Look-In “Robin of Sherwood” collection gets green light

Robin of Sherwood Montage

Award-winning production company Spiteful Puppet has announced it is to publish a collection of the Look-InRobin of Sherwood” strip, in partnership with Chinbeard Books and Rebellion Publishing.

We reported hopes for a collection earlier this year, and Spiteful Puppet has now just announced the project has the go ahead, with more details to follow in due course.

Masterminding the restoration of fan-supplied strips will be Chinbeard’s graphic designer Robert Hammond, who has provided covers for Spiteful Productions audios and books.

Spiteful Puppet are best known as the producers of the audio series Hood, a reboot of the Robin Hood legend – as well as being executive producers of the new audio adaptation of the classic TV series Robin of Sherwood. They recently recorded a new 45-minute, full-cast drama, “Fitzwarren’s Well“, led by RoS original cast member Judi Trott as Maid Marian, recorded remotely during lockdown.

The story, echoing recent events in 2020, is set during the third series of the TV show’s original run, between the episodes “Rutterkin” and “The Time of the Wolf”, and sees Ian Ogilvy (Return of the Saint) reprise his role of Lord Edgar of Huntington, Robin Hood’s nasty uncle, from the former episode.

Produced in Britain between 1983 and 1985, the Robin of Sherwood TV drama was created by Richard Carpenter and produced by Paul Knight for Goldcrest. It starred Michael Praed as the Hooded Man in the first two series and Jason Connery became Herne’s Son for the third.

Art for a 1984 episode of Robin of Sherwood strip drawn by Mike Noble. Via ComicArtFans
Art for a 1984 episode of Robin of Sherwood strip drawn by Mike Noble. Via ComicArtFans

The series originally aired in the UK on ITV and in the United States on Showtime cable channel and various PBS stations from 1984 – 1986, and still enjoys a dedicated following on both sides of the Atlantic.

Chinbeard previously announced they had secured the exclusive licence to publish books based on Robin of Sherwood, initially novelising some of the award-winning Spiteful Puppet’s audio dramas based on the show, in the same style as its creator Richard Carpenter and other writers adapted his television scripts into book form.

Adhering to the continuity of the series and audio dramas, Chinbeard’s Barnaby Eaton-Jones explained the novels are expanded, limited editions, with extra material not included in the audio, launching with The Meeting Place by Jennifer Ash.

Robert Hammond, both Chinbeard and Spiteful Puppet’s graphic designer, has been tasked with the restoration of the entirety of the “Robin of Sherwood” comic strips from Look-In. Here’s his sneak teaser of one of the restored panels that features – appropriately enough, a jester-like figure with a chinbeard!

When Barnaby gained the licence to create new Robin of Sherwood audio dramas released through Spiteful Puppet, he was also granted the book licence, “so I’ve been looking to do a few left-field projects,” he revealed – including a comic collection of the strip that featured in Look-In between 1984 and 1986, drawn by the late Mike Noble, Arthur Ranson and Phil Gascoine.

Robin of Sherwood, drawn by Mike Noble
Robin of Sherwood, drawn by Mike Noble

As we noted here on our “Classic British Comics – Who Owns What” page, Rebellion now owns the Look-In brand but as with the TV Century 21/ TV21 and Lady Penelope, comics, most of the strips they featured based on TV properties – such as FollyfootThe Tomorrow PeopleRobin of SherwoodSpace: 1999 and many more – were published under license and reproduction would require a licensing agreement from the current brand holders.

However, while others hold the character copyrights on TV properties, Rebellion informed downthetubes they own and control the script and the art on the Look-In material, so don’t assume there is a free rein on that material.

Now, in a three-way partnership, a collection is going ahead, which is great news for fans of the popular strip.

Spiteful Puppet also produce other quality audio drama and audio books, as well as undertaking production management and sound design for other audio projects.

• Stay tuned to the Spiteful Puppet web site at spitefulpuppet.com and their Facebook presence for the latest on this and other projects

• Robin of Sherwood: Fitzwarren’s Well is available as a digital download from Spiteful Puppet’s website, alongside a range of other Robin of Sherwood audios and books.

• Check out the Robin of Sherwood audio dramas at www.spitefulpuppet.com

• Find Robin of Sherwood on AmazonUK

Television series Robin of Sherwood © HTV/Goldcrest Films & Television 1983. Created by Richard Carpenter | With thanks to Ian Wheeler for the heads up and “Mark 27B” for another lead

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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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4 replies

  1. Thanks for this, John.

    I confess, I was discussing Look-in strips the other day, specifically the chance of seeing them reprinted (I was referring to the A-Team, I admit). But it’s nice to think this will be reprinted. Maybe other collections will follow.

    • Yes, fingers crossed, with this paves the way for approaches regarding other Look-In strips to respective rights holders that have previously been stymied. For me, “Sapphire and Steel” is definitely on my list, and “Timeslip”, too – but there is so much great stuff to consider… “Kung Fu”, “Six Million Dollar Man”, “The Bionic Woman”… the list goes on.

  2. I’ve never seen these comics, but the Mike Noble art looks great. Will take a peek at their audiobooks, but the comics interest me the most.

    Thank you for this post.

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    Looking forward to this very much! Big fan of the Look-in comics back in the day. Hope there will be more in the pipeline following the Robin of Sherwood collection 😉

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