Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #140

Published On December 1, 2017 | By Joe Gordon | Animation, Comics, Film TV & Theatre

And once more it’s that time of week where Richard and Joe offer up a few bits and pieces of news and links spotted during the course of the last few days:

Rachael Ball has added some unusual Christmas cards to her online shop, if you are looking for something a bit different in festive cards. And as a bonus the proceeds from the first two hundred sales will go towards the Laydeez Do Comics graphic novel prize, which we blogged about the other week.

Can we ever have too much kaiju??? There’s a new anime Godzilla series on the way, Godzilla: Monster Planet, coming to Netflix, set in the far future long after humanity has left the Earth and Godzilla is king, with a small team of humans returning to study what has been happening. This piece is very short, really just a teaser and mostly in Japanese, but it does have some footage and introduces the actors who are the voice talent on the film, first of a projected trilogy of animated Godzilla movies we have to look forward to! (via CBR)

One of my all-time favourite films has had a full 4K restoration and will be getting cinema screenings around the UK from today, Powell and Pressburgers’s magnificent wartime fantasy-romance A Matter of Life and Death. I once saw this at the Edinburgh Film Festival being introduced by its legendary cinematographer, Jack Cardiff, and I swear as he talked about shooting the film the then frail, elderly man straightened and seemed to become younger as he told us about the making of it, it was truly magical.

Split into silvery monochrome for the scenes set in the afterlife and glorious, early colour for the scenes on Earth, it’s an achingly beautiful tale of life, death, afterlife and the one thing stronger than any of them: love. The visuals are astonishing now – must have been remarkable to the 1940s audience, just out of the war – and the restoration should make those glorious visuals sparkle. If, like me, you love this film, this sounds like a real treat. If you have never seen this gem of British fantasy film, you really, really should, it’s simply wonderful. Details of the 4k restoration and the upcoming cinema releases can be found on the Park Circus website.

Rawan Issa’s Being Illegal is Unbearable on The Nib tells the heartbreaking story of some of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon (itself sadly no stranger to war), and how a once safe-haven from that awful, seemingly endless civil war can become a prison. Accepted on a student residency, what happens when you graduate? It can be very difficult to get another residency and being deported could mean being returned to war-torn Syria and the brutal Assad regime, so unsurprisingly some choose to remain illegally. But what happens when every time you see a check point you worry? When you can’t tell the police is anyone harms you because you can’t draw attention to yourself, you can’t sleep at night because you never know if or when the authorities may discover and come for you? Terrifying way to live, it’s a form of imprisonment for those already fleeing slaughter. (via Comics Reporter)

Plan B Books in Shawlands Arcade in Glasgow have an exhibition of the work of the late Jim Turnbull, who worked for a variety of publishers, including D C Thomson, but is perhaps best-known for many years as the political cartoonist for the Glasgow Heralnd (now just called The Herald). The exhibition contains over a hundred pieces of Jim’s work (all are also for sale if you want to buy a wee bit of cartooning history), and it runs from December 2nd to 21st (please note Plan B’s opening hours though – Wed-Sat from 12-5pm)

(Turnbull’s daughter Pamela with a selection of her father’s cartooning work, photo by Chris James, borrowed from an article in Turnbull’s old home of the Herald)

On the back of Robbie the Robot from our namesake Forbidden Planet selling for over $5 million at auction, the Guardian has a pictorial look at some of the priciest movie prop sales, including Robbie (right at the top of the list) and James Bond’s submersible Lotus.

Steve Bonello in the Sunday Times of Malta, commenting on how the EU is becoming worried about the growth of anti-democratic tendencies and a rise of right-wing nationalist in a number of member countries, such as Poland, Hungary and Malta (via Cartoon Movement):

Edinburgh science fiction peeps, the fine Shoreline of Infinity events moves to a new day and venue in December, with the next gig being in Frankenstein’s on George IV Bridge in the Old Town, from 7.30pm on Thursday 7th December. Always a good evening!

Also in Edinburgh, a final reminder that tomorrow, Saturday 2nd of December (blimey, it’s December already…) is the second ECAF, Edinburgh Comic Art Festival, which this year is in the Out of the Blue Drill Hall on Dalmenny Street. I enjoyed last year’s debut of ECAF, lots of Indy and small press creators, I bought myself a pile of mini comics and also bagged some nice prints from creators that were ideal for Christmas gifts too.

Also this weekend, although in what I suspect will be a much warmer city, the Malta Comic Con returns on December 2nd and 3rd, and has announced the final raft of guests joining the previously announced creators:

Wicked Comics are proud to announce that guests William Simpson, Chryssv, Simone Di Meo, Kugali, Grafimated Cartoon and Alasdair The Manic Sculptor as well as exhibitors Ashley Eric Peschel, Graphic Novels Library Malta (GNLM), Ivan Xuereb, JapanEats, Kawaii Margit Waas (Happy Paws), Suus de Kock, Warehouse Booksales, Yiying Sui and Pro Wrestling Malta will be joining the previously announced guest and exhibitors amongst the highlights of Malta Comic Convention (MCC) 2017. The 9th edition of the Malta Comic Con (MCC) will be held on Saturday 2rd December (10am-6pm) and Sunday 3rd December (11am-7pm) 2017 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta.”

The BBC reports that the late and much-missed Carrie Fisher has received a posthumous Grammy Award nomination for her spoken word version of her journal, The Princess Diarist. Much as I am eager to see The Last Jedi (just a few weeks now!) it is going to be a bittersweet film for legions of fans, knowing it will be the last time wee see Carrie as our awesome princess.

The legendary Karen Berger talks about her latest project involving creator-owned works at Dark Horse, and the forthcoming Anthony Bourdain-penned Hungry Ghosts (via Tripwire):

The trailer for Avengers: Infinity War dropped online this week and it looks amazing!

Some scenes were shot just five moments from the blogcave deep below the Edinburgh FP store, so I am especially eager to see some of our local neighbourhood on the big screen!

The 2018 OFFSET Dublin bash (March 23rd to 25th) has announced the great Chris Ware as one of their guests – apparently they have been inviting him every year for quite a few years but his schedule and their events never lined up till now. I was lucky enough to hear Chris speak at the Edinburgh International Book Festival a few years back, and highly recommend Dublin comics peeps get themselves along to this one!

Chris Ware & Joe Sacco signing Forbidden Planet Edinburgh 01
(Chris Ware with Joe Sacco, signing in Forbidden Planet Edinburgh, photo from my Flickr)

I’m currently enjoying Rich Tommaso‘s hugely fun Spy Seal from Image Comics. Issue #4 was released just this week, and sees a trip to Scotland which seemed awfully familiar – the characters here are all anthropomorphic, and so instead of a young, red-haired chap in a kilt we have a dog-person in plaid. A dog-person who looks remarkably like a certain intrepid boy reporter’s best friend, Snowy…  Is Rich doing a homage to Herge’s immortal Tintin and the Black Island story? Just as I am thinking this I turn the pages and it becomes very clear he is with this panel:

However, as a person of the Scottish persuasion, I’m not entirely convinced by Rich’s attempt to make the speech in the local hotel sound phonetically Scottish at all, but he does get some brownie points not just for the attempt but for including actual Scots words like “drookit” (“soaked”, our man comes in from the torrential rain – well, it is Scottish weather…). Loving this series and the Tintin homage this issue just added a big cherry to the top of the whipped cream! If you’ve missed the issues so far, the first trade collection of Spy Seal is due from Image in January and can be pre-ordered now on our site.

Tom Gauld on abbreviations for marine biologists in New Scientist:

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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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