Thursday, 21 February 2013

Accent UK's latest releases!

Here's a quick wee look at our latest books for you to check out at this weekend's London Comic Convention. Starting with Who on Earth was Thaddeus Mist? A mysterious tale of identity, myth, adventure and more created and edited by Owen Johnson and scribed and illustrated by a talented crew of Accent UK stalwarts.

The above trailer was prepared by Owen with music from Robert Logan and edited by David Turnball and was released just ahead of the book's successful launch at Thought Bubble last year featuring real-life mourners to Thaddeus Mists's funeral wake!

Also launched at Thought bubble was the latest instalment of Dave West and Gary Crutchley's entertaining WesterNoir series. Book 2 sees the return of Josiah Black as he hunts down some creepy looking Gator Boys in the deep Louisiana swamps, I kid you not!

Finally in our trilogy of new releases is the rather wonderful Missing: Have you seen the Invisible Man? coming from the pen of Dave West and the artist arm of Joe Campbell. I can't say much without spilling the beans but let's just say things are more than we seem when leading scientist James Williams goes missing! Its set in the same 'Blessed/Cursed' vein as Dave's earlier Eagle winning success Whatever Happened to the World's Fastest Man? 

While these new titles await their respective Diamond listing they will only be available directly from us at shows or our website, along with our other popular books, so please check them out when you get a chance.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

London - Bring it On!


Only a couple of days to go until this year's London Super Comic Convention and if its anything like the inaugural show it promises to be a blast! Thinking back there was actually a lot of doubt over last year's show and whether it would be a success or not, being first-time organisers, aiming high with their guest list and clashing dates with another established show, but those fears were blown out of the water as soon as a certain sprightly 89 year old made his bold entrance, arms aloft, smiling that famous cheesy grin with a war cry of "Bring it On!".

Stan Lee is in a class of his own and this year's guest list, strong as it is, cannot compete with the whole razzmatazz that Stan brought, but what better way to have announced the shows arrival as a serious player on the UK comic scene. I have never before felt such a warm feelgood vibe at any show amongst everyone in attendance, punters, exhibitors, guests, staff and volunteers, it really was something special and I'm chuffed to bits that I was able to experience it with Scott and Chris, who along with Dave are all returning this year.

The guest list is still first class, a nice mix between old-school super-hero, Neal Adams, George Perez, Roy Thomas, Bob Layton and lots, lots more plus 'newer' creators like our good friend Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Dan Slott that Scott tells me writes the new Spider-Man series, check out the guest list for yourself it is very long and very impressive (no wonder Thought Bubble has already upped its own impressive game for 2013!).

The one guest I'm most looking froward to though isn't really a big name, Jeremy Bastian produces a wonderful quirky comic called Cursed Pirate Girl which has just been collected by Archaia Entertainment. I only managed to pick up the first issue a couple of years ago so but was blown away by his intricate artwork so delighted the story has been completed and collected, can't wait.

Oh, there is a table plan for the show and I know we're on D107 which I think is kind of top left in the 'yellow' section but my eyesight can't quite make out the numbers that clearly! Don't worry though, just look for the Accent UK banner and our smiling faces and you'll find us, (I won't though be making the mistake of wearing the same bright yellow t-shirt as the volunteers, for obvious reasons!). I think we've some five new books since last year so should be something new for you, - Bring it On!


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Zulu War - Very Rare Comic Series!

Tickled to come across this lapsed ebay link - not sure how exactly I stumbled across it, I was on Google at the time but hey things move in mysterious ways with t'internet!
Someone was selling their Zulu War book collection and included my comics or to quote;
"This is a superb and extremely rare 2-part comic series account of the Battle of Rorke's is an action-packed comic strip re-telling of  this famous battle!"
The seller then goes on to give a very detailed breakdown of each issues contents and has scanned in a couple of interior pages as well as the covers, telling us;
"Single copies are hard to come by and a full set of both issues together in 1 auction is even rarer!"
And he's not wrong, I can tell by the 'M56 Comics' title on the first issue's cover that it must be a first printing as I think the second printing had 'Accent UK' listed instead, although I should check that with my file copies! 
This is I think the second ebay auction I've seen recently, the other from last autumn or so and both went for a fair amount higher than their original cover price plus postage which is interesting. no mention if these are signed copies or whether that would devalue them or not!
I do have a few copies of the Zulu comic left, (although only the second printing of the first issue), and occasionally take some with me to whatever comic show Dave West and I are attending. They generally still attract some interest and I enjoy it when they sell albeit they do have a certain 'vintage' look to them alongside Accent UK's glossy output and Dave's hardcover books.
Zulu was the first 'proper' comic I ever published after producing a few mini's and led to hooking up with Dave (and initially Barry Renshaw) to form Accent UK. Sadly life's little distractions have meant that I've still not properly followed it up despite various other smaller strips being produced over the years so that's one of the reasons why I'm working on something at the moment but won't say more in case I jinx anything!
Still it is nice to have a little reminder of where I started and the comic did take me to some amazing and surprising places such as national museums where it was stocked and I did a few signings tying into various Zulu War events and it was of course the catalyst which eventually led me to finally visiting Rorke's Drift for real in 2010 when I couldn't resist the following pic, taken by the one and only Ian Knight, the authority on all things Zulu!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Funko Scott!

Inspired by Scott's growing collection of Funko Pop! figures I did this wee sketch of him for his birthday which thankfully he liked!

They are pretty cool figures and you can now get a huge range of not just Marvel and D.C comics characters but also T.V and movie icons too, not sure if a Scott figure is an official release just yet though, Happy Birthday Scott!


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Comics Go Home!

Well okay, not quite home but close enough, Dundee is only about an hour's drive away from my hometown so a perfect excuse to visit!

The Dundee Comics Expo is a new show organised by Dr Chris Murray and team from the University of Dundee. I've not yet had the pleasure of meeting the good doctor but he is behind the MLitt in comic studies course at the university and the annual 'Dundee Comics Day' run the last few years in October as part of the city's literary festival. Last year's event continued its excellent track record of attracting top guests including Grant Morrison, Frank Quietly, Frazer Irving, Dave Gibbons and more!

As far as I can gather the Comics Expo is a new stand alone event evolved out of the previous (and still ongoing) manga themed events held at the university.  I'd heard good things about these by our long-term comics friend Jenika Ioffreda, (creator and publisher of the rather groovy  Vampire Free Style) but, not producing anything manga related had been put off exhibiting ourselves. This new event is though more generally aimed at all comic fans and intends to offer something for everyone.

Colin and Jenika at Thought Bubble in Leeds 2010

The inaugural show will include a talk from its main guest David Lloyd, (artist of V for Vendetta and others and the driving force behind the recently launched Aces Weekly digital comic) and a comics workshop from rising indie star, Karrie Fransman (The House That Groaned) as well as a selection of artists, indie comics creators and comics dealers.

Big thanks to the ever useful UK comics news site Down The Tubes who's article brought the show to my attention.

I'm just excited as I've long wanted to 'do' a show in Scotland and while we came close to attending Hi-Ex! in Inverness, it sadly just proved too far away from deepest Cheshire. Dundee is still a fair hike but we can at least catch up with realtives at the same time and make a nice Easter break of it. Plus of course Dundee is home to the mighty D.C Thomson who's various comic publications I grew up and probably started my life long love of the comics medium, they've a lot to answer for and it'll be a pleasure going back to where it all kind of started......

The Broons and Oor Wullie - D.C Thomson's favourites

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Some Edinburgh Moments

'Auld Reekie' is a special place which like so many other places you only really appreciate it when you don't see it very often. We've been to Edinburgh a fair bit over the years but this was our first visit since 2010, so we made a point of seeing things we hadn't 'done' before as well as just chilling out - almost literally as it was bitterly cold!

Desperate Dan in Highland dressAmong the many highlights was a visit to the National Library of Scotland mainly to see their exhibition to 75 years of The Dandy Comic which was due to run until 3 February, so we just caught it before it closed.

The exhibition, while good, was surprisingly small and just a taste really of what must be lurking in the vaults of D.C Thomson. I would say that the recent Commando book exhibitions held in Aberdeen and London contained far more original artwork although probably not so old as some of the pieces here, such as early Dudley Watkins Desperate Dan and Jack Prout's classic Black Bob. Photography wasn't allowed so sadly I can't show anything, but many items would be familiar to readers of the informative History of The Dandy book.  Notwithstanding my comments, it was still pretty special seeing these items up close.

Advertising image of men and car around the 1930sWe carried onto the Library's current main exhibition 'charting' (excuse the pun) the Bartholomews family firm who successfully produced maps from their Edinburgh base between 1826 and 1995. I have to say that previously knowing nothing about the map making industry this ehibition was excellent, lots of items, original hand drawn maps and engravings and many homemade tools really told the story of this firms rise and eventual decline as modern technology eventually overtook.

Seeing the size and quality of this exhibition demonstrated to me what the library could achieve and sadly just reinforced the brevity of The Dandy one.

The Bartholmew exhibition runs through to 7th May 2013 and well worth a visit and perhaps I should mention that both these exhibitions were 'free' so no real cause of complaint I guess!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Travels Past 'n' Present

Edinburgh Castle - Taken Friday 26 January 2013
Catching up with things after a great long weekend in Edinburgh last week, getting our Scottish culture fix for Burn's Nicht and now back home have been busy planning with Dave, Accent UK's comic show schedule for 2013.

We're still finalising details and some events have yet to release their table bookings but at the moment it's shaping up very nicely with trips round the UK, a jaunt to New York and the very welcome return of one of our fondest shows, in Denmark now renamed the Copenhagen Comics Festival!.

I've added a wee list to the side of the blog of forthcoming and likely shows and will no doubt post more about them as they arise, but hopefully there should be plenty of opportunity to catch up with us and our latest releases this coming year.