And once more it is that time of the week when we have a quick round up of various bits and pieces of news and links we spotted over the last few days:
The Nottingham Comic Con returns this month – October 14th, circle your diaries, Notts folks! – and they have been adding some more guests even at this late hour, including the brillian D’Israeli, joining other guests like Laura Howell, Rachael Ball, Sarah Graley, Kevin F Sutherland, Roger Langridge, Neill Cameron, Rachael Smith and more.
Also on the convention guest front, the very fine Malta Comic Con is back this December, as we blogged last week, and has begun announcing some of their guests, which so far includes David Hine, Ellen Stubbings, Ian Richardson, Glenn Fabry and Ivo De Palma.
Rachael Smith has launched a Kickstarter for a deluxe edition of her comic, Wired Up Wrong, which is”a collection of auto-bio comic strips that I (comic-creator Rachael Smith) made in an effort to better understand my own brain. The strips deal mainly with my struggles with anxiety and depression; some are lighthearted, some are potent, some are just straight-up advice. The cast of the comics includes yours truly, my boyfriend Adam, my cat Rufus, as well as two giant black dogs called Barky who follow me around, and two tiny game show hosts who live in my head. Yeah, it’s a wild ride.” It looks like a pretty interesting and honest read (with some nice humour too), you can give Rachael some support with it here.
The October meeting of Shoreline of Infinity takes place in the Banshee Labyrinth on Niddy Street, just a few moments stroll from the Edinburgh Forbidden Planet, and promises the regular, highly-enjoyable evening of science fiction fun. The October meeting takes place from 7.30pm onwards on Wednesday 11th.
There is an Unbound fundraiser running for a very cool-sounding book, Wonders and Visions: a Visual History of Science Fiction. The brainchild of one of my favourite SF writers, Adam Roberts, and Graham Sleight, a very well-respected member of the international SF community and managing editor of the third edition of the excellent Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. I love the sound of this – from the description:
“Our book tells the story of science fiction through its most iconic, beautiful, interesting and (sometimes) crass cover art: from the earliest days of publishing in the 19th-century, through the glory days of Pulp magazine covers and the Golden Age, into the endless visual experimentation of the New Wave and so to the post-Star Wars era, when a ‘visual logic’ comes to dominate not just science fiction but culture as a whole.
With over 350 full-colour images and more than 50,000 words of text this is more than simply an anthology of famous science fiction covers–it is an ambitious attempt to tell the whole history of the genre in a new way, and to make the case that science fiction art, from the sober future-visions of Chesley Bonestell, to the garish splendours of Hannes Bok, from the Magritte-like surrealism of Richard Powers, Frank Freas, Judith Clute, and Ed Emshwiller to the amazingly talented designers and artists of the 21st-century, exists as a vital and neglected mode of modern art as such.
Through much of the twentieth-century it flowed like a subterranean river, influencing artistic Modernism, surrealism, abstraction, op-art and postmodernism, creating a heritage that directly informs the global visual texts of today in cinema, TV, graphic novels and video games. There has never been a book quite like this one. Printed on 120 gsm art paper, hardbound and hand-sewn, we want this book to be a visually beautiful artifact, although as far as that is concerned we have a head start since so much of the art we want to reproduce is so gorgeous. The intense, inky detail of Virgil Finlay’s illustrations to the extraordinary visions of Paul Lehr, from the cool wondrousness of Moebius to the gorgeous grotesqueness of H R Giger and the amazing cityscapes of Kirsten Zirngibl.”
Gen of Deek notes that the forthcoming TV adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s wonderful book Good Omens has added Jon Hamm to the cast. Mad Men star Hamm, most recently seen in the hugely fun Baby Driver, will play the archangel Gabriel, a fairly small role in the book, but Gaiman has hinted that a never used sequel he and Terry had in mind made much more use of the angels, and this could be factored into the new television version… It also helps that Hamm himself is a fan of the book: “I read Good Omens almost twenty years ago. I thought it was one of the funniest, coolest books I’d ever read. It was also, obviously, unfilmable. Two months ago Neil sent me the scripts, and I knew I had to be in it.”
(Jon Hamm in a promo shot for Mad Men)
Here’s an unusual and interesting report on The Nib, Andrew Greenstone’s Women’s Mass at the Satanic Temple, the LA chapter of the Satanic Temple holding a woman’s mass to raise funds to benefit homeless women and women’s reproductive rights. Here’s a quick snip, check The Nib for the full strip:
The shortlist for this year’s Thought Bubble Young People’s Comic Awards was announced this week, and there are some top creators with some cracking quality reading for younger comics fans:
The Legend of La Mariposa, by James Lawrence (self-published);
Hilda and the Stone Forest, by Luke Pearson (published by Nobrow Press);
Good Dog, Bad Dog, by Dave Shelton (published by David Fickling Books);
Bunny vs Monkey book 4, by Jamie Smart (published by David Fickling Books);
Arthur and the Golden Rope, by Joe Todd-Stanton (published by Nobrow Press)
Leonard Maltin writes on one of the great lost silent-era films of fantasy – the 1925 movie adaptation of Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. As many fans will know it exists only in partially-restored versions, many of the reels thought – ironically, given the movie’s title – lost. But after years of detective work and painstaking restoration work a Blu-Ray of pretty much the complete film is once more available. This is one of the early gems of fantasy film and of pioneering special effects – the great stop-motion genius Willis O’Brien created remarkable work right here in the very infancy of the cinematic medium, pioneering techniques that he would use in the following decade for King Kong (also inspiring a young Ray Harryhausen who would go on to be one of the great wizards of fantasy film).
A newly discovered kind of beetle, discovered in a sacred grove in Eastern Georgia, has been named after author Neil Gaiman: Pterostichus neilgaimani sp. nov.
Matthew Bogart launched a new comic online and in print this week, Incredible Doom. From the description: “Incredible Doom is an ongoing print and web comic series about ’90s teens making life-threatening decisions over the early internet. It’s full of computers, dangerous stage magicians, young love, astronauts, and a desperate teenage need to connect with each other.
All of issue one is available to read online now on incredibledoom.com. It tells the story of Allison, her oppressive father, and the first computer she ever owned. Pages of subsequent issues featuring other characters will post every two weeks, culminating in a new issue being printed every two months. Issue 1 cover with quarter and measurements The printed issues are something to see. With offset press covers and rounded corners, they are designed to look great lined up on your shelf to be enjoyed over and over again. You can buy issues individually or get them mailed to their door automatically if you are a member on Patreon. Members also get to read a full two months ahead of what’s posted publicly. Which means members can read all of Issue 2 right now.
I’m so excited for the future of this. My collaborator Jesse Holden and I have lots of great plans. I hope you’ll follow the stories as they progress and perhaps even support if possible.” (via BoingBoing)
The always excellent Tom Gauld in New Scientist: