Last week saw my interview with rising star Ales Kot published at The Guardian, where we tore into new horror noir Wolf and the very angry Material, particularly on matters of systematic racism.
“My honesty gets me in trouble,” Kot allows, “but my take is that if they can’t handle me at my realest, they don’t deserve to have me anyway. Which maybe sounds privileged, but it’s not – I turned down plenty of gigs when I had nothing in my bank account and was very sick, without a home, staying at my friend’s studio, not knowing what to do, or where I would be in a month, or if I would even be alive. Turning down work that does not feel right continues to be crucial for my attainment of the kind of career and life that I want.”
A good way to start the New Year, with a wee blurb on Grant Morrison's upcoming Multiversity for The Guardian.
A new piece up on The Guardian, where I have a chat with superb creators Posy Simmonds, Katie Green, Isabel Greenberg, and Kate Charlesworth ahead of this weekend's Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal.
We look at why they picked the comics medium, the subversive and communicative powers of comics, and how things have changed - and remained the same - for women creators across the decades.
Long-time Guardian favourite and multiple award-winner Posy Simmonds is one such guest, a prolific artist who has been drawing comics since she was a little girl. Her collection last year, Mrs Weber's Omnibus, brought together her long-running strips for the Guardian about a well-meaning middle-class family.
"As a child," Simmonds tells me, "I liked the combination of words and pictures - in bound copies of Punch magazines and, later, in the piles of comics some American kids used to give me. There was also something subversive about comics that appealed - adults didn't approve of them."
In the midst of the Stripped programme at the Edinburgh Book Festival, I was lucky enough to catch up with Grant Morrison once more about what he'd been up to in the last year. The results were published as a three page spread in The Guardian and went down very well indeed.
It was a crazy deadline, but well worth it. And as ever, the full and uncut version will be coming soon!
Glasgow, the late 1970s. A woman is busy cranking out copies of her teenage son's latest creative work on an old copier, blissfully unaware that they will one day be collector's items. The boy is called Grant Morrison and a faded copy of this old fanzine, called The White Tree, recently sold on eBay for more than £100.
"That's ridiculous!" laughs Morrison, writer of Batman, Superman and The X-Men amongst many others. The Scottish scribe is one of a cracking line up of guests from the world of comics and graphic novels at Stripped, a new programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
"The first one was printed on, you know, those Banda copiers." He smiles. "It was steampunk technology. They did weird copies that came out in blue ink. It would fade over time. Every subsequent issue was done by my mum, up in the typing pool. She'd do like 150 issues of this thing. But honestly, all I really remember of that magazine is that I drew a barbarian girl on the cover of issue three. And she had a fur bikini on."
The women in the typing pool, he adds, confused her swimwear for something else. "All the girls were saying, 'What kind of muff is that?' I was mortified, a 16-year-old boy. 'Oh god,' I thought. 'What have I done?' I went back and painted in this huge kind of skirt thing – with a skull on the front. So there are two versions."