Friday, 28 December 2007

Mike Colbert Interviewed

ROK Comics creator Mike Colbert has just been interviewed by Comic Brew, revealing his new plans for Crazy Mary and other projects.

Talking about why he writes comics, Mike says it all comes down to "a pathological need to get this stuff out of my head!"

"Seriously," he continues, "There's a rush that you feel when you got a story coming out through a keyboard and that you are nailing it. There seems to be a channeling thing, you're not creating it it's coming through you. Some stories need to be written and you are the device for it to break into this world.

"Mary is a case like that. She has set me straight when there are things I want her to do and she doesn't want to, it's weird. I don't write Crazy Mary everyday, but there is hardly a day where I don't think about her or find myself grabbing bits of life to put in a CM story."

Read the full interview

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Reddick's New Strip

(via SyFy Portal): ROK Comics cartoonist David Reddick is working on a new online strip for the official website of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Roddenberry.com, which is run by the Great Bird of the Galaxy's family.

The new strip follows hot on the heels of the (hopefully temporary) closure of the official Star Trek web site, which featured David's comic strip "The Trek Life", which also appears in the official Star Trek Magazine. (The official Star Trek web site has ceased the creation of new material but its message boards are still active).

David Reddick, who also works for Paws Inc., publishers of Garfield as well as his own strip "Ballonatiks," and ROK Comics "Reddickulous", will start a new strip in January on Roddenberry.com called "Gene's Journal." A preview panel promoting the new strip is already online.

The new strip will focus on exploits of a young Gene Roddenberry, dramatized and probably even fictionalized in a way that is probably best fit for the late Star Trek creator who died in 1991. Roddenberry himself was known as someone who would beef up stories from his younger years, or outright create tall tales of different aspects of his life, which always made good listening for those he would tell the stories to.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Happy Holidays!



A quick line to offer all our readers plenty of seasonal cheer and wish you all the very best of the season and a Happy New Year. Thank you all for your tremendous support for the ROK Comics on mobile project in our first few months of operation for what has, for us, been very much a "behind the scenes" beginning, with the hard work starting to bear fruit.

In addition to the main ROK Comics sites (www.rokcomics.com and wap.rokcomics.com) we now have partnership mobile comics service live in Pakistan via Telenor.

Translation work is proceeding apace on our service for China. Several creators' strips, including David Fletcher's "Crumb", Chris Reynolds "Moon Queen", David Hailwood's "Ups and Downs", Mike Colbert's "Crazy Mary" Markosia's "Dark Mists" and Nick Miller's "Fret for the Day" are in the process of being translated for the first round of ROK Comics publishing to mobile there, with potential readership in the hundreds of millions.

We also have partner services close to announcement in India and Africa, and several strong partnerships developing in the UK. If you've been reading our ROK Comics Blog, you'll know that we provided a comics service for ITV's "I'm A Celebrity" web site and to mobile this year, and we'll be delivering similar services with other content providers for 2008 worldwide.

None of this early success would have been possible without the support of numerous publishers, independent creators, ROK staff around the world and our early readers, so thank you, one and all.

The very best of the season to you -- and here's to a busy and rewarding 2008...

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Compress This!

ROK Entertainment, owners of ROK Comics, have announced the launch of an upgraded software compression application for digital images – Blubox V4.0 – by its subsidiary, Blubox Software Ltd,

Blubox V4.0 offers compression of digital photograph images as well as supporting all non-proprietary ‘zip’ formats, thus ensuring complete compatibility.

It's designed for the digital camera and internet consumer market, allowing a user to dramatically improve the digital photo sharing experience over the Internet and ensuring the protection of private and personal information.

The unprecedented growth of digital image file sizes over the last three years has been partly driven by the consumer’s desire for higher mega pixel CCD capacity for their personal digital cameras and mobile phones.

“‘Zip’ provides acceptable compression for text-based files, but has been unable to cope with the demands of the modern file formats," says Laurence Alexander, CEO of ROK. "There's a massive gap in the market for software that can offer compatibility with existing ‘Zip’ products, but go much further by providing the user with the ability to significantly shrink their digital photos without sacrificing the Hi-Resolution quality of the original image file. This is the premium that Blubox offers.”

Using a blend of the most advanced software compression algorithms Blubox V4.0 provides a unique solution for optimizing digital images. Designed to support all non-proprietary ‘Zip’ formats Blubox V4.0 by being able to create, read and extract from existing ‘Zip’ archives, however this is where the similarities between Blubox and ‘Zip’ starts and ends as it is able to offer unprecedented compression of digital photograph formats.

• Download a free trial (PC only at present) from www.blubox.com

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Night Owl Comes to ROK Comics

New to ROK Comics this month is Night Owl, just one of several heroes from US independent publisher Wham Bang Comics - the humorous creation of an imaginative teenager, with help from his father.

Night Owl, a 12-year-old superhero from Texas, holds the mantle of "Earth Shaman," the most powerful mage on the planet, and is charged with protecting the balance of the universe. A daunting task for a youngster!

Secretly Zack Finley, a seventh grader from Fort Worth, Texas, Night Owl is the child of divorce who spends weekends with his father and the rest of the time with his mother. He inherited his power -- derived from earth energy, the life force of the planet -- from his grandfather, Mack Finley, after the elder shaman was murdered.

Night Owl is still trying to full understand and utilize his powers. He knows he can fly, has super strength and limited invulnerability. He occasionally has prophecy dreams that come true, and he can use the staff left him by his grandfather to commune with the universe. His power animal, Grandfather Owl, is a constant ally in his fight against injustice.

Night Owl is an advocate for human rights and the rights of crime victims. He lives a lonely life, as he must keep his identity secret from even his mother, fearing that her life would be in danger if she knew who he was. (Plus, she'd be so worried for his safety she'd make him stop!)

Night Owl is written by 13-year-old Jake Tinsley (pictured) with help from his father, veteran journalist Ben Tinsley. Art is by rising manga star Jason Dube and colours are by Kristoffer Condes.

Publisher Ben Tinsley formed Wham Bang Comics, based in both Galveston, Texas and Las Vegas, Nevada, to showcase the adventures of Night Owl. Along the way, other writers climbed on board and Wham Bang's first comic, Two-Fisted Adventures, ended up as a 52-page anthology comic, available via their main online site: www.myspace.com/whambangcomics.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

ROK Comics Christmas CheerJohn Townley, our office Christmas sprite, who has kindly been sharing "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and "I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day" with us for, well, whenever he thinks he can get away with it, took a break from formatting new Roy of the Rovers strips to give the ROK Comics site a bit of festive cheer...

Cheers, John - and a happy festive season to you from all of us at ROK Comics!

Friday, 14 December 2007

Mobile Service use swells worldwide

A new report by British media and telecommunications watchdog Ofcom reveals the use of mobile service like text messages and pictures messages are increasing fast worldwide.

China is tops for text messaging and India is the mobile leader according to the report, but Britain has the highest take-up of digital television.

Mobile phone users in China (where ROK Comics is fast developing its partnership with China Mobile) sent 429 billion text messages in 2006 (an equivalent of 967 per user, more than any other country), while India added more mobile subscribers in the year than Britain had in total, as the two countries joined Brazil and Russia in driving growth in the sector.

The report also found that accessing the internet from a mobile phone is growing in popularity. In Japan, where over half of mobile phones use a 3G network, mobile users are three times more likely to send an email from their mobiles as they are a text message. However, Europeans send more text messages with 75 per cent of mobile phone users in the UK, France, Germany and Italy sending SMS messages regularly.

The number of mobile-only households has also risen. In Italy, 38 per cent of households are mobile only, compared to around 13 per cent in the UK and 10 per cent in Germany. By the end of 2006 there were, for the first time in the UK, more households with a mobile connection than a landline.

James Thickett, Ofcom's Director of Research, discusses the International Communications Report in the video below and explains how the UK is digitally connected.

Should Have Been Christmas Number One...

Well this, or Shaun the Sheep...

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Even superheroes have their off days

ROK Comics Creator Profiled

The Bangor (Maine) Daily News has profiled cartoonist and ROK Comics creator Josh Alves, whose Araknid Kid is among the entries in this month’s Zuda Comics competition (www.zudacomics.com).

The Araknid Kid, who communicates in picto-speak, battles evildoers with his web-shooting trapeze bar and his ability to stick to walls. The Kid was a minor character in Alves’ old series Zeek and Dent and 25-earold Alves, who publishes Out to Lunch on Rok Comics, has been preparing Araknid Kid since DC first announced Zuda, a user-generated Web site.

The winner of each monthly competition earns a contract to produce 52 more weekly installments of their Web-comic.

Alves, who works at the Bangor Daily News as a graphic arts technician, is running seventh in the early voting.

He realizes that such a national platform can help him in terms of exposure."It means a lot," Alves told the paper. "I hope to continue the series whether I win or not. I might approach other publishers if I don’t win. I’m likening this to American Idol. You don’t need to win to benefit from it."

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

ROK buys ROCK

ROK Entertainment Group, the UK-based mobile technologies, applications and entertainment development company and owners of ROK Comics, has announced it has acquired a 51% controlling interest in Warwick-based company Rock, a performance notebook manufacturer (and subsidiary of Eikon Group Limited).

Under the terms of the agreement, ROK and Rock will share expertise in IPTV, place shifting, mobile internet and mobile entertainment platforms. This will take advantage of the synergies between the mobile phone and PC oriented technologies respectively as well as the increasing convergence between the phone and notebook market, with recent market research conducted by Intel finding that every owner of a mobile phone will eventually own a notebook.

This acquisition forms part of ROK’s strategy to expand in all mobile communications markets and will provide a further platform for the delivery of user-generated content, which constitutes a key strength of the Company’s product offering.

"Full-scale convergence of the notebook and mobile technologies - and how we use them both - has already begun,"
Laurence Alexander, CEO of ROK explained. "Three years ago, virtually no-one browsed the web on their mobile or received and sent emails. In three years time, people will be using their mobile in very similar ways to how they are using their laptops at present. It's all about technological convergence of the mobile with the internet to deliver ‘constant connectivity’.”

Rock are world-leaders in notebook technology innovation, such as being first to launch the world’s fastest graphics for the notebook platform, 8800M GTX by NVIDIA. Earlier this year, they made their first steps into Europe by offering three years pan-European warranty on all notebook products with a long term plan to hit the US by 2010, where ROK already operates.

“Rock’s customer base consists largely of early adopters, and make the ideal target for ROK’s products and services," commented
Nick Boardman, CEO of Rock. "We will work extremely closely to bring some exciting technology to the market”.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Fret for the Day

Nick Miller has added a few new "Frets for the Day" to ROK Comics. This is a pay-To-View strip but you can view the first two panels...



Fret for the Day is one of the latest strips to be selected for inclusion on ROK's comics service in China (Ups and Downs and Moon Queen are just two of the others), in partnership with China Mobile. Will over 400 million people soon be fretting?

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Crazy Mary hits US stores

Digital Webbing Presents has released Trinity, the first print collection of Crazy Mary short stories, in the United States, stories which are also available worldwide for mobile users via ROK Comics thanks to the enthusiastic support of the character's creator, Mike Colbert.

Trinity collect the first three shorts that have appeared over the last few years in Digital Webbing Presents.

Trail of Tears features haunting art by critically acclaimed illustrator JK Woodward and "was the story that started it all," says Mike. "Mary uses her special sight to track down a kidnapped girl".

• In Coffee and Dream, also drawn by Woodward, Mary gets a message from one of her "Special Three", as Mike calls the 'ghosts' that haunt the bounty hunter, telling her "everyone in the coffee shop she's in is about to die, unless she can figure out how to save them."

Chase features art by Federico Zumel. Following a lead from the coffee shop encounter; Mary finds herself on the wrong end of a high speed/high altitude car chase.

The cover for the collection is by JK Woodward and the book also features a cover gallery of alternate and special edition covers.

The comic is available through smarter comic book stores and can also be ordered on-line through www.digitalwebbing.com and by contacting Michael Colbert at logos728@yahoo.com

And of course, if you want Crazy Mary everywhere you go Mike reminds us "you can get these stories and more for your cell phone through www.rokcomics.com!" (Trail of Tears and Coffee and Dream are available in mobile format now and the strip is one of the first creator-owned strips to have been selected by ROK's partners in China and Pakistan for inclusion on the customised ROK Comics sites for those countries).

Thanks for the plug, Mike - we're more than happy to reciprocate by plugging the book!

Now I know some creators are strange.

Happy Birthday, SMS!

It's 15 years since the first commercial text was sent over the Vodafone network by Airwide Solutions engineer Neil Papworth.

That first message, which read "Merry Christmas," was sent by Neil Papworth, an engineer at Airwide Solutions, via the Vodafone network to a colleague at the mobile operator who was enjoying the festivities of a staff Christmas party.

IT Pro reports Papworth sent the text on 3 December using a PC terminal and traditional keyboard, while the recipient, Vodafone's Richard Jarvis, received the message using an Orbitel 901 handset.

"I can remember the event, being there, typing [the message] in and getting confirmation that it had got through. But I wasn't the chosen one or anything like that. Eventually the time came when we had to take the system down to Vodafone to plug it in and get it working on the live network. Because I'd been working on the interface stuff it made sense for me to go down and do it," Papworth said.

"I'm still a texter today although I don't need to use it too much at work."

Today, more than one billion text messages are sent each week, according to the Mobile Data Association (MDA).

Read more on this over on the IT Pro web site

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Alves on Zuda

ROK Comics creator Josh Alves, who writes and draws Tastes Like Chicken, recently submitted a new strip, Araknid Kid, to DC Comics new online imprint Zuda (a webcomic competition where users vote their favourites on to becoming actual series). We're pleased to report it made it into December's Zuda competition!

"I'm stoked to have it be part of the first "user" submitted contest," says Josh. "Check it out at www.zudacomics.com and if you deem it worthy, vote for it!"

Friday, 30 November 2007

Introducing Crumb...

ROK Comics is delighted to announce its latest addition: a great new humour strip from New Zealand-based creator David Fletcher.

Crumb is the tale of the eternal struggle for survival right under our noses - at the bird table - featuring a cast that includes a very fat bird whose motto is survival of the fattest, a rat and a hungry cat.

David Fletcher tells us he was bom in England in 1952 and excelled at drawing cartoons in the margins of his maths book at school (and falling asleep).

On leaving school he studied production engineering for five years then jumped on a aircraft bound for New Zealand, where he's lived ever since.

He was employed as an illustrator and cartoonist by New Zealand's largest daily newspaper the New Zealand Herald for three years. But for the last twenty years he's been pretending to work from home as a comic strip artist. He draws a daily strip called The Politician and several weekly strips including The TV Kids which appears in the TV Guide there. His cartoons are syndicated to Europe, Britain, Africa, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand (you can see more of them on www.nzcartoons.co.nz).

David lives in Auckland with his wife and two children. "People still keep asking me when I'm going to get a proper job," he says.

A big warm welcome to David and enjoy Crumb - we think it's great!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Comic comment on biofuels debate

With Friends of the Earth pitching in with more concerns about biofuels this week, we remembered one of our creators came up with this little Freefall (Free to view) strip on the topic:

The Many Faces of Janice

Another gem from the ITV I'm A Celebrity Comic Creator provided by ROK Comics.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

ROK Comics Pick of the Day

This item has been selected by ITV Mobile as one of the official I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here strips for the official IACGMOOH Comic Creator (celebrity.rokcomics.com)

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

ROK Acquires Fun Little Movies

The ROK Entertainment Group, owners of ROK Comics, has announced it has acquired a 51 per cent controlling interest in Los Angeles-based Fun Little Movies.

(FLM) for a combination of cash to be paid in monthly installments through September 2009 and shares in the company.

Under the terms of the agreement, ROK and FLM will jointly offer made-for-mobile content, such as comedy short films, to network operators worldwide.

FLM specialises in the development, production and distribution of original mobile-oriented comedy for global distribution such as Love Bytes, featuring Babylon 5 star Claudia Christian and Star Trek: The Next Generation's Wil Wheaton. In its nomination for Best Video Producer at the 2007 ME Awards, Mobile Entertainment Magazine said FLM pioneered the advertiser-funded concept for mobile video.

The first US company to produce comedic films for mobile phones worldwide, FLMs Fun Funny Phone Films have won 20 awards including finalists' places at the Cannes Film Festival for Best Short and the 2006 and 2007 Mobile Entertainment Magazine Awards for Best Video, as well as CTIA's "World Smallest Film Festival." They've also been played on numerous TV networks worldwide including HBO, Showtime, CBS, Playboy, MTV and Comedy Central.

ROKs management team gets it. They see the same potential for the mobile space that we do, said Frank Chindamo, FLMs President and Chief Creative Officer. "We're excited about the new synergies created by joining with a company that understands synergy the way we do.

Mr. Chindamo founded FLM in 2004 and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California (USC), teaching Mobile and Internet Viral Screenwriting and Producing.

We love what Frank Chindamo and his team at FLM have been doing in the mobile entertainment space. They really understand the medium and what people want from mobile movies, said Laurence Alexander, President and Chief Executive Officer of ROK. We look forward to expanding the footprint of FLM content worldwide and going forward to develop a whole new portfolio.

FLM distribution deals include Sprint, Verizon and ATT, as well as several handset makers and overseas partners, from China and Japan to Europe, Africa and South America. ROK will be its primary distributor worldwide.

In addition to marketing ROK TV through Mobile Operators such as Vodacom South Africa, Avea Turkey, Telenor Pakistan and AIS in Thailand, ROKs service is also available direct-to-consumers via Nokia Downloads on the Nokia E series handsets across Europe.

Friday, 16 November 2007

ROK completes share exchange, goes public

The ROK Entertainment Group Ltd. which owns ROK Comics and many other mobile services built up over several years, has announced the completion of its share exchange transaction with Cyberfund, Inc., a US public company.

The combined company will operate initially under the name of Cyberfund and will continue to be listed on the NASD’s Over-the-Counter (OTC) Bulletin Board under the trading symbol, CYFD.

The full press release about the listing appears on the ROK Corporation web site.

Following the share exchange that is part of the copany's transformation, ROK’s existing management assumed their same positions with the publicly-traded company.

Commenting on the transaction, Laurence Alexander, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to complete this transaction which creates a dynamic new force in the global mobile entertainment industry. We believe the demand for mobile content is set to grow exponentially over the next decade. As an enlarged Group with access to public markets and a proven management team, ROK is well placed to exploit these trends for delivering shareholder value.”

“I am hugely proud of our achievements to date,” added Jonathan Kendrick, Chairman of ROK, “as it’s taken a massive amount of effort, initiative and perseverance by all our staff to have reached where we are today.”

As well as creating ROK Comics, ROK currently has three registered patents and 42 additional patent applications pending for new technologies which it has developed for the delivery of video entertainment to mobile phones. The technologies facilitate delivery of services, including, on-demand mobile TV streamed over mass-market 2.5G via GPRS, the storage of copy-protected movies stored on memory cards for play on mobile phones, Java, SMS and P2P games, place-shifting to mobile devices and VoIP mobile calling.

It is the Company’s plan to continue the roll-out of its products worldwide and maintain its investment in research and development to improve current products, and increase compatibility and user features, as well as work on new technologies and products.

A focus on technology exposes the business to risks of technological change and the Company is now actively acquiring, creating and aggregating content and services to deliver across the rapidly expanding network of content distribution.

The Company has a number of operational deployments as of the end of October 2007, including ROK TV with AIS (Thailand), Telenor (Pakistan), BSNL (India), Avea (Turkey) and Vodacom (South Africa), as well as ROK’s mobile TV service marketed direct-to-consumers. ROK Media has deployed a variety of innovative mobile entertainment applications to include ANSA, ROK Comics and Fonepark in the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Pakistan and Russia.

ROK New Net in China is providing lottery services and selling lottery tickets for the Beijing Welfare Lottery, as well as a number of other mobile value-added telecommunications service operators (VAS).

ROK also has a phone hardware division, supplying handets to several operators globally. (You never know you, may have one of our phones yourself). It has also launched a mobile conferencing system, RokTalk, which aims to make organising conference calls a doddle, and costs less for everyone involved.

Before the end of the second quarter of 2008, ROK aims to achieve a significant global reach in mobile television (FreeBe TV and ROK TV), as well as expand the Company’s product portfolio and breadth of commercial deployment of these services (through cross-sales of products and services), through ROK’s existing and growing partner distribution network which includes Mobile Operating companies and handset manufacturers.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

I'm A Comics Celebrity!

ROK Comics has teamed up with UK TV company ITV to enable I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here fans to create comics based on the stuck-in-a-jungle reality entertainment show, which has just begun its seventh season.

The first of its kind for a broadcaster, this truly interactive services is a simple point and click solution letting any web or WAP user create a comic based around the current celebrities and the best of previous shows.

Users can make up their own quips using speech bubbles and insert themselves into comic strip. Once completed users can then choose to buy their masterpiece or send it onto a friend for £1.50.

UK residents can check out the special IACGMOOH Comic Creator over on ITV Mobile. (There's also a WAP version of the Creator that enables yout to create comics on your mobile).

Comics cost £1.50 each and you can also send them to friends (if you know their network). All comics are moderated prior to publication.

Also as part of the offering from ROK, a daily professional comic strip based around the exploits of the celebrities is being created by ROK Comics and published on both web and WAP.


Friday, 9 November 2007

Spock's New Mum!

Fav Strip of the Day: Weird Fruit

The Shadow was sent several pictures of "funny fruit" and posted some of them as a comic...



I did some digging and they appear to have originated from a great blog, Art Flutter. Fab stuff.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Monkey News Network - 5 November 2007

Here's the latest Monkey News, another project run by ROK Media. Enjoy!

Friday, 2 November 2007

2000AD artist Ian Gibson on ROK Comics

ROK Comics is delighted to announce the addition of Ian Gibson's comic strip Annie Droid to its comics-to-mobile service.

Working in partnership with Ian, ROK Comics will bringing mobile users worldwide this funny strip written and drawn by Ian Gibson, which was first published in Britain's The Saturday Times.

Annie Droid is just one of many characters inhabiting the mysterious Den City 4, battling Millennium Bugs, Program Errors and many other miscreants.

The strip joins a host of classic British strips and new creator-owned material on the ROK Comics mobile platform, including Garth, Jeff Hawke, Andy Capp and many others.

In addition to the ROK Comics web and wap sites (www.rokcomics.com, wap.rokcomics.com) Annie Droid will also be offered to ROK telecom partner sites worldwide, reaching new readers of comics in countries such as China, Pakistan, India and more in coming months.

Comics fans will need no introduction to the work of Ian Gibson (www.ian-gibson.com), whose many credits include 2000AD's Judge Dredd, The Ballad of Halo Jones and Robo-Hunter, DC Comics Mister Miracle and creator-owned classics such as The Chronicles of Genghis Grimtoad.

Ian is currently developing several creator-owned projects that will employ his unique and much-praised art style at its best.

"Believe it or not, the humble mobile phone may be coming to the rescue of comics," feels Ian. "Comics are now being made available to view as downloads to your multifunction pocket wonder. Now you can catch up with vintage comics strips and some new freebies done by aspiring amateurs.

"Thus, if your pocket starts to throb, glow, play a cutesy jingle or even the soundtrack from Psycho... I may be there - in the shape of some of my creations. So, maybe I'll do some drawing today. Tomorrow it may be on your mobile phone. There is no escape…"

"We're obviously delighted Ian has agreed to try ROK Comics," says ROK Comics Managing Editor John Freeman. "I've been a fan of Ian's work since my time at Marvel UK, when he was drawing Genghis Grimtoad, and Halo Jones is simply an unforgettable comic."

• You can view Annie Droid on ROK Comics at www.rokcomics.com/anniedroid.php

The first episode of the story is free to view online.

Fav Strip of the Day: Cool Science Stuff

The Sound of Drowning

Comic creator Paul O'Connell, creator of cult comic book The Sound of Drowning, has a brand new issue (#10! double figures! ) out now.

"It's a non-linear comic book inspired by those kids 'Choose Your Own Adventure' stories," he says, "co-written with Laura O'Callaghan-White and just a dash of Harry sauce."

Paul, whose "Air Diana" strip was one of 30 shortlisted in the 2007 ROK Comics Humour Competition, also has some new strips on the soundofdrowning web site.

Paul will be selling the new comic and other bits and pieces in the small presss market at the London ICA Comica event, curated by Paul Gravett.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Happy Hallowe'en: Trick or Treat

Mobile Combat launches on ROK Comics

Chuckles advertises Mobile CombatROK Comics creator David Hailwood has come up with a novel way of using our comics-to-mobile format to create Mobile Combat, a new card game -- except the cards are electronic and delivered straight to your mobile.

The first game has been released on time for Hallowe'en.

"Think 'Tim Burton does Top Trumps," David who has been working on the game for several months and busily fine tuning this first wave of the game for the last few weeks, explains.

The card designs feature some terrific and scary art by the likes of Stu Smith and Kerry Santo.

"This brand new game is designed to be highly replayable and infinitely flexible, with many more game decks, rules and sets in the making," he says.

To find out more, check out the strips at www.rokcomics.com, or download a free PDF of the extended user guide and first two sets of rules at www.mobilecombat.ning.com.

"Read the rules. Download the deck. Play the game," urges David. "It's that easy."

So, what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a game deck and get killing zombies today!

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Today's Fave: Double Life

"The Shadow" seems to think the BBC's Director General bears a passing resemblance to a Doctor Who beastie...

Monday, 22 October 2007

Garfield Gets Real

Garfield Gets Real DVD. Garfield © Paws Inc.
Garfield, available for mobile via ROK Comics in some territories and in the US via GoComics, is up to some frisky business in his brand new all-computer-generated feature film Garfield Gets Real, which will be released on Region 1 DVD on 20 November from Fox Home Entertainment.

Fans can see Garfield, Odie and their pals like never before when the lasagna-loving feline – having grown bored with his life inside a comic strip – decides to venture out into the “real world” in a wild and wacky adventure written and produced by Garfield creator Jim Davis. Realizing that his comic strip will be cancelled unless he can make it back into the cartoon world before the next edition is published, Garfield embarks on a perilous journey back onto the page while evil forces challenge his every turn.

We don't have word on a Region 2 release yet but it's unlikely to be far behind the US debut. Check out the official web site for the latest information.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Floods Charity Comic Planned


ROK Comics is pleased to be supporting UK indie publisher Adam Grose, who runs Clown Press, with his plans to create a charity comic in aid of the Red Cross, to raise money for flood victims the world over.

Although initially prompted by floods in the UK during the summer, floods in other parts of the world continue to cause misery four thousands of people, and Adam was moved to try and inspire the comics community to create a collection of one page strips and raise funds for flood relief.

"The UK experienced some of the most horrendous weather, with a month's worth of rain falling in 24 hours," Adam explains. "During this time, many of our fellow citizens experienced flooding, unknown to many of us.

"I decided to put together a comic to help raise awareness of our changing world, the environment and the increasing floods and disasters, that seem ever increasing since the turn of the millennium."

Posting an appeal on the downthetubes forum, Adam has asked for writers and artists to band together, creating a one page strip cartoon or illustration, using the title of 'Flood'.

"This comic will initially be available as a download via Smallzone (www.smallzone.co.uk)," says Adam, "then as a printed book to help raise money for the Red Cross and victims of the floods. Hopefully, this will be available the world over and help to bring more awareness to our world community."

Some of the strips will also be adapted for the ROK Comics mobile format, with any profits from sales going to the Floods cause. (ROK Comics have kindly agreed to do the adaptation work for any creators who would like to see their "Floods" strip in this format).

Contributors so far include Simon Mackie, David Hailwood, Team Sputnik, John Freeman, Mike Nicoll (panel from his strip above) and, of course, Adam.

Deadlines and Format Information for submitting strips

Adam would like to get this out relatively soon, but he is also aware creators all have many projects on the go and various deadlines. A working deadline for the page would be by the end of November/ first week in December. His hope is to publish available by Christmas as a download, an alternative Christmas present, with the print edition available May 2008.

If you would like Adam to read through anything before it is committed to being drawn, then he is available to read through your idea. "Otherwise, I am sure you are able to use your judgement on this issue," he says.

"I don’t want to control what type of story you create, as I am not one for censorship, therefore giving you the widest possible of choices. Obviously there are certain things you may feel you can’t do, law-abiding, but if you are worried then please contact me and we can talk about it."

Technical Information
Please supply art as follows:

FILE: A4 29.7 x 21cms. Portrait or Landscape.
RES: 300 DPI
FILE FORMAT: ART - PDS is preferable, high quality JPEG also. WRITING - Word or PDF
STYLE: Up to the individual artist.
ROK COMICS STRIPS: If you want your comic to be adapted for mobile delivery by ROK Comics (www.rokcomics.com):

- Please supply the art as a layered photoshop file (only the lettering needs to be a separate file) or unlettered image file with your script.
- Lettering for mobile has to be 18 to 24 point for legibility.
- The mobile formatted strip will be submitted to you for your approval before publication on a special 'Floods' page of ROK Comics

Writers: Submit a 'Drabble'
Several writers have expressed an interest in contributing text stories, so Adam's suggested they submit 100 word 'drabbles' for the project.

"If you are a writer and you would like to create a drabble for this project then go for it," Adam says. "I know writers might have some difficulty finding an artist or would rather just write a short story of 100 words. The theme would be the same - FLOOD. I look forward to your contribution.

For more about Drabbles visit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drabble

If you are a writer and artist and you would like to get involved then please contact Adam via adgros@hotmail.com.

• Web Link: adgros.blogspot.com/2007/10/flood-charity-comic-for-red-cross.html

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Lunney Comics!

ROK creator Lizz Lunney, whose 'Burger Love' strip was shortlisted for the 2007 ROK Comics Humour Competition, has two new comics on sale via her web site (www.lizzlizz.com)

Waiting For Sushi is a 32 page A6 comic with colour cover containing lots of mini cartoons with characters such as Hairy Midget Elf, Leaning Rabbit, Burger Love and The Boy with Living Ears!

"This first edition of this comic is now sold out," says Lizz, "but a second edition is now available. " This new version features three new cartoons - Melon Boy!, Fat Pigeon and Smelly Pigeon! and What to do if your Hair is on Fire!

Party Animals is a black and white 16-page mini comic featuring exciting little cartoons and ew characters such as My Mate Primate, Disco Rabbit and Troy the Talking Chair! This comic comes with a free random badge.

Hailing from Birmingham in the UK, Lizz studied Animation at a University "in a little town in the middle of nowhere.

"I soon discovered animators spend too many hours alone in the dark drawing the same picture slightly different millions of times with very little reward (except insanity) and so I developed an interest making fake taxidermy squirrels and puppet animation which is much more fun," she says. "
Since then I have concentrated on cartooning again,

Her next comic will be
Zine Arcade which she sells us which again features her characters, Smelly Pigeon and Fat Pigeon.

To buy either comic visit: lizzlizz.com/store5/agora.cgi

Friday, 19 October 2007

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

$10,000 Mobile Comic Winner Announced


ROK Comics is pleased to announce the winner of its first $10,000 humour competition is cartoonist Steve English, for an episode of his ongoing series "Madd Science".

Runners up in the competition, which ran on ROK Comics this summer and attracted hundreds of entries, were David Hailwood and Toshiro de Smeyter for and episode of their strip "Drink Like a Fish" and Paul Eldridge, who used the ROK Comics Creator Tool to produce a strip entitled "The Secret of Stonehenge".

Steve wins the $10,000 overall prize while the runners up will receive 12 month subscription to ROK Comics.

After two rounds of short listing, thirty cartoons were considered by external judge Alan Digby, editor of the best selling British weekly comic The Beano, published by DC Thomson.

"The standard was very high, and the different approaches to a inherently restricted art form, such as the 'three picture' strip cartoon, were refreshing," commented Alan.

"I wouldn't be surprised if one of the contributors who made the shortlist managed to make a breakthrough into the world of cartooning - and it might not necessarily be the most obvious entrant who does."

"We were blown away by the huge range of entries to the competition," said ROK Comics Managing Editor John Freeman, "Especially given this is a fairly new medium for comics. But the creators have shown how easy it is for comics to evolve and reach new audiences without forgetting how to make people laugh."

Commenting on his win, Steve English (left) said: "It's fantastic. The last time I entered a cartoon competition I only won a pizza!”

"It's nice to know that when you're staring at a blank page and banging your head against a wall waiting for an idea to drop out, sometimes something lands in your lap that makes others laugh too.”

"I'm torn between cashing in the cheque and framing it as proof that I made the editor of the Beano smile... No I'm not – a framed bank receipt will do the job just fine."

Shortlisted were Ian Alexander, Josh Alves, Vicente Aviles, Mike Carey, Paul O' Connell, Rich Diesslin, Mike Flanagan (Adult Themes, filtered), Lizz Lunney, Jack Noel, Howard Priestley, David Reddick, Kennedy Rose (Adult Themes, filtered), Paul Stapleton, Super Massive Studios and Dave Windett.

Congratulations to all those who won or were shortlisted and better next time to everyone who entered. ROK Comics will be running more competitions in future.

Fav Strip Today: Ming the Merciless

Banal Pig's daily strip


ROK Comics creator Steve Tillotson is attempting to create a daily strip every day for a month, to celebrate the launch proper of his regular webcomic.

"I have set myself the task of creating a new three panel comic strip every day for the next month," says Steve. The attempt started yesterday with Space Whale vs. Kraken.

"At the end of this herculean task (while I'm also working full time), I will return to posting a new strip twice weekly."

Here's one of Steve's ROK Comics:

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Save Kids TV campaign - Petition the PM!




Pact has set up a petition on the Number 10 website to highlight the plight UK kids TV is under, highlighted by the Save Kids TV campaign who have a comic about the issue on ROK Comics, republished below. To add your voice to the petition click here.

Ofcom this week reported on the issue of kids TV, and its findings essentially support the SKTV position that something needs to be done to replace the loss of UK-commissioned output.
"In the end it’s our kids who will suffer, from lack of choice, lack of their own stories on TV, lack of their own voices and lack of a perspective which helps them understand the society in which they live," argues SKTV. "For the past year we’ve been saying that a country which fails to tell its own stories is a country which could just quietly fade away. Our kids deserve the best TV – from everywhere – and that includes from the UK too."

Ofcom’s report backs up this concern with real figures. For the full detail you
can download the short version of the report here: www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/kidstv/

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

ROK Comics Humour Competition News

30 humour strips published on ROK Comics eligible for entry into the ROK Comics $10,000 Humour Competition 2007 have now been shortlisted by the ROK Comics team for consideration by the competition's external judge.

"It was a long but enjoyable haul!" says ROK Comics Managing Editor John Freeman. "We had a huge number of huour strips that qualified for consideration, and creating the short list was very hard."

The 30 shortlisted strips are now being considered by the competition's external judge - none other than the editor of the top weekly British humour comic The Beano, Alan Digby.

ROK Comics hopes to announce the winner of the $10,000 prize and two runners up at the Birmingham International Comic Show on Saturday 13 October 2007 following the Comics and Technology panel in the afternoon.

The company is also running a separate competition especially for BICS-goers top win a top of the range Nokia phone, which will be open to any pre-registered attendee. More details on the BICS news page.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Rites of Passage for BVC's Shades

Broken Voice Comics has released Chapter 7 of its flagship title – the online graphic novel Shades – on its web site at www.broken
voice.co.uk.

Written by David A J Berner and illustrated in full colour by artist Harsho Mohan Chattoraj, Shades, which also features on ROK Comics, tells the story of a group of heroes in the UK, struggling to come to terms with their role in late 20th Century Britain; a Britain still haunted by the loss of Empire.

With the main protagonists now firmly established, Chapter 7 (titled “Rite of Passage”) will see teenagers Becky, Craig and Ryan Allen keen to prove themselves to their childhood heroes – former World War fighter pilot Doug Chamberlain, the mystical figure known as the Shaman and the First Century warrior queen Boudicca.

“The conflict between generations is one of the principal themes in Shades,” explains Berner. “The younger heroes are keen to tackle the threat they’ve identified from a suspected terrorist group known as the Cult of Bedlam. However, Doug, Boudicca and the Shaman are – for a variety of reasons – not entirely ready to stand down and hand over the baton. Over the next few chapters, some hard lessons are going to have to be learned on both sides!”

Other Broken Voice titles featured on ROK Comics are Spires and the vampire story Hunted.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Great British Comics on Your Mobile

Following the first episode of Comics Britannia on BBC4 this week and with interest in classic British comics growing all the time, ROK Comics is pleased to be part of this resurgence of interest in great British comic creations – past, present and future.

ROK Comics offers a variety of classic British strips for mobile download and WAP delivery including

Jeff Hawke from the Daily Express – classic SF adventure
Andy Capp and Mandy from the Daily Mirror – classic British comedy
• British superhero Garth from the Daily Mirror
Beau Peep from the Daily Star – madcap antics in the foreign legion!
Robin Hood from the pages of Swift, in partnership with Look and Learn Limited
Dredger from Action! Britian's deadliest secret agent, straight from the pages of the hugely popular 1970s comic owned by Egmont UK
• Faceache by acclaimed cartoonist Ken Reid, famous for his many contributions to the Beano and WHAM, with more to come

Roy of the Rovers, Billy's Boots, Moodstone (from cult favourite girls comic Misty) the Steel Claw and many others are also in the pipeline.

Alongside classic comics, ROK is at the forefront of promoting the best of new British comics creators on mobile including award-winning artist-writer Chris Reynolds (who is publishing Moon Queen on ROK Comics), Lee Healey (Sporting Swine from Maxim), David Hailwood (Ups and Downs), Steve Tillotson (Banal Pig), and independent British publishers such as Markosia and Broken Voice, who are producing some ground breaking adventure material such as Dark Mists, a thrilling murder mystery set in pre-war Japan and Hunted, a terrifying tale of modern vampires in the style of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In addition, just as British comics were exported worldwide, ROK has leveraged its unique position as a key developer of mobile content to bring many past and present comics to new audiences in partnership with key telecom partners around the globe.

"I'm delighted we have so many British creators on the service," says ROK Comics Managing Editor John Freeman, who was one of many comics creators who assisted the Comics Britannia production team in sourcing material for the BBC4 series. "Just as Leo Baxendale and Dudley Watkins broke new ground for comics in the pages of the Beano, so ROK Comics many creators are quickly establishing themselves at the forefront of a new means of delivering comics to millions of readers around the world.

"Comics have always evolved to reach new markets and ROK Comics is proud to be part of a bright future for the medium – and celebrate past British comics triumphs."

Pauline Murray penetrates Mauretania celebrations

Legendary singer Pauline Murray of Pentration will read a chapter from Humfrey Jordan's 'Mauretania: Landfalls and Departures of Twenty-Five Years' to open the RMS Mauretania Maiden Voyage Centenary Exhibition in Newcastle.

The exhibit features paintings and comic art by Stuckist Painters and Mauretania Comics artists Paul Harvey and ROK Comics' Chris Reynolds, plus paintings by guest Stuckist Mike Tilley. It will also feature photographs and relics of the ship.

The Opening will be at Newcastle Arts Centre, 67 Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1SG on Tuesday 18 September 2007 between 6.30-8.00pm. The Exhibition will continue until 29 September 2007..

Pauline Murray was lead singer in the 1977 punk band Penetration. They were signed to Virgin Records, released two highly acclaimed albums, many singles and toured extensively throughout Britain, Europe and the USA. After the band split in 1979 Pauline began a successful solo career and recorded the ground breaking Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls album with legendary Factory producer Martin Hannett. In 1984 she set up her own record label, Polestar, and released singles and an album as 'Pauline Murray and the Storm'. In 1990 she opened Polestar Studios, a rehearsal and recording facility in Newcastle. She is still writing, recording and performing with the reformed Penetration.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Mauretania Exhibitions and events announced

ROK Comics creator Chris Reynolds is one of several artists involved in events marking the centenary of the maiden voyage of the RMS Mauretania.

Chris has published several strips under his Mauretania Comics imprint.

An exhibition featuring comics and paintings by Newcastle Stuckist Painters and Mauretania Comics artists Paul Harvey and Chris Reynolds plus guest Stuckist Mike Tilley will run at the Newcastle Arts Centre between 18-29 September 2007. The Centenary Exhibtion Opening Night event takes place on Tuesday 18 September, between 6.30 - 8.00 pm.

On 16 November, there will be events in both Newcastle and New York to mark the centenary of the sailing, at the bar of Newcastle Arts Centre and at a venue in New York, with a centenary phone call between the venues. Paul Harvey and Chris Reynolds will be in Newcastle, while representatives of US Stuckist groups, joined by New York Stuckist Terry Marks and Connecticut Stuckist Tony (Baloney) Juliano will be in marking the event in the US.

The Mauretania was the longest-ever holder of the famous transatlantic speed record, the Blue Riband. Built in Newcastle, she sailed the line between Britain and the New World completely successfully for 25 years.

Further Information
• For more information on the Stuckism art movement visit: www.stuckism.com
• Mauretania Archives: www.tyneandweararchives.org.uk/mauretania/index.htm
• Building the Ship in 1906: www.amber-online.com/exhibitions/mauretania
• Newcastle Arts Centre Limited, 67 Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1SG Telephone 0191 2615618

I think I'd rather be reading a comic

Going to the toilet, cutting your toe nails and and having sex are just some of the activities people get up to when talking on the phone, according to a poll released this week by Britain's Post Office.

The survey found seven per cent of people had "been intimate" with a partner when on the telephone to someone else, with men were more likely than women to have been involved in a romantic clinch when chatting on the phone, with nine per cent admitting to answering a call when making love compared to five per cent of women.

The survey found one in 10 people admitted to taking a call while otherwise engaged. It also found that people in the Newcastle region, for example, were also most likely to chat to friends while sitting on the toilet, with 44 per cent of people admitting to it compared with just 21 per cent of Scots.

A total of 2188 people were questioned for the survey, which lists these top ten "other activities"...

The Top Ten activities people indulge in when on the phone are:

1 Surf the internet (65 per cent)
2 Watch TV (64 per cent)
3 Lie in bed (54 per cent)
4 Eat (48 per cent)
5 Cook (43 per cent)
6 Draw / doodle (41 per cent)
7 Clean (34 per cent)
8 Use the toilet (31 per cent)
9 Get dressed (25 per cent)
10 Shop (26 per cent)

"We are certainly a nation of talkers," commented Martin Moran, head of telephony at the Post Office, "and judging by these figures, we won't let anything stand in the way of a good old gossip, which could turn out to be a fairly pricey habit."

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

ROK Comics offers BICS goers the chance to win a top mobile

Comics to mobile publisher Rok Comics is pleased to announce its support for the 2007 Birmingham International Comics Show (www.thecomicsshow.co.uk) which takes place 13-14 October 2007, with a competition to win a top of the range Nokia mobile phone, an annual subscription to all of ROK Comics content via its WAP subscriber service and other goodies worth £500 in total.

Every pre-registered attendee will be in with a chance to win the Nokia phone, which will include a pre-loaded SIM Card worth £30 and a selection of ROK entertainment content and software. The winner will also get a 12-month subscription to the ROK Comics WAP service.

The winner of the phone will be announced at the weekend.

"We're delighted to be part of BICS," says ROK Comics Managing Editor John Freeman, who will be part of a special panel on digital comics at the event on Saturday 13 October. "These events are a melting pot of ideas and talent and for me, it's a great chance to meet and talk comic ideas with fans and professionals."

Taking place 13 – 14 October 2007 at Birmingham's ThinkTank, the Birmingham International Comic Show is set to again be a major event in the comics calendar for British fans. Special guests include Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, Superman and Star Wars artist Kevin Nowlan, top Judge Dredd artist Mike McMahon, and Adi Granov, the man behind the fantastic upcoming Iron Man Movie armour design. Esad Ribic, who's currently working on Marvel's fully painted Silver Surfer series which is wowing fans and Matt Hollingsworth, who will be conducting a special extended version of his popular colouring demonstration. (Click here for the full guest list)

Doctor Who and Wisdom fans will also be interested to find out that Paul Cornell will be making a Saturday appearance at the show and will be taking part in our special writers panel along with Mike Carey and Tony Lee.

Other guests confirmed include: Alan Davis, Dave Gibbons, Charlie Adlard, Mark Buckingham, Duncan Fegredo, and Lew Stringer, plus many many more.

Monday, 3 September 2007

An Evil Alliance

Thoroughly silly but very funny, even if it is (deliberately) not the best drawn comic...

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Save Kids TV

British childrens' TV is under threat, but an organisation comprising many media professionals, Save Kids TV, is out to save it.

They recently released a video promoting their campaign which you can view on their web site, but now it's also been adapted as a comic for mobile to complement it....



Comics are a great, fast way to deliver a campaigning message. Perhaps there are other organisations out there who want to give it a try.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Even MPs love ROK Comics!

News that Jeff Hawke is soon to feature on ROK Comics has been welcomed by none other than David Jones MP, Member of Parliament for Clwyd West; Shadow Minister for Wales.

Jones is a longtime fan of the science fiction character created by Syd Jordan and published by the Daily Express, revealing
"Jeff Hawke was a staple of my childhood. It appeared in the Daily Express from 1955 to 1974 and was years ahead of its time" and describes the strip as "among the most intelligent sci-fi comic strips ever produced, significantly better than much that was published in America, the home of the genre, at that time.

"Hawke dealt intelligently with moral issues in a futuristic setting and was often astonishingly prescient," Jones notes. "In 1959, the strip portrayed a memorial stone on the Moon, recording the first manned landing on “August Fourth, Earth Year Nineteen Hundred Sixty-Nine”. Neil Armstrong in fact set foot on the lunar surface on 21 July, 1969, just two weeks earlier."

"I am now seriously tempted to subscribe to the Rok service," Jones declares.

Welcome aboard, Shadow Minister!

Look and Learn and Robin Hood Go Mobile

ROK Comics is pleased to announce a partnership with Look and Learn Ltd. to bring its extensive archive of classic British comics to mobile phones. In addition, as we reported in July, Look and Learn is making its extensive image archive available to ROK Comics’ parent company, ROK Media, to offer as mobile phone wallpapers via www.fonepark.com.

ROK Comics aims to adapt some of the most outstanding comics from Look and Learn, Jack and Jill, Playhour, Swift and Robin for mobile presentation, bringing the stunning art and stories from the comics to a whole new audience around the globe, working with over 30 selected telecom partners.

The first strip to be adapted for mobile phones is Robin Hood which was written by Clifford Makin and drawn by Frank Bellamy (who went on to draw Dan Dare for Eagle, Thunderbirds for TV21, Garth for the Daily Mirror and Doctor Who illustrations for the Radio Times). The Robin Hood strip originally appeared in Swift in 1956-57 and is the first of a number of Frank Bellamy strips ROK Comics is to publish.

The adapted comics are available for purchase at www.rokcomics.com and wap.rokcomics.com via Multi Media Message delivery to any MMS-capable phone on almost any network worldwide.

Laurence Heyworth, Publisher of Look and Learn, said: “Viewed on mobile phone, these comic strips and images have great retro appeal. We are delighted that this material is now being used in ways that could only have been dreamed of by its creators.”

"Robin Hood looks as fresh today as when it first appeared," says ROK Comics Managing Editor John Freeman, formerly an editor at Marvel UK and Titan Magazines. "We feel sure that this strip will capture the imaginations of today's mobile users.”

ROK Comics Robin Hood page: www.rokcomics.com/robinhood.php

(You will need a mobile phone capable of receiving MMS to view the Robin Hood comic strip. The first episode can be viewed free on the site.)

Look and Learn was Britain's most successful illustrated children's educational magazine, running between 1962 and 1982 for over a thousand issues. Throughout the 1960s, the magazine regularly sold several hundred thousand copies a week in the United Kingdom and around the world. During its 20 year run, it incorporated eight other magazines, including The Children's Newspaper (1919-65) and Ranger (1965-66), before itself coming to an end.

When Look and Learn closed it left behind a treasure trove of material which was to lie largely forgotten for nearly a quarter of a century. In late 2004 a new company was set up to acquire from IPC Media the rights to Look and Learn and the magazines that were incorporated into it (excluding some comic strips), together with what remained of the archive of original artwork. Since then, a small team has tracked down much more of the artwork, so that the company now owns many thousands of the paintings used in the magazine; it has also been able to borrow thousands more paintings from the Illustration Art Gallery, the leading dealer in this field, for scanning and incorporation into the digital archive.

As well as re-assembling the archive of original artwork, the team has written a history of Look and Learn, compiled biographies of the major illustrators, digitised the magazine and much of the artwork and created a website and on-line picture library. It has also digitised the entire run of The Children’s Newspaper, an issue of which is being re-published every day at www.lookandlearn.com.

In May 2006, the company acquired, again from IPC Media, rights to a number of nursery papers published at the same time as Look and Learn, including Jack and Jill (1954-85), Playhour (1954-87), Swift (1954-63) and Robin (1953-69), each of which sold several hundred thousand copies a week during the 1960s.

Look and Learn is currently publishing a limited series of 48 issues of a new magazine made out of the best of the original magazine.

On 6 September 2007 Century/Random House is publishing The Bumper Book of Look and Learn, a lavishly illustrated tribute to the magazine.

Various images from British magazines such as Bible Story and Look and Learn and other associated titles are now available as wallpapers for mobile phones, produced under license from Look and Learn by ROK Media.

The wallpapers so far include Bible Story images like this fantastic one of Noah's Ark by James E. McConnell, images conjuring up the Wild West and some travel images, with many, many more to come.