We do treat you all so well as this episode we have two interviews. First we have a chat with Leonard Sultana from the website An Englishman in San Diego. We discuss his love of comics, the future of DC movies, the San Diego Comic Con and the UK con scene. We also have a chat with Chris Butcher and Andrew Butcher about the Toronto Comic Con and scene over there. We recorded this in October 2017 just before the LICAF at a joyful pub so ignore the background noise.
We talk about two new kick starters, one from The Etherington Brothers and the other Nick Prolix. We also shout out about the first lot of announced guests to the 2018 Lakes International Comic Art Festival… and its good. Keep an eye out too for a brand new show from us… called My Neighbour, it will be a monthly Ghibli based review show.
Mike talks about how his comic tastes have changed and how he’s reading more. In particular he looks at Monstrous. Pete continues with part 5 of Jack Kirby’s life looking at the years 1955 to 1958. A short time frame but a very important one in Jacks career. We close the show with some music from a local band based in Lancaster called Promethium. Some would say you need to bow to the god of metal but I say just rock. The track’s called Shell Shock from their new album Faces of War.
We have a lot of great books to talk about but we can’t fit them all in the podcast so occasionally we will do a review on the website. Please give us any feedback you have.
I started reading Ghost Stories of an Antiquary volume 1 and initially found it hard to get into. The book contains stories based on M.R James work who is often referred too as the master of the English ghost story. The Stories seemed hard to read and i found myself comparing it to horror films and couldn’t find any comparison what so ever. Not one for giving up I went to investigate who M. R James was. His first book of ghost Stories was published in 1904 and his idea of creating a good ghost story must put the reader into the position of saying to him self ‘if I’m not very careful, something of this kind may happen to me!’
After reading about his life and his aims and goals and then considering the time when this was written I went back to the book, cleared my mind of modern horror stories and let myself drift back 100 years ago to a different time.
This changed the whole dynamic of the book. I could see how these stories would be scary to the everyday person taking often basic objects and ideas and adding that scary twist which would make any think twice, especially in an old house crawling around them as they sat and read out the story.
The art is perfect with different artists taking on different stories. It’s very gothic and feels timely for the stories in question. It’s well worth a read but open your mind first and you will get a lot from it. Now… onto volume 2.
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary vol 1 is published by SelfMadeHero and was released in October 2016. The book is written by Leah Moore and John Reppion with artwork from Aneke, Kit Buss, Fouad Mezher, Alister Wood and Francesco Francavilla
Back in the day when I was just a little northern lad I’d sit in my bedroom reading the masterpieces that were Ian Livingstone & Steve Jacksons choose your own Fighting Fantasy books. I remember Deathtrap Dungeon being my first which took me into a world of dungeons and monsters. Over time I saved up and collected most of the books with Freeway Fighter being one of them.
Titan comics is publishing a comic series based on Freeway Fighter and after reading issue one I now want more. As soon as the comic opens it feels very Mad Max as it’s set in an open world ravaged by a virus. The story follows racing driver Bella De La Rosa and her struggles to survive.
The art is fantastic and really gives a feel for the world she is trying to live in and it feels so rugged and desolate you can understand the terror of the world. I look forward to reading more of this series and hopefully more Fighting Fantasy books turned comics in the future.
If you enjoy Fighting Fantasy books check out our other podcast House of Geek where we are reading through an adventure each episode.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival recently announced that this years festival will mark the centennial of Will Eisner’s birth with three exciting projects to celebrate the work and impact he had on the comic industry.
Eisner started supplying strips to comic publishers in 1936, encouraged by his school friend and future Batman creator Bob Kane. He set up a studio with former editor Jerry Iger, employing a staff of comic artists to draw strips for a range of early comic book publishers. The Spirit, Eisner’s most famous and lasting creation premiered in a weekly syndicated Sunday newspaper supplement in June, 1940. Eisner was able to deliver stories to his more mature audience using innovative storytelling techniques, drawing inspiration from cinema and film noir in particular.
After, a stint in the Army during World War II, Eisner continued The Spirit and set up a company producing educational comics, particularly used for training purposes. He produced a number of autobiographical long form comics, helping to popularise the term ‘graphic novel’. He created one of the first major works on comics theory with the publication of ‘Comics & Sequential Art’ in 1985. He continued to produce comics right up to his death in 2005.
The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is commemorating 100 years since Will Eisner’s birth in the following ways:
A broad sheet sized centennial comic, with contributions from contemporary comic greats such as Sean Philips, Ed Brubaker, Jason Latour and many more.
An exhibition at the Brewery Arts Centre of Eisner’s comic artwork from throughout his long career with rare pages and several complete Spirit stories.
A competition for students to illustrate ‘The Spirit of the Lake District’
As we build up to the launch of the podcast we will look at some of our favourite comics from the past. As the show progresses we will no doubt see our tastes change as we read a much more varied selection but for now this is what one of us has enjoyed from the past.
Judgement on Gotham released December 1991
Written by: Alan Grant & John Wagner. Artist: Simon Bisley. Letterer: Todd Klein
When Judgement of Gotham came out I was into both 200AD and Batman so the combination for me was perfect. I was 13 at the time and essentially it was my boyhood combination of my favourite two characters. I remember the build up to the release as well in 2000AD and upon release I promptly marched myself into Lancaster City centre to find my copy and I was not disappointed.
As Judge Death jumps into Gotham via a dimensional jump device he faces off against Batman who kills his body and Death runs off into Gotham. Batman then transported into the world of Mega Coty One were he faces off against one of my favourite characters Mean Machine. Dredd soon shows up and captures Batman but Anderson frees him taking him back to Gotham to find Death, Dredd follows and the story continues.
Every bit of this story is exciting and pulls all the best bits of Batman and Dredd. The art work is stunning and every scene packs a perfect punch of colour and action with the framing bringing every scene out of the comic. Some really memorable scenes stand out too such as Batman punching Dredd or Deaths nightmare. Classic – Ian