Archive for the ‘ Comic News ’ Category

Harvey Pekar RIP

Harrvey Pekar the author of American Splendor has passed away at the age of 70.  Rest in peace.

Taking the plunge!

I’m thinking of finally putting my money were my mouth is and creating my own webcomic.  GASP!  A critic doing something rather than carping on about others work.  I’m slightly worried as I’ve got the feeling I’ll get slammed.

Small press; Big talent.

comicaWell my bus and train journey into London added half an hour and a metric tonne of frustration to the journey.

So when I arrived promptly at the ICA I was underwhelmed with the initial turn out.  At this point the other Comica festival goers varied from the chronically hip (chin strap beard and Sandinista scarf) to the suburban family.

Just as I was beginning to think the most exciting event of the day would be a toddler tripping up a pensioner the place was inundated with fans.

The usual groups of art students began to congregate, trying to decide amongst themselves whether comics where cool or infantile.  Though I’m sure they would not deign to use the word.  No it was graphic novels, sequential art or pictorial narratives never the dreaded C word.

Fortunately amongst the horde of pseudo intellectuals there were still plenty of comic fans.

The most amusing point for me was observing three journalists warily eyeing each other across the cafe scribbling in a furious showdown of notes.

The heart of the event was the Comiket small press fair.  It was a real privilege to see so much promising new talent in one small space.

One of the first things to catch my eye was Richy Chandlers Tempo Lush stand.  I was drawn to his Mini comic box set.  Ten mini comics folded into a bear shaped box.  They really present a broad example of what Richy is capable of producing, wry well observed and sometimes cruel humour with a good dash of weirdness thrown in.  They get you hooked and draw you to Delicate Axiom and Bunch.

Pretension and pseudo intellectualism draw the eye and I was prepared to mock Semiotic Cohesion thinking it was some overblown reference to literary criticism.  Not so, said Tom McNally the author, it is instead an obscure Transformers quote.  To be honest I should have guessed from the Lurid covers depicting The rise of the great god shark.  Tom works with a number of South African artists and they’ve been working on Semiotic cohesion for the last five years.  It’s absolutely fun and completely bonkers a great combination in my book.  If your interested in the title Tom assures me that they will be launching a web comic from the 1st of December.  Check it out and then buy the paper copy.  Nothing quite compares with holding a piece of art.

Martin Eden’s fun take on the superhero genre piqued my curiosity.  Spandex is the story of a band of gay superheroes in Brighton.  It’s funny and a great take on the bloated genre of capes and cowls.  It’s worth buying for the centre spread Attack of the 50 Ft Lesbian.

In a completely different vein I have found myself absolutely converted to Willy MJ’s Eekeemoo and I will be writing a detailed review upon it when I’ve finished reading it.  Though I can sum up what I’ve read so far as dynamic, fantastic and poignant.

In addition to all of the solo artists it was great to see some brilliant comics’ collectives.  I had agreat conversation with Matthew Sheret from we are words + pictures.  His passion and evangelism for the form are great.  I wish them every success with the educational project they are working on as it will get some much deserved recognition for comics.

One of my best buys was the Solipsistic Pop anthology.  It looks absolutely amazing and that before you even open the cover.  The quality of the writing and the artistic talent here is truly amazing.  It covers a range of genres and styles that all cover the theme broken.  My highest recommendation for this book is that it kept me awake and reading after a mammoth journey on crappy public transport.  If you consider yourself a fan of British comics buy a copy today.

All of that goodness jammed into one small theatre space makes you realise that small press deserves to flourish.

Next time I’ll be talking about the Getting Graphic talk with Bryan Talbot and the Observer-Jonathan Cape-Comica prize awards.  Tune in same bat time, same bat channel.

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!).

Gone with the blastwave but back with a new URL

homeworld1.jpgIf you’re a long term fan of Kimmo Lemmeti’s post apocalyptic vision you can breath a sigh of relief.  Blastwave is back. For those of you that have followed Kimmo’s domain problems, the original domain is gone for good following a ridiculous hike in prices but have no fear blastwave is here.

History in the making

I’ve just found a great site for webcomic readers Archive Binge, which allows you to catch up on the back history of your favourite webcomics in a simple RSS feed.  Thanks to Lifehacker for the tip.

Is Zuda Comics X factor for the funny papers?

Zuda comics are taking an innovative approach to publication, they’re asking the audience.  The competition is staright forward the visitors to Zuda rate the comics and the winner gets published.  Now there is the danger of the lowest common denominator winning out and leaving us with yet more sub par x-men clones.  However we readers are a pretty discerning bunch so it could work out pretty well.  I’ll be posting my thoughts on some of the offerings on the site