The next collection of archive Doctor Who strips from Doctor Who Magazine will be published in June, titled The Good Soldier.
Wrapped in a gorgeous cover by David Roach, the volume features a range of Seventh Doctor strips I edited back in the title’s Marvel UK days, a number of them I’m particularly proud of commissioning as an editor. The strips – which all feature Ace as the Doctor’s companion – are accompanied by a background commentary featuring recollections of the creation of strips from some of the writers and artists involved. The Panini editorial team have pulled the stops out, again, to deliver the best quality in terms of strip reproduction – helped by numerous art collectors who provided scans of original art in some caes.
In this volume are:
- “Fellow Travellers” by Andrew Cartmel (the first of several strips to be written by the TV series Script Editor and featuring elements considered for the show’s never-produced 27th season) with stunning art throughout from Arthur Ranson, his only Doctor Who strip work to date
- All the “Mark of Mandragora” related stories (including the prequel stories “Darkness Falling” and “Distractions“) by Dan Abnett, with art by Lee Sullivan and Mark Farmer, a follow-up tale to the TV story Masque of Mandragora set on Earth and featuring UNIT and a guest appearance of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, with kind permission of the late, grate actor who played him, Nicholas Courtney
- The deliberately fun “Party Animals” by Gary Russell, with art by Mike Collins, inked by Steve Pini, intended at the time to offer some relief after the more downbeat Mandragora tale
- “The Chamleon Factor” by Paul Cornell and Lee Sullivan, again inked by Mark Farmer, featuring a beautifully re-designed TARDIS control room
- “The Good Soldier“, perhaps my favourite Andrew Cartmel story of those I commissioned that ran in the regular DWM, with art by Mike Collins, inked by Steve Pini (I still get a chill at some of the Cybermen scenes)
- “A Glitch in Time” by myself and Richard Whitaker, edited by Paul Neary, a last-minute shoe-in when another Andrew Cartnel-penned tale, “Evening’s Empire” drawn by Richard Piers Rayner, experienced technical dificulties in the time vortex
- “Seaside Rendezvous” by Paul Cornell, with art by Gary Frank, inked by Stephen Baskerville
Also featured are two text stories, “Teenage Kicks” by Paul Cornell, illustrated by Cam Smith, and “Scream of the Silent“, written by myself, illustrated by Lee Sullivan, the latter featuring in the Doctor Who 25th Anniversary Special that was edited by Louise Cassell. Lee’s illustration of the Seventh Doctor catching a glimpse of the First in a mirror is one of my favourite Who images of the the tales I wrote.
Included in the commentary is some prelim art and script notes for a propsed Doctor Who newspaper strip I write, pitched at the Daily Express, drawn by Gerry Dolan; and other previously unseen art by Lee and Mike.
I hope you’ll agree, if you’re a Doctor Who comics fan that this one’s a doozy! I hope you enjoy it.
• Doctor Who: The Good Soldier is out on 5th May 2015
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.