alex’s audio roundup
It’s Thursday and that means its time for Alex Fitch to stop building his gigantic fluffy pink killer teddy bear robot he plans to unleash on an unsuspecting world on Valentine’s Day and tell us about the latest programmes he’s involved with; as ever check the Panel Borders site for more details and links to podcasts of previous shows:
Continuing this month’s look at webcomics, Dickon Harris speaks to a couple of creators of very different strips at the Movies Comics and Manga expo in London’s Docklands. Lizz Lunney creates a variety of humorous and cute animal strips under the anthology title ‘Online Comic Sushi’ which she has also printed in collections such as ‘Bears in your Face / The Man with Tetris on his Chin’ and ‘I Love Dinosaurs and they Love Me’ which led to her inclusion in the American Indie publisher Top Shelf’s collection of online comics, Top Shelf 2.0.
David O’Connell also makes family friendly comics in the form of his ongoing web strip ‘Tozo: The Public Servant’, a European ‘Clear line’ style comic reminiscent of Hergé, which tells the tale of a police inspector on the island city of Nova Venezia, who has been ordered to investigate the murder of Luco Lello, an employee of the Financial Exchange. His investigations include the mysterious but troublesome Spider Empire and the Ombra Society, led by the sinister Lady Magdalene, who travel by airship and Tozo is always accompanied by his sidekick, the mecha-golem ‘Klikker’!
Edited by Alex Fitch
Available online now is the fourth incarnation of Electric Sheep Magazine. ESM started out as an online magazine, metamorphosed into an A5 print magazine available in selected Art House Cinemas, regenerated into a full sized magazine with a spine available in selected Art Galleries and book shops and is now online only again. This is not to say it won’t return to print again in the future, but for now we’re concentrating on the online version, bringing across some of the best features of the print magazine to the web. These include illustrations by top small press comic book artists such as Julia Scheele who is the first illustrator of our new ‘themes‘ section which brings the quarterly nature of the print magazine to a monthly section online….
Our quarterly comic strip reviews are now online monthly, starting with a new Asian horror film collection review by Dan Lester, who also provided us with our first print comic two years ago… Plus: We explore the dark and supernatural side of ballet on film with articles on Suspiria, The Red Shoes and a review of Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary by Alex Fitch.
New cinema releases include Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs, reviewed by Mark Stafford and Japanese debut Asyl, which centres on an unusual ‘love hotel’ in Tokyo. We examine how Takeshi Kitano confronts his ‘Beat’ Takeshi persona in the long-awaited Takeshis’ to offer an iconoclastic dissection of fame. We discuss our favourite Hitchcock blondes in anticipation of the Blonde Crazy retrospective at Birds Eye View next month. In the DVD section, we review Fritz Lang’s unsurpassed classic M and Craig Baldwin’s conspiratorial history of Scientology Mock Up on Mu. We look at Kim Longinotto’s Gaea Girls and Shinjuku Boys, two documentaries on women living on the margins of Japanese society and as part of our exploration of online movies, we look at David Lynch’s website.
In Short Cuts, we have a report on the 7th London Short Film Festival, which once more offered many memorable moments, while in our Alter Ego column, transferring from our print magazine, Welcome to Mars author Ken Hollings tells us why he would be Astro Boy if he was a film character. Finally, quirky pop genius Lightspeed Champion picks his favourite films in the Film Jukebox. Also listen to our latest podcast, in which Alex Fitch talks to Oscar winning actress Susannah York about her career.
Starting web comics month on the show, Alex Fitch talks to three members of the Canadian webcomics collective ‘Transmission X’ in an interview recorded during last year’s Comica festival after their signing at Orbital Comics. Cameron Stewart is best known for his work on Grant Morrison’s Seaguy and Batman and Robin, but has also been responsible for a online crime comic called Sin Titulo which between its first instalment in 2007 and its 89th page last autumn won the 2009 Joe Shuster Award for Best Webcomic. Also on the Transmission X site are a collection of other terrific strips in a variety of genres including Kukuburi and Butter Nut Squash by the prolific Ramón Pérez and The Abominable Charles Christopher by Karl Kershl. While they were on the London leg of their European tour, Alex caught up with Cameron, Ramón and Karl and talked about working in a variety of genres on the web, how this contrasts with their superhero comics for more famous publishers and the experience of updating web comics on a regular basis.
Concluding our month long look at ‘Masculinity in American comics’, Alex Fitch talks to Brian Andersen about his self published indie comics So Super Duper, Sex and the Superhero and Unabashedly Billie… Alex and Brian chat about representations of gay characters in superhero comics, making the transition between web and print publishing and becoming a publisher of other people’s comics to help the proliferation of LGBT titles on the shelves.