A quick bullet point round up of just some of the comic -related news that’s caught my eye this morning…
• Due to hit newsagents in June, here’s an advance look at Chris Geary’s cover for the next issue of anthology magazine SHIFT (Issue 5), featuring the stars from two new series – “Crucible”, by John Freeman and Smuzz, and “Dega”, by Dan McDaid. Head over to GetMyComics to pre-order or subscribe
• Talking of anthologies, dystopian doom runs thick and fast with the fifth episode of ‘V’ in the latest issue of The77. Writer Steve Bull, illustrator Ade Hughes, colourist Darren Stephens and the inimitable Annie Parkhouse on letters bring you the bad news, end of the world, maybe – but it’s never looked better or been so exciting! Get the fifth issue of The77, on general sale from the 20th May 2021, and more from the The77 comic store here
• First broadcast in 2010, downthetubes contributor Jeremy Briggs spotted the BBC’s 60th anniversary radio documentary on Eagle and Dan Dare is on BBC Sounds for the next four weeks, after being repeated. Sir Tim Rice explores the lasting appeal of Eagle and impact of its flagship hero, Dan Dare. Catch it here on BBC Sounds
• Dedicated curator of British comics obscura and downthetubes roving reporter Richard Sheaf has fine tuned his researches into Cosmic magazine, the late 1990s title with ties to Take a Break, with three more issues now acquired. Check out his checklist on his Boys Adventure Comic Blog, and read our feature, compiled with Richard’s input, here
• The latest episode of the Awesome Comics Podcast – Episode 306 – is available now! The team talk comics and get weird with Drink and Draw master of ceremonies, Thomas Curry.
• We Hereby Refuse, out soon from Chun Music Press in partnership with the Wing Luke Museum in Washington, written by authors, Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura with art by Ross Ishikawa and Matt Sasaki. The novel follows the lives of three Japanese American activists – Jim Akutsu, Hiroshi Kashiwagi and Endo – and shines a new light on Japanese Americans who fought World War Two incarceration.
Unlike some camp stories, the story focuses on their daily lives – how ordinary they were before the United States changed everything. The authors wanted to highlight quieter moments, when the US government and racism imposed on everyday Japanese Americans trying to live their lives. Ashley Wing has more here at the Sacramento Bee. On sale in the UK from 3rd June, it’s available to pre-order here on AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)
• Ace comics creator Lew Stringer turns our attention to the fantastic art of Tom Browne, the grandfather of British comics. “There are elements in his style that many of us still use today, albeit sometimes in simplified form,” he notes on the Sequentially British Facebook Group. “As well as being the creator of ‘Weary Willie and Tired Tim’ for Chips in 1896, Browne was a hugely popular cartoonist for other magazines and a founder of the London Sketch Club.”
Here’s a wonderful cartoon he did for The Tatler, that was reprinted in 1909 in the book Brush Pen and Pencil: Tom Browne, a book Lew tells us is well worth seeking out by the way, which often turns up on eBay, and secondhand, too.
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.