And because YouTube make this blogging lark so damned easy... Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Son House. Nice National steel geetar!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Gary Erskine sent me a cute email last night to thank me for not giving him a hard time over his appointment as DAN DARE artist. Best of luck Gary, and reading Ennis's premise (heh, that rhymes) for the new series yesterday has meant that I am now looking forward to this comic a great deal more than I thought I would be.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Here. Good choice of artist, too - Gary Erskine (even if my mental wish-list for the job went Chris Weston, Gary Leach, Ian Kennedy). Dig that accompanying Bryan Talbot cover (?) art, too. Also dig the accompanying blurb for the book, one that posits a rather nifty central conceit, allowing a version of the barmy imperialist origins of the character to work in this day and age: "Virgin Comics' Dan Dare is set in the future, albeit not too many decades from the present day. Colonel Dare is still vibrant and courageous - but now he's retired. His retirement is a self-imposed exile, the result of his disgust with politics and the post-nuclear warfare that has destroyed North America and much of Asia - leaving the UK as the world's last remaining superpower. Readers familiar with Dan Dare stories will recognize many of the original cast including a wiser and more experienced Digby; the innovative, brilliant and beautiful Professor Peabody; and of course the enemy of all that is good, the super-intelligent ruler of the Treens - The Mekon, together with a mix of galactic evil beings."
Sounds like this Dare will inhabit a middle ground roughly between the ideologies of the original and Grant Morrison's Thatcher-baiting revision.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I, for one, am getting totally disgusted with the comic industry's continuing sexual objectification of librarians. Down with this sort of thing!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Famously uncompromising indie comics writer Alex Di Campi made this video for an unsigned band for £500 quid, and it became the second most watched video on Youtube in one day. It's a catchy tune, in a Ben Folds/Steely Dan kinda mold, but could it have been the (brief) female nudity that did the trick?
The dude from DHL arrived half an hour ago with my new Fender Champion 600, and it is spanky! It's cute, smells nice, and tactile- I can't keep my filthy mitts off its leathery tolex, or stop stroking its velvety grille. I may sleep with it tonight.
Such a big sound from such a little box, too. Absolutely knocks spots off the seventies Vibrochamp I used to own, which was a big disappointment. I'll just take a moment, also, to commend the dealer on an ultra-fast turnaround. I was thinking about shopping with them again soon.
I've been trying to find a video of David Healy's second goal last night on You Tube without any real success (there's one compilation from the match, but it's a wacky loyalist one that doesn't need the oxygen of publicity). But take my word for it, it's a cracker.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Here's an online comic that rings all the right bells. It's got a nice dark Luther Arkwright/Jerry Cornelius vibe going on, and though it says it is in beta (aren't we all), already has a rather fantastic flash interface, and a rather lovely vector/illustrative style.
And look, Norn Iron homeboy P.J. "Texas" O' Hold'em has a series starting, co-written by Dave Lee Roth! Cool!
Plus this looks bloody interesting: "Featuring the work an all-star line-up that includes MIKE ALLRED, ERIK LARSEN, JOSEPH MICHAEL LINSNER, JIM MAHFOOD and more, POPGUN acts as the ultimate graphic mixtape by combining big name creators doing work fans never expected and an array of the industry’s rising stars. The anthology crosses the protected borders of every genre, fulfilling the desires of anyone hungry for the pungent taste of creativity". Mmm, pungent.
As does this - 128 large format pages of Ladronn's ELEPHANTMEN work? I'm in.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Tonight, for my own reasons, I was re-reading this rather famous document by Alan Moore. And as I read it, I sensed that Moore wrote it while looking through a crystal ball at the comic industry of today, an industry addicted to crossovers and their own insanely rigid notions of continuity. Here's hoping Grant Morrison is bearing these words in mind as he plots FINAL CRISIS, and can resolve the problems Moore foresaw:
"so on one hand we have an audience thirsty for the stability that an ordered continuity gives them, and on the other hand we have good creative reasons for throwing continuity to the winds altogether. Is there any way that these two apparently conflicting notions can both be accomplished at once? Yes, I believe there is. I think it is possible to create a limited run series that would embrace both these attitudes comfortably and fulfill all the other requirements that we've gone over concerning crossovers of this type before. I think we could come up with a story that... casts new light upon all the DC characters, and yet does no violence to however their creators and current creative teams are handling them in their own titles. Something that pulls together the threads of the DC Universe in an interesting and revealing way, while at the same time remaining simple enough in construction so that the chances for any screw-ups in the crossover continuity are diminished or avoided altogether."
But there are also words of warning here that should reach through time to Dan DiDio, the man who directed DC into its current phase of crossover addiction:
"Of course, this approach isn't without its problems. If you don't do it right, if your assembled multitude of characters look merely banal..., then your entire continuity is cheapened in the long term along with its credibility, whatever the short term benefits in terms of sales might be. When this happens, your only recourse is to greater acts of debasement in order to attract reader attention, more deaths to appease the arena crowd element in the fan marketplace, eventually degenerating into a geek show."
Monday, August 20, 2007
Can I resist? SHOULD I resist? Look, they've even got Kirby squiggles engraved into them! Which is a very elegant design solution when turning one of Jack's characters from 2D to 3D, when I come to think about it. Hope it catches on - I'd like to see this sculptor take a swing at The Demon, Omac and Kamandi, too.
Bolland does his first truly great JACK OF FABLES cover. His best work for DC has always been at Vertigo.
Ryan Sook does Kirby. Nice. Fun. Tasty.
Liam Sharp looks like he's having a good time drawing Donna Troy. Bless him. Note: his Kyle Rayner looks not unlike George W Bush. On heavy steroids.
Similarly, Dustin Nguyen looks like he's having fun channelling Mignola. Memo to Donna Troy: while in Ripper-era London, try not to dress like a tupenny hoor.
So, anybody want to see the Pulp Hope sticker, now in pride of place among the select gallery on the back of my Danelectro? Okay then. It's joined by the work of Jack Kirby; the best damned bluegrass act I've ever seen; and an eternal symbol of my Ulster-Scots heritage.
Nice arse, love. Now what's that I hear? Yes, it is a lovely guitar. Oh, you want to see it's front as well? I'm sure that can be arranged.
Mmm, lipstick pick-ups. One of the great things about this guitar is that you can select all three to be on at the same time, creating what I call "the humbucker from Hell". What was that? Now you'd like to hear a sample of what this lovely glittery guitar sounds like, preferably when played by a very drunken man through a Mesa Boogie V-Twin? Well, okay then.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Hat's off to Chris Pitzer, Adhouse Book's head honcho, and a real class act. He's a real mensch, the sort of guy who fields all your daft emails, then, without prompting, tells little white porkies to the customs men on your behalf, so you don't get double-dipped by the taxman. And then throws in some cool stickers, too, gratis.
My copy of the hardcover edition of PULP HOPE arrived Thursday morning, but I wasn't home, and I picked it up from the Post Office on Friday. I'll just add my voice to the clamour: it's a great book, one that'll make you feel more hopeful for the artform, more awake to the possibilities it contains. Of course, you don't have to be a fancy dan like me and splash out on the hardcover (fnarr), just mosey over to your local comicshop or bookseller and buy the equally gorgeous regular edition. But if you do get your hands on the hardcover (and it's probably sold out by now anyway), it features this rather lovely handmade art print tipped into it. Mmm, Japonois-y.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
VAN HALEN have reformed, sorta, and are touring. Bless. Meanwhiles, I've promised Ig I'd show him the poster Chris got for his wedding present. And for Chris, here's a link to Ig's cracking interview with Ian Christe, author of EVERYBODY WANTS SOME, a rather definitive sounding biography of the band.
And yes, that illustration is by Dave "100 BULLETS" Johnson.
First The Flaming Lips record the gorgeous The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How To Be In Love. And now, I see their new audio (wacky guys, wacky format) DVD features this in its tracklisting: Captain America Splits The Audience. Anyone else see a theme developing here? What next? Iron Man Pours Himself A Really Nice Single Malt?
Interesting post over at our homies FILM ICK. First up, some positive THOR casting news (followed by some negative THOR casting news, but hey ho), and a rather scooptastic shot of Martha Jones with the TORCHWOOD cast. That's a cast that's shot up from 40% to 50% likeable with this addition.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I was saddened and very shocked indeed to check the various comicbook websites for the first time today and learn of Mike Wieringo's death. The Waid/Ringo run on FLASH went a long way to hooking me back into comics in the nineties after a few years out of the loop, and I've remained terribly fond of his clean, crisp, very influential, style ever since.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Two comic book rumours have been confirmed recently, and I find myself cautiously optimistic about both of them. Firstly, LAYER CAKE/STARDUST director Matthew Vaughn will be directing the second of Marvel's self-produced movies (after Favreau's IRON MAN). I'm happy with this, the first problem to be negotiated is to hire a real actor, someone who could go nose-to-nose with Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark in the to-follow THE AVENGERS movie and not look daft (as opposed to hiring a goonish wrestler just because he has the muscles and long blonde hair). If Vaughn and his producers think Viggo Mortenson and Sean Bean in THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING rather than Dolph Lundgren in MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE then they shouldn't go too wrong. Plus, Harry Knowles seems pretty happy with the script Vaughn will be working with, by Mark Protosevich.
Next up is the news that Paul Cornell has been given the job of taking over NEW EXCALIBUR from Chris Claremont. Fair enough. I've just read the trade of Cornell's WISDOM mini-series, and am content that he is the man to do something interesting at last with the British end of the Marvel universe. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that WISDOM is the best thing Marvel have set in the UK since the glory days of the classic Alan Moore/Jamie Delano/Alan Davis CAPTAIN BRITAINs. Marvel should, however, continue to keep it real, my homies, and announce a British artist on the title, too. Fo' shizzle.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Gives me the fanboy horn. I liked THE NEW FRONTIER, but I've liked a lot of other DC comics more. Think of the possibilities... A full-on YEAR ONE or THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS adap (with Mazzuchelli and Miller's bold linework, both would be very do-able, hell, Timm has already done a DKR segment in series three of his Batman show). But even better than that, Timm might be able to do what he's always threatened - a NEW GODS movie.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Saw this story in today's DAILY FURTHERANCE OF MURDOCH'S EVIL AGENDA this morning and chuckled heartily. Even though I'm taking it with a healthy pinch of salt, this story could have been designed to appeal to me: it insinuates that my favourite DOCTOR WHO writer is on the verge of taking the reins as series producer, and that an Ulsterman is taking over in the lead role. That said, why not? The character has had strong regional accents before.
*update* Steven Moffat has turned up at a fansite messageboard to repudiate the story. "The James Nesbitt story is a total fabrication. Made up. A fantasy. Just a guy sitting at a desk and just inventing stuff. I wasn't going to say anything, but I'm getting embarrassed for the deeply wonderful Jimmy Nesbitt. So tell everyone please, cos it's getting very silly". Understandable, 'cus poor old Jimmy was getting a lot of (borderline racist) abuse over this.
When longtime reader, recent internet pal, Trevor emailed me to see if I'd got my copy of PULP HOPE yet, I had to demur. "Nope", said I, having more money than sense, "I'm waiting for the hardcover. Would you like to write a review for me?". Sure, he said, and here's the result.
I work in a bookstore, which means that I get a hefty discount on any book I can order. This is an important fact to the following admission: I saw Paul Pope's new book, Pulp Hope, at my local comic shop, Dr. Comics, and did not wait to order it; instead I bought it there and then rushed home to begin digesting it.
And oh-my-golly what a rich dish it is! Not only does Pulp Hope contain original art (much I have never seen before), but it also includes crisp essays from Mr. Pope: the first time he saw manga, his creative-process, and the intersection between erotica, porn, and aesthetics, just to mention a few. And speaking of the last, Pope's erotica and ukiyo-e, or Ukiyo-E-Pope, is sheer pleasure to take in. And throughout, to my delight, Pope's voice is immediate, inclusive, and smart. But really, I didn't buy this for the words.
Pulp Hope is crammed full of full-color, full-panel, and full-imagination panels, one-shots, posters, and even a pull-out (Rock poster on one side and a THB landscape on the other). I was so happy to revisit, here and there, New York, Mars, and Tokyo. Each different from the other, with its own personality, but nonetheless existing on the same imaginative continent inside Pope's head (a quick aside—if anyone has read Bruno Schulz' work, can you imagine a better illustrator for it than Pope? This is something I would love to see). Pope includes some really neat portraits, too—included are the White Stripes and another page with Nick Cave. Really, the book is full of neat things, too much for me to compile a list.
My only criticism is this—there are a few photos of Pope and his work-space, and I wish there were more. This sneak peek into his life is intimate, and I can understand why this is scarce in the book, but it would have been neat to see more of where he lived in Japan, photos he took for reference in Europe and NYC, and more of his studio space. And yes, I understand that this is a book of Pope's art and illustration, not a bio of him per se, but it seems to me that including more of his actual environment would definitely have added to the collection. That said, the great essayist William Hazlitt once spoke of a requirement of good art: that it must have "gusto." Pope's collection not only has gusto in spades, but is gutsy too. There's a lot of adventure in his line-work, pacing, and composition, and I am truly glad to go along for the ride.
You know, rarely do I take home one of these "best-of" so-an-so books, as they are usually pretty, but unfortunately too quickly explored. Pope's book is certainly worth exploring and has a lot of terrain in which to wander about—I've had the book three days, and still have quite a lot to read, and a lot of art to pore over. It's a few cents under 30 bucks, which is about average for art books (plus, it's got flaps!). You can order the book from Adhouse
(www.adhousebooks.com), or you can wait as they will be offering a limited run of hardback editions for a hundred bucks a pop. Either way, it's worth it.
Cheers, Trevor. Now I'm positively salivating for this book. Dammit.