Kickstarting Comics: ‘Meanwhile 12’ – Bringing Strangehaven To Its Conclusion

The 12th volume in Soaring Penguin‘s excellent anthology series Meanwhile… is looking for your cash in a crowdfunder campaign –  with the finale to Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven being a momentous event.


Back in 2014 publisher John Anderson began this new Meanwhile… anthology, something I was immediately onboard with as it promised the continuation of Gary Spencer Millidge‘s Strangehaven, a magnificent piece of comics that’s well worth the wait for those of us who’ve followed it from its beginnings in 1995.

Well, over the last 11 volumes of Meanwhile… we’ve not only seen Millidge’s Strangehaven continue but we’ve also seen some excellent works including The Bad, Bad Place by David Hine and Mark Stafford, Taniwha by Roger LangridgeThe Collector by Sarah GordonGale Key’s Psychic Lost Items Helpline by Ginny Skinner, and many more.

Meanwhile… has always aimed to bring together both higher profile creators and less established ones and the increase in pages over the years has has meant that the title features ongoing series alongside stand-alone stories, mixing things up and giving the reader a damn good experience.

The Crowdfundr campaign is to part-fund production costs plus allowing Soaring Penguin to pay each creator an additional sum on top of their page rate.

Now, with the 12th volume of Meanwhile, we get to both the finales of The Collector and of Strangehaven in a volume that’s expanded to 152 pages. Inside, you’ll find work by Millidge, Langridge, Gordon, Skinner, Daniel da Silva Lopes, Evgenij Iosjpe, Caleb Ady, Joe Latham, Joni Hägg, Jacob Fleming, and Efi Theodoropoulou,

Without taking anything away from Sarah Gordon‘s brilliant work, the ending to Strangehaven, something that’s taken the best part of 28 years to complete, is the monumental news that we have to focus on here.

For more on Strangehaven, you should certainly go look at Gary Spencer Millidge’s website and start with this post, In Praise Of Strangehaven, which is Gary’s commentary on this, a 2 hour YouTube appraisal of Strangehaven by In Praise of Shadow. It’s a huge effort of reviewing and overviewing Gary’s work and something you may well want to watch.

As far as the comic and me, well, I’ve had a long love affair with the comic that makes this finale something to really look forward to (along with, I trust, the final volume of the collected Strangehaven to come in time.

Strangehaven came along in ’95 when I was working at Nostalgia & Comics Birmingham at the time when we had a great new breed of UK comic makers making some great comics. There was Sleaze Castle, there was Exit, there was Kane. And there was Strangehaven. From the moment I saw Millidge’s retailer promo copy arrive in the post I knew that this was going to be something we could definitely get behind. And we did, to great success, continually restocking first the comics and then the collections, a perennial seller, an easy sell as well, “Twin Peaks meets the Prisoner with a soundtrack by The Kinks and fabulous artwork” a familiar phrase on the shopfloor.

In the end, it took 10 years to publish 18 issues that made up three collections, 18 issues that told a fantastical tale of a village and its inhabitants, Millidge’s photo realistic artwork and fabulously mysterious thriller providing continuing entertainment for so many fans over the years. The third volume of the collected Strangehaven meant an ending with a real twist, a definite cliffhanger, a shocker. After that, we had the hiatus for way too long, but a hiatus that ended with the first volume of Meanwhile.

Now, some 12 volumes of Meanwhile later, Strangehaven Volume 4: Destiny reaches its end. It’s been a wonderful ride.


And if that’s the potted history of Strangehaven’s publishing, here’s just a quick idea of what it’s all about…

Strangehaven is a small village in the South West of England, existing in what seems to be an idyllic version of a past England, just as Ray Davies described it; strawberry jam, vaudeville, variety, draught beer and village greens. Into this peaceful idyll comes Alex Hunter, careering into the village courtesy of a car crash, a bad marriage and a strange apparition in the road. Whilst convalescing something seems to just click and he decides to stay, or rather he finds it nigh on impossible to leave.

No-one in the village seems at all surprised by this strange turn of events. Over the coming weeks, Alex begins to discover all that is strange within Strangehaven, as we and he are introduced to the residents. Strangehaven seems to be just like every other small community; full of love, lust, betrayal and never-ending intrigue and gossip. Of course, not every small village has an Amazonian Indian Shaman or a clandestine order of mason-style village elders called the Knights of the Golden Light who may be powerful, controlling influences on the village or a group of middle-aged men all too fond of white robes and secret handshakes.

And that’s just the first volume. Believe me, it gets better and stranger from there!



The Meanwhile… 12 campaign is running here and continues until 19 March. Previous copies of Meanwhile are available through the Crowdfundr or from the Soaring Penguin Press store.

Here’s just a little of what to expect…

The 12th volume in Soaring Penguin‘s excellent anthology series Meanwhile… is looking for your cash in a crowdfunder campaign – COMICONRead More

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