Phew, it feels a long time since I've done one of these. I'm on a punishing yet rewarding regime right now, a lot of word count, a lot of exercise, and fitting in anything else of an afternoon is tough. But some of this stuff will go off if I don't do it now, and just for once I have exactly ten things to talk about, so...
1: Hydrocephalus, otherwise known as Dandy-Walker Syndrome, is Una Nemo's condition in my Batman and Robin run. I became fascinated, years ago, by those like Una who remain unaware of having it, but for the vast mainstream of sufferers, it's much more serious. Having created, in the spirit of Batman villains past, an extreme, pop culture depiction, I thought it was only fair to direct people to the reality. Please check out the website of the Dandy-Walker Alliance, where you'll find information about the condition, and an insight into the lives of (particularly the children) that suffer from it. (Thanks to the family members of sufferers who've pointed me towards that.) I feel, in retrospect, that I walked a fine line in using a genuine medical condition as the inspiration for a Batman villain, and hope to make slight amends by increasing awareness. So that's not the last you'll hear of that one.
2: The latest issue of Salon Futura, the new online SF magazine, has, amongst many delights, an interview with me (looking like a tramp) conducted by Cheryl Morgan on the night before BristolCon, and a very interesting podcast about the Graphic Story category in the Hugo Awards, with Cheryl talking to Maura McHugh, the aforementioned Joe Gordon and Geek Syndicate'sDavid Monteith. The links to and info about the titles they cover is a very nice touch.
3: The Art of Pete Woods is always worth a visit, but his latest post is a step by step rendering of how Pete drew a particular panel of Action Comics #898, from script to finished product. It's particularly interesting in that the issue isn't out yet. Do check it out.
4: The Forbidden Planet International Blog is a long-established thing of beauty that has lately been experiencing a drop off in linkage and comments. I should think this is part of the more general problem that blogs face these days, of Twitter being where the comments have gone. (John Scalzi, during the Just A Minute game at the Melbourne Worldcon, memorably heard 'Twitter is killing blogs' as 'Twitter is killing dogs' and went on for about thirty seconds before anyone could correct him.) But still, it's worth popping in and reminding FPI's Joe Gordon of the great service he provides to many different fan communities.
5: Ian Cullen, of this parish, has relaunched his Sci Fi Pulse podcast as SFP-Now. I've always been impressed by the range of interviews he and his comrades source, and they continue to be available as part of the podcast's archives series, as well as new episodes.
6: And speaking of Geek Syndicate, Barry, the other half of that partnership, will be launching the comic adaptation of his novel Fallen Heroes at the Cardiff International Comic Expo...
7: Schizopolitan is a good-looking new review blog covering comics, movies and TV, edited by my old friend and SFX Magazine contributor Saxon Bullock.
8: Lee Sullivan, my artist collaborator on several Doctor Who Magazine comic strips back in the day has a major new project out in February. He's the artist on the comic adaptation of Jonathan Stroud's first Bartimaeus novel, The Amulet of Samarkand. You can see designs, sketches and finished pages from the book on his website. May I suggest that said book would make a good gift for any youngster who you might want to get hooked on comics?
9: As mentioned in a previous post, I'll be signing at Orbital Comics in London on Saturday 19th February, and my fellow guest on the panel that evening will be Paul Rainey, writer and artist of the science fiction/slice of geek life indie comic No Time Like The Present. You can read the first 39 pages of it for free on his site.