downthetubes has been having some behind-the-scenes computer woes: we apologize for the lack of posts in recent days. We’re grateful to Jeremy Briggs for his review of Cinebooks’ Rameses’ Revenge.
• Artist Dave Gibbons has been interviewed for The Guardian, talking about how computers have liberated him as an artist – and the dubious honour of inspiring the Comic Sans font… Dave is busy promoting the Digital Artist 2009 awards, backed by Intel and Future Publishing. Gibbons is a judge in the competition to find the digital artist of the year, and has contributed a masterclass video (above) on how he uses digital media.
• A re-design of the official 2000AD web site is underway – expect some modifications to unfurl next week. The official forum is still accessible. Talking of things 2000AD, word is that the latest Meg’ (out today) carries the first part of a two part interview with artist Ron Smith.
• Still on 2000AD, the 2000AD Review Site has had a revamp. It looks rather nifty, with the news section now more of a blog featuring 2000AD news and much anything 2000AD related that might be of interest to 2000AD readers.
• Lew Stringer reports that the Pathetic Sharks are back in Viz for the summer, and that to mark the humour magazine’s 30th birthday, an exhibition of original artwork will be shown at the Cartoon Museum, Little Russell Street, London from 4th November 2009 to 24th January 2010 (www.cartoonmuseum.org).
Viz No.188, which also features favourites such as Roger Mellie, Eight Ace, Millie Tant, and Meddlesome Ratbag is £3 and on sale now in all good newsagents, supermarkets — and even some bad ones. Viz website: www.viz.co.uk
• Ian Edginton is writing a six part zombie series for DC Comics’ Wildstorm imprint: Victorian Undead, is set in a 19th Century London overrun by zombies, and only Sherlock Holmes can save the day. The series is illustrated by Star Wars and Brothers In Arms artist Davide Fabbri and will launche in November.
• DC Thomson is to launch a Scottish football magazine in October. AllMedia reports Eleven aims to report all levels of the game in Scotland, including the national men’s team, the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League, all the way to Highland League and East of Scotland leagues and women’s football. Priced £2.75 it will be on sale in newsagents and promises – for its launch issue – news from each of the 42 SPL and SFL clubs, plus a report from the Major League Soccer scene in the USA. No word on whether it will include any comic strip.
• Despite this launch, AllMedia also notes DC Thomson, like all UK publishers, is not having the best of times. It stable of magazines and comics has suffered across-the-board drops in its sales, according to figures published recently, the ABCs indicating the average net circulations of the likes of People’s Friend and the Dandy all experienced sales falls between the end of December, last year, and the end of June this year.
Sales of The Beano average at 53,964 between December 31 and June 30, down 12.8 per cent on the previous six months, and sales of My Weekly average at 145,676, down 4.6 per cent. Read the full report
• The Geek Syndicate web site have a 45-minute chat with British International Comics Show organiser Shane Chebsey, where Shane “reveals what events people can expect at this years show as well as a look back at lessons learned from previous years. There is a look behind the scenes at what goes into the preparation of the show and what their plans are for the future.”
• And finally… Jason Cobley reports for the education market, Classical Comics have got together with Heinle Cengage Learning to publish an ELT (English language teaching) version of their Frankenstein graphic novel. “It’s quite similar to the Quick text version, with some changes to the language for clarification, the intended readers being learners of English as an additional language,” says Jason. “It’s interesting to compare the three versions alongside each other.
“I know which I prefer as a straight read – for a general reader I’d recommend the Original Text, for younger readers the Quick Text, and a mix of the two for use in schools, emphasising the original text. But the ELT version is a really good tool for schools also, the best thing about it being the audio version that comes with it. It’s a great reading, with a variety of voices and sound effects for key scenes – a narrated audio play that I heartily recommend whether using it in school or just to listen to in the car.”
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.