ComicScene are currently running a crowdfunder for the ComicScene Annual 2021, a 96-page comics project that’s being created with a nod toward the style of annuals of British comics of yesteryear, featuring all-new stories from a selection of independent comics talent.
Publisher Tony Foster tells us the final cover by Charlie Gillespie will be revealed soon and has already teased the pencils – but a variant cover by Shaman Kane artist and writer David Broughton is also being offered, inspired by the look of the 1983 2000AD annual – and we’re delighted to share that here.
David is donating his fee for his cover to charity.
Characters and strips featured in the ComicScene Annual include Alex Automatic by Fraser Campbell and James Corcoran, Captain Commando by Colin Maxwell, Captain Cosmic by Andy W Clift, Captain Wonder by John Farrelly, Deja Who by Jim Wilkins, Dick Turpin by Steve Tanner and Roland Bird, Father’s Day by Michael Powell and Phil Elliot, Geek Girl by Sam Johnson, Girl-Knight by JGV, Gone Viral, based on story by Corbin Webb, Harker by Roger Gibson and Vincent Danks, The Hoax by Samuel George London and Dan Butcher, Mahoneys by Richard Carrington and Brian Dawson, Mandy the Monster Hunter by Matt Warner and Mark Adams, Moon by Dan Thompson and Steve Penfold, Trip of a Lifetime by Peter Gouldson and Luke Haynes, Neil-Lithic and Tim by Alan Holloway and Ed Doyle, NPCTea by Sarah Millman, Shaman Kane by David Broughton, WESTERNoir by Gary Crutchley and Dave West and Whackoman by Marc Jackson.
“Some you may know, some are new,” says Tony. “All of them you can get to know and maybe explore their own comics in which they have all appeared.”
The £20 cover price for the physical edition is much more than the price of many of this year’s mass-produced annuals – Beano, Dandy, Oor Wullie, Rupert the Bear and VIZ among them – but as an independently-published, low run book the unit cost of production will be higher. All the creative teams working on this new project keep their rights, will be paid a fee, get 50 per cent from any of the rewards they provide for the crowdfunder – and get an additional royalty per 100 sales if ComicScene sell over a certain number of copies.
A staple of many a British Christmas, hardback annuals ranging from Beano to Valiant were a longstanding part of the comics year, although of course they were on sale in shops long before the festive season, enabling you to put a deposit down for your favourite and pay for it in instalments – as I did back in 1970, with the UFO Annual, and others too, probably, although that’s the one that sticks in my memory!
Funding permitting – and the project is well on its way to success with a relatively modest target of £3500 – the ComicScene Annual 2021 will be published in November.
The project isn’t, of course, ComicScene‘s first Annual – they produced a softback 320-page Annual in 2019, now available as a free download, featuring reprint material from the zine ATOMIC (which Tony Foster produced in the late 1980s and early 90’s featuring work from Graham Manley (Near Myths/ Diceman), Simon Fraser (Nikolai Dante/ Doctor Who), John Erasmus (Accident Man), Garry Marshall (Missionary Man/ Roy of the Rovers), reprint material and some new stories including Simon Furman and Geoff Senior To The Death.