Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #157

Published On March 30, 2018 | By Joe Gordon | Animation, Books, Comics, Film TV & Theatre

It’s Friday and that means time for Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense), our weekly round up of news and links Richard and Joe have spotted over the last few days:

Sandman Universe art

Oh, oh, oh… Look at this page of art from Bilquis Evely for the upcoming Sandman Universe series from Vertigo that we blogged about a couple of weeks ago. How gorgeous is this work depicting Lucien and the Library of Dreams? I could so happily wander the stacks and aisles of that library for a few centuries…

Anime Weekend at the BFI

The BFI once more holds its now traditional Anime Weekend for this spring: running over the weekend of Friday 18th to Sunday 20th May, the event, which happens every two years, aims to showcase some of the best of recent anime. This year it includes “screenings of the smash hit Your Name (Makoto Shinkai, 2016), new films in fan favourite franchises Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution Movie 1 (Hisatoshi Shimizu, 2017) and Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card (Morio Asaka, 2000/2018) and much more. The BFI’s year-long season ANIMATION 2018 also continues in May with screenings of classic Japanese anime films, from the very first anime feature, Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors (Mitsuyo Seo, 1944) which was thought lost for decades, to perhaps the most well-known anime of all time, Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988), which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The City and the City

The BBC has a television adaptation of The City and the City, based on the novel by the brilliant China Mieville, coming this spring. From the description:

David Morrissey is Inspector Tyador Borlú in BBC Two’s adaptation of China Miéville’s mind-bending novel The City & The City on BBC Two this Spring. Tony Grisoni (The Young Pope, Southcliffe, The Red Riding Trilogy) has adapted this four-part genre-busting thriller from one of Britain’s foremost fantasy writers in a production made by Mammoth Screen and directed by Tom Shankland (Les Misérables, House of Cards,The Missing).

The cast also includes Lara Pulver (Sherlock) as Borlú’s wife Katrynia, Mandeep Dhillon (Some Girls) as Constable Corwi of the Besźel Policzai, Maria Schrader (Deutschland 83) as Senior Detective Dhatt of the Ul Qoma Militsya, Ron Cook (Hot Fuzz) as Borlú’s superior Commissar Gadlem, Danny Webb (Humans) as hard-right nationalist politician Major Syedr, and Christian Camargo (Penny Dreadful) as Doctor Bowden, an American academic.

When the body of a foreign student is discovered in the streets of the down-at-heel city of Besźel, it’s just another day’s work for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad (David Morrissey). But he uncovers evidence that the murdered girl came from Ul Qoma, a city that shares a dangerous and volatile relationship with Besźel, and this case will challenge everything Borlú holds dear.

The City and the City starts on BBC2 on April 6th

Astro City

Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and Alex Ross’s acclaimed superhero series Astro City (which started off at Image but has been for several years part of DC’s Vertigo imprint) is the latest in the seemingly endless golden age of comics and science fiction books and comics being given screen adaptations. Live for Film reports that co-creator and writer Busiek is working with FreemantleMedia, serving a an executive prodcuer and penning the pilot episode for the show. Always good to hear the original creators are involved in any adaptation.

The Awful Orphanage

One here from one of our former colleagues, Paul and his chums, who have a Kickstarter running for a pretty cool sounding game, The Awful Orphanage. I love the title, sounds like the sort of board game that gets played in the Addams Family house of an evening. From the description:

The Awful Orphanage is a mildly evil tabletop game for 1 to 6 players that sees you and your friends navigating winding corridors and rooms, search for items, dodging orderlies and running from the nefarious Gaunt & Sinister Man all whilst searching for one of the hidden Magical Talismans to free yourself from this macabre prison! Will you work together and give everyone a chance to escape? Or are you just playing along until you can be sure of your victory, and leave your friends behind …

There can only be one winner in each game, so use items against your friends to ruin their turns, force them to fight the Orderlies or even steal items from them in the hope that you’ll be the one holding a talisman and stopping the evil Ms. Prendergast and her other-worldly cohorts. The Awful Orphanage is the first game in the Hollow Earth series being produced by Workhouse Games.”

CECAF Returns!

CECAF, the Crouch End Comic Art Festival returns this summer, on the 9th of June, with some very cool guests. Here’s good chum of the blog and top Indy comicker Sean Azzopardi with the details:

June 9th 2018 sees the return of CECAF ( Crouch End Cartoon Arts Festival ), once again taking place at the Earl Haig Hall, London.

CECAF will host the best and brightest cartoonists and independent publishers from the UK comics scene, including Karrie Fransman, Roger Langridge, Gareth Brooks and Francesca Cassavetti, Sally-Anne Hickman, Paul Rainey, Zoom Rockman, Rob Wells, Space Babe 113, Avery Publishing, Claude T. C, Backward Burds, David Baillie, Dan Lester, Sarah Gordon, Cliodhna Lyons, Oliver Lamden, Douglas Noble, Andy Williams, Danny Noble, Wallis Eates, Rachael Ball, Karen Rubins, Centrala, Breakdown Press Lando, Paul Shinn, Soaring Penguin and Kugali media.

The past 10 years have seen an exciting boom in the independent comics scene and a huge increase in the number of creators, publishers and consumers interesting in comics. Which is important as the Mainstream commercial events are having to raise prices and fit more exhibitors in to cover costs. Smaller local events are really important, offering an affordable and accessible option for exhibitors and audience. Crouch End is home to many of these cartoonists, so it’s only fitting this event take place in the epicentre of the red hot creative hub that is London N8. It is free to enter, bring as many friends and family as you like. We welcome everyone.

Why not come along and see what we’re up to. We promise you won’t regret it.”

For more details you can, of course, visit the website and there are updates on the CECAF Facebook page and on the CECAF Twitter feed.

Portsmouth Comic Con

The very first Portsmouth Comic Con – organised by Tripwire’s Joel Meadows – is coming very soon, hitting the south coast of England on the 5th to 6th of May, and the site has just has an update and revamps, so check it out because tickets are going fast!

The Quanderhorn Xperimentations

Gollancz announced they will be publishing The Quanderhorn Xperimentations by Andrew Marshall and Red Dwarf co-creator Rob Grant this June, a full-length novel inspired by the pair’s forthcoming Radio 4 series of the same name (and I am guessing the Quatermass overtones are deliberate), and timed for release in June as the series airs on the radio. From the description:

England, 1952. Churchill is Prime Minister for the last time. Rationing is still in force. All music sounds like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. People like living in 1952: it’s familiar and reassuring, and Britain knows its place in the world. Few have noticed it’s been 1952 for the past 65 years.

Meet Professor Quanderhorn; a brilliant maverick scientific genius who has absolutely no moral compass. Assisted by a motley crew of outcasts – a recovering amnesiac, a brilliant scientist with a half-clockwork brain, a captured Martian prisoner adapting a little too well to English life, the professor’s part-insect “son” (reputedly ‘a major breakthrough in Artificial Stupidity’), and a rather sinister janitor – he’ll save the world. Even if he destroys it in the process. With his Dangerous Giant Space Laser, High Rise Farm, Invisible Robot and Fleets of Monkey-Driven Lorries, he’s not afraid to push the boundaries of science to their very limit. And far, far beyond.”

Clarke Awards

The Arthur C Clarke Awards are always a highlight of the UK’s literary science fiction calendar, celebrating the best in SF writing. Still a while till we even see the shortlist of contenders (early May) let alone the winner of the UK’s most prestigious literary SF award (in June), but as is traditional the organisers have posted the list of eligible books put forward for consideration.

This is not a longlist as such, really it’s more a list of the books which meet the criteria to be eligible and have been put forward, with some 108 titles put forward for consideration by 46 imprints and independent authors. Normally we’d post such lists on here, but at 108 it’s a bit too long, so we’ll point you to the official site to peruse it, but the list contains some great authors, including Cory Doctorow, Mira Grant, Matt Haig, Kameron Hurley, Ann Leckie, China Miéville, Justina Robson, Adam Roberts, Charlie Stross, Tricia Sullivan and many more. If you’re looking for some good SF reading suggestions this would be a good place to look!

Stormie Weather

Douglas Brown drops us a line about a Kickstarter running for the second issue of his Indy comic Stormie:

NYT appoints new comics columnists

A year after the New York Times dropped having a graphic novel section in their bestsellers list (to much criticism), the NYT has announced that literary scholar and comics specialist Hillary Chute and writer and former Penguin Press editor Ed Park will be their new regular columnists writing on comics and graphic novels, starting in April.

Both Hillary Chute and Ed Park have the authority, critical and curatorial eye, and a true love of the material to write about everything from Black Panther to Raina Telgemeier to Chris Ware,” NYT. (link via Publisher’s Weekly)

Cartoon Round Up

I missed this take on the Russian nerve agent poisoning last week – extra marks to young Zoom Rockman for the use of “Vladbury” chocolate pun which had me giggling away:

Chris Riddell in the Guardian on Mark Zukerberg’s (sort-of) apology for Facebook helping to sell out millions of users and help corrupt the democratic process:

The always-excellent Tom Gauld in the Guardian Review on the publishing posthumous work schtick:

This is genius: French comicker Nicolas Labarre took Matt Madden’s history of American Comics in six panels and added another two (to include newspaper strips and modern work by new creators aimed at YA readers), and they mesh in perfectly with the original (via our own Wim on his Ephemerist blog):

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

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