In Review: Misty Comic Special

Misty Special 2009

What It Is: Not to be confused with the Egmont WH Smiths special released recently, this is an entirely new fan-produced title published by the official Misty web site, comprising all-new strips by a wide range of creators including 2000AD artist Smuzz, who provides the cover, David Roach, Mike Nicoll (Bill Storie), Terry Wiley and many others.

The Review by Paul Harrison-Davies: It’s immediately obvious that this Misty Special is a labour of love: it’s such a well put together comic with colour interiors and a fantastic cover.

The trouble with small press/independent anthologies is that they are often a mixed bag when it comes to ability, and that’s the case with Misty. Yet it hardly seems fair to judge some creators harshly against others, and I found that Misty had enough heart and soul to gloss over any of the hiccups of creators with less experience than others. In fact, without naming names, I found that although the writing of one author seemed the least professional it was more than made up for by the emotion of the script, and actually felt like the most ‘Misty’ of all the stories.

Art from "Mint Condition" by Smuzz

Art from “Mint Condition” by Smuzz

Great work from the always excellent Terry Wiley, a change of pace from the shiny colour work of Ex Astris from Mike Nicoll and some lovely artwork from J.P. Sewell were the stand outs for me, with downthetubes very own John Freeman and someone simply called ‘Amelia‘ providing scripts for a couple for my favourite strips: ‘Time School’, ‘Dreamcatching’ and ‘A Waltz Out of Time’.

All told, there was only a few strips that just didn’t grab me, and that’s not bad for a comic that feature sixteen tales and a great interview with original Misty artist John Armstrong, who also provides a ‘Bella’ poster for buyers of the Special.

Unfortunately, the Misty Special is not cheap. I can understand why it’s priced highly, but I think that it may put many possible readers off. Also, it just didn’t feel like a 1970s/80s comic, possibly due to the glossy paper and use of colour. I’d have rather seen something that more directly tried to emulate the look and design of a comic of that time, maybe even down to artificially yellowing the pages. Still that’s a personal preference, and obviously not one shared by the creators and publisher.

Chances are if you were a fan of Misty, you’ll be buying this, and I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Buy the Misty Special online here on the official Misty comic web site

Creator Check List

Cover / Super Misty Poster
Art: SMS

Welcome Page Portrait
Art: David Roach (from an unpublished painting by Shirley Bellwood)

Mint Condition
Story / Art: Smuzz

Dreamcatching
Story: Alison Jones / Art: Mike Nicoll

A Waltz Out Of Time
Story: Alison Jones / Art: J P Sewell

The Eyes
Story: Colin Noble / Art: Terry Wiley

Misty’s Mysteries
Concept / Art: Douglas Noble

Come To Stay
Story: Briony Coote / Art: Carl Lavin

Lost Lover
Poem: Anne-Marie Marquess / Art: James Battersby

Good Ol’ Santa!
Story: Briony Coote / Art: Mike Nicoll

Camper Van Helsing
Story / Art: Vallely

Bullied To Death
Story: Briony Coote / Art: Carl Lavin

Vampire King
Poem: Anne-Marie Marquess / Art: Noel Baxter

Time School – Teacher’s Pet!
Story: John Freeman / Art: Mike Nicoll (Bill Storie)

Once Too Often
Story: Briony Coote / Art: Vicky Stonebridge /
Letters: Bolt-01

John Armstrong Interview
Interview: Chris Lillyman / Art: John Armstrong

The Poustinia
Story: Martin Jones / Art: J P Sewell

The Cult Of The Cat
Story: Charles Ellis / Art: Johnny McMonagle

Free Gift Poster: John Armstrong

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.



Categories: British Comics, Featured News, Reviews

Tags: , , , ,

3 replies

  1. In regard to your comment that one writer seemed the least professional but this was more than made up for by the emotion of the script and seemd the most “Misty”:

    If this applied to me as one of the writers, it is true I am not a professional writer, but I am flattered by your comment and I thank you for it.

  2. “Also, it just didn’t feel like a 1970s/80s comic, possibly due to the glossy paper and use of colour. I’d have rather seen something that more directly tried to emulate the look and design of a comic of that time, maybe even down to artificially yellowing the pages.”

    In response: sorry, but those days you are talking about are long gone. In the final years of girls’ comics they had become mostly coloured pages printed on glossy paper.

  3. Hey Briony, late reply, but yes, I did enjoy your writing.
    Anonymous – Late again, so probably not worth commenting, but still, can’t let the patronizing tone go. Of course those days are long gone, but the Misty special was a take on a specific comic from a specific time, a time when the comics were black and white, and printed on paper that yellowed I thought it a reasonable observation. A comic called Misty, should look like Misty, Misty was in B&W on cheaper looking paper. See, easy.

%d bloggers like this: