• Here’s the trailer for Chris Lynch’s new cyberpunk/superhero comic The Dark, which is being published by Markosia (see news story on the downthetubes mobile blog). Written by Chris and with art by Rick Lundeen, it will be released later this month as an iTunes application and as an original graphic novel.
• There will be full reviews later, but just to say that having received review copies of Bryan Talbot’s Grandville (due in October) and Posy Simmonds’ Tamara Drewe (out now in paperback) last Friday, I couldn’t have wanted for better weekend reading material. Those eagerly awaiting Bryan’s Nutwood-meets-Quention-Tarrantino romp will not be disappointed!• Comics artist and Concept Artist Lee Carter has been plugging Com.X superhero project in a video interview for CG Artist Daily. View the full interview here.
• Part Nine of Thomas Cochrane’s ongoing time-travelling graphic novel The Fat Man, drawn by veteran illustrator and designer Alan Tanner (whose credits include covers for Time Out and the infamous Oz magazine), is now online at www.the-fat-man.co.uk. It’s free and just reading it helps rise money for charity. (The more people who view the material online, the more sponsorship we can raise).
Responsible for the death of millions, the mysterious ‘Tegel Project’ threatens the very core of civilisation. Betrayed by MI5, the Fat Man finds himself caught between the blazing guns of would-be assassins and the blood-red lips of silent movie star Louise Brooks.
Unable to trust anyone and faced with a series of unpalatable choices, he careers madly along the arch of time on the seemingly impossible mission of keeping himself and his lover alive…
• London’s Orbital Comics is to host an exhibition of portrait photographs by fab designer Steve Cook next month, featuring behind the scenes photographs of comics creators from the early days of Marvel UK to 2000AD and beyond. Witness Mark Millar driving a tank; Peter Milligan as Lawrence of Arabia and see what happened when Grant Morrison posed for a photograph at Land’s End in Cornwall, during the Solar Eclipse of 1999. More info here on Facebook or check out the Orbital Comics web site
• Insomnia Publications has just revealed the foreword of the upcoming graphic novel Burke and Hare by Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering has been penned by comic supremo Alan Grant. Alan’s enthused by the book, saying “there’s a moment in life that I savour: that delicious, perplexing instant when you realise that something you’ve ‘known’ for years is actually a crock of nonsense. Like discovering there’s no Santa Claus. Or realising your parents can’t read your mind when you think about sex. The Universe ripples like Predator shimmying through the jungle…and when it rights itself, reality has taken on a slightly different hue.
I had just such a mini-epiphany the first time I read Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering’s Burke & Hare…” You can read the full foreword here on the Insomnia Publications blog
• Talking of Insomnia Publications, they recently announced you can now pre-order the special edition hardback of Stref’s Milk from Amazon.co.uk. Milk is an incredible piece of work by artist Stref, and has been 10 years in the making.
• Congratulations to former 2000AD editor and flat mate David Bishop, who has script, The Woman Who Screamed Butterflies, is through to the semi-finals of the 2009 Page International Screenwriting Awards. “That sounds more impressive than it is, since there are 25 semi-finalists in ten different categories, chosen from nearly 4400 entries in total,” he says, modestly. “I’m in Short Film, a section I won two years ago for my animation project Danny’s Toys.” Finalist will be announced on 1st September, the winners a month later. Best of luck to him.
• A quick reminder that Antony Johnson’s Skeleton Key, the third Alex Rider graphic novel, is out next month (7th September) in the UK. As with the previous books in the series, the 176 page adventure is ably illustrated by sisters Kanako and Yuzuru. “If events follow past form, readers in the US should be able to get hold of an edition a few months afterward,” says Antony.
• Writer Cy Dethan has posted some pages from his current project, Harlan Falk, on his blog. “Most of the activity taking place below the waterline and several key things I’m not allowed to talk about yet. Scott James’s work on this book has been phenomenal, and Jason Millet’s colours are consistently amazing.” In addition to the previews on Cy’s site, you can check out the cover to Falk on Scott’s blog here.
• Comics writer Tony Lee has just posted his full and enjoyable report on the San Diego Comic Convention on his LiveJournal, apologizing to his fans for his failure to maintain a promised daily update. “As it does every year, San Diego Comic Con screwed me over,” he admits. “Blog writing wise, that is. I always promise to do a daily blog – and it always collapses and dies by Friday. In the past I’ve had valid excuses – for the first couple of years it was lack of internet opportunity, but this year I simply had too much going on. Which, considering that I’d made big speeches before going that this was going to be my ‘most relaxed year ever’ was quite simply a pile of old bobbins…” Meanwhile, if it’s more of a visual reportage you’re after, check out Tripwire editor Joel Meadows’ fab photo reports, starting here… We particularly liked this one of American film director, producer, writer and artist Tim Burton, above. (Photo © Joel Meadows)
• Cinebooks, the UK publisher of English language editions of various bande dessines collections and more, has several titles out now which may be of interest to downthetubes readers, including Volume 2 of Orbital. (The first volume was published back in May).
In the story, human Caleb and an alien, Mezoke, are paired up and trained as special agents to keep the intergalactic peace.This is a controversial and historic alliance given their races’ longstanding enmity, and a lot of people are watching them. Their first mission is to keep war from breaking out between humans and Javlodes on the planet Senestam.
Cinebook plans to publish some 38 new titles this year and launch eight new characters or series. It’s an impressive output and as regular readers know, Jeremy Briggs has given the company some strong reviews in the past few months.
• With everything that’s been going on at downthetubes – behind the scenes work on Ex Astris, book projects, the resumption of work for ROK Comics Inidian mobile comics project and editing work for some of Titan Books’ British comics collections (more on this later in the week), I’ve completely missed Dave Morris sneak peek at some work on some Mirabilis short stories originally intended for The Guardian newspaper, which he’s been teasing fans with on his blog. Check out the latest new here
• And finally… Orang Utan Comics has teamed up with DriveThru Comics to offer all of their new titles in a digital format. The UK indie’s new anthology, FTL #1 and the Alpha Gods OGN are now both available to download in PDF format from the popular digital comics site. Orang also report their next release on DriveThru will be FTL #2 which will be simultaneously available in print format via IndyPlanet and in digital format via DriveThru.
“This is a really exciting time for comic books and we intend to continue to explore new ways of delivering our comics to readers,” says the company. “We will have many exciting announcements about new digital comics projects in the near future, including our first big step into the world of comics for mobile devices.”
The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.
John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.
He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.
Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.