'Late Knights - A Sense of Steel' - issue 1.
Written by Jon Laight.
Art by Matt Strott.
Letters by Ken Reynolds.
Pin-Up Art by Susie Gander, Chris Imber and Matt Farrington.
Edited by Jon Laight and Ken Reynolds.
The Story - 'Late Knights #1:A Sense of Steel is an all ages adventure comic written by Jon Laight, illustrated by Matt Strott and lettered by Ken Reynolds. It follows the Late family, a seemingly normal family by day but at night, transforming the ‘Late Knights’, a super spy family protecting the world from the bad guys. Each family member have been Knighted at birth and can trace their lineage back to the Templar Knights, sharing the ideals of chivalry, hard work, teamwork and excellence to be the very best they can be. They are part of the Global Knight Network with Knights, Samurai’s and Warriors all watching for when the super villains show themselves wherever that may be.
Sir Charles and Lady Cassandra Late are the parents of the main characters; Lady Elizabeth Late (Master Tracker and IT Expert), the eldest of the children with a teenage attitude that matches her awesome skills. Sir William Late (Scientist/Inventor and budding martial arts expert), the cheekiest and naughtiest of the kids, he loves to wind his sisters up with the help of his sentient Drone MARTY. Lady Victoria Late (Language expert and master pilot/driver), a shy, quiet hero who surprises everyone with driving skills and sharp sense of humour. Together, they make a fantastic team of super spy heroes ready to travel the world using the arsenal of cool gadgets to put the bad guys behind bars.'
The Preview - I got to see this slice of badass children's comic a few weeks ago when the artist shared some images with me online. I have been a fan of both the writing of Mr Laight and the art of Mr Strott for quite a while independently of each other and it is great to see the pair getting together (artistically that is...).
This is proudly a fun book and most especially a fun book for kids. It has all the gadgets of a modern spy drama but also has a little of what you remember kids comics used to have. It's that sense of adventure, wonder and action that charmed me from page one, line one. I've chatted in the past with Jon about the need for this sort of comic. There's no doubt that we don't serve kids up with the right four colour excitement these days. That comic that will get read and reread on the back seat of the parent's car on a road-trip. I know that some of my favourite comics memories come from a comic that can be read over and over, I would daydream of being the hero of the story. This is the sort of thing we need in the medium today and going forward.
Matt absolutely hits the target with the design of the book and especially of the characters. They work like a good kids movie or cartoon. It has that 'Junior James Bond' feel to it's back and forth. A family of spies who have snappy dialogue and cool gadgets who belong to a secret organisation, who could ask for more?! Matt isn't a London (or UK) resident and comes from Maryland in the US but he totally nails the feeling of the city. I actually think I know one of the alley ways a portion of the action happens within (no giggling at the back Jon!)
Listen... I'm a grumpy old so-and-so at the best of times but this brightened my day and is perfect for adults looking for a sense of nostalgia for comics like 'Hotspur' or 'Smash' or 'Mandy' and also for their kids who they want to 'Shut up, Mummy is driving..'
Plus it's got some great pin-ups by some of my favourite artists in small press/indie comics at the moment. So give it a go.
Late Knights #1:A Sense of Steel is being released on 14th October at Nottingham Comic Con where Jon will have a table for the day. The comic is British comic standard sized and will be available along with art prints, colouring pages and pin badges for all the kids (and big kids) to enjoy. There will also be a colouring competition on the day with a prize pack to be won by a couple of lucky winners. After that the comic will be available on comichaus.com.
Find the writer and Head Honch of Level 8 Comics at
Search out and find some more examples of Matt's gorgeous artwork on Twitter @mesycomics or head to his website at www.mesycomics.com
Head over and savour the gloriousness that is Mr Reynolds at @kenreynoldsdesign, kenreynoldsdesign.co.uk
Many thanks for reading.