What It Is: Not to be confused with the Egmont WH Smiths special released recently, this is an entirely new fan-produced title published by the official Misty web site, comprising all-new strips by a wide range of creators including 2000AD artist Smuzz, who provides the cover, David Roach, Mike Nicoll (Bill Storie), Terry Wiley and many others.
The Review by Paul Harrison-Davies: It’s immediately obvious that this Misty Special is a labour of love: it’s such a well put together comic with colour interiors and a fantastic cover.
The trouble with small press/independent anthologies is that they are often a mixed bag when it comes to ability, and that’s the case with Misty. Yet it hardly seems fair to judge some creators harshly against others, and I found that Misty had enough heart and soul to gloss over any of the hiccups of creators with less experience than others. In fact, without naming names, I found that although the writing of one author seemed the least professional it was more than made up for by the emotion of the script, and actually felt like the most ‘Misty’ of all the stories.
Great work from the always excellent Terry Wiley, a change of pace from the shiny colour work of Ex Astris from Mike Nicoll and some lovely artwork from J.P. Sewell were the stand outs for me, with downthetubes very own John Freeman and someone simply called ‘Amelia‘ providing scripts for a couple for my favourite strips: ‘Time School’, ‘Dreamcatching’ and ‘A Waltz Out of Time’.
All told, there was only a few strips that just didn’t grab me, and that’s not bad for a comic that feature sixteen tales and a great interview with original Misty artist John Armstrong, who also provides a ‘Bella’ poster for buyers of the Special.
Unfortunately, the Misty Special is not cheap. I can understand why it’s priced highly, but I think that it may put many possible readers off. Also, it just didn’t feel like a 1970s/80s comic, possibly due to the glossy paper and use of colour. I’d have rather seen something that more directly tried to emulate the look and design of a comic of that time, maybe even down to artificially yellowing the pages. Still that’s a personal preference, and obviously not one shared by the creators and publisher.
Chances are if you were a fan of Misty, you’ll be buying this, and I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
Creator Check List
Cover / Super Misty Poster
Welcome Page Portrait
Art: David Roach (from an unpublished painting by Shirley Bellwood)
Story / Art: Smuzz
Story: Alison Jones / Art: Mike Nicoll
A Waltz Out Of Time
Story: Alison Jones / Art: J P Sewell
Story: Colin Noble / Art: Terry Wiley
Concept / Art: Douglas Noble
Come To Stay
Story: Briony Coote / Art: Carl Lavin
Poem: Anne-Marie Marquess / Art: James Battersby
Good Ol’ Santa!
Story: Briony Coote / Art: Mike Nicoll
Camper Van Helsing
Story / Art: Vallely
Bullied To Death
Story: Briony Coote / Art: Carl Lavin
Poem: Anne-Marie Marquess / Art: Noel Baxter
Time School – Teacher’s Pet!
Story: John Freeman / Art: Mike Nicoll (Bill Storie)
Once Too Often
Story: Briony Coote / Art: Vicky Stonebridge /
John Armstrong Interview
Interview: Chris Lillyman / Art: John Armstrong
Story: Martin Jones / Art: J P Sewell
The Cult Of The Cat
Story: Charles Ellis / Art: Johnny McMonagle
Free Gift Poster: John Armstrong
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.