Stuff (& possibly nonsense) #99
Here we go again, time for that weekly round up of all things news and comics related.
Last weekend saw the 40th anniversary celebrations for 2000AD, with a gathering of the great and the good in that there London town. Facebook and Twitter that day just blew up, mostly with “I’m getting the train down now” things, but there was also a hefty outpouring of praise for both the comic and the event itself, featuring, well…. these fine folks…
Here at the FPI Blog, we’d all like to extend our congratulations to the comic. And here’s to 40 more.
One very good, but bittersweet, thing I saw via John Freeman’s Facebook was this, a reminder of just some of the talent that’s passed in the 40 years.
Another anniversary last week …. the 50th anniversary of Fantastic, 1967.
Fifty years ago, on Saturday 11th February 1967, Odhams launched Fantastic comic, a new weekly that is still fondly remembered to this day. Odhams had been presenting reprints of Marvel strips in their other comics for several months by this time; The Incredible Hulk in Smash!, The Fantastic Four in Wham!, Spider-Man and Nick Fury in Pow!, but those reprints were sharing space with traditional British humour and adventure content. With Fantastic, the content was 90% Marvel reprint, (later 100%), making the comic unlike any other weekly on the stands in 1967.
From a personal viewpoint, I have fond memories of Fantastic. It was a bit expensive, and my parents were already buying me several comics a week, so my Aunt Joan used to buy me Fantastic (and its soon-to-follow companion comic Terrific). I remember her bringing them for me every Saturday afternoon when she’d finished her shift at the bakehouse. (I’d save Terrific to read on a Sunday.) Happy times, long gone, but comics can be great artefacts for stirring up memories.
So, yes, Fantastic seems to have been responsible it seems for turning many a young mind into a comics fan, including our own Kenny Penman.
More themed variant covers coming from Image Comics as part of their twenty fifth anniversary year celebrations – throughout March there will be a range of variant covers to go along with Women’s History Month. From Image’s pres release: “The variants will serve to celebrate the careers of women in comics, the strides made throughout comics history made by the women’s movement, and the company’s history of shaking up the status quo. 100% of the proceeds made from these March Women’s History variant covers will be donated to Planned Parenthood.” Never a bad thing to remind us how huge the contribution by women has been to this supposedly “boy’s club”.
(above: Emmi Lennox’s variant for Jeff Lemire’s Royal City #1; below: Motor Crush #4 by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart & Babs Tarr, Women’s History Month variant artwork by Leslie Hung)
Delighted to hear that the charity the Book Trust has appointed one of our very faves, Sarah McIntyre, as their new online Writer-Illustrator in Residence:
“I’m so excited to be BookTrust’s new Writer-Illustrator in Residence, using this awesome platform to highlight how pictures can be amazing ways into stories and can speak to everyone. During my residency, which I’m going to call the Big Red Book Show, I’m hoping to encourage children to draw with others, helping to generate new ideas, discover challenges and create a fun community. I’d like to encourage children (and grownups) to be kind to their drawings, forgive their drawings their foibles, be proud of sharing their work, and continue to make more drawings.”
I imagine Sarah will be wonderful in this role, we already know she’s a tireless campaigner for illustrator’s rights, creator of wonderful comics and books and a past-master at getting kids excitedly enthusiastic for both reading and for working on their own stories (I well remember Sarah crossing the sunny lawn of the Edinburgh Book Festival from her event to the book tent for a signing, followed by a long line of very happy kids), and for somehow still finding time to post up on these and other issues, so I think she will be ideal in this role. (via the Bookseller)
In other events this week, Sarah McIntyre has a wonderful write up at her Live Journal of the Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 honouring Raymond Briggs.
(Raymond Briggs drawn by Sarah McIntyre)
And here’s the loveliest photo, Briggs chatting with Shirley Hughes, again via Sarah McIntyre…
And finally, Chris Riddell commemorates the event:
Rob Well’s Back, Sack and Crack was first announced way back in 2015, but now he’s all done with it (well, nearly) there’s a release date of May from Little, Brown. It’s one I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while.
Here’s the blurb….
A graphic novel about chronic pain, mental health complications and mixed experiences of the medical profession from a talented comic book artist who turns years of agony and poor medical management into an hilarious and shockingly frank tale.
Rob Wells has spent much of his adult life coping with chronic pain of different kinds – an embarrassing bowel problem in his early 20s, recurring testicular pain in his late 20s and 30s, and back problems requiring spinal surgery in his early 40s. Consistent through these experiences has been a feeling of being passed from pillar to post by the medical community, seemingly at a loss to explain the cause of these issues, or to find a lasting solution for them.
This is the warm and witty story of a man’s battle with his own body, and with the medical industry that couldn’t quite appreciate the problem. For anyone who has ever felt let down by their doctors, or who has suffered with chronic pain that shows no sign of subsiding, Rob Wells bravely invites you to really get to grips with his balls.
The Lakes Comic Art Festival turns five this autumn (already?? How quickly it goes past…) and has just announced an amazing international guest line up. Rather than crib names from the list please excuse me just copying and pasting from their press release, because it is an amazing group of comickers from all over the globe:
“Over 48 internationally-acclaimed comic creators will be joining previously-announced guest Sergio Aragones (MAD, Groo the Wanderer) in Kendal in October, including, from the US and Canada, Jason Latour (SpiderGwen, the award-winning Southern Bastards, Wolverine); Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo)’; illustrator and cartoonist Michael Cho, who has designed this year’s promotional art for LICAF’s 2017 artwork; leading children’s illustrator, writer, book designer and graphic novelist Claudia Davila; Eisner Award winner Ryan North (Adventure Time, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Dinosaur Comics); award-winning artist and writer Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer, Skim, Teenage Age Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tomb Raider and Hulk); Jillian Tamaki (Supermutant Magic Academy); and Chip Zdarsky (Howard the Duck, Sex Criminals, Starlord).
From Australia, inspirational comics creator Bruce Mutard (The Sacrifice) who brings a “caravan” of some of the best and up-and-coming artists and writers from Australia with him.
From Europe, guests include Belgian artist Ivan Petrus, who is returning to the festival from Belgium to continue the story he began in Kendal in 2014; Benoit Peeters – the UK’s Professor of Graphic Fiction and Comic Art (Lancaster University in association with LICAF); making a very rare convention appearance, Norwegian artist Jason, referred to as one of the medium’s finest storytellers with and unmistakeable style and an approach to narrative like no-one else’s; and award-winning Belgian comic author, animator, writer and illustrator Aimée de Jongh (Snippers, The Return of the Honey Buzzard)
The Festival will also have a special delegation of creative talent from Finland, in partnership with the Finnish Institute, along with many Moomin-themed celebrations. The line-up we can reveal so far includes Johanna Rajola, the equivalent of our Comics Laureate in Finland and one of Finland’s leading comic artists; and comics art rock star Petteri Tikkanen.”
“From the UK and Ireland, the line-up includes Comics Laureate and Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard; web comic maestro (and more) John Allison; comic creatrix extraordinaire, podcaster and satirist Hannah Berry; “graphic journalist” Darryl Cunningham, who will be launching his new book, Graphic Science; the hard core of VIZ, Graham Dury and Simon Thorp; Jonathan Edwards (NME, The Guardian Tank Girl) and his partner FeltMistress (aka Louise Evans), who have been commissioned by LICAF to produce an homage to one of their favourite comics creators, Tove Jansson; “the artists’ artist” Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy and much, much more); British/Japanese artist Fumio Obata, who has been commissioned by LICAF to explore the impact of the 2011 Fukushima Disaster in Japan, a commission launching at the Festival; team Metaphrog, whose work straddles children’s and adult’s comics with a surreal style which has won them many awards and acclaim; award-winning North West-based illustrator Emmeline Pidgen; multi-talented artist and writer Lew Stringer (Beano, EPIC, TOXIC, VIZ and creator of Combat Colin), a man with an unequalled knowledge of British comics past and present; Festival patron Bryan Talbot (2000AD, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright), recognised as one of the most influential British comic artists ever, who will be launching the fifth and last volume of his epic Grandville series at the festival this year; fellow LICAF patron Emma Vieceli (BREAKS, Doctor Who); and Christian Ward, co-creator of ODY-C, described as “one of the most artistically ambitious books on the market”.
Celebrating 40 years of the SF weekly comic 2000AD will be Brendan McCarthy, one of the most gifted of British comic artists (Strange Days, Judge Dredd, Spider-Man: Fever, Dream Gang and designer, Mad Max Fury Road); the audacious, brilliant and insanely imaginative Peter Milligan (Bad Company, Shade: The Changing Man, The Mummy); and former 2000AD editor and writer Steve MacManus, who’ll be telling some fascinating stories of The Mighty One and the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic. ”
The fifth Lakes International Comic Art Festival takes place in Kendall from the 13th to 15th of October
Congratulations to Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara on winning the British Short Animation category at the BAFTAs on Sunday night. I caught A Love Story during the annual McLaren Animation awards strand at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last June, and loved it. The Curzon cinema group – who themselves got a BAFTA at the weekend for their huge support to Indy British and European films – have A Love Story and other short films from the BAFTA nominations available to stream.
Stephen Collins on the wonders of the doc’s surgery!
With the new Keanu movie about to hit screens this cartoon by Lee Healey “get on John’s wick” had me laughing out loud (for those unfamiliar with UK slang, “getting on someone’s wick” is a way of saying you are really bugging them, although sure you can guess that from the context here!):