The Twelve Blogs of Christmas: Five

I’ve just put up details of the grand prize in our Daily Telegraph short story contest on Facebook. The first prize is the original, framed, art of one of the three illustrations that accompany the story. The winner may pick any one of the three. Overseas winners may wait until the Daily Telegraph place the illustrations online in order to choose their favourite. The art will be signed by me, Mike, inker David Roach and colourist James Offredi, and it will then be delivered anywhere in the world.

There’s still time to enter, at:

I’m loving the response. It’s a very silly, Christmassy sort of contest!

Talking of which, my favourite comment on the whole Harry Sullivan/Giant Clam petition comes from one Candice, who just says ‘hot’. Well, it takes all sorts, Candice.

Now, here’s the meat of today’s blog, this lovely image, with thanks to the wonderful Molly Lazer at Marvel, who sorted out the clearances for me. This is a page from my not yet announced new project at Marvel. It’s very much a tease, in that this page doesn’t feature the lead character/s from the title. And I’m betting you won’t be able to tell, without the context, what’s going on. All I’ll say is that we’re seeing ‘cuts’ between three different scenes on this one page, and that there’s no Marvel continuity involved. But it’s a chance to show off the skills of the wonderful artist involved, who, erm, I don’t actually know if I can name yet, but will credit tomorrow if I can! Here we go:

Go on, what do you make of that? Oh, I love comics!

I did, after all, not mention a couple of my favourite things in the blog devoted to that. One of which was the I, Fanboy Pick of the Week Podcast. This is a podcast from three chaps who follow a simple format. They take turns to pick the best one of all the week’s comics, and then they talk about it. They know how to run a radio show, they keep the humour moving (worse thing about other podcasts, minutes of people laughing at themselves), they follow a wide field of titles and they’re moderate and thoughtful in their critique. Well, usually. Mind you, they know nothing of manga apart from one title about the history of Pot Noodle (no, really), and one of them has a bizarre hatred of pixies, elves and fairies. But I do commend them to you. They live at:

They certainly fill the gap while I pine for the long-gone The Week in Whedon.

I haven’t yet picked up Garth Ennis’ Dan Dare, because I haven’t been near a comic shop, but from the samples he’s placed online, it looks absolutely perfect, a worthy successor to the Frank Hampson originals which are so dear to me. I love Garth’s war comics, which, while representing the horrors involved, don’t disgrace people like my Dad, for whom that horror was everyday experience. Dan’s safe in his hands, I think.

The other thing I should mention is The Prestige. It’s become one of my favourite movies. Above and beyond being a superb film about magicians, that delights with its performances and reversals, it’s also a tremendous movie about male rivalry. I mention it on Joe Gordon’s blog’s Best of the Year feature, which I’m sharing with (comic writers) Leah Moore and John Reppion:

Today’s link is for the downloadable fanzine Shooty Dog Thing, now available from Brax. It includes a tribute to the late, lamented fan, author and critic Craig Hinton:

Anyhow, tomorrow will hopefully bring one of my more solid essays. Until I see you then, Cheerio!

6 Response to "The Twelve Blogs of Christmas: Five"

  • SK Says:

    Oh dear. I honestly didn't intend to pass comment upon all of these, but if you will keep bringing up the topics...

    I approached the new Dan Dare, having heard about it late, with trepidation: someone less appropriate than Ennis to write Dan Dare, while still being British, I could not conceive (and I can conceive of some colonials who might be more).

    (Ennis comes from down the road from me, did you know? Not that our paths have ever crossed, but I have heard from those who worked in the local comic shops what an unpleasant man he is. Not that that has anything to do with his work, of course, but that won't stop me from mentioning it as a rhetorical ad hominem).

    Anyway, I admit I haven't read his war comics -- perhaps he has changed -- but in general his work seems to me to be based on tearing down, rather than building up. It's always dodgy to canvass the opinions of the dead, but I rather think that
    I can hazard a guess as to what might have been the view of Frank Hampson (whose magnum opus, remember, wasn't Dan Dare but his illustrated life of Jesus) on Preacher.

    When it came to it I wasn't proved wrong, either: I'll let you discover why for yourself, but the setting of the new Dan Dare comic is not just unrecognisable as Hampson's, but antithetical to it. The Britain in Hampson's comics could never have taken the course which Ennis's did.

    And before anyone takes the easy criticism, this is not an example of what was mentioned yesterday, of disliking drama. Ennis has fundamentally misunderstood what Dare, and Dare's world, is about: it's about exalting humanity in general, and Britain in particular, and showing what we can achieve with courage, dedication and sacrifice. It's about reaching for the stars, and achieving them -- where all Ennis seems to be interested in writing about, on the evidence of the first issue, is being stuck in the mud with no way out.

    Dare as drama would be something I'd welcome; but to use the Dare name to sell clumsy satire is, well, it's just not on.

  • The Sword Is Drawn Says:

    I'm glad somebody else appreciates The Prestige. Another genuinely good movie which seemed to pop onto my local multiplex for a week, and then disappear before I got a chance to see it. I had to wait for that one on DVD, but I'm glad I DID get around to seeing it in the end. It has that mixture of rivalry, sorcery and showmanship which can't really fail - and can almost make you forgive David Bowie's accent being that little bit off... ;-)

    Interesting artwork. Looks like action and adventure, in a not-necessarily superhero based form? Rain-forest trees, underground chambers, and Indian temples all on one page? Curious.

    The art style looks solid, too. Consider my interest piqued.

  • Lee Whiteside Says:

    Nice art--some of the panels are making me think of the Jungle Book-Kipling, not Disney.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Well, we shall just have to disagree about Garth, SK. Spot on in some ways, Sword, and ah, Lee, ah!

  • SK Says:

    As long as we don't disagree about Dan, that's fair.

  • SK Says:

    ... but in case evidence is needed that I'm right (surely everyone takes it on trust by now?), issue two has the satire getting blunter and Dan going in for casual blasphemy. Really captured the essence of the character there, Garth.