Originally published in (the BSFA's critical journal) Vector #280 last year, my regular column turned the spotlight on the political side of sci-fi which is a subject that really deserves its own full length book!
Still, even in this short space I delve into the history of SF comics - from Buck Rogers to Judgement Day, through Dan Dare and 2000 AD, peering past Le Transperceneige and Transmetropolitan, before heading on to Bitch Planet and Letter 44, and arriving at our final destination, Zero.
Hit the jump for the full article!
As I sit down to right my Best of 2015 for Vector, it occurs to me that I am way overdue publishing older columns here for all to see. So far behind in fact that next in the queue is the Best of 2014! Ah well, better late than never.
Originally published in issue 279 of the BSFA's critical journal back in early 2015, this column features Letter 44, Annihilator, Alex + Ada, Trillium, The Woods, and Ms Marvel. It's interesting to note that of those that continued, some are no longer my favourites but for the period of publication referenced this column holds true!
As I am mostly working in print at the present, it's getting a little tricky to keep this portfolio updated! Here then are all the places I can be found:
- You can find my features, interviews and reviews each month in SciFiNow, the UK's largest genre magazine (digital editions here).
- I have a regular column in Vector, the BSFA's critical journal (available to all BSFA members).
- I also write for British newspapers including The Independent on Sunday, The New Statesman, and The Guardian.
- I occasionally have work up at ComicsAlliance, and you can find previous work of mine at The Beat and Comic Book Resources.
- My time running the Panel Mania column for Publisher's Weekly is also archived in full on my site.
You can reach me via email using the contact form here on my site and I do read every single email. Unfortunately the volume is such that I cannot always guarantee a reply but I try my best!
Earlier this month The Independent on Sunday published my interview with the lovely Kate Beaton who I met at this years Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
I am a huge fan of Kate's Hark! A Vagrant webcomic, as well as her newest collection Step Aside, Pops. We had a great chat about all things suffrage, women, comics and conventions - plus it was my first interview conducted in a cupboard.
With a fierce velocipedestrienne glaring from the cover of her new collection, Step Aside, Pops, that feminist thread has become more overt, and the book is packed with comics about the fabulous and forgotten women of history.
“I think that honestly it’s a response to the larger conversation that we’re all having about women’s roles in pop culture and media, and in the workforce and in life,” muses Beaton. “There’s a lot more discussion these days. I use the example, a movie like Mad Max comes out and we all read the think pieces on how Charlize Theron’s character is treated and what that means to people and what people want and I think that women’s voices are being heard more. A few years ago I don’t think that Mad Max would have been made, not in the same way.”
ComicsAlliance: ‘Snowpiercer Terminus’ Offers First Class Return to the Second Class Struggle [Review]
I don't often write online reviews these days but I couldn't resist the opportunity to pen the first English review of the brand new volume of Snowpiercer (Le Transperceneige). As if breaking the news of the English publication wasn't enough! ;)
Included in my review is a look at the previous volumes. The original is, in my view, one of the greatest SF comics created, and the latest instalment by Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette is a return to that form.
Long before Snowpiercer was a film starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, Le Transperceneige was well known in Europe as a classic of the science-fiction genre. Created by writer Jacques Lob and drawn by Jean-Marc Rochette, the first volume – The Escape – was published in 1982 at the height of the severe global economic recession and the dawn of Thatcherism and Reaganomics on the world stage.
The fact that the English translation didn’t arrive until last year, after the greatest post-war slump of all, is perhaps no coincidence – the tale of a massive train harbouring the last humans on earth, sorted by class from richest to poorest with no room for progression is as timely today as it was in the ‘80s.
An exclusive preview of the second issue of monster hit Beast Wagon by Owen Michael Johnson and John Pearson - up at ComicsAlliance today!