Tag Archives: Buylla

“The Rattle Of The Thompson Gun”*

There’s an outbreak of “Tommy Guns” and Stens on the covers of these Commandos –Nos 4987 – 4990 on sale 26th January 2017 in the UK. WW2 was the sub-machine gun’s war – think also PPSh-41 and MP38/MP40 as well. The Thompson and the MP38 were quality guns, made to fine tolerances and cost a small fortune. The Sten and the PPSh were churned out by the thousand and were cheap as chips.

The Soviets probably issued more sub-machine guns than anyone else but even so the rifle remained the usual infantryman’s weapon on all sides.

But war comics aren’t bothered with that sort of detail. Their covers have to be punchy, full of action and movement. And nothing gets that across like a blazing sub-machine gun. If someone counted the numbers of SMGs compared to rifles on war comics covers they’s probably get a proportion in direct opposition to what the situation really was.

So, a big blazing gun is the thing to have on a cover. And an explosion. And action that smashes towards the reader.

Agreed?

Right, so why does an editor allow the artist who painted the cover of 4990 break all the rules we’ve just settled on?

First, the artist hasn’t actually broken the rules he’s just stretched them a bit. There are guns blazing on that submarine, and they’re firing at the reader. The bullets are striking the tug in the foreground and it in turn is pulling the reader towards the action.

The second reason is that it was executed by Jeff Bevan and, when it came to ships, boats or submarines, he really could get away with anything such was his craftsmanship. (Sorry, pun not intended.)

 

*From “Off To Dublin In The Green” as often sung by The Dubliners. Quoting this does not signify any political affiliations, just a fondness for stirring songs.


Operation Arrowhead — Commando No 4987

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In the fourteenth century, the English bowmen were the scourge of French knights. The machine-gunners of their days, the bowmen used six-foot long bows to fire long arrows with three-inch wide arrowheads to pierce the hearts of their enemies.

One such arrowhead was found six centuries later in a field in France by Private Len Mason. This chance encounter saved Len from being gunned down by the enemy.

Surrounded by the bodies of his squadron, Len wondered why he had survived the brutal attack. Was the arrowhead a good luck charm or was it simply a coincidence?

Story: George Low  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Carlos Pino

 


Blaze of Glory — Commando No 4988

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A squad of Commandos set out to deliver one RAF Flight Lieutenant to an address in German-held Norway. Mark Ritchie was his name – and desperately daring was his nature. The trick was to get him there alive…

 

 

Story: Wilkinson  Art: Buylla  Cover: Alvaro

Introduction 

Following a devastating crash, claustrophobic RAF test pilot, Mark Ritchie, didn’t expect to be chosen for an immediate mission to accompany a Commando squad into the heart of Nazi-occupied Norway to steal a never-before-flown aircraft prototype.

Wilkinson’s fast-paced story brilliantly captures Mark’s battle to prove his worth, creating dramatic tension between the pilot and the Commandos. The story is perfectly complemented by Buylla’s mastery of ink, as his visuals lead us from the cockpit of an unarmed plane, across vast seas, and deep into enemy territory. This is one action-packed adventure that’s not to be missed!

The Commando Team

Blaze of Glory, originally Commando No. 299 (December 1967)

 

 


Tromsø — Commando No 4989

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The Tirpitz was one of the most feared battleships of the Second World War. A forty-two-thousand-ton titan of the seas, the RAF’s brave and desperate attempts to destroy it became notorious.

Lesser known was the story of Erik and Olav, scientists turned SOE agents, and their role in the battleship’s fate. Their lives inextricably linked with brutal Nazi Major Herman Klinger, see how they came to take their revenge in the barren town of… Tromsø!

 

Story: Colin Watson  Art: Keith Page  Cover: Keith Page

 


Pirate Patrol — Commando No 4990

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Nick Borley cursed the day he had been switched from commanding a fast motor launch to take over an antiquated schooner. And never more so than now as they ran before a storm, the sails and rigging in tatters after the Luftwaffe had paid a call.

Up ahead lay the hostile enemy-held coast and at Nick’s elbow was the grinning, bearded pirate who had started all this trouble. And he wasn’t finished yet!

 

Introduction

If you’re looking for a swashbuckling tale of heroism and maritime madness, venture no further than Pirate Patrol! Veteran writer, Alan Hemus is at the top of his game in this seafaring thriller. Hemus creates a great anti-hero in the form of Barney Lee, a loveable rogue with interesting views on the Second World War erupting around him. His counterpart, Lieutenant Nick Borley, is the perfect straight-laced man to counter balance Barney’s disorder, and both are expertly depicted in Keith Shone’s excellent interior art.

The Commando Team

Pirate Patrol, originally Commando No 2455 (March 1991)

Story: Alan Hemus  Art: Keith Shone  Cover: Jeff Bevan

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Perspective Matters

Another two weeks, another four Commandos, this time Nos 4891-4894, on sale 25 February 2016 (UK).

Looking at this selection of cover images, the most striking is Do your Duty, where artist Ian Kennedy has courageously chosen to make a pair of grenades the focus of the reader’s attention. The aircraft in the background is simply that, a background — underpainted, too, to make those tumbling grenades stand out. For me, it works very, very well but for two reasons it wouldn’t be nearly so strong without the human head and hand poking out of the aircraft window. First, without those, the grenades hang in space — maybe going up, maybe going down. Second, the human presence flags up that this is a story about people, not inanimate objects, and people stories are always far more interesting.

 


Cossack Vengeance — Commando No 4891

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Once more the Convict Commandos’ latest mission had placed them in grave danger.

The Germans, in league with a Russian traitor and a horde of fearsome, renegade Cossack warriors, had concocted an assassination plot that would turn the tide of the war.

Now all Jelly Jakes and the rest of the Commando team had to do was foil the enemy plan…but that was easier said than done.

 

 

Story: Alan Hebden  Art: Manuel Benet  Cover: Manuel Benet

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/25th-february-2016-collection?issue=4891

 


Break Through! — Commando No 4892

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Time and after time, one British company outsmarted the Germans in Crete. If the Nazis planned a sneak-raid and began it five miles away, the British knew at once — and were ready for them. If a Stuka dive-bombing attack was decided on, they got into hiding an hour before it began. They knew exactly when to counter-attack too.

How was it done? If anyone had told the Germans, they just wouldn’t have believed it. The secret lay in a strange invisible link between Private Bill Roberts and his twin brother, Jack…

 

Introduction

This entertaining, borderline incredulous, yarn from 1966 definitely pushes the boundaries of what we and our readers might think as believable. Nonetheless, at its heart is a clever idea about the mysterious link between two soldier brothers and their determination to succeed on the dangerous mission assigned to them. This is an offbeat Commando, for sure, but I think it’s a good read.

And the front cover…a homage to Sir Michael Caine? His breakout roles in classic films such as “Zulu” and “The Ipcress File” were certainly very popular back then, right in the midst of the Swinging Sixties.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Break Through!, originally Commando No 196 (January 1966), re-issued as No 835 (May 1974)

Story: Skentleberry  Art: Buylla  Cover: Lopez Espi

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/25th-february-2016-collection?issue=4892

 


Do Your Duty — Commando No 4893

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By October 1945 World War II was over but some British forces were redeployed to the island of Java to support Allied troops in a battle with Nationalist guerrillas. The beleaguered men had expected to have been back home by now and some refused to fight. RAF mechanic Danny Cullen was stuck in the middle — he wanted to do his duty but was continually intimidated by those who had downed tools.

Meanwhile, as skirmishes with the guerrillas continued, Flight Lieutenant James Haldane made sure that he carried some grenades in his Auster spotter aircraft. You never knew when you might need them…

 

Story: Steve Taylor  Art: Vila/Muller  Cover: Ian Kennedy

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/25th-february-2016-collection?issue=4893

 


Red Alert — Commando No 4894

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Facing the brunt of the massive German invasion of Russia in June 1941 were the lowly Red Army conscripts. Poorly fed, trained and equipped, they were still expected to repel Hitler’s previously undefeated armies…and could expect the harshest of punishments if they failed.

So, join two of these hard-pressed heroes in their trench and see for yourself what it was like…

 

 

Introduction

I hope that, like me, you’re interested in revisiting the early work of one of our current artists. This Eastern Front tale (with a neat, end of the Cold War framing sequence) is drawn by Carlos Pino — whose most recent brand new book was “Polish Pride” (No 4889), published just a fortnight ago in the middle of February.

Carlos’ signature dynamic style is very clear to see here and it is apparent that he is still doing fantastic work to this day. We are delighted, and grateful, that this exceptional illustrator is still happy to draw for us more than a quarter of a century after his 1989 Commando debut.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Red Alert, originally Commando No 2482 (June 1991)

Story: Ian Clark  Art: Carlos Pino  Cover: Phil Gascoine

Preview: http://www.commandocomics.com/latest-issues/25th-february-2016-collection?issue=4894