by Lyall Bruce (who prefers to be known as Sooper DD) with Victoria Baker and Stuart David Fallon, and tells a story set in 2037 of a female IT student entering a virtual reality Dundee to prevent it being destroyed by the menace of a computer virus before ending with going out into the real world to discover the true city.
When I reviewed Bryan Talbot’s Alice In Sunderland, I ended by saying, “I wonder how many other regions of the country will take a look at this book and consider the benefits of producing something similar.” Seeing New Worlds is indeed something similar, although in no way as good. In this instance, we have Manga-like characters walking through deliberately sketchy Dundee locations, although the rather uninspiring boxy page layouts tend to betray the fact that the illustrators had never worked on a comic before. The story gives little background on the real life figures our heroine meets in her short journey and one wonders if the choice of characters was forced on the writer due to outside constraints from the Festival organisers.
Free to anyone in Dundee’s central City Square, it was promoted in the Six Cities brochure as “suspenseful, action-packed, and best of all, designed by three Dundee-based designers, this comic is sure to be a hit with all ages.” I may be proved wrong, but I can’t imagine the people of Dundee taking this rather dark and un-involving comic to their hearts.
Perhaps a more upbeat Dandy/Beano styled character discovering Dundee’s history and looking to its future may have been the direction to go for something aimed at the general Dundee public who, like much of the rest of the country, no doubt consider comics simply as the Beano and Dandy.
Update, August 2007: Author Dan Thornton offers his take on the comic here on “Disposable Media”
Update, 29th April 2019: “Victoria Baker” is better known today as “Vagabond Baker” and her web site is at vagabondbaker.com