Another Scrotnig Issue of the 2000AD fanzineCOMICSCENE REVIEW – ZARJAZ ISSUE 39 — ComicScene Comic Club
Once upon a time, seemingly about in about 1935, but actually only about nine months ago, there was a General Election. It seemed very important at the time, but most of us have now probably forgotten all about it.
The Conservatives, under their new leader, Boris Johnson did surprisingly well in the snap 12 December election. Having never once managed to win a substantial majority in any of the seven previous General Elections held during the previous thirty years, they won a majority of eighty, easily enough to keep them in office until 2024. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, in contrast, did very badly.
A notable feature of the results was that the Tories made substantial inroads into the so-called impenetrable ”Red Wall’ of sixty or so traditionally Labour old coal, steel and manufacturing seats stretching from the Midlands, across to the north of England and up into Wales.
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Do you know Adam Buxton? If you don’t, you should.
Long time ‘Buckles’ fans such as myself will have first encountered him on the hugely inventive late night 1990s Channel 4 programme, The Adam and Joe Show, which he hosted with his old schoolfriend, the equally hilarious Joe Cornish, now a film director. In the 2000s, the duo retained their cult status with an excellent radio show on what was then BBC 6 Music while Adam made occasional appearances in films like Stardust and Hot Fuzz. In the second of these, he plays an amateurish West Country reporter who suffers a comically horrific Omen-style death outside a cathedral. In recent years, he has become known for his celebrated podcasts which he records, often in the company of his dog, Rosie, from his home in Norfolk. He has also done many more things in the first fifty years of his life…
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The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig. Published by Canongate on 13 August 2020.
“Oh, it is real, Nora Seed. But it is not quite reality as you understand it. For want of a better word, it is in-between. It is not life. It is not death. It is not the real world in a conventional sense. But nor is it a dream. It isn’t one thing or another. It is, in short, the Midnight Library.”
Nora Seed has hit rock bottom. With her career and personal life in tatters and her cat dead, she sees little point in a carrying on with a life which seems to her to be now irreversibly set on the worse possible course. In recent years, it has become commonplace for people to say they are living “their best possible life.” Nora, it is clear, is not living hers.
Then, miraculously, Nora is presented…
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ComicScene has launched a kickstarter for a major new project – the History of Comics 1930 to 2030 Part Work. Each prestige format book will cover one year of comic history. The first four books will cover 1984, 1977, 1950 and 1986. You can also get a slipcase to keep your books in. The kickstarter can be accessed here http://kck.st/2XUhRwq
Everyone who signs up for the ‘part work’ will also become part of a regular ‘Comic Club’ and will get additional extras and offers as part of their subscription.
The Part Work has been planned Pre-Covid 19. Publisher Tony Foster said today, “Following feedback those interested in comics are keen to see more indepth coverage of comic history. We think this format, giving an overview of each year and looking indepth at UK, US and worldwide comics will be welcome. Throughout the run we will also capture comics published before…
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Book review: Where Power Stops: The Making and Unmaking of Presidents and Prime Ministers, by David Runciman. Published by: Profile Books.
The premise is simple enough. David Runciman takes a look at some of the most interesting recent British and American leaders and sees what we can learn from their experiences of leadership. His choice of subjects is in itself fascinating.
Lyndon B. Johnson: a huge, cajoling, powerful figure, the choice of LBJ nevertheless seems slightly odd, simply because his tenure (1963-69) was so much earlier than everyone else included here. Runciman also inevitably relies on Robert Caro’s masterful biography of the 36th US president. Still unfinished, Caro’s magnum opus has barely touched on Johnson’s years in the White House yet. Let’s hope he gets to finish it.
Runciman has a talent for shedding new light on potentially over-familiar topics. All manner of leader is included here. Amongst others, the…
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Following the sudden death of family patriarch Colin ( Simon Greenall), the Walcott family are soon in for another rude shock. For, it soon emerges that in addition to his union with the now bereaved Tess (Rebecca Front) and their grown-up daughter Cathy (Ellie White), Colin was conducting a secret affair. He has thus also left behind a chain-smoking mistress, Marilyn (Siobhan Finneran) and another daughter, also called Catherine (Lauren Socha), known as ‘Cat’ who is almost exactly the same age as her twenty-something half-sister.
Understandably furious, middle-class Tess embarks on a series of ill-considered relationships with men, played by actors from Drop the Dead Donkey. The already neurotic, Cathy, meanwhile, continues with her career and her unpromising engagement to the nice but fatally weak-willed Marcus (Amit Shah). Much to her mother’s horror, she soon also develops a close friendship with her more confident, wrong-side-of-the-tracks.
It is this essentially good…
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Today is, of course, International Star Wars Day. And what better way could there be to commemorate this date which sounds a little bit like a phrase never actually said in the original trailer than by buying these magical new Star Wars books from Egmont?
Actually watching the films. That would be a better way to celebrate clearly. But get these books too. Although technically none are out until May 5th, so you will have to wait until tomorrow. But you can order them today. And what could be more fun than ordering things?
If you like Star Wars but also love transforming things from black and white into colour, then you should love the Star Wars Galaxy Of Colouring Book pictured above. It is actually bigger than it looks here – 250 x 360mm – and has 112 pages. The front cover is dominated by a storm trooper, in…
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1. Tiger King: Netflix series. I’ve not seen this yet! But I must do soon as I hear about it everywhere I go (i,e. the kitchen, lounge and bathroom).
2. Tony the Tiger: Cartoon character used to advertise Frosties breakfast cereal (basically Corn Flakes with more sugar on). As Mark Corrigan (David Mitchell) on Peep Show says: “Frosties are just cornflakes for people who can’t face reality.”
3. Tiger Tiger: Popular nightclub. Immortalised in the William Blake poem: “Tyger tyger, burning bright. Get pissed, pull and have a fight…”
4. Tygra from Thundercats. The “boring one” of the Fab Four, a bit like George Harrison or Mike from The Young Ones.
5. Rod’s Tiger: Popular comic story about a boy and his pet tiger which ran in Buster comic between 1981 and 1983. A pun on the name of the actor, Rod Steiger. Not really! I made this one up.
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Payton Hobart is back.
Having licked his wounds after the bruising San Sebastian High School presidential battle, the ruthlessly ambitious Hobart (Ben Platt) now sets his sights on one of New York’s State senate seats for what will be his first real grownup political campaign. Incumbent State senator Dede Standish (Judith Light) initially seems secure, but her re-election campaign is soon threatened by rumours of the middle-aged veteran politician’s “throuple” polyamorous relationship with both her husband and boyfriend.
Hobart, now supported by most of his allies and a few rivals from his earlier campaign, soon appears to be making headway, despite the potential risk of exposure over his own three-way relationship with his girlfriend, Alice (Julia Schlaepfer) and his former rival, Astrid Sloan (Lucy Boynton). Ruthlessly exploiting the environment issue in a bid to establish a foothold among younger voters, Hobart soon becomes engaged in a protracted dirty tricks campaign…
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Judge Dredd The Megazine begins. It is still gong today. Early stories include America and Young Death: Boyhood of a Superfiend.
In 2000AD itself, Judge Dredd faces Necropolis. Rogue Trooper appears in his own annual for the first and. to date, only time.
Edgy monthly Revolver featuring a dark new version of Dan Dare as well as Rogan Gosh and Happenstance and Kismet launches.
With many comics now struggling, adult comic Viz is thriving. Billy the Fish gets his own TV series, voiced by Harry Enfield.
Dennis the Menace TV cartoon on the Cartoon Channel. The Beano celebrates its 2,500th issue
After 34 years, The Beezer joins The Topper (by this point rebranded as Topper 90). The Beezer and Topper is formed.
After 21 years, Whizzer and Chips merges into Buster. Sid’s Snake, Sweeny Todd, Joker and Sweet Tooth are amongst those moving in.
Viewed as a 2000AD…
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Could you ever imagine going into space?
Could you then imagine spending twenty-three years there, beginning your journey just as you are about to leave your teens, only to end it just after the point you’ve entered middle age?
And could you do all this knowing even then that you won’t be returning to Earth? That instead of being reunited with your surviving loved ones, you will be charged with a new mission: setting up a colony on a new planet, a planet identical to our own discovered in space but as yet uninhabited? Namely, Terra-Two?
This is the fate the group of teenagers in Temi Oh’s first-class debut novel have keenly volunteered for, having being whittled down to a select few who will join a number of older, more experienced crew for an epic journey on the Damocles to the new world. The name of the ship is only…
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Buster comic begins. The title character is originally described as ‘the son of Andy Capp’ although this is soon forgotten about.
Pre-teen girls’ comic/magazine Judy begins.
Corporal Clott enlists in The Dandy, just as National Service comes to an end. He serves the comic loyally until 1970.
Winker Watson ‘the world’s wiliest wangler’ debuts in The Dandy.
The Dandy and The Beano both celebrate their 1,000th issues.
The Victor is launched.
Commando War Stories in Pictures is launched, later known as Commando. It is still going today.
June comic begins.
Send For Kelly (about an inept special agent) begins in The Topper.
The Numskulls debut in The Beezer.
Film Fun (est: 1920) ends. Radio Fun (1938-61. merges into Buster) and TV Fun (1953-59) all end during this period.
A Dandy-Beano joint Summer Special appears. The first separate Dandy and Beano Summer Specials appear in…
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Cor!! is launched. Popular stories include Gus the Gorilla (“You can’t make a monkey out of Gus!”) and The Slimms. One story, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke lasts until 2000 (in Cor!! and elsewhere).
Scorcher, Thunder and Wizard (II) are all launched.
Knockout is launched (an earlier Knockout ran between 1939 and 1963). Stories include Joker, Sammy Shrink, Fuss Pot, Dead Eye Dick and Beat Your Neighbour.
Chalky (“he’s quick on the draw!”) debuts in Cor!!
TV-themed magazine and comic Look-In is switched on.
Faceache debuts in Jet. Jet merges into Buster soon after.
Other mergers: Thunder merges into Lion. TV21 merges into Valiant.
Babyface Finlayson, (“The Cutest Bandit in the West”) debuts in The Beano.
Rent-A-Ghost Ltd. debuts in Buster. It’s arrival predates TV’s Rentaghost by three years and they are unconnected.
Countdown turns into TV Action.
Supernatural comedy title, Shiver…
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Nutty is launched. It’s most memorable story, Bananaman quickly moves to the front page.
The first Judge Dredd annual is published. In 2000AD, Judge Death and Judge Anderson both appear as characters in the Dredd strip.
Speed comes and goes, merging into Tiger.
Mergers: Misty merges into Tammy. The Crunch merges into Hotspur. Penny merges into Jinty.
Doctor Who Weekly goes monthly
Smudge debuts in The Beano.
A new version of Girl is launched.
The TV-themed Tops begins.
Mergers: Scoop merges into Victor. Jinty merges into Tammy. Hotspur merges into Victor.
The Nemesis the Warlock saga begins properly in 2000AD. The war also begins for Rogue Trooper.
High quality monthly Warrior begins. It is not especially war-like and features V For Vendetta, Marvelman (later Miracleman) and Laser Eraser and Pressbutton.
A new version of The Eagle begins. Dan Dare (or rather his great-great-grandson) appears as…
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The Eagle launches featuring the futuristic Dan Dare – Pilot of the Future on the front page. His first story-line sees him traveling to Venus where he encounters the Treens led by the malevolent Mekon. Other early Eagle stories include PC49, Luck of the Legion and Riders of the Range.
Canine hero, Black Bob becomes the first Dandy character to star in his own annual.
Dennis the Menace makes his debut in The Beano. Biffo the Bear remains on the front page.
Girl, a sister comic to The Eagle is launched.
Dan Dare embarks upon The Red Moon Mystery.
Adventure comic, Lion, a potential rival to The Eagle is launched. Memorable characters include Robot Archie (initially referred to as The Jungle Robot).
Gerald Campion debuts in the title role in TV’s Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School. The character first appeared in Magnet in 1908.
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Some might balk at the inclusion of popular mainstream favourite Miranda on this list. But while Miranda the series, like the character of Miranda herself, may be less obviously ‘cool’ than some of its contemporaries, it is extremely likeable and often very funny.
Writing a self-titled sitcom can be a risky business. The sitcom ‘Josh’ for example, has never really fully demonstrated the excellence of its creator Jpsh Widdecombe while comedian Rhona Cameron never really recovered from the failure of her own vehicle, ‘Rhona.’ But the huge success of Miranda transformed Miranda Hart from supporting roles in Hyperdrive and Not Going Out into a household name who now occasionally appears in Hollywood films.
In the sitcom, Miranda is a tall, awkward thirty-something who runs a joke shop with her business-minded, Heather Smalls-loving friend Stevie (Sarah Hadland) and who pines after her old Uni friend, Gary (Tom Ellis), a good looking…
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Cameron To “Step Down As PM in 2020”
Prime Minister, David Cameron today gave his strongest hint yet that he intends to step down as Prime Minister within two years of winning the forthcoming General Election. Speculation has been mounting that Mr. Cameron is close to announcing the date of the next election as May 22nd. This would coincide neatly with the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament.
The last General Election in May 2015, resulted in a surprise overall majority of 12 for the Conservatives. This has since fallen as a result of recent by-elections although Mr. Cameron has resisted calls to strike any sort of deal with either Tim Farron’s Liberal Democrats or the similarly-sized Democratic Unionist Party.
Having entered Downing Street in June 2010, Mr Cameron is now the third longest serving Prime Minister since 1945, after Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. At 52, he…
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“Who is Harry Perkins?” you might ask.
The answer lies within Chris Mullin’s excellent 1982 novel, A Very British Coup. Written in the dark days of early Thatcherism, Mullin envisaged a future (the late 1980s), in which Perkins, a working-class hero and onetime Sheffield steelworker leads the Labour Party to an unexpected General Election victory on a manifesto not dissimilar to the one Labour lost on in 1983. Perkins’ Labour Party is thoroughly socialist and the new government quickly embarks on fulfilling the radical agenda it has been elected on: dismantling Britain’s nuclear deterrent and leaving NATO, breaking up the newspaper monopolies, redistributing wealth and more.
Needless to say, the establishment: the civil service, the media and the security services are horrified. They immediately begin conspiring with the US (who, viewing things through a Cold War prism, see Britain as having “gone over to the other side”) in a bid…
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Thirty years ago, the Cold War came to a peaceful end. Germany was reunified. A wave of mostly peaceful uprisings occurred across the so-called Eastern Bloc in 1989 before finally in 1991, the Soviet Union itself disintegrated completely.
Such developments would have seemed unthinkable only a few years earlier. Russian communism had dominated Eastern Europe since 1917 with the intense rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States threatening to destroy humanity following the superpower arms build-up which escalated soon after the end of the Second World War.
As Archie Brown demonstrates in this book the fact that this amazing development was able to occur at all owes itself almost entirely to ‘the human factor,’ namely the unique personalities of three world leaders during the second half of the 1980s. The personality of one of these leaders in fact, was especially critical.
Many in the west were alarmed when…
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