Everything old is new again. Or something like that anyway.
Barry "Engine Comics" Renshaw seems to have enough energy and enthusiasm for ten normal people. In addition to writing, drawing, editing and publishing more comics than almost anyone on the planet, he's launched Red Eye, a magazine about comics. Presumably it's so named because the only time he has to put the thing together is when he would otherwise be sleeping.
To an old duffer like me, Red Eye, is at once new and familiar. There are shades of Arkensword in the UK comics news coverage, a touch of Battleground in the articles on 2000AD, Strangers in Paradise and Don Lawrence, and a bit of Vicious in the discussion of what makes a good comic shop. But so what if I can see these echoes, conscious or not? They don't stop Red Eye being a good, interesting read.
Chris Weston's Don Lawrence article I found especially interesting. Rather than simply bemoaning Lawrence's status as an unappreciated genius, Weston describes his time as Lawrence's apprentice to draw a warm portrait of the man.
While Weston's article is the standout piece, the rest of the magazine is also strong. Stu Young does especially well to draw some sense from Warren Ellis. There's a long interview with Martin "The O-Men" Eden, which while occasionally lapsing into fawning, has a go at tackling the "why *do* you it" question. It's to Renshaw's credit than nothing here is bad.
Physically, this is up to Engine Comics usual high standard. The layout is clear, the reproduction good and the paper feels nice and chunky. A few of the illostrations are slightly pixellated, but it's a minor quibble.
Disclaimer: Red Eye reprints reviews from TRS2
£4 gets you 56 text filled A4 pages. Cheques should be payable to Barry Renshaw. Contact Engine Comics, 8 Avril Close, Reddish, Stockport, SK5 6XH, UK or email firstname.lastname@example.org.