The Art of the Annual – 1987

Last year, as Christmas approached, TWLB cast its eye over that Christmas institution – the Annual. From 1969 to 1984, we looked at some of the best examples of Annual cover design, and how tastes and fashions changed through the years. Some Annuals were evergreens (like the Dr Who series), while others were around for one year, never to return….

For a limited time only, TWLB will be looking at some more of these gems, this time from the mid to late 80’s.
All Annual images are courtesy of the marvellous tonystrading site – go there for an exhaustive covers gallery;

The Art of the Annual – 1986

Last year, as Christmas approached, TWLB cast its eye over that Christmas institution – the Annual. From 1969 to 1984, we looked at some of the best examples of Annual cover design, and how tastes and fashions changed through the years. Some Annuals were evergreens (like the Dr Who series), while others were around for one year, never to return….

For a limited time only, TWLB will be looking at some more of these gems, this time from the mid to late 80’s.
All Annual images are courtesy of the marvellous tonystrading site – go there for an exhaustive covers gallery;

The Art of the Annual – 1985

Last year, as Christmas approached, TWLB cast its eye over that Christmas institution – the Annual. From 1969 to 1984, we looked at some of the best examples of Annual cover design, and how tastes and fashions changed through the years. Some Annuals were evergreens (like the Dr Who series), while others were around for one year, never to return….

For a limited time only, TWLB will be looking at some more of these gems, this time from the mid to late 80’s.
All Annual images are courtesy of the marvellous tonystrading site – go there for an exhaustive covers gallery;

Milligan & McCarthy Collected coming our way in 2013

This is fantastic news –

a forthcoming 220 pages Best of Milligan & McCarthy collection, which is due out September 2013. Expect a big announcement on that from a major comics company soon. It will include pretty much all the classic ’80s material from Peter Milligan and myself:Paradax!Rogan Gosh, Skin, Freakwave, etc., plus some early, archival snippets from The Electrick Hoax and Summer of Love

the full article is here

http://blog.newsarama.com/2012/11/20/best-of-milligan-mccarthy-due-2013-says-mccarthy/

Freakwave (just look at that fabulous scan!) looks absolutely awesome, and visually it could have been drawn yesterday, let alone 30 years ago. Skin I have already covered here on this blog a while back;

http://www.thoseweleftbehind.co.uk/2009/11/skin-milligan-mccarthy-1990-1992.html

You should really visit Brendan McCarthy’s page here;
and counting down the days until that beauty hits the shops. Only 9 months to go (hopefully).

Cover for The Walking Dead #108 (image/skybound 2013)

Yeah – damn right. Whatever you may have been expecting on the cover of #108 of The Walking Dead, it probably was not this. Can The Walking Dead get even better in 2013 compared to 2012? If this cover is an indication, then it’s a resounding yes from this reader.

The solicitation reads;

WALKING DEAD #108 (MR)
(W) Robert Kirkman (A/CA) Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn
Ezekiel has a tiger.
In Shops: 3/6/2013
$2.99
So whoever Ezekiel is in this post-apocalyptic world, he gets introduced into Kirkman’s world in March, and expands the horizons of this comic a little more. It is indeed a Larger World out there, and Kirkman is really opening up. 
Congratulations to Charlie Adlard as well – it’s a fine cover; in fact it reminds me a bit of something Brendan McCarthy would do, and I mean that as a compliment.

My Gaming Timeline Christmas Edition – Compilations!

Christmas, the high water mark for consumer spending. But how, in the mid-80’s, were Software Houses supposed to flog old games with the relentless march of progress rendering their old products obsolete in the eyes of teenage Home Computer joystick warriors? The answer was quite brilliant if you were a Software House of some repute with a reasonable back catalogue? Simple. You stick a few of your best titles on the gaming equivalent of ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’.

‘They Sold A Million’ was a winner in my eyes, and a must have for Christmas. Each compilation represented value for money even if i had 1 or 2 of the titles, and the fact the line-up for each one was so strong made it all the more attractive. I seem to recall one non ‘They Sold A Million’ compilation had around 10 games, but when one of the games was ‘Super Gran’, the attractiveness of the proposition diminished. If however, you had the pick of Sabre Wulf, Jet Set Willy, Bruce Lee or Beach Head – all good to great games – then you were looking at an offer you could not refuse. Saying that, if you were lucky enough to have a mate with a decent taping setup you may have been the recipient of several C90s worth of illegally taped games that would keep you entertained for weeks on end, and you may well have scoffed at the paltry amount of games on offer under the ‘They Sold A Million’ banner. For the rest of us, the likes of these legal compilations were a great chance to get our hands on several quality games for a good price.

A rare event, the fledgling games industry wowing us with their philanthropy. Nowadays you can spend around 8 euros on the PSN to download Galaga, Pac Man, Xevious and some other interminable arcade relic. The comparison I am trying to make is that in its endless recycling of its back catalogue, sometimes the games industry can over value its content. Whereas ‘They Sold A Million’ was relatively generous in its offerings, it was also a lightbulb moment for Software Houses and Games Developers, accompanied by the sound of ringing tills, that showed that old content, given the right marketing and push, could be sold back to punters with impunity.

Here are some nice pictures of said products;