In Praise Of Libraries

As should be apparent from the fact that I blog about comic books I’ve read, I enjoy reading rather a lot (in both senses: I enjoy the act of reading very much and I enjoy reading an enormous number of books). I also enjoy reading legal copies of books – I believe that creators should receive payment for their hard work, so I don’t download pirated copies. The problem is that I do not have unlimited funds with which to indulge this pleasure (nor do I have unlimited space in which to store this theoretical unlimited collection). The solution is […]

Continue Reading

Visiting Comics Unmasked: Art And Anarchy In The UK

It took me a long time to visit the exhibition at the British Library, mainly because it was happening while I was in the process of moving house (and it was a complex and fraught move, but you don’t need to hear about that …), so I felt there was no rush to share my thoughts. Another reason was the fact that I wasn’t blown away by the exhibit, and I didn’t want to be vocally negative about a very public comic-book-related event – it seems a little churlish of me when I love comic books so much and everyone […]

Continue Reading

Game Review: The Wonderful 101

Created by Platinum Games The Wonderful 101 is a difficult game to review because it’s an original idea that makes excellent use of the Wii U but is frustrating to play initially, both in the way you move through the game with the characters and in the mechanics by which you play the game in order to progress through the levels. Couple that with an approach to the characters and cut scenes that harkens back to the cheesy dialogue and silliness of television shows like Power Rangers (designer Hideki Kamiya obviously has a deep affection for tokusatsu, the effects-heavy Japanese […]

Continue Reading

Finding Power Pack #27

Power Pack #27, written by Louise Simonson, pencils by Jon Bogdanove, inks by Al Gordon, colours by Glynis Oliver, edits by Carl Potts, editor-in-chief Jim Shooter, published in 1986. I don’t want to use the phrase ‘Holy Grail’ to describe something rare and long sought because (a) I grew up Catholic and I don’t want to associate a positive thing with the religion I no longer practise, (b) I don’t want to use an inaccurate term to describe a comic book and (c) I don’t believe that a comic book really qualifies because I haven’t ‘eagerly pursued’ it and it […]

Continue Reading

Dissecting A Comic Book Press Release

I get some press releases from comic book companies. Not many, but enough for them to be a regular feature in my inbox. I’m not sure quite how that happened – my email address has been harvested by a social media company that has been selling it on incorrectly to PR companies, but I don’t know if comic book companies’ PR would acquire it that way. I’m not too bothered – I might scan the emails occasionally, but I mostly ignore them – but for some reason the press release I received from Bluewaters Productions about Tribute: Whitney Houston stuck […]

Continue Reading

Game: Lego The Lord Of The Rings

Although I’ve only written about the first Lego Harry Potter game, I have thoroughly enjoyed nearly all the Lego games. All three Lego Star Wars are great, both Lego Indiana Jones are very enjoyable, the second Lego Harry Potter game is expansive (if not as ‘fun’ as the first, what with all the deaths and grimness), the first Lego Batman game is a delight, and even Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is an enjoyable diversion. TT Games has hit on the perfect formula for combining gaming and Lego and popular film franchises, and I can’t wait for the Lego Marvel […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A DVD: The Green Hornet

Not strictly a comic book adaptation – Green Hornet originated as a radio series in 1936 (the film states that it was based on the radio series): a newspaper publisher who fights crime as a masked hero by night with assistant Kato. It has had a complicated multi-media life since then: two movie serials in 1940/1941; various comic book series, also starting in 1940, and published at various companies (Harvey Comics, Dell Comics, NOW Comics in the 1990s, and recently Dynamite Entertainment, adapting Kevin Smith’s script that wasn’t used into a maxi-series); some prose fiction books; and, most famously, the […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A DVD – Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance

I don’t get the appeal of Ghost Rider. A skeleton wearing leather with his head on fire riding a motorcycle – I think it might be an American thing, something to do with riding a ‘hog’ on the open road. The first film was not good, with the added yuck factor of an old Nicolas Cage wooing a far too young Eva Mendes, notable only for Cowboy Ghost Rider. The second film is worse, so much so that you retroactively create fond memories of the first film because of it. Neveldine and Taylor direct this (instead of just scripting Jonah […]

Continue Reading

Notes On A DVD: Jonah Hex

Is Jonah Hex one of the worst movies with a decent cast of actors ever? Josh Brolin as Hex, John Malkovitch as Quentin Turnbull (the villain of the piece), the awesome Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett in a straight role (although I do feel sorry for him – he’s a good actor but he’s an electric comedy actor and you always expect him to do something funny when he’s on screen), Michael Shannon, Lance Reddick (Cedric Daniels in The Wire, in a small and thankless role here to show that Hex isn’t a racist despite fighting for the south in the […]

Continue Reading

My Embarrassingly Late Notes About The Northants International Comics Expo: Part 2

The main part of N.I.C.E. finished at 5pm so that they could change the hall from the artists’ alley to a room to hold the waiting audience for Alan Moore’s appearance. Unfortunately, everything else in Wicksteed Park closed at the same time, meaning that there was little to do while waiting to be let back in (Note to organisers of N.I.C.E. for next year: sort that out), so soon people were joining the queue to get back in. The doors opened and everyone rushed in to get a good seat in front of the stage where Alan would be talking. […]

Continue Reading