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Crisis
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Crisis #1 (Sept. 1988), featuring an image by Carlos Ezquerra of Eve from Third World War
Publication information
Publisher Fleetway
Schedule Fortnightly (1-48)
Monthly (49-63)
Format Comics anthology
Publication date 1988 - 1991
Number of issues 63, plus 2 specials
Editor(s) Steve MacManus
Michael W. Bennent

Crisis was a British comic published from 1988 to 1991 as an experiment by Fleetway to see if intelligent, mature, politically and socially aware comics were saleable in the United Kingdom. The comic was initially published fortnightly, and was one of the most visible components of the late-80s British comics boom, along with Deadline, Revolver, and Toxic!.

History

Crisis was Fleetway's response to the success of Deadline. David Bishop, in his Thrill Power Overload, comments "2000 AD had once represented the cutting edge of British comics, but was now in danger of looking staid and old fashioned next to Deadline".[1]

Crisis would offer to make the work Creator-owned, which might the chance for royalties and greater copyright control, which was a departure from the way they had done business up until then. They also planned to turn the stories into American comic books which would sell better on the other side of the Atlantic, although ultimately only the first few titles got this treatment and the title moved to shorter stories after issue #14.[1]

"The original concept was a superhero comic that could be sold in America" MacManus recalls. Each issue would feature two stories, both 14 pages long. It was planned to repackage these as individual monthlies for the US market.[1]


As a 2000 AD spin-off, it was initially science fiction based. It began with two stories: Third World War, by Pat Mills and Carlos Ezquerra, extrapolated some of the effects of global capitalism on the developing world into the near future, as seen through the eyes of a group of young conscript "peace volunteer" soldiers; New Statesmen was a "realistic superhero" strip by John Smith and Jim Baikie. Third World War later moved on from developing world topics to minority issues within the UK and introduced two new artists, Sean Phillips and Duncan Fegredo, while Mills took on co-writers including Alan Mitchell and Malachy Coney.

When New Statesmen finished it was replaced by two contemporary stories: Troubled Souls by Garth Ennis and John McCrea, set amid the "troubles" of Northern Ireland, and Sticky Fingers, a flatshare comedy by Myra Hancock and David Hine. Troubled Souls was Ennis's comics debut, and led to a sequel, For a Few Troubles More, and a religious satire, True Faith, the latter illustrated by Warren Pleece.

True Faith and another proposed strip, Skin by Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy, about skinheads and thalidomide, ran into problems with censorship. Robert Maxwell, Fleetway's then owner, withdrew the collected edition of True Faith from sale after receiving objections from religious groups; Skin was dropped after the printers refused to handle it, probably over its harsh language. Skin was later published as a graphic novel by Tundra, and failed to generate any noticeable outrage.

Another casualty of censorship was John Smith and Sean Phillips's Straitgate. Its main character was intended to be a self-obsessed young loner who suffers from delusions and ends up going on a killing spree, but it was toned down until he became little more than a self-obsessed young loner.

Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell contributed The New Adventures of Hitler (originally published in Cut, a Scottish arts and culture magazine), a speculative story about how the young Adolf Hitler's stay in England might have affected his later actions. Morrison also wrote Bible John, illustrated by Daniel Vallely, about a series of murders in Glasgow, and Dare, his revisionist take on Dan Dare. Dare was drawn by Rian Hughes, and had started in Revolver, the sister comic of Crisis. Unfortunately Revolver folded before the last episode of the story, which was therefore concluded in Crisis. Morrison's frequent collaborator Mark Millar contributed a grim prison story, Insiders, drawn by Paul Grist.

Later issues of Crisis included a number of translated European strips, including Milo Manara and Federico Fellini's Trip to Tuluum (collected in a trade paperback published by Catalan Communications) and a number of short strips by Miguelanxo Prado. After issue 49 Crisis was published monthly, for 14 further issues, finally ending in October 1991.

Other creators whose work appeared in Crisis include Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, John Hicklenton, Philip Bond, Si Spencer, Steve Sampson, Chris Standley, Peter Doherty, Igor Goldkind, Tony Allen, James Robinson, Tony Salmons, Oscar Zarate, Paul Neary, Steve Parkhouse and Bernie Jaye.

Ultimately the comic did not sell sufficiently well to survive, and Fleetway cancelled it in 1991. Nevertheless, while it lasted, Crisis broke the mould of British comics by publishing stories which tackled urban struggles, political issues, economic inequality, sexual politics, racial and nationalistic disputes, and cutting-edge speculative writing.

Third World War continued in 2000 AD in the spin-off series Finn.

Editors

Stories

Third World War
Book I
Issues: 1-14
Episodes: 14
Pages: 196 of strip, plus 14 pages of text
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Carlos Ezquerra episodes 1-6, 9-14; D'Israeli 7; Angie Mills 8
Dated: 17/9/88 to 18/3/89

Book II
Issues: 15-27, 29-38
Episodes: 23
Pages: 322
Script: Pat Mills 1-23; with Alan Mitchell 3-7, 10-23, and Malachy Coney 8-9
Art: Angie Mills 1; John Hicklenton 2, 11, 14, 20; Carlos Ezquerra 3-4, 6-7; Duncan Fegredo 5, 12; Sean Phillips 8-10, 13, 18-19; Sean Phillips & Shaun Hollywood 16; Richard Piers-Rayner 15; Richard Piers-Rayner & Tim Perkins 23; Glyn Dillon 17; Steve Pugh 21; Robert Blackwell 22
Dated: 1/4/89 to 17/2/90
Note: Segments "Ivan’s Story" in #36 and "Ryan’s Story" in #25, 29 and 35 conclude in Book IV.

Book III: The Big Heat
Issues: 40-41, 43-48
Episodes: 8
Pages: 112
Script: Pat Mills and Alan Mitchell
Art: Glynn Dillon 1-4; Rob Blackwell 5-8
Dated: 17/3/90 to 7/7/90

Book IV: Ivan’s Story
Issues: 49-51
Episodes: 3
Pages: 42
Script: Pat Mills and Alan Mitchell
Art: Steve Pugh
Dated: 21/7/90 to Oct 90
Note: Episodes 2-4 of story beginning in #36.

Book IV: The Final Problem
Issue: 53
Episodes: 1
Pages: 14
Script: Pat Mills and Alan Mitchell
Art: John Hicklenton
Dated: Dec 90
Note: Fourth episode of "Ryan’s Story," from #25, 29, 35.

New Statesmen
Issues: 1-12
Episodes: 12
Pages: 192 strip, plus 13 text
Script: John Smith
Art: Jim Baikie 1-4, 9-12; Sean Phillips 5-6; Duncan Fegredo 7-8
Dated: 17/9/88 to 18/2/89

Epilogue
Issues: 13-14
Episodes: 2
Pages: 26
Script: John Smith
Art: Sean Phillips
Dated: 4/3/89 to 18/3/89

Prologue
Issue: 28
Episodes: 1
Pages: 14
Script: John Smith
Art: Jim Baikie
Dated: 30/9/89

Sticky Fingers
Issues: 15-21, 23-27
Episodes: 12
Pages: 81
Script: Myra Hancock
Art: David Hine
Dated: 1/4/89 to 16/9/89

Troubled Souls
Issues: 15-20, 22-27
Episodes: 12
Pages: 89
Script: Garth Ennis
Art: John McCrea
Dated: 1/4/89 to 16/9/89

To Serve and Protect
Issue: 21
Episodes: 1
Pages: 6
Script and art: Floyd R. Jones-Hughes
Dated: 24/6/89

The Geek
Issue: 22
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: Mal Coney
Art: Jim McCarthy
Dated: 8/7/89

The Student Konstabel
Issue: 28
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script and art: Phillip J. Swarbrick
Dated: 30/9/89

Angels Among Us
Issues: 28-38
Episodes: 11
Pages: 15
Script and art: Phillip Bond
Dated: 30/9/89 to 17/2/90
Note: a.k.a. "The Crooked Mile."

True Faith
Issues: 29-38
Episodes: 10
Pages: 91
Script: Garth Ennis
Art: Warren Pleece
Dated: 14/10/89 to 17/2/90

Her Parents
Issue: 31
Episodes: 1
Pages: 5
Script: Mark Millar
Art: John McCrea
Dated: 11/11/89

The Clicking of High Heels
Issue: 32
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: Sarah Bromley-Anderson
Art: Floyd Hughes
Dated: 25/11/89

Two Pretty Names
Issue: 33
Episodes: 1
Pages: 5
Script: Si Spencer and Sue Swasey
Art: Phil Laskey and Carol Swain
Dated: 9/12/89

Squirrels in Carroll Street
Issue: 34
Episodes: 1
Pages: 5
Script and art: Floyd Hughes
Dated: 23/12/89

Feedback
Issue: 34
Episodes: 1
Pages: 2
Script and art: Al Davidson
Dated: 23/12/89

Didn’t You Love My Brother?
Issue: 35
Episodes: 1
Pages: 11
Script: Tony Allen
Art: David Hine
Dated: 6/1/90

Suburban Hell
The Unusual Obsession of Mrs Orton
Issue: 36
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: Garth Ennis
Art: Phillip J. Swarbrick
Dated: 20/1/90

Banged Up
Issue: 37
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: Jack Blackburn
Art: David Lloyd
Dated: 3/2/90

The Death Factory
Issue: 39
Episodes: 1
Pages: 21
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Sean Phillips
Dated: 3/3/90
Note: Amnesty International issue.

A Kind of Madness
Issue: 39
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: Pat Mills
Art: Sean Phillips
Dated: 3/3/90

A Day in the Life
Issue: 39
Episodes: 1
Pages: 4
Script: Igor Goldkind
Art: Glenn Fabry
Dated: 3/3/90

Murky Waters
Issue: 40
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: James Robinson
Art: Tony Salmons
Dated: 17/3/90

For a Few Troubles More
Issues: 40-43, 45-46
Episodes: 6
Pages: 46
Script: Garth Ennis
Art: John McCrea
Dated: 17/3/90 to 9/6/90
Note: Sequel to "Troubled Souls."

Brighton Gas
Issue: 41
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: Gary Pleece
Art: Warren Pleece
Dated: 31/3/90

C-RAP
Issue: 41
Episodes: 1
Pages: 1
Script: Peter Hogan
Art: Anoniman
Dated: 31/3/90

China in Crisis 1989
Issues: 42, 45
Episodes: 2
Pages: 20
Script: Tony Allen
Art: Dave Hine
Dated: 14/4/90 and 26/5/90

Passion and Fire
Issue: 42
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script: Carlos Sampayo
Art: Oscar Zarote
Dated: 14/4/90

Faceless
Issue: 42
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script and art: Floyd Hughes
Dated: 14/4/90

The Ballad of Andrew Brown
Issue: 43
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script: Garth Ennis
Art: Phil Winslade
Dated: 28/4/90

Try a Little Tenderness
Issue: 44
Episodes: 1
Pages: 6
Script: Si Spencer
Art: Steve Sampson
Dated: 12/5/90

Masters of Disguise
Issue: 44
Episodes: 1
Pages: 1
Script and art: Tomoko Rei Sato
Dated: 12/5/90

The Farmer and the Soldier
Issue: 44
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: Igor Goldkind
Art: David Lloyd and Caroline Dellaporta
Dated: 12/5/90

The New Adventures of Hitler
Issues: 46-49
Episodes: 4
Pages: 48
Script: Grant Morrison
Art: Steve Yeowell
Dated: 9/6/90 to 21/7/90

Felicity
Issue: 47
Episodes: 1
Pages: 5
Script: Chris Standley
Art: Peter Doherty
Dated: 23/6/90

The Soldier and the Painter
Issue: 48
Episodes: 1
Pages: 6
Script: Igor Goldkind
Art: Phil Winslade
Dated: 7/7/90

Chicken Run
Issue: 49
Episodes: 1
Pages: 5
Script: Gary Pleece
Art: Warren Pleece
Dated: 21/7/90

Straitgate
Issues: 50-53
Episodes: 4
Pages: 46
Script: John Smith
Art: Sean Phillips
Dated: Sept 90 to Dec 90

No Messin’ With Rupert
Issue: 50
Episodes: 1
Pages: 11
Script: Oscar Zarate
Art: Carlos Sampayo
Dated: Sept 90

Your Death, My Life
Issue: 50
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script and art: Milo Manara
Dated: Sept 90
Note: Translated by Frank Wynne.

Suddenly, Last Week…
Issue: 51
Episodes: 1
Pages: 5
Script: Nicholas Vince
Art: Paul Johnson
Dated: Oct 90

The Wall
Issue: 51
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script: Tony Allen
Art: Enki Bilal
Dated: Oct 90

The Power of the Pen
Issue: 51
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script and art: Alberto Braccia
Dated: Oct 90
Note: Translated by Frank Wynne.

Prisoner of Justice
Issue: 52
Episodes: 1
Pages: 14
Script: Alan Mitchell
Art: Glenn Fabry
Dated: Nov 90

The Happiest Days
Issue: 52
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script: Martine d’Ellard
Art: Caroline Della Porta
Dated: Nov 90

Vroom
Issues: 52-58
Episodes: 7
Pages: 28
Script: Iz
Art: Dix
Dated: Nov 90 to June 91

Sinner
Viet Blues
Issues: 52-55
Episodes: 4
Pages: 38
Script and art: Carlos Sampayo and Jose Muñoz
Colours: Steve Whitaker
Dated: Nov 90 to Feb 91
Note: Translated by Deborah Bonner and Kim Thompson.

The School
Issue: 53
Episodes: 1
Pages: 6
Script: Martine d’Ellard
Art: Ed Hillyer
Dated: Dec 90

Insiders
Issues: 54-59
Episodes: 6
Pages: 60
Script: Mark Millar
Art: Paul Grist
Dated: Jan 91 to June 91

The General and the Priest
Issues: 54-55
Episodes: 2
Pages: 21
Script: Igor Goldkind
Art: Jim Baikie
Dated: Jan 91 to Feb 91

In Cages, There is No Escape
Issue: 54
Episodes: 1
Pages: 4
Script and art: Paul Johnson
Dated: Jan 91

Passing Through
Issue: 55
Episodes: 1
Pages: 4
Script and art: Miguelanxo Prado
Dated: Feb 91
Note: Translated by Frank Wynne.

The Real Robin Hood
Issues: 56-61
Episodes: 6
Pages: 48
Script: Michael Cook
Art: Gary Erskine and Bernie Jaye
Dated: March 91 to Aug 91

Bible John
Issues: 56-61
Episodes: 6
Pages: 48
Script: Grant Morrison
Art: Daniel Vallely
Dated: March 91 to Aug 91

Happenstance and Kismet
Issues: 56-61
Episodes: 6
Pages: 34
Script: Paul Neary
Art: Steve Parkhouse and Bernie Jaye
Dated: March 91 to Aug 91

Dare
Issue: 56
Episodes: 1
Pages: 10
Script: Grant Morrison
Art: Rian Hughes
Dated: March 91
Note: Final episode of series "Dare" from Revolver.

Up on the Roof
Issue: 57
Episodes: 1
Pages: 6
Script and art: Dave Hine
Dated: April 91

Lovebite
Issue: 58
Episodes: 1
Pages: 5
Script: Steve Tanner
Art: Pete Venters
Dated: May 91

Rainbow Cafe
Issue: 58
Episodes: 1
Pages: 3
Script and art: Simon Harrison
Dated: May 91

Lord Jim
Issue: 59
Episodes: 1
Pages: 16
Script: Igor Goldkind
Art: Steve Sampson
Dated: June 91

Trip to Tulum
Issues: 60-63
Episodes: 4
Pages: 69
Script: Federico Fellini
Art: Milo Manara
Dated: July 91 to Oct 91
Note: Translated by Stefano Gaudiano.

Unlikely Stories, Mostly
Endgame
Issue: 60
Episodes: 1
Pages: 3
Script and art: Miguelanxo Prado
Dated: July 91

Light Me
Issue: 61
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script: Garth Ennis
Art: Phil Winslade
Dated: Aug 91

Worms
Issue: 62
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script and art: Dave Hine
Dated: Sept 91

Waddle on the Wild Side
Issue: 62
Episodes: 1
Pages: 5
Script and art: Al Davison
Dated: Sept 91

Charlie Lives With Fang and Snuggles
Issue: 62
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script: Garth Ennis
Art: Ian Oldham
Dated: Sept 91

Body Snatchers
Issue: 62
Episodes: 1
Pages: 7
Script: Ian Abinett & Alan Coweill
Art: Andrew Currie
Dated: Sept 91

Strange Hotel
Issue: 62
Episodes: 1
Pages: 4
Script: Si Spencer
Art: Adrian Dungworthy
Dated: Sept 91

The Big Voice
Issue: 63
Episodes: 1
Pages: 8
Script: Nick Abadzis
Art: Edmund Perryman
Dated: Oct 91

Operation Massacre
Issue: 63
Episodes: 1
Pages: 15
Script and art: F & G Solano Lopez
Dated: Oct 91

Commuter’s Journey
Issue: 63
Episodes: 1
Pages: 2
Script and art: Nick Abadzis
Dated: Oct 91

Notes

References

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External links

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