• Forbidden Planet International has posted up a new competition to win one of five copies of the new Vertigo Encyclopedia. “It’s pretty good,” feels FPI’s Joe Gordon, “obviously no in depth on each series, but it’s a good a-z reference guide and the usual Dorling Kindersley style with lots of illustrations.The competition runs until Sunday 16th November. More details, link and potted review on the blog now: http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog.
• Comics artist Jon Haward, currently busy adapting Shakesepare’s The Tempest into a graphic novel for Classical Comics, tells us their Macbeth original text graphic novel is getting a second printing. “This is great news,” Jon told downthetubes. “I’m very pleased it seems to be a commercial as well as critical success.” American versions of the Plain and Quick Text editions of Macbeth are now also available.
• (via Doctor Who fan site Kasteroberous): The Mail on Sunday has run a feature on classic Doctor Who toys, ranging back to the Dalek explosion of the 1960s, and covering props and costumes. East Ham’s The Who Shop takes centre stage in the feature, with co-owner (and Who convention regular) Alexandra Looseley-Saul revealing that Doctor Who merchandise isn’t affected by market forces in troubled times. “The economy is suffering and markets are falling, but Time Lord values still grow. Though Doctor Who is the driving force of the show, it is the Daleks that excite most interest.”
• Talking of Doctor Who, Grant Morrison has been talking to MTV about his work on the comic strip for Doctor Who Magazine (just reprinted in the US by IDW) and says he’d love to write more Who, but probably for TV if given chance — although he’s yet to be approached. “I love the character,” Morrison he said. “Jon Pertwee [the Third Doctor], was my favourite, I was really fond of Colin Baker [Sixth Doctor], he was a great actor, a great Doctor, but he had a terrible storyline, which kind of killed that one. I like Christopher Eccleston [Ninth Doctor] as well. He didn’t get enough of a shot at it. But I’ve kinda grown fond of David Tennant [Tenth Doctor] now.”
• London’s Orbital Comics at 148 Charing Cross Road have been in touch to say that Daredevil artist Alex Maleev will be signing copies of the various trades and comics on Tuesday November 18th between 5pm and 7.00pm. Maleev will also be making an appearance at this year’s Comica Festival running from 14th – 26th of November, which starts with an all day symposium at the V&A and continues for the next 12 days at the ICA.
• Maleev will also be at the upcoming Thought Bubble Sequential Art Festival in Leeds, which takes place from 13th – 16th November and includes a one day comic convention on Saturday 15th November. Other guests include Mark Millar, Mike Carey, Cy Dethan, Nigel Dobbyn, Paul Gravett, Staz Johnson, Leah Moore and John Reppion, Declan Shalvey and many more.
• Bryan Talbot will be taking part in the Hertfordshire Library Graphic Novel Festival, appearing in the Cheshunt Library on Monday 10th November at 8pm. He’ll also be at the Infinity & Beyond comic shop in Shrewsbury on 29 November from 1.30 to 5.00pm, signing many of his books old and new, with special prices available on titles like Naked Artist.
• (via Matthew Badham): Comics writer Dan Abnett has just been interviewed (in English) at the SubRosa Polish Warhammer fansite and talks about his influences and what he does when not wrting comics and novels (which he appears to do some 26 hours a day judging by his impressive and dedicated output…). The questions are worth the entry price alone.
• Bugpowder has just published an interview with comics creator Marc Ellerby, who mostly produces auto-bio, slice of life comics, but is also working on a fantasy series. He tells Bugpowder about balancing paid and unpaid art gigs, making his own mini comics and why the worst thing that can possibly happen to a monster hunter is that she misses the bus!
• In a list of a “Dozen Comics I’m Reading On-Line”, Comic Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon cites Super-Sam and John Of The Night by Darryl Cunningham at Number 6, which “runs on the Forbidden Planet International blog, but I also catch up with it at times on Cunningham’s own journal. I like looking at it, and I also like that I have no idea how Cunningham is going to end it.” Other web comic recomendations include mysery comic Sin Titulo by Cameron Stewart and Cul De Sac by Richard Thompson.
• The Independent’s Ian Birrell has interviewed Jamie Hewlett, the artist who went from Gorillaz to Monkey. As the hit Chinese opera opens in London, Hewlett reveals unpublished images from his work – and discusses the many faces of his anti-hero.
• (via Bad Librarianship): Comics artist Kev O’Neill is the focus of two video interviews on the GOSH! Comics’ blog. Part one is titled The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen; part two, Nemesis The Warlock. Check out the League one for some preview art from Volume 3: Century. And there’s another two of these to come, too.
Compiled with thanks to Matthew Badham.
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.