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Topics - AlexF

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General / Rebellion in the Bookseller
« on: 10 November, 2015, 04:22:08 PM »
I don't suppose many people on this board read the Bookseller - the weekly trade magaizne for publihser and bookshops in the UK.
Anyway, Rebellion publishing droid Ben Smith had an interview in it last week; I hope it's OK for me to link to a scan of that in case forumites are interested.

It's mildly indicative of the fact that the Bookseller is spilling more and more ink on the fact that 'graphic novels' (as Neilsen BookScan defines them) are continuing to sell pretty well in Bookshops, where lots of other types of books aren't.

(I posted the scan on my old essentially defunct 2000 AD blog so as not to interrupt the flow on the creator-themed Blog. Which I will be getting back to!)

General / Bad Guys
« on: 30 September, 2015, 03:28:54 PM »
After working through yet another endless poll of superhero comics characters over on 'Comics Should Be Good', I noticed how a lot of the villains in that world can be more fun than the heroes. 2000AD, of course, doesn't always and so obviously have heroes and villains, favouring more complex and morally ambiguous characters on both sides. Also, with regular killing, not too many bad guys last all that long.

But I'm curious to see which villains from the comic have stuck in people's minds - especially from the last 10 years or so of the Prog. Has there been anyone recently to rival the likes of Judge Death, Torquemada or even Artie Gruber?

Off Topic / Search engine craziness
« on: 23 September, 2015, 12:26:13 PM »
I've just tried searching for Bec and Kawl on Amazon (UK version) and the results were... disturbing. Not the actual search results, minimal as they are, it's the 'were you really searching for this?' results below that.

Anyway, had to share.

General / Question for any comics historians out there
« on: 27 August, 2015, 02:14:25 PM »
Barney credits a writer named 'A. Ridgeway' with the last 30-odd episodes of the Mean Arena from way back in the 200s. Does anyone know anything about him/her? Was it a pseudonym for Tom Tully, or Steve Macmanus or someone else?

Other Reviews / Hondo City
« on: 03 August, 2015, 04:25:46 PM »
What's the best way to read the collected tales of Hondo City, Shimura, Inspector Inaba and all that?

Should I try to get hold of the two recent Mega Collection volumes, or should I plump for the Rebellion Hondo City Law / Hondo City Justice volumes - or, sacrilege, even the old DC Shimura trade paperback? Is there an accepted reading order?

Or am I in fact better off just looking in the original Megs and not worrying about reading it all in one go? I've a feeling I like the art and the ideas significantly better than the actual stories...

News / New 2000 AD creators blog
« on: 23 March, 2015, 11:19:36 AM »
http://heroesof2000ad.blogspot.co.uk/ is now available for your reading pleasure.

I've mentioned it a few times before on the forums - in a nutshell, it's my attempt to do for 2000 AD's creator droids what Grant Goggans did for 2000 AD's thrills with his excellent 'Touched by the Hand of Tharg' site. http://www.2000ad.org/thrillpower/.

To make it more exciting, I'll be drip-feeding the entries twice a week in sequence, but hopefully it'll remain as a resource. I aim to update entries with images as it's pretty bland currently.

Read, share, enjoy, let me know what you think!

Other Reviews / Banzai Battalion
« on: 08 May, 2014, 11:57:42 AM »
No love for the recent reprint of this modern classic from John Wagner?

Got my copy a few weeks ago from the Book Depository, and it's excellent quality all round. Unlike the old oversize Banzai collection, it's at the US trade size and shape, but on the plus side it has all the stories. I was a big fan of the final tale with Steve Roberts on art, good to see the tale of Capt Bug Stomper brought to its rightfuk ending (makes you think there's a chance for a Toy Story 4 to do a similar Psycho riff, which would be ace).

Also included: three Judge Dredd tales (all written by Wagner) about robots gone rogue. None are quite as good as the Banzai stuff, but frankly no one can hold a candle to Wagner when it comes to wringing comedy out of robot personalities. (Anyone remember when ABC Warriors used to be funny? Anyone?)

Books & Comics / The Beano
« on: 24 April, 2014, 02:04:37 PM »
I was at the London Book Fair a couple of weeks ago, and attended a short talk by a lovely chap from the Beano, whose name I have completely forgotten. David something? I think he worked in marketing, licensing and development.

Anyway, some interesting facts I thought readers here might like to know:
Current sales figures are around 32,000 copies per week (mostly paper but some digital), + 250,000 copies per year for the annual (the annual is usually in the Top 10 best selling children's books every Christmas). The feeling seemed to be that the comic is ticking along nicely, but not selling amazingly well.
The man was pretty adamant that the reason why the Beano has survived but the Dandy has not is purely because they managed to get Dennis and Gnasher on TV (the cartoon has been running for 15 years now, which I find astonishing). When they played with the format of the show a few years ago, it didn;t do well and they lost a bunch of readers, too. Changing it back helped.

Looking forward, he sees the Beano as something that will last only as a result of increasing visibility through TV, video games, apps and other merchandise, all based around the most popular characters. Not an especially surprising strategy, but when I pushed him on it he basically said that from his point of view, he expects that while the Beano brand, and a number of its most famous creations will hopefully last for many decades yet (nay, forever!), the Beano may well some day cease to exist as a comic. In fact, it seems that it's the Thomson family who are personally determined to keep the Beano comic going as a weekly thing in the traditional style, not necessarily the most financially sensible option.

He said that they do get a certain amount of money of nostalgia buying (the chunky reprints + increasing amounts of merchandise designed by Wayne Hemingway; lots of it looks pretty spiffy), but they expect this source to dry up all too soon.

Food for thought?

I can't fault their strategy, and I understand that the concept of a weekly newstand-distributed comic, for whatever reason, just isn't a thing in the UK at the moment, but I worry.

I worry that the format, the beloved medium of comics, that in itself led to the anarchically joyful creation of the Bash Street Kids, Calamity James, Minnie the Minx, even bloody Lord Snooty (did anyone like that strip?), will fall deep into obscurity. What's the venue going to be for the creation and showcasing of this type of character, and for those types of stories? Where will the kinds of artists who can do this stuff go?

Books & Comics / Non-fiction Comics
« on: 20 December, 2013, 12:25:54 PM »
I've just finished reading the complete, 5-volume set of the most epic of all non-fiction comics, 'The Cartoon History of the Universe'. Amamzing stuff! Larry Gonick is my new hero. (I've read a few of his science guides, which have many moments of brilliance but if I'm honest got rather too difficult rather too quickly for my brain).

I was pretty much a fiction-only reader as a child, but in my old age I'm more and more drawn to non-fiction stuff. Feels crazy to say it, but lately I enjoy reading things like 'Beyond 2000AD' or TPO than actually reading the Prog. With that in mind, I've been getting into non-fiction comics over the last few years, and I'm looking for any recommendations.

Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunleavy have done great things with 'Action Philosphers' and 'the Comic book History of Comics'.
The surprisingly famous/successful Logicomix did a great job of explaining Betrand Russell (and a few others) to me.
Jim Ottaviani seems to have carved out a niche of comicbook science biographies, which I heartily recommend.
And of course I've read Scott McCloud's 'Understanding comics', the ultimate work in the field of comics about comics.
I guess the old 'Beginner's guide / Introducing' series were basically comics. What happened to them??

I'm intrigued to find out if there any non-fiction comics where a) the author doesn't draw him/herself into the narrative, and b) where most of the writing is in speech/thought balloons, rather than text captions.

I guess my dream is to find (nay, to create!) something that is basically Asterix, but slightly more factual. (Although I'm sure I learned as much genuine history/philosophy/sociology from Asterix as I did from 5 years of secondary school history lessons).

So, who's got some tips?

Other Reviews / Worst of the worst
« on: 12 December, 2013, 11:32:42 AM »

In case any of you haven't been reading Colin Smith's excellent and INSANELY in-depth anlaysis of the career of Mark Millar, here's an end of year treat for you - his assessment of the 10 worst strips by the arguably worst long-tenured writer to appear in the Prog. 10 best to follow next week.

There's not much value in opening up yet another discussion of the man's output, but I can't deny that there's something endlessly fascinting about him, not least his amazing ability to self-promote, his inability to see why a lot of his writing is objectionable (sure, he 's not shy of admitting some of it isn't very good, but that's not the same thing), and the huge popularity of really quite a lot of his work (which is by no means undeserved).

For what it's worth, I happen to disagree with Smith about the Dredd story - hardly vintage Dredd, but treating him as a Chuck Norris figure who is just tougher and harder than anyone ever makes enough sense. That 'my memories are all bad' joke made me smile right enough both then and now.

Film & TV / 2000AD on CBeebies
« on: 04 March, 2013, 12:26:47 PM »
I'm guessing I'm not the only person on these boards (not that I post very often) who has small children? And I'm guessing further that most fellow parents spend more time than they had ever expected to watching channel 71, aka CBeebies, aka the baby/toddler channel from the BBC?

Anyway, it's only fairly recently dawned on me that two of the better shows on this channel are the product of 2000 AD alumnus Steve Roberts. I'm a massive fan of Dipdap, which at the risk of dumbing it down too much is like a 2D Morph, but generally reminds me that 5 minute cartoons can still be great pieces of work. I gather he also works on the rather charming Abney & Teal, along with the likes of Simon Gurr.

Anyway, both are recommended - Dipdap indeed I'd recommend to anyone who simply likes cartoons, regardless of needing the excuse of a young child to watch them with.

Books & Comics / Phoenix comic
« on: 14 April, 2011, 01:43:30 PM »
Any of you writer/aritst types seen this ad?

One day someone will make a comic fro 8-12 year olds work, and maybe it'll be these guys.

Classifieds / Judge Dredd Anthrax T-Shirt for sale
« on: 08 March, 2011, 02:25:16 PM »
I picked up an 'I am the Law' T-shirt in Camden market a couple of years ago, have worn it maybe twice.
Would anyone like it for £5 + postage?

It's identical to the one at this site: http://www.ukrockshop.com/acatalog/anthrax_t_shirts.html and is size large.

Classifieds / Out of print trades for sale
« on: 07 December, 2010, 01:46:27 PM »
Don't get too excited, it's only:

Judge Dredd: The Hunting Party
Sinister Dexter: Slay per View

For £5 each + postage

And a few in-print trades as well:

Judge Dredd: The Pit (the Rebellion edition)
Judge Dredd: Judgement Day (the DC edition)
Sinister Dexter: Eurocrash

For £3 each + postage

PM me if you're interested!

Classifieds / Zarjaz for sale
« on: 26 November, 2010, 02:23:38 PM »
Probably a longshot, and maybe I'm breaking some kind of ettiquette, but does anyone want to buy some back issues of Zarjaz, the excellent 2000AD fanzine?

When I say 'buy', I mean cover the postage cost (I'm based in London).

From the black and white era I have issues 0, 2 3 and 4
From the colour cover era I have issues 1-4 and 6-8.

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