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February 11, 2001
[comics] Brief reviews of London Comic Shops… the top three are the best shops in London… Gosh: ‘Fight through the superheroes on the ground floor and head for the stairs at the back of the shop. The lead to a basement full of alternative & independent stuff. Usually a couple of shelves of self-published bits.’
February 6, 2001
[morrison] Grant Morrison updates his website and has published good news for sad, lonely, fanboys everywhere: ‘”Sex is out of the question for me” admits once-promising Olympian John with a chuckle. “When you add my spinal injuries and other morbid disabilities to the obesity I’ve suffered since the accident well, you have the chemical combination for loneliness right there in the palm of your hand. That’s mostly why I started putting aside my spare time for poring over lists and charts and I can assure fans that 2001 will be be a hard and horny one for comics enthusiasts worldwide.”‘
February 5, 2001
[comics] Long, fascinating behind the scenes expose of the formation of Image comics in the early 90’s from The Comics Journal. ‘The story he wants to tell is, in the final analysis, not the Story of Comics but the Story of Todd McFarlane. “The comic-book world could blow up tomorrow,” he told the Journal. “I’m taken care of. The guy you got to worry about the least is Todd McFarlane. I’m bulletproof. I will make no apologies for anything Image has done. I left Marvel to be free. Eight years later, is Todd free? You’re fucking right he is. I can’t even envision the day when I would go back to the plantation and do Spider-Man or Heroes Reborn. I’m free, goddamn it! I’ve got everything I want!”‘
February 4, 2001
[comics] Nice Evan Dorkin fan page with lots of scans of his work from Dork!
February 3, 2001
[comics] Another of those Previews Guides to the comics coming out in April 2001 this time from popImage. What I’ll be purchasing… Ministry Of Space #1 and the following collections: Jar of Fools, Soundtracks by Jessica Abel, and the complete edition of Box Office Poison.
February 1, 2001
[comics] SFX Magazine interviews Warren Ellis — Part One, Part Two.‘…Marvels trying to make a bit of money, bless ’em. They’re in business and that’s what they are there for, but no-one really needs a Ghost Rider film. It’s not important. Its not going to be a life changing event for anyone and its not going to a life changing event for comics. You are not going to come out of Blade or the X-Men and say “Bugger me, I’ve got to get the Yellow Pages and find a comic shop and buy loads of comics, because this was really good”. It’s more “That was alright, now down the pub.”‘
January 31, 2001
[comics] Dan from Venusberg on the Superfriends‘Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen Superfriends, but it has filtered so deep into my geek consciousness that I sincerely believe that I remember whole episodes. Most peculiar.’ I’ve never seen it either but I know exactly what he means… [has it ever been broadcast in the UK?]
January 30, 2001
[comics] Warren Ellis’ Guide To Previews (for comics published in April 2001) — I can’t help but admire Ellis’ efforts to warp the purchasing tastes of his army of fans… ‘What follows are my personal recommendations from this month’s PREVIEWS. I’ll give you a write-up on it, the page number it’s on, and its order code. Talk to your retailer and find out what they need from you to place a pre-order — or, hell, just print this thing off. But, you know, once the order’s in, consider the money spent. You’ve entered into a contract with your shop. When the comic comes in, you buy it. That’s how it works. Onward, my winged monkeys… ‘ [Related Links: Previews Picks — Another Excellent Previews Guide, Warren Ellis Website]
January 29, 2001
[big numbers] Alan Moore: ‘…with the world political situation as it is at the moment the political radical is put in a difficult position because, hum, how do you rebel against chaos? You know, much as political conspiracy theorists would like to think otherwise, the brutal truth of the thing is nobody’s in control, this is a runaway train. Nobody’s in control, there’s not some big conspiracy in control, whether it’s Jewish bankers or nazis or CIA spooks, the simple truth is that the world is a complex storm of mathematics, basically… Very complicated mathematics that is beyond human comprehension.’
[comics] Another link from the excellent BugPowder weblog… Neil Gaiman’s 24-hour comic — Being An Account of the Life and Death of the Emperor Heliogabolus.
January 28, 2001
[comics] A great online archive of Brendan McCarthy’s Artoons. [Related Links: Excellent NeoMcCarthyism Fan Site, link via BugPowder]
January 26, 2001
[movies] Ghost World movie site launches… ‘Fuck you bitch… THIS IS MY HAPPENING AND IT FREAKS ME OUT!!’ [via the Warren Ellis Forum]
January 25, 2001
[comics] Gone and Forgotten — One of the best comic fan sites I’ve seen in ages — dedicated to finding the worst, most inane, stupidest comic books out there… for example, Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika. ‘Hansi ends up as some kind of Gestapo Candy Striper, taunting injured German soldiers. “I lost MY ideals when I lost my eyes on the Russian front.” says one poor kid. “We are nothing,” snaps back Hansi, cheerfully, “The Reich is everything!” Anyway, eventually Germany falls (my favorite line in the whole book “Germany surrendered! The dream ended! The nightmare began!” Unless you were a Jew, Communist, gypsy, homosexual or dissident, in which case, the nightmare had ended – the authors of this book, I can’t believe ’em)…’ [via Zenith from the Barbelith Collective]
January 24, 2001
[comics] Warren Ellis is up to something at OrderingComics.com‘If you want to make comics better, then you need to ensure the good stuff survives, as a foundation for what is to come. It starts here – with you.’
January 21, 2001
[comics] i bought a lot of comics published by Eclipse in the Eighties… So i was wondering… whatever happened to Eclipse publisher Cat Yronwode? [i’ve noticed Cat’s page on Thai Penis Amulets. Fascinating… i think i’ll be needing four or five of them. :) ‘The Thai name for a penis amulet is palad khik, which means “honorable surrogate penis.” These small charms, averaging less than 2′ in length, are worn by boys and men on a waist-string under the clothes, off-center from the real penis, in the hope that they will attract and absorb any magical injury directed toward the generative organs. It is not uncommon for a man to wear several palad khiks at one time, one to increase gambling luck, for instance, another to attract women, and a third for invulnerability from bullets and knives.’]
January 13, 2001
[comics] Just what you least expect… Ang Lee to direct The Hulk? ‘The story concerns research scientist Bruce Banner, who, after being caught in a nuclear explosion, finds that, when under stress, he transforms into the Hulk, a green-skinned personification of his repressed rage possessing superhuman strength. Banner is pursued by the military for a crime he did not commit. Lee’s version of the film, to be set in Berkeley, will be a big-budgeted, f/x-driven tentpole feature for Universal in 2003. No cast has been attached, nor a start date set.’
January 11, 2001
[comics] Piercing — a fine and slightly disturbing online comic about a nipple, a ring and a bit of string… as Pete at BugPowder points out the art is reminiscent of Kyle Baker’s. Well worth the download…
January 6, 2001
[comics] Grant Morrison’s website updates…. Morrison on Lennon (in the Digital Ink section): ‘I was in a band at the time Lennon died and we were all huge Beatles fans (to annoy our raincoat-wearing Joy Division-loving peer-group we had the moptop haircuts, the Chelsea boots, the tight trousers, the psychedelic shirts, the guitars etc – see picture) so I was fairly down when my fave moptop was plugged by a madman but…when all was said and done, I’d been raised a punk on ‘Clockwork Orange’ and David Sherwin so when we went onstage with the band that night we began our set by yelling “THIS ONE’S FOR THE LATE GREAT JOHN LENNON! UP HIS FUCKING ARSE!!!!”. Big? No. Clever? No. Pure Pop Genius? I think so.’
January 3, 2001
[comics] The Mirror of Love — A complete Alan Moore script. He does panel descriptions in caps?! ‘PAGE 1, (PANEL) 1. OKAY, THIS STRIP HAS FIVE PANELS IN EXACTLY THE SAME LAYOUT UPON EACH PAGE: THERE ARE FOUR HORIZONTAL PANELS DOWN THE LEFT HAND SIDE OF EACH PAGE AND A TALL VERTICAL ONE DOWN THE RIGHT. SINCE I’VE HAD TO FIT THE ENTIRE OF KNOWN GAY HISTORY FROM PREHISTORIC TIMES ONWARDS INTO EIGHT PAGES, THERE ARE ABOUT TWO HUNDRED AND TEN WORDS ON EACH PAGE AND SOME RATHER LARGE CAPTIONS. SINCE THERE ARE NO BALLOONS I FIGURE YOU’LL BE ABLE TO LAY OUT THE PANELS TO ACCOMODATE THESE. THE HORIZONTAL PANELS ALL RECOUNT SCENES AND EVENTS FROM GAY HISTORY, WHILE THE VERTICAL PANELS ARE DIFFERENT.’
January 1, 2001
[comics] Roger Sabin reviews some of the best graphic novels of last year… Talking about Joe Sacco: ‘For example, he is unafraid to put himself at the centre of the story, thus challenging our notions of objectivity. Sometimes, he admits, this could be too much: “I wanted out, out of there… I wanted to put a million miles between me and Bosnia, between me and those horrible disgusting people and their fucking wars and pathetic prospects…”‘
December 31, 2000
[warren ellis] The Sermon On The Mount — Warren Ellis’ final column for Comic Book Resources. ‘And you know what? Eventually, one day, when you come to your local comics store, regular as clockwork on delivery day, to pick up your pile of cheap superhero comics that you really don’t read any more anyway, that really don’t change anything, that only ever get good for a little while and never ever end? You’ll come in alone.’ [Related Links: Tom Coates thoughts on the Column]
December 29, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis on Stan Lee: ‘That man wanted himself completely identified with Marvel and completely beloved, and did everything short of breaking into peoples’ houses and fucking them in the night to do it. To be honest, I’m sure he considered it and was talked out of it by nervous assistants. “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth! I’ll do it! I shall dramatically decant myself into the beds of my best beloved brethren, the Mighty Marvel Mavens nationwide, and bring them all to outstandingly overwhelming orgasms with the purposefully pulsating penetrations of my — “‘
December 28, 2000
[comics] The Slush Factory has a interesting interview with Evan Dorkin‘This entire industry is made up of fans… very few people come into comics form outside of comics. We get the best creators, retailers, marketers, and salesmen that the comics fan base can provide. That’s limiting a lot of people. Graphic designers, we are getting some of the best people… sometimes we get some terrific people. Most of the time we get “I was always a fan, I always wanted to have my own store. I was always a fan, I always wanted to have my own comic.”‘
December 27, 2000
[comics] Kathleen reads Watchmen for the first time‘On Christmas Day 2000 I finally read Watchmen for the first time. I tried to stretch out the book over several days but I found I couldn’t put it down for more than an hour at a time. I became anxious and snappy whenever anybody interrupted me from my reading for matters as inconsequential as eating. That’s because ten years late I have learned what everyone else in the world already knew: Watchmen is fucking good.’ I was lucky (old) enough to pick up the original issues. There was the longest delay between issue 11 and 12. Waiting for that last issue almost killed me…
December 24, 2000
[comics] Okay… a last couple of comic links before Christmas… Go check out Dylan Horrocks website, read Understanding Hicksville, a review of his best comic and then buy a copy at Amazon…. ‘The story, with its layers of flashbacks, and jaunts into comic strips within the comic strip, defies synopsis. It is organized along the lines of a Gothic tale, following a fanboy comics journalist and his discovery of an isolated rural town, the Hicksville of the title, that is protecting a secret. As we meet the town’s various denizens, Hicksville grows into a comment on art and people that exist in the margins of history.’
December 23, 2000
[comics] Suffering Sappho! Salon looks at Wonder Woman and her new artist/writer Phil Jiminez…. ‘Sitting in the catbird seat of the comic-book world, Jimenez remains refreshingly guileless. At a midtown Manhattan signing in late November, he warmly greeted scores of fans who could be slammed for forgetting to get a life. Better-known artists, he said, too often exhibit an unwarranted haughtiness toward fans. “The strange thing about my industry is how so many people are unpleasant,” he lamented. “We’re comic-book people; we’re not that important.”‘
December 22, 2000
[comics] Fandom.com looks back at Grant Morrison’s Animal Man…. ‘Safe to say, it was a Morrison story, so there was tragedy – brutal tragedy that came as a total shock. But there were also revelations about the universe, theoretical physics, cosmology, suffering, redemption, discovery, and, of course, a touch of peyote. For readers who`d been with the series since it`s beginning, the beginning of Morrison`s final run was incredibly cohesive. Mirror Master`s attack back in issue #8 was of key importance to what Animal Man was about to go through. His revenge was swift and horrible, and at the same time, satisfying, but hollow, leaving Animal Man saying to Mirror Master at the end of issue #21, “I can fix it. I can fix it all. I`ve had an idea. A time machine. All I need is a time machine. I can fix everything.”‘ [Related Links: grant-morrison.com, TimeMachineGo]
December 20, 2000
[linkmachinego] Where LinkMachineGo and TimeMachineGo come from… The Invisibles by Grant Morrison. ‘…Mason receives a fax from one of his researchers in San Francisco reading ‘Time Machine Go.’ This interests Robin. Once in SF, Jack and Fanny are sent on a mission to collect the Hand of Glory. They meet the mysterious Pierrot and Columbine in a nightclub, whilst King Mob meets his ex Jacqui for a massage and an argument about his motives and his actions. At the offices Mason’s researcher Takashi explains that his breakthrough is to think of time as a single place, if you build a machine that can go ‘up’ above time, it can then choose its own re-entry point.’ [Related Links: grant-morrison.com, Barbelith – from Tom Coates.]
December 17, 2000
[comics] Time picks the Best Comics of 2000. [via Comix Mailing List]
December 11, 2000
[online comics] Been meaning to blog the for ages… an excellent online comic called True Artist Tales. Here’s two favourite strips of mine Good Grief and The Not-So-Secret Life of Plants.
December 8, 2000
[comics] It seems that Kevin Smith does not read many Warren Ellis comics…. ‘I just hope that the comics field never loses its luster for me the same way it seems to have for Ellis. If I ever wind up a githeaded pillock who takes shots at a newcomer who’s sold tens of thousands of more comics than I did their first time up at bat, someone please pull a mylar bag (and board) over my head and cut off my air supply. Life’s too short to keep score like that.’
December 7, 2000
[comics] Great interview with Evan Dorkin in Psycomic. On Worlds Funniest: ‘I think a lot of these guys who know the DC stuff just have a fondness for these old comics. We aren’t trying to do anything Earth-shattering here. This isn’t the Dark Knight of humor books. It’s just a goofy, satirical, jerky funny book about how dumb comics are. And how great and loveable they can be at the same time. It’s a very sweet book even though we kill billions of people over and over again.’
December 6, 2000
Ghost World Cover[comics] Excellent interview with Dan Clowes in Salon. The humdrum life of a cartoonist: ‘Clowes and his wife, Erika, whom he met on a small-scale California signing tour in 1992 (“I had just gone through a depressing separation from my first wife, and was trying to escape from the grim horribleness of Chicago; a beautiful young woman in Berkeley asked me to sign her underwear, and the rest is history”), will soon vacate the house for a larger one not far away.’ [Related Links: Buy Ghost World. You won’t regret it. Via Robot Wisdom]
December 3, 2000
[comics] Jon Katz reviews Unbreakable. A film which improbably casts Samuel L. Jackson as a comic book collector….‘The Superhero stories are among the great and most enduring American myths, an often unacknowledged part of this country’s original and unique folklore. One of the distinctive traits of the Superhero genre in comics is the ambivalence of many of the characters. Heroes (Batman, Spiderman, the literal Superheroes themselves) are often innocents. They are ambivalent, reluctant. They are far from indestructible, in fact they are all oddly vulnerable. They never asked for their gifts or reveled in their powers.’ [Related Links: Unbreakable Trailer, Unbreakable at IMDB]
December 2, 2000
[comics] suck.com talks about ‘the long fruitful death’ of comics…. ‘Why comic books? And why now? Fifty years since their brief flirtation with becoming a widely-read mass medium, seven years into a sales decline that changed comics’ status from a profitable but secondary magazine market to an absolutely marginal feeder industry for television and film, what is so seductive about the comic book that it continues to intrigue so many serious-minded adults and aesthetes?’ [via Barbelith Underground]
December 1, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis releases PR for his latest comic:. ‘MINISTRY OF SPACE is an English science-fictional idyll: a fantasia on the notion of a British space programme that outraced the rest of the world, as found in such as Dan Dare. Now that Britannia rules the waves of space, a utopian green-field England plies ships to the Moon, to Venus, to Victoria Station in low Earth orbit. This is the Ministry that sent a colonisation flotilla to Mars in 1963. The Ministry that destroyed a city and ran an exploration program unseen in human history. A Golden Age – and what it cost.’
November 29, 2000
[morrison] Magic for Mutants — Grant Morrison’s column on his new website is well worth checking out… ‘Corporate entities are worth studying. They and other ghosts like them rule our world. So…figure out why the Coca-Cola spirit is stronger than the Doctor Pepper spirit (what great complex of ideas, longings and deficiencies has the Coke logo succeeded in condensing into two words, two colours, taking Orwell?s 1984 concept of Newspeak to its logical conclusion?) Watch their habits, track their movements over time, monitor their repeated behaviours and watch how they react to change and novelty. Learn how to imitate them, steal their successful strategies and use them as your own. Create your own brand, your own logo and see how quickly you can make it spread. Build your own god and set it loose.’
November 26, 2000
[comics] Eddie Campbell has published the first chapter of From Hell online. ‘Now, meself, I come from a working family. We vote Tory, always have done. The working class don’t WANT a revolution Mr. Lees: they just want more money.’ [via Lukelog]
November 25, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis writes about his adventures at Garth Ennis’ Stag Weekend‘As indicated by other people in previous editions of this column: comics are a first love affair, the one that sinks its teeth into you and won’t let go, because of its freedoms and its glories. The sex is great, but everything else is shit. And I’m reminded of a quote from Neil Gaiman: “I stopped doing comics because I wanted it to continue being fun, I wanted to continue to love and care for comics, and I wanted to leave while I was still in love.”‘
November 24, 2000
[comics] Amazon.co.uk picks their ten best comics… It’s no surprise that Watchmen is Number 1: ‘Imagine a future where Nixon is still President, America won the Vietnam War, and the nuclear clock stands at five minutes to midnight.’
November 21, 2000
[comics] Media Nugget of the Day covers Watchmen. ‘In this bleak vision of America, the influence of costumed crime-fighters has kept Nixon in office, whipped Vietnam into shape easily, and brought the world to the brink of Armageddon. Writer Alan Moore began this novel as a reworking of the Charlton Comics heroes of his childhood, transformed it into an operatic dark-comedy of super-hero archetypes, and ended up with a chilling commentary on cold-war America.’ [Related Links: Alan Moore Fan Site]
November 20, 2000
[comics] Long, fascinating interview and profile of Warren Ellis from PopImage. ‘And yeah, I think I do suffer a backlash in terms of personal regard – it really doesn’t affect the sales, sales continue to go up, whatever I do, which if anything probably indicates that the comic fans who hate me the most are insincere swine and buy the shit anyway. [Laughs] I mean, it happens all the time. When I was back on HELLSTORM I’d get these letters from hillbilly Christians who live up in the mountains, they’d say “YOUR COMIC MAKES US HURL. WE BUY IT EVERY MONTH”. I’ve actually got that letter at home from these hillbilly Christians who were genuinely sickened by the work, and bought it every month to be sickened. And that’s the comics fan.’ [Related Links: warrenellis.com]
November 19, 2000
[comics] Peter Bagge in Suck: The Most Resented Woman In America. ‘I was barely even aware of Miss Hawaii (or Angela Perez Baraquio, to be exact) during the preliminaries, though she certainly made a good impression when it counted the most (“She turned her GLOW BUTTON up a notch,” our resident pageant/hair expert commented).’
November 18, 2000
[comics] The full script of Sam Hamm’s Watchmen movie adaptation is online. ‘EXT. LIBERTY ISLAND – THAT MOMENT – DAY — as a LUMINOUS BLUE-SKINNED GIANT, SIXTY FEET TALL, wades through the harbor and steps up onto the island. He stares in dismay at the demolished statue . . . like a modern-day Colossus of Rhodes wondering what the hell happened to his date. Meet the last — and most powerful — member of our happy band: DR. MANHATTAN. Down below, THE COMEDIAN and SILK SPECTRE — battered but intact — are crawling out of the wreckage. The COMEDIAN looks up at the huge blue figure looming over them, and shakes a gnat-sized fist. COMEDIAN: ASSHOLE! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?!?’ [via Haddock]
November 17, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis talks about the early years of 2000AD. ‘I started reading it when it began, just about a week after my ninth birthday, in 1977. Available in every newsagent’s in the country. The cover and back cover were colour. So was the centrespread. The rest of it was black-and-white, all inky on pulp paper. Your hands used to get sooty if you re-read it too much. The ink was so badly fixed that you could lift entire images off the page with Blu-Tack. There’d be five stories in each issue. JUDGE DREDD was in there every week, of course – it got the colour centrespread as well as the three or four pages that followed. At least three of the four other stories would be episodes from serials. Usually, one of the stories was a “Future Shock”, or one of its variants like “Time Twisters” – a self-contained science fiction short, usually with a hard twist in the tail.’ [Related Links: 2000AD Links Project]
November 14, 2000
[comics] In the DC Universe Election 2000 has been decided… Lex Luthor Wins! ‘Bruce Wayne, CEO of Wayne Enterprises, went on record saying: “I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him; there’s something rotten in Denmark.” Wayne would not elaborate on Luthor’s alleged involvement in Scandinavian domestic affairs, and refused requests for further comment.’ [via Ghost in the Machine]
November 11, 2000
[comics] Bugpower provides a link to a fantastic in-depth interview with Alan Moore. ‘Like, I’d have sworn that my interest in Jack the Ripper started in 1988 but then when my mum died and we went through her house, we found a big suitcase in which there was a load of old books and comics and things that I’d had when I was a kid, including two or three centrefolds from The Sunday Mirror, which were dealing with Jack the Ripper and I’d obviously clipped them for some reason. I didn’t remember doing it but obviously I’d had an interest in Jack the Ripper from the age of about twelve or thirteen. So I guess that these kind of themes, these ideas, they probably run all the way through our lives like a kind of developing music, that the basic kind of chord patterns are there right from the beginning, probably, but they just become more elaborate, or more penetrating or more deeper.’
November 10, 2000
[comics] One of my favourite, underachieving [he should do more!] comic artists: Philip Bond — This is Planet Bond. Check out the revamped Betty and Veronica or a sketch of Mick Jagger’s hand[?].
November 9, 2000
[comics] The greatest ever comic scandal: Photographic proof that Grant Morrison is Alan Moore! [Related Links: grant-morrison.com, TimeMachineGo]
November 5, 2000
[distractions] Fantastic Amateur Secret Radio Decoder Outfit [Shockwave] — designed by Chris Ware… [Related Links: Decoder Home Page]