Upcoming British Comic Collections

Just a quick look at a few of the titles that we can expect to see over the coming months…
First up is Charley’s War Volume 4, subtitled “Blue’s Story”. Continuing the story of World War One, this time the account takes in the French point of view with details of the battle of Verdun and the defence of Fort Vaux. The ‘Blue’ sub-plot covers the period February to March 1917 (in terms of its original publication in Battle, this was the six months from 11th October 1980 – 4th April 1981). For more information on this classic war story, check out, as I did, the fantasically detailed Charley’s War timeline at.. http://charleyswar.tripod.com/id5.html

Also coming soon we have the next volume of Dan Dare reprints from Titan. The series of reprints is now approaching the high-water mark of Dan Dare storytelling with the Rogue Planet storyline. This epic storyline (it ran for over a year when originally published, from 2 December 1955 to 15 February 1957) follows the adventures of Dan, Dig, Lex, Flamer and Lero as they battle against the evil Crypts, who have invaded the peaceful world of the Phants.

This monster volume is a hefty £19.99 but the artwork is fabulous: it just glows on the printed page and the world that Hampson and his team created is so rich in detail as to be completely believeable. I’m a fan.

While it’s a shame the Titan volumes aren’t reprinting the stories the same size as they orignally appeared in Eagle (as Hawk Books did in the 1990s), it’s great that the stories are being kept in print.

A word of warning: the previous volume, The Man from Nowhere, is an essential read if you want to know what’s happening in this volume. The final volume in the Man from Nowhere trilogy is entitled Reign of the Robots, another corking read. Hopefully, Titan will be reprinting that one too.

Also available for your autumn reading is All Guns Blazing!, 12 more tales of derring-do plucked from the pages of Commando by editor George Low. Given that there are 4000 plus issues of Commando (and even allowing for a proportion of those being reprints) the Commando archive has plenty of heroic tales to tell and it looks like DC Thomson are onto a winner with this format. Hopefully the emergence of two War Picure Library volumes will raise interest in these titles even further (and shows that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery).

Last up is Aarrgghh!! It’s War”the best of the covers from the War, Battle, Air Ace and War at Sea Picture Library. It, as the advert says, does exactly what it says on the tin. Lots of art from loads of great war artsits. Marvellous.

Time to start on that Christmas list…

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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 - Books

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