Yes, it’s that time of week again, so here are some news stories and links we spotted over the last few days, handily rounded up for your perusal:
Sad news this week – 2000 AD reported that we lost artist Edmund Bagwell, best known for his work on Cradlegrave, Dredd, The Ten-Seconders, and Indigo Prime. The 2000 AD twitter adds that Edmund’s family have requested that anyone wishing to make a donation do so to a pancreatic cancer charity. Drokk you, cancer, you cause too many of us far too much pain and loss.
Best-selling scribe Joe Hill, equally at home with novels and comics (his Locke and Key series is highly recommended), has been working away on a variety of short stories between his major books and comics works. And now Gollancz has announced that they are to publish this collection of short tales as Strange Weather this November. I’m delighted – as well as admiring Hill’s work I’m also a big fan of a damend good short story. There’s something about the short form tale, especially in SF&F or horror, that just works so well, and I always hold that it probably takes even more skill to do well, to get everything you need into a restricted page count than it does when you have several hundred pages to work with.
“I’m a fan of the slim, heart-punch novel that can be read in a single sitting: On Chesil Beach, Sense of an Ending, Heart of Darkness, Jekyll and Hyde. I wrote two big novels over the last five years, but in between, I’ve been scribbling away at these shorter stories, pushing myself to do more with less. I came up with one about a camera that steals memories, and another about the sky opening up and raining nails; I had a castaway story to tell about a man stranded on a cloud, and a thing to write about America’s endless cycle of mass shootings. I wrote ’em when I could (on planes, on trains, in hotel rooms), and in whatever medium was available (the computer, a notebook, placemats in diners) and I had fun doing it. For readers in the mood for something lean and mean, Strange Weather will, I hope be found satisfactory. A warning though: the forecast calls for treacherous, stormy days to come,” Joe Hill.
PRI’s The World has a short audio interview with the excellent French-Canadian creator Guy Delisle about his new graphic novel (just out from D&Q/Jonathan Cape), the Hostage, which is a departure from the travel lit comics Delisle is best known for, detailing the kidnapping of a Medecins sans Frontieres doctor. You can hear the interview here.
Good chum of the blog and UK small press stalwart Rob Jackson has the first issue of a new series just back from the printers and ready for your reading delight. It’s called Volunteers, and the series – likely running to three issues, Rob reckons, is set among volunteers among a steam locomotive preservation society. It’s available now, you can check out more details and a peek inside on Rob’s blog and the comic is available now from his online store.
Thought Bubble has announced a call for papers for their Comics Forum, which takes place on the 21st and 22nd of September this year. The focus this year is “focused on the concept of space in comics, and proposals of 250 words are invited for talks of up to 20 minutes in length.” Proposals should be submitted by 1st of July – check the website for full details.
Applied Comics Etc‘s Lynda Wysocki has an interesting project in development, to make a comic for 8 to 14 year old readers on the history of civil rights on Tyneside, and they are looking for comics writers and artists to collaborate with academics on creating it (with paid work, which is nice to hear):
“We need six contributors (individual comics artist-writers, or existing comics artist-writer teams). We have academic researchers who are keen to work with comics creators as consultants on the content and accuracy of each chapter. There is however no expectation for academic researchers to learn how to draw and write comics, or for comics artist-writers to become academic researchers. As always, we’re open to a range of art/writing styles. It’s essential that you have experience of making comics, but we’re open to contributors we have or haven’t worked with before. We want to work with comics creators from a diverse range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds, based in the North East and elsewhere in the UK.” Full details here. (via Down The Tubes)
The Walking Dead Dogs For Good fundraiser on Just Giving is trying to raise £5000 to name and sponsor a puppy for Dogs For Good, with those donating having their names added to a chance to win some signed geek merch and posters. I think many of us know our animal friends have a huge and positive effect on us at the best of times, and for those dealing with problems they can be a crucial support, so please give is you can and of course share the link about.
Lancaster Comics Day returns soon for a third outing, promising lots of comics fun in Lancaster Main Library in Market Square from 11am to 5pm on Sunday 5th of June. With guests, cosplay and a theme this year celebrating the much loved footie comic Roy of the Rovers (and hopefully raising more funds for charity too), it promises to be a grand day out for kids and adults – check out the site for full details.
Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy, neither strangers to the fantastic genres, have been cast in the forthcoming X-Men spin-off film New Mutants, with Maisie playing Scottish mutant Wolfsbane and Anya the Russian sorceress Magik. Fox are reportedly making a deliberate effort to cast roles in an ethnically sensitive way, which is good to hear given how insensitive a number of recent big movies have been on that score, and are still casting some roles. New Mutants is expected to hit cinemas next spring. (via the BBC)
(Maisie Williams in A Game of Thrones)
Jim Reardon, who has directed a number of Simpsons episodes, back in his students days in the mid 1980s created this faux trailer Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown, which has a, shall we say, rather different take on the Peanuts gang than we usually see as the Great Pumpkin places a bounty on Charlie Brown, prompting the other characters to try and kill him… (via BoingBoing)
Star Trek Discovery gets a proper trailer at last. I must admit I am being very cautious about this new series – I’ve been a Trek fan since I was knee-high to a Tribble, growing up with the original series then the Next Gen and onwards. But this show so far seems to ave been very troubled – it felt to me like the PR folks forced them to make an announcement during the anniversary year, before the makers of the show were ready. Then followed announcements of rough dates that were missed several times, it was ages before we even heard of casting, not too long ago it was announced it was being delayed again. Which all sounds alarm bells in my head, although as a green-blooded Trek fan of course I am hoping for the best – it would be good to have Trek back on TV where it belongs. Anyway, any judgement will need to be reserved until we actually see the show, of course, and I’m sure we’re all willing it to be good despite the troubled production history. It certainly wouldn’t be the first show to have a problematic birth but go on to enjoy success. And the trailer does look pretty darned good….
Chris Riddell in the Guardian comments on the Labour election manifesto, with an added Theresa May as Cruella De Vil: