Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #160

Published On April 20, 2018 | By Richard Bruton | Books, Comics, Film TV & Theatre

Time once more for Joe and Richard to take a quick spin through all the comics news we’ve noticed this month…

Gaiman on the power and importance of libraries and reading:

(Photograph: Robin Mayes)

The Guardian has a piece by Neil Gaiman where he talks of the importance of reading and how libraries have such a role to play in education and social development. Always worth a read. Yes, we’re somewhat preaching to the choir here, but it still needs to be said. I learnt to read and read well at my local library. And the continued degradation of the library service in the UK is something we should all be ashamed of. Get out, support your library, write your MP.

Here’s some of Gaiman’s piece:

“…it’s that change, and that act of reading that I’m here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What it’s good for.

I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn’t read. And certainly couldn’t read for pleasure.

It’s not one to one: you can’t say that a literate society has no criminality. But there are very real correlations.

And I think some of those correlations, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction.”

And while we’re talking Gaiman… Nonesuch has video from a talk between Neil and the amazing Laurie Anderson recorded at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Sorry, there is no embed available so we’ll need to point you to the link here to watch it, but that’s not much of a hassle in order to see two amazing creators chatting away, is it?

Europe Comics presents Maggy Garrisson:

Hadn’t heard much about this before seeing it on Paul Gravett’s Facebook, but Europe Comics Maggy Garrisson, described as “50% feminine, 50% stubborn, 100% noir” has a real good look about it, as seen in this You Tube trailer…

The blurb goes like this..

Even the infamous English rain can’t dampen Maggy Garrisson’s spirits as she walks through the London streets to her first job in two years. The shabby detective agency run by a hopeless, chain-smoking alcoholic might not exactly be her cup of tea, but Maggy’s willing to make concessions. The plot thickens when her boss gets beaten unconscious, and Maggy discovers a wallet full of seemingly trivial objects. But why’s she suddenly attracting all this unwanted attention? Perhaps there’s something in that wallet that’s more than it seems…

Written by Lewis Trondheim, with art by Stéphane Oiry, there are three volumes available. More details at the Europe Comics site.

Tom Humberstone and others tackle those Avengers…

Over on Tom Humberstone’s Facebook page, he gives us news of a new project from Vue Cinemas in preparation for the media juggernaut that is the new Avengers film.

According to Tom:

Vue Cinemas (with Shelf Heroes) have commissioned 25 artists to illustrate giant posters of 25 characters from Avengers: Infinity War. I was given Maria Hill: Agent of SHIELD. Here’s the final poster design.

And this from Vue:

Working with 25 artists from the gorgeous Shelf Heroes, an independent zine featuring art, poetry, and short stories inspired by cinema, we’ll be unveiling 25 character posters that feature the cream of the Marvel crop. Superheroes, mega-villains, trash pandas and trees all make an appearance, all as you’ve never seen them before.

The latest comics to TV news – Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s Injection

Hollywood Reporter broke the news, although they did refer to it as Warren Ellis’ Injection. Bad Hollywood Reporter. Comics are created by writers and artists.

“Universal Cable Productions is looking to bring Warren Ellis’ latest comic series to the small screen. The cable-focused studio has optioned Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire’s comic series Injection for television. The Image Comics title was first published in 2015 and revolves around a group of five highly specialized individuals who are brought together by the British government to hypothesize about the future of human culture. After discovering the results, the group decides to act on it by creating an unusual artificial intelligence using a combination of technology and shamanistic magic, which makes its way into our world.”

More good TV news, and Injection certainly has the potential to be a fine TV series.

“I’ll be back..”

Gabriel Luna, known to genre fans for playing the flaming spirit of vengeance as Ghost Rider in Agents of SHIELD, has been confirmed as the new Terminator. The new movie, directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller, will be overseen by James Cameron, and is thought to be ignoring the increasing temporal tangle of the rather variable sequels by simply ignoring everything non-Cameron and carrying on from events in his iconic Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Arnie should be returning to his most famous role too, and also Linda Hamilton returning to the franchise as Sarah Connor. (via Live for Film)

Comico in Bradford

Bradford’s first dedicated comics and manga weekend will take place as part of the annual Bradford Literature Festival on the 30th of June and 1st of July. Always good to see more comics events, especially linked to existing literary festivals – I know from my own years of experience that’s worked well at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, introducing readers who loved books but perhaps hadn’t looked at comics since they were kids and unaware of how diverse the medium is back into the fold, and likewise comics fans coming along for the comics events then checking out the wider literary fest programme and discovering more authors they want to see. I call that sort of thing a huge win for everyone, readers introduced to more diverse reading, authors exposed to new readers, more sales for publishers, more reading. All stuff that makes us happy. Check out the site for full details.


Upcoming horror flick The Secret of Marrowbone gets a trailer – the film, from the writer of the superbly creepy Spanish horror The Orphanage, Sergio G Sanchez (there has been some cracking new horror from Spain in recent years), also boasts more good horror pedigree with The Witch’s Ann Taylor-Joy, who is a remarkable young actor and one I would consider worth watching in pretty much any film. From the description: “Four siblings seek refuge in an old home after the death of their mother, only to discover that the house has another, more sinister, inhabitant, in this haunting directorial debut from Sergio G. Sánchez, screenwriter of The Orphanage and The Impossible.” The film is released in the UK on, appropriately, Friday the 13th of July.

She Could Fly

Dark Horse has announced the next in the Berger Books imprint, the brainchild of the brilliant Karen Berger, founding editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint and a legend in the comics community. Christopher Cantwell and Martin Morazzo’s She Can Fly is expected in July. From the press release:

Dark Horse is pleased to reveal the next comics series installment in the Berger Books imprint! Writer Christopher Cantwell, co-creator/showrunner of AMC’s critically acclaimed Halt and Catch Fire, and artist Martín Morazzo (Nighthawk, Elektra, Ice Cream Man) will unite to tell the strange and poignant tale of the Flying Woman in She Could Fly. They are joined by Miroslav Mrva on color.

The extraordinary story of She Could Fly begins in Chicago, when an unknown woman, flying at speeds of 120 miles per hour and at heights reaching 2,000 feet, suddenly dies in a fiery explosion mid-air.

No one knows who she was, how she flew, or why. Some think it was a government program. Some think it was foreign surveillance. Some think it was all fake. Some are even convinced that it was a religious, transcendent experience happening on earth.

Luna Brewster, a disturbed 15-year-old girl becomes obsessed with learning everything about her while rumors and conspiracy theories roil. Will cracking the secrets of the Flying Woman’s inner life lead to the liberation from her own troubled mind?

Myriad First Graphic Novel Prize

Staunch supporters of new talent and publishers of some frankly brilliant graphic novels, Myriad Editions has once again been running their very welcome First Graphic Novel competition, which we think is a terrific way of encouraging new talent. The longlist has been announced – we don’t normally copy and paste from press releases, but in this case we will, because this is an event that deserves lots of support and I’m not going to paraphrase it:

The competition offers the winner the chance to develop their work with the publisher, with a view to contract and publication. The competition is open to all cartoonists, writers and artists who have not previously published a full-length graphic work.

This year, the prize is judged by cartoonists Kate Evans and Martin Rowson, writer Wei Ming Kam and journalist Sarah Shaffi – co-founders of BAME in Publishing – and Myriad Creative Director, Corinne Pearlman. It continues Myriad’s mission to provide opportunities for cartoonists, writers and artists who have not previously published a full-length graphic work. Entrants are asked for 15-30 pages of a graphic work-in-progress, fiction or non-fiction.

The shortlist will be decided in early May, and the winner revealed at an event in June. The competition is a companion to the Myriad First Drafts competition for debut novelists. Myriad has published the two previous competition winners and four other books by shortlisted authors, and other works by authors introduced to Myriad through the competition.”

The longlisted entries are:

Rima Sabina Aouf ……………………… YUGO
Panos Baras ……………………………… ONE PAIR OF SHOES
Cathy Brett ……………………………….. WHO KILLED JO-JO
Hari Conner ………………………………. FINDING HOME
Julienne Durber ………………………… SMOKE
Shaun Gardiner ………………………… THE BOY WITH NAILS
Shey Hargreaves & Charli Vince .. OPEN DAY
Sally-Anne Hickman …………………. BLACK DIAMONDS AND BLUE SCARS
Sabba Khan ………………………………. PLURALISM
Kim L Pace ……………………………….. NUCLEAR FAMILY
Clarrie Pope & Blanche Pope ……. WELCOME HOME
Jane Porter ……………………………….. THE GHOST CARP
Jenny Robins …………………………….. BISCUITS (ASSORTED)
Gemma Sheldrake…………………….. THE CRAVING SEA
Jeeti Singh ………………………………… I’LL BE FINE
Zara Slattery………………………………. COMA COMIC
The Surreal McCoy ……………………. THE WOLF OF BAGHDAD
Anna Trench ……………………………… EZRA STONELEIGH
Alexandria Turner ……………………… THE BOOK OF RODGER
Sarah Ushurhe …………………………… PERSEVERE
Ethan Wiltshire …………………………… I NEVER KNEW YOU

China Mieville guide

Enjoying the City and the City adaptation on the BBC at the moment, but new to China Mieville’s books and wondering which ones to pick up? SF&F star Stevie Finegan (who usually presents her own SableCaught YouTube channel on SF&F books) guests on the Book Break YouTube channel to pick out some choice writing by one of the architects of The New Weird:

Comic Swipes? Get yours in here!

Through the long history of comics, artists have been notoriously creative about the process of “borrowing” imagery from other artists. Well, now there’s a great Facebook page, Comic Swipes, that’s doing its best to collect all of them together. Join in the fun and add your own!

Couple of swipes to be getting on with, but way more at the group.

Left: John Byrne. Incredible Hulk #317 (1986), right: Todd McFarlane. Incredible Hulk #332 (1987)

But not all swipes are artistic! There’s a fascinating post up from Morgan Spiceman about an Alan Moore swipe with one of his Future Shocks looking incredibly familiar to another work:

A Second Chance (2000AD Prog 245 – 2nd January 1982 – 2 pages. Script: Alan Moore, Artist: Jose Casanovas ) is startlingly parallel in almost every respect to the two-page strip The Day After Doomsday, written by Len Wein with art by Jack Sparling, which ran in DC Comics ‘The House of Secrets’ #86 June/July 1970

Lakes art auction

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival has a fundraising comics art auction running right now to raise funds for OCD Action and the festival, so you can bag a great original piece of comics art and help out at the same time! There are works from Charlie Adlard, Bryan Talbot, Glyn Dillon, Michael Cho, John Higgins, Posy Simmonds and more, so do check it out. (art shown here from the Bryan Talbot auction item, a page from the magnificent Grandville: Force Majeure)

Cartoon round up

Tom Gauld for New Scientist:

Chris Riddell in the Guardian:

Pia Guerra’s Distraction Accomplished on The Nib:

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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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