The first issue of Splank! was launched at the Enniskillen Comics Fest on 12th May. It's a magazine-sized, 44 page collection of comic strips in the tradition of the British Comics of old. Mixing mad-cap humour with stories of pirates, chimney sweeps fighting the forces of darkness and some almost true tales of the comics of old.
Issue one features a cover story by Marc Jackson, along with strips by current Dennis the Menace artist, Nigel Parkinson and British comics legend Mike Higgs.
Freelance cartoonist Dave Windett, who has worked on a host of UK comics including Beano, Dandy, the DFC and a host of TV Licensed comics, has contributed a beautifully drawn tale of Spookytown and former Oink artist, Belfast's own Davy Francis has illustrated the story of Belfast's most usless bad guy, The Grumpy Penguin.
Mal Coney and Alan Nolan bring their unique styles to the pages of Splank! along with a charming story by Cat Byrne and a strip by the superb John Robbins.
Adventure stories are supplied by local writers Glenn Matchett and Colin Sinclair, with art by Scott Twells and Morgan Brinksman, artists who could not have more different styles but both of whom really know how to tell a story.
I'm personally delighted to be able to present five pages the superb Beans and Tucker by the ultra talented John Farrelly and a preview of the Cthulhu Kids comic by me (Peter Duncan) and Galaxafreaks writer and artist Andrew Pawley which you should see later in the summer.
You can order your copy now for £7.00 (UK), postage paid, via Paypal to Splank@Boxofrainmag.co.uk.
International Prices for Issue 1. Ireland and Europe £9.45, USA and Canada £10.45, Australia £10.75
Splank! has been a personal project of mine, running in parallel to my work on Sector 13. It harks back to the comics that really cemented my interest in the genre. It's just about fifty years ago now and I was seven or eight. I'd read the Beano, the Dandy, the Victor. Always liked them but not really hooked on any one title. Then I found Pow! and Smash! and for a very short time Wham!. Three comics like nothing I'd ever seen before. The funny stories were funnier, the adventures more bizarre and there were the Marvel Super-heroes.
I've always regarded Wham!, Smash! and Pow! as the best of British comics, a perfect mixture of elements that has never been repeated. I'm thrilled that the first issue of Splank! includes one artist who worked on Pow! and Smash!, Mike Higgs, and that he drew one story that features me and one that I wrote the plot for.
Anyone interested in contributing to future issues of Splank! contact me on Splank@boxofrainmag.co.uk and check out the Submission guidelines for Splank! here.
The Animal Gang, Ninja Monkey, Red Panda and Grumpy Penguin. art by Duncan Scott
*to be strictly accurate, Mike Higgs designed Grumpy Penguin in two panels of a strip, included in Splank! 1, but all the rest was Duncan.
The Secret Origin of Splank!: From April 1st 2016, an article detailing the creation of the original Splank! Comic in 1967.
Splank! & The Grumpy Penguin: The Origin of the Grumpy Penguin, Splank's own! super-badguy. Includes a link to the film, ''Peter: A Documentary' where I make a total idiot of myself, and some ramblings about American Whiskey.