Sunday, October 23, 2011

COMMANDO 50th ANNIVERSARY - and Doctor Who in Comics.

The University of Dundee has an exhibition on of artwork from Commando comics, currently in its 50th year of publication.

Ian Kennedy gets his own frame with four covers.

The covers are certainly impressive. So are the pages themselves.

There are also scripts on show.

A piece that struck me was Jordi Penalva's "Noose for a Hero" cover. I already liked it, but to see those vivid red clouds in the original painting was impressive.

The exhibition runs until 19th November and is well worth a visit.

There's another on at the National Army Museum in London too, which has huge Ian Kennedy banners outside.

I also recently visited the Doctor Who in Comics 1964-2011 exhibition at London's Cartoon Museum. They have terrific John Ridgway and Roger Langridge pages. John Ross' work was interesting - he doesn't use any black space at all on the artwork itself. I was especially impressed by a fully painted Ron Turner page. I love his Journey to the Stars stories from Speed comic.

I haven't been to the Museum before so the regular material on show was all new to me too. Highlights for me were pages of Frank Hampson Dan Dare, David Lloyd V For Vendetta and Joe Colquhoun Charley's War. It was also interesting to see the Charles Schulz original, with all its erased pencils under the inks. He really worked hard at making Peanuts look effortless.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Here is a preface to Troublemaker by Janet and Alex Evanovich. Like comics work from novelists such as Denise Mina, James Patterson and Ian Rankine, Dark Horse Comics (or Dark Horse Books as they refer to themselves on the spine of this work) publish work by these authors in an understandable and laudable attempt to attract readers who would usually not read comics. It's the first such crossover book to include an instruction manual on how to follow a comics page though.

It does seem kind of ridiculous, especially to someone such as I who has read comics all my days, but I think they may be onto something. I have seen people look at comics pages and just think "No, I don't want to deal with this". This "comics are too difficult for people to read" argument has rumbled along for at least a couple of decades, and I've heard plenty of skeptical views towards it from learned comics individuals.

But consider this: I think it may be similar the disconnect felt when Yoof TV show Network 7 started putting words running along the screen in one or more places while a presenter was talking. The mix of looking and reading was confusing! It's now the norm and difficult to remember what was so jarring about it.

Saturday, October 08, 2011


This story is from #1929 of The Dandy, published in November 1978. It's one of the oldest comics I have. More specifically, it's one of the oldest I have that I got when it actually came out.

I liked The Jocks and The Geordies at the time, along with all the other strips in the comic. My enjoyment was very innocent - I had no idea what a Jock or a Geordie was at the time of reading.

I don't know who wrote or drew this, due to D.C.Thomson's policy of giving no credits.

The Dandy continues to come out after 74 years. The latest issue is #3539.

Click on images for larger versions.