Time for our first weekly news and links round up of the year….
Tripwire reports that Blade Runner 2049, the (rather belated) sequel to the early 80s science fiction classic, has a large chunk of coverage in Entertainment Weekly, including a bunch of pics from the film, which is due this autumn.
Okay, here are two of my favourite things coming together rather nicely – artwork by the brilliant Chris Riddell, inspired by Ursula Le Guin’s astonishing Left Hand of Darkness, which in my not at all humble opinion is one of the most fascinating science fiction novels of all time (and if you haven’t read it yet, I strongly recommend it – such a slim volume, but a remarkable read and concepts).
The BBC’s in-house cartoonist Kirtish Bhat takes five news stories from India from the last twelve months and comments on them complete with cartoons:
BoingBoing reports that Tyrus Wong has passed away aged 106, an illegal immigrant who escaped persecution in China in 1920 to reach the USA, where among other things this innovative artist designed the look of one of Walt Disney’s earliest and most iconic feature length animated films, Bambi. Impossible to overestimate how important that film was to Disney and indeed along with the other early works hugely important in creating the idea of feature length animation as a viable film medium – we take that for granted now, where numerous animated films command huge takes from the box office and DVD sales, but those early works pioneered the entire idea of animated feature films, and artists like Wong gave them their achingly beautiful look. Away from his artwork though, I love that the obituary notes that he liked to build and fly kites and was still doing so well past his 100th birthday.
Broken Frontier, a real champion of Indy and small press comics, has announced their Six Small Press Creators to Watch For in 2017 list, this year highlighting work from Peony Gent, Josh Hicks, Sabba Khan, Olivia Sullivan, Anja Uhren and Kate-mia White. The BF list is always gold-pressed latinum when it comes to Indy comics recommendations, so go and have a read and add these comickers to your reading radar.
(some luscious artwork by Anja Uhren)
Sticking with Broken Frontier, they’ve just posted the results of their annual awards, the winners voted for by BF readers and staff. Terrific to see Tillie Walden continuing to impress so many readers! The full list can be read over on Broken Frontier.
New Statesman has posted up Xan Rice’s feature on the wickedly brilliant Ralph Steadman, both an overview of some of his career and a chat with the iconic artist, including his working relationship with the great Hunter S Thompson – Steadman is a remarkable artist and cartoonist and an inspiration to a number of the later generations of satirical cartoonists, and it’s always good to see his work given a good, long feature piece like this.
On Over the Effing Rainbow Pater McLean guest posts on British Urban Fantasy. Snip:
“The UK and the USA have been famously described as two nations separated by a common language, and I think that’s very true. I don’t just mean in the words we use, although there are differences there too. I’m talking about the language of common symbols and of shared experience. And the British experience is nothing like the American one.
Britain is a very old place, dotted with castles and cathedrals and stone circles and barrows and hill-forts going back thousands of years. Our stories go back thousands of years too. We have folklore horrors like Black Shuck and Sawney Bean, and insane local customs such as chasing a giant cheese down a cliff. We’ve been invaded, over and over again, by the Angles and the Romans and the Saxons and the Vikings and the French. We lost the most powerful empire in the history of the modern period. We’ve been bombed, and we’ve had severe rationing. There may still be an American Dream, but there really isn’t a British one anymore.”
The rest of the article is well worth reading and can be found here.
Over on the Guardian Zainab Akhtar selects twenty graphic novel releases to look forward to in 2017, from Junji Ito’s Dissolving Classroom to Joe Decie’s Collecting Sticks, go and have a look.
People Movies reports that Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens’ HBO documentary Bright Lights, about Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, filmed across 2014 and 2015 in the run up to Reynolds receiving her Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award (which, touchingly, was presented to her by her daughter Carrie) , will air on HBO, giving an “intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty in all its eccentricity”. There’s a trailer on People here. (via Live for Film)