Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Comic Clippings - 13 December

Perfectly Normal Productions and BBC Audiobooks have announced that they have signed a deal to create "compelling, high quality audio entertainment for bite-size delivery direct to home computers, portable media players and mobile phones."

Releases from BBC Audiobooks are expected to begin in 2007 and amongst the characters included in the series are several drawn from IPC Media's library of characters, such as 'The Steel Claw'; they are also doing a tongue-in-cheek series featuring detective Sexton Blake, featuring Simon Jones (star of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) as Blake, Wayne Forester as Tinker and other characters played by Andrea Sadler and Graham Hoadly.

The podcasts are being produced by Dirk Maggs, whose previous credits include the recent resurrection of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and a whole bunch of comic strip adaptations, including Superman on Trial (1988), Batman: The Lazarus Syndrome (1989), The Adventures of Superman (two series, 1990-91), Superman: Doomsday and Beyond (1993), Batman: Knightfall (1994), The Amazing Spiderman (1995) and Judge Dredd (1995).

I remember meeting Maggs many years ago when he was recording Spider-Man at a little studio in Shepherd's Bush some time in (late?) 1994. Nice guy. Hope that Sexton Blake isn't too tongue-in-cheek. There was quite a bit of humour in Blake anyway, usually from Mrs. Bardell and her malapropisms, especially when Gwyn Evans was writing the stories.
  • Paul Gravett's article on Herge and Tintin appeared in The Independent on Sunday on, um, Sunday. 'Father of Tintin: Hip Hip Herge!' (10 December). 'Tintin at the Top' is Erica Wagner's review of the Tintin exhibition in Paris. The much-heralded Tintin movie that was announced some time ago by Amblin Entertainment is, apparently, still in development, according to this report 'Tintin not forgotten' (29 November).
  • Comic World News has a review of The Mammoth Book of New Manga edited by Ilya.
  • The WildStorm trade paperback edition of Albion will be out on time despite delays being announced a while back.
(* Away in London yesterday spreading the good word on Look and Learn. The giveaway from The Guardian, although it was printed smaller than the magazine and on much poorer paper, has given the upcoming relaunch a good boost and -- more good news -- the facsimile of the original issue number 1 from 1962 is now being mailed out. There was quite a bit of discussion about other projects that are upcoming in 2007. Looks like it's going to be a busy year.

(The picture at the top is a scan from a photocopy of a page of Blasco's original Steel Claw artwork, hence the rather poor quality of some of the lettering (which had yellowed badly). The photocopy was done about 12 years ago at Fleetway's Deptford warehouse just before all the artwork disappeared to Birmingham where it was to be stored. Last year I saw the artwork again when IPC moved their archive back to London... and now it's moving back to Birmingham again. Logically, that means it should be back in London in around 2017. Maybe I can get some more photocopies then... )

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