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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Paul Temple and Project Deep Plunge part 23

(* © Evening News)

Commando issues 4699-4702

Commando issues on sale 24th April 2014.

Commando No 4699 – Ground Attack!

The Hurricanes of the Desert Air Force were rightly feared by the men of the Afrika Korps. Screaming in from the searing blue skies, their guns wrought massive destruction. Pilot Officer Billy Hammond was one of the best of the ground attack boys, lightning fast, deadly accurate.
   So they sent him to a new squadron with new kites and new weapons — PP-3s, fearsome three-inch air-to-ground rockets. The only problem was that they had sent him to a squadron where an old enemy waited. One on his own side!

Story: Peter Grehan
Art: Carlos Pino
Cover: Carlos Pino

Commando No 4700 – The Silver Bugle

This is the story of Sam Curtis, light infantry commander, of the silver bugle that went with him to war, and of the fighting tradition that began nearly two centuries before, with the first raid of the light “Bobs” on the enemy-held island of Walcheren, and the day a dreadful curse fell on the Domburg windmill…

Introduction
Reading the title and looking at Alvaro’s thunderous cover, you might be expecting a story about a haunted bugle (or something of the sort). If you are, disappointment awaits. Not that this isn’t a good story, because it is, but because the Bugle very much plays second fiddle (sorry!) to the two principal characters and the gulf that divides them. It’s classic Commando warfare…between men on the same side.
   Sostres’ inside art helps the mix along, with a striking mix of highly-detailed images backed with broader sweeps of the brush, his faces and expressions very nicely drawn.
   So, follow the bugle’s call and try out what was originally titled Short Step Into Danger.

Calum Laird, Commando Editor

Story: Eric Hebden
Art: Sostres
Cover: Alvaro
Originally Commando No 137 (October 1964), re-issued as No 711 (January 1973)

Commando No 4701 – Dangerous War

Lieutenant Jason Spark and his Commando team had completed another hazardous mission — blowing up an enemy radar station in Occupied France. While beating a hasty retreat, they found an unexpected prize — a high-ranking German officer who could provide the Top Brass with valuable secrets and intelligence.
   All Jason’s team had to do was bring their captive in alive. Little did they know that even if they did that, an even more dangerous assignment would await them…

Story: George Low
Art: Olivera
Cover: Janek Matysiak

Commando No 4702 – Operation “Viking”

Norway, a proud country, lay under Nazi rule. Slowly signs of resistance began to show, the beginning of a bitter war against the invaders.
   And although the defiant days of the marauding Vikings of old were long past, it was said that in one remote fiord the battle was being waged to the limit by the ghost of a Viking berserker many centuries dead…

Introduction
Norway, with its icy Scandinavian landscapes and rich, Viking heritage, is an ideal setting for a Commando adventure. Set against the German occupation, here we have a brilliant yarn with a supernatural edge and a Berserker legend at the heart of it.
   Featuring some exciting interior art by Denis McLoughlin and Ron Brown’s atmospheric underwater cover, we hope you agree that this is great fun. You’d go berserk if you missed out!

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Story: Alan Hemus
Art: Denis Mcloughlin
Cover: Ron Brown
Originally Commando No 2313 (September 1989), re-issued as No 3875 (January 2006)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Comic Cuts - 18 April 2014

The big unveiling . . . so this is the cover I'm planning for the Countdown to TV Action index. It's a little 'busy' but I wanted examples from a wide variety of the strips as it's their one chance to be seen in colour. I still need to tinker with a couple of areas (logos, the spine and I'll probably put a Bear Alley Books logo on the back) but I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

The first notion I had was to incorporate images into the numbers of a 5-4-3-2-1-0 countdown. Unfortunately, it looked horrible because the page is so tall and the numbers had to be vertically stretched so they're taller and thinner than they should be. I partly resolved that by using the two original logos to create a title logo plus some panels from the 'Countdown' strip for the back cover. I then used bands of different widths and elements from covers—and three from original artwork.

I spent my birthday designing it, so I hope you like it. I could have been watching TV or reading a book instead. It was a deliberately quiet day. Like the Queen, I have an official birthday and a day for public celebration, which will be Saturday—tomorrow if you're reading this the day it's posted.

So I added another year to my age during the week and aside from the expected cracks and creaks from muscles that used to work smoothly, I'm not feeling especially old. Part of that is down to being more active, having spent a good part of the year forcing myself to go for walks and get some exercise. The idea was not to simply lose some weight but to make a lifestyle change so that a morning walk became part of my regularly daily routine. I'm now walking a mile and a half every morning and another three-quarters of a mile in the afternoon; in fact, I now feel guilty if I don't walk.

I managed to lose 12 pounds and a few inches around the waist last year, but it has taken until now to shake off the couple of pounds I put on over Christmas/Winter. OK, that might not sound like much of an achievement, but you have to remember that this time last year I'd piled on a lot of weight after giving up smoking and it was still heading skywards. So in a year I've turned my (steady) weight increase into a (bumpy) weight loss.

My poor exercise bike is slowly falling apart. The strap over the left hand pedal snapped a long time ago, but this week the speedometer and mileometer broke after I'd cycled exactly 1,698 miles. I can still use the bike, but now I have to measure my cycling in time (I usually it in 15 minute bursts) rather than mileage.

I was sorry to learn of Sue Townsend's death as I was a long-time fan of her Adrian Mole books. There haven't been that many comedy books as funny as The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4—first published way back in 1982, so I probably read it a year or two later, so thirty years ago. That she was able to maintain the level of comedy throughout the series (and, I should add, in her other novels) is proof of her amazing talent. That she did it through quite a lot of adversary makes it all the more amazing (see her obituaries in the Independent and Guardian for more on her life).

Continuing with a little run of Ted Tubb Dumarest books, we present #19 The Quillian Sector, an Arrow paperback from 1982 with a cover by Fred Gambino. And finally a book I picked up last weekend, a Panther from 1968 with a photographic cover . . . something a bit different.

We'll be continuing to run the latest Paul Temple yarn . . . it's quite a long one, but I'm putting the time I'm saving to good use! Cheers!

Paul Temple and Project Deep Plunge part 17

(* © Evening News)