My Embarrassingly Late Notes About The Northants International Comics Expo

The first Northants International Comics Expo (I think the ‘International’ is stretching it, but I guess they wanted the groovy acronym; a bit like the Dublin International Comics Expo wanted ‘D.I.C.E.’) was held in Wicksteed Park, Kettering, on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September. I attended on the Saturday because that was the day with the greatest reason to be there – the first convention appearance by Alan Moore in some 20 years. However, I didn’t ignore the rest of the event because also in attendance was my favourite artist, Alan Davis, making it well worth my time and effort. It […]

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Comic Books I Want As TV Shows

Comic books have been the source for television programmes before – Batman, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Smallville are perhaps the most famous live action series, and there are many animated series as well – but these were based on well-known franchises. Now, things are different, and in a good way. Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead has been adapted into a very successful television series. Powers by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming has been filmed as a pilot for FX!, although its future is as yet unknown. Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory […]

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Film Adaptations Of Genre Book Series: Searching For Franchises

I saw The Hunger Games in the cinema – it was enjoyable, with an interesting setting and characters and some social commentary, and certainly a lot better than Twilight – but it got me thinking about the success of film adaptations of best-selling genre book series. The sequel to The Hunger Games was greenlighted (greenlit?) practically the moment the film came out; the Twilight films, with which The Hunger Games shares some similarities, have had a certain inevitability to the sequels despite the lack of critical success (unlike The Hunger Games, which was well received by reviewers). The winner in […]

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Trying New Comics Is Always A Gamble

This blog is officially a Before Watchmen-free zone (see here for my thoughts) but that doesn’t mean I don’t try new comics. However, as the post title states, trying new comics is a gamble, and not one that always pays off. For example, the ‘new’ DC universe of titles. As discussed in my post at the time, I selected some books to try, based on the ideas and the creators behind them. I chose Stormwatch by Paul Cornell based on my affection for the Warren Ellis run and Cornell’s work on Captain Britain. I chose Justice League Dark because of […]

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Being David Norman

When I started this sporadic blog back in January 2005, comic book bloggers preferred unusual names for their blogs instead of using their actual names (in contrast to today when the advice is to own your own domain name so that you can control your brand). I’m not sure why this was, but it made sense when everyone else was doing it and it added to the sense of community that existed. There was also a certain charm and inventiveness to the names (Progressive Ruin, The Invincible Super-Blog, The Hurting, Fortress of Soliloquy, Post-Modern Barney, The Absorbascon, Double Articulation, Delenda […]

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Actors Who Are Different Characters In Comic Book Film Universes (But Actually Just Marvel)

Comic book companies boast of the large numbers of characters in their universes when trying to sell themselves as franchise opportunities, usually referring to them as assets. With the increase in the number of films based on comic books, and the huge number of actors available to play roles in these films, it’s surprising to see certain actors playing more than their fair share of comic book characters. What adds to the confusion is when the same actor plays two different characters in films adapted from the comic books from the same universe. With Chris Evans, who had played Johnny […]

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Television: final report card for the end of 2011

Another delayed collection of jumbled thoughts on some of the good television programmes I watched in the latter half of 2011 since the previous posts about good television in the first half of 2011 [post 1] [post 2] [post 3]. Doctor Who The second half of the sixth season of the new Doctor Who saw a general improvement in overall quality compared with the first half; Night Terrors was scary, The Girl Who Waited was emotional, The God Complex was well done and Closing Time was funny (and the chemistry between Matt Smith and James Corden was great). Bookending this […]

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Before Watchmen: They Did It 35 Minutes Ago

The news is official: DC will be publishing Before Watchmen, seven prequel mini-series to what is widely regarded as the greatest superhero comic book series of all time (well, so far), the only comic book to make Time’s list of 100 Best Novels. Twenty-five years after the original series was published does seem a little tardy … The internet has reacted as expected – Comics Alliance collects some of the best tweets and Topless Robot has my favourite headline – and there have been reasoned responses (such as Graeme McMillan at Blog@Newsarama [EDIT: sadly, broken link) and extreme reactions (such as Alan […]

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Selecting From The 52 New DC Titles

The first title in the ‘new’ DC universe of titles (I refuse to call it DCnU, which I think is very silly indeed but seems to have caught on) arrived yesterday in stores and online, both legally and unfortunately illegally, so it seemed about time to talk about the titles that interested me sufficiently to pick them up. An aside: I think this is a bold move by DC to try to improve sales of comics, which have been decreasing in a depressing fashion for some time. DC has constantly rebooted its superhero universe, so this isn’t completely unexpected. However, […]

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Television: Half-Year Report Card Part 3

The final part of my summary of the things I’ve been watching on television in the first half of 2011. This selection is under the heading of comedy, which covers a broad spectrum. COMEDY Twenty Twelve I wasn’t sure that a documentary-style comedy about The Olympic Deliverance team coping with the pressure of organising the London 2012 Olympics would be funny, even though it has Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Hynes, Olivia Colman and that squirrelly chap from Green Wing (Karl Theobald). But it is. In a ‘this is probably how it is in real life’ kind of way. Written and directed […]

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