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Coming in 2023: the forgotten history of Britain’s romance comics

It’s the comic book genre that sold millions and then disappeared – the forgotten history of Britain’s romance comics is to be revealed in a stunning new collection.

A Very British Affair will bring together some of the greatest British romance comics ever printed in one spectacular volume – many of them never reprinted before!

Scheduled for publication in January 2023 and curated by Eisner-nominated historian and artist David Roach, this sumptuous 224-page hardcover will be the first book to chart the stratospheric rise of romance comics in postwar Britain.

Featuring an eclectic mix of more than fifty stories, this lavish collection unearths the sensual art and emotional writing which delighted generations of comics readers of titles such as Mirabelle, Valentine, Marilyn, and Serenade.

As well as paying tribute to the often uncredited creators who crafted an industry of love, this fascinating collection will also shine a spotlight on the genre’s forgotten female creators, such as Jenny Butterworth, Pat Tourett and Diane Gabbott. 

With a cover featuring Ángel Badia Camps’ iconic cover for Serenade, it features art by comics icons like Shirley Bellwood (Misty), Jordi Badía Romero (Creepy)and Enrique Badía Romero (AXA), Mike Hubbard (Jane), Carlos Ezquerra (Judge Dredd), John M. Burns (Modesty Blaise), Purita Campos (Patty’s World), Jesus Blaco (Steel Claw), Pepe Gonzalez (Vampirella)  Jesus Redondo (Kitty Pryde) and Ian Gibson (The Ballad of Halo Jones), this is the ultimate celebration of love, loss and lust in postwar Britain.

A Very British Affair follows Rebellion’s best-selling Masters of British Comic Art, also curated by Roach, which was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book in 2021.

David Roach said: ‘Despite selling millions of copies over two decades and dominating newsstands, the mid-twentieth century boom in romance comics has been largely forgotten. The first book of its kind to be published, A Very British Affair will shine a light on this sadly neglected genre and its gifted creators.

‘As well as charting the evolution of this fascinating genre through the decades, it will showcase art from a number of great British talents including Shirley Bellwood, Mike Hubbard and Gerry Haylock, as well as work from some of the greatest artists from around the world. It has been a privilege to give these forgotten comics a little much-needed love.’

Editor Olivia Hicks said: ‘It’s been a real privilege to work with someone as knowledgeable and enthusiastic as David on this much needed collection. Despite their incredible popularity, stunning art and the depth of storytelling, British romance comics have become a footnote in comics history.

‘This timely book is going to set the record straight and finally give these amazing comics and their creators their moment in the sun. Brilliant, beautiful, heartfelt and occasionally downright bizarre, this is the essential selection of British romance comics!’

Details:

  • Title: A Very British Affair: The Best of Classic Romance Comics
  • Curator: David Roach
  • IBSN: 9781786187710
  • Publication date: 31 Jan 2023
  • Price: £40 / $55
  • Pages: 224
  • Size: 313 × 237 mm
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Dive into gritty WWII action with The Sarge – out now!

“Another masterwork of Brit comics history” – Comicon.com

They depended on him – and the world depended on them! The first collection of classic Battle Picture Weekly series, The Sarge, is out now.

Written by Gerry Finley-Day and drawn by Mike Western, this gritty World War Two series was one of the most popular in the pages of the revolutionary Battle in the late 1970s.

British Sergeant Jim Masters, a veteran of WW1, has to shepherd his inexperienced but over-confident platoon. From Dunkirk to North Africa, the might of the German army face the ultimate adversaries when Masters and his boys spring into action!

With colour centre spreads restored to their former glory, this hardcover collection really is Battle at its best!

Buy now:

>> HARDCOVER

Buy from one of these online retailers:

>> HIVE.CO.UK

>> BOOKSHOP.ORG

>> AMAZON.CO.UK

Or order from your local comic book store:

>> FIND YOUR LOCAL STORE

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Pre-order the Jinty classic ‘A Spell of Trouble’

A magical comedy from the classic British girls’ comic Jinty is available to pre-order now in a volume perfect for Hallowe’en!

Popular, rich and great at school, Carrie lives a charmed life – because, unbeknownst to her classmates, she’s a witch! Hailing from a long line of witches and warlocks Carrie has never wanted for anything – that is until her bumbling, nonmagical and anti-magic cousin Angela shows up! And worst of all – if Carrie can’t turn Angela into a legendary sorceress – she’ll lose all her powers! Worlds collide and sparks fly as these cousins have to learn to live together – or else! 

Created by Catalan artist Trini Tinturé, this brand new collection of never-before-reprinted comics also features another tale – the spooky, insect-infested ‘Creepy Crawley’.

Out on 13 October, A Spell of Trouble is available to order in standard paperback or in a hardcover edition exclusive to the Treasury of British Comics webshop, featuring a brand new cover by original series artist, Trini Tinturé.

Pre-order now:

PAPERBACK

EXCLUSIVE HARDCOVER

Pre-order from these stockists:

AMAZON.CO.UK

WATERSTONES

FIND YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE

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Prepare for BATTLE ACTION – pre-order the brand new special now!

The brand new BATTLE ACTION special is out this June and you can pre-order it now from the 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics webshops!

Featuring seven brand new stories written by Garth Ennis – the mind behind The BoysPreacher, and war comics such as The Stringbags and Sara – the 96-page hardcover Battle Action special lands in comic book stores in June in the UK and July in North America, and book stores in September.

Ennis will be joined on this landmark hardcover, which captures the spirit and action of the groundbreaking and highly influential Battle and Action comics from the 1970s, by veteran artist Mike Dorey (Hellman of Hammer ForceRo-Busters), artist John Higgins (Watchmen), colourist Sally Jane Hurst (Judge Dredd), Keith Burns, PJ Holden (The Stringbags), Patrick Goddard (Judge Dredd), League of Extraordinary Gentlemen artist Kevin O’Neill and more!

This hardcover comes in standard edition with a cover by Andy Clarke (Batman and Robin) and Dylan Teague (Madi) while the webshop exclusive edition features a brand new Dredger cover by John Higgins.

STANDARD EDITION >>

WEBSHOP EXCLUSIVE EDITION >>

Battle Picture Weekly was where the revolution in British comics began. Created in 1975 by writers and editors Pat Mills and John Wagner, it introduced new grittiness into comics with its cast of anti-heroes and misfits. Its bombast and energy sparked a sea-change in what comics could do, leading to Mills creation of the controversial Action and the globally influential 2000 AD.

The Battle Action Special celebrates the merging of this landmark title with its controversial stablemate, Action, a combination that took the two comics to even greater heights. Now, forty years after the original, some of the cream of British comics talent are bringing these classic characters back to life.

Artist Kevin O’Neill revisits Kids Rule O.K., the highly controversial strip by writer Tom Tully and artist Mike White that saw Action ripped from newsstands and pulped in 1976, then heavily censored for its all too brief return. Fresh from the end of his acclaimed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series with Alan Moore, O’Neill brings his visceral and intense style to this tale of kids gone wild in a post-apocalyptic landscape, while wryly commenting on the political storm that erupted during its original run.

Meanwhile, take to the skies with artist Keith Burns and colourist Jason Wordie, and witness the air duel of the century as ace fighter pilot Johnny Red faces off against Nazi airman Skreamer of the Stukas. Infamous German tank commander Hellman of Hammer Force bears down on American Major Jeb Rider of Glory Rider in Tunisia, drawn by the legendary Mike Dorey (Ro-Busters).

Blunt instrument of British Intelligence Dredger returns and doles out justice – of a kind – on the mean streets of 1980s London, courtesy of John Higgins, with co-colours by Sally Jane Hurst.

Take on the 100mph madness of Crazy Keller by Chris Burnham (Batman) and colours by Len O’Grady, before meeting Captain Nina Petrova, whose all-woman bomber squadron wreak havoc on the Eastern Front, with art by Patrick Goddard and colours by Jason Wordie. And roll out into Italy in the heat of 1944 with The Sarge as Ennis reunites with The Stringbags artist PJ Holden.

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Garth Ennis to head up BATTLE ACTION signings in June

Writer Garth Ennis will head up two special signing events in the UK to mark the direct market release of the Battle Action Special from Rebellion Publishing.

The 96-page hardcover special (Diamond code: APR221759) lands in comic book stores in June in the UK and July in North America. It features seven brand new stories – all written by Ennis, the mind behind The BoysPreacher, and war comics such as The Stringbags and Sara  – reviving some of the most popular strips from the groundbreaking and highly influential Battle and Action comics from the 1970s.

Ennis will be joined by just some of his collaborators on this landmark hardcover, which captures the spirit and action of the originals that helped change the comic book industry forever.

Ennis, veteran artist Mike Dorey (Hellman of Hammer Force, Ro-Busters), artist John Higgins (Watchmen), and colourist Sally Jane Hurst (Judge Dredd) will be signing copies at Gosh Comics on Saturday 11 June. Taking place from 1pm to 2pm, the signing will be held at the central London store (1 Berwick Street, London, W1F 0DR).

Ennis will then be a guest at the Enniskillen Comicfest in Northern Ireland on Saturday 18 June. Taking place at St Macartin’s Cathedral Hall, Halls Lane, Enniskillen from 10.30am until 5pm, Ennis will be joined by Mike Dorey, and artists Keith Burns, PJ Holden (The Stringbags) and Patrick Goddard (Judge Dredd).

Battle Picture Weekly was where the revolution in British comics began. Created in 1975 by writers and editors Pat Mills and John Wagner, it introduced new grittiness into comics with its cast of anti-heroes and misfits. Its bombast and energy sparked a sea-change in what comics could do, leading to Mills creation of the controversial Action and the globally influential 2000 AD.

The Battle Action Special celebrates the merging of this landmark title with its controversial stablemate, Action, a combination that took the two comics to even greater heights. Now, forty years after the original, some of the cream of British comics talent are bringing these classic characters back to life.

Behind a brand new cover by Andy Clarke (Batman and Robin) and Dylan Teague (Madi), artist Kevin O’Neill revisits Kids Rule O.K., the highly controversial strip by writer Tom Tully and artist Mike White that saw Action ripped from newsstands and pulped in 1976, then heavily censored for its all too brief return. Fresh from the end of his acclaimed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series with Alan Moore, O’Neill brings his visceral and intense style to this tale of kids gone wild in a post-apocalyptic landscape, while wryly commenting on the political storm that erupted during its original run.

Meanwhile, take to the skies with artist Keith Burns and colourist Jason Wordie, and witness the air duel of the century as ace fighter pilot Johnny Red faces off against Nazi airman Skreamer of the Stukas. Infamous German tank commander Hellman of Hammer Force bears down on American Major Jeb Rider of Glory Rider in Tunisia, drawn by the legendary Mike Dorey (Ro-Busters).

Blunt instrument of British Intelligence Dredger returns and doles out justice – of a kind – on the mean streets of 1980s London, courtesy of John Higgins, with co-colours by Sally Jane Hurst.

Take on the 100mph madness of Crazy Keller by Chris Burnham (Batman) and colours by Len O’Grady, before meeting Captain Nina Petrova, whose all-woman bomber squadron wreak havoc on the Eastern Front, with art by Patrick Goddard and colours by Jason Wordie. And roll out into Italy in the heat of 1944 with The Sarge as Ennis reunites with The Stringbags artist PJ Holden.

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OUT NOW: The House of Dolmann

They may be little but their war on crime is anything but small – the first collection of House of Dolmann is out now!

Written by Tom Tully and drawn by Eric Bradbury, crime-busting inventor and expert ventriloquist Eric Dolmann has created a small army of robotic puppets to help the forces of law and order fight back against crime. Whatever the situation, Dolman has a mechanical warrior perfectly suited to get the job done!

From the safety of his flying ‘Dolmobile’, he directs Raider, Elasto, Mole, Togo and Giggler into action! Occasionally they will question his judgement and bicker amongst one another – even though they aren’t capable of independent thought!

Collecting stories from Valiant from the 1960s, this new 144-page collection is out on 14 April 2022 and will be available from all good book and comic book stores, online retailers and the Treasury of British Comics’ webshop, and digitally through our webshop and the 2000 AD app.

The paperback comes with a classic cover by legendary artist Brian Bolland, while the webshop exclusive hardcover sports a brand new cover by Judge Dredd and Invisibles artist Chris Weston.

Buy now:

>> PAPERBACK

>> HARDCOVER

Buy from one of these online retailers:

>> HIVE.CO.UK

>> AMAZON.CO.UK

Or order from your local comic book store:

>> FIND YOUR LOCAL STORE

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Monster Fun Easter Special out now!

Look out world, the first issue of Monster Fun is out now – just in time for the Easter holidays!

It’s the hilarious new comic for children of all ages from Rebellion Publishing – a comic book riot of laughter, mischief and mayhem!

Across 32 pages in each issue, children will read comic strip adventures featuring Frankie Stein, Kid Kong, Draculass, Steel Commando, the Hire A Horror crew and more – including The Leopard from Lime Street, one of Britain’s best loved Super Heroes – by an incredible list of contributors, including Simon Furman (Transformers) and Ned Hartley (Bananaman, Spider-Man), Chris Garbutt (Netflix’s Pinky Malinky) Juni Ba (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and many more! 

Plus, the special webshop edition has an exclusive cover and a never-before-seen Sweeny Toddler comic strip, written and drawn by Tom Paterson!

Subscribe now and get Monster Fun delivered direct to your door every two months – the perfect comic to keep children entertained throughout the year!

GET NEWSSTAND EDITION >>

GET SPECIAL EDITION >>

GET DIGITAL >>

SUBSCRIBE NOW >>

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Agile as an acrobat, quick as a lightning flash – pre-order The Best of Cat Girl now!

The beloved UK superheroine, Cat Girl, finally pounces into her own collection – available to pre-order now!

From the pages of classic 1960s girls’ comic Sally, Cathy Carter is not your average teen. She can jump further, fight longer and climb higher than anyone she knows – with the aid of a magic suit, she is Cat Girl! Facing off in glamorous, globetrotting adventures against supervillains and master criminals, Cathy often finds the hardest fight comes from her bumbling detective father, who doesn’t believe Cathy can fend for herself. Can Cathy save the world when the person trying to hold her back – is her dad?

This first ever collection contains Cat Girl’s latest adventure – Cat Girl Returns from the Tammy & Jinty special – as well as a purrfect selection of Giorgio Giorgetti’s best classic Cat Girl stories from Sally, and a brand new cover from Elkys Nova.

Out on 3 August, The Best of Cat Girl is available in standard paperback or Treasury of British Comics webshop exclusive hardcover featuring a design-led cover by design Gemma Sheldrake with art by Giorgio Giorgetti.

Pre-order now from 2000AD.com:

PAPERBACK

EXCLUSIVE HARDCOVER

Pre-order from these stockists:

BARNES & NOBLE (US)

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

FIND YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK STORE

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Pre-order Robin Of Sherwood: 
The Complete Look-in Comics

Nothing is forgotten.

Richard Carpenter’s Robin of Sherwood is often considered the finest version of the Robin Hood legend. A lavish and hugely popular television series that ran from 1984 to 1986. 

it was turned into an accompanying comic strip by the bestselling young people’s magazine Look-In; which also ran a wealth of interviews, features, and articles (alongside other comic strips) for all the most popular family and children’s commercial television series of the time.

The Robin of Sherwood strips ran for the entirety of three years that the series was broadcast, encompassing a change of actor in the role of Robin Hood; some in colour, some in black and white. Rebellion, Chinbeard Books and Spiteful Puppet have collated the entire run of these exquisitely illustrated and action-packed comic strips in this unique, limited-edition collection, with every page carefully and lovingly restored.

The artists were Mike Noble, with Arthur Ranson and Phil Gascoine, and the writer across the whole run of strips was Angus Allan. For fans of these artists and writer, this is a snapshot of their work collected together for the first time. For fans of ‘Look-In’ magazine, it also offers some of those interviews, articles, and features that adorned the pages alongside the comic strip. 

This hardback book features specially written inserts by Robert Hammond (restoration technician and graphic designer), alongside Hooded Man author Andrew Orton, and commissioning editor Barnaby Eaton-Jones. It also features a foreword essay on the artist Mike Noble (who drew 95% of the strips), written by noted comic book artist Lee Sullivan – who also provides a brand-new, specially commissioned piece of art too.

It is 288 pages and is ONLY available via www.spitefulpuppet.com in a very limited print run.

A pre-order target needs to be met before this book goes to print but – exclusively – you can buy this handsome tome for a reduced price of £35 for this two-month period, available now. After that, the price will go up to £45. The publication date is the 31st of May, unless the limited print run target is met – in which case it will be sent out earlier.

ABOUT REBELLION

Rebellion is the custodian of the world’s biggest catalogue of English language comic book properties. Acquired from Egmont UK Ltd in 2016 and TI Media in 2018, the archive of the former IPC publishing empire encompasses more than 130 years of comic book publishing, with over 400 separate weekly and monthly titles and thousands of characters. The archive includes Comic Cuts, the 19th Century title gave the comic book medium its name, to Billy Bunter, from Tiger to Sexton Blake, from Valiant to Look-In. As the UK’s leading contemporary comics and graphic novel publisher, Rebellion not only cares for this priceless cultural treasure but brings gems from a century of comic book history back to life with high quality collections through its Treasury of British Comics imprint, as well as creating new comics based on timeless characters such as Roy of the Rovers.

www.treasuryofbritishcomics.com<http://www.treasuryofbritishcomics.com>


ABOUT SPITEFUL PUPPET

Spiteful Puppet Entertainment Ltd specialises in producing full cast plays and enhanced audio books. Since it was set up in 2015, Spiteful Puppet has been awarded a BBC Audio Drama Award and 3 trophies from the New York Festival, for Hood, Robin of Sherwood: The Knights of the Apolcaypse, and Passport To Oblivion. They revived Up Pompeii as a 50th anniversary audio special, as well as the classic BBC radio comedy I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again.

Their most recent co-production featured Rhod Gilbert in his first acting role, as Nye Bevan, in Getting Better: The Fight for the NHS – a 10-part audio series for Audible, with Springboard Productions. 

ABOUT CHINBEARD BOOKS

Chinbeard Books was established in 2015, specifically to publish books and charity anthologies that might not be found anywhere else or catered for a specific interest or nostalgic niche. After acquiring the license for Robin of Sherwood, they teamed up with Spiteful Puppet to produce original stories based on the television series, unique content, and adaptations of Spiteful Puppet’s audio range. Most recently, they have been proud to announce a collaboration based on the popular comedy series, The Goodies – with new adventures of the iconic trio of Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Bill Oddie.

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The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast: A Tribute to Ian Kennedy

A tribute to Ian Kennedy
On Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube – this is The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast!

It’s the galaxy’s greatest podcast – The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast brings you more from the worlds of 2000 AD!

With the sad news that comics legend Ian Kennedy has passed away at the age of 89, Molch-R talks with three people who knew Ian both professionally and personally – Martha Julian from the Thought Bubble convention where Ian was a regular guest of honour, Phillip B Vaughan from the University of Abertay, and Mark Seddon, who worked to bring Ian’s work to the masses. They discuss the life, work, and legacy of an artist whose career spanned seven decades.

On a brighter note, Molch-R also announces the star-studded online convention to celebrate 45 years of 2000 AD. The Galaxy’s Greatest: 2000 AD at 45 is being held online on 26 and 27 March. For more info, go to 2000AD.com

Make sure you’re signed up to the 2000 AD Thrill-Mail for all the latest news and offers. Got a theme or interview you’d like to hear? Let us know at thrillcast@2000AD.com

Find Phillip on Twitter: www.twitter.com/phillipbvaughan
Find Martha on Twitter: www.twitter.com/marfage
Find Mark on Twitter: www.twitter.com/IanKennedyArt1
Find Molch-R on Twitter: www.twitter.com/molcher

The 2000 AD Thrill-Cast is the award-winning podcast that takes you behind-the-scenes at the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic with creator interviews, panels, and more! You can subscribe to the Thrill-Cast on your favourite podcast app, iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can also listen now at 2000AD.com/podcast or you can watch at youtube.com/2000ADonline