comicbookGRRRL Do not offend the chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible.

11Nov/125

Comic Review: The Best of 2012

We've not made it past the apocalypse yet, but I've been writing this piece all year. Whenever you may read this, I'm probably still writing it. The frantic "best of" list is inescapable.

The mainstream media would say that Clark's choice in romantic partners and Xavier pretending to die again were the big deals in the land of comics this year, but we of course know better. Dig past the always good Batman and the ever consuming Marvel events with their procreating covers and we find punk prophets of doom, forests of interplanetary craft, and phantasmagoric storytelling of the highest order.

A list then my loves, that most subjective and redundant of human addictions. Give one of these comics to your gran, another to your little brother, and a third to weird cousin Earl that lives in the dark soul of Glasgow. But for gods sake, don't keep them to yourself!

Comic Review: The Best of 2012

6Nov/120

Dundee Comics Day: Grant Morrison and Friends, the Write Up

Updates have been a little few and far between of late, my apologies. I've been working on a few bits and pieces that will be published in the next couple of months, but for now you can at least see what I was up to the other weekend, at Dundee Comics Day.

The convention had a star studded line-up of guests - Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Dave Gibbons, Cameron Stewart, Frazer Irving, Rian Hughes and Peter Doherty - all talking about their collaborations, their broader field of work, and with the artists describing their unique processes. It was a fab weekend, and I was happy to be helping out - even if it did mean I was mostly running about the place and needed to hibernate afterwards.

Read the full coverage at The Beat, and check out Jonathan Mayo's wonderful photography too! 

Dundee Comics Day

20Oct/120

Dundee Comics Day

Coming up next weekend is an unmissable event for any Scottish comics fans: the annual Dundee Comics Day is this year focusing on the works of Grant Morrison and his many collaborators, on Sunday the 28th of October.

The one day convention will headline with Morrison himself, as well as featuring guests Frank Quitely, Cameron Stewart, Frazer Irving, Rian Hughes, and Peter Doherty. Sadly Jill Thompson was not able to make it.

In addition, there is a workshop with Dave Gibbons on Saturday the 27th, and a screening of the Grant Morrison documentary, Talking with Gods, on Friday the 26th.

Tickets for the weekend are available to buy directly here, and hit the jump for the full schedule!

Dundee Comics Day

1Oct/129

Kids Read Comics!

In the last weeks of summer, one comic in particular has been getting a tremendous amount of mainstream press coverage here in the UK, from broadsheet national newspapers to the venerable BBC. They're not talking about Batman or Spider-Man, but The Dandy - one of the three longest running comics in the world, and a staple of British childhood for those of us over a certain age. Sadly the coverage was for the worst of reasons: The Dandy is to cease publication, the news slightly softened with a move to a digital only form.

The reason? Low circulation figures, with a drop from its once lofty weekly sales of over 2 million to only an average of 7,489. As a flagship title, The Dandy's cancellation has led to an avalanche of sensationalist speculation: that children no longer read comics, that children no longer read(!), and that computers and video games are surely to blame (aren't they always?), along with the imminent implosion of all comics and books the world over.

This idea of comics as a failing art form (and children as failing readers) is annoying to me not only as a comics fan, but because in one of my secret identities I happen to be a children's bookseller. An expert even, with a shiny badge and everything. And as I've said before many times, comics have been dying since they were born, a boom and bust industry that rides on optimism yet is chased by inexhaustible pessimism. So here are some facts and figures to show that as sad as it is that one of the oldest comic titles around has had to admit defeat, children's magazines and comics  in particular are still in demand, and in fact that demand is on the rise...

JL8: A Webcomic by Yale StewartJL8: A Webcomic by Yale Stewart

13Jul/120

An Interview with Me: Women Write About Comics

It's not often I'm at the receiving end of an interview, and it feels quite strange, but these questions from Claire Napier at Women Write About Comics were great fun to answer. Hence the length!

Women Write About Comics is a great project that started up at the turn of the new year, first bringing us a mass blog carnival, and latterly some great interviews with, well, women who write about comics. Check it out!

My interview is here - click!

Women Write About Comics

11Jul/120

Glasgow Comic Con: Dredd, Kirby, Bane, and Spider-Kilt

As well as the headlining Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, this years Glasgow Comic Con boasted a stellar line-up of guests, including John Wagner, Alan Grant, Jim Starlin, Rufus Dayglo, and Karrie Fransman, as well as Dave Alexander, Jim Devlin, and Dan McDaid.

The panel starring John Wagner and Alan Grant was a definite highlight, with Grant's solo panel perhaps receiving the most thunderous applause of the entire weekend. Talking Dredd and Bane, film adaptations and favourite characters, it was a brilliant reminder of just how great an impact Glasgow and Scotland have had on the comics industry as a whole.

Jim Starlin was the international guest of honour, tirelessly sketching and signing away for a massive queue of fans, and commenting on the appearance of Thanos in Avengers and Avengers 2. In a panel focusing on the Cosmic in comics, Rufus Dayglo entertainingly stole the show with some choice remarks about the treatment of Jack Kirby at the hands of Marvel and the "fucking boring" state of the Big Two's output.

The one complaint about the Con that was circling was the much reduced small press presence despite the expansion of the convention itself. Several key figures from the local comics scene who do not wish to be named were notable absent, citing high table costs and an unwelcoming atmosphere. As a dedicated supporter of the independent UK comics scene, I hope this is something that is cleared up next year.

Hit the jump for full panel coverage and quotes from Saturday!

Spider-Kilt and Black Cat