Thursday, June 19, 2008

Comic Cuts

There's a light at the end of the tunnel for the Sci-Fi Art book. Hopefully I've only a week's worth of work left on it, although there will still be some pictures to source and a few leftover captions to write. Not that things ease up because I've got two Storm Collections to do and the Frank Bellamy's King Arthur book to finish, all, hopefully, before the next round of building work starts in July.

I took a couple of hours off the other day to do a pre-recorded interview for a Radio 4 show that should be broadcast in early July. The subject was Arthur Mee, editor of The Children's Encyclopedia and The Children's Newspaper. Spent 40 minutes down at Colchester's tiny studio rabbiting on about Mee and his various books and magazines. Not sure when the show is to be broadcast but the working title is Arthur Mee's Encyclopedia.

Went to see the new Indiana Jones movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't really know what to make of reviving the character after so many years—a rip-roaring adventure and brilliant special effects was as high as my expectations went, so I wasn't disappointed. It hit every predictable note that you'd expect of Indiana Jones and had the most blatant example of impossible movie hero indestructibility as Indy survives a nuclear explosion without a scratch... but what the hell. It was fun.

If you're wondering what the pictures are, they're from the Storm books that we're just about to start working on. Something for you all to look forward to...

News from Around the Net...

* It's sales figures time once again: after a break in April, issue 6 of Virgin's Dan Dare was released in May and shows a sharp decline: issue 5 (March) sold 7,518 copies and issue 6 was over 1,000 copies down at 6,438, a drop of 14%. Note that these figures (from ICv2) are for copies sold via Diamond Distributors only, although I imagine they make up the bulk of the sales.

* Crikey!'s Glenn Fleming has posted some nice 'Avengers' artwork from DC Thomson's archive as part of his regular 'Crikey! It's Saturday' column at the Forbidden Planet International blog.

* Lew Stringer takes a look back at comics on the newsstands back in June 1968.

* Kenny Penman wishes he'd published the Jack Daniels' run of 'Riders of the Range' from Ealge at the new Black Slate Blog section of the Black Slate Books website.

* 2000AD's Simon Davis was second prize winner in the prestigious BP Portrait Award announced on Monday, 16 June. The Guardian (17 June) has a complete set of the shortlisted portraits here. (link via David Bishop's Vicious Imagery)

* Rod McKie begins an occasional column musing on comics. As he used to draw for Fleetway's humour comics it's no surprise that his first muse is about his first muse, Smash!.

* The second part of Pádraig Ó Méalóid's interview with Alan Moore has been posted at the Forbidden Planet International blog. If you missed part one... go here first.

* The Independent interviews Dave Brown, political cartoonist, who has worked for the paper for twelve years and is now the subject of an exhibition and new book, An Independent Line. The exhibition at the Political Cartoon Gallery (you'll need to scroll down past the David Low cartoon) also features the work of Peter Shrank and Tim Sanders.

* Talking of politics and cartoons, Martin Rowson explains in The Guardian (16 June) why George Bush was a god-send to the political cartoonists. And Gerald Scarfe, political cartoonist for The Sunday Times, is to be made a Commander of the British Empire.

(* Storm © Don Lawrence Collection/Elisabeth Lawrence/Martin Lodewijk)

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