Saturday, 17 January 2015


Here's another Combat Classic, - the Combat Colin strip from Marvel UK's The Transformers No.269 from 1990. 

To explain the background to this one; for many years I had an annual holiday with a bunch of good friends to the Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales. We'd all met via attending conventions there for the TV series The Prisoner, but we were so impressed with the village that several of us decided to have additional holidays there at a different time of the year with no connection to the conventions. We'd rent a couple of cottages in Portmeirion and chill out for a week. Many Combat Colin plots were devised during that time, sometimes based on things people said or did, which is why the strip took a more surreal turn in its later episodes. 

As you may know, Portmeirion is a serene place, pretty much unspoilt by the world around it. So for this particular episode I thought I'd depict it as a twisted, commercialised version, even suffering a name change to 'Merryport-On-Sea'. Most of the characters in the strip by this time were based on friends of mine to some extent, although I always tried to keep the humour accessible to the general reader and not so in-jokey as to alienate anyone. 

Anyway, that explanation is longer than the strip itself, so I'll let you get on with reading it!

If you want to find out more about The Prisoner TV series and/or Portmeirion, take a look at The Unmutual Website:


Gareth said...

The remarkable thing about your work is that it never looks dated. That's as fresh and funny as it was 25 years ago.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks Gareth. I suppose if I'd tied it into a fad it might have dated it but daft humour is timeless I suppose.

Peter Gray said...

Those pesky arch villains!!!

Lew Stringer said...

You have to get your ice cream early when they're about.

Tiniebras said...

I've always enjoyed the confidence with which you play with the the frames in your work Lew. The way tall things will pop into frames above, or the way that sharp things will shatter the edge of the frame, or the way that Steves huge nose will inevitably dangle over the edge as he eyeballs the reader. One of my favorite devices of yours though is used twice here, and it's the way that Colins foot will protrude from one frame to the next to give a sense of movement and aid the flow of the story. I hope we get to see some more full page work from you in the beano etc this year as I think the extra space really allows us to see you at your best making use of the space in this kind of way.

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks. No full pagers in The Beano coming up unfortunately but I do have two pages in Toxic every issue.

Talking of that panel with Colin's foot protruding, it looks awkward to me in retrospect because if his left foot is in front of the panel border then his right arm (with spade) that is closer to us should also be in front of the border.