Happy Birthday, Really Heavy Greatcoat!

The Really Heavy Greatcoat comic strip by John Freeman and Nick Miller began back in February 1987, first appearing in the free Lancaster listings magazine, On The Beat, and its successor, Off the Beat, for several years, well into the 1990s.

I simply couldn’t let the strip’s 35th Anniversary pass by without some small tribute, even if Nick is very busy with his forthcoming graphic novel, The Plaza, so it was left to me to cobble something suitably weird together…

The Really Heavy Greatcoat - 35th Anniversary Episode

A few years after Off the Beat ceased publication, The Really Heavy Greatcoat was revived for the Lancaster community web site virtual-lancaster.net in the 2000s, and then published for mobile by ROK Comics, and in the international comics magazine Comics International.

It has been selected for publication in various titles, including The Norm published by syndicated US cartoonist Michael Jantze and Paper Tiger, an independent UK comics anthology.

The Dangers of Thinking Too Much About Comics with the Really Heavy Greatocat by John Freeman and Nick Miller
One of the Greatcoat strips featured in Comics International

It is now published primarily online as a web comic on the web comics platform Tapas, a combination of reprints strips and new “Greatcoat Grabs” commenting on current events.

Although The Really Heavy Greatcoat has had an erratic history, it has amassed a small fan following down the years, who rallied to the strip’s support when someone targeted its Wikipedia page for deletion, and saved it from digital oblivion. The strip also indirectly led, in part, to work for both of us.

So, Happy Birthday, Greatcoat!

We are in discussions about possibly reviving the strip for a short run later in 2022 or early 2023.

(The Greatcoat declined to comment about this news. We think it’s sulking).

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. 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 “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: downthetubes News

Tags: , ,

%d bloggers like this: