Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rant.

I was looking at these preview pages of the first issue of the second volume of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' comic CRIMINAL, thinking, great. It's back. It's only been a couple of months, but I've missed it. Then I noticed the little notices under the thumbnails saying "published comic will be in color", and thought, are comic fans really that thick? Like, "woah, that comic seems pretty damn good, hey - it's by that dude who writes or co-writes anything worth buying at Marvel, an' it's drawn by that kick-ass limey who draws that zombie comic (that's started to suck 'though I buy it anyway), but hey, it's not in color, so I don't think I'll bother", thick? Which in turn reminds me how over here, The Currant Bun used to list movies not as "in black & white", but as "not in colour". F*cking ignoramouses. It's one thing to pander to the southern knuckle draggers who buy your sh!tty 'paper, 'nother to mangle the f*ck out of the language while yer at it. Wehn-kahs!

Flip you, melon farmer.

The best art seeps into the way you process the world, the best literature affects your speech patterns. Alex Cox's REPO MAN script is the reason why I still refer to my customers as "ordinary f*cking people". Behind their backs, of course. I'll also credit Cox as a fine educator, giving me the crash course in cult cinema thanks to his MOVIEDROME series I watched religiously as a young whippersnapper on Sunday nights. Woah - I never realised that before: Moviedrome was my f*cking church, man!

So yeah, I'm curious to hear Cox is debuting the unproduced sequel to the '84 classic in comic book form: WALDO 'S HAWAIIAN HOLIDAY.

Hey man, wanna earn ten dollars?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Steve Whitaker, R.I.P.

I loved his blog, I loved those first couple of MAN-ELF comics he drew way back when, and it's pretty impossible to read the outpouring of love from the British comics community at Matt Brooker's blog and not feel moved.

*Update* And I should have guessed RAB would have known him. Sorry about that, Richard.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Your goals were never realistic!"

Again, I'm passing on a link from the kinky Canadian linkmasters at DRAWN!, to a blog with the seemingly Ronseal-esque title Golden Age Comic Book Stories, which actually deviates from its title quite often, also covering illustration from classic book illustrators, pulp cover artists, and (*gasp*) silver age comics and (*double gasp!*) bronze age illustrators like Bernie Wrightson. All well and good, with some lovely stuff by Lou Fine and N C Wyeth posted there recently. But being a Ditko nut, I'll individually link to this: the first Mr A story from Wally Wood's pro-zine WITZEND. Prepare to have your ears bent by comics first and foremost Objectivist.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Loltoyz

Stuff

Newsarama may have stumbled onto an accidental spoiler at a toy expo that Deathstroke is in the next Batman film. Wacky.


Image solicitations have STUDIO SPACE. Great, 'bout time.


Other unlikely news sources: reading Paul Pope's Flickr site has revealed that 2000AD's Henry Flint is working on a HAUNTED TANK comic for DC. Woah, horsey!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The British Invasion.

The latest Marvel solicitations aren't out until tomorrow sometime, but if you scope out the various news sites tonight, you'll see they've divided up most of their titles into "exclusive solicitation previews" anyway. Just one title has caught my fancy so far, which seems to be a bridging title between Paul Cornell's excellent WISDOM series (hey, and his episode of PRIMEVAL last Saturday was rather top hole, too) and his upcoming EXCALIBUR relaunch. Plus, looks like poor old John The Skrull is going to get dragged into SECRET INVASION. A while ago, I advocated that they should make the new Excalibur a super-group (in the non-comics sense, naturally) of British Marvel characters, mentioning Night Raven as being particularly worth re-using. Of course, after saying that, I realised the Night Raven stories were never set in the UK, but that hardly means a writer worth his salt couldn't figure out a way to make it so. Looks like Cornell is going the super-group route: the cover seems to include Pete Wisdom, Spitfire, Roma and Black Knight. Alan Davis-baiting cover by Hitchy, interiors penciled by Leonard Kirk. Oi, he's not a Brit.

*UPDATE* Turns out CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI:13 is the new EXCALIBUR series, without all that pointless X-baggage that comes with the old title. Fair does. Here's an interview with Cornell on the subject.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Session beer.

After having been dragged along to a couple of Real Ale festivals, I've picked up a term that always makes me laugh when I hear it used: "session beer". Dude, every beer is a session beer if you're doing it right. I don't need the notes at a festival telling me that just because a certain beer is a few percentage points weaker than the ones I like, that I should stick with it all night instead.

Anyway, I've recently came across a beer I could drink to the cows came home, the true definition of a session beer, I think - regardless of the fact that it's at least half a percent too strong, according to the "experts". It's Fiddler's Elbow by Wychwood Breweries. I've had two bottles tonight during LOST, and I'm feeling a little bit Kevin already. Man, after eight pints of this stuff, I'd be steamin'!

Friday, February 15, 2008

This blog will never try and sell you stuff. Except this crap.

Love DOCTOR WHO? Love a beer? Click this.

Love 2000AD? Love Ireland? Click here.

GOTHAM KNIGHT sneaky peak

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best Steve Gerber obit I've seen so far?

Steven Grant's. Reading it should get you both sad and angry, in about equal quantities.

From the FREE COMIC BOOK DAY website.

HELLBOY/B.P.R.D.—FCBD 2008 EDITION

To celebrate the release of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Dark Horse Comics presents an all-Hellboy/B.P.R.D. extravaganza for Free Comic Book Day 2008! Hellboy creator Mike Mignola teams up with Hellboy: Darkness Calls artist Duncan Fegredo for a look into Hellboy’s nightmares; Mignola also teams with his B.P.R.D. team of John Arcudi and Guy Davis for a breathtaking twist to recent events at the Bureau — a preview of the events in the upcoming series The Warning; and Hellboy Universe newcomers Joshua Dysart (Swamp Thing) and Paul Azaceta (Grounded) team with Mignola for another look into the world of their B.P.R.D.:1946 series for an adventure from the early days of both the Bureau and its most famous member! A perfect jumping-on point for new readers and a terrific treat for seasoned fans of the rich Hellboy mythos!

Mark sez: Sounds good to me - I read the first issue of B.P.R.D.:1946 the other day, and after the Lobster Johnson mini, the last main B.P.R.D. series, and the jaw-dropping DARKNESS CALLS, it's amazing how Mignola has fleshed out his Hellboy franchise into a rich and consistent line of books. And each with little moments that unexpectedly pay off in another series entirely. Turns out he's a one man Bullpen.

linky dinks

Sean sent me this early in the morning while I was away from t'blog: PHOO ACTION commissioned for a series. Jolly good.

And I saw this, too: Coens to adapt Chabon novel. Unfortunately not the one currently being ruined by others, nor the one you're itching to see hit the big screen. But the one with the most Coens-y milieu, so it's alright.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Tinbot.

I'm on these guys' mailing list somehow, possibly because I'm on a database of Jock fans with iPods on some evil master computer ran by the CIA, the Scientologists or the Catholic Church. Or the Masons.

Anyway, if I heartily endorse your product, will you send me one? Mmm! They're great!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shit, shit, shit!

Take a few hours away from browsing the internet and what f*cking happens? Steve Gerber dies. Argghh. The last few updates on his blog had meant I was somewhat hopeful about his health, damn it. Fu*k it all anyway.

Review: PHOO ACTION

It is, of course, impossible for me to give an entire objective review of this pilot, I'm just too invested. I'm a pop kid who grew up loving Jamie Hewlett's work: loved it since ESCAPE was running excerpts from ATOM TAN, read DEADLINE from the start to the end, from the glory years to its slow death. So I wanted it to work, and unless my critical faculties are completely shot by the blinkers of fannishness, it did.

The cast was great (with chemistry to spare between the three leads); the script was fine, consistently funny, while padding out the lunacy with just enough heart to make it bearable to the squares; it looked as good as you'd expect of a production originated from the pen of Designer Of The Year 2006 (in fact, my one quibble would be that two of the Feebles could have done with looking a little less like a Hewlett drawing, and a little more capable of emoting). The ending left me inwardly cursing that there won't be another episode next week, never mind that there's none more filmed, or so far even commissioned. Which has to be a good sign.

If this episode was, by some unholy series of events, destined to stand alone, then I'd go so far as to promote it from "decent pilot" to "instant cult classic". This was a TV show made by people who understand the medium's ability to create wondrous little self-contained worlds, and they (effortlessly) created and populated one you'd like to visit again and again. One that stands alongside THE AVENGERS, Adam West's BATMAN, Bruce Lee's GREEN HORNET, THE PRISONER, THE GOODIES and THE MIGHTY BOOSH. Make it so, BBC drama bods.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Gecko Girl, Gecko Girl, does whatever a Gecko... does?

Fancying teching yerself up and fighting crime by clambering slowly up walls and across ceilings, a la the 1970s SPIDER-MAN TV series? Then you'll probably need this stuff. Next on the agenda: webshooters that fire something resembling rope made of wallpaper paste. (link via our Baghdad-by-the-Bay correspondent)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

This is a public service announcement, with guitars.

Though I've never really been a fan of his writing, I've had a soft spot for Neil Gaiman ever since he linked to some work of mine elsewhere. Shucks. However, there's something about this entry at his blog that strikes me as a little bit redundant. He's celebrating its seventh birthday, and to mark the occasion, he's making one of his novels available free to read online for a whole month! Gosh! And he wants his fans to vote for which one it'll be, the one that should act as the best example of his prose work to someone curious, who hasn't tried any before. Hurrah!

Sorry to break the spell here, folks, but there is another forum where anyone curious can try all of Gaiman's prose for free, anytime, in the handy little reading machines called books. And believe me, they're still the best system we've came up with for delivering this prose stuff. It's the public library system. Give it a try sometime, kids. It's books, for free, all the time! And hey, we've got The Sandman, too!

More links! Now with added PHOO ACTION!

And talking of The Drawing Board (and we were), click here and scroll down for some great Jamie Hewlett images, including some preview stuff from PHOO ACTION (starting 9pm, Tuesday night, BBC3). One part THE MIGHTY BOOSH to one part THE BANANA SPLITS, anyone?
(via Sean)

In lieu of some real content, here's some links...

Sometimes I think that as great as STARMAN was, it's had something of a negative effect on the DC Universe line, as writers like Geoff Johns and Brad Meltzer riff on it to diminishing returns. But hey ho, James Robinson has been named the new writer of flagship title SUPERMAN.

I think everyone on the internet (well, everyone on The Drawing Board or Millarworld) knows how Y THE LAST MAN artist Pia Guerra has been dropping hints for ages that she'd love to draw DOCTOR WHO. Well, now she's getting the chance.

Hey, want to see some preview pages from the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby FANTASTIC FOUR: THE LOST ADVENTURE? Of course you do. Scroll down past the first couple of crappy efforts to get to the real deal. I was worried that this would be something of a travesty, given its tortuous history, but it looks alright. At one point, it was also going to be split-published in "modern" form, scripted from Jack's art and notes by Mark Millar, and maybe inked by Danny Miki. In fact, I was actively agitating to get Bill Crabtree the gig as the book's colourist, due to his amazing work on the Kirby-as-genre hit GODLAND. But this idea seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cthulu versus New York. Cthulu won.

Literally just back from seeing CLOVERFIELD. A genuinely visceral experience, what with the motion sickness and the nausea and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder an' all. I'm glad I saw it at the cinema, because it'll look like shit on a TV screen. Or for David Lynch fans: really shit on your mobile phone.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Mary Norton meets Mike Mignola.


Via the blog of the wonderful Warwick Johnson Cadwell: Britain's top wartime occultists Eglantine Price and Professor Emelius Immediately Brown take on their Nazi counterparts, Herman Von Klempt, Kroenen, and Kriegaffe #10.

YouTube find: Jazzy John Romita draws Spider-Man



The sound on this clip is a bit quiet, so make sure you turn your speakers right up before starting it.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Darwynian theory.

Harry Knowles shows a lotta love to the straight-to DVD animated version of Darwyn Cooke's THE NEW FRONTIER. But is Harry a reliable critic these days? Hmm.

I saw Bruce Timm's adaptation of the whole DEATH OF SUPERMAN chimichanga DOOMSDAY last week - it was pretty good, it held my interest, and should definitely be seen by any fans of Kevin Smith's SUPERMAN LIVES script (very similar in places and overall tone). But I admit I'm expecting more from the Cooke cartoon. For starters, the source material is much better - always a good start.

Careful with that sonic screwdriver, Eugene.


Also via Joel Meadow's Walls & Bridges, here's Tommy Lee Edwards taking a break from his day job at Lucasfilm, and drawing Mark Millar's 1985 for Marvel, to have a go at drawing Doctor Who. Looks like this should be the cover to the next TRIPWIRE annual.

Oh Caledonia.

Nice piece about the Inverness comic convention Hi-Ex over at the FPI blog. The history of UK comics (up to the 1980s, certainly) is pretty much that of a conversation between DC Thomson in Dundee and IPC in London, so it's fitting that Scotland remains aware, active, and proud of its part in the artform's development. And who wouldn't have liked the opportunity to genuflect in front of the great Cam Kennedy?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Smile, it might never happen.

Alan Moore, always in character, ready to sign copies of LOST GIRLS for a queue that wrapped around the block, at Gosh Comics (via Walls & Bridges, Joel Meadow's blog).