Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mandy S.N.A says...

Atomic Call and Mandy S.N.A artist David Blankley had a bit of time on his hands so he put this cool image together. (In case you are wondering, this image ties in to continuity with what happens in the story in issue 3, hence why Mandy is so under-dressed! There's a reason for it, honestly!)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Edition Three!!!

Well it's been a bit of a wait as myself and my fellow creators fended off various zombie-like RLI's ("Real Life Issues") that just wouldn't curl up and die, but our third edition is finally here! And it's worth the wait, if I do say so myself. Here's the cover, featuring Duncan and Jamie of 'Mammoth Jack', with art by David Blankley:


I'm not going to waffle on too much about what's inside, we'll let some pictures do the talking. Suffice it to say, we have a larger page count this time (32 pages to be precise, 30 of them made up of all new comic strip content to give maximum 'bang for your buck'). Along with the continuations of three of our established stories ('Atomic Call', 'Mammoth Jack' and 'Tucker') we have 3 new tales joining the mix - 'Vestige', 'Harry Kane' and 'S.N.A'. Notable amongst these is S.N.A, which appears - and will continue to appear henceforth - as a blood-soaked full colour centre-spread strip!

The one bit of bad news is that, due to circumstances beyond our control, chapter 3 of "Halo and the Gryphon" will not appear as scheduled. But it will return, with a vengeance!

And now, onto those pictures.

Call Malone has been captured by bounty hunter Balthazar Quest, who's been hired by a mysterious organisation to retrieve the Atomic Transference gauntlet she stole. But Balthazar is not the only one trying to get his hands on the strange technology...

Jamie Swift's one-girl (and her donkey) attack on industrial kingpin Gobbett delivers dire consequences when he discovers where she's hiding and sends a team of brutal ruffians to 'take care of business'.
Tucker has been brought back to (semi)life by a hellish creature he affectionately refers to as 'Slug Slut'. Slug Slut has a mission for the recently deceased serial killer - namely, ridding the human race of a contagious disease called 'love'. In order to do this, he first needs to learn about the demonic Q-Pids... (This image is not taken from the story as it's only a 2 pager! This shows what happens with Tucker meets an alien!)

NEW STORY! Irish-American Chet Easterbrook travels to Ireland following a series of tragic events that lead to his life being turned upside-down and inside-out. He feels certain he will find answers to his predicament here...but his predicament is about to get worse.

NEW STORY! This light-hearted adventure strip follows MMA Champ and B-movie action star Harry Kane, who - following a chance encounter with a strange old man whilst touring Tokyo with his new movie - inexplicably finds himself hundreds of years in the past, seemingly living out the plot of his film!

6) S.N.A (Surname Not Applicable), ART BY DAVID BLANKLEY:
NEW STORY! In this full colour spin-off from Atomic Call, we learn more about Mandy S.N.A, the mysterious stranger with a split personality who's been making Call Malone's life hell. Who is she? What is her connection to Call? What does she know about the A.T gauntlet? And will anybody who gets in her way ever live to tell the tale? (Answer to that last one - probably not.)

The comic is available directly from myself, see costs in order box along the side.
Order via paypal:

**If ordered from myself, the issue will ship with a free set of full colour artcards featuring some of Vanguard's characters in a Japanese themed setting. Check out previous blog posts for a look at the cards. (Of course, they look even better in the (paper) 'flesh'. :)
Only a limited number have been printed, so it's a case of first come, first served with these.

Print editions of the comic are also available to buy from via the following link - 

And you can also download a digital version of the issue from our Comicsy store here - 

If you like what you see in the images above, why not grab a copy and check it out? You won't be disappointed!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Vanguard in Japan Postcards 3 and 4

Here we go, the remaining 2 images for the set of 4 which will be turned into beautiful, laminated postcards and sent out FREE with printed copies of our super-size, jam-packed issue 3!!! Card number 3 features Call Malone, of Atomic Call, taking out a sumo wrestler with a damn big hammer she pulled out of her handy, compact glove. Well, where else would you keep a hammer like that? I'm not quite sure what this wrestler did to deserve this whonk on the noggin, and perhaps Call doesn't either, if she was simply following some of her childhood-bully-turned-brothel-madam employer Sally's non-debatable 'need to know' instructions. Maybe we'll find out some day! Art on this image comes courtesy of the brilliant Chris Askham, who I've actually been wanting to work with on something for some time now. It's a very striking image, with great use of colour to bring it to life, and the letratone affect is the icing on a very nice cake! Thanks Chris!

Last but certainly not least comes this suitably awkward and tongue-in-cheek image by the wonderful Neil Roche featuring serial killer-turned-demon slayer Buck Tucker and his 'one that got away'. Tucker's a bad 'un, and no mistake, having knocked off a number of poor unfortunate ladies during a six month spree of serial-killing dating, culminating in the horrific Speed Date massacre of 2010, during which he slayed his final ten victims. It would have been twelve, had not one Katarina Cruz turned the tables on him and put an end to his murderous, love-inspired rampage. The story didn't end there though, for Tucker OR Cruz. Tucker died alright, but didn't get much further than limbo, where he was intercepted by the mysterious Slug Slut and selected for a very important mission. We will find out exactly what this mission entails in the next installment of the story. As for Katarina...well, as her appearance in this postcard image suggests, neither we nor Buck have seen the last of her. But what are the circumstances of her return to the story? And just how much has her "Speed Date" ordeal affected her? Stay tuned, as all will be revealed in Vanguard Issue 3!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vanguard in Japan Number 2 - Zephyr and the H.A.L.O

Hey everybody, it's awesome picture time!!!
Following hot on the heels of Tony Rothwell's Mammoth-Jack in Japan picture, here we have Stephen Prestwood's rendition of Zephyr and his alien Halo, from "Halo and the Gryphon"This is a cool, colourful pic of our half lion-half eagle hero, complete with high-tech alien weapon H.A.L.O attached, as he takes a breather from being attacked by Smoke Demons and hunted by Heartlings to take in the view in the Land of The Rising Sun.

This image will be produced as an A6, laminated art-card and will be given out free (with the others in the series) with issue 3 of Vanguard later on in the year. If you haven't already, give our Facebook page a like and be in with a chance to get a free copy!

More Vanguard in Japan images coming soon!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Issue 2 Review at Comics Bulletin

Issue 2 got a nice little write up over on Comics Bulletin, check it out HERE!

 As the reviewer says, we are all having a blast putting these comic strips together and hopefully that is evident from the reading. Good point about the difference in tone between Atomic Call and the other ("loopier") stories but that is very much intentional. With this comic we are trying to present a variety of stories and styles across a number of different genres. So along with the shlock-horror ultra-violence of Mammoth-Jack, the far-out, bizzarro, trip-fest of Halo and the Gryphon, and the darkly black humour of Buck Tucker, we get the more conventional, down-to-earth adventures of Call Malone and co to provide a bit of 'sanity'.

Having said that, although Call's story may appear straightforward at the moment, it's going to turn out to be anything but, as we delve into the mystery of the atomic gauntlet, where it came from...and why Call coming into possession of it isn't as 'coincidental' as it seems. All I can say for now all has something to do with the person below, the mysteriously named Mandy SNA (Surname Not Applicable), who made her first appearance shooting the place up like a lunatic in issue 2. Watch out for more of her in a special four page story to be published online soon, and in the next chapter of Atomic Call in Vanguard issue 3, later this year.


                                               (Art by David Blankley)

Vanguard in Japan, Number 1 - Mammoth-Jack

Since I am currently living in Japan I thought it might be a nice idea to have some special images featuring our comic's characters prepared, showing them in some recognisably Japanese situations.

There will be four of these in total and they will be produced as a second set of laminated postcards to be given out free with issue 3 later in the year. First up is Tony Rothwell's rendition of mutilated, donkey-with-a-grudge Duncan Mammoth-Jack, taking a leaf from the famous Hachiko's book:


Hachiko was a stray Akita dog taken in by Professor Hidesaburō Ueno in 1924. Every day, Hachikō would go to meet the Professor as he arrived home from work at Shibuya Station, a routine which continued until May 1925, when the Professor did not return. He had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at work, never again to return to the station where his loyal pet waited. Every day for the next nine years though, Hachiko would travel to the station at the same time to await his master, and he became famous as a result. He died in 1935. A bronze statue was erected in his memory in August 1948. It still stands and is a popular meeting spot at Shibuya station. The station entrance near this statue is named "Hachikō-guchi", meaning "The Hachikō Entrance/Exit". It is at this statue that Duncan is pictured sitting in the image below. It seems appropriate. He may not be a dog, but he is as loyal to his mistress, Jamie, as Hachiko ever was to Professor Ueno. Even if he does show it in a much more violent way!

Stay tuned for more "Vanguard in Japan" images coming soon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review and Facebook Info

Hey folks!

Been a bit quiet around here lately - mainly because I've transferred my Vanguard updating to the Facebook page recently introduced - it's a much more convenient means of posting images and updates, so if you aren't already following us there, you can do so right now. There's loads of behind-the-scenes info and unseen artwork, as well as links to blog posts about the stories by some of the creators. Check it out here!

In other news, we've received a write up of issues 1 and 2 on The Hipster Dad's bookshelf, which is an overall positive assessment. The article makes the point that all of us involved in producing the comic are newcomers to the scene, but are doing our best to produce the goods! We are improving all the time - wait til you see how things progress in issue 3! Check out the review and I'll see you all on Facebook! Dirk