Beano publishers DC Thomson have given their EPIC! magazine a spruce up, introducing new strips by VIZ’s Alex Collier, Steve Bright and Lew Stringer – and reviving an old Dandy strip by Jamie Smart.
Aimed at 7-10s, the 48-page magazine (previously known as Dennis and Gnasher’s Epic Magazine), offers comic strip, behind-the-scenes TV and movie gossip, gaming news and reviews, the biggest YouTubers, explosive secrets and competitions.
The title is edited by Thomson’s boys’ magazine group, the same team working on Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go magazines and from Issue 125, on sale now, its new main strip is “Overreaction Man”, a three-page superhero spoof written by Alex Collier and drawn by Steve Bright.
“I couldn’t resist the chance to team up with the brilliant Alex Collier,” Steve tells us. “This is going to be fun!”
Lew Stringer is drawing three mini-strips: “Zombie Sports! (The walking dead of the sporting world…)”, “Eric Fail!” (Things always go wrong for him!) and “Terrible Movies!”, spoofs of popular films, which appropriately launches with a look at “Harry Snotter”, in advance of the cinema release of Fantastic Beasts.
Also in the mix is a reprint of “My Dad’s A Doofus” by Jamie Smart, which previously ran in The Dandy.
Intriguingly, the title appears to have now dropped all its Beano-inspired links, a reflection perhaps of that humour title’s new production base, Beano Studios.
“I’m also drawing another new strip that should start in EPIC! sometime early next year,” Lew, who also draws strips for Doctor Who Magazine and TOXIC, reveals.
“It’s very interesting and encouraging that DC Thomson are investing in new comic strip material for their magazine line,” he enthuses. “Let’s hope this direction continues!”
• EPIC! Number 125 is on sale now in newsagents and supermarkets, bagged with free gifts, with 48 pages for £2.99
• EPIC! doesn’t seem to have much of a web presence – there is a brand page on DC Thomson’s main web site, which includes a link to their handy “Where to Buy” service (input your postcode for local stockists) – and you can subscribe here (£42 per year); and you can get EPIC! digitally through Readly for £7.99 a month
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.