Tuesday, 15 September 2009

In praise of Doctor Who Magazine's comic strips

Re Dr Who Magazine (in response to email for fanzine)

I used to write & draw The Comic Assassins strip in Dr Who Magazine and I now do the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, as well as dreaming of writing Dr Who (though I'd have to do more actual writing to make that become a reality).

As someone who bought Dr Who Weekly No 1 and still has it, complete with stickers, I have to say it's meant a very great deal for me for longer than most people have been alive. The Wagner/Mills/Gibbons strips still stand the test of time, and in fact I was just enjoying reading the Steve Parkhouse/Mick McMahon strip in an IDW reprint last weekend. A high watermark for our artform.

The John Ridgway illustrated strips for Colin Baker's era still remain the one period where the strips were genuinely better, in pretty much every way, than the TV show itself at the time. I wish more fans were aware of them and considered their "canonical" status, instead of wittering on about novels and audio dramas. I recently re-read the Peter Davison era strips and was struck by just how many ideas from there had clearly left their mark on the young Russell T Davies. Half a dozen planets joined together in a big planet-joined-together doom machine, anyone?

I fear I lost touch with DWM when the show went off air in 1989, which coincided with me no longer working for the mag, and I felt being a Dr Who fan to be a bit sad and nerdy for a decade or so. When it returned, and John Ross's brilliant strips began in Dr Who Adventures, it was like a second childhood, and I find those strips to be some of the most exciting work being published today. I comic I can give an 8 year old to read is a rare thing these days. One which is brilliant and stars the Doctor, doubly so. If we could only sort out some comic strips with Daleks and Cybermen in, all would be perfect with the world.

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