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Saturday, 24 February 2007

Is the Really Heavy Greatcoat notable?

Note: the debate on the inclusion of the RHG on Wikipedia has closed in the RHG's favour. I keep this post for its 'historical' value!


... I ask because last year an entry for my 20-years-and-counting strip The Really Heavy Greatcoat (drawn by Nick Miller) was added to Wikipedia which one editor deemed "non-noteworthy" and, not knowing the procedure for appealing these decisions, the page was deleted, much to my chagrin - and that of artist Nick Miller.

Kindly restored by one of Wikipedia's editors, that deletion is currently a matter for renewed debate on the internet encyclopedia, so I'm appealing to any Greatcoat fans out there, as the strip reaches its 20th anniversary, to support my appeal to keep the entry.

I'm still unsure quite why some are arguing the strip is non-noteworthy. Purely in terms of longevity as an independently published comic - albeit online these days, but also in Comics International -- I would have thought this counted in the strip's favour, as would its selection by acclaimed US cartoonist Michael Jantze for inclusion in one of his Norm books a couple of years back. It's clear Wikipedia doesn't consider the creators non-noteworthy, as I have a limited entry on the site, (I await additions as a result of mentioning this with morbid interest...).

Maybe I just don't understand Wikipedia's rules and have broken some arcane aspect of them, but it seems odd to me that strips with a shorter publication history have even larger entries on Wikipedia (James Turner's superb and award-winning Beaver and Steve, for one, a brilliant strip and kudos to him for achieving the notability required with pure online publication since 2004, and a collection I've previously urged everyone ot go out and buy) .

Anyway -- so far, several people have voiced their support for the strip's inclusion and if anyone reading this can think of arguments in favour of the elusive "notablity" factor required by those who have argued the Really Heavy Greatcoat apparently doesn't have, I'd be grateful if you voiced it in the debate - thanks.

My appeal has already been backed by blogmaster Joe Gordon over at Forbidden Planet International, and others.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Albion Artist

In the third of three exclusive features marking the recent release of Titan and Wildstorm's Albion collection -- interviews with writers Leah Moore and John Reppion, and IPC's Andrew Sumner were published earlier this month -- artist Shane Oakley offers downthetubes readers a rare interview about his career, his role in the project to revive IPC Media's legendary comics characters, shares some of his Albion character designs and reveals his future projects. Special thanks to Shane for doing the interview, persevering with the mis-reading of his e-mails, and, of course, some fabulous comic art! Read the full interview here

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Comics International 201 arrives!

Comics InternationalNew Comics International editor has sent me two spiffy covers for the delayed-but-here-now Comics International #201, which should be on sale soon.

Comics International was sold by Dez Skinn earlier in the year and the administrative side of the handover has been a little more time-consuming than expected, hence the delay in publication

The issue includes a feature on the TV Avengers in comics by myself and Ian Wheeler and there's stuff on the new 300 movie, plus all the usual news and listings. Oh, and The Really Heavy Greatcoat.

Go buy!

Science Fiction stories on your mobile

Interesting find for mobile/cell phone users: www.wattpad.com

It's a very small downloadable app for your phone, compatible with most modern handsets - simply bluetooth it from your PC to your phone and then you can read stories on your mobile. The text size is decent for small screens and the navigation of the site as good as it can be.

A lot of the content is user-generated, but the Gutenberg Project(to digitise books that are out of copyright and make them available free)is to put 17,000 books on the Wattpad user-generated content service.

As the mobile content news site MoCo News commented, That should improve the quality of legal content available on the service.

The Good Soldier Art for sale

The Good SoldierAnother lot for ebay, this time a page from a three-part Cyberman story "The Good Soldier". This page was published in Doctor Who Magazine #177, cover dated 4th September 1991.

Written by TV Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel, drawn by Mike Collins, I think this is one of the most chilling comic strip pages featuring the Cybermen I ever edited during my time as editor of Doctor Who Magazine.

The strip spanned three issues and was, I recall, one of the first that new-installed Marvel UK Editor-in-Chief offered strong views on in terms of offering inking tips to then newcomer Steve Pini.

You can view a larger-sized version of the page on the main web site

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Life on Mars, Who get Saturn nominations

Let's hear it for the Brits - again. Nominees for the 33rd annual Saturn Awards, which celebrate the best SF&F and Horror movies and TV work, include Doctor Who and Life on Mars, with Daniel Criag's outing as James Bond in Casino Royale and Aardman's Flushed Away - which despite some critical panning and being described as a box office failure, had pulled in over $175 million in box office receipts by last week - also in the mix.

On the US side, good to see Heroes, Stargate SG1 and the light-hearted Eureka in the nominations, and great to see Star Trek: The Animated Series has made it into the nominations for Best Retro TV DVD Release. Star Trek fans overwhelmingly voted to see this series released on DVD during my second period of editing Titan's Star Trek Magazine, and it would be icing in the cake if the show won this category after all the delays releasing it.

Monday, 19 February 2007

One for Morecambe fans...

I compered the monthly Spotlight Club at the Yorkshire House, Lancaster on Friday night (yes, it was me who welcomed a bemused audience with "Ladies, Gentlemen and dolphins -- you know who you are...")

Finishing the bill, which included four writers from Dumfries, was local musician Kriss Foster, whose song "Morecambe" anyone who's ever been to the seaside town will enjoy. I clipped it a little, so check out his myspace site for a fuller version.


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