Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #107

Published On April 14, 2017 | By Richard Bruton | Books, Comics, Film TV & Theatre

Fancy a quick spin round some comics and SF news? Yeah, me too…

LYON, FRANCE – APRIL 6: Warren Ellis, English writer poses during portrait session held on April 6, 2014 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

You are all following Warren Ellis over at the Orbital Operations newsletter, right?

So in addition to writing some damn fine comics, you also know that he’s now a visiting professor at the prestigious York St John University in York. Yep. He’s the visiting professor to the Arts, Design and Computer Science School. And earlier this month he gave his first lecture…. This is the start of it…

My job is just sitting in a room making shit up all day. I’m not complaining.  But the best part is that I get to meet people, all kinds of people, in probably dozens of different fields.  Because I hate silos.  The idea that you find your specialty and stay in it.  I mentioned that I never went on to higher education.  I’m one of those terrifying random auto-didacts you read about, usually in news stories about sudden unexpected axe attacks or bombing campaigns against vending machines.  I’m not even one of those freakish deep-thinking uncontained comprehensivists like Buckminster Fuller, whom some of you will probably have to look up afterwards.  He once taught at MIT, where I spoke just a couple of weeks ago, and his course was called Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science.

Which is probably another way of saying Arts, Design and Computer Science.

Yep, and you get this sort of thing every week, sitting in your inbox. Go subscribe.

And I’d be completely remiss at this point if I didn’t point you in the direction of Planetary (still one of my top 10 comics of all time) and the ever so pertinent in today’s Trumpian era of fake news et al, Transmetropolitan. Go shop.


Barnes & Noble featured comics writer Brian K Vaughan last week championing a top ten comics that, like Vaughan and Staples’ incredible Saga, are pretty much unadaptable. And there’s a great breadth of titles on there. I was especially chuffed to see Tillie Walden on there, a creator I adore. Vaughan had this to say about I Love This Part:

A creator who’s half my age and twice as talented as I’ll ever be, Tillie Walden is the master of gorgeously melancholy dreamscapes.


Thanks to Down The Tubes for this:

Charlie Adlard took over from Dave Gibbons as our Comics Laureate. And a fine choice he is too. Last month was his first official engagement, speaking at two ‘Love Comics, Love Literacy’ events in Birmingham. These are events designed to promote comics as perfect sources of inspiration for literacy for primary and secondary teachers and librarians. Although most librarians worth their salt are already well in the know when it comes to the power of comics to drive literacy. Teachers… not so much.

The comics laureate is appointed every two years and works closely with the Lakes International Comics Art Festival to promote comics in all forms across their two year term.


Delighted to hear that closely following news of major comics art exhibitions for John Higgins and Frank Quitely in their native cities, another top UK comics artist is being similarly honoured, with Liam Sharp’s work being exhibited in the Derby Museum and Art Gallery from the 23rd of June to the 3rd of September.

(Wonder Woman by Liam Sharp, colouring by Laura Martin)

From the official release:

Current Wonder Woman artist Liam Sharp is to be honoured in his home city of Derby with a special exhibition documenting his comics career later this year. Currently living and working in California, Derby-born writer and artist Liam Sharp is best known for his highly detailed comic work. His latest series, drawing Wonder Woman for top US comics publisher DC, has seen Liam receive worldwide acclaim.

This exhibition at Derby’s Museum and Art Gallery, made possible with support from DC Entertainment, charts his 30 year career in comics, illustrating characters such as Judge Dredd, Death’s Head II, the Hulk, Spider-Man and iconic DC characters such as Superman and now Wonder Woman, as well as writing and illustrating his own unique creations.

Liam is also the co-founder of the award-winning progressive digital storytelling company Madefire, taking words and pictures and adding sound and motion. Madefire recently produced the world’s first VR comics experience. Judge Dredd to Wonder Woman: The Work of Liam Sharp Exhibition, 23rd June 2017 – 3rd September Derby Museum and Art Gallery, The Strand, Derby.”


Bestselling author Neil Gaiman talked with Jared Bowen as part of a discussion at Boston Public Library. The lovely library people also made the event available to a wider audience by streaming video of it, and you they have put it up on their Facebook page so everyone can now watch it (thanks, Boston Library peeps! Library folks rock)


The National Cartoonist’s Society’s shortlist for the annual Reuben Awards have been announced, covering all sorts of graphical work, from gag cartoons to newspaper strips, commercial illustration, comics and graphic novels. In the comics category Giant Days by , Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabrielle Rodroguez and Usagi Yojimbo are contending, while in the graphic novel section Jules Feiffer’s Cousin Joseph, Mary and Bryan Talbot’s The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia and Rick Geary’s The Black Dahlia are competing. Nice to see the Reubens also include webcomics, and in fact they have both short form and long form online comics covered – check out the full shortlist on the website here. The awards are announced on May 27th.


You might have seen an Aliens one of these about the Interwebs the other week, but this is superb…. and the Russian voiceover just makes it so much better.

Essentially Russian animators 420 have taken it upon themselves to make 90 second minimalist line animation summaries of famous films. Blade Runner, The Matrix, Aliens, and above.. The Force Awakens. Brilliantly daft.


The East London Comics & Art Fair (ELCAF) returns this summer, running across the 16th, 17th and 18th of June, with added “ELCAF Season” events starting off at the famous Foyles bookstore on April 22nd, so there are lots of goodies to watch out for, with guests so far including Icinori, Anna Haifisch, Emily Hughes, Tommi Musturi, Sarah Glidden, Rob Flowers, Max Baitinger, It’s Raining Elephants, Anouk Boisrobert and Louis Rigaux, Donya Todd, Ed Cheverton, Simon Moreton, Antoine Cossé, Una, Albertine and Germano Zullo, Nick White, and Bianca Bagnarelli , keep your eyes on the website!

Also on the comics festival front, the Lakes Comic Art Festival just unveiled the artwork for their 2017 edition, and it is this rather lovely art by Michael Cho:


The Sci-Fi London film festival returns from 27th of April to 6th of May with “ten days of amazing film, live music, immersive experiences and more”, including “6 world film premieres, 13 UK film premieres, 11 world short premieres and 13 UK short premieres. It will host 25 features, 51 shorts and 4 VR shorts alongside its regular classic cult events such as the 48 Hour Film Challenge and Sci-Fido, the world’s only cosplay for dogs!”

Among the cinematic highlights this year are Jamie Patterson’s Caught, which promises “a return to the great days of British science fiction”, Matt and Taliesyn Mitchell’s The Rizen (1950s and NATO experiments with the occult to fight the Warsaw Pact go horribly out of control), Ché Baker and Dallas Bland’s Blue World Order also gets a premiere, billed as “Mad Max meets Star Wars”, and Ren Chao Wang’s intriguing Chinese SF flick The End of the Lonely Island – the Shenzhou 20 starship on a scientific mission to another world may become humanity’s last hope as a plague spreads across Earth. There are piles of other interesting-sounding SF&F movies and events lined up – check the website for full details and you can check out trailers for all the films here.


Chris Riddell in The Guardian, looking at the Syrian chemical attack and America’s response.

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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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