• Kieron Gillen talks about writing the new Warhammer Crown of Destruction comic series from Boom Studios over on comiccon.com, the series inspired by on Nottingham-based Games Workshop's hugely popular gaming system and figures. "It's a world that lives on the cusp of destruction," he notes. "The good guys... well, they aren't good guys. The Empire are religiously fanatic, and it's only that devotion which stands between them and transmutation into a literal hell on Earth. It's grim. In, fact, it's GRIM. It's a universe which needs a lot of capitals...."
• Talking of Warhammer, you might also like to check out the Online Black Library of Warhammer stories, which includes work by Nathan Long, author of the Gotrek & Felix series, who has recently penned some stories for Warhammer Online.
• Ben Templesmith will be drawing a Doctor Who one-shot (written by Leah Moore & John Reppion) in February for IDW. The company's head honcho Chris Ryall shares a bit of the creative process in putting together a book like this on his blog with some of Ben's initial sketches of the good Doctor and Martha.
• Talking of Doctor Who, former Time Lord Chriustopher Eccleston has been spoofing the character on The Sarah Silverman Show for US channel Comedy Central. One episode featured the obsession of one of the characters with a television show called Doctor Lazar Rage, and here's a behind the scenes video (left).
• Meanwhile, Lance Parkin posts about writing Doctor Who novels and talks about his own processes a little...
• Edinburgh's Evening News recently warned a new animated version of Dennis the Menace will not be "as generations of Beano readers might know him.
"The familiar red and black stripes are there, so is the mischievous look and the general air of having been up to no good. But this is one of our best known comic characters gently revamped and modernised for a new generation of fans. Read more about the new cartoon from Red Kite Animation here on the Evening News web site.
• Talking of The Beano, The Guardian notes how aristocracy still survives in the comic, "in the person of Lord Snooty III, inheritor of the Snooty fortune and embodiment of modern wealth," notes Jonathan Jones in the paper's Arts Pages. "That's right, The Beano is the home of acute social satire. Lord Snooty's world of toffs and hounds has of course long gone. So instead we have Lord Snooty the Third who terrorises his staff by riding his quad bike and driving a train through the house. He is modern, he is style-conscious, and he's still a bastard. In fact he treats underlings much worse than his feudal forebear ever did. Cartoonists looking for ammunition against David Cameron's Tory party might want to consult Lord Snooty the Third."
• Snooty of course is merely upholding a long tradition of British comics, that of anarchy and rebelllion, the kind of things that mean Mickey Mouse, for example, has never been really popular in Britain in the same way as Dennis the Menace -- that, and the fact that he isn't "home grown". Bill McLoughlin, an archivist at DC Thomson and who was a script writer for 40 years at titles such as the Beezer, Topper and Rover recently argued Mickey never really took off in Britain because he wasn't very British. "If you look at the history of our comics, they are all very British and what appeals to us is kids getting one over authority," he told the Sunday Herald for an article about Disney's mouse hero, "whereas Disney's characters had this middle American morality that said: if you do something that isn't nice, you get your comeuppance.
"You can see that reflected in the Beano, which was anti-establishment, but Dennis always got punished for what he did wrong. In the Dandy though, which was anarchic, the violence was total."
• Finally, check out this great Strontium Dog fan strip, A Girl Called Johnny, by Dan Whiston, Kames Kircough and Richard Clemonts, originally created for Dogbreath. A gem...
(Special thanks to Matthew Badham for some of the links in this round up)
In Praise of… Dan Dare and Trigan Empire Comic Artist and Illustrator Oliver Frey - Illustrator Oliver “Oli” Frey is well known for his work in many fields – as a book and magazine cover
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