Thursday 27 May 2010

The return of Shako

Just got the new editions of Zarjazz and Dogbreath - and what a nice suprise to see this old timer making a welcome return.
Shako was late out of the gate in 2000AD, not appearing until Prog 20, but was actually one of the strips in the dummy edition.
That dummy was created before the Action upset and it certainly has echoes of pre-censored Hookjaw, what with the nasty, graphic, highly original human deaths dealt by this force of nature, depicted in gruesome detail by Spanish artists.
So, good to see the tradition continuing courtesy of writer Rich Clements and artist Bryan Coyle - the head in the mouth shot could easily be from '77.

Eric Bradbury's return to Black Max.

Hmmm, that's interesting.
I'd always thought that Mr Bradbury did the initial design work for the Black max strip and the very first episode but then passed on the duties to Mr Font.
So its a bit of a suprise to find, tucked away in the Thunder annual of 1973, a text story featuring the original artist.
Its certainly not out-takes from before the strip ran as the story has Von Klorr and Wilson in the midst of their battles.
Nice to see - but must say, prefer Font's monstrous takes on the Giant Bat's over Bradbury's far more realistic one's.

Monday 24 May 2010

Dave Gibbons' Doctor Who

Alas, nothing in Nottingham i was after that'd fit the remit of this here Blog. But have been hankering over the Doctor Who strips that started in the then weekly back in '78.
Haven't read them since then but remember liking them - especially for the excellent Dave Gibbons artwork (was all fired up on him as it was around the same time he was drawing Dan Dare for 2000AD, and i was in love with that).
So, thought i'd buy a graphic novel. But which?
The proper, large-szed UK versions which are in the original black and white and the right size but only one tale per album?
Or the smaller, colourised US version, who's colouring does seem rather garish but you do get multiple tales.
Logic says to keep it authentic and go with the original B/W's.
But same price gets you 3 or 4 tales for the 14.99.
Couldn't decide - so went with one of the back issues of the US comic to see just what its like and if memory cheats.
It sure blummin' well does.
Gibbons' art is still as superb as i remember it and the plots are good fun.
But the scripts...
Sorry Steve Parkhouse and Steve Moore but you may have been brought up on the Doc and maybe even were fans - but he just doesn't talk like that.
Guess i'm old and picky now as i don't remember having a problem with Tom Baker exclaming "Good Heavens!" and suchlike but sure do now.
Odd. And it spoiled the tales for me big time. So dunno if i'll be getting the GN's at all now.

Friday 21 May 2010

Off to Nottingham today

for a meet-up with a bunch of friends.
Will be popping in to FP and the really rather excellent Page 45, so hopefully will return with fodder for this here Blog.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Leigh Gallagher's Dredd

I've mentioned here here before how much i admire Leigh's work on "Defoe" in 2000AD, as his stunningly moody b/w art strongly evokes memories of strips from when i were a nipper.
If Janus Stark, Black Max, Adam Eterno or the Spider were ever to be properly resurrected then Leigh's the Man as far as i'm concerned.
He's recently done a Dredd tale for the Megazine and i've just got from him this prelim for an unused cover design.
Can see why maybe it wasn't chosen as the Werewolf is a wee bit small but i love it - a great, unusual shot of ol' Chinface and a superb bit of perspective on ol' Furface.
Top work.

Monday 17 May 2010

Poor Brian Bolland

Just about on track - he had done work for 2000AD and Dez Skinn's Hammer magazine by 1978 - but i really feel sorry for Brian Bolland.
Not only an artistic genius and easily one of the top British comic artists ever, but what comes across in his "Art Of Brian Bolland" and "Bolland Strips!" books is what a nice, genuine guy he is, that gets hurt and upset by folk who have effectivly stolen his original artwork, or plaguerised him so much it stops being homage and patently becomes ripoff.
And here's the latest example.
And here's Brian outside the blatent piece outside the Pompidou Centre.
His face says it all.

Thursday 13 May 2010

Crikey! 14

Just got round to reading this, and its the usual diverse treat.
Oddly though, its not the interview with Bryan Talbot or the piece on Marvel UK that i enjoyed but these two instead.
I didn't know it at the time, but the reason i hung on to the few Rupert annuals i had was down to the genius of Alfred Bestall. Never liked the bear, nor his friends, nor the stories.
But the art...
Used to just pour over the artwork, these incredibly charming, evocative landscapes that seemed not to be paintings, but some sort of view in to another world. They were unlike anything i'd ever seen before and still stand up now. Am quite lucky in that i live not far from Canterbury, which houses a permanent Rupert musuem, with original art by Mr Bestall. Which is even more awe inspiring up close.
Second up is the nice piece on The Perishers. They were a daily staple for me, read just after Andy Capp and just before Garth. They were nice, gentle innocent fun with endearing characters that never seemed to change or grow old. But why should they?

Thursday 6 May 2010

R.I.P Peter O'Donnell

Sad news indeed:

Titan Books is hugely saddened to report the passing of writer Peter O’Donnell, who died over the Bank Holiday weekend at the age of 90.

“Peter O'Donnell was respected as one of the greatest writers in the comics medium today and had a devout following amongst comics professionals and fans alike”, says Titan’s Managing Director, Nick Landau. “I am honoured to have known him – and published his greatest creations, Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin – for almost 40 years.”

Born in South London in 1920, O’Donnell had a long and illustrious career, the highlight of which was his creation of classic crime character ‘Modesty Blaise’. The smart and sassy comic strip ran daily in the Evening Standard newspaper during the 1960s. O’Donnell retired from writing in 2001, but had continued to oversee Titan’s release of more than a dozen Modesty Blaise collections, contributing introductions and commentaries to his classic stories.

Adventurer, spy, smuggler and seductress, Modesty Blaise is the high priestess of pulp, providing crime thriller storylines with sass, wit and a touch of glamour, that have wooed celebrity fans such as Quentin Tarantino.