Tube Surfing: 23 March 2009

• Artist Rob Davis recently posted an interesting article about his work for Roy of the Rovers Monthly when it relaunched in late 1993. Davis had previously worked on the short-lived comic Glory Glory for Tundra UK with Stuart Green, who then became editor of the new Rovers title. “Stuart’s plan was to bring the same sensibilities to Roy of the Rovers. His ideas were brilliant but ruthless,” Rob reveals. “The original title had been cancelled in March 1993 and the story of Roy Race ended with Roy crashing his private helicopter, readers were left not knowing if he was alive or dead.
“In September of the same year our Monthly comic started up and Roy awoke from a coma to find that his comic strip world had gone and reality had moved in. The first shock was discovering that he had lost his famous left foot, amputated after the crash…” Although this version was disregarded by later revamps of the strip, it’s an interesting look at this controversial re-toolong of the famous character.

• In 1992 writer Ian Carney and artist Dave Taylor teamed up to do some Mr Murray strips, purely for fun. Ian is now a writer for children’s cartoons and shows such as Shaun the Sheep, but back then both were both struggling artisans trying to find their way in life. “Our love of comic books turned into this here strip,” says Dave, who has now posted some samples of the strip on his blog. “The last page was written by myself and features Randy the Skeleton, a wonderful creation of Aidan Potts, another fellow Brit cartoonist who’s work was always an inspiration.”

• Diamond’s Scoop site notes that it’s been 80 years since Tarzan first apeared in comics. Let’s not forget that includes appearances in later issues of TV21, capitalizing on the TV version of the character starring Ron Ely, who has also played Superman and Doc Savage.

• Joe Kubert’s Tor: A Prehistoric Odyssey, collecting all six issues of the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of the character – a story begun over fifty years ago is now on sale in comic shops. In addition to the six issues, the hardcover book includes all six covers – including the correct version of cover number five – as well as rare, previously unpublished sketches and thumbnails. by the artist.

• Ian Sharman’s fantastic-looking Young Gods project, available via, is now Alpha Gods — we suspect some copyright shenanigans. The comic centres on the eponymous Gods in battle with an ancient evil, Malak. Written by Ian Sharman with art by Ezequiel Pineda and coloured by Mauro Barbosa, this is an action packed series from Orang Utan Comics that will eventually be released as a print edition.

• James Moran, writer of series such as Torchwood, Primeval, Doctor Who and horror comedy Severance has published a really useful FAQ on writing, which includes the obvious advice that if you wnat to be a writer “Start writing. Keep writing.” It seems many people just don’t get this. “If you want to be a writer, you have to write, a lot, and read a lot, and rewrite a lot,” he continues. You write and write and write, and you might not be any good for a long time, maybe several years, until you get a bit better, then you keep going, then eventually you’ll get good at it.”

• Since his creation by Mike Mignola, Hellboy has been adored by comic book fans across the world. Guillermo Del Toro brought him to the big screen and now author Mark Morris, author of several Doctor Who books, and winner of the 2007 British Fantasy Award, talks about his new Hellboy novel at the upcoming Leeds Young People Film Festival. This masterclass is followed by the screening of the animated film The Sword of Storms, which is free to anyone attending the masterclass. To book tickets please call City Centre Box Office on 0113 224 3801. More info online here

Compiled with thanks to Matthew Badham

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