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                                                                     April 2004
Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!
Difficult Days...
Why the April updates have been slow...  More...

   Striking out   
    Crunch time for Striker Comic...

    We all live...

    In a children's picture book...

    Wullie's a'right

    DC Thomson star tops poll...

   More news:       


   Striking out

    'Striker' is a top weekly comic, you know, and over the first 34 issues it's carved
    itself a very tidy niche market for discerning readers like Yours Truly, with
    its splendidly irreverant look at life on and off the pitch at the home of
    Warbury Warriors FC. The CG comic was borne on the back of a hugely
    successful strip run in 'The Sun' and since creator Pete Nash and his
    3D team struck out on their own we've been treated to nearly a year's worth
    of brilliantly executed strips and content. 'Striker' isn't just another 'footy'
    comic. By turns it's funny, saucy, ridiculously rude and adroitely put together
    and makes one positively drool at the prospect of further material to come;
    like the notion of a sci-fi comic created in this fashion...

       Striker's fab first issue

    Throughout the comic's run Mr Nash has gone to great lengths to keep the
    readership updated about the turbulent business develops going on behind
    the scenes: The need for greater circulation, postal problems, reacting to
    suggestions about tie-in products, and debating the morality of some of the
    saucier content. His frank editorials have gone a long way to cementing the
    title's popularity with readers who've really felt part of the whole 'Striker' world
    and are tuned in to what Nash and the boys are trying to achieve.

    The one over-riding discussion has, however, been that of expansion through
    financial means. A CG comic like 'Striker' doesn't come cheap and a significant
    amount of cash is needed to boost that all-important circulation and maintain
    the title as a top-flight weekly. Striker 3D have veered between the notion of
    corporate investment and a proposed private investment in which we the
    readership would be encouraged to donate to the 'Striker' cause (all above
    board, mind, via a properly controlled investment scheme).

    Sadly, though, Crunch Time is rapidly approaching and this week Mr Nash
    has had to level with the readership. It seems Striker 3D now has a scant
    6 weeks to raise the necessary funds or else end its weekly foray. To put
    it bluntly, without funding the comic will end with issue number 40. And that,
    folks, would be a stinker, because 'Striker' has heralded a re-birth in comics
    interest here in blighty, and it deserves all the success it can get. Now, one
    could of course ramble on about the exact financial implications here, the
    money needed, the circulation that's required and how we private investors
    can contribute to the cause,  but to be frank, if you're interested in this one
    go out and buy this week's issue. That way, you'll get all the info, and
    'Striker' will boost its sales figures for the week!

    Suffice it to say, 'Striker' needs you and - heck - we need 'Striker' too.
    Let's keep our fingers-crossed for the future...
Striker 3D


   We all live... in a children's picture book

    Apple Corps, the Beatles company, this week announced the forthcoming
    publication of what will be only their second ever Beatles book, and it's
    certainly something of interest to British toon fans, because it's a children's
    picture book of 'Yellow Submarine'.

    Surely everyone knows of the film by now? This 1968 classic featured
    animated versions of the Fab Four taking a psychedelic ride to Pepperland
    to rid the place of the dastardly Blue Meanies. The music and artistry
    combined with spectacular iconic success to bring us a Pop Art classic,
    adored by many a fan and student alike to this today.

    The new picture book idea was said to have been inspired by the timeless
    appeal of the original film, although we all realise the business sense this
    kind of thing makes too. After all, this is mainly going to be bought by older
    fans, hungry for some large format colour splashes taken from the film.
    You can hear the tills ringing even as you read this!

       'Yellow Submarine' NEL publication

    But you know what, a smaller format picture book of the film has previously
    been available. Back in the original year of release, the New English Library
    (NEL) brought us an extraordinary paperback retelling utilizing hundreds
    of photos of the film and interspersed with story and dialogue. It was
    fab (sorry) and very much in keeping with the spirit of the original.
    The only thing letting the book down was its small format and cheap
    binding which caused many a page to be shed from its spine. It will
    be very interesting to see how much of this book, if any, ends up in
    the 'new' picture book edition.

    Walker Books will be publishing the picture book 'Yellow Submarine'
    this September...

BBC News


   Wullie's a'right

    Well, knock me off my bucket with a feather, it looks like everyoung
    DC Thomson star 'Oor Wullie' has just been voted Top Scottish Icon
    by folks voting as part of Aberdeen's Tartan Day celebrations.

     Wullie's a'right!

    The poll of 1,000 people was run by Halls, the haggis manufacturers
    and Wullie came top ahead of the likes of Sean Connery, William
    Wallace and Billy Conolly. Here's the rundown of Icons:

     1: Oor Wullie
     2: William Wallace
     3: Sean Connery
     4: Kenny Dalglish
     5: Lulu
     6: Jock Stein
     7: Ally McCoist
     8: Billy Connolly
     9: Ewan McGregor
     10: Rob Roy

    Interesting to note that those other Scottish toon stars 'The Broons'
    don't make it on to the list - something of a surprise, that, given that
    they and Wullie usually go hand-in-hand. But hey, good on you Wullie.
    66 years young and still as iconic as ever!

 BBC News 


   Difficult Days ...  

    Hoo-boy, things have been difficult round these parts of late. Why so?
    Well, sadly, I have to report the recent death of my father Peter Diamond.
    He was 74 and succumbed to the trauma of a major stroke whilst driving
    home from the set of tv's 'Heartbeat' just under two weeks ago. The staff
    at Pindefields Hospital in Wakefield helped him battle on for six long days
    before he passed away at 4.00am, on Saturday 27th March.

    Many of you may know that my father was an accomplished Stunt Arranger,
    Performer, Actor and erstwhile Director. During his 50 year career he accrued
    more than 1000 professional credits. He was RADA trained and commenced
    his profession working on such Golden Age classics as 'Knights Of The Round
    Table' and 'Ivanhoe'. With the explosion of serial television in the late 50s and
    early 60s he put his expertise to use on the likes of 'The Saint', the tv 'Ivanhoe',
    'Danger Man', 'The Avengers', 'Sir Francis Drake' and many more. He worked
    on 'Dr Who', 'Z-Cars' and 'Softly, Softly' for the BBC, and alongside these, he
    was employed on around twenty classic Hammer Horror films, a handful of
    Carry-on's and - well - the list goes on.

    Then came the 1970's, and a little film called 'Star Wars'. My father 
    choreographed the lightsabre duels and, indeed, all the action in those three
    original Trilogy films, and he appeared on screen several times too, as various
    Stormtroopers, a Speederbike Rider, a chap called Garouf Lafoe and - most
    notably - as the Tusken Raider who attacked Luke Skywalker in the Tatooine
    Desert. Dad went on to be Stunt Arranger on 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' too,
    and 'Princess Bride', 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and 'Highlander'. And he
    appeared in the latter too, as the Immortal called Fasil who had his head
    chopped off in that underground car park!

    That central slab of work had recently given him a new and inspiring pursuit
    in his older age: that of the Sci-Fi Convention Star. Many folks encountered him
    at festivals around the world where he would sign autographs and engage in
    discussion about his life and work in the film, television and stage industry.
    He enjoyed the notoriety of it all, and judging by the messages we've been
    receiving this week, the attendees and fans enjoyed meeting him too.
    One of the very last things he did was to record an interview for the
    Trilogy DVDs which are due in September.

    Dad was working right up until his untimely death. The film work had slowed
    but his tv career was flourishing. He had credits on 'One Foot In The Grave',
    'Jonathon Creek', 'Servants', 'Where The Heart Is', 'The Royal' and that lengthy
    engagement on 'Heartbeat' to boot. I have had the unfortunate task of taking
    over his official site of late, and have begun the complicated task of unravelling
    his career credits, which you may want to take a look at.

    But as of this week - from 6th April - that site, Toonhound and ToonsToGo
    must go on hold for seven days as myself and Claire join our family
    Down South for Dad's funeral. It'll be tough for us all.

    Till Monday the 12th, then

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'     thehound@toonhound.com

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