Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #139

Published On November 24, 2017 | By Joe Gordon | Books, Comics, Film TV & Theatre

Yes, it’s that time of week for Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense), our weekly, quick-hit round up of news and links spotted by Richard and Joe over the last few days:

Loving the sound of this new initiative by the Laydeez Do Comics gang. Usually we avoid simply cutting and pasting but this is a terrific idea, so I’m just plain going to crib from their fundraiser page, because it would be good to get the world out there and hopefully drum up some support:

“Hello we are Laydeez Do Comics. Laydeez do Comics (LDC) was set up in 2009 by Eisner award winning artist and scholar Sarah Lightman and British Medical Association award winning graphic novelist and comics scholar Nicola Streeten. They met at a time when they were both working on their autobiographical long form graphic novels whilst also embarking on their doctoral research into gender and comics. They were keen to find a space to talk about comics that were not superhero based and not for children, but instead about the domestic, the autobiographical and the everyday. Because no such platform in London existed they set up their own.

Women-led, though not women-only, their monthly events have run ever since and have been described as “a combination between a book club and a series of TED talks”. LDC events are open to the public and feature illustrated presentations from guests including filmmakers, writers, museum curators, artists as well as cartoonists, with strict adherence to gender parity in the quota of guests. Laydeez do Comics has spurred regular and pop up branches nationally and internationally including in Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Brighton, Glasgow, Dublin, Israel, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Czech Republic.

The UK branch of Laydeez Do Comics is run as an unincorporated voluntary organisation with a committee of six women. These are: Charlotte Bailey, Rachael Ball, Louise Crosby, Wallis Eates, Sarah Lightman and Nicola Streeten.

What is the “Laydeez Award”?

The first women’s prize for comics. Six awards will be presented to UK-based female-identifying graphic novelists for unpublished graphic novel work in progress. First prize: £2,000, five shortlisted entries: £200 each. All shortlisted entries will also receive a one-to-one free Laydeez Review session including a critique of their work, as well as professional advice.

The winners will be announced at Laydeez Day, on Saturday 24 March, 2018 at The Free Word Centre, London. Arts Council England funding is in place to support the organising and hosting activity.”

The great P. Craig Russell has a kickstarter in its last week now for a very special Fine Art Edition of his Salome and Other Stories collection. From the description:

“This beautiful 12″X17″ oversized hardcover features complete stories scanned from P. Craig Russell’s stunning original art! While appearing to be in black & white, each page has been scanned in color to recreate as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art—including blue pencils, notes, art corrections and more. Pages are reproduced at original size on heavy paper stock to provide fans, aficionados and collectors with the best possible reproductions. The book includes the following complete stories:

Salome (32 pages)

The Clowns (Pagliacci) (34 pages)

Cavalleria Rusticana (The Godfather’s Code) (33 pages)

In addition to these stories, this special Fine Art Edition includes artist’s notes with background info on each story as well as a Bonus Gallery with additional art and preliminary drawings that relate to the complete stories. The book’s final page count is estimated to be approximately 120 pages.”

I love Craig’s work, he’s a great storyteller and has crafted some truly magnificent comics art over the years, so I can only imagine this will be a work of absolute beauty, if you have some spare shekels to invest.

The Times Literary Supplement has a twenty questions chat with esteemed scribe M. John Harrison, who we often claim for the SF&F genre, but really is one of those fascinating authors who often defies genre. Snip:

TLS: What will your field look like twenty-five years from now?

M. John Harrison: Smaller. A generation will have grown up repelled by the urge to fantasy that lies behind fake news, corporate branding, political misdirection, sports reporting before the event, the constant fictionalization of everything. “Story” will be a dirty word, even at the BBC and in science journalism. Realism will have set in a long way upstream of the idea of fiction itself and people will be consuming their own lives, as lived, rather than images of life designed to persuade them of something. As part of the arms race between consumer and producer, they’ll have grown out of the idea that one kind of make-believe can be an antidote to another, and be trying to reduce their vulnerability to all of this stuff. A utopian picture, certainly: but utopianism and its ironical sister are traditional features of my field.

The V&A has a forthcoming exhibition of A.A. Milne’s much-loved “bear of little brain”, Winnie the Pooh, and naturally this will include a look into the author’s collaboration with E.H Shepard, and those gorgeous artworks that have delighted readers young and old for years. The exhibition runs at the V&A in London from December Saturday 9th. (via Down The Tubes)

Chris Riddell has pointed out that his year’s Christmas advert for the John Lewis stores, featuring Moz the Monster who lives under a child’s bed, has a remarkable resemblance to Riddell’s own 1980s debut book Mr Underbed. The former children’s laureate accused the retail chain, whose annual festive ads are seen as something of an occasion, of helping themselves to his book. John Lewis has denied plagiarism and maintain their giant, friendly, blue, bed-rocking monster is totally different from Chris Riddell’s giant, friendly, blue, bed-rocking monster. And to rub it in they have a book based on it too, which really is taking the cake (and eating that cake in front of the other person while laughing and waving). Still, there is one good outcome – demand for the original Riddell book surged so much it has sold out, with publisher Andersen Press now rushing out a new print run to bookshops for the end of this month so it can compete head to head with the department store’s own (honestly, not at all copying at all, no sirree, not in the slightest) book. (via the Guardian)

Brandon Graham posts up The Speaker, a very cool short strip he created for Dark Horse Presents #7, and rather nicely for those of us who love a bit of “process” chat from creators, he also talks a wee bit at the end about how the strip came to be and how he worked on it. Here’s a taste, check the full strip out here:

I should also add that I tip my hat to Dark Horse for their Present anthology comics – good way to foster new work from both established and fresh talent, give them a chance to try out ideas and for readers to discover them. More than a few strips from DHP have gone on to enjoy their own mini-series further down the line.

ECAF – the Edinburgh Comic Art Festival – returns for a second year, this time in the Out of the Blue Drill Hall on Dalmenny Street, on the 2nd of December. I really enjoyed the first ECAF at Summerhall last year – I thought the organisers had been far too quiet about it, mind you, a lot of folks I know weren’t aware of it until I mentioned it, and even I only found out the date a few weeks before the event. And again this year they seem to be in a kind of stealth mode, which seems peculiar to me, so I’m giving it a shout out here as the first one was pretty good. Despite the lack of publicity it got busy as the day went on, there were a lot of small press folks there and most of those I chatted to told me they felt they were being well looked after and they were picking up some decent business as the day went on. I certainly picked up a whole bunch of small press comics and spent far too much money there! I’m hoping to get along to this year’s event next month and encourage others in the area to support it so it becomes a regular fixture on our comics calendar. (here’s our report from last year’s ECAF)

And in other festival news – and by coincidence only one letter different from the above ECAF, ELCAF, the East London Comic Art Festival, returns on June 22nd to 24th 2018. Applications for exhibitors at the 2018 edition of the festival have just opened, so creators, get busy if you are thinking on going to show off your wares, details all on their site here.

How fab are these artworks ridding on Thor director Taika Waititi’s fabulous What We Do in the Shadows film? Currently showing at Gallery 1988 in LA. The first is “Wellington 1870”:

And this is “Flatmates” by Geoff Boyes, evoking the classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” pose from Queen:

There are many more cult movie-flavoured prints on show at Gallery 1988, and you can also see them online here; they are for sale in limited batches. (via IO9)

Pixar’s upcoming Coco, partly set in Mexico but also partly set in the Land of the Dead, gets a new trailer and it looks wonderfully vibrant (via Live For Film):

Coco is released in the UK in mid-January by Disney-Pixar.

Pioneering talent in the BBC’s famed Radiophonic Workshop, the late Delia Derbyshire has been posthumously honoured in her home town as Coventry University bestowed an honorary PhD. As well as a lot of remarkable work in the field of early electronic music and sounds in the Radiophonic Workshop, Derbyshire will forever be loved by SF fans the world over for taking Ron Grainer’s score and transforming it into the iconic Doctor Who theme. (via the Quietus)

Yes, I know we don’t like to be reminded that Christmas is bearing down on us like a heavily-laden runaway sleigh, but it is, and it isn’t all scrabbling for presents in a rush (on a related note, do check our reminder for last posting dates for different countries for Christmas here), it also means the Doctor Who Christmas Special. Not one Doctor, but two, as Capaldi’s incarnation meets the very first version of the errant Time Lord. In fact, maybe it is three Doctors since this is apparently when we will also finally see the regeneration that introduces Jodie Whittaker. Vworp!!

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

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