Yup, it’s that time of week once more for our quick-hit round up of news and links we’ve spotted over the last few days:
Horror Hounds, one of the UK’s landmark events approaches fast – yes, it is almost time for the annual Dead by Dawn horror flick festival in Edinburgh’s wonderful Filmhouse. The UK’s longest-running horror film fest returns over the weekend of April 20th to 23rd with the usual mix of classic and brand new films, as well as supporting short works by new talents, full details on the website.
The new companion, Bill Potts (played by Pearl Mackie), joining Peter Capaldi in his final season of Doctor Who will be the fifty-plus year old show’s first openly gay companion, the BBC announced. Yes, I know some will point to John Barrowman’s Captain Jack who would snog anything, male, female, human or alien, but there’s always been a bit of a grey area as to whether you can count him as an actual companion to the Doctor or not. A similar debate was had over the status of the Brigadier too back in the 70s; he was there regularly but he didn’t travel regularly with the Doctor, so he wasn’t a companion, but a recurring character and friend, but not a companion the way Sarah-Jane or Rose or Amy are, so under that definition Bill counts as first. Either way though, it’s still a welcome move.
“It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it?” Pearl Mackie commented on the BBC site. “That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show… It’s important to say people are gay, people are black – there are also aliens in the world as well so watch out for them. I remember watching TV as a young mixed race girl not seeing many people who looked like me, so I think being able to visually recognise yourself on screen is important.”
The new season of Doctor Who airs on the BBC on April 15th. Vworp.
New trailer from the BBC, including the little snippet at the very end, complete with those regeneration sparkles…
You’ve heard about the Mandrillifesto right?
It’s a new thing from Alan Moore, with Joe Brown. Listen to it on Soundcloud.
Take from it what you will, but it’s Moore working with Northampton ArtsLab once more, an organisation he’s been heavily involved with since he started writing. Seems the whole Mandrill thing came from a few gags thrown around about Brexit and Trump. Here’s a bit from an interview with Moore over at Purple Revolver.
“My position is that if you’re actually hell-bent on worshipping a horrific demagogue with an unusual mane and a weird-coloured face, a mandrill has got to be your first choice. Historically, no mandrill has ever been declared bankrupt; there are no sexual assault charges outstanding against mandrills; and mandrills are definitely not influenced by the Russians, or anything else for that matter.”
And lyrics… here’s the first couple of verses…
In times of national demise, speaking historically,
the mulch of crumpled dream and culture is a laboratory,
that breeds outrageous saviours and monsters without warning;
Cromwell, Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Jeremy Corbyn –
emerging from a broken world to find a hole they can fill,
cometh the moment; cometh the Mandrill.
This greed and gore emporium is not how life was meant to be,
its franchises and fads reheated from a previous century,
with nothing new, a neutered future on the retro record deck,
that’s stuck and endlessly repeating in a firebombed discotheque.
Your TV’s in a coma and you can’t get it to wake up.
What you need is a dictatorial baboon in makeup.
Recently, there have been several pieces online following the Marvel retailer meeting where various issues of diversity in comics were highlighted. Heidi covers it so well over at The Comics Beat, so I’ll just point you that way… here and then here. icv2 has an informed breakdown (part 1: changes in marketing and events, part 2: talent management and reboots, interview with David Gabriel)
And then you need to read author G. Willow Wilson’s take on it. It’s very, very good.
She opens with this..
If you’re going to write a smug thunk-piece about the “failure” of “diversity” in comics, maybe don’t use the cover image of a book that’s had 4 collections on the NYT graphic books bestseller list, won a Hugo and cleaned up at Angouleme. Just because you HOPE it’s on the chopping block, oh Riders of the Brohirrim, doesn’t mean it is.
And her final thoughts…
On a practical level, this is not really a story about “diversity” at all. It’s a story about the rise of YA comics. If you look at it that way, the things that sell and don’t sell (AND THE MARKETS THEY SELL IN VS THE MARKETS THEY DON’T SELL IN) start to make a different kind of sense.
Now, just in case you were wondering, FPI is all about inclusion and diversity and we’ll celebrate every possible aspect of comics right here.
Edinburgh Comic-Con returns on the weekend of April 15th and 16th to the Exchange at the EICC on Morrison Street (just five minutes walk from Haymarket train station and the tram and major bus routes, very easy to get to!). Guests include Emma Beeby, Phil Jimenez, Gordon Rennie, Dan McDaid, John Lees and more, with cosplay, panels, signings, films, some retro free to play arcade machines and much more.
Now, it was April Fool’s Day last Saturday, and you all know by now that means various (funny?) Internet things going on.
Here’s The Beano’s entry this year. An all-new, all-emoji new beginning. Well played guys, well played.
And over the pond, The New York Times brought out the big guns, with news of Bill Watterson and Berkeley Breathed join together with their two great comics to give us Calvin County… (Via Berkeley Breathed)
And then this from Breathed on his FB…
Now, a few video previews…
Ok, so Preacher might not have been all that it could have been based on the excellent Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon series (see also Lucifer), but it was darned fine entertainment. And that entertainment continues this summer, from Sunday June 25th on AMC.
Here’s the new trailer, and props for using Dexy’s Midnight Runners Come On Eileen in there.
American Gods, based on the Neil Gaiman novel, premieres on Starz 30th April 2017. The saga of Shadow Moon, fresh out of prison, and his meeting with the mysterious Mr Wednesday. A world where magic is real, where Old Gods and New Gods clash in a new America.
And here’s the title sequence:
Good chum of the blog Sean Azzopardi has a new comic out – 50. Always good to see new work from Sean! 50 is available now from his online store.
There’s still time to support the Kickstarter for Hound: Liberator, the third volume by Paul Bolger and Barry Devlin based on the legendary Celtic hero Cú Chulainn, with some nice rewards for backers!
The always-brilliant Tom Gauld‘s latest Guardian Review cartoon on the perils of trying to do near-future dystopian science fiction when our world is already turning into a satire of one by itself….
Chris Riddell on Brexit, from The Guardian….
Mary and Bryan Talbot talked with Charles Forsdick at a recent academic conference on on The Francospheres of Resistance and Revolution, discussing their quite superb graphic novel about French social revolutionary Louis Michel in The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia (which was one of my 2016 books of the year). There’s audio of the talk up on Backdoor Broadcasting, Bryan tells us – I had the pleasure of discussing this book with the Talbots for an Edinburgh Book Festival audience last summer, and it was fascinating, so I heartily reccomend you go and have a good listen to this.
Not out till December, but you may want to head to your local FPI store and order this one. C’mon, how many of you lusted after a comics spinner rack? Well, here’s a miniaturised version with a whole load of DC Comics (all available separately) from Cryptozoic Entertainment.