Yes, end of the week and that means time for Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense), Richard and Joe’s weekly, quick-hit round up of news and links spotted over the last few days:
This isn’t comics, but it does contain some remarkable illustrations, by one of the greatest artists of all time – Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Arundel, his notebooks, has been digitised and put online by the British Library to browse (via Open Culture):
Edinburgh’s not for profit geekfest Capital Sci-Fi Con returns on the 3rd and 4th of February 2018 at the Corn Exchange. I bumped into some of their number this weekend, all in costume and posing for photos with folks going in to see Star Wars: the Last Jedi, to raise money for charity (something they are very good at, they’ve raised thousands and thousands of pounds in recent years).
Drew Ford, who was behind bringing some excellent comics material to publication for several publishers, set up It’s Alive, his own imprint and business, but he’s been hit by a crime where the money he sent to an overseas publisher has gone “missing” (or, as Drew observes, probably stolen). His bank is investigating, but it doesn’t look likely he will get his money back and meantime he still has contributors to pay and that print run the missing money was to do, so he has a fundraiser running to try and generate some emergency cash to help him stay in business. Drew’s brought some good comics to print over the years and this sounds like a real blow below the belt, so if you are in a position to help a bit, please consider it.
The Pentagon confirms that it ran a secret investigation for several years into UFO sightings – no, not the famous Project Blue Book from many decades ago, this was in the 2000s. No idea if this also involved investigating the probing of certain bodily cavities as well… (via the Guardian)
Graveyard Shift Sisters, a site dedicated to highlighting the work of black women in the horror and fantastical genres, interviews author Lynn Emery.
“GSS: First off, thank you for granting me this interview. Tell us a bit about yourself and your writing style.
Emery: I live in Louisiana, born and raised. I’m a licensed clinical social worker having worked in a variety of places including a psychiatric hospital, correctional facility, and in child welfare. I’ve conducted investigations, including a death (natural causes, but to determine if there was negligence). I’ve had the experience of talking to killers, prostitutes, and drug dealers.
I sold my first book to Kensington Publishing in 1995. I also wrote for HarperCollins and Penguin/Putnam. I published twelve books traditionally, and now publish independently. In 2000 BET produced and released a made for television movie based on my novel After All.
My writing style is simple – I don’t think in terms of first draft. I write as though when I reach the last sentence, I’ll hit “print” and go to press. Of course in the new age of digital indie publishing, substitute “upload”. This means when I start writing I write clean; no notes that I’ll research something later or fix a plot point, etc. later. I’ve always written that way. This just came natural to me.
Later I read Lawrence Block’s book on writing From Plot to Print, and he advised doing it that way to avoid sloppy writing. It forces you to think through plotting, the beginning, middle, and the end. I felt a rush of relief because I was writing my first novel at the time. Block also said to think of your first book as practice, first books don’t sell. That popped my little new writer balloon, but I kept writing. Several months later I sold Night Magic before it was finished (the editor who bought Night Magic knew because I was honest). I pretty much ignored the rest of his advice! LOL.”
Some of the international cartoonists on Cartoon Movement muse on hopes and fears for the coming year.
As many of us are enjoying the new Star Wars movie, Francesco Francavilla posts this great portrait of Kylo Ren:
The Beat announces that IDW’s Euro Comics imprint is to publish Jean-Pierre Gibrat’s The Reprieve, a prequel to Flight of the Raven, which the published previously (a gorgeous, lush tale of wartime adventure in France – see our review here). I love Gibrat’s work, very beautiful, detailed art and characters it isn’t hard to fall for, with very detailed backgrounds (in the Raven I recognised a number of Parisian streets I’d walked myself, they were so well re-created by Gibrat’s brushes). The Reprieve follows an escaped wartime POW hiding out in a French town, content to remain hidden and watch the life of the town, until events conspire to force him to action; it should be out this coming spring. I’ll be adding that to my reading list… (via Comics Reporter)
Also on the 2018 releases slates, from the fine folks at Fantagraphics, the great Lorenzo Mattotti (surely one of the greatest contemporary European comickers?) is reunited with Jerry Kramsky for Garlandia, expected in May:
“The gars are peaceful, happy animals living alongside all kinds of wondrous creatures in their Edenic, animistic home, Garland. Their shaman, Zachariah, helps them to interpret the spirits that foretell their future. But a strange vision bodes ill, and soon an unctuous newcomer takes advantage, endangering their halcyon existence. Meanwhile, the shaman’s son, the sweet, bumbling Hippolytes, can’t find his wife Cochineal. He goes off in search of her and winds up on a perilous odyssey that takes him far from home, setting in motion a series of events that will change all of their lives forever.
This long-awaited second collaboration between Italian artists Lorenzo Mattotti and Jerry Kramsky is masterfully drawn in soft, psychedelic black and white. Ten years in the making, its characters evoke Tove Jansson’s moomins and its settings the dreamscapes of Moebius and Hayao Miyazaki. Garlandia is a major work by a master cartoonist, an enchanting graphic poem of mythic scope and surprising political relevance.”
Oh. Oh, oh oh!!! Must. Have.
Chris Riddell over in the Guardian on Brexit….
And more Brexit comment from Stephen Collins with David Davis taking the lead….