It’s been a busy week! Here are some items you may have missed on our site and beyond. Have a great weekend!
• Marvel Entertainment debuted a lot of concept art and new posters for upcoming movies over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con: Ant-Man and The Wasp (debuting 6th July 2018); Thor: Ragnarok (along with a new trailer for the film which debuts 3rd November 2017); Black Panther; and Avengers: Infinity War.
• Syfy released a very short teaser trailer for Krypton, its upcoming Superman prequel series, at San Diego Comic-Con. The teaser for the show, which debuts on the cable channel next year, offers the first glimpse at the world and people in the show, which was developed by David S. Goyer.
• Talking of Superman, Frank Miller is working on Superman: Year One for US publisher DC Comics, which is hopefully good news for the company where its heads fret daily about the decline of the US comics market, as reported here on Movie Pilot in a report written as if the world ends outside North America.
• So, San Diego Comic-Con came and went and ICV2 has several picture galleries of the event – One and Two – Three – Four and Five. You’ll be pleased to hear that beyond the cosplay (which is all great fun, please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but admiration for the hard work that goes into making such amazing and inventive costumes from so many talented folk), by Gallery Three we finally get a photograph of some comic creators at their stall – Katherine Brannock, the brains behind Someday Mouse. There’s also a picture of an unused cover for ‘Zap’ #1 by Robert Crumb – expected to bring $100,000 or more at an upcoming auction by Heritage Auctions – and IDW get an appearance here. But mainly it’s film, TV and cosplay, which seems an odd choice of imagery for a comic site aimed mainly at comic retailers…
• Of course, the US direct sales market isn’t the only place where comic sales are feeling the heat from the competition of rival media, but the Financial Times reports DC Thomson’s Beano Studios are making a determined effort to fight back (subscription required to view) by engaging with the increasing number of children glued to their mobile devices. (The number of UK children with their own tablet device has increased among five to 15-year-olds, from 40 per cent (2015) to 44 per cent last year, according to Ofcom, the broadcast regulator). But it isn’t all over yet for print and there is good reason to be cautious about going all out for digital over paper. While the Beano comic sales are down on a decade ago, there has been an uplift and subscription sales are up 15 per cent on last year. “Comic subscriptions online, [is] an inferior experience,” says Emma Scott, head of Beano Studios. Kids get snippets of the comic on Beano.com and can subscribe to the ereader app. “The hard bit, obviously in print, is getting kids to buy it.”
• Collectible enamel lapel badge (or pin, as they say across the pond) maker @yesterdays.co have just released some devilishly dangerous pin badges – featuring the fearsome foursome Dark Judges from 2000AD‘s Judge Dredd. Read our story
• We’ve posted a fair few reviews this week, including The Human Beings #2 and the book Women Who Kill, illustrated by Sarah Tanat-Jones (reviewed by Tony Esmond); MULP #4 by Matt Gibbs and Sara Dunkerton (reviewed by Jeremy Briggs); and Combat Colin #1 by Lew Stringer (reviewed by me)
• Breakdown Press will be launching a collection of all Shaky Kane‘s Deadline strips, entitled The Good News Bible. Read our story here
• Some original art from the 1985 Doctor Who Annual depicting Colin Baker as The Doctor goes up for auction in Bristol at East Bristol Auctions on Saturday 29th July 2017, and is just one of several items we think downthetubes readers might be interested in…
• We’ve also posted a couple of games-related items, one about Rogue Trooper Redux from Rebellion; and a Thunderbirds are Go app from Kuato Studios, which follows hot on the success of Parker’s Driving Challenge.
• Jeremy Briggs has posted a plug for the crowdfunder for To Coldly Go, the new collection of The Penned Guins from talented cartoonist Alan Henderson. The strips are very silly and funny. Worth a look!
• A couple of magazine are out now with items on British comics: the new Eagle Times, the magazine of the Eagle Society, and the news stand title Comic Heroes (Issue 32), which features a four-page article on Time Bomb Comics great historical adventure comic Flintlock.
• Talking of Eagle Times, thank goodness they are so diligent in their coverage of all things Eagle comic. After the recent discovery of a forgotten Dan Dare stage play that ran in London’s Half Moon Theatre in 1972, covered in Spaceship Away issue 42 and here on downthetubes , comes the realisation that there was another play featuring a different character from the original Eagle comic. Jeremy Briggs reveals more, thanks in party to the Eagle Society’s past coverage…
• The countdown has begun to this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October (13th – 15th). We’re delighted to continue our “Kendal Calling” interviews with 2000AD comic artist Mark Sexton, who’s coming to the event all the way from Australia along with a number of others forming a Caravan of Comics from Down Under; great indie artist Oliver East, who has a new project launching at the Festival weekend; and the amazing Finnish artist Petteri Tikkanen. Weekend passes are on sale now.
• The 50th anniversary of the debut of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons is already seeing the release of Spectrum is Indestructible by Fred McNamara, but now news reaches us of the upcoming publication of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons – The Vault by Chris Bentley, which looks terrific…
• There’s Dunkirk spirit aplenty in the new Commando comics (Issues 5039-5042) on sale now from DC Thomson, but the big news for the veteran war comic was its open call for writer submissions and the publication of its submission guidelines…
• DC Thomson is also in the news for its support for a new exhibition of British Girls Comics art at the Univeristy of Dundee, one of two new exhibitions we covered here on downthetubes, the other being Comics: Explore and Create Comic Art at Seven Stories in Newcastle, which looks simply stunning – we have some pictures here.
• Comic art, in fact, seems to be very much in the news, with a page of Prince Valiant by the legendary Hal Foster selling for over $70,00 at auction this week – but art by Charles Schultz and Jim Lee was left on the shelf.
• Our most popular item this week wasn’t actually comics-related directly, although it will feature comics in it. Following 2015’s hugely successful in-depth book Thunderbirds: The Vault by Marcus Hearn, author Chris Bentley has written a new Gerry Anderson tome and we have a sneak peek of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: The Vault book, out in October.
Thank you for reading!
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.