Tag Archives: david barnett

IDW’s Black Crown Imprint Sets Its Sights on Eve Stranger, Amnesiac-for-Hire

Writer David Barnett and artist Philip Bond debut the ultimate undercover operator in Eve Stranger, a five-issue miniseries brought to you by Black Crown, IDW’s creator-owned imprint for fiercely independent voices.

Launching in April, Eve Stranger follows a formidable young woman with unnatural abilities and a repeatedly wiped memory, available to the highest bidder under the threat of exploding nanobombs in her bloodstream.

Eve Stranger

Preview: Punks Not Dead, Vol. 1: Teenage Kicks

Punks Not Dead, Vol. 1: Teenage Kicks

David Barnett (w) • Martin Simmonds (a & c)

As if being an awkward, bullied 15-year-old wasn’t enough, suddenly “Fergie” Ferguson can see ghosts. Well, one ghost specifically… a certain punk rocker named Sid.

Sid’s spirit has been trapped in London’s Heathrow airport for 40 years, until the day he meets Fergie. Now Sid’s ghost is stuck to Fergie, and Fergie has to content with an unruly Ghost sidekick and some weird, uncontrollable new “abilities.” How does the father Fergie never knew fit into all this? And why is the Department of Extra-Usual Affairs showing an interest? Never mind the bollocks—all of this, plus fish fingers, chunky chips, and endless pints of anarchy in the critically-acclaimed series that collects Punks Not Dead issues #1-6.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 152 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-342-1

Preview: Black Crown Quarterly #4: Summer 2018

Black Crown Quarterly #4: Summer 2018

Peter Milligan, Rob Davis, David Barnett, Tini Howard & various (w) • Rob Davis, Martin Simmonds, Philip Bond & various (a) • Philip Bond (c)

Shock and delight in spades as we stretch out the long, hot summer for all it’s worth and bring grand conclusions to Tales from The Black Crown Pub and CUD: Rich and Strange. Plus: Hey, Amateur!, Beat Surrender, previews and interviews with local street celebs in this compendium of comics, culture & cool.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Punks Not Dead #6

Punks Not Dead #6

David Barnett (w) • Martin Simmonds (a & c)

Everybody’s out to get Fergie Ferguson. The police want to speak to him about the death of a fellow pupil after a schoolyard fight, the Department for Extra-Usual Affairs are back on his tail after Dorothy Culpepper has a startling revelation, and a mysterious stranger who Fergie should totally have not been talking to on the internet is showing a keen interest… and a taste for casual murder. But Fergie’s mum Julie is realizing a few things as well… which means everybody better watch out because she’s going to kick some ass. With everyone closing in, where can Fergie and his ghostly BF Sid turn next? Find out in the anarchic conclusion to “Teenage Kicks.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Punks Not Dead #5

Punks Not Dead #5

David Barnett (w) •  Martin Simmonds (a & c)

Take a Technicolor trip into the mysterious past of the Department of Extra-Usual Affair’s own Dorothy Culpepper as she carves her unique path of contained chaos across London in the swinging ‘60s! It’s part five of “Teenage Kicks.” You’ve been warned.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Punks Not Dead #4

Punks Not Dead #4

David Barnett (w) • Martin Simmonds (a & cover a) • Dilraj Mann (cover b)

Fergie’s Twitter post gets him one creeper step closer to finding out why he and the ghost named Sid are unnaturally bound to one another. But it takes Julie’s sentimental journey to a late ’80s Smiths concert to figure out who’s behind it—which is likely to ruffle Dorothy Culpepper’s tarnished, bloody feathers.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Punks Not Dead #3

Punks Not Dead #3

David Barnett (w) • Martin Simmonds (a & c)

Forget Trainspotting! It’s Granarchy in the UK for Sid and Fergie as they hit the rails and head to Wigan Casino to find out how they’re connected to each other—and a strange group of dancing pensioners. Little do they know that Dorothy and Asif have the same brilliant idea. Back home, Nat receives terrible news, and hospitalized Oggy receives a horrific visitation.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Preview: Black Crown Quarterly #3: Spring 2018

Black Crown Quarterly #3: Spring 2018

Peter Milligan, Rob Davis, David Barnett, Tini Howard, Jamie Coe & Various (w) • Tess Fowler, Rob Davis, Martin Simmonds, Philip Bond, Jaime Coe & Various (a) • Philip Bond (c)

PERFORMANCE! ART! This sumptuous spring selection of regular shorts, new works, and sublime interviews includes “Tales From the Black Crown Pub” by Rob Davis; “Cud: Rich & Strange” by Potter, Puttnam, and Bond (which follows the rise and fall and rise of the greatest British band you’ve never heard of but can’t live without); “Swell Maps,” “Canonball Comics,” and “Beat Surrender.” Plus, more “House Amok” by Christopher Sebela and Shawn McManus; and “Hey, Amateur!—How to Spot a Galaxy” by Emmeline Pidgen. Find out where the bodies are buried beneath the cross street of Canon and Great Yarn a la “The Great Ghost Walking Tour” by Tini Howard and Philip Bond. And finally: a new feature involving a raygun, a live mic, and pure pandemonium (a la Rashomon) begins!

FC • 48 pages • $7.99

Preview: Punks Not Dead #2

Punks Not Dead #2

David Barnett (w) • Martin Simmonds (a & c)

The ghost of dead punk rocker Sid is unlocking some pretty strange abilities in teenage geek Fergie, giving him a taste of power that he never imagined. But will he use it to clean his room, alter the solar system… or pick up girls? Meanwhile, MI5’s irascible baller Dorothy Culpepper, and her nervous, new recruit, are drawn to the Extra-Usual Affairs involving a scandalous haunting in Whitechapel in “Teenage Kicks,” Part 2!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Review: Punks Not Dead #1

Swap out rock stars or punk gods or whatever honorific name we’re calling long dead, yet still revered musicians these days with superheroes, and you’ve got Punks Not Dead #1. Writer David Barnett and artist Martin Simmonds steep the story in the occult and espionage more so than punching and heat vision so fans of British pop culture icons (The highly overrated) Harry Potter and James Bond might find something to love in the new release from Shelly Bond’s Black Crown imprint.

Punks Not Dead is Ultimate Spider-Man only ruder and with more safety pins and leather jackets. The protagonist, Fergie, comes off as your typical white male everyman YA character with a perverse 2018 twist that he and his mom make their money by having fake arguments on the British equivalent of Maury Povich and Jerry Springer’s daytime shows, which gets them splashed all over the tabloids. In reality, Fergie is a thoughtful, withdrawn teen, who wants to know who is dad is. His fairly flat personality is just waiting to filled by the ghost Sid Vicious, who is a kind of archetype for punk rock itself and gets all the funny lines beginning when he plays a kind of supernatural corner man to Fergie in the beginning in the comic as he fights a school bully, Peter Parker vs Flash Thompson style. Simmonds colors Sid in jet black, and he is a shock of life to Fergie’s mundane meets modern reality star life. His most pivotal role in Punks Not Dead #1 is providing comic relief and playing music critic to Fergie’s mom’s record collection, but he also is an inspirational figure and is kind of sort of a Ghostbusters antagonist.

Technically, Simmonds’ art isn’t bad. He draws detailed character likenesses and makes strong storytelling decisions like zooming into Fergie’s face when he’s about to get popped by a bully or playing with panel layout angles when Fergie begins to realize that he’s talking to a ghost. However, his art is more early-1990s John Bolton Vertigo polished than dirty rotten punk rock with the exception of a red tinged flashback to a Sex Pistols gig in Preston, UK. The presentation is more 2018 remaster than raw live tracks. There could be story reasons for this as some say the Sex Pistols weren’t real punks, but a ruder, cruder boy band with Malcolm McLaren acting as a predecessor to Lou Pearlman. But, from what I’ve gathered from Punks Not Dead #1 (Especially the Barnett penned backmatter.), the book is about punk as an attitude and isn’t a thesis on authenticity or the genre or anything. It’s about the spirit of the movement, not the letter of the movement. There’s no quiz at the end: enjoy the ride and a big helping of underdog hero comfort food.

With this in mind, Punks Not Dead is a fairly funny mashup of the slice of life, urban fantasy, and espionage genres. I know I mentioned James Bond earlier, but the book is more like Ghostbusters with a drier British sense of humor and the paranormal bits playing backing bad to Fergie, this book’s real star and whose thoughts and fears are broadcast loudly through David Barnett’s narration. Martin Simmonds’ art is a bit too pretty for a punk book, but he joins the ranks of comic book artists who prove that painted art can work in both sequentials and covers.

Yeah, Punks Not Dead #1 is yet another white boy Hero’s Journey story, but David Barnett and Martin Simmond’s sense of humor, (obvious) punk sensibilities, and paranormal investigation/espionage elements spice up the usual recipe and make it a dish worth sampling even if you’re more of a post punk listener like me.

Story: David Barnett Art: Martin Simmonds
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW/Black Crown provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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