And it is Friday again, and as thoughts turn to the weekend, let Richard and Joe entertain you with a few quick news and links spots noticed over the last few days with the weekly Stuff (& Possibly nonsense):
Shelley Bond speaks
Over on Orbital Comics’ podcast Liz and Adam interview the legendary Vertigo editor Shelley Bond about the Black Crown imprint she is curating for IDW Publishing.
(cover for Black Crown’s Punk’s Not Dead #1 by Barnett and Simmons, cover by Bill Sienkiewicz, reviewed here on the blog)
Favourite Science Fiction
The excellent Neil Gaiman tells BBC Radio 4’s Front Row about his three favourite science fiction reads: Bill Gibson’s iconic Neuromancer, Ursula Le Guin’s remarkable The Left Hand of Darkness, and the great Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer. I have a hard enough time trying to slim down a list for my annual Best of the Year post on here each December, I think I would really struggle to stick to only three all-time faves, there would always be the “oh but what about…?” moments. I’m pretty sure I would have Left Hand on my list too though, as Neil says in the BBC article, it rewired his brain, and I feel the same way, it made me think differently about things. It still does.
I re-read Left Hand of Darkness recently; my long running SF book group picked it as a mark of respect for Ursula after she passed earlier this year, and it was still, decades on since I first read it and the years between where I re-read it, a powerful and superb piece of writing, and it remains strongly relevant to today because it delves into human nature, as the best stories always do.
Gardner Dozois, RIP
I was very saddened to learn over the weekend that we had lost Gardner Dozois. I think pretty much all of you who enjoy reading science fiction will be familiar with his name, a writer and more famously an editor and curator or tales and collections who won dozens of major SF awards. Gardner not only was an award-winning editor, he was a champion of new talent, with many now well-known scribes owing a debt to him for giving their work a chance when they were starting out, trying to make a name for themselves.
There are a lot of pieces online about Gardner passing, as you would expect for someone who was so well known and who had an impact on so many, but here’s one with a personal touch by author Cory Doctorow: “In a field where beginning writers are starved for attention, critical feedback and encouragement, Dozois stood out as an editor who never succumbed to the laziness of simply publishing works by known authors: he was an assiduous reader of the “slushpile” of unsolicited manuscript, which made him an encylopedic guide to emerging talents, long before people were publishable.”
Disney continues to add more Star Wars movies to the slates – as Solo: a Star Wars Story is fresh in the cinemas they announced the next spin-off Star Wars movie would be about the iconic bounty hunter Boba Fett. Fett has been a fan favourite for decades, so I can see their thinking, but do wonder what path they will take as a film based around him will require a lot more fleshing out of the character than he’s had previously. And to be honest I came away from Solo feeling underwhelmed and even disappointed, it felt by the numbers, predictable and lacking in charisma. That’s just my impression though, I know plenty of friends who really enjoyed it (I wanted to, I really did, but it just fell flat for me). James Mangold, director of The Wolverine among numerous other movies, will write and direct. A proposed Obi-Wan spin-off film is apparently also likely to happen, but the Fett flick will come first. (via the BBC)
It’s been confirmed that a sequel is in production for Disney’s 2014 live-action fantasy Maleficent, cunningly entitled Maleficent II. While I mostly enjoyed the Angelina Jolie-starring film, I thought it was a reasonable fantasy but it could, with a little more work, have been something much stronger and more intersting. But it made money, the character is big with a lot of fans, and, as IO9 comments, Disney is on a treadmill of making live action versions of some of their animated archive, so another Maleficent fits their production slate. The original movie seemed pretty self contained and not really needing a sequel, I thought, but I can understand a studio wanting to use a successful character again, and I imagine plenty of fans will want to see it (to be honest I’d happily go see it too, at the end of the day).
Women in Comics at the British Library
Kate Charlesworth, Cath Tate and Nicola Streeten will be in conversation at the British Library on 22nd June from 7.15pm, discussing the history and politics of women in comics and cartooning. I’m sure plenty of reference will be made to the recent – and quite excellent – Inking Woman published by Myriad Editions (and reviewed here on the blog). This should be a very interesting evening and well worthy of your support and attention if you are in the neighborhood. (via Myriad)
Stref exhibition in Glasgow
Stephen White, aka Stref, has an exhibition of work coming up at the Iota Unlimited Studios gallery this month. White is well known for his work on DC Thomson titles such as Oor WUllie, the Beano and Dandy, the Brown Windsors for Viz, and his well-received graphic novel adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (here’s a link to an interview by Jeremy Briggs on Down the Tubes about the Pan book). The studio is handily close to the Kelvin Hall underground station in Glasgow, and runs from Friday 8th through to Saturday 23rd June, more details on The Skinny.
(a scene from Stephen White’s adaptation of Peter Pan, published Birlinn Books)
Locke & Key finally comes to TV
It seems (and indeed has been) ages since we posted that Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s well-received fantasy-horror comic series Lock & Key was to be adapted to television. Despite some favourable impressions the original channel passed after a test pilot, but now it is being reported that Netflix have stepped in several years on, and added it to their ever growing roster of shows, so finally it will be making the leap to TV (and if previous Netflix adaptations of books and comics are anything to go by, hopefully done well). That now-years ago pilot that went down well at comic con but never made it to series will be disregarded, apparently, with Hill working on re-creating a television version from scratch. (via Den of Geek)
Alex Fitch reminds us that the 2018 Graphic Brighton event is coming soon – “a two day event taking place on July 19th and 20th in the center of Brighton and at the University of Sussex in Falmer. Guests include Hunt Emerson, The Surreal McCoy, Danny Nobel and Will Potter (Cud), plus Robin the Fog (Howlround) who will be producing a live DJ score for Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated on the Thursday eve, and George Hardie talking about designing album covers for Pink Floyd and Led Zepplin on the Friday morning.” Free tickets can be booked here, and Alex has posted about the festival on his blog here.
New Rob Jackson Comic
Rob Jackson announced his latest comic, Behind Thick Glass I Saw the Stars: “It’s 52 black and white pages with colour covers, and is sized at halfway between A4 and A5. It follows the adventures of a gang of gnomes.” You can find out more details and have a peek at the first four pages here on his blog.
Geppi donates collection to Library of Congress
Diamond founder Steve Geppi is closing his Geppi Entertainment Museum after some twelve years, with some 3000 items from his collection being donated by Geppi to the Library of Congress, in what is apparently the largest single donation of comics works to the great library, with the items including worth a very large amount of money, and an even larger cultural heritage. It’s a very honourable thing to do, it is, as they say in the UK, “a gift to the nation”, and it should make those items more accessible to a larger number of people, including researchers, and the Library is planning to put much of it on display later in the summer.
“I’ve been blessed to make my living from something I love for decades, and further blessed to be able to share these treasures with others. The idea of how many more people will get to see this material under the auspices of The Library of Congress invigorates my mind with a multitude of possibilities. I definitely have other plans for the future as well. Besides, it’s not like I’m going to stop collecting,” Steve Geppi. (via The Beat)
Yazan Al-Saadi and Ghadi Ghosn on the decades of strife, struggle and death in the sadly still continuing conflict in Palestine in The Nib, here’s a snippet, click the link for the rest:
Another from The Nib, this time Pia Guerra with a very simple but effective single panel piece on the appalling treatment of children being taken from their parents by immigration agents in the US, with no information as to when these small kids will be reunited with their parents (and in some cases some have been lost in the system. Yes, we’re talking about small kids here….):
Chris Riddell in the Guardian on the government’s factional in-fighting and the plan (plan???) for Brexit (I love the expression Chris has given to the pig here):
Tom Gauld on hazard warnings for New Scientist: