Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I know a lot of you are having problems with the BBC's animated DOCTOR WHO adventure currently playing on BBC's interactive services, DREAMLAND. The animation is of a fairly low standard - someone in the production clearly took the decision to make it look as much like Gerry Anderson's supermarionation as possible, probably because Lucasfilm have made no secret of its influence upon the THE CLONE WARS series currently stinking up the airwaves. This has left the movement of the characters looking clunky, and seemingly unable to emote to some great performances by the voice cast. As such, you may want to squint through it - watch an establishing shot, then zone out and treat it like a radio play with fancy graphics.
It has some other stuff going for it - such as Phil Ford's script, which is pure WHO by a writer who has a firm grip of aiming the show in this direction, having written most of the best episodes of SARAH JANE ADVENTURES (Ford may even have been influential upon the Anderson-esque animation direction, being one of the main writers on NEW CAPTAIN SCARLET).
But the main thing of interest for readers of BAD LIBRARIANSHIP may be the presence of our old hand and 2000AD/JUDGE DREDD MEGAZINE semi-regular Tiernen Trevallion as the conceptual artist on the show. In fact, it's great to see the credits roll by to the best damned theme tune TV has ever produced and see the name of a pal of the blog. Tiernen has sent along a crop of production drawings for your perusal, along with a few notes of his own.
First up, the initial design for the waitress, Cassie Rice, played by WHO royalty Georgia Moffett. Tiernen says: "They decided Cassie was a bit too 'mature' or something... It's the Betty Page hair, and the pointy 50's boobs I guess".
Next, here's Jimmy Stalkingwolf. He seems relatively unchanged from this drawing (great attitude coming from it, too):
Finally, here's an early take on the villainous alien race of the piece, The Viperox. Tiernen writes: "The Viperox started out a bit nastier, again we had to pull the design back so it didn't scare anyone. pfft. I wanted to do something a bit like the thing out of the Tom Baker story 'THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS', complete genius. Initially they wanted something 50's B-movie-ish, but they wouldn't be able to handle the cheese!". The leader of the Viperox, Lord Azlok, is being voiced by that great old British thesp, David Warner.
Damned fine stuff, sir.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Once upon a time, when rumours abounded that the next guy to play The Doctor would be a black actor, I tipped Idris Elba. An Englishman making a big impression in Hollywood thanks to the role of a lifetime in THE WIRE, Elba still had strong links to UK TV drama, having recently been in the Beeb's adaptation of THE LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY, and even had vague links to figures in the nu-WHO regime. I thought that playing The Doctor would have been a hell of a volte-face from Stringer Bell, which would have been a pleasing challenge for the hip-hop dabbling thesp if the part had been offered. There is, of course, absolutely no evidence that the Londoner was ever offered the role, or even tried out for it, or even considered by the production team (speculation remains that Chiwetel Ejiofor was in serious negotiations at one stage), it was all a crazed opium dream on my part, but he has now been cast as Heimdall in Uncle Kenneth Branagh's THOR movie. It's a bit of a non-role, really: stand to attention on the Rainbow Bridge; look stern but noble; take one for the team, that sort of shit. The Marvel role he should have held out for is Luke Cage, obviously. He'd rock that tiara.
Anyway, when I saw this story over at /Film, I chuckled, 'cus the photo they ran to illustrate the piece has the man dressed in a manner I would describe as very Whovian. I'm sure Matt Smith will make a fine Timelord, but the lingering impression remains that he is the Beeb's credit crunch Doctor. Maybe next time Moffat and co will find the nerve to cast a taboo-busting black Doctor, rather than just another skinny white dude will big hair.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Had to run Dangerous's cover for JERSEY GODS #11, 'cus (I think) it's the first one he's done that is the main cover rather than a variant. Plus it features such a charming scene of domestic violence. Bang! Zoom! Straight to the moon!
And just to bring its deliciously deranged phallic imagery to everyone's attention, GODLAND #32.
See the whole of the moon at CBR.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Darwyn Cooke draws Invincible. It's long, lean, lyrical and reminds me of Ditko's Captain Atom.
Rich Johnston's CHASE VARIANT shorts from the short-lived-but-missed EVENT HORIZON anthologies gets repackaged into a single. I'll buy this if it features art I haven't seen before from the painfully under-rated but generous with his time Edmund Bagwell. Like this rather great cover. Someday, Rebellion will collect CRADLEGRAVE as an album, and the whole world will realise just how good this guy is.
Another POPGUN anthology. Each one so far has introduced me to some fine new talent, so I'm sure I'll get this one as well. Nice cover by Ben Templesmith, too.
More at CBR.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Have you, like me, been waiting these last few years for Adi Granov to finally draw Volstagg? Hell yes? Then it's your lucky day!
Dave Johnson goes Saul Bass-via-THE VENTURE BROS crazy. Groovy.
Cop the lot at CBR.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Frank Quitely covers BATMAN & ROBIN #8. I call it "Zombie Batman Money Shot".
WEDNESDAY COMICS gets collected, and shrunk a little, from tabloid to treasury size. Lots of extras, including the strips done if any of the big names blew their deadlines, like Keith Giffen and Eric Canete's THE CREEPER.
Brian Bolland continues his run on JACK OF FABLES with a E.R.B.-lookin' green chick in a gold bikini. Aroogah.
Anyone following my Twitter feed will know how my head was sent buzzing last week by the news that BAD LIBRARIANSHIP old hand Mike Moorcock was going to write a DOCTOR WHO novel for the BBC. He's elucidating further on his original statement here. He's a fan, he's a top-hole novelist, what's to worry about? Oh yeah. The fanbase are a bunch of annoying ninnies high on delusional levels of entitlement.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
...and bring me this.
Told you the WEDNESDAY COMICS model would catch on.
(Saw this thanks to the tweeting of the lovely Faz Choudry - must remember to give credit more regularly now that David Wynne has a bee in his bonnet about that kind of stuff)
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
...and it looks like a cut-scene from a bad computer game. Oh dear. I'm sure it wouldn't have cost any more to do it right.
I love DESTROYER as much as the next half-wit, but I read this quote from the latest issue of MOJO and slap my head in dismay.
"You've been into comic books longer than music. At what point did you think of fusing superheroes and rock?
American comic books. It's the idea that there aren't any rules. "This is the culture," but America didn't have a culture because it's a pastiche. In England the upper classes created art and style but in America it's the underclass - blues, rock'n'roll - and that's why comic books were invented in America. Their heroes are without limits. They fly through the air and are invulnerable and have alter egos. That's the American ideal. I mean, look at us. If you look at us as a historical sort of thing, you can't quite put your finger on where the visuals come from. The closest perhaps is Greek mythology; perhaps this is our present Greek gods. But the rules are out of the window. It's like the Wild West - even more so than ever before. And money is the reward for your entrepreneurship."
Does this sound like a recognizable history of the artform to anybody? Were comic books invented in America? Is the UK comic-scene secretly infiltrated by the posh? Is Tharg an Old Etonian?
Brendan writes: "Mark, here's an idea sketch for a 'Coming Soon" type of advert, for the upcoming FEVER series from Marvel Knights, due in April. It's written and drawn by me, with digital FX and color by Steve Cook and me too! This won't be anything like the finished thing, but before consigning this to the digital memory hole, I thought you may like to see it.
By the Hurrying Hordes of Holborn!"
Monday, November 02, 2009
...is the best piece of warped comic book nostalgia I've seen all day. Done for a Bill Mantlo benefit project, and the image seems particularly sad and resonant considering Mantlo's ongoing condition.