Monday, June 30, 2008

Wanted the comic was an amoral and empty concoction of a comic, with Mark Millar turning in an entertaining read that didn't really stay with you much after you finished. So now we have Wanted the movie, directed by Timur Bekmambetov, Russian director of Night Watch and Day Watch, starring James McAvoy, from Atonement, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie. Wanted deals with the mundane life of one Wesley Gibson (played by McAvoy) who is drawn into a web of intrigue by Angelina Jolie when a man apparently tries to bump him off at a chemist's and he discovers that he comes from a family of assassins. Sloan, Morgan Freeman, reveals that Gibson is part of a secret society of weavers called The Fraternity, which goes back centuries (Yes it is as stupid as that sounds). But Sloan isn't being totally straight with Gibson as he pulls him into the assassin's life under false pretenses. Wanted the film has removed the references to supervillains that ironically was one of the more endearing and distinctive things about the comic series and so it comes across like a dumb action movie with some nice visual flourishes. Bekmambetov, in his first English-language production, directs action pretty impressively but it's not enough to save it. Jolie looks hot if you like the emaciated look and McAvoy does make the conversion from accounting nebbish to cool assassin with some style but Freeman looks uncomfortable and you've seen all of this before done with much more class elsewhere. I can't really damn Wanted because, at the end of the day, it's just a stupid summer blockbuster but Iron Man was one of those too and that managed to pull it off with far more intelligence and invention. The film has already collected just over $50m in its opening weekend anyway so it's done its job. Wanted is loud, fast and stupid…

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So tomorrow Saturday 28th June, I'll be getting on the train and heading up to Forbidden Planet Manchester for the last of our three Studio Space signings in the UK this month. Steve (Preacher) Dillon and Dave Taylor will be there and it kicks off at 2pm. So anyone in Manchester or its vicinity, please feel free to pop in. I'll be posting pictures next week after I put up my review of Wanted

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Annual has gone to the printers now and I'm very chuffed with it. It looks and reads even better than last year's, so here's a selection of some more pages including the fantastic Indiana Jones concept art spread. Don't forget, you can still order it from Diamond, item number MAY08 4264…

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Amazingly I have finished the TRIPWIRE Annual and the pages go to Andy Grossberg for subbing over the weekend. I'm really chuffed with the way they look and so I thought I'd give everyone a sneek peek. I'll put up another post with some designs in the next couple of days…
I also wanted to say that I've been thinking a lot about Andy Grossberg because he lost his dad this week.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, June 16, 2008

So last Saturday, 14th June, was the Studio Space signing at Waterstones on Oxford Street opposite Selfridges in London. This time around, Gary wasn't there (he's away in Turkey with his missus) but Andy Colman was as was Steve Dillon and Bryan Talbot who were signing. Steve Colgan also showed his support and came to the signing. The numbers weren't as big as the Forbidden Planet event the weekend before but it still felt very nice indeed to be sat signing in a bookshop. A few people even got their books signed by me, which was a nice ego boost. Steve and Bryan were very cool and it was weird as my Mum and Dad came along so I got to introduce them to the two artists. Glen Levy from Time and his wife Liza as well as my friend Noel also came along to show their support. My first signing at a real bookshop but hopefully not my last. Here are a few photos from the day…

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, June 13, 2008

So we've got another Studio Space signing, this time on Saturday 14th June (tomorrow if you're reading this on Friday) at Waterstones, 421 Oxford Street, London, opposite Selfridges. Bryan Talbot and Steve Dillon will be signing and it kicks off at 2pm so anyone who fancies getting copies signed by Steve, who doesn't do many signings, or Bryan, please feel free to pop down there. I'll be present as will Andy Colman but Gary is away. See you there…

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, June 08, 2008

So Saturday was our Studio Space signing at Forbidden Planet in London. We have done two signings before for books (Golden Apple in LA and Jim Hanley's in New York way back in 2002 for the TRIPWIRE 10th anniversary book) but we've never signed at Forbidden Planet. We had arranged Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons and Sean Phillips to come down and sign to kick off at 1pm. I had horrible images of two people turning up for the signing but the queue was pretty decent and they had about 60 people get stuff signed and buy copies of the book. I was also worried that one or all of the artists wouldn't make it, leaving just me and Gary and some irate FP customers. But that didn't happen: all three turned up to support us and the book, which was great. Three people even asked me and Gary to sign. My mate Steve Colgan came along too as did Andy Colman and there was a real feeling that this was an important event for the book and for us. When we saw the pile of copies of the book on the table at FP, it was a really exciting feeling. Next Saturday we have the Waterstones signing in London with Steve Dillon and Bryan Talbot and I expect it won't be as well attended. But it should be fun nevertheless.
One small postscript at FP: after the signing, we went downstairs and I saw Guillermo Del Toro again, this time with his daughter shopping. He was very nice and even seemed a little regretful that he missed our signing. A great end to a fantastic day. Here are some photos of the signing…

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tomorrow Saturday 7th June is our Forbidden Planet signing in London at the store at 179 Shaftesbury Avenue with Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons and Sean Phillips. It kicks off at 1pm and should be a good afternoon…
Speaking of things getting signed, here is a photo of my hardcover copy of the book signed by Guillermo Del Toro, which'll be staying on my shelf. I'm going to try and get as many people in the book to sign it…

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, June 05, 2008

It's been a very good week for me. I found out that we have had some more reorders for Studio Space (the second batch in fact) and on Wednesday morning, I went to a Hellboy 2 junket
with Guillermo Del Toro, accompanied by Steve, who I thought might enjoy it. Some rough footage was show and we had a roundtable with GDT. I even got my hardback of Studio Space signed, which made my day. Then, on Eat on Oxford Street, we were in the queue and we saw ex-Doctor Who Tom Baker. I got a photo with him as did Steve. So here are photos from the roundtable and the Baker photo…

Labels: , , ,

Monday, June 02, 2008

Recently I went to a lecture by Sir Christopher Frayling, cultural historian and film writer, at the Logan Hall in Bloomsbury, organised by the D&AD (Designers and Art Directors). Frayling is a great speaker and his attitude towards culture is that it should be accessible: he coined the term 'spaghetti western' and he has written about Sergio Leone and Ken Adam, who was production designer on Dr Strangelove and a number of Bond films. Frayling also presented a TV series about gothic horror called Nightmare, which was broadcast on the BBC in the mid-nineties. He has been Rector of the Royal College of Arts and he presented a series about Tutankhamun, which was shown in the early nineties. He is an amazing figure as he is an accessible academic who believes that movies are as legitimate a culture as art and literature. So I thoroughly enjoyed it. The D&AD organise a number of events each year and I have been to see graphic designer Chip Kidd and urban vinyl esigner James Jarvis and they are definitely worth checking out. Here are a few photos I took at the event.

Labels: , ,