It’s that time of the week once more for our quick-hit round up of news and links and bits and pieces spotted over the last few days:
The much-respected publisher Humanoids, well known for bringing us translations of some top European works, has revealed a new logo for it’s Metal imprint, the brand created back in 1974 along with the iconic Metal Hurlant journal, founded by Moebius, Druillet and Dionnet.
“Since the 70s, METAL has been part of worldwide pop culture. It has always been a symbol of the strong ties that exists between the comic book world and the movie industry. BLADE RUNNER and MAD MAX’s creators, to name only a few, shared the same creative and innovative spirit. A spirit that has never faltered across Humanoids’ many ventures, and that is now being revitalized in the form of this new logo and movement,” Fabrice Giger, CEO Humanoids.
The new logo, designed by Jerry Frissen, will be used with a number of forthcoming projects in both publishing and wider entertainment media, with details of some of those projects promised for later in the year, so no doubt we’ll be hearing more soon.
The trailer for The Lost City of Z went online this week. Starring Charlie Hunman and Sienna Miller it follows the remarkable adventures of a real historical figure who has fascinated me for years – Percy Fawcett. Fawcett is like something from a Victorian/Edwardian adventure novel – a member of the Royal Geographical Society, he explored and charted regions unknown to Western scholars in the early 1900s, gave talks, created maps, returned from his travels to serve in WWI, then went off looking for the mysterious lost city of Z (possibly a part of the legendary El Dorado), before vanishing into the jungle and into history. Little wonder that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based some of his Professor Challenger on the real-life Fawcett. This was one of the last eras where there were such vast, unexplored areas to chart that the idea of a lost civilisation wasn’t overly fanciful, and the romantic notion of it and the mystery surrounding Fawcett and the city he sought have inspired many tales since, so this could be pretty interesting. The film is released in the UK on March 24th.
Very sad to hear over the weekend that we lost John Watkiss, comics and fine artist, who worked on pretty much every form of illustration from paintings to visualisations for film and television to comics, where he created artwork for the Bruce Jones-scripted Deadman, issues of Gaiman’s Sandman, Starman, Conan, Ring of Roses and most recently with Sara Kenney on the currently running Image series Surgeon X, which has been impressing me (see here for a review of the first issue). John was only 55; over on Down The Tubes John Freeman has collated a number of tributes from fellow creators from Chris Weston to Neil Gaiman and Kurt Busiek. I’m still reading Surgeon X, waiting on the end of the mini-series, and now those final issues are going to feel somewhat different when I read them…
The title for the next Star Wars film has been revealed (and predictably Twitter and Facebook exploded) – The Last Jedi. According to SFX it will feature Luke Skywalker heavily. Episode eight is expected to hit cinemas on December 15th (glances at calendar, wills time to move forward…)
Loving this sign from one of the many women’s marches which took place around the world, from Washington DC to London – this one is from the Chicago march and who is that holding up the sign reading “Hey, Donald, don’t try to grab my pussy, it’s made of steel”? It’s Supergirl herself, Melissa Benoist! (via BoingBoing)
Really nice offer from Matt Garvey, who is offering to help newer self-published creators by choosing one of their tales to go in his next comic – essentially he’s offering to include some new talent’s four page story in his own next comic, at his own printing expense, as a way of encouraging new creators. Which is a bloody lovely thing to do, and another reason we love our comics community and the support it frequently shows for its fellow. Here’s a wee bit of what Matt said:
“I am a small press creator and I have a number of comics coming out this year. As well as making my own comics, I like to try and encourage and help other wannabe creators to go out there and make their own comics. It is hard work, but it is such a fun thing to do. Getting a 24 page comic completed right out of the blocks can be a daunting task and let’s be honest, it’s scary if you have never done it before. I want to help you go from thinking “I don’t know if I can” to “I CAN make my own comic”.
So, what am I proposing?
I have a Sci-fi comedy comic called “untitled generic space comedy” coming out later this year and I want to help you by printing YOUR four-page story in the back of my comic to help you get a taste for it.
Important: THERE IS NO MONEY INVOLVED. You or your team will not be paid by me or anyone else for including your story in my SMALL PRESS comic. All I am doing is giving away four pages in the back of my comic for a story that I like.
It will actually cost me more money to print MY comic with your story in the back… And I am simply doing this to encourage you to start making comics. If you are looking to get paid, then please do not enter… Your creative team will own all the rights to anything you create and make (you need to work out how that is split within your teams, I am not getting involved), I will be paying for the printing costs out of my own pocket and I’ll happily give your team 10 free copies to be split. So, if you are a writer and an artist, paring up, you’ll get 5 copies each…”
This is almost like a small press version of the venerable Future Shocks in 2000 AD, a small space inside a more established one where new talent gets a chance to shine, and it is a terrific bit of generous support by Matt. The deadline ins 30th April – full details are on this thread on Millarworld, so go check it out. Matt’s Adventures of Cordelia Swift Volume 1 is available now from his site, and via our webstore.
The latest podcast from the excellent 2000 AD Thrillcast sees legendary comics figure and creator of DC’s Vertigo imprint Karen Berger as the guest, discussing her time as DC’s UK liason and how that lead to discovering a slew of 2000 AD creators, including Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, and inviting them to try out for DC – with some pretty influential results – and the impact this veteran of Brit comics has had on the wider comics scene in the US.
Park Circus announced some news this week that will make my fellow horror fans pretty happy – the Indy US horror hit The Eyes of my Mother, which has been getting a lot of positive chat on the horror vine (the horror vine is close the SF vine, but, well darker. And slightly slimy sometimes), so I think it is fair to say a lot of us who love our horror movies are going to be happy that we’re getting to see this, and that it will be in the cinemas rather than DVD (much more atmospheric watching horror in a darkened cinema). From the description:
“The hauntingly beautiful and shockingly original debut from filmmaker Nicolas Pesce stars Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, Clara Wong, Flora Diaz and Joey Curtis-Green, is produced by Jacob Wasserman, Schuyler Weiss, Max Born, and executive produced by Borderline Films’ Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin and Josh Mond. The film fuses classic horror ingredients with Gothic black-and-white imagery and was called the “discovery of this year’s Sundance” by Indiewire’s Eric Kohn, where it was in the Official Selection category as well as the BFI London Film Festival 2016. It has already received strong critical acclaim from Variety calling it “an exquisite waking nightmare” and Little White Lies who said it was “an extraordinarily assured debut.”
Francisca (played by Kika Magalhaes in a breakout performance) has seemingly been unfazed by death from an early age – her mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, imbued her with a thorough understanding of the human anatomy. When tragedy shatters her family’s idyllic life in the countryside, her deep trauma gradually awakens some unique curiosities. As she grows up, her desire to connect with the world around her takes a distinctly dark form.”
Always good to see quality Indy movies getting some support and distribution – the number of excellent films I’ve seen at film festivals over the years that never get picked up for distribution is really disheartening, so I am always cheered when one gets picked up from the buzz on the festival circuit. The Eyes of My Mother will be released in UK cinemas on March 24th.
Over at the ever wonderful Comics Beat,
Heidi (Ooops – actually it was Alex!) has the news that the venerable New York Times has dropped the Graphic Novel best-seller lists. Which is a pain. A damn pain. Heidi puts things into a bit more perspective with a second rather telling post revolving around this tweet from Pamela Paul, editor of the New York Times Book Review…
Yeah, the editor of The New York Times Book Review starts a tweet with a cliche we thought we’d left behind in the 90s. The old Biff! Bang! Pow! etc mentality. Dear God almighty. Explains a lot. And then to describe Senator John Lewis’s March as a children’s book, well that’s a whole new level of lazy journalism.
Seriously? March by John Lewis is a phenomenon, a fabulous memoir of the civil rights movement, and it’s been top of the bestseller lists for a long time. Yes, it’s suitable for kids but to describe it as a children’s book is just dumb in so many ways.
The only good thing about it all? Hopefully we’ll now be seeing more and more graphic novels in the NYT bestseller lists proper. Ho hum.
Chris Riddell in the Guardian on the inauguration of Trump: