Academic Study of Fleetway’s CRISIS comic in the works

Dr William Proctor, Senior Lecturer in Transmedia, Culture and Communication at Bournemouth University and CRISIS comic coversDr William Proctor, Senior Lecturer in Transmedia, Culture and Communication at Bournemouth University has announced his next academic project will be a book-length study of 2000AD sister comic, CRISIS.

If you worked on the title, now might be a good time to drop him a line; and if you have particular memories of the comic as a reader, he’d like to hear them.

Published from 1988 to 1991, its target audience more adult than most other British news stand comics of the time, CRISIS was initially published fortnightly, and was one of the most visible components of the late-1980s British comics boom, along with Deadline, Revolver, and TOXIC!

Conceived by editor Steve MacManus, CRISIS published creator-owned strips such as “Third World War” by Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra et al, the first stories now collected by Rebellion; “New Statesmen” by John Smith, Jim Baikie, Sean Phillips and Duncan Fegredo, which has not been collected  in English since the 1990s; and “Rogan Gosh” by Brendan McCarthy and Peter Milligan, which was collected as Rogan Gosh: Star of the East by Little Brown and Vertigo, but copies appear to be pretty expensive.

Crisis #1 - Third World War

Crisis #29 - Cover featuring True Faith by Garth Ennis and Warren Pleece

Crisis #40 - Cover

The hope was that like European comics, this might lead to the chance for royalties and greater copyright control, which was a departure from the way Fleetway had done business up until then.

William Proctor is Senior Lecturer in Transmedia, Culture and Communication at Bournemouth University where he primarily teaches on BA English and BA Communication and Media degrees. Before joining Bournemouth University in 2014, William worked as a visiting lecturer at the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland which is also where he completed his PhD thesis.

William is also Director of The World Star Wars Project, a five-year study of the franchise from multiple perspectives which will culminate in 2020 with a multilingual, mixed methods global online questionnaire. The first phase of the project, ‘The Force Re-Awakens,’ attracted over 1800 responses in December 2015 prior to the release of Star Wars Episode VII.

CRISIS and its strips have previously been the focus of study, of course. Janean Patience has written extensively about the title on Suggested for Mature Readers, offering overviews not just of “Third World War”, “New Statesmen” and more but also about an optimistic time where it seemed British news stand comics might just break out beyond the traditional and well catered for younger audiences.

Critical Appraisals of Third World War

Marking the release of Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra’s Third World War, the Treasury of British Comics also recently commissioned short essays from selected comics critics that examine different aspects of this seminal political series, including Tom Shapira’s assessment of the strip’s sense of deep-seated anger, asking whether this makes it even more relevant today…

Dr William Proctor is online here on the Bournemouth University web site | Follow him on Twitter @DrWilliamProct1

Third World War Book One by Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra is available now (Amazon Affiliate Link) – read Luke Williams review here

Ransom Note: Crisis: Pat Mills Remembering the Comic That Changed The Game

Abstract Comics by Gareth Hopkins: A set of illustrations based on “Mr Soft”, a fictional character from New Statesmen. He’s fictional to the power of three: he appears in a work of fiction (i.e. the comic, The New Statesmen) as a character written in an interpolative text (‘And He The Mother Of Them All’ by the Soft Kore Kollective) and in the universe that he’s presented within, he’s a legendary, semi-mythical character

Suggested for Mature Readers: Crisis of Identity

Suggested for Mature Readers: A Big, Gaudy Picturebook – Re-reading New Statesmen chapters 1-6 by John Smith, Jim Baikie and Sean Phillips

Suggested for Mature Readers: A Head Full of Loose Change – Re-reading New Statesmen chapters 7-12 by John Smith, Jim Baikie and Duncan Fegredo

Suggested for Mature Readers: What It’s Like for Real People – Rereading New Statesmen Epilogue and Prologue by John Smith, Sean Phillips and Jim Baikie

Suggested for Mature Readers: Looking through James Herbert books just for the bits with sex in – Re-reading “Straitgate” by John Smith and Sean Phillips

Suggested for Mature Readers: A Lovespoke in the Grimwheel – Re-reading “Rogan Gosh” by Brendan McCarthy and Peter Milligan

Nobody’s Favourites: Something borrowed, something blue – a feature on New Statesmen by Andrew Weiss

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