Saturday, December 18, 2010


About a year ago I was in a newsagents and spied a magazine sealed in a cardboard packet called Comic...something or other. I couldn’t make it out at first. I was definitely intrigued though, of course. When I looked more closely, I saw it was called SFX Presents Comic Heroes. Hmm. On the front were three movie heroes – the 2002 Spider-Man, 2008 Iron Man and another one I can’t remember. SFX is a glossy sci-fi magazine that also brings out other specials, along the lines of SFX Presents Vampires and things of that nature. So it seemed that this was their superhero movies one. I didn’t want to buy that, and certainly not for £8 without being able to look over the thing.

Months later I saw another Comic Heroes. This one had a picture of a recent incarnation of Captain America (possibly by Bryan Hitch), who is soon to be in his own movie. Cap is currently alive again after being dead, or missing, or not called Captain America any more, or no longer wearing the suit, or someone else is Captain America, or something.

By the time I saw a third edition, it had Alan Moore on front being interviewed. The taglines were (paraphrasing) "I don’t like the movies they make of my comics" and "I’m giving up comics". Moore is always an interesting interview subject, but neither idea/headline is particulary new. Again I wasn't going to buy this without seeing more.

When I was at a comics event in Edinburgh last Summer, someone mentioned Comic Heroes. Did I buy it? No. The Eddie Campbell comic inside was great.


I spent the next couple of weeks trying to find issue three to no avail. The Eddie Campbell bit was in a preview comic inside the sealed pack called “Sidekick” (groan).

It seemed the comic was not solely about superhero movies with a smattering of comics related material. It is a bona fide comics magazine on sale in regular newsagents. Bravo.

So I picked up the latest last week. The packet has an image from the forthcoming League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1969, and the cover itself features the Nautilis from that series. Nice preview pages too and a Kevin O’Neill interview. Paul Gravett is involved, with an article on Moebius. Dandy editor Craig Graham talks about the recent revamp. Dez Skinn writes about Doctor Who comics. Lew Stringer writes about British superheroes. Warren Ellis, Walt Simonson and others feature. The bias is definitely on US superhero comics, with some other genres covered. Nothing is particularly in-depth, but it’s all good fun.

It’s funny how the packaging gave me the wrong idea. Maybe they really should stop sealing it shut.

I’ll be picking it up from now on. I might even subscribe.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I never read much in the way of war comics while growing up. Probably one of the few comics genres I did miss out on.
I've had occassion to look into comics based on World War I lately though. I decided to check out the new collection of Jacques Tardi's It Was the War of the Trenches. I've read the bits of Tardi that were in Raw years ago and so was pretty sure this would be good.
Well, it is a very powerful piece of work indeed. Many many haunting scenes. Beautifully drawn images. It's exemplary.

As a taster here is a video of Tardi working on just one of the panels in the book...