Friday, June 30, 2006

Groovy




















I'm not of the generation that gets really excited by mentions of TRANSFORMERS. I'm just about a year or two too old to give a fuck. But still, I really liked this teaser trailer for Michael Bay's upcoming flick.

And I enjoyed those dancing Citroens in their adverts, too. Though they're totally unconnected, I know. But cool. So, if Bay pulls something with half their elan out of his hat, he could be alright.

Love SCOTT PILGRIM?

Then you'll love the author's own annotations here.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Updates on those two stories...

...from Tuesday: the animated movie Paul Pope is working on is the comic book sections of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY. I loved that novel, and I remember one breathtaking sequence where Chabon dizzyingly segues from his two protagonists brainstorming The Escapist's origin while walking down the streets of New York into a pulpy recounting of the tale itself, via a pan down through a blast of steam emerging from a grate, from the real world into the comicbook world. It was this sequence that initially convinced me that this book could be made into a great movie, if done right.

Oh, and Garth Ennis is
pouring lots of cold water on the escalating rumours that PREACHER is set to become an HBO series. From a great height.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

more I ♥ KIRBY...

Lots of SUPERMAN blogging going on...


...in honour of Singer's new movie. In tribute to my inner seven year old, here's a link to a great site: SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES. It's one ugly website, but it has a ton of content you could spend a week combing through.

Examples from the comics, from 1934 (the unpublished-until-1939, Alex Raymond-influenced, newspaper strip version of the myth that Siegel and Shuster shopped around unsuccessfully before selling ACTION COMICS #1 to National Periodicals, now DC Comics, simultaneously inventing the comic book format and the entire super hero genre) right through to 2006, featuring many complete classics. Interviews and essays; creator profiles; short stories and entire novels (many by the great Elliot S! Maggin, the finest Superman writer ever in most eyes); downloadable episodes of the classic Fleischer Studios cartoons; a downloadable pilot episode of the 1961 ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY TV series; episode guides and summaries for all Kal-El's celluloid adventures; a searchable encyclopedia: the thing just goes on and on, just full of great stuff. Dig in.

Does a lot of good work for charity

As I've written about here before, I've sold comics on Ebay to some high falutin' people before. Technical staff from the X-MEN movie series. Big wigs at Rock Star Games. Some guy who used to play bass with The Beatles. But I've never sold anything to "The Scottish Stan Lee", Mark Millar. But, you can go over to Mark's feedback page now if you want, and peruse some of his recent purchases - dodgy music, questionable DVDs, unsightly clothing, the lot.

And, when you've finished being a nosey bastard, you could then head over to the charity auctions the guy is throwing to try and eradicate Crohn's Disease, which is like The IBS From Hell. Get a commission from Bryan Hitch! Go on a piss-up with some Doctor Who writers! But probably not Stephen Fry!

Or commission Bryan Hitch to draw Doctor Who! I don't care! My finger's stuck on the exclamation point setting! No, really! Get help! Now! It really hurts!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

SPIDER-MAN 3 teaser trailer lands

Right here, on your hot digital doormat.

Two news stories I'm nicking from Heidi MacDonald

1. Paul Pope to move into animation? If so, here's hoping it's to make a movie of THB - one lone schoolgirl and her big rubber android versus a fascist government on Mars. What's not to love? Wonder if anyone else has noticed the rudimentary animations Pope has done before for the Jon Spencer side project Heavy Trash? Does that count?


2. PREACHER keeps moving onward at HBO. Arseface ahoy!


I was also going to link to the recent J K Rowling story doing the rounds, but couldn't be arsed. The short version is - I figured out how book seven is going to end after reading book six anyway: if you really must hear my theory, feel free to harangue me about it by email, or buy me a beer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

new LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN original graphic novel

Presumably the last thing Alan Moore ever willingly publishes through DC, and therefore history in the making.

"Acclaimed writer Alan Moore once again joins forces with artist Kevin O'Neill for THE BLACK DOSSIER - a stunning original hardcover graphic novel that is the next chapter in the fantastic saga of THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN! England in the mid-1950s is not the same as it was. The powers that be have instituted some changes. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have been disbanded and disavowed, and the country is under the control of an iron-fisted regime. Now, after many years, the still youthful Mina Murray and a rejuvenated Allan Quatermain return in search of some answers - answers that can only be found in a book buried deep in the vaults of their old headquarters - a book that holds the key to the hidden history of the League throughout the ages: The Black Dossier. As Allan and Mina delve into the details of their precursors, some dating back centuries, they must elude their dangerous pursuers who are hellbent on retrieving the lost manuscript…and ending the League once and for all. THE BLACK DOSSIER is an elaborately designed, cutting-edge volume that includes a "Tijuana Bible" insert and a 3-D section complete with custom glasses, as well as additional text pieces, maps, and a stunning cutaway double-page spread of Captain Nemo's Nautilus submarine by Kevin O'Neill. Don't miss what's sure to be one of the most talked-about books of 2006!"

Looks like they've decided not to include the audio CD insert, then. Ah well - I've always got my Sinister Ducks seven inch to fall back on. Plus - "Stunning cutaway double-page spread of Captain Nemo's Nautilus submarine by Kevin O'Neill" - how very 2000AD circa 1980!

Monday, June 19, 2006

THE WHO live at Leeds, again...

Great feature on The Who on Newsnight tonight, featuring footage of their weekend gig at Leeds University, some telling interviews about their ongoing renaissance, and a clip of them rehearsing some new material, easily their best since QUADROPHENIA. It might get stuck up at the Newsnight mini-site: if not, tough, you missed it, but I've got it on the hard-disk of my Sky + box. Try clicking on the link in the title of the entry: should get you there for the rest of the week, anyway (thanks to Rab for pointing that out).

Oh, and Steve Coogan's new show SAXONDALE started tonight. Loved it: but then, the lead character is more up my alley than Partridge ever was - hirsute, well-read, smartarse, obsessed with the minutiae of the rock'n'roll life.


Which leads me to The Observer Music Monthly's feature on the fifty best books about rock: I'm as happy as a sandboy because my favourite made it to number seven, when it is usually forgotten entirely in similar lists by less august journals. Stanley Booth, unlike most music journos, writes like a dream: the review fails to mention his glorious beat style - like Kerouac, but with better taste in music.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Big day for the comic shops

Marvel's CIVIL WAR #2 came out today, and it's proving to be the biggest day in comic book retailing since the THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN event marked the simultaneous zenith and death-knell of the last boom period. However, and interestingly enough, what is getting the real mainstream media attention isn't the huge sales numbers (300k and rising), but the plot point of Spider-Man revealing his secret identity to the public. Everyone and their dog (The New York Post, The Howard Stern Show, Yahoo's home page, and I assure you, on the BBC homepage by tomorrow) is interested not in the business angle, but the storytelling one. And that tells me comics are on their way to regaining their status as a form of proper popular entertainment, rather than "collectibles" or cultish items for a minority audience. Now everyone's a geek.

**update** Told ya.

another nominee for MY NEW FAVOURITE BLOG is...

...this crazy funster. Whoever's doing this reads too many DC comics, has too much time on his hands, but... is damned good.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just for Jeff

I was going to post a review of the new Primal Scream album tonight (short version - it's ace), but it started turning into a longer, more thoughtful piece that deserves a bit more work. So, instead, in honour of a conversation I had with Jeff in the pub on Friday night, here's a cracking painting of Ghost Rider by Arthur Suydam.
Happy Satan's day!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Decent Alan Moore interview at MTV.com

What's the best way to get Alan Moore in a nice, grouchy, mood? Ask him plenty of questions about making his books into movies.

(Oh, and X-MEN: THE LAST STAND box office takings fell 66% for its second weekend. Guess that's how long it takes for word-of-mouth to get around the mainstream audience that it's a bit of a turkey.)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bits of various BAD LIBRARIANSHIP business

1. Brendan McCarthy emailed me some sample pages from his issue of SOLO (yay!), but I'm not allowed to post them yet (boo!). The short version is - they're chuffing brilliant, and at least one chapter in the book looks like it'll be in a style and a palette we've never seen from him before. Anyway, he's seen the Brit Cit helmet replica licensed by 2000AD from his classic design - his opinion? "why, those pesky Rebellion wabbits..."

2. Andrew Stephenson, of new multi-cultural comics publisher
AK Comics, wrote requesting a link to his blog. Fair enough: here ya go. Anything for the guy who may yet prove responsible for busting the cartel that has sewn up distribution to newsagents in the UK for the guts of a century.


3. Top Cow Comics just e-mailed me and asked to be added as a friend on MySpace. Sure - anything for Marc Silvestri, whose work I loved as a wee bairn (though I wouldn't be seen dead buying the "bad girl" crap his company specialise in churning out these days). Loved his KING CONAN, plus his classic run on UNCANNY X-MEN was just about the twilight's last gleaming of Chris Claremont's tenure on that title, as he strip-mined concepts from Alan Moore's CAPTAIN BRITAIN to diminishing effect. But Silvestri's work always made it worth getting. These days, Silvestri has honed his style to just its flashiest components, to a point where he doesn't seem to give a damn about basic anatomy (and drawing feet, especially), whereas once his work had real grit.