The Kickstarter target for the latest issue of British anthology comic The77 is … £7777 – and the team seem well on the way to reaching that, but this feisty independent never says no to a signal boost!
“We want to smash this target – so need your support!” urges publisher Ben Cullis, pointing to an ever more confident line up of strips that includes both new and established creators from across the UK, and beyond. (So confident, in fact, that the first tantalising mention of another comic, due to launch next year, is given a “blink and you’ll miss it” mention in the pitch for this issue. Except we didn’t, and are, of course, already intrigued by what Pandora, edited by Jo Heeley, may include).
Joining the project this issue – a 60 plus page anthology offering a mix of action adventure, SF and humour strips in the traditional style of a classic British anthology – are creators Mike Collins, Paul Goodenough, Jo Heeley and Ian Stopforth.
Alongside variant covers by Mac and Andrw Sawyers, add-ins also include a subscription option for future issues, t-shirts, exclusive commissions and back issue deals, including an option to pick up the first issue of BLAZER, the new comic from former Tharg Steve MacManus.
All profits from sales of The77 – go to the artists and writers. The directors of The77 Publications, who write many of the strips and produce The77, don’t take a penny. Another powerful reason to show your support, quite apart from the great mix of strips!
The77 #5 – The Line-Up
• V: Created by Steve Bull and Ade Hughes (Pat Mills’ Space Warp)
• Trackless Depths: Created by Dave Bedford (“Tempered Curse”, “Trompe la Morte”) and Mac (2000AD)
• Extinction 2040: NEW SERIES! Created by Paul Goodenough and Ian Stopforth (debut)
Hailing from a digital and entrepreneurial background, Extinction 2040 writer Paul Goodenough founded production company, GBK Hybrid, with Gary Kurtz (Star Wars, Dark Crystal) and Richard Bazley (Iron Giant, Hercules), where he works as a development executive, writer and executive producer. He works on both sides of the Atlantic as both a writer and producer, and his first feature film – The Chimeran – combines his love of hard hitting, gripping dramatic propositions and fact-based science fiction.
Paul also sits on a sustainable broadcast consortium at BAFTA as well as being a leading figure, inventor and innovator in the digital world through another of his businesses Aerian Studios.
Artist Ian Stopforth has been fascinated with art ever since he can remember. “In my early school years, I craved the time and opportunity to draw and this need to doodle constantly has never left me. My love of art was ramped up in the mid 1980s, when I discovered 2000AD and Judge Dredd. I was in total awe of Brett Ewins, Mike McMahon, Ian Gibson, Brian Bolland, the list went on and on. For me, it was inspiring to see art with a purpose in telling a story whilst producing breath-taking imagery within a sprawling dystopian Mega City.
“In the late 80s, as a teenager, I discovered Stray Toasters, Black Orchid and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.” he continues “I was captivated by the layers and textures of Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave McKean and the expressive imagery of Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley. These stories opened Pandora’s Box for me, and I became much more interested in the layers and textures of the both the story telling and the imagery and this ironically led me away from comics to pursue a fine art and painting degree.
“The older I get the more I’ve realised that Art interests me very much indeed, but the alchemy and joy of making pictures interests me far, far more, and I feel blessed to be working with Paul Goodenough, BOLT-01 and all the creative team at The77.”
• Undertow: Created by Joe and Jeremy Dunn
• The Cell: Created by Bambos Georgiou (Marvel) and Andrw Sawyers
• Penny Pentagram: Created by David Thomas and Jon Roydon
• Division’77: Created by Dave Heeley and Sinclair Elliott. Artwork by Gary Burley (debut)
• I know the Secret of the Alien: Created by Michael Powell (The Last Man and “Matilda Atkins”) and Mike Collins (2000AD, Doctor Who, Marvel)
Mike Collins: has worked in comics, TV and animation for over 30 years: at Marvel and DC he’s drawn all the Big Guns; on Doctor Who he’s written and drawn adventures in Comics, Games, animation and storyboarding the TV show. He still regards 2000AD as Home, and contributes to the Prog when he can (there’s a cracker of a 3riller coming up, written by James Peaty).
• Martian Law: Created by Brendan Wright (The Tinkling Triangles by Steve MacManus)
• SGT. Shouty of the Moon Force!: Created by Lew Stringer (Beano, Tom Thug, Brickman, Combat Colin). Subscribe for this alone!
• Red by Night, Black by Day: NEW SERIES! Created by Jo Heeley (debut) and Rupert Lewis Jones (Demon for Dinner by Jim Tomlinson)
Writer Jo Heeley is a lifelong comic fan and has written her first comic strip for The77 after working on the title since its inception. She’s also helming another new comic, Pandora, coming from The77 Publishing, scheduled for release in March 2022.
An illustrator and sculptor in her own right, Jo uses clay and mixed materials to construct her art but her main weapon of choice is now wool and using a single needle, creates amazing wool felt sculptures and dioramas influenced by film, comics and books from her childhood.
As a proud Black Country woman, “Red by Night, Black by Day” she says is her love song to her home town in the industrial heartland, taking fantasy and occult themes, interweaving them with the rich history of the West Midlands.