This week sees the release of the Treasury of British Comics Annual 2024: a celebration of the past, present, and even future of British comics… and Popverse has an exclusive preview of that last element.
As the name suggests, this new anthology is put together by the Treasury of British Comics — the division of 2000 AD publishers Rebellion that controls the vast archive of UK comics that stretches back more than a century, and has been responsible for both reprints of classic material and brand new releases based on the archives across the past few years. The Annual is an example of that approach, mixing archive strips from creators including Brian Bolland, Garry Leach, and 2000 AD creator Pat Mills amongst many others with brand new material inspired by the past.
Chief amongst those is a new Black Beth strip by Alec Worley and DaNi, following on from their earlier collaborations on the sword and sorcery character, who originally appeared in a 1988 special issue of horror anthology Scream! Their previous Black Beth strips have revived interest in the character, and it’s easy to see why — especially with DaNi, whose recent Detective Comics work has caught a lot of attention from US fans, bringing a whole new flavor to fantasy comics.
Check out the first three pages from their new Black Beth strip below, alongside both Henry Flint and David Roach’s two covers for the annual.
As it happens, even the idea of a Treasury Annual is, in itself, a reference to the past of British comics: for decades, up through the early 1990s, most British comic anthologies published Annuals in time for the holiday season: hardcover collections of reprint material and a handful of original content with the intent of making perfect gifts for the kids in the family. Here’s hoping that Treasury of British Comics Annual 2024 revives that trend — with American fans being able to buy it online as a stocking stuffer for themselves, too.