When Kenny Penman got in contact to ask if I'd review the first two releases from Blank Slate Books, I agreed readily: like everyone else on the planet, I'm a sucker for free stuff. But then I said something in our initial email exchange that when I thought of it, seemed forehead-slappingly obvious, yet also deliciously revolutionary. So I'm announcing it as official policy. From now on, every book sent to me by a creator/publisher for review will be donated into Northern Ireland Libraries stock after I've read it. So not only will I give you an honest opinion of your work, I'll also give it a hearty shove on the back and send it out into the big ol' world for you. And maybe it'll fall into the hands of just the right reader.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Last night's instalment of Rich Johnston's LYING IN THE GUTTERS was more concerned about his gushing fannishness towards Steven Moffat than his usual stock-in-trade. What I like about Rich's collection of Moffat-based rumours and supposition is that, reading between the lines, it looks like the incoming showrunner is prepared to cast his net a little bit wider than Davies to find good writers for the series (like tapping up Neil Gaiman, or extending an olive branch to Rob Shearman).
This is a good thing, because the current hit rate of only four-or-five great episodes a season to eight-or-nine episodes of filler could be killing the show.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Again on a FUTURAMA tip, cop a load of this entry over at Joel Meadows' blog, featuring some previews from the upcoming second TRIPWIRE annual, including these two spreads (and plenty more groovy stuff).
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Hey, I just noticed - Jock did the cover art on the flyer for the 2D Comics Festival.
"Festival" is such a nicer word than "convention", doncha think? Less business-oriented, more celebratory. Anyway, I may well go this year - for starters, I think Alan Martin might be getting a round in.
In a moment of weakness, I actually bought the Sunday Times this morning, to read this interview: Sebastian Faulks discusses his new James Bond novel, DEVIL MAY CARE. I might just buy it on Wednesday. Or order it from work. Decisions, decisions.
Of course, as soon as I read anything else in the 'paper, I regretted paying for it immediately. Reactionary c*nts. I seem to buy a copy every couple of years just to remind myself why I hate it (usual answer: A.A. Gill).
And yeah, if you want to own a 1954 Bentley Continental, like Bond's in the book (the replacement for the pre-war one wrecked in MOONRAKER, if memory serves), it's yours for £80 grand.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I found myself watching the Pink Floyd night on BBC4 last night, in its entirety. Enjoyed it, too. So here's a post inspired by that (and the fine-assed bottle of Shiraz/Voignier that went down so well with it): Dave Gilmour, Phil Manzera and Rick Wright revisit the lesser-spotted-but-lovely ATOM HEART MOTHER track Fat Old Sun. It's a lovely folky ballad that points to later work like Wish You Were Here, but make sure you keep listening to around the halfway point, where Gilmour swaps his acoustic for a Telecaster, and blasts off winningly.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Before he retired and went into the teaching lark, Herb Trimpe had a very long career in comics, mainly due to his ability to ape prevailing styles. He got in at Marvel due to his Kirbyesque ways, stayed there throughout the seventies, where he put a much-loved run in on THE INCREDIBLE HULK (including the first appearance of Wolverine, though I believe that character was designed by Marvel's then-artistic director, John Romita); over here we love him for his work on CAPTAIN BRITAIN WEEKLY; he pencilled the first three issues of the wonderful MACHINE MAN mini-series usually attributed wholly to Barry Windsor Smith in the mid-eighties; and by the nineties he was being rediscovered by a generation who knew him only for his Liefeld-esque work on titles like G.I. JOE.
So now that he's re-emerged to draw BPRD: WAR ON FROGS, would you be at all surprised to hear he does a pretty spot-on take of Guy Davis's style?
Here's some Guardian readers pondering upon the issue that I too have been scratching my beard over these last couple of days during quiet moments (y'know, like when on the crapper): how will DOCTOR WHO change under Steven Moffat? I'd like to remind the world of my prediction that when Tennant does go, and I'm in no real hurry for to see that happen, Moffat is more likely to tap up Jack Davenport for the role than Jimmy Nesbitt. There's something quite Peter Davison-esque about Davenport, which should appeal to the author of Time-Crash.
As I've said elsewhere, I'm sure I'll get around to reading SECRET INVASION when it's been collected in trades and the library service has bought 'em. So I've barely scanned through the last couple of months of Marvel's solicitations, not wanting to spoil myself too thoroughly. But I did like this (probably misleading) cover, from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #4, by the great Clint Langley. Best Skrull chin ever.
And this cover from CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI:13 raises a few questions. Just when you think they've stopped dicking around with the Captain Britain uniform, this happens. Hmm. A bit too close to Union Jack's one piece, surely?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
DC solicitations out again, and while there are a few items I thought about bringing to your attention, let's stick with this for now: our first sign of the WATCHMEN movie's Dr. Manhattan designs, in action figure form. And it throws up lots of questions, but mainly, how anatomically correct is he when you remove his suit?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Oi! Fancy taking a gander at some preview pages of TANK GIRL: VISIONS OF BOOGA? 'Course you do. Issue one is out next week, and Alan Martin promises it's "a Kerouacian Beat Generation odyssey, with knob jokes". Meanwhiles, here's a (probably) exclusive, just finished, unlettered, page from issue three.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
And - woo-hoo! - the return of another teenage favourite o' mine, Ambush Bug. Preview pages, and all the old cast are there: Bug, Cheeks, Arrgh!yle! the evil sentient sock, the Amber Butane corps. And Giffen has done his tightest art since The Heckler was cancelled.
Dan McDaid is posting lots of warm-up sketches over at his blog, and here's one he did at my request (which won't come as any surprise to readers like Jacko or Bellboy who knew me as a teenager) - The Shadow! Feckin' class!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
This arrived in my inbox earlier, and I'm honoured to run it. Please give generously to this fine cause.
"Gene Colan is very ill and in hospital. My friend Clifford Meth, an American writer, is helping raise money for Gene Colan's family to cover medical expenses, as they don't have comprehensive Medical Insurance. They are arranging an auction. Gene's one of the greats, and I'm hoping you'll all want to contribute, a piece of art for the auction, a signed script, or book.
Here's a link to Cliff's Blog with details... http://thecliffordmethod.blogspot.com
Please pass on this appeal to other artists and writers. Hopefully some collectors
will donate as well.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Ah, the Eagle Awards. Winners either side of the Atlantic used to stick that groovy logo on their covers with pride. Once the premier award ceremony in the entire Anglophone world, now just a half-hearted jolly-up at a minor comics convention. You might call this year's awards announcements leaking out a couple of days after the event likeably shambolic, or you might stick with plain ol' "half-arsed amateurism". It hardly matters (and there's my point right there): the winners are the usual mix of "fair enough" and "wha'th'fuck?!".
“Best magazine about comics - WIZARD?!” “Best comics related website - MARVEL.COM?!”
Ugh. Don’t get me started.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Thanks to Supervillainous Sean Witzke for sending me this link to the Livejournal of Ming Doyle. Ming has illustrated a new Elric short for the 85th (!) anniversary issue of WEIRD TALES, and it's as good an Elric as ever I saw. And I'm not just saying that because she's a helluva lot cuter than Walter Simonson.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The last comic convention I was at was UKCAC '89: shocking, n'est pas? I bought DOOLITTLE on my way home.
Must do something about that. Meanwhile, as I surfed around to see if anyone had posted anything about the ongoing Bristol con yet, I came across this picture, taken by D'Israeli at last year's con. Batman gets a sketch. Probably of himself.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Paul Pope announces so many projects, then disappears to his studio to work on them, so it's hard to know their exact status. The odd BATTLING BOY image has sneaked out, as has the ocassional rejigged THB sequence, but as far as I know this (from his Flickr page) is the first piece for LA BIONICA to go public. It's like a brigand-chic Diabolik!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
As great as this looks, damned if I'm going to buy a Playstation 3 just to hear some Neil Young rarities.
Here's some preview pages and some concept art from the first DC Universe comic I've bought since pussy was a cat. Hits all my buttons (the creative team from MARVEL BOY + Fourth World concepts = a happy bunny).
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I've been enjoying this conversation in the comments section after this post, over at Supervillain, wherein we've pretty much mapped out the whys and wherefores of Marvel's post-IRON MAN movie franchises. Who should play Captain America, Ant-Man, Thor, Odin, and Jarvis. What should be the villain(s) in THE AVENGERS. Which himbo beach bum actors should never play Hank Pym. How the costumes should work. Whether Thor should rock Olivier Coipel's post-LORD OF THE RINGS look or Bryan Hitch's sci-fi biker chic. That sort of thing.
Feel free to forward it into Matthew Vaughn or Edgar Wright's inbox.
Reader Rudy McFruitsack writes "It's all well and good you saying every chuffing day is a chuffing Free Comic Book Day down at your chuffing local public library, but what about aggressively agoraphobic tosspots like me? Huh? Huh?"
Well, Rudy, how's this for service? A link to a free 10 page comic by French master Jean "Moebius" Giraud. Sure, it's no THE AIRTIGHT GARAGE, but it'll do yeh, yeh f*ckin' freak.
Monday, May 05, 2008
Another comics/libraries crossover piece: all the original art of AMAZING FANTASY #15 donated to the Library Of Congress. And I love the fact that you can now book an appointment to view these pages via a webpage titled "ask a librarian".
Also: note the new URL for this joint: www.badlibrarianship.com. Update your bookmarks now!