Tube Surfing: 4 May 2009

The Most Natural Thing in the World by Francesca Cassavetti• Over on Comic Book Resources, Brian Cronin has just completed a month of posting reviews of a different self-published comic book each day. Check out the archive of reviews here

• Meanwhile, Matthew Badham has perhaps taken a leaf from Brian and has started his own recommendation challenge for self-published work etc., entitled 100 Days, 100 Cartoonists, so far plugging the likes of British talents such as Francesca Cassavetti, Steve Larder, Eleanor Davis, John Allison and others. Follow Matt’s blog here

• Talking of self publishing, over on Bear Alley, Steve Holland has announced he’s risking his bank balance with his first Bear Alley book, reprinting an as-yet un-named collection of an old British comic. We have no idea what the comic is, but we’re rooting for a collection of Come on Steve by Roland Davies, which we know one of Britain’s top comic experts has a fondness for, as do we.

Steve Goes to London by Roland DaviesSeriously – given the work Steve has done bringing the work of talents such as Don Lawrence to the attention of today’s modern comic fans, he deserves support. “The artwork is scanned, the introduction written in rough, a cover is being prepared and I have some quotes in from printers,” Steve says.

“At the moment it looks like it will be a 300-copy limited edition hardcover which means the unit cost is huge so the eventual selling price will be £15. Which isn’t unreasonable for a hardcover…

“The title… well, I’ll be announcing that shortly. I’m still trying to figure out how the hell I’m going to sell 300 copies and what I’m going to be living on while all my savings are tied up in piles of books. Roast book… fried book… raw book…” Check Bear Alley for updates

• Web site 2000AD Review has posted a round table feature with creators Alan Grant, Al Ewing and Rob Williams, talking about writing the comic’s most famous strip. “Mega-City One is one of the most prescient SF worlds ever created,” argues Ewing along the way. “After all, we’re more than halfway there – MPs, making full use of the ‘Big Lie’ technique and our own increasing hysteria, are now legislating everything they can imagine and a few things nobody else dared to. Did you know that there’s an upcoming law that could technically make owning a copy of Watchmen a sexual offence? And if you don’t agree that that’s necessary, you support paedophilia. Maybe the Judges will be knocking on your door one of these nights…”

• Talking of writing comics, Jim Medway offers some thoughts on that process – in particular, speech and thought – on his blog, part of his ongoing publication of his work as a Comic Workshop tutor. Well worth checking out if you’re interested in writing comics.

• And since we seem to be plugging writers in this round up, Alan Moore has just been interviewed over on Newsarama about the just release League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume, Century: 1910. Moore expresses high regard for publishers Top Shelf in the piece and a shift in his way of working for this project as a result. “It’s been something of a revelation. Not because I’m surprised at the production job Top Shelf is doing, or how pleasant they are to work for, because those are things I decided when they published Lost Girls by me and Melinda. But what has been a bit of a revelation is the effect working at Top Shelf has had on me, and I think Kevin [O’Neill] as well.
“I think we both decided that because we were not working for anything we recognized as a mainstream comics publisher, we have changed the way we think about the work. It’s a subtle thing, but if you’re working in mainstream comics, as both of us have been doing for getting on 25 years or more, then really, it’s a thing that you kind of take in by osmosis. You absorb the values of the field in which you’re working.” Read the full interview here

• Hunt Emerson has a new strip in the Beano, a revamp of the classic Fred’s Bed which many of you reading this may be suddenly remembering very fondly right now. “Reprints of the Tom Paterson Beezer strip Fred’s Bed had been running for a couple of years,” notes fellow Beano artist Lew Stringer, “but now the strip has been given a makeover with an all new series illustrated by Hunt Emerson. The reprint had always proven popular with Beano readers but the source was finite, so commissioning new strips was always likely… The new version of Fred’s Bed has a few changes to the original; Fred himself has been redesigned and he now sets his alarm clock to control where he travels in time instead of the random occurrence in the original strip.”

• (via Forbidden Planet International): Paul B Rainey has just published the ninth part of his There’s No Time Like Present series (available from his web site). Paul says he’s been pondering endings and now thinks that the whole TNTLP series will wrap up with part twelve – although he adds that “I have been warned by people more intelligent than me that endings can often take longer than anticipated”…

• Quick Surfs: Declan Shalvey has just posted preview covers for Boom! Studios 28 Days Later book, which he’s drawing; to celebrate The Specials reforming (yay!), Brendan Mccarthy has published some vintage artwork of the band from 1979, and some Johnny Rotten artwork done around the same time; and Dave Morris pays tribute to the legendary comic store Dark They Were and Golden Eyed here.

• Compiled with thanks to Matthew Badham

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