More Trigan Empire, Hugo Pratt on their way from Treasury of British Comics

Two of comics’ most revered names headline the 2020 graphic novel schedule from the Treasury of British Comics. Don Lawrence’s Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire and Hugo Pratt’s long-lost war comics published in War Picture Library are two major releases from Rebellion’s imprint, which aims to bring back into print the best series from more than 100 years of comic book publishing.

Acquired by the Oxford-based company in 2016 and 2018, the comics archives of publishing giant IPC contain hundreds of classic titles and characters that helped define British culture for decades.

For those that love their history, Masters of British Comic Art (April) promises to become one of the definitive histories of British comic book art. Written by artist and comics historian David Roach, this 384-page high-production hardcover compendium is a wildly entertaining and educational journey through the history of British comics – from the birth of the 20th century to the ‘80s American invasion.

And from funnies to frights, from superheroes to skateboarders, there’s something for everyone in the 2020 Treasury collections.

The first mass market paperback collections of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire will debut in March and November, giving new generations the chance to savour this lush, expansive epic from Lawrence, the British master of painted artwork.

War comics dominated the British newsstands for decades and with good reason – February and September will see the War Picture Library collections of forgotten war comics by Corto Maltese maestro Hugo Pratt, which shed new light on the formative years of this groundbreaking artist, with fan favourite artist Ian Kennedy’s stunning Battle of Britain series collected in April and a brand new collection of Death Squad from classic war comic, Battle, in August.

There’s homegrown heroes aplenty with the first collection of superhero Johnny Future (April), cited as a formative influence on talents such as Alan Moore, and the complete collection of Rebellion’s reboot of classic British superheroes in The Vigilant (September).

Comics aimed at girls, which sold millions of copies in their heyday, are a rich treasure trove of great stories and incredible art and skateboarding series Concrete Surfer (June) and the high-fashion hi-jinx of Sugar Jones (August) are two fantastic series that feel as fresh and fascinating as they did when they were first published.

And there’s plenty for kids with football flight of fantasy Billy’s Boots (January), the collection of new Cor! Buster stories (November) from Rebellion’s recent specials, Ken Reid’s Football Funnies (December), as well as second volumes of The Thirteenth Floor (October) and Black Max (October) alongside paperback editions of popular collections The Dracula File (October) and Faceache (November).

Editor Oliver Pickles said: “Each of these books is an absolute gem, showcasing some of the most glorious art that has largely been forgotten by today’s comic reading audience. This roster continues the mission statement of the Treasury of British Comics of bringing these ignored masterpieces back to the forefront of the public’s consciousness.”

UPCOMING COLLECTIONS

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Third World War - Cover

Third World War
Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra, Angela Kincaid, D’Israeli
ISBN: 9781781087510
Out: Now
UK £19.99 // US $24.99
Pages: // Paperback

Using brand new scans of the original artwork supplied by the family of the late Carlos Ezquerra, this definitive collection of Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra’s ground-breaking, highly-political comic book classic of global capitalism, rebellion and exploitation is collected in its entirety for the very first time! Eve is unemployed after leaving university and is immediately conscripted as a soldier working for a corporation and discovers just how South American countries are being exploited to create food needed to feed the increasing population for their profit under the guise of western paternalism. Third World War is suffused with economic, political, and social issues, and deals with ever-more prescient issues around capitalism and global politics. Ezquerra’s painted colour artwork is a highlight of his long and distinguished career. A truly anti-establishment graphic novel from the late 1980s, this is unlike anything else published by the Treasury of British Comics so far.

Read Luke Williams review of Third World War

Billy's Boots - Final Cover

 

Billy’s Boots
Fred Baker, Colin Page, Mike Western, Tom Kerr, Bill Lacey
ISBN: 9781781086711
23 January 2020
UK £14.99
Pages: 120 // Hardcover

A brand-new restoration paperback of one of the most popular football comic strips ever produced! Young Billy Dane was one of the most passionate football fans at Bingley Road Junior school… unfortunately he was also one of the worst players! Then, one afternoon, Billy’s grandmother got him to clean out her attic and Billy finds a pair of old fashioned football boots that belonged to ‘Dead-Shot’ Keen – a famous centre forward who once played for England.

Perfect for nostalgic gift purchase for dads, this is the beginning of the popular serial that ran for over 20 years . A brilliant companion comic to the new Roy of the Rovers comics and fiction, these fantasy infused sports stories are sure to delight and surprise.

Battle Stations: War Picture Library

War Picture Library: Battle Stations
Donne Avenell, Hugo Pratt
ISBN: 9781781087527
20 February 2020 (UK) 18 February 2020 (US)
UK £14.99 // US $19.99
Pages: 64 // Hardcover

The first in a major series of new collections bringing the long lost UK war comics of Italian art maestro Hugo Pratt to the public in stunning new editions. Two brothers of differing rank have to make extraordinary sacrifices in the line of the toughest duty. This is a true story of courage under fire; a high-octane story of a blistering World War Two naval battle.

All illustrated by Hugo Pratt, one of the world’s most renowned comic book artists. This thrilling war picture story marks the beginning of the Treasury of British Comics mission to return all of Pratt’s UK work to print and is published in an oversized format befitting the importance of his incredible and highly influential artwork.

Part of a new ‘War Picture Library’ series showcasing the finest combat comics illustrated by legendary and iconic artists, this oversize book highlights the extraordinary the artwork of the international comics luminary and creator of Corto Maltese.

Read our Advance Review of War Picture Library: Battle Stations

The Rise and Fall of The Trigan Empire Volume One

The Rise and Fall of The Trigan Empire Volume 1
Mike Butterworth, Don Lawrence
ISBN: 9781781087558
19 March (UK) 17 March (US)
UK £19.99 // US $24.99
Pages: 304 // Paperback

The Trigan Empire was a landmark 1960s science fiction series which rivalled Game of Thrones in popularity and was the precursor to every mythic sci-fi adventure to come! Under the leadership of Trigo, the Vorg tribesmen band together to resist the Lokan invaders, forming a new country, The Trigan Empire.

This is the epic story of its rise and fall. Featuring an extraordinary combination of the Roman Empire and ancient Greece, Trigo’s story is told in ground breaking fully painted artwork. Originally published in Ranger magazine, it transferred to the hugely popular Look and Learn where it ran for over a decade. This is the first in a series collecting all the stories painted by the legendary Don Lawrence.

Masters of Comic Book Art

Masters of British Comic Art
David Roach
ISBN: 9781781087596
2 April (UK) 7 April (US)
UK £39.99 // US $50
Pages: 384 // Hardcover

This wildly entertaining and educational tome is a journey through the history of British comics – from the birth of the 20th century to the ‘80s invasion of American comics and through to today’s best contemporary artists! A high-production hardcover compendium perfect as a coffee table book or academic encyclopaedia, Masters of British Comics is painstakingly researched.

Behind a brand new cover by superstar artist Brian Bolland, and featuring artwork from a vast number highly-acclaimed artists carefully scanned from original artwork, Masters of British Comic Art is the definitive study and celebration of a beloved industry! Featuring a Who’s Who of talent, including Brian Bolland, Yvonne Hutton, Dave Gibbons, celebrated greats such as Don Lawrence and lost masters like Reg Bunn and Shirley Bellwood. Author and 2000AD artist David Roach takes us on a journey through time detailing the surprising and fascinating evolution of the art from its humble beginnings to its current world-conquering status.

War Picture Library: Battle of Britain

War Picture Library: Battle of Britain
Ian Kennedy
ISBN: 9781781087794
16 April (UK)
UK £14.99
Pages: 128 // Paperback

The second in the new ‘War Picture Library’ series showcasing the finest combat comics illustrated by legendary and iconic artists. Two true stories of aviation heroism and derring-do – “Never Say Die” and “Steel Bats” – set during the Battle of Britain in 1940 and drawn by comics legend Ian Kennedy!

A talented pilot who never loses his determination to defend his country against immense obstacles both technical and personal. A squadron undertakes heart-stopping missions to combat the intense night-time assaults of the Axis air force. Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Britain comes an enthralling collection of aviation and heroism featuring daredevil pilots and the lengths they go to stop the German Luftwaffe attacking Britain.

The Complete Johnny Future

The Complete Johnny Future
Alf Wallace, Luis Bermejo
ISBN: 9781781087589
30 Apr 2020 (UK) 28 Apr 2020 (US)
UK £19.99 // US $24.99
Pages: 208 // Hardcover

One of the most memorable comic strips of the 1960s, which asks the question “What if King Kong became Superman”? This is the complete hardcover collection of breathtaking Pulp adventure comics – beloved by fans and the creators it inspired – Alan Moore among them!

‘The Missing Link’ – a creature of limitless strength, is drawn to Britain in pursuit of an expedition party he encountered in his homeland. The man-ape causes havoc until he accidentally stumbles into an experimental nuclear research facility and is bombarded by radiation. Instead of killing him, the creature evolves into an advanced human. Now possessing a genius mind, super-strength, enhanced senses and the ability to fly, as Johnny Future he protects mankind from such sinister beings as The Master, Disastro, Animal Man and the Secret Society of Scientists.

Concrete Surfer

Concrete Surfer
Pat Mills, Christine Ellingham
ISBN: 9781781087633
25 June 2020
UK £9.99
Pages: 80 // Paperback

A skateboarding rivalry, timed to coincide with skateboarding’s 2020 Olympic debut! Sent home to Britain after her parents fail to establish a new life in Australia, Jean Everidge is forced to rely on family charity, moving in with her Aunt, Uncle and cousin Carol, successful gymnast, beloved of teachers and pupils alike, and all round charming “top girl”. Jean has one solace left to her – skateboarding, surfing the concrete pavement, while forgetting all her troubles, and feel free.

But Jean’s freestyling talent soon attracts attention, and if there’s one thing Carol can’t stand, it’s being out of the spotlight. With the new skatepark freestyle contest coming up, just how far will Carol go to stay number one?

War Picture Library: Battler Britton

War Picture Library: Battler Britton
V.A.L. Holding, Hugo Pratt
ISBN: 9781781087664
30 July 2020 (UK) 28 July 2020 (US)
UK £14.99 // US $19.99 // CAN $26.99
Pages: 64 // Hardcover

In this second book in the series of collections reprinting every story drawn by Hugo Pratt, the Italian art maestro meets one of the most popular British comic book characters: Battler Britton! Battler Britton is a World War Two air ace as skilled a fighter on land as he is in his Spitfire. In 1960, Hugo Pratt drew two of his adventures – “Wagons of Gold” and “Rockets of Revenge” – and they are to be reprinted in graphic novel format for the first time.

These fast-paced adventure stories feature the classic character facing off against the Nazis and this second book continues Rebellion’s mission to bring all of Pratt’s work back into print. Readers of Corto Maltese will love these forgotten classic war stories from the world-renowned comic book artist, published in a format larger than originally published to show off his impressive and universally-lauded artwork.

Death Squad

Death Squad
Alan Hebden, Eric Bradbury, Carlos Ezquerra
ISBN: 9781781087688
20 August 2020 (UK) 18 August 2020 (US)
UK £14.99 // US $19.99 // CAN $26.99
Pages: 128 // Paperback

Meet the deadliest band of fighters on the Eastern Front in an all-out all-action, complete-in-one brutal war story from the pages of the classic war comic, Battle! During World War Two the Eastern Front was Hell on Earth – German Punishment Battalions were thrown into the thick of the conflict where they were expected to fight well and die hard. In these harshest of conditions only the strongest warriors survived.

Enter the Death Squad – Grandad, Swede, Licker, Gus and Frankie. Alone they were failures and outcasts, but together they were one of the most formidable combat units the Russians ever faced!

One of the all-time classics from the groundbreaking and hugely influential Battle comic, this features gritty art from Eric Bradbury and Carlos Ezquerra, bringing the horrors of the Eastern Front to readers in a brand new collection!

The Best of Sugar Jones

The Best of Sugar Jones
Pat Mill, Rafael Busóm
ISBN: 9781781087701
20 August 2020 (UK)
UK £14.99
Pages: 112 // Paperback

Sugar Jones is the charming twenty-something host of her own late night variety show, beloved by viewers up and down the nation. Only her assistant Susie knows her secret – Sugar is really selfish, sour, scheming – and 40 years old! She do anything to make a quick buck.

Written by 2000AD legend Pat Mills, Sugar Jones features stunningly beautiful art from Spanish illustrator Rafael Busóm – it’s not just a comic book but an archive of 1970s fashion too!

A luscious collection that will appeal to readers young and old, a morality tale that combines fashion and soap opera in only the way ‘70s British comics could! Sugar Jones is a forgotten gem from The Treasury of British Comics’ archive.

The Vigilant

The Vigilant
Simon Furman, Simon Coleby, DaNi, Henrik Sahlstrom, Warwick Fraser-Combe, Staz Johnson, Will Sliney, Jake Lynch
19 September (UK)
UK £14.99
Pages: 128 // Paperback

Classic British Superheroes remade for a 21st Century audience! Lost in the mists of time, home-grown British superheroes once entertained and enthralled millions of kids…Now, the likes of Adam Eterno, Blake Edmonds, Thunderbolt the Avenger, and The Leopard from Lime Street are back for a new generation of readers.

This volume collects the trilogy of Vigilant stories (the third story due for publication later this year) written by Simon Furman (Transformers) and drawn by an all-star roster of artsists including Simon Coleby (Dark Souls), DaNi (Coffin Bound), Henrik Sahlstrom (Thirteenth Floor), Warwick Fraser-Combe, Staz Johnson (Spider-Man), Will Sliney (Spider-Man 2099), Jake Lynch (Judge Dredd)

The Thirteenth Floor Volume Two

The Thirteenth Floor Volume Two
John Wagner, Jose Ortiz
ISBN: 9781781087725
October
UK £14.99
Pages: 176 // Paperback

Collecting the darkly comical series from the pages of Eagle, this second volume of the hugely popular The Thirteenth Floor continues the misadventures of the murderous machine A.I., Max! The Thirteenth Floor exists in Maxwell Tower – an experimental tower block run by an A.I. called Max who looks after his tenants and take revenge on those who threaten them by sending them to The Thirteenth Floor – a place where nightmare and reality become one! This second collection of the popular series which began in Scream! and continued in Eagle carries the story further into the Eighties with the authorities becoming more aware of Max’s out of control vindictiveness, and their attempts to shut him down.

Artist Chris Weston's take on the Thunder comic character

Artist Chris Weston’s take on the Thunder comic character “Black Max”, commissioned for the Someone Old, Someone New blog back in 2011. Black Max © Rebellion

Black Max Volume 2
ISBN: 9781781088623
October
UK £14.99
Pages: 112 // Paperback

Bi-planes vs giant vampire bats in this thrilling collection of war comics with a horror twist! Lieutenant Tom Wilson returns to battle Baron Maximilien Von Klorr and his attack force of giant vampire bats in a continuation of the popular series. The World War One era story moves to England with a monstrous albino bat attacking London with each page beautifully drawn by Alfonso Font working on one of his very first comic series.

This exciting World War One aviation adventure is ideal for fans of “Charley’s War”, Battle, and Hammer horror films!

Check out our exclusive cover reveal of Black Max Volume Two, featuring art by Chris Weston here!

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire SNIP

The Trigan Empire Volume 2
Mike Butterworth, Don Lawrence
ISBN: 9781781087756
November
UK £19.99 // US $24.99 // CAN $33.99
Pages: 288 // Paperback

The lost sci-fi classic from the 1960s continues in gloriously restored collections! Among the distant stars, fractious tribes come together to found a mighty empire that will wage war against aggressive kingdoms, battle alien invaders, and conceive of incredible new technologies.

This extraordinary volume continues to chart the glorious Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire, a landmark in British comics history, painted by the legendary Don Lawrence in stunning, classic style, and springing from the grandiose pen of Mike Butterworth. This is an epic tale that creates a new far-future science fiction mythos that captured the imagination of a generation, featuring an introduction from one-time Don Lawrence apprentice Chris Weston (Judge Dredd).

A panel from

A panel from “Who’s in Charge?” for the Cor!! and Buster Humour Special, script by John Freeman, art by Lew Stringer

Cor! Buster
Cavan Scott, Neil Googe, Hilary Barta, Tom Paterson, Sheli Paroline, Olivia Hicks and Brett Parson
ISBN: 9781781088647
November
UK £10.99 // US $13.99
Pages: 96 // Paperback

Brighten up the Xmas holidays with this bumper collection hilarious stories filled with laughs and fun, for kids of all ages! Britain’s golden age of humour comics returns for the 21st century, with brand new stories by today’s top talents. Featuring characters like Kid Kong, Grimly Feendish, Faceache, and Frankie Stein are given new life in this compendium of hilarity by Neil Googe (The Flash), Cavan Scott (Doctor Who), Tom Paterson (The Beano, The Dandy), Shelli Paroline (Adventure Time) and Hilary Barta (DC Comics Plastic Man)!

Ken Reid’s Football Funnies

Ken Reid’s Football Funnies
Ken Reid, Various Writers
ISBN: 9781781087794
3 December (UK)
UK £19.99
Pages: 144 // Hardcover

Between 1970 and 1974, Ken Reid drew a weekly humour strip for Scorcher and Score, and this collection collects the first two years of those strips, featuring the strips “Sub”, “Manager Matt”, “Hugh Fowler” and “Football Forum”.

Irmantas Povilaika, who has long documented the life and work of Ken Reid and published the wonderful two-book collection The Power Pack of Ken Reid (still available here, and well worth buying!), notes Ken was not a sports fan, and only agreed to draw the strips because he was desperate for work after the demise of Odhams comics. Of the strips featured, he wrote “Sub”, the other strips the work of unknown Fleetway script writers who ably found the funny side of the game.

A typical episode of "Sub", drawn by Ken Reid, from Scorcher, cover dated 31st January 1970. With thanks to Irmantas Povilaika

A typical episode of “Sub”, drawn by Ken Reid, from Scorcher, cover dated 31st January 1970. With thanks to Irmantas Povilaika

This is the first collection of the never before collected strips from Scorcher and Score. Let’s hope a collection of the other football-focused strips he drew – “The Soccernauts”, “Harry Hammertoe”, “Jimmy Jinks” and “Triptoe Triers” will follow.

If you want to know more about Ken’s work for Scorcher and Score, then an extensive two-part feature on all of Ken’s football strips featured in two issues of ComicScene last year. You can buy a digital collection of every issue of ComicScene published in 2019 here on GetMyComics.

Irmantas has also featured the strips on his own Kazoop blog.

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. 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 “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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