Stuff (and possibly nonsense) #9
A little news round-up for the weekend now, a little that I missed, a little that I simply had no chance to get round to.
Announced last weekend part the first: Dark Knight III: The Mater Race.
Miller’s co-writing it with Brian Azzerello with an art team as yet unannounced. Now, I loved Dark Knight Returns when it came out, but it’s a love that has rather diminished with time. I appreciate it’s import still, but the whole thing seems less and less impressive with time. Batman Year One however, still seems great. Oh, and as for The Dark Knight Strikes Back… well, it felt unnecessary and ridiculous at the time, and for shits and giggles I read it again a year back and found it utterly pointless. Since then we’ve had Sin City (diminishing returns but still damn good), The Spirit movie (oh dear, poor Will Eisner), All-Star Batman & Robin (thankfully never finished, but at it’s height it was bloody awful), and the utter mess that was Holy Terror. So no, I’m not particularly enamoured of the idea that there are plans for Dark Knight III.
Thing is, last time it was rumoured that DKII: The Dark Knight Strikes Back was a money thing for Miller. Effectively a million dollar payday that bought Miller a very nice NY apartment outright. His health has been open to much debate over the last few years, every time he’s seen in public he looks terrible. I can but hope all is well. I fear it is not. A last hurrah? An easy paycheck to cover the med bills? A retirement plan? Who knows. No doubt I’ll read the thing when it comes out. But dammit, I’m not expecting it to be anywhere near Miller at his best.
Announced last weekend part the second: Miracleman, The Golden Age by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham:
That’s Simone Bianchi’s cover above. The other variant cover is some hideous cut and paste mashup job with art from Garry Leach, Alan Davis, John Totleben and more, creating a montage of all that has gone before. Which, seeing as The Golden Age is all about Gaiman and Buckingham breaking out on their own and running with the title really seems to be missing the point by a country mile. Oh, and whilst Bianchi’s cover is very much in keeping with Buckingham’s art, wouldn’t it be nice to actually let Buckingham DO the cover art? After all, first time round it was Dave McKean, then Barry Windsor-Smith on cover duties.
Anyway, for those of you who don’t know… After the original saga by Alan Moore and Garry Leach, Alan Davis, Chuck Bechum, Rick Veitch, John Totleben finished, Moore handed the reins to writer Neil Gaiman and artist Mark Buckingham. The plan was to contribute three storylines, The Golden Age, The Silver Age, and The Dark Age. They completed The Golden Age in Miracleman 17-22 and two issues of The Silver Age came out before everything ground to a halt.
Now Marvel are republishing Gaiman and Buckingham’s run, starting with a new issue 1 in September. The plan is obviously to publish The Golden Age and at some point publish the finished Silver Age and the as yet unseen Dark Age. Whether Gaiman and Buckingham have even started work isn’t known.
Announced last week, ‘24 By 7‘, a collection of the 7 24-hour comics produced during The Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 is due for release from Fanfare in a hardcover collection that will first see the light at TCAF: The Toronto Comic Arts Festival in a weeks’ time.
The seven creators involved are (in order of appearance) Sarah McIntyre, Joe Decie, Kristyna Baczynski, Fumio Obata, Jack Teagle, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell and curator/editor of the project Dan Berry. Images from Scribble by Sarah McIntyre (top), Tom Hand by WJC, Nicholas & Edith by Dan Berry (below)
Now, aside from DC looking backwards to Miller’s DK once more, it’s a good time in comics right now, so many companies finally realising just how important it is to get the right people doing the right characters. Take this news from The Beat about Jill Thompson doing a new Wonder Woman graphic novel; A Very Selfish Princess. It sounds quite wonderful doesn’t it?
Alongside the story Heidi puts up this piece…. yep, that’s looking great.
It appears Dave Sim has given permission for his magnum opus, Cerebus, the 300-issue, 6000-page, 27 years in the making series (with considerable assistance from Gerhard along much of the way) to be made available online. You can find it at the Cerebus Online Tumblr.
The good news is that this means there’s a chance for everyone to experience, for free, the brilliant work of comics that concerns the life and times of the greatest Aardvark that ever lived. Yes, there are many problems with Cerebus, but the rich vein that came with the High Society, Church & State, Jaka’s Story volumes, more than a third of the total, remains a brilliant and important work.
The bad news is it’s a one page a day thing. However, it is a great way to experience the series. Do bear in mind that these earliest issues are very much rough and ready affairs, Sim truly hit his stride with High Society (volume 2). But these are still worthy, if raw, reads.
Our friends at the Malta Comic-Con have just announced the dates for this year’s edition, which will fall on the 5th and 6th of December, once more in St James Cavalier in Valletta. I know a bunch of our chums in the UK comics scene have been out to previous bashes in Malta and every one of them has said very nice things about it, the event, the place, the people, the fans, and it seems to be an event which is still growing and attracting more folks (I suspect there is a nice bonus for UK creators too, a few days during our bleak winter spent in the warm sun of the Med! That doesn’t hurt either!). We’ll post more details later in the year, but there the the dates so circle your calendars.
And finally… time for the politics…
Chris Riddell in the Guardian… on Cameron’s fear of an SNP surge…
Ok, not exactly up to the minute, but substitute Jeb for George and I reckon it’s still there… Mike Dawson… “Okay, shut up now George Bush.”