Yep, Friday again already, so time for our weekly quick-hit news and links digest:
For those of you of a certain age, brought up on the sorts of comics we got as kids in 70s Britain (that I doubt any child would be allowed near these days, and probably rightly so!), this will doubtless induce some happy flashbacks: not only is killer shark Hookjaw returning (courtesy of Si Spurrier and Connor Boyle) but there’s a 1970s retro-style variant cover by Brian Williamson, just to remind us of the days when concerned adults and even MPs debated the effect kid’s comics were having on our young brains (disclaimer, I read all the Hookjaw tales and yet I grew up to hardly ever feed anyone to a giant Great White Shark at all, so perhaps those fussy adults were talking nonsense and kids can tell the difference between fantasy and reality…):
Artists Fight Back! Tom Humberstone points us to this site where unions, demonstrators, NGOs, charities and protest groups can be hooked up with willing cartoonists, artists, animators, designers and other so the groups trying to do good work (and by god we need groups standing firm and trying to do good) and creators willing and able to help can connect. Check out the site for details.
I’ve just started reading Insurgence, the second in the Corporation Wars trilogy by Ken MacLeod, one of our finest and consistently most thoughtful science fiction writers (book one, Dissidence, is reviewed here along with a report of Ken talking at the Edinburgh Book Festival). We’re being somewhat spoiled with the first two volumes coming out within a few months of each other, and now the cover has been revealed for book three, Emergence, which will follow those next autumn (cover designed by Bekki Guyatt) from Orbit Books. I’ll post a review of the second book in the near future, but I can already tell you those first two novels would make a nice present for the SF fan in your life come Christmas, boasting action with some considerably thought-provoking elements (and observations on different aspects of politics which are sadly far too relevant to today)
Also on the science fiction cover reveal front, Gollancz posted up the cover for the next book by the brilliant Alastair Reynolds, Slow Bullets, which hits shelves in February – something to look forward to lift us up from the post Chrimbo slump (art and design by Thomas Canty and Elizabeth Story):
Fantagraphics, one of our favourite Indy publishers, announces they will be handling North American distribution for UK-based Indy publisher Breakdown Press, founded by Simon Hacking, Tom Oldham, Josh Palmano and Joe Kessler, starting with The Artist by Anna Haifisch, and Red Red Rock and Other Stories 1967–1970 by Hayashi Seiichi in the Fantagraphics section in the current Diamond Previews catalogue. That seems like a nice partnership between like-minded comic-lovers/publishers and hopefully it increases visibility of Breakdown’s titles, especially in the North American market.
Great two-hander comic on the importance of Planed Parenthood clinics (which must be among the groups worried at what the looming Trump Regime will bring) by Anna Sellheim and Tillie Walden, drawing (literally in this case) on their own experiences of how friendly and useful these clinics and their staff are for all sorts of women’s health issues.
Scottish fantasy writer Brian Ruckley returns to comics (after his mini series of Rogue Trooper for IDW a couple of years ago – see here for Matt Badham’s interview with him about that series), collaborating with Andrea Mutti on a revival of Highlander for IDW. I love the original film (let’s not talk about the later ones!) and the later TV series grew to be a favourite with me too. This new take will apparently be set in a time period before the events leading up to what we saw in the original 1986 film. The first issue of Highlander is due in February from IDW, thankfully unlike the dueling immortals, there can and will be more than only one…
Wonderful news – after the fear that When Marnie Was There would indeed be the final feature animation from the hugely loved Studio Ghibli, following news of the great Miyazaki’s retirement, it’s been announced that retirement isn’t really for him. And in fact Miyazaki, now 76, is at work on a new feature film for Ghibli, Boro the Caterpillar. That makes me a very happy animation buff. (via BoingBoing)
There’s an Indie Go Go fundraiser running for the third of the excellent Save Our Souls magazine, edited by David Ziggy Greene, with a mixture of interesting reportage and some diverse comic and cartooning content from a variety of creators. I’ve backed the first two and I’ve just put down my money for issue three, which I hope indicates how much I recommend supporting it. (you can read my review of the second issue here)
The brilliant Chris Riddell draws on Fusili’s famous painting for “The Trumpmare” in the Guardian
Also from the Guardian, the excellent Stephen Collins on Zuckerberg and the controversial role some think Facebook played in Trump’s election, with many now consuming news only via FB and that all carefully filtered only to what they like so they live in a news bubble where conflicting or opposing stories aren’t even heard let alone considered (not great for a proper democracy):