Sunday, August 26, 2007






ON THE SHELF SPECIAL EDITION
I haven't done one of these in quite a while but since I've acquired a number of books and GNs over the past couple of months, I thought I'd take a look at four books:

First on the list is Intersections, by Sean Phillips and Duncan Fegredo, published by Image Comics. A sketchbook project in both hardback and softcover, Intersections features art by Duncan and then Sean, alternating throughout the book. You get around 90 pages displaying Duncan and Sean's unique sensibilities as they try to follow on from each other's pieces. Both of them are accomplished and talented creators and this project just drives this home. It shows that they share some of the same preoccupations in their work (zombies, women, themselves) but they are also very different artists. Intersections reflects Fegredo and Phlllips' mindset very likeably and the lack of text here is refreshing, allowing the pieces to speak for themselves. This pair are without question amongst the most bold and distinctive British comic artists of the past decade and Intersections shows off their versatility to good effect…

Next we have Silverfish, an original hardcover GN by David Lapham, published by Vertigo/ DC Comics. Lapham is an exceptional contemporary comic creator and his Murder Me Dead was a great slice of modern noir. Silverfish is the first book he's done for Vertigo and it shows off his mordant sensibilities to good effect. In a hardcover format similar to The Originals, Silverfish deals with a girl, Mia Fleming, who discovers that her stepmother hides a dark and murderous secret. Although the conclusion is a little muddled and outlandish, Silverfish is worth the price of admission with Lapham creating a convincing familial relationship…

Waterloo Sunset
, by Andrew Stephenson and Trevor Goring, was published by Image as four squarebound issues a couple of years ago and it's now available in a single volume. Goring is an ex-pat Brit who has lived in the States for years and has made quite a name for himself as a storyboard artist on big Hollywood movies while Stephenson has been on the fringes of prose sci-fi for a number of years. The series, whose concept is an intriguing one (what if London was separated from the rest of the world in a huge disaster?), throws up some interesting ideas but suffers from too much exposition, character dialect that is sometimes hard to understand and an ending that is unclear. Goring's art is graphic and dynamic but Stephenson finds it hard to keep up and Waterloo Sunset collapses under the weight of its ambitions. So it's a brave effort but it could have done with being a little longer in its page count, giving the story more room to breathe. It's still worth picking up…

Finally, 100 Bullets: Once Upon A Crime, by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, Vertigo/ DC Comics, is the eleventh collection of Vertigo's magnificent crime series. In this volume, we find out about Shepherd's past and witness the continuing machinations of Graves and The Trust. Risso still draws the sexiest, most dangerous women in comics and Azzarello still delivers the goods even seven years after the series started.100 Bullets needs to be consumed in the trade paperback format as its impact is lessened in monthly installlments. Dave Johnson's covers work as effective chapter breaks here too. Azzarello has set the bar very high for the conclusion of this series and I'm hoping he doesn't disappoint…

www.vertigocomics.com
www.imagecomics.com
www.seanphillips.co.uk
www.fegredo.com

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


CROSSING OVER
I saw this on a phone box on New Oxford Street in London. It's an ad promoting Austin Grossman's new novel Soon I Will Be Invincible with an image by Bryan (Ultimates) Hitch and it's been adorning phone boxes across Central London, proof that the crossover continues…

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

FEEDBACK TO THE ANNUAL
Feedback to the Annual here at home has been very positive: sales have been very brisk. We've sold 23 copies in Forbidden Planet in 10 days and 18 copies in about a week. We've even had some reorders through from Diamond including for our Barnes & Noble orders, which is exceptionally encouraging. So it means one thing: it looks pretty definite that they'll be another one next year. We did make some mistakes in this one, mistakes that we shall rectify next year…
On the freelance front, I've been very busy. I have written four news pieces for Death Ray (Iron Man, Star Trek, Beowulf and Watchmen) which will appear in #5 of that magazine, out on August 23rd, and I have two features running in Comics International 204, one on Chris Golden and Mike Mignola's gothic illustrated novel Baltimore and the other looking at the path Watchmen took to get to the big screen. I should be doing more for both Death Ray and Comics International in the coming months…
I went to Caption last weekend, which although it's a tiny show, it was nice to get out of London for the day – it's in Oxford – and it was nice to see Dave Baillie, Douglas Noble and Daniel Goodbrey again…

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

ANNUAL SHIPS THIS WEEK
The TRIPWIRE Annual ships today (Wed) if you are in the US and Thursday if you are in the UK, so run, don't walk to your local comic shop and pick one up…
Forbidden Planet in London already has copies…
And don't forget, if your local shop doesn't have copies, the Diamond order number is MAY073980 F TRIPWIRE 2007 ANNUAL
I hope you'll all feel it's been worth the wait…

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Saturday, August 04, 2007






COUNTRY HOUSE
Back home for three days now with the first proper Summer's day in ages so I thought I'd get out of London. I haven't done this since I went to Blenheim back in March so myself and Andy headed to Knebworth, near Stevenage in Hertfordshire and scene of a number of huge rock gigs over the years like Led Zeppelin and Oasis. It's a fantastic house, originally built in the 15th century but the exterior was extensively remodelled in the 19th. It's a great example of Victorian gothic with some baroque thrown in (a style that was out of fashion by this time in England) and it possesses some truly lovely gardens. The sky in these photos is real by the way with perfect light for taking pictures today. The carving of the tree branch represents one of the previous owners, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. I still feel slightly jetlagged so it was nice to get out and go exploring…

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Thursday, August 02, 2007






SAN DIEGO A LOOK BACK PART TWO…
Friday was a great day: I got to do a Blade Runner roundtable with Ridley Scott, Sean Young, Syd Mead, James Hong, Joe Terkel, Frank Paull and Mark Stetson. We had about an hour and a half with everybody and Mead and Scott were particularly interesting. I watched Zach Snyder discuss Watchmen, which I'm still skeptical about and they showed the trailer to Whiteout, the adaptation of Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber's graphic novel with the gorgeous but rather wooden Kate Beckinsale. I also did a one-to-one interview with Rich Moore, one of the supervising directors on the Simpsons movie as well as one of the guys on the new run of Futurama. The evening we went to the open-air screening of 300 at the baseball park, Petco Park,because Andy Grossberg hadn't seen the film. It was okay on the second viewing although there was a presentation beforehand with people like Frank Miller, JMS, Ridley Scott and James Hong coming out, looking rather jolly (there was a Warner Brothers party going on at the stadium so drink was flowing) and a very unfunny presenter from G4 who came across like a poor kid's TV compere. Friday night was spent at the Westin bar…
Saturday was another memorable day. Because the organisers had capped the ticket sales, the floor wasn't horrendously hard to navigate, so it was the first Saturday that was a pleasure to be at. I watched the pilot for Bryan Fuller's Pushing Daisies, I did a press conference with some of the cast from Battlestar Galactica, including Katee Sackhoff, Mary McDonnell and Tricia Helfer, and I got to do the Iron Man round table with Jon Favreau, who I gave a copy of the Annual to, Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard and Kevin Feige. In the evening, we went to see Warren Ellis speak for two hours, answering questions from the audience. It was fairly entertaining as Ellis wasn't too cruel. He had been grumpy and impossible while he was on the floor but he came across a little bit more likeable at the panel. We went to the Hyatt on Saturday night for a little of schmoozing…
Sunday was a very pleasant day: having acquitted all of my press duties at the show, I spent Sunday gathering up the copies of the Annual that were on sale during the show. We sold 40 copies which is very respectable considering we didn't have a table. I had applied for the IDW editor's job but I didn't get it. In the evening, I headed to have Indian at the Star of India with Andy and Susie and Jim Johnson, then I went to the Westin to see Tim Bradstreet, which is always entertaining…
So I saw a hell of a lot of people at San Diego as usual but it was too brief as ever. I caught up with my friend Mark Chiarello at the show and several other people. The show is too big but if you make sure that you prioritise, then you do get to see some of the people you want to. It was a pleasure to hang out with Jeff Carlisle and Daniel Goodbrey, who I roomed with, and there were no arguments either as we were all pretty easygoing. The reception to the Annual was phenomenal and it should be in comic stores the week beginning 6th August, so check out your local comic store…
Another San Diego is over and my reporting should appear in Death Ray #5, out the beginning of September in the UK…
Here are some more photos from the show, of Eddie Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Brian Azzarello, the terrace and Terrence Howard from Iron Man

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