Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Quick One

Finally watched AMAZING JOURNEY last night. It was okay. I'd still recommend the Special Edition of THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT over and above it, though.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Can I get a witness?

Cop a load of the comments at the end of this blog entry and try not to weep. I'll call it a form of Stockholm syndrome - super hero comics fans have been trapped in this bizarre abusive relationship with these corporations for so long that they've actually started to take their side. Addicts siding with pushers, because they can't comprehend a life without the lousy product foisted upon them. Good God, y'all.

Friday, March 28, 2008

And you, Greer!

Alan C. Martin's first Tank Girl novel landed via my letterbox at 2.00pm today. A couple of minutes later I was twenty one pages in and had laughed out loud (fuc* that LOL sh!te) twice. And you know what? I'm still basking in the afterglow of seeing this on the back cover:


That's right! Finally, this site has gone legit! Yeah! Fuc* you, Tom Paulin! You'll be begging me to come back to NEWSNIGHT REVIEW eventually!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yup.

Cheers for that 'un, Ig baby.

Greg Horn blows chunks.

How do I know Marvel_B0y is a plant, a crafty viral marketing wheeze? Because when he runs a blurry cameraphone image and says "looks like there's still another Greg Horn painting on it's way", he didn't add "man, that Horn dude blows chunks", like every right thinking blogger would.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm just here to make a joke at a Sex Pistol's expense.

Ladies and gentlemen, the "inspired by" Steve Jones Gibson Les Paul custom. In honour of Jonesy, I’ll steal one of these guitars just as soon as the opportunity arises. Maybe from backstage at the Roundhouse in Camden.

Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one. But mine's fabulous.

Those first "ten" pages (eight, really) of SECRET INVASION.
Oh dear. It's one of those comics where you need to have read everything Marvel have ever published, ever, to understand. Which is okay if you are Brian Bendis, Patton Oswalt, or Tom Brevoort, everyone else though just might get a little lost. But with Mark Morales inking, Leinil Yu's art has never looked slicker. Bearing in mind the flak I saw the guy get on the message boards over his (perfectly fine) work on NEW AVENGERS, that's probably a good thing.

DC are reprinting CAMELOT 3000 as a hardback.
Fair enough, it was a good comic in its day, stands alone as a decent enough yarn even now. Why I've been thinking about it lately is because I'm of the notion that JM Strawhassisface has been, uh, borrowing from it liberally during his relaunch of THOR for Marvel. In the same piece, RONIN, which somewhat unfairly has been treated as the red headed stepchild of Frank Miller's work for the big two, is also reported as getting the hardback treatment.

Here's a trailer for a new Marvel animated DVD. The actual cartoon it's from gets about a two second airing right at the start and the end, and looks like an unholy abomination, but it lulls you in with an elegiac sequence that references the work of classic Marvel artists like Big John Buscema and Gene Colan, in the static stylee of those goofy Grantray-Lawrence cartoons from 1966. Why not just make that section into a movie, inspired by that visual look, and leave the idiotic pandering to Disney? Why spend so much time and money making sure your big summer releases, IRON MAN and HULK 2, fill the multiplexes, and then undermine your brand with crap like this?


Start me up.

I loved CRANK (does that make me a bad person?). I would recommend it to any GRAND THEFT AUTO fans looking for a couple of hours of cheap, nasty, fun (Hey, there's one for the movie poster, Neveldine!).
But God knows how they'll get a sequel out of it without undermining the first one.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Prog 1578

Here and there, I've dropped the odd hint that I'd love to see Dom "Ray" Reardon's work on CABALLISTICS, INC in colour in 2000AD. I thought, yeah, yeah, yeah, someone somewhere once decreed horror strips should be in black and white, yadda yadda, it's the law. Sod that, I bet this work would look bloody good with a Dave Stewart-style muted, earthy, palette laid over it by Chris Blythe or Len O'Grady, I muttered to myself. But no, this has yet to happen. I'm like Cassandra or something, dammit! Why don't you listen, world!

So yeah, I was pleased with Reardon's first colour interiors for 2000AD, drawing the return of Rob Williams' THE TEN SECONDERS, a sort-of modern day riff on Zelazny's LORD OF LIGHT concepts. The first run of this strip seemed hampered by negative fan reaction to Mark Harrison trying out a new art style on it, which might have been the reason for Harrison either leaving or being taken off. Reardon's work in colour (his own, by the way), is simultaneously nothing like I expected, and something of a fulfilment of all the promise he's shown so far. Where previously, the influences upon his black and white work were apparent (Jock mainly, with some Mignola and a pinch of 80s Giffen, I always reckoned - maybe a pinch of Kent Williams, too), with these few pages, he develops a style which still has a hint of Jock in there, but is much more definitely his own. It's a mixed media job, with ink, paint, and a two page sequence which seems to be done largely with coloured pencils, but with the art always in service of the story. Always good to see an artist mature right before your eyes.

That said, I'm personally of the belief that turning its back on the trend 2000AD itself started for painted art actually saved it, back in the late Bishop/early Diggle days. So I'm a bit worried about John Smith & Lee Carter's DEAD EYES. So far, it's been a bit of a throw-back to the days of CRISIS - painted art, heavy handed anti-Imperialist politics, arch writing ("I've had to cancel lunch with Al Fayed, a meeting at Downing Street, and an orgy at Westminster to be here, Professor Stiles"). Most worrying part, though? A wolf-headed Anubis-alike taking what looked like a naked Sharon Davies roughly from behind on the second page of this week's instalment. How's that going to help with the UK's preparations for the 2012 Olympics?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cop a load of this Andy Suriano bloke, fer starters.

If there's one rule comics has taught me, it's Joe Casey + Kirbyesque artist = good comic. So I liked the look of this (plenty of sample pages here - no really, click this link, I urge yeh, and more plus some production stuff over here) in the new Image solicitations.


And also in the Image solicits, here's a trade I was waiting to show up for a while: with work by two cracking artists (for the price of one), Frank Espinosa and Toby Cypress.

Paddy whacks a Mack.

I've never been a fan of David Mack's: I saw examples of his KABUKI art and thought, meh, way too STRAY TOASTERS. I also had something of a prejudice that made me think that Kabuki was one of those titles, like THE SANDMAN or STRANGERS IN PARADISE, which was ultimately a girl's comic. Hey - I never said I was logical. But I prefer this: Mack uses a more conventional, non-Sienkiewicz-aping style on the next issue of NEW AVENGERS. Have a look: it's like a smoother Alex Maleev. Plus there's a probable SECRET INVASION spoiler there, too (looks like there's a Skrull version of Daredevil knocking about).

*Update* accusations of swiping continue to dog Mack. Naughty boy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tonight! A couple of links! Woah!

Loved this instalment of Steven Grant's Permanent Damage column for its revelation that everything that's wrong with comic's fandom has been built-in since the start. It's an eye-opener all right, and certainly makes me want to raise my game. Plus: cop a load of the Alex Toth short he runs in its entirety at the end of the piece.

Love Corben? Love Lovecraft? Then you'll definitely dig Corben doing Lovecraft.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A rather heroic undertaking.

The d'emon Matt Brooker has announced this over at Steve Whitaker's LiveJournal:

"With the permission of Steve's family, I've taken control of Steve's LiveJournal and Flickr accounts to secure Steve's work online. Fiona Clements, Nigel Fletcher and I retrieved several large boxes of drawings and sketchbooks from Steve's office on Saturday; we have sorted them into categories and Fiona is busy cataloguing them. The idea is to try and scan everything over a period of months, to make a permanent digital archive, most of which will be available online through Flickr and LiveJournal."

Good man.

Powered by inertia.


Should have linked to this a week ago, but didn't, due to laziness/forgetfulness: more TANK GIRL from IDW in the works - looks like it'll be out before the proposed Alan Martin/Mick McMahon series from Titan, or even before the shorts Alan and Rufus will be doing in THE MEGAZINE.

As that twat Vikram Seth might say, a very suitable boy

Here's a story that ticks many boxes of interest for this blog: Michael Cera circling to play SCOTT PILGRIM for Edgar Wright. So that's the wee dude from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT - check, SCOTT PILGRIM - check. Best British director of his generation - check. How can this fail?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy 15 minutes-left-of St. Patrick's Day.

This should sober yeh up.

More Pot/Kettle/Black.

I love this story: Peter Davison wants to do more DOCTOR WHO. I'd like it, too, though to fit in with the new, young, sexy image the Beeb have cultivated for the show, I'd make one recommendation to Peter. Get down the gym.

Soliciting time is here again, tra la la.




Assorted covers: Bolland gives good velociraptor; more proof of Paul Pope's blurgeoning influence upon the mainstream of US comic art, this time via Ryan Kelly; and Boo Cook draws a heckuva Wolverine. A bit of consistency and Boo could become the UK's Ladronn.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Irish Dr Dre.

What many people don't know is, that along with being the best librarian in Northern Ireland, the finest blogger, and an all-round decent, modest guy, I'm also possibly the greatest hip hop producer in the world. Click here to hear some of my finest work. It's called "In My Old Hood".

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

RIP Dave Stevens


Another 'un gone from that first golden age of independent comics. Dude could draw.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Punkrock*Jazz


The blog of Toby Cypress. Rather groovy. Number two in a series of links I think I'll call "artists more than a little influenced by Paul Pope".

Have you blown a seal? No, that's just some frost on my moustache.

I love comics, but I do realise that it is a field where some mediocre talents have had their abilities exaggerated beyond their actual capabilities, and have even been lauded as geniuses. Yet I don't think I've ever read an example of a decent journalist dropping to his knees and fellating his subject quite as overtly as this in a long time. Show some self-respect, brother!

Personal reccomendation for readers of BL to nip down to the newsagent and buy a comic.

Remember back in the day when 2000AD would run a really good Future Shock, and you'd think "that'd make a good series, yo! Wish they'd continue that!" Chances are, then, you've been reading since the early eighties, and Alan Moore probably wrote that particular Future Shock (or Time Twister). Anyway, I had a little bit of a similar sensation this morning, when I finally got 'round to reading prog 1576 and read Rapture Ready by Arthur Wyatt and Edmund Bagwell. Instead of ending on a twee or pat shocker, it actually almost begged for a follow-up. Make it so, Green bonce!

Plus, kudos to Bagwell (as I keep telling you - the British Mike Golden - snap him up, American editors!) for his crafty Kirby/Celestials tribute.

(Read while humming the theme from DAMBUSTERS)

Doesn't take more than a cursory glance around these parts to realise I loved Paul Cornell's WISDOM series. As such, I'll be buying the CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI:13 series (something of an event for me, 'cus I gave up buying all Marvel Universe titles in singles a few years ago). Anyhoo, more pre-release hype over at CBR: part one, part two, part three, part four. And part five. And now, part six.


Decent work by Leonard Kirk, too. He's an artist I've never been that keen on, but I realise he's now in a second phase in his career where his work is much better than in the first. Post-AGENTS OF ATLAS, he sometimes even reminds me of Steve Yeowell. And seeing how Yeowell drew what might be (but hey! both candidates are out of print, so you can't legally read either, if you hadn't decided) the best British super-hero series ever, that's a good omen.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

3 A.M. Eternal.


Jack Kirby's THE ETERNALS have a new ongoing series starting sometime in the near future, and here Daniel Acuna shows some rather nice preview pages. I'd written off this guy before, due to some rather offensive work he'd done for DC in the past, but these are really quite nice. Respect, therefore, due. Though it looks like he still can't draw women without going overboard in the norks department. I blame Adam Hughes.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Morrison Hotel.

No sooner had Grant Morrison declared on Newsarama that he wanted to work with "some unusual artists who’ve never drawn the character before" on some post-ALL STAR SUPERMAN specials, than Chris Weston stuck his hand up and asked to be put in the reckoning for one. Weston's an obvious choice: his innate classicism would make him a great candidate, never mind the fact that he and Morrison have an entire back catalogue of work together at Vertigo that proves their simpatico.

Alongside Weston, I'd like to nominate Brendan McCarthy: Macca is an obvious influence on both Morrison and Quitely; we all know he'd handle Grant's "fourth dimensional" scripts with ease, 'cus he's been doing the same tricks for decades; and though known for being regarded as far out, his work on SOLO #12 suggests he can be respectful enough towards DC's iconography, and holds the same generation of silver-age creators Morrison venerates in a similar regard.

The main problem for both these guys is the piece makes it sound that artists have already been selected for these projects ("so we’ll see if we can work it out with the guys I have in mind"), so if they haven't been approached already, maybe they never will. So howzabout this instead: Brendan McCarthy for ALL STAR FLASH! Sure, who read SOLO #12 (don't forget - the best selling direct sales comic in Leeds, ever, folks) and didn't think this should happen? C'mon - if we all click our heels together at the same time, maybe we can make it so!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

To frame their fearful symmetry.

Those WATCHMEN costume designs doing the rounds? Uniformly awful (arf! I crack me up...), bar this.
Though The Comedian looks close enough, too. But Ozymandias? Ugh. Some day, some clever sod is going to realise that you don't have to follow the lead of Tim Burton and Joel Shumacher when it comes to this stuff.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Looking through Gary Gygax's eyes.

My old DM from when these things mattered, Jacko, e-mailed me tonight to tell me that Gary Gygax is dead. Or to be precise, he e-mailed me to quote FARK: "Gary Gygax, creator of Dungeons & Dragons, has failed his saving throw vs. death". Hilarious bastards.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The final fate of Jar Jar Binks - now it can be revealed!

Check out Joel Meadow's blog for the pictures he's posted today of his visit (on TRIPWIRE business) to ILM's HQ in San Fran. Gorgeous stuff that's sure to thrill your inner fanboy, but the one that really got me was this:


Maybe Lucas can redeem himself!

Some links for process junkies, sketchbook lovers,and fans of vectorized boobs.

I'd never even heard of these guys until I got an email about them tonight, and they certainly do produce some well made lookin' publications. But reading this, it looks like they're going even further up in the world - Mike Golden, Shane Glines, Frank Cho, Andrew Robinson, etc, etc, etc... I think I'll be chucking a few quid their way soon enough.

No crappy Jethro Tull references from me, no sir*.


One thing everyone should be noticing is the growing influence of the SCOTT PILGRIM series throughout the anglophone comics sphere. Here's another great example: AQUA LEUNG. I loved the sample of this in the POPGUN compendium from Image (one of the few hits in a hit-and-miss collection), and I thought at the time, "groovy - if there's two influences I'd want to see increasing their pull on comics, it's Bryan Lee O'Malley and Genndy Tartakovsky, and this looks like equal portions of both (with a hint of Paul Pope in the brush work)". That's right, I over-analyse everything. Wanna make something of it?



*Certainly not: I once nearly started a riot at a party after maybe the weirdest gig of all time by doing exactly that.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Crappy THE WIRE predictions.

As a fan of THE WIRE, stranded on the wrong side of the black Atlantic, months away from seeing season five, it's proving somewhere between heartbreaking and melon-twisting reading what spoilers come my way via the 'nets. But still I'll make a daft prediction for the last episode, unfounded by anything like fist-hand evidence: Omar to get a policeman's Irish wake. Just putting that one out there. Oh, and maybe another: Bubbles to be one of the few to get a happy ending in the closing montage.

And if I prove horribly off the mark, I'll maybe just delete this post and pretend it never existed.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

PAUL POPE goes all Jack London on the Lone Ranger's ass




Story Here. And yes, that's your greatest blog entry title ever, right there. Everyone else should just quit trying.