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Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Tube Surfing: 18 November 2008

• Happy Birthday, Alan Moore. The comics legend and mage, writer of Top Ten, Lost Girls, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Swamp Thing, Doctor Who, Maxwell the Magic Cat, Watchmen and much, much more is 55 today.

• (via Kasterborous): Would you blink if you saw a Weeping Angel? If the answer is yes, then be careful when you pick up this week’s copy of Doctor Who Adventures. There are a couple of dangerous Weeping Angels on the cover – plus a free spinning Angel and stickers for you to play with. Inside the magazine, you’ll find a fact file about these lonely creatures, so you will be completely prepared if you ever run into one...

• Comics writer David Bishop reports that the planned six-episode series of Phoo Action destined for BBC3 has been canned. "It's emerged that the six-part series has been cancelled," he reports of the show co-created by Jamie Hewlett, "not long before filming was due to start. Six figure sums have been spent building sets and costumes, hiring actors and production staff. Reading between the lines, it seems developing good scripts from the slight source material proved too great a challenge. Someone took the brave step of pulling the plug, before more money was spent."

Tim Perkins wass among the first creators to offer a review of this weekend's Thought Bubble Comic Convention in Leeds. "It really was a fun event with lots going on," he reports. "I'm very much looking forward to attending next year’s event – maybe with a full-blown Wizards Keep stand. Nic Wilkinson from Insomnia also reports on the event here. "This is a fantastic show with a really great atmosphere," she feels. "It seemed more creator focussed than other cons and we met a lot of very talented people, all of whom had many unique and interesting ideas they wanted to talk to us about."
"Personally I thought it was an absolutely excellent convention," reports Richard Bruton on the Forbidden Planet International blog, adding to the accoladed for the event. "It had far fewer comic dealers and a much higher proportion of comic people there which helped to give it a fantastic buzz."

Den of Geek has published a list of 75 comics-inspired films currently in one or other stage of development for film. Those with British connections include The Leading Man (slated for 2011 release), described as, effectively, a combination of The Saint, Jason King and The Persuaders from Wanted producer Mark Platt; Mark Millar's Kick Ass (2009); Warren Ellis's 2003 thriller Red (2010), the first DC property to leave the fold for other producers; Ocean (2010), also from Warren, described as an alien thriller with a fresh take on the origin of man; and Gamekeeper, which was written by former 2000AD editor Andy Diggle.
The site also reports that the planned Tin Tin trilogy based around Hergé's 1930s gee-whiz reporter is apparently having trouble getting started considering that Spielberg and Peter Jackson are involved.

• Comics artist Dave Taylor has completed the art for the mammoth Judge Dredd Christmas 2008 story and posted a few more tantalising panels on his blog. "It seems my days of not inking are over!" he notes. "I've really enjoyed inking this strip and have decided (for now) to continue to work in this way. I'm sure a job will come along at some point that I'll decide would look better just in pencil, but for now I'm sticking with my trusty Pilot Fineliner!

Jason Kingsley, owner of 2000AD and its parent, games company Rebellion, was recently interviewed by GamesIndustry.biz about the future for the company. He notes the rise of console digital distribution is "a real challenge.
"It's fascinating - what do clients want?" he asked during an interview at Game Connection in Lyon."We've been looking at digitally distributing 2000AD, and that's worked quite well as an experiment. It's made us some money, and we want to do more around that."
Kingsley also discussed the possibility of a Massive Multyiplayer Game based on Mega City One. "It's not impossible," he mused. "The MMO market is really intriguing, and we keep looking at it and thinking, 'Bloody Hell, that's potentially fantastic.'
"And given that we've got quite a lot of intellectual property, an MMO of maybe Mega-City One might be fascinating, with Judges and Perps and all that sort of stuff - it might be a perfect opportunity," he opined. "But getting to grips with it, it's a fairly specialist area, and it's higher risk than making ordinary games. We're just not in the market for taking that kind of extreme risk yet. Yet... But who knows, stuff changes." Read the full interview

• Talking of interviews, John Freeman, keeper of downthetubes and writer of Ex Astris for Spaceship Away was recently interviewed by his local paper, the Morecambe Visitor, who did British comics proud with a two page spread that even included a plug for local comic shop, First Age. You can read the interview "Comic Book Heroes are Fighting Back" online. (We're aware that the sales figures for The Beano are wrong...)

• Along with the latest sales figure for British graphic novels on amazon.co.uk, Steve Holland has just posted a super collection of book covers that have graced the work of EE Doc Smith on Bear Alley. "Starting with The Skylark of Space, I lapped these up when I was 14 and 15," he notes. "Along with novels and stories by Jack Williamson and A. E. Van Vogt, these were my first real exposure to American pulp fiction, which led to reading about the old pulps and, in particular, a fantastic set of books called The History of the Science Fiction Magazine by Mike Ashley." Steve is currently working on Sci-Fi Art: a Graphic History, due for release in January 2009.

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