Tube Surfing: TOXIC’s new strips, Mudman and STRIP Magazine news

Here’s a quick round up of British comics news courtesy of various sources…

Bro vs. Bro by Laura Howell

Lew Stringer reports the website for Egmont’s popular TOXIC magazine for boys has recently had a revamp. Although some of the older items such as the Joke Machine have gone, the site now offers a bunch of new features, including one of his Team Toxic stories, Butt of the Joke, that you can read online for free.

The magazine itself also has two new strips this week (Issue 189), in addition to the ongoing Busted Bieber, stinky superhero Captain Gross and Lew’s long-running Team Toxic. Luke’s Spooks features a boy haunted by a couple of gross ghosts, and Bro vs Bro, drawn by Laura Howell, is about the rivalry of two brothers, one a boy genius, the other a sports jock.

“Hmm, thinking about it, a scenario about belligerent youths isn’t much of a departure from BBC News 24 at all is it,” Laura notes wryly on her blog. “Ahem, let’s move on..”

• Print Media Productions STRIP Magazine is on course for an October launch – still no actual date yet – and the first three strips in the STRIP Challenge, seeking to spotlight new talent, have been chosen. As the title’s editor, I can report we had a terrific selection to choose from and while there were some entries that strayed wildly from the declared content of the magazine most of the submissions were in the right ball park as regards content. The first three creative teams have been informed of their success, but we still have to decide the next three.

STRIP Magazine, a monthly anthology adventure title, will include stories by Phil Hester, John McCrea, PJ Holden, James Hudnall and John Ridgway (among others). More information at (currently re-directing to the title’s blog)

Paul Temple © London Evening News

Steve Holland is currently publishing episodes of the newspaper strip Paul Temple on his wonderful Bear Alley blog. Based on the BBC radio character of the same name and published in London’s Evening News from 19th November 1951 until 1st May 1971, it’s the adventures of an amateur detective told with typical derring-do of the period, and was drawn by a variety of artists – Alfred Sindall, Bill Bailey and John McNamara.

There’s more about Paul Temple character here on the Thrilling Detective web site , but Steve has plenty more about the comic and Paul Temple’s creator on Bear Alley.

Bryan Talbot, creator of Luther Arkwright and much more, has dropped us a line to say that his wife, Dr Mary Talbot, an internationally acclaimed scholar in her own right with published works on language, gender and power has a web site live dedicated to her upcoming graphic novel (drawn by Bryan), Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes, which will be published by Cape in February 2012. Part personal history, part biography, Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes contrasts two coming of age narratives: that of Lucia, the daughter of James Joyce, and that of author Mary Talbot, daughter of the eminent Joycean scholar James S Atherton. … a fine addition to the evolving genre of graphic memoir.

“I think what’s been most distinctive about this project is that I haven’t just completed a script and then passed it over to an artist. We’ve been able to work on the book together, with an intensive and ongoing creative interaction that’s usually missing from writer/artist collaborations.”

There are preview pages from Dotter on Mary’s website, © 2011 Mary M. Talbot. You can pre-order Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes from now

• A quick reminder about the the upcoming Comics and Conflict conference which is being held in the Imperial War Museum on 19th-20th August, which will include panel discussion, workshops and a film screening, as well as boasting some terrific guests such as Pat Mills, Roger Sabin and Garth Ennis – among others. If you’re a war comics fan and in London that weekend it’s not to be missed.

• Talking of events. don’t forget the Edinburgh Book Festival has started. Our own Jeremy Briggs has already brought us a run down of this year’s comics-related events, which include appearances by the Etherington Brothers, Pat Mills, Tony Lee, Dan Boultwood, Emma Vieceli and many others.

There are more details of all the talks at the Edinburgh International Book Festival website where tickets can also be purchased.

• US publisher Image Comics have announced the upcoming publication of Mudman by Paul Grist. After self-publishing for much of the 1990s, Paul Grist brought two critically acclaimed original titles to Image Comics in 2002: the crime drama Kane and then the eclectic superhero series Jack Staff. Recently, Grist has been using his sparse, signature style to develop this new superhero that will be introduced to the world this November.

“This is my ‘Back to Basics’ superhero comic,” explained Grist. “It’s not about alien menaces or cosmic powers (though they may pop up once in a while); it’s all about growing up and finding your way in the world, and how the decisions that you make can affect others. In a way, it’s probably the most autobiographical comic I’ve ever done. But with added mud.” There’s more information here on the Image Comics web site.

I’ll round off this Tube Surf with news of another event, again north of the border. An exhibition of paintings by HI-Ex co-organiser Vicky Stonebridge – well known for her indie comics work on titles such as Slaughterman’s Creed – and artist John Mikietyn, and a ceramic sculpture by Allison Weightman, will open at the Scotland Russia Forum’s Edinburgh premises at 6.00pm tonight, Friday 12th August, attended by Sergei Krutikov, the Russian Consul General.

The week long exhibition – “Reactions to Vysotsky” – accompanies music by Scottish singer, songwriter and translator, Tommy Beavitt, whose long-term project to interpret and perform the work of the Russian Bard, Vladimir Vysotsky (1938-1980), in English and Russian, has been an inspiration for the work displayed. Alongside the artworks, the exhibition will present Tommy’s performances in Russian and English of some of Vysotsky’s songs, which feature universal themes of faith, conflict and individual freedom.

After closing in Edinburgh on the 18th, the exhibition will then re-open at the Inchmore Gallery, near Inverness, on the 19th August. Full details here on Vicky’s Balnacra Arts web site

Categories: British Comics, Tube Surfing

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