Comic creator Keith Page has been telling the story of Charlotte Corday, his time-hopping, dimension jumping adventurer for several years now, but his newspaper-styled tale, “Wonderbirds at Your Service“, is surely one of his best yet.
Running over almost 70 newspaper-format episodes, published free to read on Facebook and Tapas, “Wonderbirds at Your Service” starts, somewhat curiously, with a conversation between Doctor John Dee and William Shakespeare, moving to a rather dark piece on the Thunderbirds theme – with a twist!
Also written on occasion by screenwriter Stephen Walsh and drawn by Keith Page, Charlotte Corday’s many lives include a steampunk space explorer and a French detective of some sort getting involved in all sorts of arcane exploits in 1950′s London which could best be described as “Brighton Rock meets Quatermass and the Pit“.
On occasion, she has been accompanied by a human-sized “Muffin the Mule” entity which had its origins in a strip Keith did for IPC’s Revolver many years ago.
Inspired by the great British comics artists of the past such as Frank Hampson, Don Lawrence and Joe Colquhoun, Keith Page has worked full-time in comics and illustration for almost 50 years. Subjects have ranged from television-related material such as Stingray and Thunderbirds, science fiction, and war stories of all periods for Commando.
Keith made his debut in Denis Gifford’s short-lived Ally Sloper anthology, joining the London-based Temple Art Agency in 1976. He soon began illustrating for Fleetway/IPC and DC Thomson’s weekly titles as well as annuals, working on titles as diverse as 2000AD and Supergran.
He went on to illustrate SF epics for DC Thomson’s Starblazer and the aviation-adventure serial “Tales of the Gold Monkey” in Polystyle’s TV Comic, and both wrote and drew “Martello 112” for Revolver.
After drawing “Dan Dare” for the 1980s Eagle, in 1992 he began an extensive run illustrating “Thunderbirds” for both the eponymous comic and The Sunday Times. His long run working on strips for Commando began in 1996, notably the famous “Ramsey’s Raiders” series and other themed books.
His many credits down the years include work on Beano, M.A.S.K., Wildcat, Supernaturals, Scream, Stingray the Comic, Joe 90, Football Picture Story Monthly, Bunty, The Dandy, Sonic the Comic, Mighty Max and others. He also wrote and drew the Dan Dare-related “Rocket Pilot” for Spaceship Away.
Strips featuring Charlotte Corday also include The Iron Moon (published by Print Media), London Calling and Squadron of the Screaming Damned (published by Time Bomb), and a number of strips published digitally on various web sites and digital services.
Along with many Charlotte Corday-related projects, his works also include The Casebook of Bryant May: The Soho Devil written by Christopher Fowler.
• Keith Page’s “Diary” blog is online here (up to May 2018)
The Adventures of Charlotte Corday © 2020 Keith Page. No puppets were harmed in the making of this comic strip