Mycardboard life is amazing

I love My cardboard life.  The level of craft involved and the patience each issue must take to create has to be respected.

As if it wasn’t enough that it looks gorgeous in its own idiosyncratic way Phillippa Rice is an excellent writer as well.

Each character is well realised and conveyed with a simplicity that belies the level of skill involved.  My favourite is of course downtrodden Colin.  I really relate to his daily frutrations but he still soldiers on.

Every edition is full of heart-warming humour.  I think that’s what I like most about this comic it just makes you feel good and ready to take on the day.  It also has an amazing following who provided some excellent fan pictures while the artist took a break.  If you’re not a fan you should be.   Go read the archive now.


Arkham Asylum has a new resident

Well apologies for not posting but my life has been consumed by work and Batman: Arkham Asylum.

As a lifelong Batman fan it is a dream come true.  It really is a fantastic game.  However it has drained away my attention.

I’ve been meaning to write an Eeekeemoo review for some time.  I may get around to it soon if I can break out of Arkham.

The Superhuman Condition New Trends in Superhero Comic Books

dapper_danI’m off to London on Monday to listen to a talk at the ICA as part of the Comica festival.  The substance of the talk will be what lies ahead in the superhero genre.  ‘American guest artists Cameron Stewart (Seaguy), Karl Kerschl (Teen Titans) and Ramon Lopez (NYX) will share their passion for the superhero genre’ (ICA event description).

I’m really looking forward to it and I’ll share my thoughts when I get back.

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.

Just back from Comica Comiket!

Well I’ve had an Odyssey of epic proportions on London’s wonderful public transit system and I’m knackered so I’ll post my views on the days events tomorrow.

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.