Tuesday, 31 July 2007

San Diego 2007

The San Diego comic con was last weekend, an event that is becoming more and more a multi media supermarket for anything sci-fi, comic or fantasy related.

There are gazillions of posts about the hunners of topics covered at the Con here, but here’s what I found interesting...

Indie writer/artist Terry Moore is taking over from Joss Whedon on Marvel’s brilliant teen superhero comedy Runaways.

Original ongoing title writer Jamie Delano is back on Hellblazer for a one shot story, with Rebis creator and crime novelist Ian Rankin set to take over writing the regular series at some point in the future.

Watchmen casting - Billy Crudup (as Dr Manhattan) leads a cast of virtual unknowns in what has to be the most anticipated comic book related movie of all time.

Here’s hoping it isn’t total wank.

DC have announced a new “Minx” imprint, a line of comics aimed at teenage girls trying to tap into the massive Manga market that has exploded thanks to female patronage.

Other movies in development you might want to see...

Whiteout is a thriller set in well, you guessed it, somewhere with loads of snow.

And, you’d think in direct contrast, comes 30 Days of Night, a vampire movie set in (I think) Alaska during the month-long period where there is no sun. Obviously, this is like spring break for vampires and offers a reasonably original take on an old idea.

Final Crisis – DC comics has been bogged down in something known as the Crisis since the mid 80s. Originally a mini-series trying to tidy up the various loose ends of the DC Universe of characters, it went and made things a whooooole lot more complicated, especially after a bunch of follow-ups emerged.

Charged with fixing this is Scots comic book God Grant Morrison. Will he kill or save the DCU and will this really be the final crossover? And has anyone who really cares ever touched a real woman?

Grant Morrison is known not only for comics but for advocating the use of Magik in everyday life. You may laugh and doubt if these rituals work to improve your life, but how many other guys from Govan have ever written Superman and Batman at the same time?

The excellent Gail Simone is taking over Wonder Woman.

The new creative teams for the various Spiderman comics were announced to a big yawn from me anyway.

Darwin Cooke has done a great job on The Spirit for DC, but is leaving soon – and to be honest I though that would kill the book. But it is rumoured that “Bone” creator Jeff Smith is taking over, which would be genius.

Also stroke mag fans can rejoice in the news that inflatable “sex kitten” Jenna Jameson will shortly have a new comic book out, which from the promo shot looks a bit like Red Sonja, if she was blonde and had fakies.

Finally, the Western comic is truly back.

While “Loveless” and the revamped “Jonah Hex” have both been doing well as has the re-launched “Lone Ranger”, “Streets of Glory” promises to top them all, as it’s the creation of comic book machismo master Irishman Garth Ennis.

Ennis, who created one of the most important comic books of all time in Preacher is also in the middle of his disassembly of superheroes “The Boys” which is also well worth a read.

Iain “The Neck” Laurie also strongly advises us to check out the new Kevin Smith related TV pilot “Reaper” wherein a slacker discovers his parents have sold his soul to the devil, who now wants to use him as bounty hunter chasing down errant souls.

It’s got my vote.

I realise about 2 people who read this will be vaguely interested in the contents, so if you got to the end without gouging out your own eyes, well done!


Anonymous said...


The problem I have with graphic novels is that they are too short. I know a lot of work goes into making them but they're over too quickly.

I took one on holiday recently and read it in an afternoon.


Fraser said...

I see what you're saying Nic, but the fact that they are "short" means for me that they convey more information quicker, making them an extremely effective medium for storytelling.

If you are looking for a more substantial read, I'd suggest getting the collected Graphic Novels of a really long running comic.

The Invisibles for example ran to about 10 books worth, collecting around 60 individuals comics - collected, it's a totally mind-blowing read.

Same goes for Preacher, which I mentioned in the piece, which is collected in ten volumes as well as far as I'm aware.

Comics or "Graphic Novels" to give them their book shop name, aren't and don't pretend to be novels, which is one of the reasons I don't really like the term "Graphic Novel".

The other reason is that its just a wanky made up name which panders to those who can't imagine comics as anything other than children's entertainment.

One you get your head round the idea that comics are an entirely separate medium from conventional literature, enjoying them more won't be far behind.

As for the immediacy of comics, I see that as a big plus. You'd watch a movie and not expect it to last more that a few hours, yet you'd still expect a full story wouldn't you?

Because comics blend aspects of both prose and visual art it can deliver oodles of complex information effectively and efficiently. I don't see that as a bad thing at all.

If you felt ripped off by the experience, its probably because you didn't enjoy the comic itself.

What GN was it you read? It may have been simply that it wasn't a very good comic.

Anonymous said...

Fraser, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much. I just would find it to be an expensive hobby. Easy to become addicted. And the pleasure is comparatively short lived. I would need a small stockpile to hand before opening one.

The one I read was DMZ by Brian Wood. I really liked the storyline; my favourite storylines are always set in the not-too-unbelievable-not-too-distant future. I also really enjoyed the comic; the illustrations in these things are beyond belief. They look like they would take years to produce all to be the product of 3 seconds of visual aid for me! Astounding effort.

I take on board what you are saying about getting a whole set of one storyline. I think that would more than satisfy my 'over too fast' problem.

So, the Invisibles you say? I'll let you know how I get on in due course.

Thanks, Nicx

Anonymous said...


Bought Watchmen at lunchtime. Much thicker book than DMZ. Perhaps I just chose a thin one as my first. I'll let you know how I get on. I do sense that I could get addicted to this.


Fraser said...

Watchmen is a very good read Nic, I'm sure you'll enjoy it - plus it has quite a few prose passages, so It'll take you longer to read I'm sure.

I haven't read any DMZ, but 2 things:

1) Its meant to be very good, as you have confirmed.

2) Its an ongoing title, so there will be more volumes of it out there. I think its at number 19 or so at the moment, and they tend to collect these every 6 or 7 issue, so there are probably another couple of volumes out there.

As for the expense - tell me about it. :)

All is not lost though - the library is your source for cost free comic fun. You'll find they have loads of GNs and whatever they don't have you can ask for.

Also - ebay is great for a bargain now and again.

I hope you do get addicted Nic, because comics are the business as far as I'm concerned. Plus I'll have another comic geek to talk to - and there is loads I can lend you/recommend to you.

I might blog the best stuff to get actually at some point.

Graeme said...

Fraser, if you could post a list of recommendations I'd really appreciate it. I've been thinking about getting back into comics for a while but I really have no idea where to even start.

Tom said...

In that case let me be the first to welcome you all to the new Talking Pish Comics Blog. Cos I think we're going to read a wee bit more about comics on here soon.