The details of the latest issues of Commando (Issues 5099 – 5102) come with news that the title’s current editor, Kirsten Murray, is moving on from DC Thomson. we wish her every success in her future endeavours, wherever that may take her.
The Dundee-based publisher are currently advertising for the role as Heritage Brands Editor. Applications must be in by 28th February 2018. It’s a very demanding role, looking at the brief, which seems much expanded since last advertised. Let’s hope the salary is commensurate with the responsibilities.
Commando’s core market must seem perplexing to a publisher more attuned today to the brand-led dominance of much of the children’s magazine market, adapting the tricks of licensed comics to make Beano its own hugely successful brand, now a major license itself, to the clear benefit of sales in a difficult marketplace.
With a title like Commando, different tactics for continued success are required, building outwards as well as stabilising sales, looking to encouraging subscribers (especially overseas, as the title is well read among the Armed Forces). As with previous editors any new incumbent will need to look carefully at upcoming conflict “anniversaries” and tie in theme months. You’d also definitely look again at collections to make the most of potential revenue streams as well as looking at Commando-inspired collectibles – giclee cover prints, for example.
And it’s not just Commando that’s part of this advertised job – you only have to look at the work that Rebellion are doing to carefully nurture their Egmont acquired classic comic assets to see what is possible, with ever the eye on making sure, where possible, that what you do is part of a growing the business, which some people forget this is what DC Thomson and other publishers are there for.
Good luck to whoever steps up and successfully gets the post!
The new Commandos, on sale Thursday 22nd February in all good newsagents, offer a face-off against genetically enhanced wolves in the Białowieża Forest; or, take cover from deadly, scouring siroccos in North Africa; load up with Villistas in a shoot-out against the Federales; and undergo top secret operations with the REMEs. Plenty of action all round!
Commando 5099: Home of Heroes – Into the Wild
Story: Jim & David Turner | Art: Rezzonico & Morhain | Cover: Janek Matysiak
Never was there a more unlikely team: Commando Captain Tom Wilson, who surrendered to the Waffen SS in the Dunkirk retreat and got his entire squadron killed; his second in command, the loyal Lieutenant Charlie Shaw; South African big game hunter, Rene Muelens; short and stocky tough guy Commando, Tony Lewis; Digger Smith, built like a brick outhouse; and Otto Kramer, their Polish German guide.
They may not trust each other, but they were the Allies’ only hope of rescuing a Polish eugenics scientist and putting an end to his dangerous experiments.
A thrilling story from Jim and David Turner, the eco-political themes resonate today, while Rezzonico and Morhain’s artwork builds on the sense of menace and foreboding from Janek Matysiak’s cover, the wolves proving just as bloodcurdling throughout!
Commando 5100: Gold Collection – Clash of Giants
Story: Allan | Art: Bellalta | Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally Commando No. 508 (October 1970)
Fighting like warships on the sea of sand, British battle cruisers and Panzers roamed the empty deserts of North Africa. But when his brother’s tank was destroyed by friendlies in a Beaufighter, Garry Connel would never forgive the men who fired on him. So, when a single parachute falls from the hit aircraft, Connel sees red, casting the surviving airman out into the desert winds – leaving him to die. But, Connel was quick to realise that with Nazis disguised in British khakis, and enemy and Allied aircraft viewing them as a target, then maybe he might need the Pilot Officer’s help after all…
Bellalta’s stunning interiors hurl gale-force winds and deadly siroccos at the reader, as Allan’s story throws us straight into the perils of 1941 North Africa, right alongside Tommy pongos and tank crews.
Commando 5101: Action and Adventure – Viva Villa!
Story: Richard Davis | Art: Carlos Pino | Cover: Carlos Pino
Over two dozen battle-hardened Federales charged the deserted village of Puebla where the Gomez brothers stood alone against them. Taking cover in an adobe hut, the only thing that stood between them and President Huerta’s men was a Colt-Browning machine gun. But after two years of revolution had ravaged Mexico, leading to a lengthy civil war, Hector and Carlos Gomez would do whatever it took to protect the villagers.
Richard Davis’ western-edged Commando combines the heart of ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ with the unforgiving setting of ‘The Wild Bunch’. Meanwhile, premiering a brand new ‘Mexican Revolution’ badge for Commando, Carlos Pino’s scorching cover shows the Gomez brothers’ true grit as they fire at the reader, their explosive bullets reflecting the blazing sun behind them!
Commando 5102: Silver Collection – Strike from the Sea
Story: Roger Sanderson | Art: C. T. Rigby | Cover: Phil Gascoine
Originally Commando No. 2682 (July 1993)
Lieutenant Steve Pitt checked everything twice, meticulous on every mission and his men trusted him implicitly… that was until Lieutenant Bob Travis joined his special REME unit. You see, Pitt wasn’t always so careful, and, according to Travis, his own ego and carelessness had caused the death of his father! It was a vendetta Travis would forever hold – but would he let it get in the way of their mission?
Roger Sanderson’s ‘Strike from the Sea’ serves us two memorable characters of classic Commando conceits, but also delivers on a tense, top notch Special Operation, with our heroes dodging Jerries left, right and centre, each stage of the mission a surprise.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.