Undeserved Award Nomination and Second Cap Collection

First up, I'm very proud to be included in the nominations for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's 20th Annual Media Awards:

Proud, but also sheepish.  Young Avengers Presents, the miniseries written by several different writers, is nominated as a whole in the Outstanding Comic Book category.  Unfortunately, Billy and Teddy, the Young Avengers' gay couple, didn't appear in my issue.  So I'm an utter fraud on that ballot.  (But I can feel a glow by association with Brian Reed and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who did script them.)  We're up against Whedon and Simone, amongst others, so we're in good company.  Go, Brian and Roberto!

Secondly, I'm pleased to announce that, following the sell out and reprinting of their first Captain Britain and MI-13 trade paperback, Panini will be releasing volume two, Hell Comes to Birmingham, collecting #5-9, in the UK on June 5th, for a mere £8.99.  I'll once more be providing an introduction.

A friend of mine said the other day that my blog used to be 'the life and work of', but has recently become just the work.  Sorry about that.  It's the nature of my life at the moment.  I'm aiming to publish some more fun travelogue stuff when I go on my US trip.  Until next time, Cheerio. 

Cap Sells Out Again, NYCC, Interview, Radio 4 Forms Up

I'm very pleased to hear, from my editor at Panini, that the collected edition of the first four issues of Captain Britain and MI-13: Secret Invasion, has already sold out and will shortly be going to a second printing.  It seems we're currently at number five in the UK graphic novel sales charts!  I'm thoroughly chuffed.

The first of those interviews about Cap that I mentioned is now up, at Comic Book Resources:


And I’ve been told my schedule for the New York Comic Convention.  I’ll be doing a signing at the Marvel booth from noon until 1pm on the Friday, and that same day, from 4.45pm, I’ll be part of Marvel’s Dark Reign panel.  Which is also very pleasing.

And finally, on a different subject, the Radio 4 science fiction season of which my adaptation of Iain Banks’ ‘The State of the Art’ is part is forming up, including plays by Kim Newman, and my old Circular Time co-writer Mike Maddox, who’s got Derek Jacobi in his!


It is indeed all rather lovely at the moment.  Hope to see some of you in New York!  Cheerio!

Cap Podcast Interview and Mighty Avengers News

Here's the first of those interviews I mentioned, with the good folk at The Comic Addiction:


Which is also available on ITunes. It's obvious that we were have a really good time, I think.

And dear old Dan Slott tells me that Cap, Dane and Jac will be popping up for a cameo in Mighty Avengers #22!  I love it when these characters get referenced in the wider Marvel universe.  Cheerio!

Meet your New Rulers

Some new Marvel publicity for #10 of Captain Britain and MI-13. Expect lots of interviews in the next few days. I'll link to as many as I can find. But ooh, isn't that lovely? Cheerio!

Photos from the Signing

From Forbidden Planet in London the other day, taken by Danie Ware and Steve Colgan...

I think I look best in the far distance. I had a lovely time, good to meet so many of you, and thanks to Danie for organising it.

Cap Signing, Dick Nomination, NYCC

First off, I hope to see some of you at my Captain Britain signing, tomorrow (Thursday) night at Forbidden Planet in London, from 6pm:

If you're a regular around here, please say hello.  The trade of the first four issues, Captain Britain: Secret Invasion from Panini is all over the place in the UK, and a rather nice price, too.  That's as close as I get to the hard sell.  

Secondly, congratulations are in order to Lou Anders, editor of Fast Forward 2, the anthology in which I've got that story, 'Catherine Drewe'.  The anthology's been nominated for the prestigious Philip K. Dick Award, which is given for paperback original SF:

We'll learn the winner in April.  I'm really pleased for Lou and the other writers with stories in the anthology.  I have to say (and I mean, I have to say) I would love to have a small share of a Dick, even if it meant that I couldn't have the entire Dick sitting on my mantlepiece.  I'll definitely be asking Lou if I can at least touch his.  (How often do you think those involved have blogged that sort of thing?  Yes, almost always.)

Finally, I hear I'm going to be on at least one of the Marvel panels at the New York Comic Convention, and will be signing stuff, so I hope to see some of you there, also.  And, I can't tell you where yet, but Cap and co. will be showing up for a cameo in another Marvel book later this year.  On Sunday I've doing three interviews in a row about the comic, possibly four, so we're keeping the ball rolling.  Hope you like the new issue when you see it today or tomorrow, and until tomorrow night, Cheerio!

For Your Consideration, and Much Stuff

It's Hugo Award nomination season again, and this year, I'd just like to mention that I've had two short stories published in the time period in question, those being 'Michael Laurits is: Drowning' in Eclipse 2 and 'Catherine Drewe', which you can read here -

from Fast Forward 2.  Yes, it's a long shot, but you never know.  And it's good to join in with all my friends who are also mentioning what they have in contention this time round.  I'd also like to mention David Louis Edelman's MultiReal for Best Novel, Sean Williams' Cenotaxis for Best Novella, Chris Roberson's Death on the Crosstime Express and Ian McDonald's An Eligible Boy for Best Novelette, and Doctor Who: 'Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead' for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.  (Let's make it four out of four for Moffat.)  My picks for Best Editor will wander across Lou Anders, Chris Roberson and George Mann in the two categories.  I really want this to be (and suspect it could be) John Picacio's year for Best Artist -

and there's a selection of reasons why.  And I hope that the new category of Best Graphic Story goes to volume 11 of Fables, War and Pieces.  But if you want to vote for Cap... Anyway, it's just good to feel that yearly excitement starting up again.

In other news, Captain Britain: Secret Invasion, the collected issues 1-4, is now available in all good comic shops (and loads of bookshops) on this side of the pond, and I'll be signing copies next Thursday night at Forbidden Planet in London.  

Here's seven pages of lovely Leonard Kirk storytelling from issue 9, the end of 'Hell Comes to Birmingham', which will be out that same day over here:

And I really liked this blog, in response to Captain Britain now being on Twitter, that speculated what the other members of MI-13 would be like if they did it:

(I agree about Jac.)

And finally, Uncle Neil brings to my attention this cutest of all possible Scarecrow toys...

Aww!  Who's a cute little scarecrow, then?  Who wants to attack small children?  You do!  Yes, you do!  Aww!  (I can't wait to get one of those.)

All sorts of lovely things are happening at the moment, at a rate which still defies analysis.  I worked on either side of popping over to Newport in Wales today, where, before getting myself a new passport (it's where the British passport office is), I found my two favourite things in one.  Not only was there a covered market, and I love a covered market, this one had a comic shop in it!  So I got issue three of Indiana Jones and some pies.  

Anyway, must get on, so until next time, Cheerio!

Cap Twitter and Two Appearances

Well, that's made the life of Matt Smith, the editor of 2000AD, more complicated.  I like the look of the young chap, myself.  And if Moffat thinks he's the one, that's good enough for me.  It's pleasing that a lot of the internet seems to agree.  (I've had a few folk says 'what bit of the internet are you reading?' but those are the ones who live right up next to one of the small knots of loud protest, or are hearing mostly themselves: the web in general seems happy to wait and see.) 

I have a couple of things to mention.  I'm blogging loads lately, without really meaning to, but life seems to have sped up.  Firstly, if you're on Twitter, Captain Britain himself is now posting daily, on an official basis:

Do check him out.  Secondly, on the Monday night after the New York Comic Convention, that is February 9th, I'll be meeting up with the Doctor Who New York group:

At their monthly get together at the Peculier Pub (sic), which is at 145 Bleecker Street, in Greenwich Village.  So do pop in if you're in town.  

And finally, I'd like to remind people of the Cap signing I'm doing at London's Forbidden Planet on January 15th.  I'll mention it again nearer the time.  Until then, Cheerio!

Nervous Anticipation

Well, this afternoon really is fandom as pop music.  The whole of Britain is waiting to be told, via giant screens in major cities, who the new Doctor Who is.  So many status updates counting down the hours.  And that familiar tension and fear, that fandoms always feel, before each episode, each new season, now gifted to the general British population.  It was not always like this.  I learnt about Peter Davison from BBC Radio 2, standing in my parents' kitchen.  I learnt about Colin from a fanzine editor over the phone.  I learnt about Sylvester from a phone call in the little box at the end of my corridor at college.  'No Mum,' I said, 'there's already been a new one.'  I learnt about Paul McGann through nefarious means.  I learnt about Chris via Russell calling from the back of a London taxi.  And I can't actually remember how I learned about David, which is a bit of a shock. So this is a tremendous thing for the production team to do, a superb bit of theatre, the brand continuing to rule the world.  It feels to me like the little hometown band dear to my heart is now playing stadiums.  I can only applaud.  I do wonder, though, if this is why we've seen an upswing in anti-geekery lately, in nerd name-calling.  This show has made everyone a Doctor Who fan.  Who will display fannish traits.  It's made everyone into a geek who knows the names of fictional planets.  And the thing people hate most in other people is what they're uncomfortable with in themselves.  But still, it's like someone had three wishes on our behalf.  (And if Russell did, I hope he saved one for himself and one for the Pope.)  Can you feel it in the pit of your stomach?  That tension, that fear, that anticipation?  That's fandom, that is.  And today that crowd in the football stadium... they're all feeling it too.

I should add in passing, and I'm getting a little sheepish now about doing this so many times, but the guys at Comic Book Resources were kind enough to name Captain Britain and MI-13 as one of their top ten comics of the year, in a list of one hundred:

I'm flattered to be in such company.  And thanks to everyone who took part in the Kate Bush poll.  I'm glad to see the current album rallied towards the end.  Maybe I should have listed the two discs together.  A big win for Hounds, with love for The Dreaming and The Red Shoes also.  

Until after the big announcement, then, Cheerio!

Quiz Answers and Winners

Hmm.  I may have made that a bit too hard.  First off, here are the answers (and I really must avoid the temptation to write this bit in the voice of Kenneth Horne)...

1: Many of you got this, the Doctor and the Red Skull have both been, in their respective languages, known as 'John Smith'.

2: Captain Midlands is 'Rambling' Sid Ridley, the nickname from Rambling Sid Rumpo of Round the Horne, the surname from dear old Arnold Ridley, the actor in Dad's Army.

3: I'll take 'The Long Game' for a companion throwing up, but I was actually thinking of 'The Sensorites', in which Ian is given, off screen, a poison antidote that's designed to make him do that.

4: The rather self-aggrandising answer to this one is that me, Toby, Rob and Moffat are the only ones who've been Hugo nominated for all of their Who episodes.  Several other Who writers have created other series, notably Russell!

5: The name Gillian Anderson is indeed mentioned, spookily, in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

6: My local MP is Ed Vaizey, and was thus interested in asking about Robin Hood, where the Sherrif shares his surname.  See, you could have got that.  Possibly.

7: Steve Wright is the bassist in Stafford, Wright and Reynolds.  I have no idea how anyone got that, and I'd love to know!

8: I was indeed seated with the utterly charming Bill Oddie and Xenia Seeberg, who was in Lexx.

9: The name of the planet, in that mad Fortean story, is Serpo.  I picked that one because I thought it would take some serious internet skills to find the answer, so well done.

10: Being an archaeologist from the future, Bernice Summerfield has only got a partial record to go on, and thus once decided that the most important musical act of 20th Century Earth was the Wee Papa Girl Rappers.  It's mentioned in a couple of the BF anthologies.

11: In the world of Mushishi, one can indeed be literally reborn by getting your time eaten by the mushi, and becoming an embryo again.  Everyone who went for it got it.

12: Under the byline Maria Palmer I wrote the Leo volume for a series of zodiac themed YA novels.  I see what people are getting at by saying that the book was about all the signs of the zodiac, but I also said there were no trick questions.  And I didn't ask what name I used.

13: In The Discontinuity Guide, in the 'Sensorites' entry, I thought the letters 'INEER' on a scrap of uniform indicated that the former wearer was a member of an organisation called INEER, and not, as is more likely, an engineer.  

14: The broadsheet newspaper Kate Bush April Fool hoax had it that her Who-themed album was going to be called An Unearthly Child.

15: The first Marvel comic that Ron from I,Fanboy ever read was Excalibur #19.

16: James Hadley Chase wrote No Orchids for Miss Blandish.  Murray Smith wrote 'No Orchids for Missing Blandish' for Strangers.  

17: The oldest, credited on screen, writer of Doctor Who is (probably) Louis Marks, who will be 81 this year. Barry Letts never had an onscreen writer credit (though he probably deserved one), and neither did Donald Tosh.  The only other answer I'd have accepted was Mervyn Haisman, since I couldn't find out how old he is.  But I suspect Marks is older.

18: 'Oideyasu' is a greeting specific to shops in Kyoto, where a very sweet, formal version of Japanese is spoken, unlike the rough and tumble slang of Osaka.

19: The next person in that list of Marvel Editors-in-Chief is indeed Joseph, that being Joe Quesada.

20: And the Ordinand System was indeed mentioned in Seasons of Fear.

And the winners are:

In the LiveJournal version, it's Calapine, by a long way.  

In the Blogger version, we have a tie, between PG and Rikki.  

All three got 14 points.  If the winners would like to give me an email address, I'll get in touch with them and sort out where to send their prizes.  Thanks very much everyone for taking part. And Happy New Year!  Cheerio!