What's this? It looks like a classic comic doesn't it? Like one of the funnies many grew up with in the 70s and 80s and perhaps it's one more from my childhood I've just remembered buying an issue or two of. Well, check out that date. That's right, this is a brand new comic. So brand sp(l)anking new in fact that it received its premiere at the Enniskillen Comic Fest over the weekend. It's the brainchild of Peter Duncan, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time at the Comic Fest last year, then again with the Sector 13 team to discuss the creation of #2, the 2000AD fanzine produced here in Belfast which Peter also works on.
|Editor (and Grumpy Penguin) Peter at the Enniskillen Comic Fest 2017|
I bumped into Peter while walking the grounds of Enniskillen Castle last year where the con was set, and he recognised me from this very blog. The Oink! Book 1988 I was carrying was a bit of a giveaway. We stood and chatted at length about Oink!, Judge Dredd, Sector 13 and classic comics, before he showed me some preview pages of Splank!, a new comic he was working on himself. Straight away I was impressed with the quality of the work and the names he'd managed to attract as contributors.
Growing up, Peter was a huge fan of the trio of 'Power Comics', that is Wham!, Pow! and Smash! and his favourite strip was by far Mike Higgs' The Cloak, a spoof spy adventure strip. Commissioning a strip by Mike which featured both The Cloak and Peter's own alter ego The Grumpy Penguin for himself personally, it led to Peter thinking about creating an actual modern day version of those trio of classic titles. It all began with an April Fools Day post on his blog back in 2016 about a "forgotten" comic called 'Splank' from the 1960s and from there the project just grew and grew.
I hope fellow pig pals recognise the top-right panel's style, it being from the pen of Davy Francis! That's right, Cowpat Count and Greedy Gorb creator Davy has contributed a full page to the comic and you may recognise the character there too. If not, go back up and read this post from the beginning.
Davy isn't alone obviously and the talent gathered for this comic is simply spectacular! As well as some stunning work from local Northern Ireland cartoonists, expect to see strips from the likes of Mike Higgs himself, Nigel Parkinson and fellow pig pal Marc Jackson who has featured on the blog before and has the honour of the cover strip to Splank!
Expect to see a full write-up later this week, but first up will be the highly anticipated third issue of Sector 13! What a great time for new content, showcasing the very best from Northern Ireland!
In the meantime you can also check out Peter's website for news on all his projects, including Splank! and I'll be back to speak to you real, real soon.