Yes, it’s Friday again and that means time for our weekly Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) column, where Richard and Joe round up some of the news and links spotted over the last few days and bung them up in one handy digest:
I totally missed this news from November – musician and composer Dudley Simpson passed away, aged 95. Dudley, an Australian, worked in many arenas, including being principal conductor of the Royal Opera House, but it is for his science fiction contributions that he will be best remembered by many genre fans. Dudley provided music for Blake’s 7 and The Tomorrow People in the 1970s, but he also became the in house composer of music for each episode of Doctor Who for a long span of years. In fact Dudley started providing music in the second season of the show and continued through until 1980, so his music scored the adventures of the first four Doctors, spanning the Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee and Tom Baker years, before producer Nathan-Turner decided to move the music responsibilities to the Radiophonic Workshop as part of a revamp of the series as Baker departed and Peter Davison took over the TARDIS. That’s one hell of a run. (via the Guardian)
Daisy Ridley has denied rumours that she wanted to leave the Star Wars franchise: “When I did sign up, I did sign up for three films and that’s where I sort of saw the story ending. I think everyone has perhaps taken that as me going, ‘I don’t want anything to do with it’ which is vastly untrue because this is awesome.” Daisy also went on to add that she thought it was important that such a major film series from a big studio featured a strong female lead, which I imagine is a sentiment many of us will echo, especially given the number of young girls who adore cosplaying as Rey at comic cons (which is just wonderful to see).
The Catford Comics and Zine Fair is this weekend – 12 to 6pm on Sunday 10th December in the Blythe Hill Tavern
Also on the convention and festival theme, tickets are now up for sale for the forthcoming Dunfermline Comic Con, which takes place on Saturday 3rd March 2018.
BHP have a great scheme for Full Colour, a year-long mentoring scheme for young Scottish creators aged 14-26 from a BAME background. It sounds like a terrific idea and a great opportunity for new talent to get some help to shine, not to mention potentially bringing a more diverse pool of creators into the comics biz, which is never a bad thing. Check out the site for more details.
Mark Haven Britt, late of Image Comics, has a Kickstarter into its last week or so, for Monument, “a classic pop record in comic book form. It’s part Twin Peaks and part HBO’s Big Little Lies. MONUMENT is a comic book about a small town with a lot of secrets. Red envelopes start arriving all over town revealing people’s deepest, darkest secrets and each chapter is about what those people do once the secret is out.”
The Threadless blog has a wee interview with a couple of our long-time favourite creators, Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, known collectively as Metaphrog, about their career and their recent, award-nominated adaptations of the works of Hans Christian Andersen, which we have been loving here on the blog; snip:
“What inspires you most about finding the dark side of fairy tales? What are some of your favorite stories to put a darker twist on?
S: Fairy tales and folk tales often have a dark side, and that darkness holds a lasting power and helps get the core message of the story across. The darkness and light of such stories are held in balance.
J: For example, in The Red Shoes, although the story is dark and treats themes of obsession, possession, and hope, it still has a lightness and a strangeness. The reader is encouraged to suspend disbelief.”
(a page from The Little Mermaid, adapted by Metaphrog, published Papercutz)
The NYC Morning Bell, a blog for the NYC Department of Education, looks at an initiative at the New York Comic Con for librarians and educators on using comics and graphic novels in education and to encourage reading and studies, something we know the medium is quite excellent for:
“This year, ReedPOP, the organizers behind NY Comic Con, worked with the New York Public Library to establish the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building as a separate venue space for educators and librarians during the convention’s “Pro Day,” on October 5. This arrangement was ideal, as the Schwarzman Building allowed attendees to network and participate in education-related panels and workshops throughout the day without having to deal with the crowds normally found at the convention.
The panels and workshops held at the Schwarzman Building all centered around the use of graphic novels (comic books, manga, and graphic adaptations of traditional texts) and/or games (i.e. videogames, board games, etc) in the classroom and in libraries. Topics covered at these events included:
graphic novel collection development;
political activism; and
the use of graphic novels as primary sources.
Thanks to these panels and workshops, educators got the opportunity to learn from others who are already using graphic novels in their schools, and publishers got the chance to receive feedback from teachers and librarians about their particular needs.”
The post also includes handy links to various other pieces such as suggested reading lists for different ages groups, very handy for librarians, teachers and parents, I should think.
The BBC continues to do some sterling collaboration with Neil Gaiman – BBC Radio 4 has a multi-episode, full-cast adaptation of his excellent Anansi Boys novel this month, starting on Christmas Day. I am so looking forward to listening to that… Here’s a wee introduction to the cast, and here’s a link to the show’s page.
Starburst notes we’re getting our first glimpse of Pirates of the Caribbean star Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson’s version of Robin in the forthcoming DC Titans show:
On the show itself, due in 2018, “Titans follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In this action-packed series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes, including Starfire, Raven and many others. Titans is a dramatic, live-action adventure series that will explore and celebrate one of the most popular comic book teams ever.”
Some more new comics and appearances from Edinburgh-based comicker Malcy Duff:
City Vegetables Newsflash Issues 4,5,6, and 7 – new two sided one sheets featuring comic strips, and documents, of City Vegetables’ concerns. Warning: Fatberg survived! £1 each, plus P + P, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to order copies
City Vegetables Live: The last City Vegetables live set of the year will take place at Henry’s Cellar Bar on Friday December 15th.
The Official Autobiography Of Florence Foster Jenkins : Chapter 39, a comic to be read with a magnifying glass.
Bassoon 79: (whispering) Can you see what the Conductor is telling us to do?
Bass Harmonica 158: (also whispering) That isn’t the Conductor. That’s a paper cup with a straw sticking out of it.
Bassoon 79: Ah. ………………So,.. where is the Conductor?
Bass Harmonica 156: Shhhh! (whispering as well) Inside the paper cup!
Numbered edition of 100, Screen Printed Board Cover With Book Bound Edges, £5 (plus P + P)
Neil Slorance on Donald Trump’s tweets, for The National (click the link for the full thing):
Ros Asquith on the continuing cultural vandalism of school and public library cuts: