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…
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.
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).
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