Signing in Stevenage

Just a quick note to say that from 1pm next Saturday, December 5th, I'll be signing comics (and anything else you want to bring along, within reason) at Limited Edition Comix in Stevenage, Herts. The website for the shop is here.

I hope to see some of you then! Cheerio!

Thought Bubble Remembered

I must say, I had a thoroughly wonderful time at Thought Bubble in Leeds last weekend. It's a serious comics festival, with workshops and exhibitions, that includes, on the Saturday, a dealers' room -based comic convention, with a curtained-off panel area in one corner of a big hall full of dealers. I did some serious socialising in the hotel bar on the Friday night, meeting the great artist Ben Templesmith for the first time, hanging out with Emma Vieceli, Adi Granov, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie and ending up, as is becoming almost usual now, fixing the world in the early hours with Andy Diggle. Add to that my old mates from the Millarworld message boards, many of whom were working on the show, and I felt thoroughly warmed by good company. A chill set in, unfortunately, when I returned to the hotel room and couldn't sleep, and ended up simply staying up all night, worrying about all the stuff which doesn't seem nearly so terrible in the day. It was work related, and has now largely evaporated, but it was a tough old night.

On the Saturday, I plonked myself at my table, under the sign with my name on it, and proceeded to meet the public, sign things, and give away free comics all day, which, it turned out, I really enjoyed. It helped that I was sitting next to the Marvel artist Barry Kitson -

Who shares, according to the Millarworld guys, the title of 'nicest man in comics' with Mike Carey. To our surprise, it turned out we spent our childhoods within a few miles of each other: I recognised the accent. I did one panel, John Mosby of Impact magazine interviewing me, Adi, Diggle and Jock about the interface between comics and film and television, which I thought went very well, and seemed to please the audience.

One of the loveliest things about the event was how cosplay has arrived at comic conventions. Girls in anime costumes everywhere, a majorly competitive contest between them, and that now, finally, starting to extend into the superhero worlds too -

Longtime readers will recognise the Millarworld Thor's hammer. I've really enjoyed the influx of enthusiastic young women into both comics and Doctor Who fandom: their fannish glee just makes everything better. When Rose, the young craftswoman who was put in charge of looking after us starts talking about how she's been a comics fan for six weeks, and how 'Tony (Stark) and Steve (Rogers) secretly love each other', you know something new is starting to happen.

Here's a quick wander around the hall and the cosplay -

Which gives a feeling for the day, I think. In the evening, the guests were treated to a fabulous Muslim restaurant meal, and the lack of alcohol at the table was frankly very welcome. Then we went on to the top floor of a casino/nightclub, where the afterparty was being held. By this point, I'd been awake for a hallucinogenic length of time, and thought DJ sets from the great Al Ewing, Gillen and McKelvie, and a playlist from Penny Broadhurst were hugely attractive, I just stuck my head into the Geek Syndicate live podcast, then stumbled off home.

I had breakfast the next morning with Marvel editor Steve Wacker, who I'd never really met before. He turned out to be a thoroughly nice chap, with that attractive New York badda bing that Marvel seems to coach its folk in, and loads of sincerity backing it up. He'd been looking at portfolios and meeting the public and creators for almost as long as I'd been awake, but, like me, seemed buoyed up by how well looked-after we'd been. It's a real sign of a good attitude when there's always a steward popping by to ask if the poor dehydrated creators want some more water. Judging by the numbers through the door, the event seems to have been a great success with the public also. Organisers Lisa Wood, Clark Burscough and Michael Bennett (and my old mates Sabrina and Mark Peyton) deserve congratulations on a superb event. Alongside Birmingham, it feels like the new generation of British comic conventions is thriving. Now, if only Thought Bubble could organise a new UK comics awards!

It's good to have peers, and in British comics I really feel welcomed by the friends I have. A drunken pile of them in a hotel bar is always a welcome sight. Cheerio!

Black Widow Sells Out!

I'm pleased to announce that Black Widow: Deadly Origin #1 has sold out its print run, and will thus return for a second printing, under a new cover. You can hear all about it, read some reviews, and see that new cover here.

This doesn't mean that it's completely vanished from your local comic shop, just that the owner of that shop wants to keep all the copies they have, isn't sending any back to Marvel, and would probably like some of the new printing to sell too. I'm pleased as punch. Cheerio!

Two Covers

Hmm, is that a member of MI-13 I see front and centre on the cover of the new Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe?
And Adi Granov continues to impress with the cover to Black Widow: Deadly Origin #4...

And I thought you'd like to see them both! Cheerio!

Thought Bubble

Next weekend I'm going to be popping along to the Thought Bubble event in Leeds, a comics festival that includes a one day convention on the Saturday. You can find all the details here. I'm planning to do something a bit different, in that I've asked for a table, and will be sitting there, signing things, talking to people, selling books and giving away free comics basically all day, apart from when I'm on a panel and the occasional break for tea and shopping. I thought I'd try this as an experiment, because I like how Peter David does it at the New York Comic Con, and it might be fun. Then again, I might loathe it, but if you're there, do come over and see how it's going.

It is, of course, Doctor Who tonight! I love that feeling on anticipation, online and in my own fanboy self. Some friends are getting together to see 'The Keys of Marinus' and 'The Waters of Mars' back to back, and it's pleasing to hear of various other mass viewings. I'm sure Russell and Phil are going to deliver something special, once again.

And finally, there's an excellent young Oxfordshire band I'd like to bring to your attention. They're called Quadrophobe. They play punchy, highly danceable ska-influenced pop, and include a trumpeter in their ranks. Do check out their website here, where you can hear one of their self-penned numbers. I think, given a record company, and/or a horde of adoring young girls, they might go a long way.

I hope to see a few of you in Leeds. Until then, Cheerio!

Let's try that again...

The poll indicates you lot think that next year's Hugo Short Form Drama nominations will be: Doctor Who; Dollhouse; Lost; True Blood and Fringe. My own bet, now it becomes clear that The Prisoner will probably be eligible for Long Form, is: Doctor Who; Dollhouse; L0st; Flash Forward and Stargate Universe. It was hard to choose between True Blood and Flash Forward. Both deserve it, but the latter has Rob Sawyer speaking for it. So let's see who's got it right when the nominations are revealed. When I won't be able to find this post. Cheerio!

Telefantasy Hugo Game, Dark X-Men Preview

For those of you not reading on Blogger, go have a look at the poll on the right of the blog over there. I'll wait. Ah, there you are again, that didn't take long. The wisdom of crowds has spoken, and it says that the five Hugo nominees for the Short Form Drama category next year will be episodes from:

Doctor Who.
True Blood.

Now, of course the poll doesn't allow for multiple episodes from the same show, Torchwood: Children of Earth will be in the Long Form category, and there's still no sign of Caprica, which has to appear before the end of the year to qualify. And, ahem, I forgot The Prisoner, which may well get a nomination. So here are my own bets, and we'll meet here again when the nominations are decided, and see who made the best guesses, and I hope you lot don't kick my arse. I think the five nominees will be:

Doctor Who: Russell's end of season two-parter.
Dollhouse: probably 'Epitaph One', which would be kind of a shame, in that it's unrepresentative.
Lost: I'd like it to 'The Variable', because it was awesome.
Stargate Universe: though picking a particular episode will be tough.
The Prisoner: who knows?

Much as I'd love to see True Blood and Flash Forward in there. Fringe, in the last couple of weeks, seems to have suffered a blow to the head, and is staggering about, suddenly aware that it's on a tightrope and lack of format equals no safety net, while SU displays continuing excellence. At times I think it kind of... does Galactica better than Galactica did. Yes, I know, I was shocked to feel that way too. Anyway, the game is afoot! Individual bets on five shows and particular episodes in the comments are always welcome.

Meanwhile, next Wednesday/Thursday depending on which side of the pond your comic shop is, the first issue of Dark X-Men is out, which reunites me with Leonard Kirk and Nick Lowe, the old team from Captain Britain and MI-13. You can find the first few pages, and a similar preview of my mate Kieron Gillen's excellent S.W.O.R.D. series here.

And I hope that while you're in said comic shop, you may well pick up my other mate Chris Roberson's Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love, in which Chris continues to show why he will one day be the Mayor of all media.

And it seems that With Great Power, the superhero prose anthology from Pocket Books, edited by Lou Anders, in which I have a story, will be out in the States on July 20th. Amazon has it listed here.

Until next time, Cheerio!

It's Black Widow Day!

The first issue of Black Widow: Deadly Origin, by me and artists Tom Raney and John Paul Leon, is in your comic shops today if you're in the US, Thursday in the UK. I did a fun phone interview about it a couple of days back, the results of which can be found here.

We've got three covers, no less, by Adi Granov, Greg Land and Tom himself. I'm very proud of the series, and I hope you enjoy it. Cheerio!