Comic Book Artists: Dale Keown

This series of posts is about comic book artists whose work I like. The normal pattern is that I talk about the artist’s career and mention when I started enjoying the work and include various images by the artist. However, in this case, the text aspect will be a little lighter than normal because, unfortunately, there isn’t a huge amount of ongoing series or different mini-series to discuss. Dale Keown is a Canadian artist who started working in the industry in 1986, drawing various comics for Aircel, such as Samurai and Dragon Ring. He would do various covers at other […]

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From A Library: The Perhapanauts

 The Perhapanauts: First Blood (The Perhapanauts #1–4) and The Perhapanauts: Second Chances (The Perhapanauts: Second Chances #1–4) Written and co-created by Todd Dezago Art and co-created by Craig Rousseau I love this idea: a Bigfoot, a ghost, a psychic, a chupacabra (literally ‘goat-sucker’, an animal rumoured to exist in the Americas that gets its name from what it supposedly does), plus a bloke who is a bit of a mystery, are agents of BEDLAM (Bureau of Extra Dimensional Liabilities and Management), an organisation that tries to control paranormal problems (the unknown, the unexplained, the freaky stuff, the creepy stuff) where […]

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Notes On A Film: Ant-Man

If you are even slightly pop-culture literate, you’ll know that Ant-Man was going to be directed by Edgar Wright, from a script by him and Joe Cornish; it was a project that Wright had been developing for several years, only to leave at almost the last minute due to ‘creative differences’, to be replaced by the less stylistic Peyton Reed, and with a script polish by star Paul Rudd and Adam McKay (who has written and directed many funny films with Will Ferrell). The question of ‘What if Edgar Wright had directed Ant-Man?’ hovers over the film – like a […]

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From A Library – Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter

Adapted and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke I haven’t read the original novel but I have seen the film adaptations (Point Blank, Payback), so I can’t verify the authenticity of the job that Darwyn Cooke does of adapting Parker into graphic novel format (apart from reading the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, but that doesn’t really count). However, even I can tell the apparent authenticity of the feeling, the atmosphere, the respect for the source material that Cooke infuses this story with that make for a perfect adaptation to the comic book page. Cooke’s art is exactly how I imagine the style […]

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From A Library – Resident Alien: Welcome To Earth!

Resident Alien #0–3 Written by Peter Hogan Art/Colour/Letters by Steve Parkhouse Dr Harry Vanderspeigle lives outside the small mountain town of Patience, USA. He’s a semi-retired doctor who keeps to himself, until the local police ask him to help in an investigation – the only doctor in town has been murdered, and he’s the only other doctor in the area. The only problem is that Harry is an extraterrestrial who crash-landed on Earth three years ago; he has blended into the community while he waits to be rescued, deliberately staying out of local affairs and trying not to get involved […]

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Writer Top Five: Peter Milligan

Continuing with the theme of my favourite works by a writer I enjoy: today is the turn of Peter Milligan. The man, the mystery, the enigma (deliberate reference – see later); Milligan is an unusual writer who revels in his unusualness and intelligence and literary passions. His website is called Ineluctable Modality, which comes from a quote from Ulysses by James Joyce, meaning approximately ‘A particular form of sensory perception or mode in which something is experienced or expressed that is inescapable or unable to be avoided’. If that doesn’t give you a sense of who Milligan is and what […]

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From A Library: The Wizard’s Tale

Written by Kurt Busiek Art by David T Wenzel It was a delightful surprise to find in the library this IDW reprint of the graphic novel from 1995 (it was one of the first publications from the Homage imprint of Wildstorm comics) – it is a very fine packaging of the material in a format that does the story and art justice. Because The Wizard’s Tale is a wonderful book: an utterly charming fairy tale with beautiful, exquisite and equally charming art, full of colourful and distinct characters plus tiny background details that bring the story to life. Once upon […]

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From A Library: JLA/Avengers

JLA/Avengers #1–4 by Kurt Busiek and George Perez My mainstream superhero obsession in my early years was the X-Men books, which meant that I grew up thinking that the Avengers and the Justice League of America were the uncool comic books of the previous generation. Therefore, I was never one of those fanboys for whom this was the ultimate comic book dream – a crossover between Marvel and DC’s big-hitter teams. Add to this (heresy alert), I’m not a fan of Perez’s art; I admire his talent but it doesn’t appeal to me. So I was pleasantly surprised to read […]

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From A Library: X-Club

X-Club #1–5 by Si Spurrier and Paul Davidson My first experience of reading something by Spurrier (his novel, Contract – see my thoughts here) didn’t go well so it meant that I didn’t hunt out his work in comic books; however, I try not to let my experiences blinker me (with the exception of Jeph Loeb), so I thought I would give Spurrier another chance with this collection of a mini-series from 2011, about Dr Nemesis, Kavita Rao, Madison Jeffries and Danger, collectively known as X-Club. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised, although that could have been a […]

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Book Review: Dark Detectives

Dark Detectives: An Anthology of Supernatural Mysteries Edited by Stephen Jones Illustrations by Randy Broecker Published by Titan Books I’m a big fan of the investigator of the supernatural element – see my previous blog posts about Mike Carey’s Felix Castor and Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt – so I was delighted to get the chance to read an anthology dedicated to the concept. In the extensive introduction by editor Stephen Jones, in which he details the origins of the dark detectives (from Dupin and Holmes through the psychic and occult investigators, including the wonderfully named Dr Silence), he doesn’t mention Castor or […]

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