• Look out for an upcoming issue of Egmont’s TOXIC which, in addition to the regular strips and features, will feature an additional free 32-page comics supplement that is set to feature the return of a classic British comic strip character or two along with new ones, with art from creators such as Paul J. Palmer and Paul Harrison-Davies and scripts by downthetubes John Freeman, the Temple APA’s David Hailwood and a host of others.
TOXIC is now edited by former Assistant Editor Andrew Davidson, with Staff Writer Luke Paton putting together the supplement now that Senior Editor Matt Yeo (also the brains behind Bulletproof Comics) has left Egmont to form his own company, SkyJack Publishing.
Issue #132, the latest issue of TOXIC, on sale now, is a Bakugan special and includes two free Doctor Who Rollers as giveaways along with a TOXIC mouse mat and a wicked whoopie cushion! Ah, aren’t free gifts great!
• (via Joe Gordon at Forbidden Planet International): Wim Lockefeer has posted several reports on this year’s Angouleme BD Festival via the FPI web site (Day 1 Here; Day 2 Here, with more to come) and photos on Flickr from this major event celebrating comics on a grand scale. From past experience, the whole town of Angouleme is literally taken over by comics. Je ne suis pas jalouse. Nope, we’re not jealous we’re not there at all. Honest… Here’s one of his pics, of Judge Dredd — “Je suis la loi!!”, who graces the outside of the town’s CIBDI comics centre, which has panels decorated by comics artists.
• (with thanks to Matthew Badham): The Guardian has just published its list of science fiction and fantasy books you must read as part of a 1000-title list of books “you must read”. Part One includes Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Stephen Baxter’s The Time Ships and Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Part Two features Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, China Miéville’s The Scar and Larry Niven’s Ringworld; and Part Three rounds off the suggestions with titles such as Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids.
While there are some modern day titles in the list, such as Neil Gaiman, Miéville, Reynolds and Dan Simmons, for example, there are some unforgivable omissions: Terry Pratchett and the brilliant Charles Stross, to name but a few…
• Strip: The Art of Ken Reid is the focus of Alex Fitch’s latest Podcast on Panel Borders, broadcast last week on Resonance 104.4FM London. The last of a quartet of shows about four generations of British Cartoonists, Alex talks to writers Alan Moore and Pat Mills about their favourite cartoonist, the late Ken Reid who drew Rodger the Dodger in the 1950s Beano and a variety of underrated strips in children’s comics such as Wham! and Whoopee! including the creepy classics Faceache and Frankie Stein, up to the 1980s…
• Drawn! A graphic art exhibition is running daily until Sunday 8th February 2009 at Brent Museum, London. Cartoonists, illustrators, students and designers have expressed and interpreted themselves and their view of ‘graphic art’ in the Museum’s latest exhibition and you’re invited to test your own understanding of the term and be prepared to draw your own conclusions! The exhibition features finished work – comics and large print illustrations, sketchbooks and biographies from Marc Ellerby, Antonia Hazlerigg, Drew Hussey, Jenika Ioffreda, Meiko Kikuta, Elena Sainz, Adrian Stapleton … and also features a couple of little-known Hergé illustrations. More info at www.brent.gov.uk/museum
• London comic shop Orbital has relocated to 8 Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JF (previously the Photographer’s Gallery). Orbital appropriately now also have an exhibition space, which opened with a selection of new art pages by Tom Humberstone from the latest issue of his Eagle award winning title: How to Date a Girl in Ten Days.
• Luther Arkwright creator Bryan Talbot has been busy updating his MySpace page with a sparky new look, with a revamp of his official site in the works. “It’s been going for over 12 years now and is looking a little dated,” he notes.
• Jason Nitti has been busy with his fun blog SuperUseless Superpowers. Great fun and some smart art: I like “PreMOMnition” (The power to see what your mother is doing at all times) and “Psychic Amnesia (Mementodamus)” in which the superuseless superhero foresees the future while instantly forgetting anything he has just foreseen. Known in some circles as Untotal Recall…
• Adam Grose has posted the next installment of his new Dragonfly strip on the Clown Press web site
• (via Speech Balloons) Classical Comics will again be exhibiting at the Education Show to be held at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre between 26-27th of March this year. For more information visit: www.education-show.com
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.