Commando Webbing: 27 November 2009

Carlton’s seventh and latest Commando reprint book Battle Of Britain: Scramble!, with its air combat theme, is being promoted in the RAF’s newspaper the RAF News.

Commando editor Calum Laird is interviewed in the newspaper where he talks about the history of the title and the eras of combat that it covers. When asked about conflicts more recent than the first Gulf War he says, “That’s our notional cut-off because after then the stories are slightly too political for us – the canvas for a story becomes that much smaller.”

In the same month that the first woman pilot joined the RAF’s Red Arrows aerobatic display team, Calum is asked about Commando’s lack of coverage of women in the armed forces and replies, “It’s just one of those things – in the time we cover, there were no women on the front line officially, apart from secret agents. We tend not to have female characters in the books because it introduces another dimension to the story which is not our stock in trade – romance.”

Calum also offers a unique competition to RAF News readers with the chance for serving or former members of the RAF to win a specially drawn Commando page that will include the face of the winner. More details of this competition, which runs to 2 December 2009, are on the RAF News website.

Commando Battle Of Britain: Scramble! is also now available as a Sevenoaks edition from shops such as Bargain Books and The Works at a substantially reduced price. This was common for the earliest Carlton Commando titles when the Sevenoaks versions used different cover art and just the Carlton version’s subtitle rather than title to differentiate them from the normal version – the Sevenoaks version of Carlton’s Commando book True Brit was entitled The Toughest 12 Commando Books Ever. However the Sevenoaks version of Battle Of Britain: Scramble! uses the original cover art and title from the Carlton version and can therefore be easily mistaken for it. That said, other than the publisher’s name and information, there appears to be no difference between the versions and Sevenoaks is after all a part of Carlton Books.

More details of Commando can be found at the CommandoMag website which is now up to Day 88 in its Dairy Of WW2.


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

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