John M. Burns exclusive “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” Volume Four cover revealed, plus sneak peek!

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Volume Four is now available to pre-order from all good bookshops – and there’s a terrific Treasury of British Comics webshop exclusive hardcover edition up for grabs, too, with a cover by John M. Burns.

The best-selling science-fiction classic series continues with a fourth omnibus collecting the stories published from 1973 through to 1976.

Inside, the Trigan Empire remains resilient against enemies on all fronts, from treacherous politicians, murderous Zith assassins, and alien invaders, Trigo and Janno protect the citizens of Elekton.

Don Lawrence’s painted art continues to be a highlight of the series written by Mike Butterworth, but, as he takes a sabbatical from the strip, Miguel Quesada and Philip Corke match his impressive work with their own style.

Out on 25th May 2022, it’s available in a standard paperback edition or a webshop exclusive hardcover featuring a brand new cover by legendary artist John M. Burns (Judge Dredd, Nikolai Dante, Modesty Blaise).

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” began in 1965 in Ranger, and continued when Ranger was absorbed into Look and Learn where it continued to be published through to 1982. In addition to its long run in that British title, the strip was extensively reprinted in Europe, where it still has a loyal following to this day, Don Lawrence’s departure from the strip in 1976, leading to the creation of his own fantasy series, Storm.

Mike Butterworth is primarily known in comic circles as the writer of The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire, but had previously written “Battler Briton” and “Buffalo Bill” strips for Comet, and for Sun he wrote “Max Bravo”, “The Happy Hussar” and “Billy the Kid” (which was drawn by, amongst others, Don Lawrence).

From 1967 he also wrote crime novels under his full name, John Michael Butterworth, and gothic romances under the pseudonyms of Carola Salisbury and Sarah Kemp.

Don Lawrence was born in 1928, and worked for Mick Anglo on the Marvelman comic produced for Amalgamated Press, and then “Billy the Kid” in the comic, Sun. When Sun was absorbed into Lion, he moved on to illustrating “Olac the Gladiator”, “Karl the Viking” (now also being collected a Treasury of British Comics series), and “Maroc the Mighty”. In 1965 he teamed with Mike Butterworth to create “The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire” for Ranger magazine, and continued to paint the comic through its transition into Look and Learn through to 1976. During this period he also worked on “Fireball XL5” and “The Adventures of Tarzan” comic strips for TV Century 21.

After leaving “The Trigan Empire”, he worked with a Dutch publisher to create Storm, a post-apocalypse sci-fi series, which he would draw through to his retirement in 1999.

An accomplished comic creator from the age of 13, award-winning artist Miguel Quesada is better known for his work in Spanish comics, but In the 1960s he drew a number of strips for British comics, particularly for Fleetway, including for Air Ace Picture Library and the Battle Picture Library, and Commando stories for DC Thomson. Other credits include “The Iron Man” for Eagle, and episodes of “The Trigan Empire” for Look and Learn.

In the 1970s, he also drew a number of strips for Tammy, and “A Dream for Yvonne”, for Jinty, those girls comics credits listed here.

Philip Corke worked on a number of “Trigan Empire” strips during 1974 and 1975, but is better known as a book and poster illustrator, his book work mostly focused on historical subjects for publishers such as Young World Productions and for the Longman Butterfly Books series.

He took over the illustration work for what by then was titled “More Adventures of The Trigan Empire” from Miguel Quesada in 1974 the Book Palace web site noting he painted the strip solidly in his graphic style for over a year.

“Using a combination of airy dreamlike pastel toned panels contrasting boldly with dense heavily inked sections, Corke achieves a fast-paced visual narrative,” it’s noted. “Specialising in characters with grotesque visual features and creatures with gruesome abnormalities, Corke’s pages may still be remembered by some readers of Look and Learn to this day.”

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Volume Four is available to pre-order in paperback from your favourite bookshop now | ISBN 978-1786185648 | 240 Pages | Pre-order the Treasury of British Comics exclusive hardcover edition here | Pre-order the Treasury of British Comics paperback edition from AmazonUK here (Affiliate Link)

Stories include:

Art from “Journey to Orcadia“, by Don Lawrence, via Catawiki. Emperor Trigo and his nephew, Janno, are reduced to microscopic and then subatomic dimensions, and after some hellish encounters with supersized microbes, arrives on a planet called Orcadia…

• Journey to Orcadia
• The Secret of Castle Doum
• The House of the Five Moons
• The Outlaw Planet
• The Glass Planet
• Terror from Tarron
• The Sun Worshippers
• The Rogue Planet
• The Melting Ice Caps
• The Elixir of Eternal Youth
• The Zith Assassin
• The Alien Seeds
• The Stone of Vorg
• The Temperature Controller
• The Wise Man of Vorg

The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire Volume Four is available to pre-order in paperback from your favourite bookshop now | ISBN 978-1786185648 | 240 Pages | Pre-order the Treasury of British Comics exclusive hardcover edition here | Pre-order the Treasury of British Comics paperback edition from AmazonUK here (Affiliate Link)

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.



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1 reply

  1. Mike Butterworth may also be remembered as Flaxman Loew, the pseudonym he used while writing campy Vampirella stories for Warren.

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