The line-up of creators contributing to the upcoming The 77 anthology – offering a fast and furious mix of old school strips and shocks – has been revealed.
Springing from a love of the early years of 2000AD and more, pitches as “a love letter to the comics of our childhood”, the team behind the project will be seeking crowdfunding for the new independent publication early next year.
The 77 is just one of a number of new comics anthologies either in the works from British independents, with Brawler from Time Bomb Comics up and running, ComicScene adding its Corker supplement and 2000AD creator Pat Mills busy shaping his new SF comic project, Space Warp.
Fair Spark Books have also released The Spark for younger readers, with 100% Biodegradable publisher and writer David Hailwood working on Hotchpotch, another title aimed at a young audience, for publication later this year. A number of creators have recently hinted at anthology projects in the works, joining other British independent titles such as FutureQuake and Sector 13.
Co-ordinated by Ben K Sky, announced as taking part in The 77 so far are Steve Austin, Dave Bedford, Steve Bull, Conor Boyle, John Charles, Ed Doyle, Mal Earl, Phil Elliott, Dave Evans, Glenn Fabry, Bambos Georgiou, Dave Heeley, Jo Heeley, Simon Hodgkiss-Rogers, Alan Holloway, Karen Holloway, Ade Hughes, Kek -W, Chris McAuley, Drew Marr, Baden James Mellonie, Thomas Newell, Colin Noble, Annie Parkhouse, Michael Powell, Neil Roche, Filippo Roncone, Neil Blackbird Sims, Morgan Spiceman and David Thomas.
Spotlighting just three names here, John Charles has been into comics since he was a child and is now a professional comic book artist and colourist. Along the way, he’s been a graphic designer for Trident Comics, drawn/digitally painted covers and illustrated some “Future Shocks” for 2000AD, provided cover art for Antarctic Press and IDW in the US, and coloured Spectacular Spider-Man and many strips in Marvel Heroes for Panini UK. He also co-wrote a three-part story for them co-starring Spider-Man and the X-Men. John has also lectured in comic book art at Staffordshire University for several years.
Most recently, he’s been a regular colourist on “Sinister Dexter” for 2000AD and is currently colouring “Judge Dredd” stories for the Megazine. He is also Editor in Chief (or some-such fancy title) of Sunday Lunch Comics, publishers of TechnoFreak.
It’s an impressive line-up that includes numerous 2000AD creators, as well as independent comic creators such as Mal Earl, working on a strip titled “The Prodigal“, whose work has appeared alongside such luminaries as Bill Scienkiewicz, David Lloyd, Glenn Fabry, Marc Hempel and Shaky Kane, as a regular contributor to David Lloyd’s online comic, Aces Weekly.
He’s also produced art for Greg Wilson’s Super Weird Substance and the 14 Hour ‘Happening’ at Liverpool’s Florrie on the 1st April 2017 with the legendary Alan Moore.
You might also recognise Neil Blackbird Sims, a phenomenal sculptor who’s created a one-off “Rok of the Reds” bust for John Wagner’s Rok of the Reds crowdfunding pitch, currently running on Kickstarter.
Neil has had art published in the ace British comic zines Zarjaz, Dogbreath and FutureQuake and is working with Alan Holloway’s on “Temporal Anarchy” script – a punk rock old school ride!
“This new comic anthology will be crowdfunding in early 2020,” Ben enthuses, “and I’d be thrilled if you were able to support us.”