Titan Comics has announced its 2015 slate at the New York Comic Con Diamond Retailer Presentation, including the eagerly-anticipated, official, canon continuation of the Rivers of London saga written by Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel, joined by Doctor Who and Legends of the Dark Knight artist Matthew Dow Smith; and a new Johnny Red adventure, a character first featured in the weekly war comic Battle, written by Garth Ennis.
Rivers of London is the title of the first in a series of hugely successful series of novels written by Ben Aaronovitch, perhaps best known for his work on Doctor Who, but who also wrote for Casualty and what he cheerfully describes as “the world’s cheapest ever SF soap opera, Jupiter Moon“. The brilliant novels centre around the adventures of Peter Grant, a young officer in the Metropolitan Police; who, following an unexpected encounter with a ghost, is recruited into the small branch of the Met that deals with magic and the supernatural – the first English apprentice wizard in fifty years.
The series has a massive following, in part prompting the release of the official music video above, with lyrics and music by Ben “Doc Brown” Smith and Mikis Michaelides. A TV series is aloso in the works, from Feel Films, the same production company behind the highly-anticipated, forthcoming BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
“I’m looking forward to this with the mixture of mad anticipation and stark fear that is the only rational response to developing your own work for television,” said Aaronovitch. “[We] will be looking to put something on TV that will blow the audiences’ socks off out through their ears.”
I’m really looking forward to this comic version of Rivers of London, especially having worked closely with writer Andrew Cartmel in the past on his strips for Doctor Who Magazine, and Matthew Dow Smith looks the perfect choice of artist to capture the haunting off-kilter world of a supernatural London haunted by deranged ghosts, demons and warring gods.
Titan Comics have also announced an oft-mentioned but long-time-in-the-works Johnny Red adventure, written by Garth Ennis with art from Keith Burns, telling a new tale of the World War Two air ace seconded by accident to the Russian front. Garth is well known as a fan of this cracking strip, drawn initially by Joe Colquhoun, followed by John Cooper, and, later, Carlos Pino (and some others). Let’s hope John can be persuaded out of retirement to at least draw a variant cover – Carlos, who still draws issues of Commando, too. Titan have previously published collections of Johnny Red, which is owned by Egmont.
It’s great to see Egmont making a move like this and giving today’s comic readers the chance to see fondly-remembered British comic characters in new stories, so I hope this is a success and prompts more forays into their archive. DC Thomson have done the same thing, licensing characters such as King Cobra of the still-in-limbo STRIP Maagazine, but Egmont’s roster – encompassing a huge number of characters first published after 1970, including Adam Eterno (a personal favourite of mine) and Black Max (a personal favourite of Chris Weston).
Again, Keith Burns, whose credits include Hoax Hunters for Image and ReincarNATE, a Kickstarter-funded crime noir graphic novel, looks like a perfect choice for this project – his aircraft art samples on his blog are simply stunning.
Also announced was the news that Montynero will be joined by artist Martin Simmonds on the follow-up to the hugely-successful Death Sentence; and that Titan has secured English language rights to republish Norman, a black comedy about a murderous little boy by French comic creator Stan Silas.
The London-based publisher also has rights to World War X by Jerry Frissen and Peter Snejbjerg, a science fiction graphic novel , while Rachel Deering and Chris Mooneyham are reimagining classic horror in Anathema.
Andrew Gaska and Miki‘s action comedy Charger sees a young man embarking on an epic journey to reunite his girlfriend with her phone charge, and Van Lente and Dennis Calero are tackling a SF mobster tale, Man Made.
Titan also announced they would be publishing the Michael Moorcock Library, a series of deluxe editions that will collect the comic adaptations of the legendary British novelist’s fantasy and sci-fi book published down the years.
Source: Digital Spy
PLEASE NOTE: Since this story was first published, Doctor Who artist Lee Sullivan has replaced Matthew Dow Smith on the Rivers of London book