Thursday, May 24, 2007



TRIPWIRE ANNUAL IN PREVIEWS
The Annual is in Previews, Vol XVII#5 as a featured item in the Books section. The Diamond item number is MAY073980 F TRIPWIRE 2007 ANNUAL (ISBN 10: 0-9543751-1-4, ISBN 13: 978-0-9543751-1-1-9) and here's the latest lineup of features:

•Duncan Fegredo, Mike Mignola, Scott Allie and Guillermo Del Toro discuss the future of Hellboy on the comic page and the big screen while Hellboy Animated director Tad Stones reveals all about bringing the character to animation…

•Jeph Loeb, Bryan Fuller and Tim Sale talk about TV's latest genre sensation, Heroes

•We look at the phenomena of The Simpsons, with Bongo Comics' Bill Morrison and Ian Boothby, and, as a special treat, Simpsons and Futurama head honcho Matt Groening speaks exclusively to us about the TV series, the comic books, the movie and more…

•Alan Moore lifts the lid on the future of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen at Top Shelf, his new novel and much more…

•We celebrate 30 years of Judge Dredd and two decades of Vertigo's loveable rogue, John Constantine…

•We reveal the 20 Graphic Novels you should have read but haven't…

•Mike Carey on his Felix Castor novels, Crossing Midnight for Vertigo and writing X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four for Marvel…

•The Power List: The 25 most important people in comics and its related industries…

•STRIPWIRE: a 16 page comic strip section featuring Roger (Fred The Clown) Langridge, Roger Mason, David Baillie, Frazer Irving and more…

And that's not all…

So what are you waiting for?;) Go and order it…

Seriously the Annual is looking fantastic and we have such a diverse lineup that it's going to be a unique package. Getting Groening has been great news for us…


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Tuesday, May 22, 2007





GO EAST YOUNG MAN PART TWO
So we left Bradford on Avon and headed back towards London on the rather circuitous but very pretty A4. Our first stop was a place called Cherhill, also in Wiltshire. Since last year, I've become a little bit fascinated by chalk drawings (We went to see the White Horse in Oxfordshire) and so we thought we'd visit another one. Unfortunately, because we stopped off in Chippenham for dinner, it was already pretty late by the time we reached Cherhill and so I didn't relish getting back in the Big Smoke after midnight. So we stopped, I took a couple of shots with my camera from the roadside and then we left. After Cherhill, we visited Avebury, which is a stunning place, famous for its standing stones and where Julian Cope lives. When we got there, I could see why: as soon as you turn the bend, suddenly there they are. In fact, sheep graze around them and people walk their dogs by them. I have never been to Stonehenge but I've heard people criticise it because you can't get particularly close. Well, here you can and they are absolutely spectacular. Totally out of place in 21st century England but perhaps that's why they are so stunning. We didn't spend long in Avebury (not as long as I'd liked) and we left, heading for the motorway to make up some time but we did pass (guess what) another white horse in the car journey towards Swindon and the M4. So the trip back from Bristol was fantastic and just proved how much there is to see in Wiltshire. The drive is a great way to engage with the English countryside…

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Monday, May 21, 2007






GO EAST, YOUNG MAN PART ONE

So I promised you I'd tell you what I got up after leaving Bristol, so here it is. The weekend was great but after over two days of comics, all you want to do is forget about them for a bit. So myself and Dave Baillie left Bristol about midday on Monday and headed towards Bath, where we stopped up and I met up with Guy Haley. Guy used to work on SFX and now he's editor of Death Ray, a new Film, TV and Genre magazine that I should be doing some writing for. We spent a little time in Bath (just over an hour) and then left. We made our way to Bradford on Avon, a stunning town south of Bath in Wiltshire, to visit my friend Jasper Bark and his partner Veronica. The town is very pretty and we had tea at Ronnie and Jasper's, staying there for about an hour and a half (tell me if you're getting sleepy at all ;)). Leaving Bradford on Avon, we visited a place between there and Bath, where we stopped to admire some stunning views (my car almost didn't make it up the hill, which was very steep;))…

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Thursday, May 17, 2007




BRISTOL (OR: IT"S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE THAN IT IS ON THE OUTSIDE)
Last weekend was the Annual Bristol Comic show, now called the Bristol International Comic Expo. I haven't had a chance to post anything since then because I spent Monday taking the scenic route home (I'll discuss Monday in the next post). This year's Bristol was the fourth show put on by Mike Allwood and Dave Morris and I have to say that it was the most impressive yet. I got to do a panel with Allen Heinberg (Young Avengers, Grey's Anatomy) and Paul Cornell (Doctor Who, Wisdom) on TV writers switching to write comics and the hall was packed on the Saturday when we did it. The Commonwealth, where the stalls and booths were, was also heaving on the Saturday. There was a real sense of optimism to the whole show and I managed to show people designs from the Annual, both on the TRIPWIRE table and during a panel on the Saturday afternoon with Duncan Fegredo and Andy Winter. They were very well-received and made me realise that bringing TRIPWIRE back now was a very good decision to make. The manga presence at the show, organised by Sean Michael Wilson of Boychild Books, really helped to give it a mixed feel too. I enjoyed it on a social level too: I got t0 hang out with Dave Baillie, Baz and Leon from Redeye, Daniel Goodbrey and many others. My brother came down for some of the show too. Andy Winter won an Eagle Award for his Hero Killers, which meant that the artist of that series, Declan Shalvey (a decent bloke and a name to watch) was walking around with a permanent grin from Saturday night to Sunday evening. I didn't get to see any of the other panels but I got the impression that they were all very popular. The only thing that could have put a crimp in the weekend was the fact that the con books didn't arrive but Mike and Dave circulated flyers with the panel schedule on them, so it didn't. The show got around 3000 people through its doors and so I must congratulate Mike and Dave for putting on a great weekend. Come back at the weekend and I'll show you what I got up on the Monday home…

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Friday, May 11, 2007


WEB OF INTRIGUE?
I saw Spider-man 3 last week but I've been having a hard time writing a review. It's made a staggering amount of money ($148million on its opening weekend, a figure which keeps being added to each week it's out) but it left me very underwhelmed. It's no secret that this was to have been two separate films and the pacing here suffers if you bear that fact in mind. So we have not one, not two but three villains facing Peter Parker (Can you say Batman Forever?), although one has a change of heart, which isn't really that credible to be honest. Thomas Haden Church as The Sandman visually looks the part with his stripey jumper but he seems embarrassed to be here. Topher Grace as Eddie Brock, who becomes Venom, is suitably brattish but only gets about 20 minutes of runing time at the end, while James Franco, reprising his Harry Osborn role, is the foe who has a change of heart and teams up with Spider-man. Raimi has introduced the alien symbiote, which was the reason for the character's switch to the black costume briefly back in the 1980s, into the film continuity, so cue some of the more toe-curling scenes in the movie, with Peter Parker getting a personality change. Bruce Campbell's cameo as a slightly deranged French waiter lifts the proceedings a little but it's really not enough. Spider-man 3 is a big unwieldy mess. But it seems that doesn't matter as the next three Spider-man movies have already been greenlit. The box office has spoken.
I'm going to be at this weekend's Bristol Comic Expo at the Commonwealth Museum, so if you're there, please come and say hello. I'm doing two panels (hosting Paul Cornell and Allan Heinberg discussing TV writers switching to comics at 12noon on the Saturday and, at 4pm on the same day, a TRIPWIRE Annual panel). I'll also have some page designs with me, so feel free to stop me and have a look. It's falling into shape nicely…
www.comicexpo.net

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Monday, May 07, 2007



IT'S GETTING CLOSER…
With the Annual in Previews and six weeks until it has to go press, I thought I'd tantalise you with the first page of the 20 Years of Hellblazer feature and the frontispage of Judge Dredd at 30…