So, last week as I was promoting the week’s new comics, I was a bit flippant about the price rises for imported US comics British comic shops will have to pass on to their customers (imposed by Diamond, who had no choice, either, raising prices for the first time in eight years).
After some face to face and online chats with retailers, it’s clear a lot of them are very worried by the price rises. While many offer plenty of lines, other than US comics – independent British comics, graphic novels, toys, games and more – for most it’s these comics that form the lion’s share of their income.
So my apologies to the retailers forced to do this for any offence I inadvertently caused. It’s clear from communications received that the price rises are a major concern for comic shop owners and there has never been a more important time to Support Your Local Comic Shop.
With that in mind, artist Nick Miller has very kindly lent his support to our Support Your Local Comic Shop campaign with this art featuring Dennis the Cat from the Really Heavy Greatcoat strip he and I wrote for about 20 years. Please feel free to share the graphics! (I’ve also created some items via Cafepress and will be looking at getting some badges runs off separately to give away).
Now, I know there are some of you out there with tastes beyond those of costumed superheroes and zombies who may feel your local comic shop isn’t perfect and that you’d like to see a greater range of stock, particularly independent titles. Many, such as Page 45 in Nottingham, GOSH Comics and Orbital Comics in London, both Forbidden Planet International and Forbidden Planet (two separate shop chains), the Travelling Man shops and Dave’s Comics in Brighton, are well known for doing this – and many others. But it isn’t easy when budgets are tight.
“As a small retailer I can assure you that I want my shop to be every bit as good as the customers deserve and expect,” says Lancaster’s First Age Comics co-owner Lucy Braithwaite, who kindly help downthetubes out with their listings information for this regular column. “I stock everything I can, I offer to order what I can, I have a small press section, I display local art, I host signings for artists, I open space in my shop to whoever wants to create whatever they want, I keep smiling and keep welcoming people.”
Numerous issues face comic retailers in an effort to earn a living and keep us in comics, and we’re keen to lend them our support. So why check out our British and Irish Comics Map and go an pay your local comics retailer a visit?
• Blue: Comic Shop
• Red: Shops also known to offer Mail Order Services
• Grey: Shops also known to sell small press comics
• Yellow: Comic-related sites of interest
UK Newsagents Releases
There are plenty of comics on sale in newsagents that still delight in bringing you such subversive delights, including 2000AD (this year’s Summer Special is also on sale now), The Beano, the new Danger Mouse comic, Commando (latest release intel here), Judge Dredd Megazine (see below), Panini’s superhero titles, Titan Comics superhero titles and VIZ, with great strips also featuring in titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Doctor Who Adventures, Titan’s Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS (collecting their strips from the US format titles), Mega, TOXIC and many others.
Plus, the wonderful Phoenix Comic is now on sale in many (but not all) Waitrose supermarkets and – at last, selected high street WH Smiths stores – and some comic shops (stockist list here) as well as available on subscription.
So let’s not get too downhearted by some British publishers lack of faith in full-blown cover to cover comic strip action and humour that only those of us over a certain age remember.
Hachette Partworks, whose partwork titles include Doctor Who: The Complete History and Judge Dredd: The Mega Collection, continue their How To Draw The Marvel Way, along with their re-release of their hugely successful part work, Marvel’s Marvel Ultimate Graphic Novel series.
Some of you in certain areas of the country may also be able to pick up a copy of the new Star Trek Graphic Novel Collection, which is currently being road tested by Eaglemoss.
Note that you may now have to subscribe if you want to continue buying Part Works some are not distributed in newsagents after their first few issues.
Digital Comic Picks
Aces Weekly Volume 22 has just completed its run and Volume 23 will launch on Monday 18th July. Expects strips from Dylan Teague, Roberto Corroto Cuadrado and Ertito Montana, Paul Rainey, all put together byDavid Lloyd.
Hot Tip! if you subscribe to Aces Weekly now, before the next volume starts on 18th July 2016, for the usual just £1 per week – in any currency – you’ll get the whole, massive seven-weeks-worth of Aces Weekly Volume 22, complete now, with Volume 23 coming directly to you for every week of its seven weekly parts until its completion, and then right on to the next and the next!
Tune in now for the best readership in original digital comics at www.acesweekly.co.uk/shop
Don’t miss out on all the Previous Volumes, either, which have up to 200 pages of comics including Extras, and in full form feature in an exclusive Week-to-Week facility, which transforms any volume’s serialised stories into continuous comic book-sized narratives.
The latest issue of digital action adventure and SF anthology 100% Biodegradable – Issue 13 – is on sale now, and features some great strips from a 2000AD droid and many other great comic creators. (I’m not counting myself as one of those “greats”, but I’m in the mix, too). Here’s a peek at some of the pages – Buy it from DriveThru here
British Comic Publishers
Featuring: Judge Dredd: Reclamation by Michael Carroll, Colin MacNeil, Len O’Grady, and Annie Parkhouse; Brink by Dan Abnett, INJ Culbard, and Simon Bowland; Outlier: Survivor Guilt by TC Eglington, Karl Richardson, and Ellie De Ville; Black Shuck: Sins of the Father by Leah Moore, John Reppion, Steve Yeowell, Chris Blythe, and Ellie De Ville; Scarlet Traces: Cold War by Ian Edginton, D’Israeli, and Annie Parkhouse.
Judge Dredd Summer Special 2016
Featuring: Judge Dredd: Night Zoom by John Wagner, Brendan McCarthy, and Annie Parkhouse; Ace Trucking Co.: The Banned Brand Stand by Eddie Robson, Nigel Dobbyn, and Ellie De Ville; Sinister Dexter: Shady as Funt by Dan Abnett, Tom Foster, Ellie De Ville; Robo-Hunter: The Droid Dilemma by Alec Worley, Mark Simmons, and Anne Parkhouse; Rogue Trooper: Shore Leave by Guy Adams, Jimmy Broxton, Simon Bowland. Plus – a fantastic free Judge Dredd poster by Chris Weston!
• This is great! Check out our Sneak Preview here
Featuring: Judge Dredd: Dust to Dust by Michael Carroll, Henry Flint, and Annie Parkhouse; Realm of the Damned by Alec Worley, Pye Parr, and Luke Preece; Lawless: Of Munce and Men by Dan Abnett, Phil Winslade and Ellie De Ville, Blunt by TC Eglington, Boo Cook, and Simon Bowland.
Fiction: No Act of Kindness by Steve Frame
Features: Joe Hill interview by Stephen Jewell; Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens by Karl Stock
Bagged graphic novel: Sinister Dexter: Junk Bond by Dan Abnett, Frazer Irving, Andy Clarke, Simon Davis, Gary Caldwell, Ellie De Ville.
Assassin’s Creed: Assassin’s #10
Writers: Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery
Artist: Neil Edwards
Colourist: Ivan Nunes
Cuzco is under attack from the invading Conquistadors, and Quila and Don Pardo Gonzales face a bitter fight to reach the Emperor-God before the city falls. For Charlotte, the clue she’s been searching for is finally revealed, but it leads to a bigger surprise than she could ever have imagined!
COVER A: JAKE
COVER B: Sanya Anwar
COVER C: Adam Gorham
Heroes: Godsend #5
Writer: Joey Falco
Artist: Roy Allan Martinez
Farah prepares for a deadly confrontation with the super-strong Mr Vance in the shocking conclusion to ‘Godsend’. And what part will Angela Petrelli, HRG and the mysterious Philomena Haas play?
Features interlocking covers.
COVER A: Roy Allan Martinez
COVER B: Roy Allan Martinez
Writers: Stan Silas
Artist: Stan Silas
It’s not so easy being Grace… cast out among misfits, toppled from her position as the ultimate Queen Bee, and now forced to consider that maybe she’s got more in common with Norman than she thought. Maybe, just maybe… she’s a horrifying monster who has no place in civilized society?
Cover A: Sonia Leong
Cover B: Stan Silas
Man Plus Trade Paperback
Writer/ Artist: André Lima Araújo
Collecting the complete highly-anticipated Final Cut of the hit web-comics experience!
From artist/writer André Lima Araújo (Avengers AI, Ultimate FF, Age of Apocalypse) comes this high-octane dystopian thriller in which technology rules with a heavy hand, cyborg strike teams are commonplace, and the lines between man and machine grow hazier every day.
US Comics On Sale This Week
List courtesy First Age Comics Lancaster – prices listed are prices of these titles in First Age – they may vary from shop to shop, depending on the amount of the price increase passed on
A&A #5 £2.95
A-Force #7 £2.95
Action Comics #959 £2.30
Adventures of Supergirl #6 £2.30
All New Inhumans #9 £2.95
All New Wolverine #10 £3.55
Aquaman #3 £2.30
Astonishing Ant Man #10 £2.95
Astro City #37 £2.95
Back to the Future Citizen Brown #3/5 £3.55
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey Rebirth #1 £2.30
Batman #3 £2.30
Betty & Veronica #1 £2.95
Black Hammer #1 £2.95
Black Widow #5 £2.95
BPRD Hell On Earth #143 £2.95
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #29 £2.95
Casanova Acedia #6 £2.95
Cinema Purgatorio #3 £4.10
Contest of Champions #10 £3.55
Darth Vader #23 £2.95
Deadpool & Mercs for Money #1 £2.95
Faith #1 £2.95
Fearless Dawn CHibi Finale one-shot £2.95
Garth Ennis Red Team Double Tap #1 – £2.95
Writer: Garth Ennis Artist: Craig Cermak Cover Artist: Dan Panosian
One year after the catastrophic events that ended the first series, Red Team survivors Eddie Mellinger and Trudy Giroux are in the doldrums. Considered a political liability, the two are kept busy on small-time cases by their suspicious NYPD commanders… but a chance encounter in the ghetto gives them a chance to get back in the game. Trouble is, it means going far beyond the law… which is what almost got them killed last time around.
“Red Team: Double Tap, Centre Mass features the return of two of my favorite characters, Detectives Eddie Mellinger and Trudy Giroux of the NYPD,” says Garth Enis. “The first Red Team saw them survive by the skin of their teeth; now they’re dropped right back in at the deep end, with their growing feelings for each other only complicating matters. Writing this series is a real treat for me, and getting to work with Craig Cermak again makes it even better.”
Grimm Fairy Tales Robyn Hood I Love NY #2 £2.95
Green Arrow #3 £2.30
Green Lanterns #3 £2.30
Guardians of Infinity #8 £3.55
Hellblazer Rebirth #1 £2.10
Hunt #1 £2.95
I Hate Fairyland #7 £2.65
Injustice Gods Among Us Year Five #14 £2.30
Island #9 £5.99
Jim Butcher Dresden Files Wild Card #4 £2.95
Lazarus #23 £2.95
Legends of Tomorrow #5 £5.99
Lucifer #8 £2.95
Lumberjanes #28 £2.95
Marvel Graphic Novel Collection Volume 120 £9.99 no change as yet
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #5 £2.95
New Suicide Squad #22 £2.30
Nighthawk #3 £2.95
Nova #9 £2.95
Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #8 £2.95
Prophet Earth War #5/6 £2.95
Rai #15 £2.95
Scooby Apocalypse # £2.95
She Wolf #2 £2.95
Simpsons Comics #231 £2.95
Snotgirl #1 £2.30
Sombra #1/4 £2.95
Spider-Man #6 £2.95
Squadron Supreme #9 £3.55
Star Wars #21 £2.95
Stumptown V3 #10 £2.95
Superman #3 £2.30
Tales From the Darkside #2 £2.95
Think Tank Creative Destruction #4 £2.95
Thunderbolts #3 £2.95
Ultimates #9 £2.95
Uncanny X-Men #10 £2.95
Velvet #15 £2.65
Wacky Raceland #2 £2.95
Wonder Woman #2 £2.30
Xena Warrior Princess #4 £2.95
Thanks to First Age Comics Lancaster for information supplied. First Age Comics is at 3 Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1QD. Open: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm. First Age Comics also has a shop site on e-Bay:http://stores.ebay.co.uk/First-Age
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.