By Rossi, Dorison & Nury
In an era between the cowboy and the Untouchables, a group of investigators have been hired to get to the bottom of a very real threat to the country's ruling elite. Already many have died, so Morton Chapel and his team are under pressure to find results and halt the wave of terror from spreading.
They begin by interrogating the son of prominent Senator Charles Lennox, who himself is up to his neck in things, which reveals a much darker conspiracy and the involvement of an English occultist of historical note. The question now is whether they have the knowledge and capability to stop him.
Spooks is attempting to do something different by slotting itself in between a number of genres and it does it well, largely thanks to the wonderful artwork and a daring period script. It opens up a plethora of possibilities and some interesting ideas, and I for one am looking forward to how they pan out. The artwork is particularly good, and, despite being a million miles away from the genre, reminds me a lot of Dave Gibbons's work on Watchmen.
Looking forward to more of these.
And if you enjoyed that: Have a look at Witchfinder from Dark Horse
An exhibition of cartoons which shines a spotlight on the funny side of flying, is being hosted at a museum in Shropshire. Flights of Fancy is a free exhibition at the RAF Museum Cosford which runs until September 24.
It has been produced by members of the Professional Cartoonists’ Association (PCO) and the exhibits formed part of the annual Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival which, this year, was held in April. The exhibition adopts a different theme each year for cartoonists to interpret using a variety of styles, media and humour. This year’s theme was flight.
Flights of Fancy features nearly 80 new cartoons based on the theme of flying, including originals and signed prints, with contributions from more than 40 professional cartoon artists and caricaturists from the UK and abroad. It also includes a series of 6ft panels that were drawn live in front of an audience during the festival.
A spokesman for the RAF Museum Cosford said: "The theme for the 2012 festival was 'flight' and we are delighted to be able to showcase these wonderful illustrations to our visitors. Subjects range from Star Trek, space and aviation to Superman, Leonardo da Vinci, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, balloons and even flying pigs."
The festival also offered visitors the chance to watch artists at work, with 20 of them creating giant cartoons in The Square during the Cartoonists Live weekend, while others created caricatures and ran cartoon workshops for all ages.
RAF Museum Cosford got involved during the festival weekend, erecting a stall in The Square in Shrewsbury to raise awareness of the work of the museum. Assistant Curator Clare Carr said: "The diversity of cartoons within this exhibition shows how imaginative the cartoon artists’ minds are. It’s fascinating to view the cartoons, which are works of art in themselves as well as being humorous and topical. We have received nothing but positive feedback relating to Flights of Fancy, and some people have enjoyed the exhibition so much they have purchased their favourite cartoons to appreciate at home when the exhibition has ended. The variety of cartoons means the display appeals to a wide audience, with some having adult themes and others children will be delighted by."
There are cartoons in various styles, including pen and ink and watercolour, and prices range from £35 to nearly £400.
The Flights of Fancy cartoon exhibition is on display at RAF Museum Cosford until September 24, and is already proving a hit with visitors.
The museum is open daily from 10am until 6pm, with last admission at 5pm.
By Vance and Van Hamme
Well, I hope you've been paying attention, because we're up to volume 14 now and the revelations and twists keep coming. Despite all the recaps and reminders, it's starting to get a little tricky to keep up, especially when we're dealt yet another hand of "everything's not quite as we've led you to believe".
Jason Fly, no, wait, Jason McLane, er, no, Seamus O'Neil, that's it. Or is it Steve Rowland? Ah, silly me, it's Kelly Brian. Or is it? Let's just call him XIII again. Right, so XIII is on the run from the NSA and a double agent called Jessica Martin. They've tracked him down to the train he's making his way south on, but their worry is whether they can take him out before he realises they're on to him. Naturally, XIII's self-preservation instincts kick in and before long he's jumped trains and avoided all but Jessica, who ends up finding herself at his mercy.
Jessica ends up pouring out her own tragic past whilst casting yet more doubt on who XIII is, and in the process they find themselves drawn closer together and on the run together as they head for Costa Verde.
Let there be no doubt that this is an excellent series, but because things have been turned on their head so many times now it's beginning to be a struggle to hold all the threads together in your mind. However, all is not lost. We're moving towards the final curtain with just four volumes to go, so although Van Hamme will certainly have plenty more revelations up his sleeve there is a conclusion on the horizon. I for one am looking forward to what's in store.
And if you enjoyed that: You might like to take a look at Vertigo's 100 Bullets
It seems that quite a few people have tweeted DC Thomson, publishers of The Dandy, about the future of the comic. The publisher's full response is posted below:
A lot of people have tweeted us regarding news reports surrounding the future of The Dandy.
DC Thomson is continuing to develop its magazines operation and portfolio to create an efficient business model that will build on the strength of our existing brands and products. There are many challenges within the industry at present, but we’re excited that the digital revolution has also given us an opportunity to innovate and develop.
We’re celebrating the fact that The Dandy has been in print for 75 years and are doing a lot of planning to ensure that our brands and characters can live on in other platforms for future generations to enjoy.
We will release a special edition of The Dandy to mark its 75th anniversary on December 4th, 2012. This issue will be the last printed and will include a reprint of issue No 1. There’s still a healthy appetite for The Dandy so we’re making it relevant for a new generation.
There are exciting plans in the pipeline to take the title in a different direction and ensure that the next 75 years are just as popular.
We’re counting down 110 days until the 75th anniversary bash and working on some tremendously exciting things for The Dandy's future. What comes online then will set the tone for the future. We’re excited that the digital revolution has given us an opportunity to innovate and develop and we’re confident that future generations will continue to enjoy The Dandy.
Company bosses at DC Thomson were livid when news of The Dandy’s imminent demise leaked to the outside world and have "locked down" their operation in order to prevent further security lapses.
The company's Chief Executive, Ellis Watson, said: "Now that the cat is out of the bag, I can confirm that this will be our last print edition. I’ve closed loopholes to ensure much tighter internal security, and the website, www.dandy.com, has been taken offline to prevent people trying to hack into it to discover our plans".
The closure of the comic follows a long-term decline in circulation. Sales stand at about 8,000 copies a week, down from more than 2million during the Dandy’s heyday in the 1950s.
However, cartoon strips will continue in an online-only version of the comic while the Dundee-based publisher continues with a review of its portfolio because of 'challenges' in the industry.
The Dandy, which launched in 1937, has featured characters such as Bananaman, Korky the Cat, and Cuddles and Dimples.