• Dave Taylor has just posted this stunning teaser for a new Judge Dredd story, a four parter written by Ian Edginton. Look out for more soon on his blog. Dave’s one of several comics artists involved in the fab online stripjam, Huzzah!, along with Faz Choudhury, Dylan Teague, Paul Harrison Davies, Rob Davis, I. N. J. Culbard (who’s got some terrific designs for his Sherlock Holmes project for SelfMadeHero on his blog), Colin Fawcett, Sketchybeast, D’Israeli and Dan McDaid.
• Talking of Paul Harrison Davies, my fellow Lancaster-based comic creator has been recommending some good comics reads, including D’Israeli’s Stckleback, Bogie Man and the Verttigo title Northlanders, which I enjoyed myself. Check out his hot picks here. He also rightly directs people to web comic Rip Haywire, which is still in its early days, and “a great throwback to classic US adventure strips like Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy and Steve Canyon for the Dilbert generation”.
• Bad news for Magazine fans: Realms of Fantasy is closing down following publication of its April 2009 issue with Managing Editor Laura Cleveland telling SFScope the news came very suddenly. So suddenly, Warren Ellis notes, that even Editor Shawna McCarthy (currently on vacation in Italy) hadn’t been informed yet. RoF failed to embrace the digital age — its web site doesn’t seem to have been updated for a couple of years by all accounts — which surely can’t have helped.
• In more bad magazine news, several are mourning the announcement that DC Comics MAD Magazine will switch from monthly to quarterly publication, beginning with its 500th, April 2009 cover dated issue. DC are also killing spinoffs Mad Kids (ceasing publication after 17 February) and Mad Classics (ending on 17 March). The quarterly schedule will begin in April and the change will see the humour magazine expand from 48 to 56 pages.
Brushing off the gloom, as you’d expect from Mad, editor John Ficarra told the New York Times, “The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of Mad is funny. So we decided to just publish those.”
• (via Cy Deathan): The Insomnia Publications blog is currently featuring an interview with Cancertown and Slaughterman’s Creed artist, Stephen Downey, discussing his methods and influences, and offers advice on breaking in.
• Neil Gaiman, who is a guest of the Dubin Film Fair which is screening animated fim Coraline, has received the prestigious John Newberry award from the American Library Association awarded for his novel, The Graveyard Book, for the most outstanding children’s book.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.