There’s still time to back the second issue of BLAZER!, a 32-page anthology comic edited by former 2000AD editor Steve MacManus – and we’ve been sent an advance copy, so perhaps we can persuade those a-dithering to back the project!
For those who came in late, BLAZER! featured in Steve MacManus’ novel The SheerGlam Conspiracy, the madcap tale of the rise and fall of a once mighty British comics company.
The second issue of BLAZER!, its premise a rediscovered 1970s comic buried for decades in a warehouse, features work by artists Dan Cornwell, Colin Maxwell, Andrew Richmond, Filippo Roncone and Brendon Wright.
Steve himself provides the scripts on all the stories featured, whose time as 2000AD‘s editor “Tharg” is fondly remembered by fans.
Given Steve’s background, you might be surprised to learn the look of the title is more like a DC Thomson adventure comic in terms of design and pacing, rather than the Fleetway titles Steve worked on, but that’s no bad thing.
As with any anthology, some strips will appeal over others, but for me, “Godwin’s Law”, set in wartime Burma, drawn by Dan Cornwell, is a great opener, a jab at the dafter concepts that populated many a war comic of the 1970s.
In this tales, a creeping madness begins to engulf Moses Godwin, stranded in the fetid jungle of wartime Burma.
For me, “The Tinkling Triangles”, a silly SF romp in the tradition of “Ace Trucking Company”, is another favourite, replacing “Domenica’s Ring”, that strip from Issue One taking a temporary leave of absence.
With art by Brendon Wright, Steve delivers some great one liners,with nods to all sorts of 1970s media, as the dim witted Triangles family find themselves stranded in the Madlands of planet Hades, armed solely with their greatest hits repertoire!
“The Tinkling Triangles” looks great as the comic’s centrespread, and is great fun.
Also on offer is “The Sheriffs of Nottingham”, with art by Andrew Richmond (Dead by Dawn, The77, Sentinel and BLAZER! No1), a silly body swapping tale, which draws to a close this issue; and the barmy “Derringer and S’on”, with art by Colin Maxwell, in which the lure of a one hundred thousand dollar reward triggers a daring rescue on the streets of San Francisco!
Finally, you couldn’t have a dig at boys comics of the 1970s without a football strip, and “Bootroom Boy” gives us just that, with art from Filippo Roncone (The77/BLAZER! No1 and Zarjaz).
The plot thickens in the Barchester stadium murder case as Danny Fortrose begins to doubt the main suspect’s guilt…
Alongside the strips, there are plenty of daft features, and if you want to see a former Tharg trying to look cool on a chopper bike, then you need this comic in your collection! (Colin Maxwell in call to provide the image!)
Issue Two of BLAZER! is daft and proud of it, and will be available to purchase from February 2022, from GetMyComics, but you can back the project here on Kickstarter. The project has smashed its target, so if you don’t want to miss out, head over to the crowdfunding page now.
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.