Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #33

Published On October 16, 2015 | By Richard Bruton | Books, Comics, News

Newsy stuff we didn’t quite have time for during the week, gathered here in easy-to-digest newsbites for you….

A firm favourite here, both at the FPI Blog and in the Bruton household (I swear, Molly would adopt her as second mom or coolest aunt in an instant)… Sarah McIntyre has a great round up of recent Pug inspired events at her blog. Firstly, the joys and travails of a book tour in support of her new book (with Phillip Reeve), Pugs Of The Frozen North….


But perhaps more importantly…. this…


Yep, Sarah McIntyre is a very influential person in publishing. Which might seem strange at first.. after all, Sarah’s “merely” another illustrator (and all too rarely comic artist!), right? But no, she’s also willing to stick her head above the parapet and call the publishing world out about the ridiculous situation regarding the profile and publicity around illustrators, as shown in her campaign #picturesmeanbusiness. where she’s quite rightly calling for illustrators to be given proper co-author billing. It’s an important thing…. the best example being Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo. It’s not. It’s Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo. Any book where the illustrations are this important deserves a co-author credit, and Sarah’s been very forcefully proclaiming that this year.  And this is what she had to say:

“To be honest, I didn’t quite get it; there are a lot of managing directors and people who are a lot more powerful in publishing than me; I’m pretty small-fry. So I looked into the award a bit more, and watched a video of the judges talking about what kind of people they were looking for in granting the awards:
* Somebody who doesn’t start a sentence with ‘The problem about publishing is…’ but they look at the challenges and the opportunities.Simon Trewin
* Somebody who is making a mark and accelerating change.Damian Horner
* What we are looking for in a winner is somebody who is challenging publishing and the wider book business.Philip Jones
And I guess that’s it, I have been trying to bring about change in a positive way: I know people in publishing care about illustrators and want to better for them, they just haven’t realised how. At first I felt kind of embarrassed even to retweet the news, because I don’t claim to be a major force in publishing, and I know lots of people have been trying for a long time to get illustrators better credited for their work.”

Alison Sampson‘s artwork takes pride of place at the We British BBC site… an exploration of what is British history and identity through poetry in a broadcast for National Poetry Day last week.


Top UK science fiction and fantasy publisher Gollancz have organised another Gollancz Festival, taking place in London and Manchester from today (16th October) and again featuring some top flight SF&F authors. The events in Waterstone’s Deansgate in Manchester and Piccadilly in London are all but sold out, but for those who can’t get a ticket or for those of us who aren’t near either city there is also a slew of online happenings tied into the Gollancz fest, such as Google hangouts with Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear, and Nalini Sing, Reddit AMAs with Michael Moorcock and C. Robert Cargill, writing tips from Ursula Le Guin on the Gollancz blog,  Good Omens and SF Masterworks Play Buzz quizzes and more – check the site for more details and follow and watch out on Twitter for the #GollanczFest15 hashtag as there may be more surprises announced.


Nigel Auchterlounie on last weekend’s Doctor Who… After The Flood:


The Malta Comic Con returns later this winter, taking place over December 5th and 6th in the Magazine Hall/Old Power House on the Valetta Waterfront. Malta has made quite a good name for itself on the European comic festival scene in just a few short years, and has been very popular with a number of UK creators, I know, all of whom seem to have had a really good time and found the convention and the crowds in Valetta to be very friendly, recommending it to other creators. Among the creators for this year’s Malta bash are Jon Haward, Simon Davis, Sabine Rich and veteran of both creating and reporting on UK comics, John Freeman. Check out the site for full details, and have a gander at the official poster, illustrated by Jon Haward, with colouring by Nigel Dobbyn and lettering by Kenneth Micallef.


More book news: bestselling author Joanne Harris made her fantasy debut the other year with the superb Gospel of Loki, a retelling of the Norse myths from the perspective of the Trickster god (it made Joe’s Best of the Year list). Now Gollancz announce they have acquired rights to Honeycomb, which will be an illustrated collection of short fairy tales, many drawn from her frequent #storytime short works she’s posted to her Twitter followers. And it gets even better, because, as all good fairy tale books should be, this will be heavily illustrated, and the artist is none other than the wonderful Charles Vess. Charles Vess illustrating fairy tales by Joanne Harris? Oh yes, please, that I really want to see…

Joanne Harris signing The Gospel of Loki
(Joanne Harris signing copies of the Gospel of Loki, pic from Joe’s Flickr)

I started writing my #storytime tales four years ago, live on Twitter, as an exercise in different storytelling narratives. Since then, some of them have become songs, a stage show – even a couple of mini-operas – and now I’m delighted to be able to collaborate with Charles Vess – an artist I’ve admired for years – to make them into a book; an illustrated collection of new fairy stories with a dark, traditional feel – for people of all ages,” Joanne Harris. Honeycomb by Harris and Vess is scheduled for publication in hardback and ebook next September.

Well… this looks like Season 2 of Daredevil on Netflix will keep up the quality of what proved to be a cracking first season. Here’s the trailer… and yes, that’s Elektra and The Punisher in there…

And finally… Steve Bell on the Tory Party Conference… and something else… I’m pretty sure Bell’s not letting this one lie anytime soon….


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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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