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Commando Panel at Glasgow ComicCon 
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Mr Valeera
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I was lucky enough to be in the audience for this panel. It was led by Ferg Handley, who has now written over 250 scripts for Commando. We also had Scott Montgomerie, the current Sub-Editor, George Low, the previous Editor and Cam Kennedy to represent the artists.

In discussion we learned that another prolific writer was a gent called Cyril Walker. And the most out-there scripts were mostly his. He wrote Wagger's War and also spent some time serving at Her Masjesty's Pleasure, during which time he could not be paid for his scripts. But he still wrote them longhand and sent them in. And none of his scripts, despite needing to be heavily edited for spelling and grammar, were ever rejected. One script in particular had Cyril asking if it was OK. George replied that it was as good as ever. To which Cyril replied. Oh good. That was Big Norm in C Wing's idea and I didn't want to upset him by telling him it had been rejected!

The reason for the distinctive Commando font was simple. DCT owned it! So another example of canny business acumen dictating how things went.

The format had the same sort of reasoning behind it. The pocket library format was due to one of the presses being set up to print in that size, so that was what was used.

Getting old meant that I missed a few bits and have not put everything in but I will try and recall as much as I can.

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Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:18 am
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Mr Valeera
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A few more bit remembered.

Some Commandos will never be reprinted as DCT only bought the covers for a one-shot use in the UK. It seems that a studio in Italy would produce generic war paintings and send them to companies for licensing use. DCT would purchase the copyright to use them once in the UK but this meant that DCT could not use them again in the UK unless they paid for a second use. And in these straitened times, it is unlikely that DCT will splash out the bawbees to use them again when they have such an in-depth back catalogue.

One question had the audience chuckling as they were discussing art direction. One person asked Cam Kennedy if he had ever drawn anything that was really odd in Commando. His answer was I grew up in South Glasgow. Nothing's odd after that!

A good source of reference material was the Armed Forces Careers Office in Bank Street just down the road from DCT. So a young George Low woud be dispatched every so often to go down and pick up some of the recruiting material from them for use as reference.

One day, the Major asked if they would like to photograph a Japanese 81mm mortar. George readily agreed. As a result, you have the bizarre image of a British Army officer carrying a Japanese mortar on a Dundee Corporation bus!

In discussion, the major said they were really dangerous effers (I am paraphrasing here as it is a family show). George turned to him and said What? The Japanese?. The major gave George an incredulous look and replied No. The mortars.

I am not sure of how many of you are aware, but with each script, DCT would send a huge pile of reference material for the artists to use so that they could get the look of everything just right. But canny Scots that they were, DCT would remind every artisit that this material was only a loan never a gift!

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Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:33 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
Some Commandos will never be reprinted as DCT only bought the covers for a one-shot use in the UK. It seems that a studio in Italy would produce generic war paintings and send them to companies for licensing use. DCT would purchase the copyright to use them once in the UK but this meant that DCT could not use them again in the UK unless they paid for a second use. And in these straitened times, it is unlikely that DCT will splash out the bawbees to use them again when they have such an in-depth back catalogue.

Unless they have new covers done? This was done recently with an Ian Kennedy story.

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Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:38 pm
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