Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #159

Published On April 13, 2018 | By Richard Bruton | Animation, Books, Comics, Film TV & Theatre

Welcome to the weekly FPI Blog round up of all the news Richard and Joe have seen this week and wanted to share with you: yes, it’s time for mroe Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense). It’s Friday 13th, let’s be careful out there.

Warren Ellis on omelettes

You should really subscribe to Warren Elllis’ Orbital Operations newsletter. Every Sunday it’s delivered to your inbox and fills your head with recommendations, forthcoming projects, random thoughts, and all round weirdness. This past week we had this:

Thesis: Wilson Fisk is the greatest villain in the Marvel film/tv universe. He is more evil than Thanos and all those other bastards.

His evidence? A Daredevil clip of The Kingpin making an omelette. Badly. Ellis then spends a few hundred words describing the perfect way to make one.

TV news – Karl Urban signs on for The Boys.

Another week, another comics onto TV snippet of news. Karl Urban’s already played Dredd on the big screen, and now he’s signed up for the forthcoming Amazon TV series, The Boys, based on the comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robinson.

The Hollywood Reporter story reports that Urban is on board to play Billy Butcher, leader of the CIA squad known as “The Boys” who take the (very) hard line on supersuits. The Boys should debut sometime in 2019.

More comics to TV – Y: The Last Man FINALLY!

Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s post-apocalyptic comic series Y: The Last Man has been picked up by FX, who’ve ordered a pilot for a potential series. Y: The Last Man ran for 60-issues at DC Vertigo, telling the tale of poor Yorick and Ampersand, the last man (and monkey) on Earth after a mystery disease kills everything with a Y chromosome.

Frankly, this one’s been a long time coming. Y: The Last Man is one of those perfect pitches for TV, and if it’s done right, you have to imagine it could work just as well as The Walking Dead. Brian K. Vaughan is down as executive producer for the project.

(Via Variety)

Wagner and Ranson’s Button Man complete for the very first time

In the UK the only way we could previously get hold of John Wagner and Arthur Ranson’s brilliant Button Man series was in three collections. Over in America, they’ve been able to get hold of it in one beautifully complete book for some time. Thankfully, Button Man: Get Harry Ex is now available in the UK.  

The world didn’t seem to need a man like Harry Exton anymore – an ex-soldier and mercenary, Harry was a human killing machine without a vocation, until an old colleague told him about ‘The Game’. The players, known as ‘Button Men’ paid to fight to the death in a modern-day gladiatorial contest. Organised by mysterious backers known as ‘Voices’, the killing game offers bountiful financial rewards… if you live.

Harry decides to participate, but soon discovers that death offers the only way out!

You can also hear Arthur Ranson talk about his on the 2000AD Thrill Cast in the first of two interviews. He talks about his life and work, including his 70s licensed work in Look In, and his beautiful 2000AD work on characters such as Judge Anderson, Button Man, and Mazeworld.

The Killing Joke – Beautiful Brian Bolland roughs.

Fascinating little snippet from Richard Starkings, on his time lettering The Killing Joke:

“I have very fond memories of lettering THE KILLING JOKE. If I could go back in time, I would have made bromides of all Brian’s roughs. I had the technology!”

Shrewsbury time

The annual Shrewsbury cartoon festival is nearly here once more, taking place on April 21st, with lots of events and activities, including the tradition cartoonists working live in the town square (please do not prod the cartoonists with a stick), full details on the website.

Flying Solo

The Han Solo Star Wars spinoff film gets a new trailer and it looks pretty darned fun. Odd to see the Falcon all new and shiny and clean and gleaming… (via Live for Film)


Over on astrophysicist Sean Raymond takes the unusual world from Isaac Asimov’s classic science fiction novel Nightfall, set on a world which had constant daylight, save for every couple of thousand years when it would experience night, and works out the actual orbital mechanics, star and planetary formation theory, to arrive at a model that would allow for such conditions to actually exist on a real world. I’m suddenly reminded of the various scientists who wrote in to Larry Niven after the first Ringworld book to politely work out more mathematically and engineering-correct dimensions for his great space structure (which he duly incorporated where possible). I love real science and science fiction interacting (hey, it’s a geek thing), and I imagine Asimov himself would probably approve of this.


The Independent has a good article on new UK studio Locksmith Animation, formed by former Aardman Animation colleagues Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart, with media businesswoman Elisabeth Murdoch. The piece doesn’t skate over the competition Locksmith will face, with massive US players on the global stage like Pixar, with huge resources and budgets to draw on, unlike UK and European animators, neither are they trying to recreate the delightfully Brit-centric quirks of Aardman’s output, but want to forge their own identity with some quality works that they want to appeal to youngsters on a global scale. It’s an uphill push, but they sounds very much like they are in it for the long-term, and obviously we’d be delighted to see a new, successful animation house here. Very best of luck to all involved and we look forward to seeing your first film when it is ready.

(Locksmith Studios, pic borrowed from Indy article linked to above)

Todd visits Stan

This is rather lovely and touching – Todd McFarlane posts on his Facebook page about going to visit Stan Lee. As he comments, with all the various things in the media in recent months he basically wondered how is his old friend, and so went to catch up with him. Just two friends chatting away comfortably. Never underestimate the power of just being able to hang with friends, it is the most remarkable tonic, especially if even half the talk about how poor Stan is being treated at home are true. Some truly worrying reports concerning how Uncle Stan is being treated are circulating online at the moment. (via Comics Reporter)


The Sharknado franchise’s fifth outing hits DVD and digital download from Tribal films on April 16th. Utterly bonkers? Yes. Cheesier than a dairy farmer’s old socks? Yup. Daft fun? Oh yes! There’s a certain pleasure in this kind of flick if you take them in the right spirit and I’ve actually enjoyed them all as loony entertainment and fun. From the description:

With much of North America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for the inevitable: a global sharknado. From London to Asia, South Africa to Mexico, Fin and his family must put a stop to the sharknados once and for all.

Marking the latest in this epically entertaining film series, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming stars Tara Reid (American Pie), Ian Ziering (Beverley Hills, 90210), Cassie Scerbo (Make It or Break It), Masiela Lusha (George Lopez), Cody Linley (Hannah Montana, Dancing with the Stars), Chris Kattan (Saturday Night Live) and features a whole host of celebrity cameos.

So grab your chainsaw, shark helmet, ice skate or anything you can get your hands on to save the world from “a tsunami of shark-filled terror.”

Edinburgh Comic Con

And your final reminder, Edinburgh peeps! This weekend is the Edinburgh Comic Con at the Conference Centre. Good venue – I was impressed last year with how much space there was (none of the squeezing past people at the aisles of tables of creators and dealers you sometimes get at events), very good family vibe to it, lots of activities, gaming, cosplaying, panels, photo opps with cool props and more.

Capital Sci-Fi Con 2018 06
(These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…. Stormtroopers and replica Landspeeder at last year’s Edinburgh Comic Con, pic from Joe’s Flickr)

Daniel Clowes

Here’s a great wee short video profile of one of the finest talents in comics today, the excellent Daniel Clowes (via BoingBoing):

Cartoon round up

Syrian Homes by Rashad Alsamei on Cartoon Movement:

The Russian Bear Necessities by the great Chris Riddell in the Guardian:

The always fab Zoom Rockman has a cartoon in Private Eye, and I just love the economy and clever simplicity of this gag (for non Brits, Ant and Dec are an inexplicably popular presenting duo, but Dec had to present solo after his partner was charged with drink driving). This one really made me laugh:

Tom Gauld for New Scientist:

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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