More corroboration emerges for my theory that the United Kingdom is quietly undergoing a Golden Ages of comics publishing: The return of that foundation stone of the mid-’80s U.K. indie scene, Escape Books, came last month with the publication of The Great Unwashed, a compilation of work from assorted ’80s and ’90s anthologies by the Pleece Brothers. Now current U.K. indie staple Paul Rainey has announced that Escape will be collecting his previously self-published kitchen sink sci-fi epic No Time Like the Present.
That work luxuriated in the minutia of just how time travel would realistically alter the lives of its cast of pop-culture obsessives. Rainey’s currently running webcomic Thunder Brother: Soap Division will give you a hint of the earlier work’s tone: As before, things start realistically enough before escalating quickly into the surreal as genre elements get introduced in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. Plus, a working knowledge of U.K. television is fairly essential in both cases.
And the first installment of David Lloyd’s start-studded new digital anthology Aces Weekly has gone live. Designed to work just as well on the screen of a home PC as on a tablet, it’s a fine-looking interface. The digital edition of Lloyd’s graphic novel Kickback also showed how canny the man is when it comes to producing comic work for new media, and the man should know a thing or two about launching an anthology — his work appeared in the first issues of Hulk Weekly, Warrior, plus the second issue of A1 — and they all turned out to be important milestones in the development of the format.