It’s Friday, it’s the start of the weekend, so settle back as Joe and Richard round-up the best of this week’s comics and SF news. Yes, it’s Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) time again…
Date for your diary – Owen Michael Johnson talks comics in Oxford
You may remember recently we posted about Orbit Books planning a companion to the Culture novels of the late and much missed Iain M Banks next year, featuring drawings, maps, history notes and more by Iain, curated by his longtime friend and fellow SF scribe Ken MacLeod. Well more good news as just this week Orbit announced that Amazon Studios is adapting Iain’s Consider Phlebeas for television! This follows other deals by the studio for major science fiction novels to adapt, including Larry Niven’s classic Ringworld and Neal Stephenson’s fascinating Snow Crash. The Culture novels should make for a cracking slice of telefantasy – thoughtful, with humour and moral conundrums, and plenty of action too. I will look forward to seeing this, although like many of you it will be a little bittersweet for me as we all wish Iain were here to see it happen. And dammit, he bloody should be here still… But no doubt as well as old fans like us the television version will introduce a whole new bunch of people to the Culture, and that’s a good thing. (via Hollywood Deadline)
Movie news… I Kill Giants poster – oh, this looks so good.
So very, very good. As good as the comic? Nah, not a chance, but everything about the movie Richard’s read thus far tells him it’s going to be rather good. It’s on release from March 23rd.
RIP, Fred Jefferies, the blind cartoonist
The Pro Cartoonists’ Organisation notes the passing of veteran member Fred Jefferies, after a fifty year career as an artist and cartoonist. Remarkably Fred, 89, started to lose his sight in 2011. Blindness is devastating for anyone, but to happen to a professional artist is awful, and yet Fred, with help from others, found a way to still draw even after losing his sight, creating two books after his vision was taken from him.
It was the BAFTAs on Sunday evening, and while the competition for the Golden Luvvie was as fierce as ever, I’m delighted to see that the prestigious Best Director award went to Guillermo Del Toro for the achingly beautiful The Shape of Water. It’s fairly rare that the British Academy or the Oscars folks give Best Director to a helmer from a science fiction or fantasy movie (the industry loves the big box office genre brings in, but still often rather looks down on it as somehow lesser), so that’s a good win for the brilliant Guillermo and for our beloved fantastical genres too. I’ve followed Del Toro’s work since the wonderfully unusual Cronos years back and it’s a pleasure to see him being so honoured at one of the major film awards like this. In his acceptance speech he paid tribute to some of the British film-makers who inspired him, especially the wonderful Powell and Pressburger movies.
The mighty Sir Ridley Scott was given a Fellowship as a mark of respect for his remarkable career. Disney Pixar’s Coco took the Best Animated Feature award, while the award for best Short Animation went to Paloma Baeza for her lovely stop-motion piece, Poles Apart, which I saw at the annual McLaren short animation strands at the Edinburgh International Film Festival last summer, where it also won (report here). I love catching the short animation at the festival – the audience chooses the winner of the McLaren and it’s especially nice to see some of those works then featuring at major awards like BAFTA. (full list of the BAFTA winners is on the BBC site here)
The fab Eddie Campbell has a shiny new website and will be posting a newly colourised strip, The Empty Nesters, each Friday, here’s a taster, check Eddie’s site for the full strip:
Meanwhile Jonathan Cape has Bizarre Romance by Eddie and his new wife, acclaimed author Audrey Niffenegger, coming this spring. I’d happily read anything by Eddie or Audrey, but both collaborating together? Oh yes! Just received an early copy so expect a review in the next week or two.
Porcelain en Francais
The achingly beautiful adult fairy tale of Benjamin Read and Chris Wildgoose’s Porcelain from Improper Books has its third volume coming out in France this month, with the French edition being published again by Éditions Delcourt. Congrats to the guys – always inspiring to see quality British comics being translated and published into the great Franco-Belgian comics market.
Every Oscar Visual Effects Winner Supercut
It’s movie awards season – we’ve had the Globes and the BAFTAs with the Oscars coming up soon, so enjoy this supercut of clips from every Oscar winner in the visual effects category from 1928 to 2017 (plus the contenders for the 2018 Oscar for VFX). I suspect there are an awful lot of geek faves in here… (via BoingBong)
Small Press Sunday in FP Edinburgh this weekend
A number of our stores are currently talking to local creators for this summer’s Small Press Day and brainstorming ideas, but while that is still some months off, here’s a sort of taster mini event as Forbidden Planet Edinburgh has Small Press Sunday on Feb 25th, with a trio of local self published comickers coming in from 1-3pm: Fred Egg Comics, Treehouse Comics and Special Dudes Comix, so if you’re in town please do come along to celebrate and support some local Indy comics creators.
Vworp! New Who Logo Revealed
The official BBC Doctor Who feed tweeted this image “a new era of Doctor Who is dawning…”, and there’s also a new logo to go with the new Doctor and the forthcoming new series. Vworp!
Cartooning round up
Antonio Rodriguez in Cartoon Movement on the seemingly endless horror in Syria, where even hospitals and medical staff braving the bombs and blood, trying to do what they can against the carnage, are being systematically targeted:
Pia Guerra in The Nib comments on the brave youngsters taking a stand on gun violence in America and demanding the supposedly responsible adult leaders do something about it (I am totally in awe of these schoolkids, they’re showing more courage, morality and empathy than most of the adults in positions of authority):
And on the same subject following the latest in a horrifically long line of such murderous slaughters, Chris Riddell in the Guardian: