Hello from Longbox Mountain!

Yep, it’s one of those website posts that says ‘been a while’ and I should really go on to make excuses for lack on content.

I’m probably not going to offend your intelligence like that. But am back on here and have quite a lot to say and update.

Tribute Press have an anthology coming soon with myself, Falpy, Q, Forpey but also with many of the people we admire in the Underground scene. I’ve seen Most of what is coming in and it’ll be a treat. Kickstarter soon. And proper promo/teases are a’ coming.

Myself and the mighty Helena Edwardson have just finished and submitted our story for DUI 3. Some of Helena’s best but already sublime art in this one. It’s an honour to work with her. This volume raises money for MIND the mental health charity so I’ll be mentioning it on release again soon.

Work on Tony Osmond issue 2 continues production and Cliff ‘Q’ Cumber is doing wonders on the art and added moments that are all his! It’s designed to offend! And Cliff’s art is so good it makes my trousers feel just a little tighter.

So why am I back on this grind?

It’s turning into a funny and possibly catastrophic time for comics. Companies floundering, distribution models changing, people arguing like 12 year olds on social media.

But some of us still haven’t walked away and I’d wager are reading/buying/promoting/discussing comics more than some of the empty vessels on Twitter. But many have. Many have gone “F that” and view the actions of some publishers as tactically combative to the people who have paid their mortgages for the last four decades. And sometimes I make them right in that opinion.

I’ve been reading a lot and even rating them by enjoyment value. So I thought I’d mention a few from the last few months that I’ve really dug. Not a review but more a mention/promotion. I intend to feature a couple on each post that don’t really fit into the Small Press/Indie stuff we talk about on the ACP or those we pursue from a place in comics approach on the NIA podcast.

Some Recommendations.

20th Century Men out of Image was recommended to me by pals Cliff Cumber and Rob Hardingham. Multi-layered storytelling by Denis Camp and art by that harks back to the experimental glory of the mid-eighties from S. Morgan. Something very clever. 10/10.

Resident Alien: Book of Love. This series has been an under-appreciated joy for years now. Written by Peter Hogan and art by Steve Parkhouse it mixes soap opera, science fiction and mystery. Head over to the NIA podcast (available on here on the landing page) for a recent interview myself and Al did with Peter. What a top dude. 9/10.

Junkyard Joe out of Image written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson is a low-key, something I never thought I’d say about a book by these creators, fun read. Following some really cool little moments that ask ‘what if he was real?’ Worth grabbing in trade. It’s a little bit of a slow burn but adds a narrative twist in most issues that keep you coming back. 9/10.

Other Business.

I’ve also been ripping through as many Osamu Tezuka comics as I can find for a future episode of the NIA with Tom Curry.

Next week myself and Al will be returning to chat about all things Magneto and I’m pumped to hear what he thinks of a book I recommended to him. This one has loads to chew and consider and Al always comes with some insightful thoughts and opinions.

It’s a three amigos episode this week on the ACP and I have a couple of cracking recommends – one about a Ninja and one about a couple of superhero sisters.

I’ll be heading up to Glasgow Comic Con in June. If you are there please say hi. I’m also tabling for Nobrow at SPX later in the year and fitting a saucy visit to Baltimore Comic Con as well. Can’t wait.

Other things that are not comics…

I just finished Michael Moorcock’s ‘Dancers at the End of Time’ three book series and am kicking myself why I hadn’t tackled it before. Funny and imaginative and not nearly as confusing as his recent Cornelius books! Highly recommended if you’re a fan of Discworld or Hitchhikers.

I’m also back on the best band of the last thirty years. The Alabama 3 are a group that have grown and shrunk and you may well know for the theme to The Sopranos. But are/were a Brixton/South London based band with Welsh/English/Scottish/Acid House/Country/Blues/Gospel influences. Have a listen and start with ‘Too Sick to Pray’. You won’t regret it!

Usual Grumblings Follow…

The below contains spoilers for a Netflix series from 2017.

Does anyone here watch Black Mirror? I was a little late to it and find it diverting if not a little, occasionally, on the nose. I had a quiet lunch time at work and thought I’d rewatch an episode. Pretty much randomly I picked ‘USS Callister’ from the fourth season. (Written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker). At first scan a Star Trek OG homage – beautifully made. It follows the life of Robert Daly, a quiet and selfish man who is ignored and thought ‘weird’ at his office who at night replicates people who work for/with him, and have in some way offended him, into players in a video game he controls. But, with a typical Mirror twist it goes beyond a power trip and becomes violent and more than a little frightening. All of this is done with the unwitting theft of his employees DNA making them ‘real’ in the spaceship fantasy. He goes on to bully, beat and sexually assault his ‘crew’.

A man with very few IRL skills and no partner who spends his life online bullying others to make up for his weaknesses and inabilities in the real world.

Remind you of anything? It’s got to be Twitter right? The gannets and nasty children on social media taken to the next level. Unable to form or maintain relationships elsewhere and desperate to take revenge on those who actually leave their houses and can hold a conversation? They change and evolve into a bunch of hyenas. A belief that Twitter is comics.

It’s not. And the episode comes over as both funny and chilling. Something like the gathering weasels on social media.

(How’s that for a few animal comparisons!)

More Soon. If I ever figure out how to send this as a mailer I’ll do that.

So probably not then.

Many thanks for reading.

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