Showing posts with label chat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chat. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Daleks Snowstorm 1965

The Daleks animated snowstorm 1965.
Not really anything to do with comics but I know a few of our regulars are fans of Doctor Who. And I love old memorabilia.
This 1965 snowglobe is pretty scarce and few collectors were not sure it even existed. But there it is. In all it's gaudy glory.
Bryan, one of our lovely regulars, mentioned he had one and I just had to see it for myself. It's in great condition. The Dalek at the front glides from side to side and the two little ones at the back still wobble about after all this time. I never would have picked up one of these but any toy surviving 45 years in this condition, it deserves another look. From our jolly old BBC TV a good old British artifact.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

In brightest day..

If you haven't been in recently, you might not have seen our new first floor. Lots of room for the comics to breathe in all the lovely extra light they deserve.

Downstairs is the new family section with all the great fairy tales and adventure stories.

Please drop in and have a wander. We look forward to seeing you.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Swoon Now! Sam Hiti goodness

We've drawn attention to him before but just arrived in the shop this week is a whole caseload of our new favourite artist; Sam Hiti. Firstly we have the prologue for his current ongoing sci-fi project: Death Day. Yes I know we said it's available online but not only are we talking about an artist whose work is worth owning but the incredibly generous Hiti has sketched a unique picture on the cover of each one (and we ordered more than a few copies). Have a look at the clip at the bottom of the post for an insight.

We also have volumes one and two of his bits and pieces collection Goulash containing strips and sketches of madness, monsters and movie influences. Finally (and my personal favourite) is El Largo Tren Oscuro - The Long Dark Train - a landscape book filled with nightmare visions during a surreal train journey. All books cost between £5 and £7.50.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Swoon Here! Mazzucchelli & Shaw

Happy days! Comics Journal have posted the lengthy interview between Dash Shaw and David Mazzucchelli as featured in the latest edition of the regular publication.

"I don’t see a lot of mainstream comics, except what my students are showing me, but it seems to me that in a lot of those comics, especially what’s been influenced by television and movie-writing, I see a lot of panels of people in costumes that look like they should be running and jumping and saving people from burning buildings actually standing around a lot, or sometimes the same image photocopied several times while they’re just talking"

"Working with Paul Karasik really helped too, because he thinks about comics as a combination of symbols, and about the ways that you can express abstractions on a page. Working with him and developing a course helped me rediscover the graphic things that comics can do really well. It doesn’t have to be just showing this illusion of time and movement from panel to panel to panel. Comics can do other kinds of very interesting things."

Indeed they can. The Comics Journal #300 is on sale now and features several star interviews including Frank Quitely & Dave Gibbons, Denny O'Neil & Matt Fraction, Jaime Hernandez & Zak Sally as well as Shaw/Mazzucchelli. £11

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Taking law to the lawless

How awesome is this? Greg Staples as Judge Dredd? He makes for a perfect young Joe dredd. These costume tests were made for a Judge Dredd Based fan film "Judge Minty" currently in production. Amazing costume props. I would wear that to work everyday.
Also check out the 'Minty' sketch by Mick McMahon back in February

It was 2000AD that originally got me into comics but it was Judge Dredd that made me a fan. I can't help but be excited to see this getting made. I think they have picked the perfect story to work on. 'Judge Minty' from 2000Ad 147 by John Wagner and Mick McMahon (Complete case files vol.3). Read more about it and follow the updates on the Judge Minty Blogspot and The official web page

Judge J.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Swoonful News! Learn to read with Galactus.

If reading is to lead to any meaningful knowledge or comprehension, readers must approach a text with an understanding of the relevant social, linguistic and cultural conventions. And if you really consider how the pictures and words work together in consonance to tell a story, you can make the case that comics are just as complex as any other kind of literature.”

Carol L. Tilley, a professor of Library & Information Science based in America has come to the conclusion that in terms of literacy, comics are as good for children as traditional reading books. It's worth taking a look at her summery which touches on the stigma attached to the word comics and (shock) criticism of publishers.

Image taken from Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith (Toon Books £10).

Monday, 31 August 2009

Presuming on his Senses! Can it really be you Dave's Comics blog?

So we've been without the internet for a fraction over two weeks. Two weeks. It felt like being dropped in the middle of the middle of the ocean in a little wooden boat. Exactly like it probably.

But anyway we're back on now so what have we all missed talking about? August brought a couple of books worth mentioning. Essex County collected the brilliant Essex County trilogy (surprise) by rising star Jeff Lemire. It's a heart wrenching, beautifully observed nostalgia piece that burrowed into my soul and found a little home for itself. Lemire had another release entitled The Nobody - a modern take on HG Wells' Invisible Man and has a new series due to start this week called Sweet Tooth from Vertigo. It's really worth having a look at this creator who has a gift for capturing the stories of dislocated individuals.

Also worth looking for is author Ian Rankin's first graphic novel entitled Dark Entries which features one John Constantine. Very positive word in the shop about this. Already mentioned in the previous blog entry, The Gigantic Robot lived up to expectations proving to be surprising, beautifully drawn, simple but profound. Finally, James Jean's latest portfolio - Kindling - tiptoed bashfully into the shop. Fans of his work will not need another word said.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Asterios Polyp - I can't leave it alone doctor!

A cracked record I may be but this brave soul surely deserves a mention. He's attempted to unpick as much of the book as he has the strength for and given the world study notes for the inevitable time it makes its way onto the English A Level syllabus. How's this for an example:
Page 6, Panel 1. This is Asterios Polyp. The name, Asterios, is probably derivative of the word “asterism.” An asterism is a pattern of stars seen in Earth's sky that is not a constellation (such as Ursa Major). Their mostly simple shapes and few stars make these patterns easy to identify (which Asterios Polyp likes), and thus particularly useful to those just learning to orient themselves when viewing the night sky. (

Hat's off sir.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sunday Bunnies

An interesting visitor came by the shop today...

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Asterios Polyp

If you're still a little unsold on the idea of taking a look at Asterios Polyp, or if you've already bought a read a copy and would like to know more background about the book, there's an excellent article on the Publishers Weekly website. David Mazzucchelli has kept a dignified distance from publicising Asterios Polyp but there's an interview with Dan Frank and Chip Kidd who were involved in the publishing process.

Get in the know...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Swoon Now! The Inkstuds debate!

Flick over to the wonderful Inkstuds website where Robin McConnell has interviewed Scott McCloud, Matt Madden, journalist Jeet Heer and then Eddie Campbell on the subject of comics as a form of media. How can we categorize what constitutes a comic? Is the term even relevant given that it's also used to describe a comedian? Where does the history of comics fit in with human history and the development of art?

Most thought-provoking is the Heer interview who suggests that though there has always storytelling in picture form, it wasn't until time was measured with clocks and watches that people became interested in breaking down moments of time in panels.

Most arresting is Eddie Campbell's which cuts down the whole intellectual debate with a big bloody knife.
Q: What do you think is the purpose of modern comics?
A: To feed baloney to Hollywood.

A highly recommended listen.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Recount! -The Best of the Best (but what about...?)

Posh frocks ready for THE awards ceremony of the year dahhhling. The Will Eisner Award nominations for 2009 have been announced (full list here) and the titles judged to be most laudable were Skim, Alan's War, Umbrella Academy, Fables and Madame Xanadu which all recieved nominations in four different catagories.

Best Continuing Series threw up nominations for Fables, Thor, All-Star Superman, Naoki Urasawa's Monster and Usagi Yojimbo. And for Best New Series we hope you're all familiar with Air, Echo, Invincible Iron Man, Unknown Soldier and Madame Xanadu. Come to the shop for your prize of a sloppy golden kiss if you've been buying all these (otherwise hedge your bets and add them all to your standing order before they announce the winners).

Best Graphic Album (that's "graphic novel" to me) nominations for the year are Alan's War, Paul Goes Fishing, Skim, Swallow Me Whole and Three Shadows. All of which have been on our centre table at some point so no excuses for missing them.

We'd love to hear from you about the titles - comics or books - you felt should be winning best of for last year. Personally, I was surprised Bottomless Belly Button didn't get a mention... SLS

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Looking Ahead

We're not usually one for commenting too much about Marvel, DC and the land of superheroes. That's not a value judgement of course, it's just that there are a lot of sites devoted to this subject so we thought it would be good to write about books that don't get blogged about as much.

Something did strike me as odd from the New York comic convention recently that I thought would be worth highlighting. Marvel announced that each issue of the new Spider-Woman comic written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Alex Maleev (both heavyweights as they won an Eisner for their work on Daredevil) would be seen on Apple itunes first before then being published as a regular comic.

Not a bolt from the blue you may say. Web comics have been gaining momentum for a while now. But Marvel plans for Spider-Woman to be a "digital motion comic" complete with moving images and sound. Actors are to be hired and music scored for the project.

Bendis was quoted as saying "we were wondering what the 'language' of comics would become, free from the confines of paper". This is a startling quote. A big name superhero comic book writer bemoaning the confines of paper. Is he really suggesting that comic books are really just second best format?

Bendis rightly points out that his generation got into comics by hanging out at the mall as kids and buying comics and that nowadays kids are more likely to hang out on itunes. What if his extrapolation is correct regarding the potential audience and the project becomes a huge hit with new consumers?

If people are impressed with the product they will be tempted to emulate it. How long would it take for creators of so-called alternative comics to decide their work would benefit from a touch of music, a voiceover, maybe a simple movement in the art?

And at exactly what point does a comic become a cartoon? SLS

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Thinking About The Watchmen

At the moment you could be excused for thinking that that the world is divided into two people: those that have read Watchmen and those that want to. It's always been a best-seller but since the trailer for the movie first did the rounds earlier in the year, worldwide sales have spiked to phenomenal heights. To give you some idea, a look at Diamond sales figures for America this year had shown Watchmen selling 2,000-3,000 copies a month. The number one book each month is often pushing 10,000 and is never the same book two months in a row. In July Watchmen recorded sales of 19,000 and in August it was 43,000.

Two things strike me when I consider this: Firstly, people that have never read a graphic novel before are reading this book. Think about that. Your only experience of reading comics is when you were a kid and now you're reading a complex piece of work like Watchmen. So what percentage of those readers are going to find the experience a revelation? How many people are going to be hungry for more? What's next?

Which makes me think that it's such a shame that once again Alan Moore is distancing himself from a movie. Here we have the chance for a highly respected author to step into the limelight and champion the medium. His name should be synonymous with the project. He should be on television and in the newspapers telling everyone about the potential of sequential art urging people to read Promethea, V for Vendetta and From Hell. And then to read ... who? Windsor McKay? George Herriman? Daniel Clowes? Mike Mignola? These are names that people should be aware of if they have any interest in the medium, just as we all know classic authors regardless of whether we have read anything by them.

The second point is that Watchmen the movie will be the first graphic novel adaptation that a significant portion of the audience will have already read. Not simply familiar with the character, as with Spider-Man and Batman and co. but actually judging the movie based on another level other than just as a piece of entertainment.

No real point to make on that other than its a milestone reached. And that the pressure's really on Zack Snyder. SLS

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Fabulous Signing

The Gilbert Shelton signing of his new Freak Brothers Omnibus was an all-round success which even drew the interest of The Argus so watch out for a photo. Mr Shelton was genial, patiently signing and drawing pictures for all-comers.

A big thank you to Gilbert Shelton and all involved. - SS

Gilbert Shelton signed a lot of books. Everyone got their very own sketch, and seem to walk out the store with a great big smile on their face. And even after all that he was kind enough to sign the remaining books in the store for us. So, we have a limited stock of signed copies of the Omnibus available. Pop in or give us a call for a copy.
On the monitor we ran the trailer for the Freak Brothers animation which you can see at Grass Roots The Movie web page. And again a huge thank you to Gilbert Sheldon for a great day. -JM

Friday, 8 August 2008

Are you speaking bat?

Have you seen the Batman movie?.. what a silly question, of course you have.
Over a million views on this Batman spoof, that makes it almost as popular as the film.
But it's funny because it's true.


Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Final Crisis #1

Is that it?! It wasnt especially bad, its just that everything seemed so minor and underplayed. I understand the whole hinting-at-dark-things-to-come thing but I need some kind of hook or ... something. We had a few lines of foreboding dialogue, thunderous skies, characters I needed to research (did you get who the guy was at the end?), a major death shown in such a minor way I doubted it, and a brief glimpse of The Big Three who were fairly poorly rendered. And talking of Batman, when hes involved in two major storylines isnt it worth making it clear how the continuity works? Theres no excuse when its the same writer for both.

Well all be back for issue 2 because what else ya gonna do? But after a lack-lustre Countdown I felt I needed a Big Moment for DCs Big Event comic. If Martian Manhunters death was supposed to be it, there seemed to be almost zero effort put in to making it so.

A little more sizzle with the steak please guys.


Issue 2 available 26th June UK

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

What the skrull?..

Ms. Marvel #25

Okay, I read Ms. Marvel and New Avengers and both have a skrull reveal in it, BUT rather than replacing the characters (Daredevil & Ms. Marvel) the skrull imitators have been running around AS WELL AS the originals. Wo, wo, wo. That’s not what BMB promised us!!

We were promised deep undercover skrulls with shocking reveals that send us flicking through our back issues. Not mistaken identities and “which one of you is the real Spider-Man?!” nightmares!

Tune in this Thursday for the answers. Don’t let us down, Brian ….

Friday, 21 March 2008

Back to black... and white

Thank you Marvel for meeting the retailer half way and supplying an almost weekly Amazing Spider-Man. You've got to admit, if you're reading Spider-Man, it's nice to not have to wait a whole month for the next installment. But does it go far enough? I'd like to see an experiment that takes a leaf out of the weighty Manga book - let's go black & white!

Weekly, black & white comics that are then colored for the graphic novel thus the production process is quicker (& maybe cheaper) and the collection becomes a more desirable product.

And we could have fun coloring it in ourselves!