Saturday, 29 May 2010

On meeting creators

Went to pick up my comics from Gosh! yesterday and had a brief chat with Mr Salmond. He mentioned that the Chris Ware and Dan Clowes signing had gone well and that they were both nice blokes. I was quite sad to have missed the event, but at the same time I'm not really that fussed about meeting comic creators. I once bumped into Alan Moore at The Tate, I went up and shook his hand and said I enjoyed his work, but that was that. I did go to the Gilbert Shelton signing at Gosh where I got a nice sketch in my Freak Brothers Omnibus and had a bit of a chat with him - you can check out the video proof HERE.

So yeah, Mr Shelton was a lovely old fella, but in the main I really can't be arsed to queue for hours to chat with writers and artists. That's the main reason I haven't bothered with the MCM Expo today. I'm sure it'll be great. I was half tempted to go just to gawp at the cosplaying masses, but I find it hard to get enthused at the thought of standing in line to get Warren Ellis to scrawl his name on a comic when he so clearly doesn't really want to be there.

In truth, as much as I love comics, I find the people who collect them a lot more interesting than those who create them. That's why I enjoy the stinky old marts so much. I'm far more comfortable people watching at The Royal National than I would be trying to make small talk with Jamie McKelvie. I can see the attraction of starting a sketch book, or getting a few commissions done to stick on the wall, but I'd rather be rifling through longboxes of decaying tat than mixing with the great and the good of the comics world.

What a miserable old cunt, eh?

Sorry kids.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Chinese bird with huge melons

That should generate a bit of traffic.

Here's the lady in question...


One of the truly great (not to mention useful) Wikipedia pages, I'm sure you'll agree.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Let's all laugh at Hitler

From Detective Comics #69, November 1942: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby poking fun at Hitler...

Der Fuherer's Steam Bath!
Great stuff!
This is where they got the inspiration for Downfall, you know?

Reprinted in The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told, DC Comics (1990)

Want more Hitler comics? Click the tag below.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Special Guest Appearance - John B does Bristol

As promised, here's John Bishops's report on last weekend's Bristol Comic Con. A big LLC thank you to John for doing this. Enjoy!...

Camera charger broken? Check. MP3 Player not charged up? Check. Phone not charged? Check.
Thoroughly prepared for the Bristol Comic Con I set off.

So as usual it's a sweltering day, perfect for a long journey on a packed train. My only source of amusement is the poor sap who had bought a ticket for the next day and claimed his seat reservation was valid for a month. He had to cough up an eye-watering £119. I managed to wake up seconds before pulling away from my transfer stop narrowly avoiding ending up in Swansea. After another appalling train ride I finally got to Bristol, which is actually a pretty nice looking place- I've been there a few times and never get bored of walking around.

When I get there I'm immediately immersed in a blisteringly hot stinkpit. It always seems the air-con never works on the day that most of the people attending are more interested in being bombarded with cosmic rays than a hot shower.

This time it seemed smaller than ever. It used to be in a big warehouse-sized room, so you could just walk up and down the aisles, but this was spread out across about 5 rooms of varying shape and size, almost like having a convention in your house. I could have missed some of it and not even known. Not much in the way of comics to be honest, unless you enjoy the ramped up prices of Incognito, or slabbed books (don't set me off). There were a few bargain boxes, including a real treat of 10p comics! Yes, nowadays the 25p boxes are dwindling, so a 10p box was a delight. I picked up a few guilty pleasures, and a couple of picks to sell on ebay- Marvel Thundercats #1 which I've sold in the past for about 8 quid, but just looked on ebay now and one just sold for 55p, and the often overlooked Next Men #21 featuring the first mainstream appearance of Hellboy. That goes for anything between 15 and £30. So that's nice.

There were a few artists doing sketches, and I've been after Doug Braithwaite to do a sketch in my book for years now, but he's always well busy. Luckily this year I finally got a headsketch of the Punisher (Braithwaite's run on the title a few years back was fantastic) and as expected was brilliant. I was going to get Gary Erskine to do a sketch, but he had just started a rather intricate Megatron for a little kid. He was a lovely guy, very patient. I managed to snag a photo of a Wonder Woman he'd done for someone.

If you were getting Sean Phillips to draw a sketch for you, why on Earth would you ask for Mr. Fantastic? Admittedly it is beautiful, but come on? Zombie Cap surely!

Sean Phillips

Went to the Chris Claremont talk, which was pretty good although a guy next to me seemed to be unable to resist his stupid little pistachios in the most rustly bag ever. And someone letting their Thunderbirds ringtone go off every ten seconds. When the talk was over I went to ask Chris if he had any words for the London Loves Comics blog. "Great talk Chris, thanks". He walked past. I like to think he didn't hear me, rather than ignore me.

As always, there were a few hardcore geeks who dressed up. Luckily no sign of the absolutely terrifying Silver Surfer in his skintight leotard this year. Would have got a better picture of Rogue here, but her boyfriend was already looking a little irritated.

Bumped into a few of my chums in the small press area, Joel Meadows editor of Tripwire Giovanni Spinella, who I'd illustrated a story for, which was included in 'Lovealiensex' from the Comics Creator's Guild. Dave and Art Goodman, my Square Eyed Stories homeboys with their latest wares (which I was too slack to get anything in this time round) and Christian Wildgoose promoting his upcoming work All good stuff. For some reason, this part of the convention isn't particularly easy to get to, it's round the corner on the fifth floor of a different hotel. Although this seemed to be the main gathering point for those wacky Stormtroopers who seem to haunt every con nowadays. Cue facebook pic of 'me surrounded by stormtroopers'. LOLs all round.

The Goodmans

Christian Wildgoose

Lord Vader

After a gruelling day of stamina-sapping heat I decided to refresh myself in the bar. Camera battery done for, I sat on an empty chair of three round a table. Turns out the two guys who next sat down were Philip Bond (legend) and who sounded like some kind of legal rep for Brian Bolland. He really liked mentioning his name, and just happened to have about his person two original 'Killing Joke' pages. Which were, as expected, amazing. For a split second I wondered if I could find anything to club him over the head as he left the building. My homicidal thoughts were interrupted by a fellow who came to talk to them. I needed another beer so I let him have my chair. He turned out to be Phil Noto, who looked a lot less like James Bond than I'd imagined.

After getting another beer, I sat near a chap who might have been the most rabid Wally Wood fan I've ever met. His name was Graham, and he also self-published comics. Nasty ones. I said I liked the sound of that, so he let me peruse one of his works as he got himself another beer. The very first page has cock and pussy action, and the centre spread features the subtle message 'Hey Cunt Face, fuck your pets, asshole.' It's relatively well drawn, reminiscent of Kev O'Neill by way of Francis Bacon and Jeffrey Dahmer. On drugs. When he came back, I reminded him my train was coming. He generously let me keep his comic, saying the reason no comic shops wanted to stock it was because they didn't understand good work. As I made a run for it he shouted about how the Turner Prize would soon be won by a comic such as his. I didn't turn round.

On the way home there was a massive brawl on the train. I'm already looking forward to 2011.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Bits and Bobs

Greetings! I didn't make yesterday's mart. England was baking and I decided to take the missus and nipper to the country. Much better than hanging around in an unventilated hall with a bunch of old stinkers. I can only imagine the pong in The Royal National. Anyone who attended and survived is welcome to report back!

I also missed the Bristol Comic Convention. I almost went to this, but by the time I found out about it, it had sold out. No matter, Friend of LLC, Mr John "Eyemelt" Bishop was in attendance and has promised to provide a trip report. It'll be up in the next few days. Huzzah!

Talking of friends of this humble bog, everyone should check out Mike Leader's latest bit on his site. It's all about the cracking comic murals at Southwark Library. Great stuff, puts me in mind of THESE so it does.

Tomorrow is a special day at GOSH! Dan Clowes and Chris Ware will be in the store signing books. I love a bit of the old Clowes, me. Sadly I'll have the nipper, so I'm highly doubtful. Gutted. For those who can attend, details are HERE

Friday, 21 May 2010

50 disappointed Halo Jones fans in Deptford. One disturbed six-year-old in America

Yes, I'm spending my son's nap time watching obscure British TV clips on Youtube. Sue me!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Do Da Robot!

Fantastic archive footage from That's Life (of all programmes)

Make Love Not War

The Second World War is over. Soldiers know how to kill men, but they have forgotten how to woo women. Stravon publishers are on hand to ease the transition from battlefield to bedroom...


1945 comic Book ad, reproduced in Hey Skinny: Great ads from the Golden Age of comic books

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A couple of quick reviews

Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1
Time travelling Batman fights cavemen. Best comic I've read in yonks! I love it so much, I've read it three times. It's perfect. Bruce Wayne as some bare-chested Charlton Heston type figure. The nods to Kubrik's 2001. Vandal Savage as pimped up caveman sloping off to his wigwam with a couple of neanderthal hos. Stone age Robin! This is Grant Morrison on top, top pop-culture-referencing form. It's Chris Sprouse laying down the fine-lined chiseled jaws and heaving pecs. It's fat sequential beats and beautiful splash pages. It's GOLD I tell you, GOLD!

The Flash #2
Geoff Johns and Scott Kollins' run on The Flash is one of my all-time favourites, so it pleases me to say that, two issues into this newly numbered book, the ingredients that made that run so good all seem to be in place here. I'd probably have been happier if Wally West had kept the costume, but the return of Barry Allen isn't that much of a drag. At the end of the day, you get a geezer bombing about in the red suit fighting baddies and saving people from collapsing buildings and you get it in a cartoony, kinetically charged style that suits the character down to the ground. Credit to Francis Manapaul for that, he's a very different artist to Kollins, but he shares the ability to put movement and energy down on the page. That's something that was clearly missing from the turgid over-rendered art that we got in Flash: Rebirth. I don't dislike Ethan van Sciver's stuff, but I didn't like what he did on Rebirth, it was just too grand, too static. The same could be said for the writing. I had no idea what was going on in Rebirth. With this new series, everything seems to have been boiled down to basics: Flash running about fighting The Rogues. KERCHINNG! It's great.

Monday, 17 May 2010

NerDgasm VI

In an effort to pull in the norms to Big D's NerDgasm Quiz, The Pillars of Hercules have done a bit of creative rebranding...

Anyone who turned up expecting questions about Kramer vs Kramer or Terms of Endearment would have been sadly disappointed, but no matter, I'm sure they would still have left happy, because it goes without saying that last night's quiz was a treat. New faces, old faces, an argument over the original Defenders line-up (whatever anyone says, John B was right - The Silver Surfer wasn't on the team), a chance for me to discover that I've stored the theme tune to TJ Hooker in some dark recess of my brain, prizes for everyone, (we scored some fine second-hand FF books and a vile statue of a barbarian on a mound of severed heads), and, above all, laughs. Lots of laughs!

A couple of people saw the plug on The Gosh blog, turned up, teamed up (with Dave's brother, Little Ad') and won! One fella wandered in from the coffee shop next door and enjoyed himself so much that he left vowing to bring new recruits to the next one, and the LLC sponsored team boasted a record seven members.

Given that it was pissing down with rain, turnout was good. Hopefully even more of you will come to the next one. As ever, I'll let you know when it is.

It really is a spanking night. In what other drinking establishment can you sup your ale to the strains of C.H.I.P.S. and The Gonk?

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Spotted today

Gold raygun bolted to the door of a derelict electricity sub-station in Hackney...

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

NerDgasm VI is this Sunday!

Only one man asks tougher questions than Big Dave F...

And he's dead, which makes Dave Number One!

The last NerDgasm was a blast. This one promises to be even bigger. There's nowt interesting to do at home on a Sunday night anyway, so come on: get yourselves down to The Pillars of Hercules and pit your wits against London's most ripped quizmaster!

It all gets going at 7pm. See you there!

Monday, 10 May 2010


Scan from Starlord Annual 1981

Friday, 7 May 2010

Shopping List

Some good stuff out this week. Quite a big shopping list for me, which is a shame as I've hardly had a chance to make a dent on last week's stack. Some serious catching up to do then. Here's a few of the floppies I'll be adding to my teetering "To Read" pile...

Roberson and Allred's I Zombie #1, which sounds a teensy bit like a rip off of the BBC show Being Human, but has received some positive buzz and looks beautiful. I'm as burnt out by zombie comics as the next man, but this promises to put a fresh spin on a tired genre, and with that creative team I think it deserves a shot.

Brightest Day #1, which is what it is - namely another DC event book of no intellectual worth in which Geoff Johns seeks to tie together jumbled continuity and turn the clocks back to what he perceives to be a happier time for DC comics. It's a trend that's obviously gone down well with a lot of readers, but which has alarmed others. I'm on record as a fan of Johns' work on Green Lantern and The JSA, so I'll be buying. Have to say though, I can see where the critics are coming from. For a fantastic, eye-opening article from one of the alarmed contingent, check THIS out.

Hellboy in Mexico, a one shot set in 1950s Mexico written by Mike Mignola and drawn by the legendary Rich Corben. Corben has been on strong form of late, producing some stunning work in Conan and Hellboy. I usually trade wait on the Hellboy books, but I think I'll grab this now.

Sweet Tooth #9 Jeff Lemire's weird and wonderful comic about the adventures of a Deer Boy and a bounty hunter in a post-apocalyptic America. I'm not suggesting you pick it up with this issue, but the first trade comes out this week and if you haven't been reading, it's well worth picking up.

There's loads more good comics including new issues of Conan, Jonah Hex and Batman and Robin. And, if you missed it last week then I heartily recommend you pick up The DC Showcase of Dial H For Hero. It's a slimmer volume than the usual showcases, but it's absolutely crammed full of bonkers Silver Age goodness. Well worth £7 of anyone's hard earned.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Giant Talking Thieving Ants FTW!

Scan from House of Mystery #163, December 1966. Reprinted in DC Showcase Presents Dial H For Hero

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Charity Shop Comics - AIDS Awareness

Here's an extract from one of the finest introductions to a comic I've ever read...

WTF?! Talk about tenuous analogies!

It's a masterfully inappropriate start to the 1993 comic curio, AIDS Awareness, that I found lurking in the corner of Oxfam this morning.

While the people behind this book undoubtedly had their hearts in the right place, you have to laugh at the tone of the piece. Never mind that cracking intro, check out the Simon Bisley cover...

So, that's a terrified bloke with two syringes hanging out of his arm, catching a reach-around from a skeleton while a gigantic sperm heads for his crotch and three ghostly condoms float about in the background. Magic! It's an image that screams AIDS! at you isn't it?

Course it is!

It's also an image that has absolutely nothing to do with the story inside, a reworking of A Christmas Carol in which some bloke returns home from work to this...


The dribble running out the side of his mouth is an AIDS giveaway, but judging from dad's reaction it came on quick. His son probably looked fine at breakfast.
Your eyes don't deceive you by the way, that is Dave Gibbons artwork. He's one of a number of big-name creators who donated their time and talent to this enterprise. Later on in the story Bryan Hitch, Charlie Adlard and John Ridgeway pitch in with a few pages.

Then there's a really odd pin-up from Kevin O'Neill in the back...

John Pain, Guilty as Hell? What exactly is this? Some vengeful AIDS demon?
Again, seriously: WTF?

To round things off, there's a huge pic of a bloke with a gun and a badge that says "Spunk" on it, and a competition...

At first glance it appears to be a competition to "Win AIDS". This is mildly amusing in itself, but it's the questions that really get me. Even allowing for the fact that it appears in an AIDS Awareness comic, question C is right up there as a jaw-droppingly inappropriate teaser!

Surely the most tasteless comic competition of all time.


For more charity shop finds, click the Charity Shop Comics label below.