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Topics - Frank

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General / Hivemind Help: Oz Team Star Scan
« on: 16 February, 2013, 11:48:23 AM »
Reading through some of douglaswolk's now completed Dredd Reckoning blog, I was reminded of his request for information regarding the identities of the creative and editorial droids returning from their fact finding mission in preparation for the Oz epic in this star scan. I'm reasonably confident in my identification of all but two of the parties involved, but any help in identifying them all would be greatly appreciated.

As a sidebar, one of the most useful aspects of the brilliant Barney is in identifying the sometimes uncredited artists responsible for covers and pin-ups which I spent many hours speculating over as a kid (i). In this particular instance though Barney disappoints, crediting the Oz star scan to the unusually prolific Chilean artist, Unknown. That hand gesture is an instantly recognisable Dillon trope, but this depiction of Tharg is markedly different to how Dillon portrays him just a short while later. Dillon inked by someone else? Kitson? Mark Farmer? Are the droid caricatures by the same artist as the framing image of Tharg?

(i) this series of Dark Judges pin-ups being a particular example. I'm sure I guessed Gary leach at some point, but I also spent years speculating they could also have been produced by Cliff Robinson, John Higgins, Simon Harrison and Steve Dillon too, since lots of the early painted colour work of familiar artists varied quite wildly - see Dillon's schizophrenic painted/flat colour work on stories like Alabammy Blimps and his covers for Oz and Tyranny Rex around that period.

Film & TV / The Ten Greatest Films of All Time: Sight and Sound Poll
« on: 01 August, 2012, 09:22:57 PM »
Every decade, Sight and Sound conduct a poll to see which films critics and industry professionals rate most highly. Across both lists, I've only seen nine (the most obvious) of the greatest films of all time, and that doesn't include the critics' number one. Anyone seen them all, do you agree with the rankings, and are they worth seeking out?

Directors’ Top Ten Greatest Films of All Time: 

1 Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)

2 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)

2 Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

4 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)

5 Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1980)

6 Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)

7 The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)

7 Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)

9 Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1974)

10 Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)

Critics’ Top Ten Greatest Films of All Time:

1 Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)

2 Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)

3 Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)

4 La Règle du jeu (Renoir, 1939)

5 Sunrise: a Song for Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)

6 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)

7 The Searchers (Ford, 1956)

8 Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

9 The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1927)

10 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)


General / British Comics: a cultural history, by James Chapman
« on: 01 June, 2012, 07:32:46 PM »
The publication of James Chapman's British Comics: a cultural history  (Reaktion Books, 2011, ISBN 978 1 86189 855 5 (Hardback only, £17.50 from Amazon)) had passed me by until Radio Four's Thinking Allowed (Jeremy Kyle for academics) devoted a measly quarter of an hour to a bracing sprint through the history of British comics (LINK), where a breathless Laurie Taylor is joined by Chapman himself and rent-a-quote pop culture sage Matthew Sweet.

The emphasis of their discussion is on childrens' titles, with the public outrage over Action being the most topical subject that merits discussion. 2000ad, Viz and Darkie's Mob are at least mentioned, and Eighties Eagle and the modern day franchise rags that pack out the shelves of Asda get a kicking from Sweet; but you could be forgiven for walking away from the programme with the impression that- just because da yoot aren't (generally) reading anymore- comics are primarily of historical interest. That's probably true for R4's middle aged and middle class demographic, but the tone of the programme still got on my fuckin' goat.

Chapman's book, though- judging by the reviews from History Today, The Telegraph, and Paul Gravett- exhibits greater breadth of coverage and analytical ability, and he's written a paper specifically concerning 2000ad that I'm going to have to track down.

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