Thursday, February 22, 2007



MOORE OF THE SAME?

My friend Bill Baker has his new Alan Moore interview book, Alan Moore's Exit Interview, out about now. Published by Airwave, the second book by Bill sees him continuing his chat with the comics master. For ordering information, check out http://www.pmkane.com/moore/moore.htm. Bill is an old freind of mine and I'm sure this book will be as fascinating as its predecessor, Alan Moore Spells It Out, which I designed…

Here's the front and back cover, designed with no little style and panache by Paul Michael Kane…




Friday, February 16, 2007


REMAKING HISTORY?…

Frank Miller’s Sin City was a surprise hit at the box office, so it’s not a huge shock that more of his work has made it onto the big screen. 300 isn’t out until the end of March over here but I went to a press screening at the Odeon West End in Leicester Square with Dave Baillie on Thursday night. 300 is directed by Zach Snyder, previously responsible for the remake of Dawn of The Dead back in 2004, and the cast includes B-list actor Gerard Butler, David Wenham (Faramir in Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings) and Lena Headey, who was in Terry Gilliam’s patchy Brothers Grimm. 300 tells the story (or myth) of the 300 Spartan soldiers with their king, who held off a Persian invasion of their country in the dim and distant past. Visually, 300 is magnificent: Snyder, with the help of cinematographer Larry Fong and editor William Foy, has realised Frank Miller’s vision on screen in a manner that is grand, sweeping and dramatic, assisted by some impressive visual effects. Gerard Butler as King Leonidas of the put-upon Spartans is also magnificent and cuts an imposing figure on screen. But David Wenham, who plays the narrator of the film, one-eyed soldier Dilios, unfortunately has the sort of voice in this film that begins to grate very quickly. And Persian king Xerxes, played by Rodrigo Santoro, is camp rather than menacing as the villain of the piece, with his twinkling eyes and effeminate gait. Also, 300 could have done with some scenes that give the audience a little time to think: the action is frenetic and almost non-stop from the opening reel to the conclusion. But when it works, it really packs a punch: the fight scenes are visceral and beautifully shot and it doesn’t suffer from the fast cutting of many action films, giving the audience the chance to take in the full horror of what is unravelling before their eyes. Snyder is a good director, and given time, he may become a great one. So 300 is, like Sin City, a good adaptation of Frank Miller’s work which captures the spirit of the creator’s intentions while incorporating enough material to make it work for the cinema. So, despite the shortcomings I mentioned before, 300 is an honourable stab (if you’ll pardon the pun) and it’ll be interesting to see the mainstream audience’s reaction to this film…
www.300themovie.com

Friday, February 09, 2007


TRIPWIRE ANNUAL STAGE 4
And here it is, slightly tweaked…
By the way, the feature rundown for the annual at this stage is:

Mike Mignola, Guillermo Del Toro, Duncan Fegredo and editor Scott Allie on what's next for Hellboy on the cinema screen and the comicbook page
Alan Moore on the future of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and his new novel
Frank Miller on Sin City 2, 300 and The Spirit movie
Mike Carey on switching from comics to prose, Crossing Midnight for Vertigo/ DC Comics and more
Jeph Loeb and Bryan Fuller discuss Sci Fi Channel's hit TV series Heroes
•30 Years of Judge Dredd
30 Days of Night The Movie
•STRIPWIRE: 16 pages of comic strip material
•A look at the significance of The Simpsons in the year that the movie gets released

More to be determined nearer the release date (which is August of this year). Cover price will be £9.95 UK/ $14.95 US and it will be 128 pages, all in full colour…

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Thursday, February 08, 2007


TRIPWIRE ANNUAL STAGE 3
And here's the third stage of the cover design…


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TRIPWIRE ANNUAL COVER LATEST VERSION
Here's the latest stage of the TRIPWIRE Annual cover design…
IT'S SNOW JOKE…
The whole country has been hit by snow, so here are some shots I took earlier in my road…
By the way, this is the first post I've written on my brand new 24 inch iMac, which runs like a dream (sorry I'm a sad bastard, I know;))





CREATING HEROES AND WATSON GUPTILL

Creating Heroes has been cancelled by Watson Guptill. There was a rights-related issue that we couldn't resolve and so the rights to the book have reverted back to me and Gary. So we are looking for a publisher again…

Monday, February 05, 2007


TRIPWIRE ANNUAL: HELL OF A GOOD COVER…
I still can't talk about what's happening with Creating Heroes because it hasn't been resolved.
So here is a mockup design of the TRIPWIRE Annual cover with Duncan Fegredo's actual cover painting…
I'll be putting it up in stages to show you how the cover design evolves. Enjoy…

Saturday, February 03, 2007


LETTERS ENTERTAIN YOU…
I went to see Letters From Iwo Jima on Monday. The film is the second in Clint Eastwood’s duo of films about the pivotal World War II battle. The first was Flags of Our Fathers, which looked at the truth behind the legend of the US soldiers hoisting the American flag on the island. Letters From Iwo Jima takes a look at the battle from the Japanese viewpoint, something that’s been done before in Tora! Tora! Tora!, but Eastwood invests the film with a lot more emotional depth than previous efforts. Also, the film is in Japanese with subtitles, a brave move since it could create a barrier between the movie and its predominantly English-speaking audience. The structure of the film is more linear than Flags and as a result, it has come under fire for lacking the cinematic sophistication of its companion. For me, the tight focus of the film on the battle lends it a cohesiveness that could be argued is slightly lacking in Flags. Like that film, Letters From Iwo Jima has at its heart three main protagonists, all with slightly varying perspectives: grunt Saigo, a simple baker turned soldier, Baron Nishi, a former Olympic equestrian champion and Lt General Tadamichi Kuribayashi. The two standout members of the cast are Tsuyoshi Ihara, who plays the Baron, and Ken Watanabe, on screen here as the Lt General. They bring humanity and sympathy to their respective roles and despite the fact that the audience is aware of the battle’s outcome, you begin to hope that these two remarkable men escape the fate of many of their other battlefield comrades. There are moments which are truly gruesome in the film (one particular scene explains another scene in Flags of Our Fathers) but Eastwood manages to humanise the Japanese, showing a General keen for victory but not at the expense of his soldiers and an officer with real heart. It has also been criticised for being overly revisionist and letting the pendulum swing too far the other way in its portrayal of the Japanese soldiers. There have obviously been well documented atrocities that were carried out by the Japanese against the Allies. But I don’t think that is a strong enough criticism to take away the impressive achievement here: Eastwood, at the age of 77, has set himself the monumental task of portraying an important World War II battle from both sides and, while Letters is a little overlong, you can’t help but admire the ambition of this director. Letters From Iwo Jima is a great achievement and both films display a director of rare talent. But he doesn’t deserve the Best Picture Oscar this year: Martin Scorsese deserves it more (because he’s never won an Academy Award)…
www.warnerbros.com