Saturday, 28 April 2012

Free Comic Book Day is soon!

                                          Free Comic Book Day is almost upon us again.

An event that is annually set aside to celebrate comics and to encourage lapsed or new readers, it's all happening next Saturday the 5th of May 2012.  (At a comic shop near you.)

Oh and there are free comic books too - did I mention that?

Myself and The Boy Wonder will be doing a little tour of a couple of great comics shops to celebrate the day.
First up is the great Chaos City Comics at 20 Heritage Close, St Albans, Herts, UK, AL3 4EB  and my own personal LCS ( If you are a follower of this blog you'll know what a great place this is for the comics fan. Run by manager Derek and assistant manager and budding artist Luke (have a look at some of his great art over at ) it's a shop with a real sense of community.
Along with the comics and collectables there will be a signing and sketch session by red hot artist Marc Laming. ( or on Twitter at @monkey_marc) His work has included American Century for DC Comics, The Rinse for Boom Comics and he is currently knocking it out of the park with his art on Boom's Planet of the Apes books (covers and interior art on Exile on the Planet of the Apes with Gabriel Hardman).

A great POTA sketch by Marc Laming.

This should be excellent and can't wait to get a sketch from Marc. This guy is moments away from being snapped up by one if the big two and it'll be great to get some original art from him.

If you are local to St Albans why not pop along and buy some comics and enjoy the atmosphere of the day.
Then it's on to Dead Universe Comics at Unit 10, the Cloisters, 31 Great Western Street, Friars Shopping Arcade, Aylesbury.  (Have a look at Dead Universe Comics on Facebook).  Run by the ever enthusiastic Ian. 

Dead Uniuverse  has the following planned for FCBD.

'There will be comic signings by local creators Aylesbury Dead, Little Terrors, Popcorn the Comic and Japan Comic Aid, plus other announcements for future titles being published by Dead Universe Comics. Several thousand comics and related items will be given away on the day in grab bags for Children, Teens and Adults.There will be a costume parade ( Time and details to be announced shortly), Face painting, Raffle & Tombola.
We will also be holding demonstrations for trading cards games: Magic the Gathering & Yu-Gi-Oh, plus heroclix, board and role playing games too.'

Sounds like a great day for comics fans in Aylesbury and well worth a visit.

If you are about and see myself and The Boy Wonder on our day out make sure that you say hi.


Thursday, 26 April 2012

Avengers Advice.

Spoiler Free.


If you have not seen it yet you need to.

Avengers is not only the best super-hero movie I have seen but the best movie full stop!

Hyperbole - maybe not.

I saw it last night on the Chaos City Comics ( LCS trip and wish I could have sat there again and seen it all over again.  Not a bad spot in the whole movie.

Every moment is pitch perfect.  Every character is more than catered for.

Plus the after credits sequence will blow your tiny minds!

Seriously! What are you doing sitting there reading this!


Holiday Reading.

Just back from Portugal and here is most of the holiday reading.

Crime Noir was the theme.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

The Vengeful Virgin.

'The Vengeful Virgin' by Gil Brewer.

Yea it's that story (you know the one out of Waynes World 2).

But it's bloody well written and a corker of a ride!

'He had me so far up a tree I couldn't see the ground for the branches.'


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Request.

Dear Twitter, Facebook, Blogger etc etc.

If you call yourself a 'comics journalist', an 'activist' or a 'graphic novelist.'

1. Get a fucking grip of yourself and stop being a pompous git.


2. PLEASE, please unfollow me!!

Many thanks.


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Comix Reader 1 -3.

A Short Review of Comix Reader 1 -3.

Take a look at these awesome covers of issues 1,2 and 3.

Due to a timely recommendation from the owner of my local comic shop (shout out to Derek and Luke at I picked up the first three issues of The Comix Reader for the princely sum of £3.00.  (Actually £2.70 with my pull list discount).

Edited by Richard Cowdry these are well worth a look.  Issue number 3 has just been released and you can have a read about and a gander at those involved over at 

They are newspaper sized and have a similar paper stock to 'Wednesday Comics' from DC Comics from a couple of years ago.  The cover art on the first three issues has a real 1960s vibe (as was clearly intented after reading the editorial in issue 1). Almost as if they have been produced at the same time as Robert Crumb and Co were creating their comics. (With a little bit of Deadline or Escape thrown in for good luck). They have a slightly washed out colour feel to the covers as if they have been left out on a doorstep in the Sun.  I am not complaining at all about this as to me this adds to their charm.

Each of the first three issues are packed with talent.  As with all anthologies there are a few poorer strips but most of the work is solid to excellent.  Personal favourites include 'Tree Top Singers; an Ode To Man' or 'Birdsong Translated'  by Gareth Brookes.  Gareth is always very funny and is a very talented guy. These comments had me laughing out loud.

For more of Gareth's work have a look at  His 'Man Man and Friends' mini comics are excellent.

Another highpoint of all three issues and hopefully the upcoming issues are the strips by Steve Tillotson.  I have been a fan of Steve's stuff since bumping in to him at various small press events and being lucky enough to work with him in a minor role on his previous anthology comic Banal Pig Portrait Anthology (

Always funny, never pandering and a cool read, Steve's stuff can be found at the aforementioned or he can be found at numerous events or on Facebook.  His poster for the Leeds Alternative Comics Fair is one of my personal favourites and can be seen over at

Other noteworthy pieces include Elliot Baggott's cover to issue 3 (see above) and his strip in the same issue entitled 'Johannes Guttenberg - Inventor of Printed Movable Type'.

Being Homeless Ain't Swell by Scott Jason Smith has a bit of a Daniel Clowes feel to it.  Find him at

I really liked Minor Head Injuries by Alex Potts and it has a touch of Jeffrey Smith crossed with The Beano.  Very nice art with some cool soul searching word panels. (Although not sure I believed he was reading a Hunter S Thompson book?? - fits the story though I suppose).  Find Alex over at

There are too many enjoyable strips to name check in this short piece.

I think that most UK comics fans (or just plain art fans) will agree that we have needed something like this for a while. UK Small Press has had a bad name for too many years now because of the stifling heritage of Bristol and similar incestuous events. 

A kind of Underground Comics Cool bleeds through the pages of The Comix Reader and it has a great energy to the overall production.   Their release party for the most recent issue was held at Gosh Comics in central London and I can see that this work well suits the trendy Soho Comics Shop.  Great supporters of small press over the years I urge you to pop in there and pick up some other work by these guys.  They are at a relatively new venue so pop in and don't be afraid of all the seedy shops nearby 

Luckily my LCS stocked this title and if your's isn't (dear fanboy) start banging on the counter and asking why not. 

Indie Press finally strikes back. Great stuff indeed.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Lawrence Block.

Just picked up another superb book from by Lawrence Block.

Look at the cover on this one!

A superb noir book. If you love Brubaker's 'Criminal' series or even 'Gotham Central' by Rucka and Brubaker you will adore this series of novels.


Monday, 9 April 2012

Bleeding Crafty.

After posting the Dredd flyer yesterday on the blog.

Look what turned up on Bleeding Cool today?

Do you think it could be my photo?

Hmmm. Have a look at the evidence yourself.

(A credit would have been nice).


UPDATE - Rich Johnson added a credit. Fame at last.

Three more. (Portfolio part 3).


Here are three more pages from the 1986 United Kingdom Comic Art Convention portfolio that was given out free to attendees.

The Gil Kane Conan looks awesome!


UKCAC 1986 - Portfolio (Part 2).

A couple more pages of the sketches from UKCAC1986.

PS It even includes an Alan Moore.


UKCAC 1986 Portfolio.

Some more photos of the great 1986 UKCAC Portfolio that was given away to attendees.

Some great sketches by Dave Gibbons, Barry Windsor-Smith, Brian Bolland (a superb Joker) and more.

Might post a few more shots later today.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Judge Dredd - 1983 Annual.

Another find.

A flyer for a 2000AD signing at the old Forbidden Planet in Denmark Street, Central London on the 21st of August 1983.

Have a look at the list of names. Alan Moore, Kevin O'Neill, Ian Gibson and Brian Bolland.

Back when 2000AD was good?


My first Comic Mart.

I found this flyer to what is probably the first Comic mart I went to in 1982.

This was a huge deal for me back then and got i dropped off by my father at the Central Hall in Central London (right next to the House of Commons and Big Ben). I spent all day digging through back issues in the packed hall.

I think I picked up some missing Legion issues and Carmine Infantino Flash issues.

Good times.


Saturday, 7 April 2012

Hard Case Crime.

Just through the post. 'The Cutie' from Donald E Westlake (aka Richard Stark from Parker fame). These books from Hard Case Crime are superb!

I have a few more on their way. They are great to stick in a jacket pocket and even have books by Lester Dent.

Makes me want to reread the Darwyn Cooke Parker books and maybe stick 100 Bullets back on the read pile (again).


Friday, 6 April 2012

UKCAC 1986 - Frank Miller print.

Just found this cool Frank Miller print that was given out to attendees at the United Kingdom Comic Art Convention in Russell Square in 1986.


Good Friday Comics.

Some great comics purchased at Dead Universe Comics in Aylesbury, Uk today.

Supernatural Thrillers #3 featuring Robert E Howard's 'The Valley of the Worm'. Adapted by Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway and superb art by Gil Kane and Ernie Chua. Published by Marvel in 1972. This book looks surprisingly sharp and has a bit of a John Carter feel to it.

Skull The Slayer issues 1-4. Issue one especially has a gorgeous cover and is written by Marv Wolfman and art by Steve Gan. A great pulpy feel to the series which could do with a modern day restart.

Plus issue one of Red Wolf 'Masked Avenger of the Western Plains!' I can't make out a signature on the cover but looks like John Severin to me. Inside you can see that it's written by Gary Friedrich and art by Sid Shores. (With a plot assist by Roy Thomas). Very dialogue heavy but fun nevertheless.

This should fill the endless void of the English Bank Holiday weekend!


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

New Comics - American Barbarian.

With a midweek day off myself and The Boy Wonder picked up our books.

Great stack this week.

My pick so far is American Barbarian by Tom Scioli. Finally in my hands and looking amazing.

The Boy Wonder says that Red Lanterns 8 by Pete Milligan, Andres Guinaldo and Jorge Jimenez. Is his favourite and has a big shock ending!


Avengers v X-Men Party.

The Avengers vs X-Men party at Chaos City Comics was a very cool night indeed.

Here as some photos of the frolics.

Roll on Free Comic Book Day!

Nicely done.


Monday, 2 April 2012

It's English!

Not complaining. I actually think it's quite sweet.

Our cousins using all these good old English swear words.

Do they know what they mean I wonder?

It's just like that episode of Miami Vice where Phil Collins kept saying 'wanker'.


Sunday, 1 April 2012

A v X party tomorrow.

Be there or be in The Brotherhood of Cheese!


Comic of the week?

Still deciding what's the best book in the stack this week but Hawken 3 is awesome.

Out of IDW by the father / son team of Benjamin and Timothy Truman it is gritty and dirty wild west adventure horror. It more than gives All Star Western a run for it's money.

I hope this is the beginning of a trend for Western comics.

'Best choose yer next words wisely son, or you'll be picking yer teeth out of yer shit.'


Pick it up you crazy ol' coots.