Doctor Who meets Mr.Men

Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s (DW’s global publisher) , will publish these stories in the UK.  Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House is master publisher and will release twelve titles, one for each Doctor.

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These storybook mash-ups, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, combine the iconic storytelling of Doctor Who with the whimsical humor and design made famous by his father, Roger Hargreaves. The first four books will be available in Spring 2017.

Francesca Dow, MD of Penguin Random House Children’s Books, said, “As the global publisher of Doctor Who and champions of books which push creative boundaries, we are delighted to be publishing such unique and fun stories. We’re confident and excited they will appeal to the thousands of Doctor Who and Mr Men fans around the world”

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Jan Paterson, Head of Book and Audio Publishing, BBC Worldwide commented, “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Sanrio on this fantastic project and think that fans will love these creative incarnations of the Doctor reimagined in the ‘Hargreaves’ style. We’re always looking for innovative ways to engage our fans so this is the perfect partnership for us.”

Alastair McHarrie, Licensing Director of Sanrio Global Ltd added, “There is a wealth of unofficial fan-created content online. We wanted to give something back to these supporters so we’ve created the first official Hargreaves mash-up. Who better to partner with than another classic British property, Doctor Who. We couldn’t be more excited.”

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Francesco Sedita, President and Publisher of Price Stern Sloan, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, added, “It is such a special moment for us to unite these two great properties. Our books bring Hargreaves’ wonderful, fun style to the mysterious, magical world of Doctor Who. I know we’re going to delight fans of all ages!”

 

 

Review-Ninth Doctor #1

Following last year’s successful five-part mini-series. Titan Comics and writer Cavan Scott have brought back the ninth Doctor for an ongoing series.
  
Eccleston’s Doctor is easily the most tragic incarnation in Doctor Who’s history. War-torn and holding the belief that he wiped out his entire species, he finds comfort and solace in the friendship with an Earth-woman, Rose Tyler and, another mysterious time traveller named Captain Jack Harkness. I’ve always felt there’s a romantic aspect to Eccleston’s portrayal, as he was “one and done”. 
  

The story takes place some time after Jack joined the team. 

After escaping a giant worm, the TARDIS trio soon pick up a transmission from a past version of Capatain Jack-sent before he had his memories erased. They then land on a planet where the Doctor is hailed as a celebrity, on this planet he is the star of a show called ‘Doctor Who’ (No, really) as soon as the trio step out the TARDIS, the Doctor is mobbed by people wanting selfies-much like Eccleston would have been at a Doctor Who convention in 2005. 

“Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor” #1 could easily fit in the 2005 series. The story is fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled and filled with humour. It’s as if Cavan Scott spent an entire week watching and re-watching series 1. He gets the characterisation of 9, Rose, and Jack down so well. You’ll wish even more, that Eccleston had done another series.

This is essential reading for fans of the ninth Doctor. 

Ninth Doctor #1 is out tomorrow, from Titan comics. 

Doctor Who: The Churchill Years

Reprising his performances during Matt Smith’s era of Doctor Who, IanMc Niece is back as Winston Churchill. Big Finish’s new box set departs from their well-honed format of unmediated aural adventures, with McNiece narrating as well as performing in each episode. The narration does cover a few bits that I felt it shouldn’t, notably an action sequence in the first story and the introduction of a famous historical figure in the third. I mention this to balance what I think has been a refreshing experience and a success overall.

Churchill’s narration includes recounting the words and actions of the first three new series Doctors. This has the brilliant effect of bringing the Christopher Eccleston Doctor to Big Finish, complete with the Ninth Doctor signature tune. As The Doctor changes, the title music changes. Across the stories one can spot the different speech patterns of each Doctor, even as related (and occasionally imitated) by McNiece.

There’s still plenty of full-cast audio action aboard, moved along nicely by the ‘companions’ of Churchill. As his new secretary, Hetty Warner (Emily Atack) leads many scenes apart from Winston and works well with both her employer and The Doctor. Kazran Sardick (Danny Horn) returns from Dr Who’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ and provides good contrast to the 20th century way in which Churchill reacts to being dropped into Roman Britain. In the final piece, another supporting artist from a Matt Smith Christmas special returns, Holly Earl As Lily Arwell. She looks after Winston at a particularly action-packed point in his twilight years.

The first story is the most conventional, with an alien object dropped into wartime Britain. The second shatters that mould as we find Churchill’s Black Dog – his controversial mental issues – woven into the story. In the third, Winston lives amid the subjects of his own historical books and the statesman’s fascination for butterflies is rolled rather surprisingly into the fourth adventure. Additionally, there’s a nice bit of Nick Briggs’ Dalek voice work in this set.

Doctor Who: The Churchill Years brought a delightful, fictionalised Sir Winston into my home over a couple of winter evenings. So pleasant was it that I might just sit down with Churchill’s own writing for just a bit more time with this true-life legend from long ago.

Review-Torchwood:Uncanny valley 

The tale of artificial intelligence is a stablemate of science fiction, but this is the first time the subject matter has been handled so maturely.

The adventure kicks of with Jack unexpectedly arriving at the home of reclusive billionaire/entrepreneur-celebrity, Neil Redmond.

Dubious of Jack’s intention, Richmond distrusts him until the good Captain drops some impossible knowledge. The duo then talk about the events that brought them both to the remote Welsh castle.

Richmond found himself wheelchair bound after being involved in a horrific car crash. A mysterious woman then persuaded him to purchase a company that make “living dolls”. He was then gifted an avatar of himself, which he christened NJ-which would appear at press conferences on his behalf.

Writer David Llewellyn proves again that he can handle Torchwood. this is a mature think piece with non-gratuitous adult moments. In other words, this is Torchwood at its best. It’s quintessential listening.

John Barrowman slips back into Captain Jack’s RAF Greatcoat with ease, he knows this character inside and out. He could do this in his sleep. Special mention must go to Steven Cree (Outlander). He is entirely convincing in his dual roles as Neil and NJ.

I’ve enjoyed each of the Torchwood audios, for different reasons. Each one has scratched a different sort of itch. If you haven’t tried a Big Finish audio before, I recommend jumping on board with this range.

Fourth Doctor And Sarah Jane Smith Return for An All-New Adventure!

Titan Comics and BBC Worldwide have announced a brand-new mini series starring the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, as played by Tom Baker and the late Elisabeth Sladen.
 
This series expands Titan Comics’ hugely popular and critically acclaimed Doctor Who comics line, which already includes adventures from the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors.
 
Entitled ‘Gaze Of The Medusa’, the five-part series will hit stores in March 2016 and will be penned by Gordon Rennie (Missionary Man, Judge Dredd) and Emma Beeby(Witch Hunter, Judge Dredd) with art by Brian Williamson (The Twelfth Doctor, Spider-Man, X-Men).
 

  

The all-new adventure is set in Victorian England, where a mysterious woman commands a hidden army in a house of the blind. Scryclops stalk the streets…and something alien and terrible screams from prehistory – with a hunger that cannot be satisfied! 
 
Issue #1 will come with six covers to collect: a painted cover by fan-favorite artist Alice X. Zhang; a photo variant; art covers by artists Brian Williamson, Jay Gunn and Matt Baxter; and a blank sketch variant. 

 
Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor #1 debuts in comic stores and on digital devices from March 2016.
 

Review-Back to the future issue #1

We’re now in a position where all the films in the franchise take place entirely in the past. The last installment came out in 1989, yet fans have constantly demanded more. Luckily for us, Bob Gale and IDW have teamed up to give us a four issue mini-series set in the world of Hill Valley. 

Bob Gale has been very outspoken about not returning to the franchise, as he explains in a note at the end of issue #1, he felt that anything more would just be repetitious, so he decided that the only way to expand on the universe  would be to not focus on time travel. Instead, he opted to reveal more about the  characters we fell in love with, all those years ago.

The Back to the Future comic is essentially the Untold Tales that fill in the narrative gaps from the films. The stories are set before and/or during the trilogy. 

    
Issue #1 takes place after Marty leaves 1885, but before Doc takes his family to see him. Whilst building his time travel train, Doc explains to Clara and the kids, how he and Marty first met. 

 
Doc and Marty first met, in 1982-three years prior to the events in the first  film. 
The issue is a lot of fun, as it riffs on the familiar tropes we saw throughout the trilogy. Writer John Barber is clearly a fan. Brent Schoonover’s pencilling is very cartoonish and basic, but it all works so well. 

Review-The Troop by Noel Clarke

In The Troop a team with super powers rises from a nightmare parade of violence, with memorable action sequences and flashes of sexual activity along the way.

Author Noel Clarke was part of the the main cast of Doctor Who’s 2005 return to television. Since then he’s written an episode of Torchwood and a couple of independent films, all of which show his knack for dark material. He told the Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to push boundaries with this comic. Where he does that is in his depiction of real life abusive human behaviour, which exists in the backgrounds that these super-humans come from. The Troop are not so much a fearless team of super heroes as a damaged pile of kids united by a shady character who comes off as a bit of a creep.

We’re in an early period for digital comics as they differentiate themselves from the heavy lines and solid fills of the past. In this book, artist Joseph Cassara paints with loads of photographic colour and texture. In one panel he simulates shallow depth-of-field, where the background has those discs you get from expensive cameras when points of light in the background are blurred.

It can be a little noisy but structure does win out over chaos, particularly in the action sequences. Movement in illustration is tied to the way shapes strike across the page and Cassara works this well. In a rainy forest chase he does this by putting his virtual camera high in the trees and in another, he grabs a snapshot from a flying belt’s hang time before a dangerous dad brings it down.

Issue 1 of The Troop is a bit of a contest between abuse violence and revenge violence but Noel Clarke is setting up something that is intentionally not shiny. This is a tale where everything soft is burnt away – that can lend the truly poignant bits great impact later on. Now it’s up to Clarke and Cassara to deliver on the promise shown so far.

Listen to our interview with Noel Clarke here.

Artwork preview:


  

Issue #1 is out 9th December 2015

The thick of it cast make a cameo in The Amazing Spider-Man

The cast of the BBC political comedy, The Thick Of It, make a completely unexpected cameo on the cover of December’s issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Chris Addison, Peter Capaldi, Joanna Scanlan, Paul Higgins, James Smith and Polly Kemp can all be seen on the cover, sat inside a London bus, whilst Spider-Man is fighting.

Armando Iannucci, the creator of The Thick Of It tweeted the image this morning and asked fans if they knew how the cameo came to be.

“Anyone know why Thick of It cast are in recent Spiderman issue? As a lifelong Marvel fan I’m delighted. And curious.

Red Wolf returning to Marvel comics

A few months ago Marvel teased that Native American heroe Red Wolf, would be returning for his own range of comic. Today, they announced that is indeed true.

Nathan Edmondson will be writing the series, with Dalibor Talajić on art duties and Jeffrey Veregge will be doing covers.

Veregge said this about the comic:

“There’s not a character like Red Wolf out there right now. As a Native, I’m really excited to see that he can do things, he can figure out things and stand with Captain America, and hold his own in this universe. That’s what’s awesome about it: You have all these characters of different nationalities and ethnicities, but it’s not all about their culture. It’s about them being a hero.”

Red Wolf was introduced in 1970 as William Talltrees, in Avengers #80. He was the first Native American character in comic history.