Thursday, July 23, 2009

Robert McGinnis: fond of a beer.

For fans of classic illustration - Robert McGinnis on coming out of semi-retirement for the current Stella Artois campaign.

Shame the beer is such pïsswässer.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI:13 - the post-mortem.

The last issue of Paul Cornell's CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI:13 is out now in the US, tomorrow in the UK - almost ironic, that, and it's commercial failure has led me to ponder somewhat (for starters, I've just been bending poor old Mark Roberts' ear about it over on his Marvel UK-centric blog, It Came From Darkmoor). So here's some Captain Britain comics I'd rather have had than the one we've just sat through, clapping politely, much like a bored crowd at a provincial cricket match.

It's Captain Britain! by Pete Milligan and Phil Bond. A timelost Brian Braddock bounces from the running battles between Mods and Rockers on Brighton beaches, to the chaos of the Apple building in Saville Row; lurching forward to a lovingly comic mock-epic sequence featuring the formation of heavy metal and glam rock in the post-industrial midlands, as Bond revels in drawing the panels featuring Slade, filling every available space in the backgrounds with the errata of a seventies UK childhood; then with utter inevitability forward to the 100 Club in 1976, as Braddock saves Nick Kent from a gratuitous Sid Vicious beating in the toilet; to Madchester via Joy Division and a chance meeting with the young Morrissey at the Free Trade Hall; before returning to form his own awful hip hop act in modern day Peckham. The mysterious, duelling narrative voices turn out to be thinly-disguised proxies of Martin and Kingsley Amis.

MI:13, What A Pack Of Total Bastards! By Pat Mills and Kev O'Neill. Captain Britain travels the globe, from Derry's walls to the Helmand province, snuffing dissent on the say-so of a shadowy cabal of cunts in Paul Smith suits.

The New Adventures Of Captain Britain by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Exiting a Teenage Fanclub concert at the Clyde Auditorium, Brian Braddock absent-mindedly follows a striking-looking woman through a maze of dangerous streets full of tenements, masonic lore, phantom deer stalkers, cosmic danger, alternate dimensions and incomprehensible drunks of indeterminate shamanistic intent. These Govan slang-spouting alkies bear a striking resemblance to Alan Moore, Chris Claremont, Jamie Delano and Paul Cornell, and seem to know a lot more than they're letting on. The tight plot is based on a barely-remembered fourth dimensional shape Morrison was privy to in a dream. The last issue features a high stakes fist-fight for the fate of the universe at the end of time, working as a vague metaphor for the editorial interference the creative team bridled against during the much delayed middle issues of the series. The second-last issue is drawn by a Filipino artist whose only visual reference for Glasgow is an old RAB C NESBITT Christmas special on VHS. The last page is actually a re-lettered reprint of the first page of the first issue, 'cus time is circular and all that old bollocks.

Captain Britain Versus The IRA Versus The UDA Versus The INLA versus The UVF versus MI:5 Versus Some Well-Meaning Squaddies Versus Some Drunk Townies: Max by Garth Ennis and John McCrea.

Ah, there's bound to be plenty of others. Suggestions?

That's a sweet baby Jesus.

From the blog of  Mikolaj Spionek

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Observer/Cape Short Graphical Fiction competition

Hey, The Observer/Cape Short Graphical Fiction whatjamacallit has kicked off again.  Note to WJC: draw faster this year.

That new DOCTOR WHO costume design.

I've been impressed by the costume design team on New Who since the get-go. They've excelled so far, and both the Eccleston and Tennant looks excited the geek in me from their initial press launches, but I rilly dunno about this one.  Maybe it's a a grower.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Plenty of Mignolaverse action in the latest Dark Horse Solicitations.

...including World's Greatest Living Cover Artist Devilpig Dave Johnson dipping his toes in these waters for the first time on ABE SAPIEN.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bob Strang

Went to this guy's DeviantArt page via the always-fun The Kirby Project. He's a little bit Cheeks, a little bit Shane Glines (maybe even with a hint of Ragnar in there).

Monday, July 13, 2009

Could the WEDNESDAY COMICS model go forth and prosper?

Maybe the best thing about the release of WEDNESDAY COMICS #1 is the reopening of the debate about format in comic books.  Apart from the usual voices of reactionary conservatism, criticism seems limited to quibbles about the price-point and the paper-stock.  And I'm especially optimistic about the way it has people enthused about the possibilities of this particular format, even if they aren't completely struck by the specifics of the anthology's contents.  As such, it'd be great to see other publishers launching or experimenting with titles in this tabloid size.   And specifically, I'd love to see a UK publisher take the plunge, whether it was Rebellion or some free-thinking new boy.  A Dez Skinn for the 21st Century.  As the seeming natural home of anthology comics, and with it's abundance of great-but-famously-slow artists, the UK seems like the natural home of such a comic. Surely even Brian Bolland, Mick McMahon and Kev O'Neill could produce a one page strip for a weekly, fortnightly or monthly comic?  And when you think of this caliber of UK artists, other names just start flowing. The greatest hits of creators from 2000AD, WARRIOR and DEADLINE. Garry Leach, Colin Wilson (not technically from the UK, but he'll get my point), Shaky Kane, Brendan McCarthy, Bryan Talbot, Dave Gibbons, Glenn Fabry, Brett Ewins, Steve and Glynn Dillon, Phil Bond, Jamie Hewlett even. Steve Parkhouse, David Lloyd.  Barry Windsor Smith, if anyone can still reach him.  Simon Bisley.  I'm trying to go out of my way to name artists not currently getting exclusive contract work in the U.S., or I'd throw in names like Alan Davis and Liam Sharp in, too. I'm also trying deliberately to throw out names from the commercial golden eras of those big three anthologies, or I'd soon get around to guys like Hitch, Quitely, Trevor Hairsine, Jock, Frazer Irving.

Hell, Tharg - pick any 15/16 of those, splash the cash, and that's your greatest ever end of year special right there.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Dan McDaid's GREEN LANTERN is rather groovy.

None more mod.

Philip J Bond digs Fred Perry sportswear.

Buy the TRIPWIRE annual 2009, folks.

As you might have heard, Joel Meadows has been having trouble getting the distributor Diamond to pick up the Tripwire Annual 2009. I'm guessing its usual readership is taking its publication for granted - but don't - and make sure you pre-order it as soon as possible, or you could be missing out on some great stuff (and as I keep saying, Meadows is UK fandom's best interviewer).