Asides

Digesting Comics February 2015

Jupiter's Legacy Promo Shot
Jupiter’s Legacy from Millar and Quitely

It looks like 2015 is going to be a great year for comics, Image and Dark Horse are releasing a host of enjoyable series with great artwork gracing some of the most varied sci-fi, horror and super-hero stories around. February has seen a good crop of floppies, with new East Of West and Jupiter’s Legacy issues amongst others:

  • Black Science continued with it’s Lost In Space meets Time Tunnel vibe. It is up to issue 11 and should have the second collected works out in the next few months.
  • East of West recently restarted after a short break, with Jonathan Hickman delivering his own take on the collision between religious apocrypha and the American Dream.
  • Rebellion have started releasing more American format comics, mashing the tech-style from the film Dredd 3D with old-school Mega-City to create a new continuity which kicks off in Dredd Uprise.
  • Abe Sapien 19 and Hellboy and the BPRD: 1952 2 remain solid. I’ve been enjoying “Abe’s Odyssey” through his unfolding post-apocalyptic world and Hellboy:1952 followed the eponymous hero as a teenager on his first mission with the BPRD. Two great reads.
  • Mark Millar and Frank Quitely have restarted Jupiter’s Legacy after a hiatus. Quitely’s fragile, almost alien artwork made the excessive power wielded by the heroes and villains a shock each time they were manifest. The series would be worth reading for the artwork alone, paired with Millar’s writing this was a blatant win. The BBC recently followed Frank Quitely as he worked on one of the earlier issues, the programme may be still available on iPlayer here.
  • Moon Knight 11 was just released, it isn’t Warren Ellis, but it is still readable with a new story arc for the main protagonist.

Brandon Graham And King City

A ball of cats and some protagonists from King City
King City from Brandon Graham

Currently reading through Brandon Graham’s King City. I managed to pick up his Multiple Warheads series on Image a few years ago, and found the King City graphic novel over at Mega City Comics recently.

King City the eponymous domain is rendered as a haven for Sasquatch super-spies, military-trained master burglars and suburban luchadors. Graham’s playful use of language wends an atypical reality with unique artefacts to deliver a superbly illustrated and readable story. If you get the chance, source this book :).

Reading Tekkon Kinkreet

Communing with comics in a bid to clear some of my reading backlog before the start of the new year. One on my list for a few months is Tekkon Kinkreet: Black and White from Taiyo Matsumoto. Very simple, but beautifully rendered black and white artwork, with a story following two street kids with superpowers as they apply their brand of morality to an amoral metropolis.

Artists Who Get Paid Don’t Truly Care About The Project

Strange thoughts courtesy of Jeremy Holt a while ago that started a conversation centred on whether paying comic artists upfront for a project would actually reduce their commitment to said project.

Seems slightly wrong-headed to me, and smacks of the mentality peddled by some in the games industry that devs should makes games for the love of the art, whilst those same pedlars were bathing in the lucre wrung from the hard work of the possibly naive but technically gifted developers…

Many cogent comments and thoughts can be found here.

Digesting Comics June 2014

First post in almost five months. This year has been super frantic, only barely managed to make it to London ComicCon in May and found myself in comic shops on a few occasions where the confluence of cash plus merchandise allowed me to pick up some great new comics over the last few months…

Continue reading

Holiday Reading Summer 2013

Summer is almost over and after an end-of-season sojourn in Corfu to soak up our brief allotment of solar rays, I find myself back in Blighty a little less pasty and having consumed a few more books. I’ve been trying to travel light and stick with carry on only when travelling, having one bag is much easier for flying but is an official pain if you don’t want to use a Kindle or other eReader. That aside, there were a few books from those I carried across that I’m recommending:

  • The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. This has been in my reading box for a year or so and finally managed to get through it. Very interesting sci-fi thriller set in a post-oil world. Loved the look at Thai culture dealing with the influx of destructive genetic modifications to their biomass. Definitely worth reading, and I can see why it was so well received.
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. From the author of No Logo, shows the direction the military industrial complex has moved in with Disaster Capitalism ruling the roost across our culture for the last few years. Enumerates how Hayek and Friedman were used as tools to hollow out and take over the world. This is our unfortunate present and whilst not really a holiday read should be a standard text for everyone.
  • Divine Invasion by Philip K Dick written after the author started seeing visions and drills into his belief system centred on an intuition of life as a simulation and contact with an intelligent computer entity VALIS. This system tied his waking dreams into some odd Gnostic and Abrahamic visions of God. The story reads like an unmedicated schizophrenic let loose with a typewriter, captivating prose but uncomfortable when you realise the state the author was in when he wrote it. Check out some info on Philip

Punk Rock Enforced By Law

Years ago, in the Pre-Torrent age there was an amazing piece in the Baffler from the record producer Steve Albini who ran some numbers showing how a band can sell hundreds of thousands of records but not make any money for themselves. We now find ourselves in the Post-Torrent age where the nominal cost of production and distribution of music is asymptotically approaching zero and competition for eyeballs and ears is so stiff that the current crop of musicians are matched against their peers and every other medium floating in our cultural soup. Rocknerd have posted an interesting piece framing the current trend of Creative Destruction here.