Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Tornado Presents: Storm

If anyone remembers Tornado at all, it's probably because of endless websites chuckling over the fact that Dave Gibbons appeared, in full costume, as the paper's superhero editor Big E.

Well, now that we've done our requisite duty, and embarrassed Dave as well, let's talk about the actual strips.
Tornado was a smorgasboard of a comic, with detective strips, war strips, sci-fi strips, historical strips, funnies, just about anything you could think of, and really felt like a home for just about any series that couldn't be fit in anywhere else.
Meaning that there was no real theme to the book, and seemingly no clear editorial policy, but to be fair to Dave, he was probably too busy defending the citizens of Southwark from the forces of evil to pay much attention to what was going on back at the office.
'Enjoy your Turbo Flyer - SAFELY!' Alright Dave, chill out man.
Anyway, once you accepted the jarring experience of turning any given page and having to readjust to what kind of story you'd be reading now, taken individually there was some pretty great stuff in Tornado. Like Storm.

Storm, like a lot of UK comic characters, was spun from whole cloth, being as he was, Stig Of The Dump with a side order of The Wild Wonders. He's a feral kid who's the world's greatest athlete, and a gypsy, meaning there's a touch of Raven On The Wing in there as well, and it would've all made a great HTV kid's show alongside Sky and Children Of The Stones.
Absolutely nothing surprising happens in Storm, and it all pans out the way you expect it to, but sometimes that's exactly what you want in a story.
I know absolutely nothing about the artist, Musquerra, other than I assume from the name and art style he was Spanish or Italian, but it's beautiful work regardless.
Here's the first few episodes.

As for Tornando, It couldn't last, of course, and soon there was 'Great news next week, chums!' which is UK comic speak for 'We're cancelling this comic and putting the strips you don't like into another comic', in this case the all-new, all-exciting 2000AD and Tornado.
But there's great news, chums! There's lots more exciting strips from Tornado to show off. Assuming we don't get amalgamated into The Bronze Age Of Fishing or something...


  1. Blackhawk, Pete, Blackhawk. That's the one.

    Well, its the one that stands out in my memory....which may of course be not totally reliable.
    And its always a laugh to see a photo of the Big E, so thanks.


  2. Blackhawk's on the list, for sure. Sheesh, that 'ol list is getting bigger!

  3. Did you ever see this 1976 Jethro Tull album cover and interior comics story, all drawn by Dave Gibbons?


    Chris A.

  4. I did indeed have that album - interestingly, if anyone's going to the Lakes art festival in the lake district, our old pal Sean Phillips is putting together an exhibition of comic artists doing record covers which should be good. Jump over to his site for details.

  5. The Lake District is indeed lovely, but these days I'm across the pond in NYC. Tell him to bring his stuff over to the NYC Comicon in October. ;) I'm sure he has Neal Adams' The Mighty Groundhogs album art, or Barry Windsor-Smith's cover for The Byrds. Rich Corben's Meatloaf cover is a classic, of course, whereas Berni Wrightson's is lesser known, but still quite effective.

    Chris A.

  6. Alas, cons are all about how much you can feasibly carry, so doubt Philbo'd schlep all that over there. but I'm sure he'll post photos at some point, and yeh, all the above are featured. I actually prefer the Wrightson one, by the way.

  7. The Phono+Graphic exhibition will start in Kendal on October 2nd...

    Some of those covers mentioned above will be in the show, but not that Jethro Tull album. Dave didn't draw the cover, just the interior art. Albums cover the last 60 years, from 1955 to an album covered by Becky Cloonan that isn't even out until next week. Hope my copy of the sleeve arrives in time...

  8. Cool, thanks Sean, take lots of photos for Chris, yeh?