Thursday, May 04, 2017

BLAZING BATTLE ACTION published as an eBook

In 2003 I wrote a behind the scenes account of how trail-blazing British war comic Battle was created and nurtured, as told by those who were there. Commissioned for the Judge Dredd Megazine by then-editor Alan Barnes, it was published as four articles. And there the story remained, trapped inside back issues, in danger of being forgotten all over again - until now.

I have just published an ebook of BLAZING BATTLE ACTION, available exclusively via Amazon. It is a text-only edition because I do not own the rights to any images from the relevant comics. The prose has been lightly edited and updated to reflect recent reprints of material from the pages of Battle. Hopefully more gems from the comic’s pages will be made available for a new generation of readers to enjoy afresh.

It's no exaggeration to say Battle changed the face of British comics. Launched in 1975 by writers John Wagner and Pat Mills with editor Dave Hunt, Battle hacked a path through the jungle of anodyne, lacklustre weeklies throttling the life from the industry at the time. It showed there was a market for harder-hitting, more challenging comics, paving a way for the controversial, short-lived Action and for the iconic science fiction anthology 2000AD.

In its pages Battle published one of the greatest stories ever told in British comics - Charley's War. Meticulously researched by writer Pat Mills and painstakingly illustrated by Joe Colquhoun, Charley's War was a landmark narrative that has stood the test of time and remains arguably the best work by either creator.

Battle was a trailblazing title that unearthed a new generation of British talent, but the comic suffered a slow death during the 1980s while 2000AD was enjoying its golden age. Dead comics soon get forgotten, and their story dies with them - but BLAZING BATTLE ACTION might help keep this particular story alive.

As with ENDEAVOUR: The Complete Inspector Morse, I employed the services of digital maven Caroline Goldsmith to make this ebook fit for purpose. She’s very helpful and reasonably priced, I can recommend her services if you’re too time-poor [or, like me, lazy] to learn formatting - any mistakes in BBA are my fault.

The BLAZING BATTLE ACTION ebook is available for just £1.99 on Amazon - or free to read for those who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. I don’t expect to make much money, as it’s a niche topic, and I’ll be happy if this edition eventually covers its costs. But I believed the story deserves to be readily available. 

If you loved reading Battle back in the day, or enjoyed the history of 2000AD I co-wrote [THRILL-POWER OVERLOAD, now available in a hefty new hardback edition!], try BLAZING BATTLE ACTION. It’s a right riveting read - but then, I would say that. So here's what a couple of readers said about the original articles:
"Text features in the Megazine have been essential reading for many years ... probably the best of them have been David Bishop's histories of 2000AD (Thrill-Power Overload) and Battle (the most shorter, but just as fascinating Blazing Battle Action" - Grant Goggans, Thrill-Powered Thursday.

"If you read Battle and enjoyed Thrill-Power Overload, this is a great little history lesson" - Simeon Brewer, The Judge Dredd Megazine Odyssey.
BLAZING BATTLE ACTION ebook is available now exclusively on Amazon.

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