Blast from the Past: The Zambaquons

While scurrying through some old projects at the weekend, I came across this Zambaquons comic strip, based on characters I originally created for my first comics fanzine, SCAN, back in the 1980s.

(The zine’s name, should not, by the way, be confused with the name of a Lancaster University student newspaper, which I also edited as its sabbatical editor even further back in the past).

SCAN, which initially  I co-edited with artist Matt Bingham, who went on to be art director at FHM, had some great artists working on it, including Davey Jones (now famous for his amazing VIZ strips) and Nick Miller (whose comics work in numerous football magazines and other projects today keeps him busy, but he deserves wider recognition). Mike Collins and Bryan Talbot also contributed art. So quite why I persisted in drawing strips for it, I have no idea, other than because I enjoyed drawing, even if I was terrible at it. 

But The Zambaquons briefly enjoyed some limited popularity, in part prompted by enthusiastic response to a reprint of one of the strips in Ian Wheeler‘s Eagle Flies Again ‘zine. 

Looking at the strip now, I wonder if I should revive it? Perhaps working with a real artist?

The Zambaquons may have started out as standalone characters in SCAN, many years ago, but when I drew the strip above I decided to relaunch them as spin-off from another of my strips (co-created with the aforementioned Nick Miller, which ran for years in Lancaster indie magazines and, later, online) The Really Heavy Greatcoat. We’d established our sentient talking Greatcoat (if you came in late on this madness, and your interest is sufficiently piqued, you can read the some of the strips on Tapastic) often had holes in its extra-dimesnional pockets, so why shouldn’t millions of miniscule creatures be able to escape from it?

So… The Zambaquons are tiny creatures seeking a new home, having travelled from Somewhere Else to Here. They live under the fridge in the house of where John, Jo and Kevin from The Really Heavy Greatcoat live. Their leader, Myxl (not to be confused with brotherMxyl) plans world conquest, unpeturbed by the Zambaquons dimminutive size. If they can get past Dennis the Cat…

If anyone’s interested in drawing The Zambaquons, do drop me a line. You really don’t want me drawing it myself…

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

Categories: British Comics, Creating Comics

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