Wednesday, 29 March 2017


Oh my word, now I feel old!  Back in late 1988 I started collecting the superlative The Transformers from Marvel UK... or rather, to give it its full title 'The Transformers and Action Force' seeing as how Marvel's other action weekly had come to an end with its 50th issue and they still had a hell of a lot of American G.I. Joe (which was changed to 'Action Force' in the UK) being created, as it'd proven much more popular on the other side of the planet than here.  AF had already been in the TF comic for about fifty issues by the time I came on board and they'd brought with them Lew Stringer's excellent Combat Colin humour strip.

For the remainder of The Transformers, Colin and his sidekick Semi-Automatic Steve would grace us with half- and full-page strips every single issue which without fail raised a smile, but more-often-then-not straight out belly laughs were the order of the day (and even included a cameo from Tom Thug in the background once).  After the comic was cancelled with its 332nd issue Lew asked for the rights to the character and Marvel agreed, which has been brilliant for us fans as he keeps popping up now-and-again, both in some special issues a good while back and more recently in Aces Weekly with brand new material.

Lew has also recently announced he'll be collecting together all of the Marvel UK strips into an ongoing series of reprint comics, beginning sometime this year with the premiere issue containing all of the AF strips in one volume.  Personally I can't wait as I never did collect that title and so this will all be brand new material for the most part for me!  Saying that, I'll also collect the other issues (even though I have the TF run all here on a shelf next to me) to support one of my very favourite cartoonists of all time and also to have all of the strips in one collection.  It'll be a brilliantly fun read and I'll no doubt cover it on the blog when it's released.

He may not have been an Oink! character but Lew was one of the top contributors to our favourite comic and two publications Combat Colin has featured in have already featured on the blog.  These were namely the aforementioned The Transformers and Lew's own Brickman strips as a guest character and as a back-up strip in the Brickman Returns special small-press release in 2015.  He's well known to a lot of pig pals as he was in the UK's top-selling comic of the time after all and over the years has become a fan favourite, with Lew himself confirming he's his own personal favourite and is still much requested for sketches at comic cons!

Lew's written a blog post on his Blimey! blog to celebrate Colin's 30th anniversary of that first Action Force appearance and on a day full of doom and gloom and Brexit-ing why don't you head on over there to join in the festivities.  Just click on Lew's logo below and then you can click on any of the covers/logos below that when you return, to read up on the other comics he brought so much joy to.

Happy birthday Colin!

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