This week’s great Internet find…

Loose Cannons by Dan Abnett and Mark HarrisonI just found this on the Internet thing: a ‘lost’ Marvel UK Warheads strip, Loose Cannons, by Dan (Sinister Dexter) Abnett and Mark (Durham Red) Harrison

Edited by Jacqui Papp, the project – guest starring Death’s Head II and Dark Angel – wasn’t one I was involved in, despite being editor of the main Warheads book back in 1993 — I’m pretty sure work had started on it before I left MUK, but I had enough to do on other titles.

Although almost completed — Mark has restored all the pages he painted, lettered some that hadn’t been lettered, including some final roughs on #4 — Loose Cannons was never published because of the MUK Implosion and subsequent buyout by Panini which brought its US format titles for the US market to an end in 1993, after I left the company.

I had thought for years that the strip was probably the most prominent victim of what I’m told was a mass dumping of artwork when MUK/Panini moved to Tunbridge Wells so I’m really pleased to see Mark has recreated it.

Story-wise, its all out action from start to finish and Dan really goes to town on the villainous aspect of the amoral Mys-TECH board members featured: the sinsister cabal that backed the Warheads exploration of the universe(s) through technomagically-created wormholes to who knows where and who knows when. (before you ask, Warheads, developed by Paul Neary, predates the Stargate movie – he in turn was inspired by Frederick Pohl’s Gateway saga).

Mark Harrison’s work is simply terrific – he did several covers for Overkill, the weekly MUK title I edited which had a limited origination budget for new strips in addition to the simultaneous printing of the material being generated for the US format books such as Death’s Head II, Warheads and others.

Included on site are a slew of designs for the book and the whole package leaves me feeling someone, somewhere, should be thinking about putting this out as a collection. Fab stuff.

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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