A few recent reviews of mine, coincidentally all animal themed! Featuring the third in the animal rights action comic Liberator by Matt Miner and Javier Aranda, the all ages kickstarted A Piggy's Tale by Tod Emko and Ethan Young, and the wonderful Astrodog by Paul Harrison-Davies.
A striking cover from the tremendous Ben Templesmith has garnered Liberator #3 all kinds of attention. If you’ve not been reading this fantastic debut, read on…
...I enjoy stories with unreliable narrators as you’re never quite sure what is about to unravel next, and it gives earlier sequences a whole new dimension. It works well with this tightly plotted book, with connecting scenes rather than your typically linear storytelling, and the dual narrative introduced in #3 is very intriguing.
A loveable pup, a street smart cat, and a magical pig – here is a comic that really grabbed my attention!
...But what really seals the deal, from both Emko and Young, is the real heart that has been put into each character. With very little exposition or long screeds of narration or dialogue, these are characters that the reader immediately knows and loves.
Of the many comics I picked up at the recent Lakes International Comic Art Festival, there was one comic in particular that caught my eye as I turned around one of those giant rooms. A small little book, nestled amongst publishers large and booming, that shone out with a cover that immediately made me smile: Astrodog.
Seeing that I had tuned out the rest of the world in those thirty seconds, my boyfriend knowingly weighed himself down with my bags while I went for a closer look. I had not seen Astrodog before, I had missed itsprevious outing in webcomic form at the hands of creator Paul Harrison-Davies, and the glorious colours jostling upon the pages called to mind an old favourite of mine with a similar, yet completely different premise: Hendrik Dorgathen’s Space Dog.
Okay, first things first. Have you bought Ballistic yet? Have you back-ordered #1 and pre-ordered #2? Because this comic is selling out everywhere FAST. I hit up artist Darick Robertson for a chat on what is rapidly becoming the runaway hit of 2013.
LS: Looking at the hugely detailed scale of the world of Ballistic, and the mix of organic shapes and technological wonders, I’m spotting a little bit of Moebius as an influence – maybe? What influences have you drawn upon for this project?
DR: I love Moebius’ work and his landscapes and free flowing architectural ideas were an inspiration when I started working on this. Heavy Metal from 1980, and the magazine itself, were very influential when I was a teen. I recall the sequence from the animated film where Taarna is flying over the city on her winged bird creature (Moebius designs) and at one point she flies through this massive skeleton of some long dead behemoth.
Kicking off the second round of Stripped events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival came the legendary and fabulous Melinda Gebbie, known for her work in the American underground comix of the ‘70s, the infamous and illegal Fresca Zizis, and of course her collaboration with Alan Moore on Lost Girls.
Melinda Gebbie is one of my heroes, and this was my first time listening to her speak in person. I was amazed that the room was only half full, perhaps due to overlapping events, but it was one of my absolute highlights of the festival. Larger than life and with one hell of a sharp sense of humour, Gebbie gave a career retrospective as well as a great big dose of enthusiasm for any women working in – or around – comics.
We opened with congratulations to Morrison for getting his MBE from the Queen earlier in the year, with Gordon cheekily asking if her maj was a fan. “She likes that early Vertigo [stuff],” Morrison quipped, before revealing that it had been Prince Charles who had presented the award and breaking into a top notch impersonation of Charles extolling how much he loved the Eagle and Dan Dare before dissolving into giggles. “I told you Dan Dare was a fascist,” he joked.
A couple of new film-related articles up on The Beat - I don't tend to link to everything that I write there, but you can find all my work at The Beat at this link here.
My site is due a re-design so I'll incorporate a link to that in the top very soon.
Some commentary on the new Batfleck (ie, the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman)...
... and the dumbing down of Snowpiercer for English-speaking audiences, which arguably deserves far more outrage.
"I’ve talked at length before here on The Beat about both Snowpiercer and Le Transperceneige, as it really looked set to the be surprise hit of the year. A dystopian future tale, set upon a perpetually circuiting train that houses the remnants of the human race, where class tensions arise and revolution is in the air...
"The idea that such a film needs to be dumbed down for English speaking fans is rather bizarre, with Weinstein reportedly asking for “ introductory and closing voice-overs to be added in“. As film critic and programmer Tony Rayns says, “TWC people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma.’” Rayns also says that the UK is protesting the cuts and hopes other countries follow suit."
Following Chris Ware in the Stripped programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival came the very entertaining and engaging Joe Sacco, creator of numerous critically acclaimed journalist works, including Palestine, Safe Area Goražde, Journalism, and his upcomingThe Great War.
Beginning with expanding upon his introduction to Journalism, which collected several of his shorter works and came out last year, Sacco spoke about how he rejected objective journalism outright. “I think there’s a lot of subjectivity in journalism that’s portrayed, put across as objective journalism,” he explained, pointing out that all reporters carry baggage and preconceived notions with them on their journeys, regardless of how hard they may have studied objective journalism.