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Saturday, 17 July 2010

Brits Invade ComicCon Again: Morrison, Mills, Abnett and many more

(Updated 20/7/10): If you're a Grant Morrison fan and you're lucky enough to be at the San Diego Comic Convention next week, you won't want to miss the Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods panel.

Sequart and Respect Films have produced an authorized, feature-length documentary on Grant Morrison that features interviews with the creator of The Invisibles and 2000AD's Zenith, and many of his collaborators.

Hosted by the director, Patrick Meaney (author of Our Sentence is Up: Seeing Grant Morrision's The Invisibles), the hour-long panel will feature 20 minutes of exclusive footage from the documentary, stories about the crew’s time with Grant, and a special guest.

The panel will take place in Room 9 from 7.30 to 8.30pm on Friday 23rd July. The organisers admit there are some other interesting panels happening at the same time, but while the comic-book sites may report on those other panels, you won't be able to get another look at this documentary until the DVD comes out in October.

If you're a big Morrison fan, consider swinging by. Here's a trailer of the documentary...

Grant, whose credits also include Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, and Final Crisis will be on hand on Friday to give a candid chat about DC Comics projects past, present and future, at a panel hosted by DC's senior story editor Ian Sattler.

While US comics, films and TV dominate much of the programming - Marvel legend Stan Lee being one of the top guests - there's will be plenty British talent on hand this year, as well as the presence of already-occupying forces such as Active Images Richard Starkings, who will hopefully have lots more to say about the upcoming Elephantmen movie.

Elephantmen creator Richard will be at the Con with Comicraft's Secret Weapon J.G. Roshell manning booth #2106, with fellow men Axel Medellin and Gabriel Bautista, and the distinctly un-manly Miki.

2000AD will have a major presence, with its original co-creator Pat Mills spearheading the weekly comic's promotional activity at this huge event.

In addition to signing new editions of ABC Warriors Meknificent Seven and Judge Dredd Case Files 01 at the 2000AD exhibition booth 2-4.00pm each day of the convention, Pat will be doing a pre–convention signing at Barnes & Noble’s Mira Mesa store, 10775 Westview Parkway San Diego. This signing will take place at 2.00 pm, Tuesday 20th July where all attendees have the opportunity to win an original large scale piece of ABC Warriors artwork by current series artist Clint Langley.

SFX Mgaazine will also presenting a panel titled The British Invasion. Five top UK writers from the worlds of TV, comics, books, and movies discuss what makes modern British SF unique. Dan Abnett (Ultramarines), SF author China Miéville, Paul Cornell (Doctor Who, Superman), Kieron Gillen (Thor), Pat Mills and Toby Whithouse (creator of the TV series Being Human) talk to SFX editor Dave Bradley in this panel and Q&A session on Thursday.

Among others, Eisner Award–-winning artist Sean Phillips is also on the guest list, as is John Cassady, Duncan Fegredo, Eddie Campbell (talking about the acclaimed graphic novel The Playwright, alongside the editor of Australia's DeeVee magazine,  Daren White), Tony Lee, and  Sean Michael Wilson (promoting his stunning looking new manga title, AX, published by Top Shelf).

"So far the AX book has been received exactly as we hoped for, in that a lot of critics have said, basically, it takes a large step forward in expanding the range of mature manga available in English," says Sean of the project. "It's been touted as a must buy for such manga fans. I'm interested to see what people say to me about it in the San Diego con."

Tripwire Issue 54Tripwire magazine editor Joel Meadows will be promoting his latest fab-looking new issue (see news story); and plenty of US TV shows screening here, such as Warehouse 13, Futurama, Stargate Universe and Sanctuary will be previewing their upcoming seasons.

ComicCon is a massive event that attracts thousands of comics, film and TV fans: if you're going for the first time, you'll soon realize it's impossible to see everything. But if you take advantage of the official web site's handy schedule planner, you should be able to keep tabs on the Brit events and other things you don't want to miss.

• Please note, the Comic-Con International 2010 Programming Schedule is subject to change. Check the schedule signs outside each door at the event for updated information.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Grandville, Manga Shakespeare shortlisted for Children's Book Awards

Much to the author's surprize, Bryan Talbot's cracking steampunk-inspired graphic novel GrandvilleGrandville has been shortlisted for a Sheffield Children's Book Award in the awards new graphic novel category, one of five titles topping a list of favourite comics based on the votes of hundreds of school children across the city.

UK Publisher SelfMadeHero has also made the shortlist, for its Manga Shakespeare: Twelfth Night title by Nana Li, Richard Appignanesi, and, of course, William Shakespeare.

The final shortlist of five books was decided upon using a wide range of factors and each participating secondary school in Sheffield was sent a full set to distribute to the students/judges and to gather in their reviews and ratings.

The shortlist is as follows:

Captain America: The Man With No FaceCaptain America: The Man With No Face by Luke Ross, Steve Epting, and Ed Brubaker
Published by Marvel

GrandvilleGrandville by Bryan Talbot
Published by Jonathan Cape

Manga Shakespeare: Twelfth Night by Nana Li, Richard Appignanesi, and William Shakespeare
Published by SelfMadeHero

Vampire Knight: Volume 5 by Matsuri Hino
Published by Viz Media

X-Men: Magneto Testament by Carmine Di Giandomenico and Greg Pak
Published by Marvel

The new graphic novel award is to be named after Spider-Man creator Stan Lee.

"I'm obviously very please to be nominated," Bryan Talbot told downthetubes on learning of the nomination. "I always thought of Grandville as an adult book though. Perhaps it encroaches into the "Young Adult" range.

"They must be keen on steampunk badgers with guns in Sheffield!"

Run by the Sheffield School Library Service, the Sheffield Children’s Book Award began in 1988 and was first started to encourage children and young people to read and also to highlight the very best children’s books published each year. In the first year just six local schools took part, but this number has grown every year to a total of 152 schools in 2007.

Each school chooses a book category for the class and they are given a start up pack of ideas along with a collection of books to read and review. Each child is asked to vote for their favourite book and these votes are then collated over the summer.

Results are kept a closely guarded secret until the Award Ceremony.

Children involved in the project are invited to the Award Ceremony along with all Shortlisted Authors, Illustrators and representatives from the Publishing Houses.

The last two weeks of the summer term will see all the individual votes going to the award organisers and the final winner will be announced at the ceremony at Sheffield City Hall in November - and if Grandville wins, that would tie in nicely with the launch of its sequel, Grandville Mon Amour, due for release on 4th November.

• More about the Sheffield Children's Book Awards at:

Tube Surfing: Mazeworld, Mad Science and Harvey Pekar

Mazeworld by Arthur Ranson

Does the sporadically torrential rain of the last few days mean that's all the summer we're going to get? I hope not.

Onto the Tube Surf...

Arthur Ranson sends word that Daniel Clifford, a fan of the artist's Mazeworld strip (produced in collaboration with writer Alan Grant), has set up a Facebook petition to get the strip re-published.

Arthur has written about Daniel's efforts over at his blog. "I, of course, believe a collection of the entire Mazeworld in one fat edition would be a nice thing to have," he notes, "but the reason this petition thing excites me is the thought of a social network of fans using their connection to create an outcome.

"Coincidentally in Saturday’s Guardian Review section there was a review of Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirkey whose suggestion is that the brainpower wasted with passive entertainment watching might be used via the internet to organise and do something in concert. Shirkey quotes examples of charities that have been set up. A Mazeworld reprint doesn’t have that significance but hey, we can be shallow too."

If you want to check out some pages from Mazeworld, you can do so at Arthur Ranson's website.

• Meanwhile, in Manchester, there are two events with British comic connections happening at the Lass O'Gowrie pub over the weekend as part of their epic Lass fest event.

The first, The Hammer House of Dezza, kicks off on Saturday at 3.00pm. It features veteran British comics editor Dez Skinn, who will be talking about his time at the helm of Hammer House of Horror Magazine, which included in its pages comic strips.

The second is on Sunday. It's Vworp 3, a one-day Doctor Who convention that numbers among its guests the aforementioned Dez Skinn and comic artist Adrian Salmon, alongside the likes of Doctor Who writers Terrance Dicks, Andrew Cartmel, Rob Shearman and actress Sophie Aldred, who played companion Ace alongside Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy.

• Speaking of events, there's lots forthcoming from the folks at Alternative Press (who describe themselves as "...a group of artists, comix creators, writers and poets dedicated to encouraging creativity through self-publishing").

The group has lots of exciting news, available via the above link, of fairs and exhibitions, including the Alternative Press Fair in November, Tunbridge Wells Zine Fest in August and much, much more.

Hang on, if I'm mentioning events, surely I've got to talk about Caption... I know John's plugged it recently, but it's well worth a reminder. Oxford's annual convention celebrates all things comics, but primarily the small press, with the theme of 'Mad Science' this year.

It looks like it's going to be another cracking event, with guests such as Melinda Gebbie, Jeremy Day, Al Davison and Darryl Cunningham all attending. I'll be along too as a punter and I can't wait!

Caption 2010 is held over two days on the weekend of 31st July.

This Tube Surf has been a bit verbose. Let's go for some quick hits:

Rob Jackson makes ice cream and comics, and his blog is always worth a look.

Dan McDaid goes all 'TV Action' for a pal, with a page of art homaging Doctor Who as he appeared in the 1970s comic Countdown. Oh yes!

Adam Cadwell pays tribute to the recently deceased Harvey Pekar. He's also set up a Flickr group for pictorial tributes to Harvey. R.I.P. Mr Pekar...

And on that sad note, it's goodbye until my next Tube Surf...

Alan Moore @ Edinburgh International Book Festival

Having previously pointed out the lack of adult discussion of comics or graphic novels, as opposed to political cartoons, at the 2010 Edinburgh International Book Festival, it is good to see that BookFest has now added writer Alan Moore to their programme - even if their website lists "V for Victory" (sic) as one of "Alan Moore's legendary cartoons".

Moore will be in conversation with the Guardian's If artist Steve Bell at 3:30pm on Tuesday 24 August in an event entitled The Politics Of Cartoons: How To Avoid Hollywood. This is described as "a conversation with Steve Bell to discuss superheroes, politics and the influence of writers such as Philip K Dick, William Burroughs and Thomas Pynchon".

The following day, Wednesday 25 August, sees Moore join the final events of the Story Machines thread at 8:30pm. In Story Machines: The Last Chapter - Are Stories The Building Blocks Of All We Know, author and screenwriter Charlie Fletcher "brings together some of the day's participants including William Nicholson and Alan Moore for a debate about the power of Story, and how we can put our storytelling powers to better use."

Each of the events lasts 1 hour and tickets are £10 per person per event.

The other comics events at the BookFest are covered here and we are pleased to report that both Glenn Dakin's and Garen Ewing's comic workshops are already sold out. Indeed Garen's event has proved so popular that it sold out within 12 hours of the tickets going on sale.

More details of all the events as well as tickets are available from the Edinburgh International Book Festival website.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

MCM Expo comes to Manchester

MCM Expo organisers have announced a host of initiatives to ensure that their shows, which include a wide range of comics offerings, are bigger, better and more fun than ever, starting with the next London MCM Expo at Excel in October.

Not only will the London MCM Expo now run over three days (29th-31st October), but October's show will play host to the inaugural MCM Awards, where the movies, videogames, television programmes, anime, manga, comics and novels voted as the year’s best by the online Expo community will be publicly recognised.

London MCM Expo will also see the launch of the new Totally Cosplay zone; a dedicated area devoted to everything cosplay, including competitions, panels, workshops and a dedicated stage. As well as the much-loved Cosplay Masquerade, October’s show will host the finals of EuroCosplay 2010, where heat winners will compete for the ultimate cosplay crown.

The organisers have also announced steps to make the MCM Events even more accessible for the ever-growing MCM community. October's London MCM Expo will feature the MCM Fringe Festival, giving our community the chance to promote meetings, gatherings, photo shoots, games and any fun activity for people to join. In addition, today sees the launch of new streamlined event websites to provide Expo visitors with improved news and information on upcoming events.

Last but by no means least, July 2011 will see a new MCM Expo for the North of England. Taking place on 30th July 2011 at Manchester Central, formerly known as G-MEX – an award-winning venue in the heart of the city – the Manchester MCM Expo will give visitors the chance to meet their favourite movie stars, TV personalities and sporting heroes; play the latest videogames; check out a host of memorabilia stalls and exhibitors and enjoy a wide range of attractions including Totally Cosplay and the Manga Art Competition.

• For London MCM Expo information, visit the new website at:

• For Manchester MCM Expo information, visit our new website at:

The DFC Will Rise Again

(With thanks to John Anderson of Soaring Penguin): The acclaimed but sadly short-lived weekly comic The DFC will return, says publisher David Fickling - possibly as soon as next year.

Speaking at a presentation for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators earlier this month to promote the new DFC collection of Sarah MacIntyre's Vern & Lettuce (due for release in September), David Fickling spoke enthusiastically about his comic project, which was published by Random House and accepted some of the criticisms made about the title, including concerns the content had been too wide ranging for the target audience.

When he started The DFC, David explained he had a three-year plan that had had the approval of Random House, that included newstand distribution and a more international circulation. He started with a subscription base because it was the easiest to control with minimal resources. He accepts that this was probably a mistake, one that he won't make again.

David indicated that it was only when the economic climate turned bad that Random House's parent company pulled the plug on The DFC. However, he has plans to revive the title in the latter part of 2011, but only if he has sufficient funds that he can do it properly. This would include positive sales of the DFC-related books and includes the sale of the last of the DFC stock still available.

Several collections of the comics origianlly published in The DFC are now available, including Good Dog, Bad Dog and Mezolith, with more titles - Vern & Lettuce and Monkey Nuts among them - out later this year.

Responding to a general concern from some comic creators that the content of The DFC was too broad, in that some of it was for children and some of it was more suited to young teenagers, David said that choice was a conscious decision, as he wanted a title that appealed to a broader range of readers.

However, he accepts that this might have been detrimental, and in the revision, he said he would be narrowing the scope of the stories.

In a broader sense, David also noted that he needed The DFC to succeed so that it wouldn't be used as a precedent for any other company being approached to start a weekly title. On a more personal level, he wants The DFC to succeed because he has such pride and enthusiasm for it.

The event gave David another chance to praise not only his creators, but also longtime British comics fan Paul Gravett who had initially introduced him to a number of creators. It also provided a great opportunity to promote the new books Morris the Mankiest Monster and Vern and Lettuce.

• For more on comics and books by John, who's also publisher of the magazine From the Tomb, visit

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Buzz Comic Launches Soon

Buzz Comic - a web site described by its creators as "a kind of YouTube for comics people", offering space to promote comics and advice on creating them, should be ready for a beta launch on Monday 19th July.

The idea of BuzzComic is to enable comic creators to upload your comic pages, which can be just teasers of your published work or stuff you are experimenting with. When the site goes live, the stories can be favourited and commented on (anyone can favourite, even non members but comments are limited to those with paid accounts so that there is more quality and integrity to the site).

One of the main ideas of the site is that it will act as a natural market research tool as the popularity of any story or genre will become clear as the top favourited stuff gets pushed to the top.

The site will also include a library of tutorials teaching graphic novel and comic making which the site's editor hope to build on over time. Currently Bryan Talbot, Kev F Sutherland and Warren Pleece feature. will now be open to all comic/graphic novel genres, so it is no longer aimed at children only as was originally planned.

• Sign up at

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

In Review: The Rainbow Orchid - Adventures of Julius Chancer Volume 2

by Garen Ewing
Publisher: Egmont UK
Out: Now

The Book: In Volume Two of The Rainbow Orchid, the intrepid Julius Chancer journeys from Europe to the Indian sub-continent as he steps up his quest for the rainbow orchid. He soon discovers he has enemies more dangerous than he could ever have imagined who are determined to prevent him from finding the mystical flower. The Rainbow Orchid is an ambitious blend of classic storytelling, and cinematic artwork, in which adventure, historical drama and legend are seamlessly intertwined...

The Review: Creator Garen Ewing continues to delight his fans with this second volume of his historical adventure series, pitting earnest hero Julian Chancer and chums against a nefarious bunch of evil-doers working for the clearly bonkers Urkaz Grope, a business man not only trying to seize the rare orchid before anyone else, but prove himself a lord of the British realm to boot. The scoundrel!

Lovingly illustrated throughout - establishing shots such as the Natural History Museum, Karachi Railway Station and some London street scenes, to name but a few, are a delight - this second volume is all-new material. (Longtime readers of downthetubes will know much of the first volume of Rainbow Orchid, reviewed here, appeared in more than one form before being published by Egmont). As such, the volume holds together better, I think: Ewing weaves a careful tapestry of inter-connected plot threads, spanning events in Britain - not least the intriguing activities of the mysterious but cash-strapped Empire Survey Branch - to Chancer and chums continued hunt for the fabled orchid in India.

There's so much to like about Rainbow Orchid. While there is clear homage to past comic heroes, most obviously Herge's Tintin, Ewing has created his own mythos and a huge range of characters. Fans already have their favourites: the deliciously wicked Evelyn Crow (left) continues to prove a thorn in Julian's side, and I imagine her wicked ways will ultimately do her no good whatsoever.

I'm also enjoying the antics of Nathaniel Crumpole, a self-obsessed hapless lover of animals, who successfully continues to cause more problems for the goodies than he solves, right up to the last page. While he's inevitably going to be compared with Tintin's Captain Haddock, he has his own idiosyncracies.

With such characters in the mix, it's strange that Chancer himself is something of a cypher, although Ewing does develop his hero's background in this volume.

There has been such expectation of this second volume of Rainbow Orchid that I feared the final story might not measure up to them. I need not have been concerned: while inevitably, this second volume progresses at a slower pace than Volume 1, it also lays the foundations for a thrilling finale with considerable aplomb.

Ewing continues to bring his growing readership a superb adventure story that leaves you guessing wildly at how the many plot threads will be resolved in the third and final volume...

The Rainbow Orchid volume 2 is out now, available in bookshops across the land, but if you have trouble finding it, try Orchic Volume 2, The Book Depository (free worldwide delivery), Egmont, or you can even nab yourself a signed and sketched-in copy from Garen Ewing's official web site.

 Read our review of The Rainbow Orchid Volume 1

• The Official Rainbow Orchid web site: 
You can  read a huge preview of The Rainbow Orchid online here, including an exclusive peek at volume two. Special features include pencils, annotations and more.

Upcoming Rainbow Orchid Signings

31st Jul - 1st August 2010 - Oxford: Caption
23-24th August 2010 - Edinburgh: Edinburgh International Book Festival
25th September 2010 - Bath: Bath Festival of Childrens' Literature
20th Nov 2010 - Leeds: Thought Bubble

More reviews:

Birmingham Mail - Speech Balloons 
"...kidnappings, chases, betrayal, intrigue, several twists and some slapstick from animal-loving Hollywood agent Nathaniel over the 40 action packed pages..."
• The Book Bag
"With a lot of characters and plot strands this is still an admirable thriller. The balance of cartoon comedy (one character and his love of exotic animals, for example) and serious Saturday morning serial stuff is evident, and the settings and 1920s moods, dialogue and attitudes are spot on..."

Richard Bruton - Forbidden Planet International
"Volume 2 is a success, building, albeit slowly, on the thrills and adventure of the first Volume. Definitely not something that can be read alone though, you really must pick up Volume 1 first. Do that and you’re two thirds of the way through a great adventure, with echoes of the past, classic storytelling and beautifully cinematic, stylish Euro-style artwork..."

"I've read a lot of comics that I love, but I wouldn't give to someone who wasn't comics-literate. The Rainbow Orchid is not such a beast - it's a really good comic that (I'm trying to avoid the word "accessible" or "appeals") anyone can enjoy."

Love Reading 4 Kids
"Garen Ewing surpassed himself in the first volume of The Rainbow Orchid and this, the second one, is an absolute cracker.  The panel artwork is beautifully rendered and the storyline incredibly intricate and yet hugely accessible to any reader – child or adult."

Peter Richardson on Cloud 109 
"...Fabulous artistry throughout and even more assured than Book 1, this really is a book well worth adding to your library."

• All images © 2010 Garen Ewing

Monday, 12 July 2010

Titan Books, Langridge, Quitely and Starkings get Harvey nominations

The 2009 Harvey Awards Nominees have been announced with the release of the final ballot, presented by the Executive Committees of the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con.

The nominees include New Zealand but UK-based artist Roger Langridge, Scotland's Frank Quitely and former Marvel UK editor Richard Starkings, creator of Elephantmen.

Titan Books The Best of Simon and Kirby book, edited by Steve Saeffel, has also been nominated in two collection categories.

Named in honour of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry's most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. They will be presented 28th August 2010 in Baltimore in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con.

Nominations for the Harvey Awards are selected exclusively by creators - those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit or are otherwise involved in a creative capacity in the comics field. They are the only industry awards both nominated and selected by the full body of comic book professionals.

Final ballots, available for download at, are due to the Harvey Awards by Friday, 7th August 2010 and full details for submission of completed ballots can be found on the final ballot. Voting is open to anyone professionally involved in a creative capacity within the comics field. Those without Internet access may request that paper ballots be sent to them via mail or fax by calling the Baltimore Comic-Con - (001) 410 526 7410 - or e-mailing

This will be the fifth year for the Harvey Awards in Baltimore and the Master of Ceremonies this year for the second year in a row will be Scott Kurtz (

This year's Baltimore Comic-Con will be held 28 - 29th August 2010. The ceremony and banquet for the 2009 Harvey Awards will be held Saturday night, 28th August.

The 2009 Harvey Award Nominees


  • Jason Aaron, SCALPED, Vertigo/DC Comics
  • Geoff Johns, BLACKEST NIGHT, DC Comics
  • Robert Kirkman, THE WALKING DEAD, Image Comics
  • Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW, Amulet Books
  • Mark Waid, IRREDEEMABLE, BOOM! Studios
  • Robert Crumb, BOOK OF GENESIS, W.W. Norton
  • Guy Davis, BPRD: BLACK GODDESS, Dark Horse Comics
  • David Petersen, MOUSE GUARD : WINTER 1152, Archaia Studios Press
  • Frank Quitely, BATMAN AND ROBIN, DC Comics
  • JH Williams III, DETECTIVE COMICS, DC Comics
  • Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW, Amulet Books
  • Roger Langridge, THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK, BOOM! Studios
  • David Mazzucchelli, ASTERIOS POLYP, Pantheon
  • Seth, GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975), Drawn and Quarterly
  • Chris Eliopoulos, FRANKLIN RICHARDS: SON OF A GENIUS stories, Marvel Comics
  • Thomas Mauer, RAPTURE, Dark Horse Comics
  • David Mazzucchelli, ASTERIOS POLYP, Pantheon
  • Richard Starkings, ELEPHANTMEN, Image Comics
  • Oclair Albert, BLACKEST NIGHT, DC Comics
  • Steve Ellis, HIGH MOON, Zuda/DC Comics
  • Klaus Janson, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Marvel Comics
  • Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW, Amulet Books
  • Mark Morales, THOR, Marvel Comics
  • Steve Hamaker, BONE: CROWN OF HORNS, Graphix
  • David Mazzucchelli, ASTERIOS POLYP, Pantheon
  • Dave Stewart, BPRD: BLACK GODDESS, Dark Horse Comics
  • Jenny Frison, THE DREAMER, IDW
  • Mike Mignola, HELLBOY: THE BRIDE OF HELL, Dark Horse Comics
  • Michael Avon Oeming, MICE TEMPLAR: DESTINY, PART I, Image Comics
  • Frank Quitely, BATMAN AND ROBIN, DC Comics
  • JH Williams III, DETECTIVE COMICS, DC Comics
  • Kevin Cannon, FAR ARDEN, Top Shelf
  • Rob Guillory, CHEW, Image Comics
  • Reinhard Kleist,JOHNNY CASH: I SEE A DARKNESS, Abrams ComicArts
  • Nathan Schreiber, ACT-I-VATE: POWER OUT, (
  • CHEW, Image Comics
  • SWEET TOOTH, Vertigo/DC Comics
  • UNWRITTEN, Vertigo/DC Comics
  • BEASTS OF BURDEN, Dark Horse Comics
  • DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, Amulet Books
  • GANGES,Fantagraphics Books
  • INVINCIBLE, Image Comics
  • SCALPED, Vertigo/DC Comics
  • THE WALKING DEAD, Image Comics
  • GROWN-UPS ARE DUMB, Hyperion Books
  • 3-2-3 DETECTIVE AGENCY, Amulet Books
  • FLIGHT # 6, Villard
  • POPGUN # 3, Image Comics
  • STRANGE TALES, Marvel Comics
  • ASTERIOS POLYP, by David Mazucchelli, Pantheon
  • BOOK OF GENESIS, by Robert Crumb, W.W. Norton
  • GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975), by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly
  • FOOTNOTES IN GAZA, by Joe Sacco, Metropolitan Books
  • STITCHES, by David Small, W.W. Norton
  • A.D.: NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE DELUGE, by Josh Neufeld, Pantheon
  • COLLECTED ESSEX COUNTY, by Jeff Lemire, Top Shelf
  • GRAVESLINGER, by Shannon Denton, Jeff Mariotte, John Cboins & Nina Sorat, IDW
  • MASTERPIECE COMICS, by R. Sikoryak, Drawn and Quarterly
  • MICE TEMPLAR VOLUME 1, by Bryan J.L. Glass and Michael Avon Oeming, Image Comics
  • CUL-DE-SAC, by Richard Thompson, Universal Press Syndicate
  • FOXTROT, by Bill Amend, Universal Press Syndicate
  • GET FUZZY, by Darby Conley, United Feature Syndicate
  • MUTTS, by Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate
  • PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, by Stephan Pastis, United Feature Syndicate
  • THE BEST OF SIMON AND KIRBY, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby; edited by Steve Saffel, Titan Books
  • HUMBUG, conceived and edited by Harvey Kurtzman and created by Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Al Jaffee and Arnold Roth; edited by Gary Groth, Fantagraphics Books
  • RIP KIRBY, by Alex Raymond; edited by Dean Mullaney, IDW
  • THE ROCKETEER: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES, by Dave Stevens; edited by Scott Dunbier, IDW
  • THE TOON TREASURY OF CLASSIC CHILDREN'S COMICS, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly, Abrams ComicsArt
  • THE ART OF OSAMU TEZUKA: GOD OF MANGA, by Helen McCarthy, Abrams ComicArts
  • MANGA KAMISHIBAI, by Eric P. Nash, Abrams ComicArts
  • THE PHOTOGRAPHER, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier LeFevre and Frederic Lemercier, First Second
  • PLUTO: URASAWA X TEZUKA, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki, Viz Media
  • 20TH CENTURY BOYS, by Naoki Urasawa, Viz Media



    • Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, BEASTS OF BURDEN, Dark Horse Books
    • Jeff Kinney, DIARY OF A WIMPY KID #3: THE LAST STRAW, Amulet Books
    • Roger Landridge, THE MUPPET SHOW COMIC BOOK, BOOM! Studios
    • Bryan Lee O'Malley, SCOTT PILGRIM #5, Oni Press

    • ART OF HARVEY KURTZMAN: THE MAD GENIUS OF COMICS by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle, Abrams ComicArts
    • THE BRINKLEY GIRLS: THE BEST OF NELL BRINKLEY'S CARTOONS FROM 1913-1940 edited by Trina Robbins, Fantagraphics Books
    • GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975) by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly
    • THE ROCKETEER: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES by Dave Stevens, edited by Scott Dunbier, IDW
    • WEDNESDAY COMICS edited by Mark Chiarello, DC Comics

    • ALTER-EGO edited by Roy Thomas, TwoMorrows
    • ART OF HARVEY KURTZMAN: THE MAD GENIUS OF COMICS by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle, Abrams ComicArts
    • THE BEST OF SIMON AND KIRBY by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby; edited by Steve Saffel, Titan Books
    • THE COMICS JOURNAL edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean and Kristy Valenti, Fantagraphics Books
    • UNDERGROUND CLASSICS by James Danky and Denis Kitchen, Abrams ComicArts

    • ALEC: THE YEARS HAVE PANTS by Eddie Campbell, Top Shelf
    • ASTERIOS POLYP by David Mazucchelli, Pantheon
    • GANGES #3, by Kevin Huizenga, Fantagraphics Books
    • GEORGE SPROTT (1894-1975) by Seth, Drawn and Quarterly
    • JONAH HEX #50 written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, artwork by Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics
    Congratulations to all of the nominees.
    • For additional information about Harvey Kurtzman and the Harvey Awards, visit
    • For additional information about the Baltimore Comic-Con, visit
  • Oxfam Comics Event 2010 - Saturday 17 July

    Oxfam Comic Event 2010The Oxfam Comic Event 2010 will be taking place next Saturday, 17 July 2010, as part of the 2010 Oxfam Bookfest. The Comic Event begins at Noon in Edinburgh's MacDonald Road Library which is only a 10 - 15 minute walk from the city's main bus and train stations. This is an informal discussion based event with comics and books from Oxfam's three Edinburgh charity bookshops available to buy on the day.

    After last year's discussions about Scotland in comics and Scottish comics in general, this year's theme will be the evolution of a comic from original idea to writing, art and publishing. Since our last post more guests have been confirmed and the current guest list includes - 2000AD and Megazine writer Gordon Rennie, Superman and Batman artist Frank Quitely, Marvel Heroes and Commando writer Ferg Handley, 2000AD writer and editor David Bishop, Doctor Who Adventures artist John Ross, DC Thomson artist Gordon Tait and DC Thomson archivist Morris Heggie.

    Tickets, priced at only £3 - the same as last year, will be available on the door but are also available in advance from eBay and the Morningside Oxfam Bookshop which once again is organising the event. It is located at 210 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4QQ, and the telephone number is 0131 4469169. The shop can also be contacted by e-mail via

    The fun poster for the event is the work of Edinburgh based artist Ben Morris who is a regular illustrator on Doctor Who Magazine and the junior Doctor Who Adventures.

    T• here are more details of the 2010 event at the event's Facebook page and on the Oxfam Morningside Twitter feed.

    • There are videos of Ferg Handley and David Bishop at the 2009 event on YouTube.

    Sunday, 11 July 2010

    UK Comics Undercover In The USA

    The Wird World of Jack StaffIn the week that the USA sent back ten Russian agents who had been living undercover in the USA, two British comics that operate under the cover of American publishers have arrived on our shores.

    First is Paul Grist's The Weird World of Jack Staff and this third issue of the third generation of Grist's tribute to old British anthology comics and their characters even comes with three staples. Tom Tom The Robot Man, who is really a little girl called Trisha, appears to save builder John Smith, who has forgotten that he is Jack Staff, from the Skull whilst Professor Fate looks on before he goes to visit Morlan The Mystic. Grist's Jack Staff can take a little getting used to, between the stylised art and the anthology style storyline, but it definitely rewards those who stick with it.

    Marvelman Family's FinestAlso available is the first of Marvel's use of the old L Miller and Sons character of Marvelman. The first part of a six issue limited series entitled Marvelman Family's Finest, the 44 page comic reprints four individual stories, one from each of the Marvelman characters and a combined one, plus the start of a serial featuring just Marvelman. All the stories are in their original black and white and, other than the glossy cover, the comic is printed on newsprint paper. With all the stories credited to Mick Anglo, the artists are Trigan Empire's Don Lawrence as well as Norman Light, George Parlett and Mick Anglo himself. Art-wise Lawrence's two strips are nice but the best must be Norman Light's 1957 Marvelman And The Acid Vapour despite its ridiculous plotline - and perhaps that is the main problem with these old Marvelmans.

    Marvelman Family's Finest sample panelMuch had been said on the subject of Marvel reprinting Marvelman. The vast majority of fans want the Warrior/ Miracleman version of the character and are going to have little interest in childish storylines and variable artwork from the mid 1950s which is what is available here. It will be interesting to watch the sale figures for this six issue limited series as I suspect that while the first will be purchased out of curiosity, there will be little here to draw many readers back for the next five issues.

    • The Weird World Of Jack Staff is published by Image with a cover price of $3.50.

    Marvelman Family's Finest is published by Marvel with a cover price of $3.99

    Read Lew Stringer's review of Marvelman's Family's Finest on Blimey! It's Another Blog about Comics

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