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Monday, 26 March 2007

Tagging Madness

I've been adding tags to some of my older posts, which may do odd things to peoples RSS feeds, if they are using them.

The upside is, that you can now click on tags to bring up, for example, all my Fish1000 Comics entries.

I don't plan to tag all the old stuff, so don't get overexcited.

Important Stuff

I created a 5-page strip in Colour for the UK Web and Mini Comix Thing Anthology 2007. I was chuffed that a leading small-presser emailed me to say:
...your contribution to the thing programme was truly beautiful, was very moved by it, incredible stuff. I showed it to all my friends... I can safely say it was the best thing in there...

The credit should go to the inspiration for the story though, my Grandparents. During WWII, whilst serving in Italy, my grandad would write letters to my gran, which is where I got the thing in the story about Orions belt. Both have had a big influence on me and my life.

The anthology can be purchased here, and is also currently available as a free download. You can see a few other pages here. My story is on page 42. I may make it available here on its own at some point.

## UPDATE ##
The story is now available to read online HERE:

Please feel free to let me know if you like it!

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Bionic Woman

Could this be the best series ever? Who cares, so long as there are pretty robot girls* in it. (*Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff, left, and Former Eastenders' Michelle Ryan, right.)

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Rian Hughes Collected Comics

Not quite available yet, but doesn't this book just look wonderful?

This is a luxury collection of comics by Rian Hughes, Master illustrator and designer, the man who has done more for comic book design than anyone else. Contents include Grant Morrison's reworking of the classic British comics character, Dan Dare, set in a mass unemployment 1980s in which Dare is no longer sure of his place in the England around him. "Science Service" co-written with John Freeman allows Hughes full rein for his retro style. In Raymond Chandler's "Goldfish", adapted by Tom DeHaven, he captures the noir shadows in a clever use of 2-colour artwork. Also in the book are Really & Truly (also written by Grant Morrison) from 2000 AD and a selection of sketchbook pages. It is produced in an embossed casebound edition with an introduction by comics guru Paul Gravett. This edition is limited to 3000 copies worldwide. Grant Morrison is one of the most celebrated British comics writers and Rian Hughes is very well respected in the design community having won many awards for his work.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Demand Knighthoods for Tharg!

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to award knighthoods to John Wagner, Pat Mills and Alan Grant, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the great British comic, 2000AD.

Few comics have reached their 10th anniversary, let alone their 30th. 2000AD, and its flagship character Judge Dredd, are just about to pass this milestone. The last mainstream British comic still in circulation, 2000AD has nurtured great British writing and artistic talents now in huge demand worldwide.

We believe that a good way to recognise this achievement would be to reward the founding editor, Pat Mills, and the comic's other two mainstay writers, John Wagner and Alan Grant, by making them knights of the realm.

Friday, 2 March 2007

New York

Well, I'm still recovering from my trip to New York! I landed at JFK on Thursday 22nd Feb, and stayed at the Econolodge hotel, just round the corner from Times Square. On my first night, I took a walk around the lit up tourist area, and stopped for drinks at an Irish pub close to the hotel. It might have been excitement, or an overdose of chocolate-covered Coffee Beans, but despite the long hours traveling, I was wideawake in the city that doesn't sleep, and loving it.

Friday began brightly with a hotel breakfast, followed by a walking tour of the city. I marched across and downtown, stopping for some lunch at Grand Central Station. Managed to find the 'Restaurant Accessory District', which was surreal - every shop for blocks sold drinks freezers, new and used sinks, and those big plastic chefs you see in food places. Ended up in Chinatown, then got the subway back uptown. Checked out a few Comic Shops on the way. Picked up Zenith Book 2 for a dollar from a second-hand bookshop. Bargain!

After a quick shower (wouldn't want to perpetuate the sweaty nerd stereotype!) I headed for the Jacob Javits center for the first day of the Comic Con, at about 4pm. Absolutely mind-blowing. Apart from the size (and the height), it was great to see the comic-book legends doing their stuff. Wandering around, you'd see Carmine Infantino! Jose Luis Garcia Lopez! Jim Steranko! Rob Liefeld! and so many more. I didn't embarrass myself by gushing at them though. Maybe next time. The costumes are something you don't really get at the UK cons that I've been to, either. Amazonian women dressed as Power Girl or Wonder Woman, plus Supermen of all ages, and the occasional shiny Flash or Blue Beetle. Wolverines of all nationalities. Spider-Woman rubbing shoulders with Skeletor, Optimus Prime, X23, and all manner of obscure fan-favourites. And Jedis! Hundreds of them. All with proper lightsabers, since Lucasfilm merchandising finally caught on to what the collectors market REALLY wants. Surely Speeder-bikes can't be too far behind.

Managed to rest my weary legs at a couple of panels, then exhausted, made my way back to the hotel, and sleep.

Saturday was pretty much more of the same! I got to the Con at about 9:45am, to a queue that stretched for blocks. After about an hours worth of shuffling, I eventually entered the building, and prepared for another day of concentrated comics. Went to the Slate Plus party, where I got a free USB drive for turning up. Spoke to a few nice people, and a few crazy ones too. The drink had gone to my head by this point, so I picked up a Sub on the way home, and crashed out.

Sunday! Same again, pretty much. Arrived a little earlier, so had less of a queue. Bought a few more things today. As the con wound down, I headed homewards, then went out for a great Mexican meal on 9th Avenue, and watched some of the Oscars. The staff were stoked to see Pans Labyrinth pick up the first few awards. It started to snow, so by the time I left there were cars buried all along the sidewalks. I slept until...

Monday. My last full day in the city. I visited a few comic shops, taking advantage of some of the flyer discounts I'd been handed that weekend, then got the Subway to the southern tip of Manhattan. Had a look at the Statue of Liberty, and wandered up through Wall Street, and up to the World Trade Center site. Got the Subway north again, poking my head around the Guggenheim. Unfortunately the museum of Art was closed, so I crossed Central Park in the snow. Spotted a gorgeous singing red bird, which was sat on top of the weather station. Went into the Natural History Museum, and wandered around for a little while. Subwayed south again, and took lots of photos in the Toys R Us store on Times Square, which is a fun way to spend a half hour. Got changed, and went out for an Italian meal, then on to a small comedy club on 53rd street. The nine-strong audience were outnumbered by the performers I think, as a selection of comedians tried out their material on us. As we were One Englishman, a menage a trois of Germans, two Canadians, and three Jersey Girls, some of the local jokes went over the majority's heads, but there were still a few good laughs to be had, if a fair bit of bemusement.

An early start Tuesday began in a Yellow cab back to JFK airport, followed by the usual hours of sitting around, and a pleasant flight home to Heathrow. A leisurely series of train rides later, I was at my front door, at 11:30pm GMT, beginning to wake up.