Wired Up Wrong by Rachael Smith - Sample Art

Something For the Weekend – Thought Bubble and Dan Dare! – New Comics On Sale in the UK (w/c 31st October 2016)

Alex Automatic - Cover

It’s Thought Bubble in Leeds this weekend, so as something of a departure from our usual coverage of new comics on sale in newsgents and comic shops, I thought I’d spotlight just a few of the great comics (and I do mean a few, because there are loads!) that will debut at the event, including Fraser Campbell‘s fabulous retro TV-inspired Alex Automatic, featuring art by James Corcoran, which Colin Noble reviewed here yesterday. This fab action adventure title is one of a few projects I’ve backed on Kickstarter and well worth tracking down.

Wired Up Wrong by Rachael Smith - Cover

Another title that is well deserving of your attention is Wired Up Wrong by Rachael Smith, which harks back to this talented creator’s diary comics days with a series of focused autobio strips that fit firmly into the graphic medicine area of comics as she brings her experiences of living with depression and anxiety to the comics page. “Presented as one-pagers or single illustrations the material herein is a seemingly incongruous and yet ultimately highly effective mix of light-hearted explorations and potent re-creations of her lowest moments,” notes Andy Oliver over on Broken Frontier in his preview of the book.

Not only is Wired Up Wrong on sale from Rachael direct at Thought Bubble: you can order it from her store here, priced £4.00. For more on Rachael Smith’s work visit her site here and follow her on Twitter @rachael_.

ThoughtBubble Anthology 2016 - Cover

Also available at Thought Bubble is the first ever collected edition of the Thought Bubble Comics Anthology, wrapped in a gorgeous cover from Eleanor Davis, which includes work by Kate Beaton, Warren Ellis, Rick Remender, Antony Johnston, Duncan Fegredo, Andy Diggle, Robin Furth, Charlie Adlard, Tula Lotay, Fiona Staples, Skottie Young, Alison Sampson, Duncan Fegredo and D’Israeli.

These titles aren’t just on sale at Thought Bubble: you’ll be able to order many of them from your local comic shop, or in the case of titles like Steve Tillotson‘s Untitled Ape – An Epic Journey, published by Avery Hill, from your local book shop, thanks to their new distribution deal with Turnaround. The Thought Bubble Anthology is available from all good comic shops and digitally through ComiXology.

I felt it important to mention an event like Thought Bubble as a place to buy great new comics, because in certain comics forums there’s been renewed moaning about a lack of “proper” comics (whatever that means) in UK newsagents, which are, admittedly, more focused on licensed titles these days (and have been for decades, frankly). There are simply tons of new comics out there if you bother to go looking. Yes, of course they aren’t printed in their millions like Beano, 2000AD and TV Century 21 once were, but that doesn’t mean the form is in any way dead.

If you want to see what’s on sale at Thought Bubble, then I’m sure there will be some highlights picked out by the convention team on their own Twitter @ThoughtBubbleUK or follow the hashtag #thoughtbubble for the weekend.

If you’re new to the UK independent press we try to cover as much stuff as humanly possible, but I cannot recommend highly enough the work of  small press stalwart Andy Oliver, who you can find on Twitter @AndyWPOliver, or the efforts of the team at Forbidden Planet International on their blog to give many independent creators exposure. Bookmark them now.

Oh, and if you want a great “sampler” of the current small press scene, then alos on sale at Thought Bubble is the Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016, a showcase anthology celebration of comics culture site Broken Frontier’s ‘Six UK Small Press Creators to Watch in 2015’ spotlighting the work of Rozi Hathaway, Jess Milton, Danny Noble, Emma Raby, Alice Urbino and Adam Vian, with a guest story by Rebecca Bagley. It’s also available to buy online here.

Broken Frontier Small Press Yearbook 2016

The Yearbook comprises 100 pages in colour and black & white, and also features shorter back-up stories by Gareth Brookes, Gill Hatcher, Jessica Martin, Mike Medaglia, EdieOP, Owen D. Pomery, Alex Potts, Paul B. Rainey, Donya Todd and Kim Clements. With a foreword by Simon Moreton.

UK Newsagents Releases

Commando 4965 – Black Sun SquadronThere are plenty of comics on sale in newsagents that still delight in bringing you such subversive delights, including 2000ADThe BeanoDanger Mouse comic, Commando (latest release intel here), Judge Dredd MegazinePanini Comics Marvel Collector Editions titles, Titan Comics superhero titles and VIZ, with great strips also featuring in titles such as Doctor Who MagazineDoctor Who Adventures, Titan’s Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS (collecting their strips from the US format titles), MegaTOXIC and many others.

Don’t forget the wonderful Phoenix Comic is on sale in many (but not all) Waitrose supermarkets and selected high street WH Smiths stores – and some comic shops (stockist list here), as well as available on subscription.

So let’s not get too downhearted by some British publishers lack of faith in full-blown cover to cover comic strip action and humour that only those of us over a certain age remember.

Hachette Partworks, whose partwork titles include Doctor Who: The Complete History and Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection, continue their How To Draw The Marvel Way, along with their re-release of their hugely successful part work, Marvel’s Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novelseries.

Note that you may now have to subscribe if you want to continue buying Part Works some are not distributed in newsagents after their first few issues.

Digital Comic Picks

We are again in that great, between-volumes, period for new Aces Weekly subscribers! If you join the AW subscribers now or before 21st November, when the landmark, quarter-century, Volume 25, starts, you get Volume 24 in complete form to begin your subscription, with 25 and all following volumes coming to you in 7 weekly parts every Monday night – for JUST £1, in any currency, per week! There is no better deal on the planet for discerning comics readers!

If you already subscribe to Aces Weekly, then publisher David Lloyd and the team are welcome any help you think you can give them to let everyone know about the comic, and they greatly appreciate anything you can do. Cyberspace publishing benefits reader and creator alike in the way Aces Weekly does it do it, and will always do it, but it needs help to make its way to the target it deserves to reach. Spread the word!

British Comic Publishers

2000AD/Rebellion

2000AD Prog 20052000AD Prog 2005

Cover by Clint Langley

In this issue: Judge Dredd: Act of Grud by Rob Williams (w), Henry Flint (a), Annie Parkhouse (l); Savage: The Marze Murderer by Pat Mills (w), Patrick Goddard (a), Annie Parkhouse (l); Hunted by Gordon Rennie (w), PJ Holden (a), Len O’Grady (c), Simon Bowland (l); Counterfeit Girl by Peter Milligan (w), Rufus Dayglo (a), Dom Regan (c), Ellie De Ville (l); Flesh: Gorehead by Pat Mills (w), Clint Langley (a), Ellie De Ville (l).

The 2000AD Script BookThe 2000AD Script Book

Original scripts by leading comics writers accompanied by the final art, taken from the pages of the world famous 2000AD comic. FROM THE MINDS OF THE MEGA-MASTERS For the first time Rebellion presents an astonishing and insightful collection of 2000AD scripts, written by some of the most successful and critically lauded talent behind the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

Featuring original script drafts and the final published artwork for comparison, this is a must have for fans of 2000AD and is an essential purchase for anyone interested in writing comics.

• Order this book from Amazon.co.uk here (using this link helps support downthetubes)

2000AD Dan Dare Volume Two

Dan Dare: The 2000AD Years Volume Two

Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future is a British icon. He was created by Frank Hampson in 1950, and first appeared in the Eagle comic where he was an instant hit with the British public. Almost a decade after the original series had ended, Dan Dare was resurrected in the pages of a brand new sci-fi comic for boys – 2000 AD! In this volume: Dan Dare and the crew of the Eagle One continue their journey through deep, uncharted space, where they encounter a host of evil alien tyrants, including dare’s arch-nemesis the Mekon! This volume of Dan Dare concludes the iconic British hero’s adventures within the pages of 2000 AD.

• Read Colin Noble’s Review

• Order this book from Amazon.co.uk here (using this link helps support downthetubes)

Titan Comics

Web: http://titan-comics.com

Assassin's Creed: Setting Sun Volume Two
Assassin’s Creed: Setting Sun Volume Two
Writers: Anthony Del Col, Conor McCreery Artist: Neil Edwards

Collecting the second arc of the critically-acclaimed Assassin’s Creed comics, Setting Sun sees Charlotte searching for a clue that will help the Assassins on their quest to foil the Templar’s plans. Hidden deep in the memories of her Inca ancestor lies a word that will save them – if it’s not too late! Collects Assassin’s Creed #6-10.

• Order this book from Amazon.co.uk here (using this link helps support downthetubes)

Best of B.C.Best of B.C.
Writer: Johnny Hart Artist: Johnny Hart

B.C. is a daily American comic strip created by cartoonist Johnny Hart. Set in prehistoric times, it features a group of cavemen and anthropomorphic animals from various geologic eras. The main character is BC, an orange haired, naïve slob and eternal patsy, who along with his friend, Peter, the world’s first philosopher, and Thor, self-proclaimed ladies’ man and the inventor of the wheel, all inhabit an prehistoric world all too familiar to a modern day audience.

• Order this book from Amazon.co.uk here (using this link helps support downthetubes)

New US Comics On Sale in UK Comic Shops

Information courtesy of First Age Comics from their order list. For details of every US comic release (and more) in all comic shops, visit Diamond Comics Previews page. Not every comic shop stocks the full range but every comic can be ordered from your local comic shop

Support Your Local Comic Shop. Art by Nick Miller
• Check out our British and Irish Comic Shops Map | Art by Nick Miller. We’ve got a range of merchandise featuring this art on sale via CafePress
2000AD Prog 2000 reprint
2000AD Prog 2005
Aquaman #10
Avengers #1
Batman #10
Batman #66 #5
Batman Beyond #1 backorder
Big Trouble Little China Escape New York #2
Bitch Planet #9
Catwoman Election Night #1
Champions #12
Cyborg #4
DC Comics Bombshells #19
Deadpool & Mercs for Money #5
Death of Hawkman #2
Death of X #3
Edens Fall #3
Everafter From the Pages of Fables #3
Faith #5
Foolkiller #1
Future Quest #5
Giant Days #20
Green Arrow #10
Green Lanterns #10
Harley Quinn #7
Josie & the Pussycats #2
Justice League #8
Lady Mechanika La Dama La Muerte #2
Marvel Universe Avengers Ultron Revolution #5
Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes vol 75 Runaways HC
Megatokyo Omnibus TP vol 2
Midnighter & Apollo 2
Moon Knight #8
Nightwing #8
Occupy Avengers #1
Prophet Earth War #1
Revolution #4
Rom #4
Scarlet Witch #12
Shade the Changeling Girl #2
Southern Bastards #15
Spider-Gwen #13
Spider-Man 2099 #17
Spider-Woman #13
Strange Fruit #4
Superman #10
Thief of Thieves #36
Transformers Till All Are One Revolution #1
Uncanny X-Men Superior TP vol 1 Survival of the Fittest
Unfollow #13

• First Age Comics, 3 Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1QD | Open: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm | First Age Comics also has a shop site on e-Bay: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/First-Age

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John Freeman

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.

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