Blogs, eh? Self-serving, solopsistic temples to the ego where one human being and their computer witter on about themselves more often than a coke-fuelled pop star whose daddy left home at the age of two and who only briefly pauses for self-obsessed, validation-seeking breath to pick up the important bit of their inner nose that just fell off onto the coffee table. Don’t you just hate blogs? I mean, JD Salinger probably has more important things to say than 99.9% of those currently blogging but he’s decided to keep his mouth shut, meanwhile moron the egoboy prattles on about every minute movement of his day-to-day moribundness. Me! Me! Me! Oh, bugger off.
So, I thought I’d buck the trend and use this website for the power of good for a change. Which means not teasing new projects or announcing things or any form of over-desperate trying to make myself sound more successful than I actually am (which most blogs do, let’s face facts).
I picked my comic order up the other day, brought them home, was flicking through the books and four of them were co-created by friends of mine. And the work they’d produced was just great, to be honest. And I had a little moment of lucidity where I turned to my girlfriend and said “you know what? Some of my friends are REALLY talented.” You kind of forget, because they’re mates and you talk about your various projects and moan and joke, etc. But when you stop for a moment and appreciate just how good these people are and how hard they work on their craft. It may sound soppy but I felt quite proud of them. (of course, this Naked Lunch moment of niceness only lasted a few seconds and then I returned to my normal moany, can’t-see-the-wood-for-the-trees, rantaholic state. But anyway…)
So, I thought I’d shout about their books instead of mine, for once. Here’s some excellent comics by some very clever people indeed. And they’re all worth buying:
Punisher Max – Laurence Campbell
Laurence and I have worked together a few times now, some of my favourite collaborative experiences. We did a story for 2000AD called BREATHING SPACE and then did WOLVERINE. This is his debut series for Marvel and it looks amazing. Laurence has this cinematic style that makes it look like you’re reading a Michael Mann movie, and now he’s inking himself there’s an inherent darkness and sense of threat in the world he creates. And he’s got a great instinct for the dramatic point of a panel – what to focus on to bring out the main point of pathos/inner turmoil etc. He’s going to be up there with the best in the years to come.
The Authority – Simon Coleby
Again, Si and I have have worked together in the past, on LOW LIFE for 2000AD (I’ll always have a serious soft spot for the Dirty Frank stories we did together, including ‘Rock and A Hard Place’, which allowed us to indulge out mutual passion/antipathy for bad/good heavy metal). It’s great to see him getting his big US break here, and he makes The Authority’s new post-apocalyptic world looks amazing. Storms made of ghosts? One eyed children. Twisted, imaginative stuff here. And I always absolutely loved Si’s heavy blacks. Weirdly, the backup strip is drawn by Brandon Badeaux, who I worked with on the STAR WARS books for a while (another hugely talented artist). And Trev Hairsine did the backup in issue one. Work with me, get a gig on The Authority, it seems.
The Twelve – Chris Weston
When he’s not rapping in Spanish comic cons (check out his blog http://chrisweston.blogspot.com/ for the bizarre evidence) Chris is delivering some gorgeous, ridiculously detailed artwork for JM Sracszynski’s scripts here, on a story that brings WWII superheroes into the modern world. I’ve always been a fan of Chris’ work, particularly on books like Enemy Ace: War In Heaven and a fabulous PJ Maybe Judge Dredd story he did a few years back, but I actually think he’s getting better. There were parts of the last issue of The Twelve that were genuinely Bolland-like in quality. And how long must it take the man to draw a page with this much detail? Can’t be right, surely?
Captain Britain And MI:13 – Paul Cornell
When Paul got this book I emailed him to say “how does it feel to have been given the book that is actually my destiny and birthright?” He replied, “It feels great, thanks!” Bah. I’ve always wanted to write Captain Britain, almost did a few years back but fell at the post with a Marvel pitch. And I’ve always had a soft spot for the Black Knight too. Despite my inherent bitterness Paul’s made this book an enormous amount of fun – the type of comic I wish I could write. He has such a great sense of the noble, good-hearted aspect of super folk that, in a genre awash with dark and gritty, Paul reminds us why we like these characters in the first place. Because they’re heroes.