Thursday, August 04, 2022

  • 9 Aug. Creating comics with Mark Millar, is the latest edition of Comics By Perch! (video, 1hr25m). And there's more... Millar is also interviewed by Thinking Critical about his career (video, 1hr). If that's not enough, here's another interview at the Drinker's VIP Lounge (video, 2hrs27m). No time for videos... well, here's a print interview at CBR. "Millarworld prides itself on asking artists what they get paid at Marvel and DC and INCREASING that rate to get them to work for us so we're very aware of the numbers involved, but at the same time I really want to try a crazy experiment." That experiment? A $1.99 comic.
  • 8 Aug. Neil Gaiman explains why Netflix's The Sandman exists outside the DC Universe, while the graphic novels intersect with it. “We didn’t want a TV show where you felt that you had to have read a whole bunch of comics published in 1988 and 1989 to understand what was going on.”
  • 5 Aug. Rebecca Nicholson reviews The Sandman and claims Neil Gaiman "has created 2022's single greatest hour of TV drama." "It is transportive, playful at times, and certainly grand. But above all, it is dark. Bodies explode, limbs are severed, and demons crawl out of the mouths of professional footballers, fist-first. Nestled in among its more grotesque spectacles, though, is an emotional depth that elevates this far beyond the usual “let’s see what we can blow the CGI budget on” fantasy fodder." Not everyone agrees that the show is near perfect: the Washington Post headlines its review: "‘The Sandman’ suggests some comics are better left off-screen" and notes: "Given the pure comic-bookiness of the source material, the show is a feat of print-to-screen translation, with enough narrative rearrangement to create convincing through lines across the season. And yet the overall results are so shaggy and uneven, with characters and incidents from the comics that add little to the story on screen, that the reasons to adapt “The Sandman” never exceed the reasons not to have done so."
  • 4 Aug. Neil Gaiman interviewed on WTF with Marc Maron (1hr40m). "Marc talks with Neil about how his early work sidestepped the pre-adolescent male power fantasies of most contemporary comic books and helped connect with a broad and enduring fanbase. They also talk about the new adaptation of The Sandman for Netflix and why Neil believes his past experiences in TV led him to make the ideal filmed version of his work."
  • 4 Aug. Neil Gaiman and David S. Goyer talk Sandman adaptation. “I was walking around the props and being shown stuff, and there in front of me was the copy of a Sun newspaper dated September 2022, and ‘Tug of Love Baby Eaten by Cows’ was the headline. I thought, ‘It’s actually happening, and it’s real, and it’s being made by people who care and who love the original.’”
  • While The Sandman is getting a lot of press, there has also been a lot of coverage to the news that the Batgirl movie is being shelved and will not be shown on HBO Max as originally planned, or anywhere else. A number of other cancellations have been lost in the white noise, but they include a ton of comic adaptations: Naomi, Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, The Flash (all The CW) and  Snowpiercer (TNT), which was in production of its fourth and final season. The CW has only two remaining DC shows, Superman & Lois and the upcoming Gotham Knights. Riverdale (based on the old Archie comics) is also coming to an end after seven seasons. I mention this because it throws a harsh light on DC tie-in shows when compared to Marvel's shows on Disney+. They still have some movies coming up (The Flash, Black Adam, Shazam: Fury of the Gods), but I'm with Heidi MacDonald's description that "The DCEU is fine, if by fine you mean a flaming dumpster fire perched on the edge of a volcano full of poison sharks."
  • 4 Aug. Interview: Dave McKean on the Virtual Memories podcast (1hr28m) “For AI, comic storytelling is really difficult, when from panel to panel you need to show specific angles, the same characters doing specific things. So that part of what I do — narrative storytelling — seems to be in a safer place at the moment. But these people seem determined to crack every single problem, so I’m sure they’ll get there somehow.” (There are quite a few interesting interviews in this series — here's an alphabetical list of guests.)
  • 30 Jul. Interview: Neil Gaiman on comics, diversity and casting Death. “In 1986, I pitched a story about what was happening in comics,” he says. “At that point Maus, The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen were all coming out. One newspaper replied: ‘We’ve written about Desperate Dan’s 50th anniversary this year – we can’t do another comics piece.’”
  • 28 Jul. Neil Gaiman breaks down every shot of The Sandman trailer. (video 17m)
  • 28 Jul. Barry Windsor Smith bagged three Will Eisner Awards at San Diego Comic-Con, with Monster winning Best Graphic Novel, and earning him awards for Best Writer/Artist and Best Lettering.
  • 25 Jul. Interview: Mark Millar. "You know him as the author of Civil War, Old Man Logan, Kickass, Wanted, Kingsman and about a hundred other bestselling comics. Join me as I shoot the breeze with Mark Millar about his career, the MCU, cancel culture and changes afoot in the industry." (Drinker's VIP Lounge, video, 2h27m)
  • 25 Jul. Neil Gaiman was at the San Diego Comic Con to talk about The Sandman TV show.  “What I’m really excited [about] is that in less than two weeks, everyone is going to get to see what we made,” Gaiman told the crowd. “It feels really good.”
  • 25 Jul. Den of Geek have a sprawling interview with Ram V, Indian-born contributor to both UK and US comics. "[T]he immediate question when you start thinking about writing about death in comics is, “Y’know, what can I say that Neil Gaiman hasn’t said already?” Immediately my head went to this idea that Death is a cultural manifestation. She or it cannot be the same thing necessarily to different people."
  • 22 Jul. Disney are to adapt Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book with Marc Forster set to direct. David (Life of Pi) Magee, who previously worked with Forster on Finding Neverland and the upcoming A Man Called Otto, is working on the script.
  • 22 Jul. Dave McKean is publishing a new book at the end of the month. "A few weeks ago having digested the implications of image creation AI, I decided I could either retire or respond. Here's my response; a 96-page book of graphic shorts stories created in 12 days. Available at the end of July."
  • 11 Jul. "Neil Gaiman's Books Have Enchanted Millions. Finally Hollywood Is on Board." Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson believes The Sandman and other morally complicated Gaiman creations are finding their way to the screens — just when we need them most. “All of the things that made ‘Sandman’ wonderful were the same things that made it almost impossible to adapt for film and television for 30 years,” says David S. Goyer, a filmmaker and producer who was a co-writer on the “Dark Knight” Batman trilogy. “All of the features that we love about ‘Sandman’ — that it is, in essence, a story about stories — are the bugs that stymied Hollywood.”
  • 8 Jul. Interview: Ramzee (Ramsey Hassan). "It was whilst I was [at a small press show] that I discovered that regular people were making comics about anything and everything. It really lit a fire in me to start producing my own stuff which, after a few dodgy trial runs, eventually came out five years later and was immediately met with a great response."
  • 5 Jul. Jude Noel explores the avant-garde musical legacy of The Moomins. "Inspired by the kosmische electronica of German acts like Cluster and Kraftwerk, the soundtrack was produced by Graeme Miller and Steve Shill, members of an avant-garde theater company called the Impact Theatre Co-operative (also notable for including Gang of Four drummer Hugo Burnham.) Its main theme, a threadbare jumble of ocarina, Wasp synth, and makeshift percussion, is equal parts folksy and futuristic, crafted using technology that was still quite new to the mainstream."
  • 30 Jun. The anarchic world of Steve Dillon. David Barnett visits the exhibition of Dillon's work at the Hat House's Basement Gallery in Luton. "There were a couple of massive piss-ups after he died, one in New York, one in Luton, and at both of them I had the same feeling: this is a great celebration of a fantastic guy’s life, and he’d love seeing everyone like this," recalls Garth Ennis.
  • 29 Jun. Garth Ennis's The Boys is losing its right-wing fan-base, who are beginning to realise that it is a satire aimed at them. "He is, without exaggeration, one of the most terrifying TV villains for years. The problem is, some of Homelander’s behaviour this season has seemed a little familiar. He’s given an open platform on a rightwing news network. His popularity soars after he starts saying the worst things possible. He becomes the head of an over-reaching corporation and immediately finds himself out of his depth. He’s a self-destructive mixture of professional ambition and personal insecurity. In other words, as if it needed to be spelled out, Homelander is Donald Trump."
  • 25 Jun. Finally, Marvelman: The Silver Age by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham is to be published in October. “Neil and I have had these stories in our heads since 1989 so it is amazing to finally be on the verge of sharing them with our readers.” The launch will coincide with a 40th anniversary issue zero, which (as Graeme McMillan notes) appears 40 years after Warrior #8, not Marvelman's debut.
  • 25 Jun. Interview: Grant Morrison plus a previously unpublished excerpt from Supergods. "I’d kind of reached the end of doing the superhero stuff. And I just got into this whole idea of could I possibly make all that dead skin into something alive? Frankenstein it. Could I put it all together in a new way that kind of made that useful again and brought it back to life? So I came up with this story which is being told through the collage stuff which I’m doing myself."
  • 20 Jun. Garth Ennis interviewed at Enniskillen (video, 32m). "Garth Ennis is the comic book writer behind Preacher, Punisher, And he wrote The Boys which was recently turned into a hit Amazon prime show starring Karl Urban. He’s also written other comics such as Hitman, Hellblazer, Section Eight, Sara, Johnny Red, Batman: Reptilian, Lion & The Eagle, Stringbags, Rover Red Charlie, Crossed, and more recently, The Battle Action Special!"
  • 17 Jun. Dave McKean is drawing illustrations for the Folio Society's edition of the Gormanghast trilogy. With an introduction by Neil Gaiman, you'll need to dig deep, as one of the 750 copies of this limited edition hardcover will set you back £745. (video, 4m).
  • 15 Jun. Liam Sharp says welcome to Starhenge. "It’s basically Terminator meets Excalibur via Dr Who!" And here's another interview: "In The Once and Future King, there’s this concept of Merlin being born in the future and dying in the past, and I thought, “why would he be coming to the past?”
  • 12 Jun. "How to finally break Judge Dredd and 2000 AD into America (and the lessons in previous attempts). Graeme McMillan looks at the upcoming Best of 2000AD. "The six-issue quarterly anthology series Best of 2000 AD, launching this fall, is set to be the most aggressive push the title has seen in the US in decades. With each volume running in the region of 200 pages and retailing for $22.99 US (and £14.99 UK), Best of 2000 AD will combine classic material from the 2000 AD back catalog with design work from X-Men’s Tom Muller and new cover artwork from the likes of Jamie McKelvie, Becky Cloonan, Erica Henderson, and more."
  • 12 Jun. Interview: Si Spurrier and Aaron Campbell discuss Suicide Squad: Blaze at AIPT Comics (podcast, 1hr 20m).
  • 6 Jun. Interview: Peter Milligan on his new series Absolution. "It’s the near future.  Which means it’s future enough for certain technical advances to have been made which makes the story of Absolution possible--but it’s close enough to be a very recognizable world, with very recognizable people.  In some ways this is our world, a world where people increasingly experience life via the medium of the internet, a world of trolls and likes and obsessions."
  • 6 Jun. The W. Heath Robinson Museum finally opens. "In March 2015, the [William Heath Robinson Trust] secured the paintings and drawings after being awarded grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and the Art Fund, ensuring the works would stay together in the UK - and now in their new home in Pinner, London."
  • 6 Jun. Chloe Maveal looks at 'Al's Baby' by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. "I’m not going to tell you to read Al’s Baby for the plot, because however fun it may be, the plot is merely the cherry on top of what may be one of the most singularly enjoyable comics of the early 1990s."
  • 6 Jun. Tom Shapira looks back at Judge Dredd: The Citadel and Judge Dredd at 45.
  • 1 Jun. Interview: Garth Ennis discusses his personal campaign of creation behind his revival of IPC Magazines' classic Battle Action (video, 26m).
  • 1 Jun. Interview: Ben Aaronovitch, writer Celeste Bronfman and script editor Andrew Cartmel talk Rivers of London: Deadly Ever After (video,  21m).

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