(With thanks to Jeremy Briggs and Shaqui le Vesconte): Big Finish, best known for its Doctor Who audio adventures, has announced it is to publish The Avengers: Steed and Mrs Peel, a collection of the adventures which appeared in the girls comic, Diana, in 1966 and 1967.
The collection has been announced along with news that Big Finish will also release new The Avengers audio adventures based on the stories in 2016, starring series Julian Wadham as John Steed. (Mrs. Peel has yet to be cast).
An accomplished stage actor, Wadham’s film credits include appearances in The Madness of King George, The English Patient and The Iron Lady, as well as appearing in a host of popular TV series, ranging from Bergerac to Midsomer Murders, Lewis and the recently-screened The Casual Vacancy.
The Winged Avenger web site notes The Avengers strip ran in issues 199 to 224 of the DC Thomson-published Diana comic and is considered by many to be a high point in the comic book appearances of the show, with many people drawing attention to the quality of the art.
According comics archivist and artist David Roach, Frejo was helped out on the strip by his fellow Bermejo studio member Juan Gonzalez Alacrejo on about half the episodes.
While only the final story, which pits Steed and Emma in mortal combat against several of their most diabolical enemies, is perhaps as good as the art in terms of script, it’s still great to see the strip will be available for all to read when it is released next year.
Both a cartoonist and comic book artist, painter and illustrator, Emilio Frejo, who died in February 2013 aged 81, was an agency artist who worked for foreign publishers through Bardon Art, an agency with offices in London and Barcelona, and through his own collective, Art Studium (which he founded with Sanchís Cortés and González Alacreu and which did work for titles such as Look and Learn).
Art Studium was active between 1968 and 1980, and among others responsible for a comic biography of Franco (Soldado Invicto, published in 1969).
In addition to The Avengers for Diana and some Kit Carson strips (a character that Jeremy Briggs tell me had his own digest in Australia in 1949 and that was partly what inspired AP to start digest comics in the UK in 1950) he also drew episodes of the Cowboy Picture Library Kansas Kid title for the UK market. In Spain, his credits included adaptations of stories such as The Three Musketeers and Hansel and Gretel.
He worked for the Japanese publisher Sogakukan in the early 1980s, then left comics to devote himself to painting.
The Avengers TV series © Studio Canal | Diana © DC Thomson
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.