Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Hookjaw to return in Strip Magazine

PJ Holden's cover for Strip Magazine #1
Hookjaw, a Jaws-inspired strip that first appeared in the controversial 1970s British weekly comic Action, will feature in the new Strip Magazine, which will launch in early 2011.

Lancaster-based Print Media Productions has agreed a deal with UK publisher Egmont to feature Hookjaw in the Magazine, re-publishing the strip in colour – and also has an option to publish Dredger, the hard-nosed secret agent who also featured in Action.

Probably the best-remembered and certainly most popular strip in the comic, HookJaw, inspired by the classic blockbuster movie Jaws, was created by Pat Mills, scripted by Ken Armstrong and drawn initially by Ramon Sola, followed by Felix Carrion and Eric Bradbury. Consistently topping reader polls, it was Mills who decided to make the shark the star of the strip which tackled environmental issues and corporate greed with equal relish.

The strip also caused controversy on publication, one of the stories that rapidly saw Action become a target of campaigners outraged by its violent content -- and its social commentary. The controversy Action created saw the comic 'banned' after just 37 issues, returning to the news stands only after its characters had been toned down and effectively emasculated by management demands on the editorial team.

The entire controversy was documented in Martin Barker's book, Action - The Story of a Violent Comic, published in 1990 by Titan Books.

In all, three Hookjaw stories featured in Action before the ban.

"Pat Mills gave the strip an environmental edge," notes Strip Magazine editor John Freeman. "This was a shark that never balked at eating corrupt humans or criminals out to make money from our oceans - along with anyone else unlucky enough to get near him.

"Hookjaw was just one of the strips that provoked the public campaign against Action, but its success also paved the way for comics like 2000AD and it's interesting to read the strip in that context today.
The first page of  Hookjaw as it will appear in Strip Magazine, coloured by Gary Caldwell and re-lettered by Jim Campbell

"We're sure there are plenty of the shark's original fans out there eager to catch up with the beast – and younger readers will be interested to see what all the fuss was about."

The strips have been coloured by Gary Caldwell and re-lettered by Jim Campbell.

One challenge remains for the new publisher: tracking down good quality of some issues of the original comic, which can fetch high prices.

"The printing on the comic, as with many classic British weeklies, was variable," notes Freeman. "Some pages of the comic we've sourced so far are fine while others are muddy, with print errors and heavy blacks. We're hoping collectors might be able to help in our quest to ensure the very best reproduction of these classic strips."

Hookjaw joins a line up of strips that includes work by PJ Holden, Michael Pennick, John Ridgway, James Hudnall, John McCrea, Phillip Hester and others.

Alongside STRIP Magazine, Print Media Productions is releasing a range of graphic albums that include creator-owned projects by Ferg Handley, Kev Hopgood, Gordon Rennie, SMS and more.

The first of these, the steampunk adventure The Iron Moon by Stephen Walsh and Keith Page, will be on sale from next month (October 2010), launching at the British International Comic Show in Birmingham.

• For the latest news about Strip Magazine visit:

Hookjaw © Egmont UK

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Iron Moon launches at British International Comic Show

Print Media Productions, publishers of the upcoming monthly STRIP Magazine, have confirmed they will be exhibiting at the British International Comic Show.

Publisher Ivo Milicevic, whose Bosnian comic titles include Strip, Metal Hurlant and science fiction title Plavi, will be at the event, as will STRIP Magazine editor John Freeman.

PJ Holden, one of the creators working STRIP Magazine, will be on the PMP stand at the weekend, as will screen writer Stephen Walsh and Commando artist Keith Page, signing copies of their new steampunk-inspired graphic album - The Iron Moon, the first PMP graphic album.

John Freeman will be appearing on a panel organised by the Comic Book Alliance on Saturday, talking about the British comics industry.

PMP has a range of graphic albums planned through 2011 and a special preview of these and STRIP Magazine will be available at the event.

New originated stories planned for the range include The Quest, drawn by 2000AD and Interzone artist SMS; Age of Heroes by James Hudnall and John Ridgway; and a selection of European albums published in English for the first time, including L' Heritage du Diable (The Devil's Heritage) by Gastine & Felix.

Creators whose work features in PMP titles include PJ Holden, John Ridgway, Keith Page, Jim Campbell, Michael Penick, Jon Rusby, Dean Deckard, Nick Spender, Mauricet and Gary Caldwell. More creators will be announced soon.

Charlotte Corday is briefed by Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington
about the mysterious Iron Moon. Art © 2010 Keith Page


A Charlotte Corday adventure...


The twentieth century is just around the corner and Queen Victoria is hale and hearty as she heads into the second century of her reign. The British Empire stretches from the white cliffs of Dover to the red skies of Mars. Go-getting men and women of the imperial dominions flock to the colours, eager to make reputations and fortunes in the wilds of high space.

Take lieutenant Charlotte Corday, for instance. Born in what used to be known as France, she has risen to prominence through the ranks of the Royal Space Navy and now finds herself up to her neck in her greatest escapade yet. Watch as she travels to the mysterious Iron Moon! Marvel as she grapples with a conspiracy that may see the galaxy plunged into war! Goggle as she meets new and strange races, both mechanical and biological! Ponder how she manages to put away so many cups of tea! And prepare to have your brain scrambled as she scoops us up and carries us to the very limits of this universe... and into the next!

Iron Moon writer Stephen Walsh has written multiple volumes of DC Thomson's Commando Picture Library, as well as the graphic novel The Acid Bath Case (illustrated by Kellie Strom). He co-wrote the feature films How Harry Became A Tree, released in 2001, directed by Goran Paskaljevic and the upcoming Where The Sea Used To Be, directed by Paul Farren. He's currently working on a documentary about John Ford with the director Sé Merry Doyle, as well as preparing further adventures of Charlotte Corday with Keith Page.

Inspired by the great British comics artists of the past such as Frank Hampson, Don Lawrence and Joe Colquhoun, Keith Page has worked full-time in comics and illustration for some 17 years.  Subjects have ranged from television-related material such as Thunderbirds, science fiction, and his current war stories of all periods for Commando. A variety of Keith's work can be seen on

• If you would like to know when The Iron Moon is available, drop us a line at
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