Archive for October, 2009

Comica is coming!


Have you got your program for the Comica festival yet.  If not get it from the site.  There’s some excellent events lined up from the 5th to 26th November in London.  So if you can get into the capital I’d recommend checking it out.

I’ll be going along to the ICA Nash rooms on Sunday 8th November to the following events: Comica Comiket, Getting Graphic: Starting Out in Graphic Novels, God of Manga and Anime: Osamu Tezuka and Comic Art Propaganda: Ctrl.Alt.Shift Panel.
Comica Comiket is an opportunity to meet, greet and buy comics at this fair from dozens of solo storytellers and group collectives that have taken the plunge and self published.
Getting Graphic involves Bryan Talbot, Julian Hanshaw and Simone Lia, in conversation with The Observer’s Rachel Cooke. If you want to know how do you develop a graphic novel? What comes first, words or images? How do you get published? Then this would be a great event for you.

This will be followed by the presentation of the winners of The Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story prize.

Later in the day, anime expert Helen McCarthy, celebrates Osamu Tezuka’s extraordinary career through rare photos, archive clips and manga material, and looks at his continuing influence.
Finally Ctrl.Alt.Shift. have sponsored a discussion about the history, uses and efficacy of putting political messages into cartoon and comic strip form. Fredrik Strömberg, author of Comic Art Propaganda, hosts with Pat Mills, Asia Alfasi and the cartoonist Polyp joining him on the panel.
I’ll also be going to the The Superhuman Condition talk at the ICA straight after work on monday 16th November to catch Cameron Stewart (Seaguy), Karl Kerschl (Teen Titans) and Ramon Lopez (NYX) sharing their passion for the superhero genre.

If you’ve a taste for the strange and you’d like to be in a comic you should look no further than The Uncle Hans-Peter party were the audience will be asked to don masks and participate in a ‘live’ comic strip and collectively assume the persona of Uncle Hans-Peter.  Lederhosen are optional.

I’d love to check out the Black Powers talk about black representation in comics on the final day of the exhibition at Swiss Cottage Library on the 6th November, but any more comicfest and my wife will kill me.  See you there or be a fully rounded human being whose grown out of comics (Dullards!).

Up in the sky, is it a bird, is it a plane no its Doc Monster clinging to a UFO!

DocMonsterLobbyCards1[1]_Page_2Doc Monster is David Flora of Ghost Zero fame’s latest offering on Zuda.  In the creators own words ‘it’s 1954.  Communists are everywhere, and UFOs fill the night skies. Our government asks super-scientist DOC MONSTER to help, but can he discover what’s behind the UFOs in time to save the world?’

I have to say my first response was Doc what? The title immediately conjured up images of Doc Savage and rather cheesy pulp overtones.  However, we are instead presented with a rather grim setting with unlikeable anti-heros.    This isn’t even in the same galaxy as Norman Rockwell, so if you expect the eponymous hero to act like his lookalike Clark Kent you’re in for a shock.  From the first Flora presents a character that is strange, unsettling and threatening.  We are, like the Doc’s FBI handler Agent Clay, left feeling creeped out and unsure as whether this guy is really a hero.

Flora has created an interesting and dynamic opening to a series that draws the reader in.  Having the aliens attack at a Drive-in movie is inspired.  In spite of this nod to its B Movie roots,  the art and writing are of a high quality and this is all A list material.

Will Doc Monster triump against the Martian Menace, tune in next time.

LaMorte Sisters’ Vampire Orphanage

lamorte_promo_3Creators Tony Trov and Johnny Zito are best known for their epic, zombie comic; The Black Cherry Bombshells.   They’ve returned to Zuda with their latest offering about vampires.

I know what you’re thinking; not another vampire comic!  But this title has just enough mystery as suggested by the title to intrigue, as it follows Maddie, a new student at LaMorte Home for Lost Girls. The orphanage is run by a strict order of Catholic Nuns. They offer sanctuary and salvation to young women afflicted with vampirism.  We can only hope that this doesn’t mean we’ll be in for angst by the barrow load.

lamorte_promo_1If that fails to grab you then Christine Larsen’s excellent art will be enough to suck you in.  Each panel broods with menace and atmosphere.  To quote Tony Trov from the press release, “Christine is amazing.  She draws the creepiest vampires and the cutest, black cats.  There’s a cinematic flow to her story telling that captures you.”

The title went live on the 13th of October and it was a pleasant birthday treat for me.  There’s not a great deal of material as yet but what I have seen has been impressive.  This is a title I will watch with interest and I sincerely hope that Trov and Zito avoid the cliché and take this opportunity to create something memorable.