2011 is a significant year for DC Thomson's Commando comic. As previously recounted on this blog the comic debuted in the summer of 1961 and as the UK's longest running war comic has now hit it's half century. There are some exciting developments as the title not only casts a nostalgic look back at it's illustrious past but also takes a step into the world of future publishing with subscribers able to avail themselves of the space and wallet friendly alternative of a digital subscription.
The plan is to reprint all the first twelve issues of Commando in reverse order so issue 12 "The Desperate Days" is where the project kicks off. As Thomson's unlike their competitors actually hung onto the artwork created for those comics, collectors will be able to see superb reproductions of Ken Barr's paintings, not to mention the equally compelling artwork of Gordon Livingstone, Raphael Auraleon and Ferran Sostres which helped make those comics so gripping first time around. It's good to see the reprints retaining the original cover lettering which just adds that extra degree of cool retro to the whole project.
So the bad/ good news is that even if by some minor miracle you have the original editions, you're going to have to buy them all over again (bad news) because the quality of repro on those Ken Barr covers is the best they've ever looked (good news).
Added to which editor Calum Laird as part of the ongoing campaign at Commando HQ to shed more light on the creators behind these little gems, includes an introduction to each of these stories. The reprint net is however being thrown further than just the first twelve issues and other titles from the 1960's are also being released.
I'm hoping that the list will include "Man Trap", which I still think is a brilliant pairing of Matias Alonso's in your face Hogarth'esque (but even darker) artwork and a superb script (Boutland) with a Jordi Penalva cover as the cherry on the cake.
Just think no more embarrassing scenes as you try to intercept the postman before your missus realizes that you are making further demands on 'lebensraum' for your burgeoning collection.
So take a trip over to the Commando website (which is one of the best website's I've come across by a comic publisher - very interactive and really informative) and then agonize over what sort of subscription you want/ need .
All images © DC Thomson 2011