October 2018 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for October.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

Selections are by Tim Bayley and are drawn from publisher submissions, The Bookseller magazine’s own monthly highlights, Buyer’s Guides and more.

NB. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar stores whether online or in person and a tiny snippet of any purchase comes our way to go towards site upkeep so any and all support very much appreciated! Hyperlinks lead on to Waterstone’s, Forbidden Planet in the case of Graphic Novels.

So relax and browse on and check out the great reads in print coming your way in October.

Enjoy!

Tim Bayley

 

Fantastic & Fantastical Fiction

First up RF Kuang’s Edgy fantasy based on 20th C China. THE POPPY WAR centres around opium, the manifestation of god-level abilities, and the young woman embroiled in both…

Then Peter McClean’s PRIEST OF BONES: Sounds like a delicious piece of grimdark. A soldier-priest returns home to a state of high unemployment, food shortages and the plague – and to find that someone has stolen his criminal empire. Time to assemble a misfit band of his dangerous friends to play the espionage game…

With praise from Yoon Ha Lee and Cixin Liu Solaris might well have a real winner on their hands with Derek Kunsken’s THE QUANTUM MAGICIAN. A post-human super-genius becomes the galaxy’s greatest con man and thief. But when all of that fails to challenge his overactive intellect he takes on a job to smuggle a squadron of warships through an enemy wormhole with consequences either way for all of humanity…

Malazan Book of the Fallen scribe Steven Erikson joins Gollancz with REJOICE, a highly lauded novel of first contact. An alien AI comes to save the Earth – even if it must destroy or control us in order to do so…

And the author of Altered Carbon (now adapted to a stylish visual treat of a TV series) returns after 8 years serving up another download of cyberpunk. In THIN AIR A bodyguard investigates the abduction of his charge on Mars, who in turn was investigating the disappearance of a lottery winner…

Got bad dreams? If you’re in London in 2022 you could call up Charlie the dreamhacker. You’d just best hope they’re not caused by someone less pleasant with the same abilities… SWEET DREAMS hits in paperback in October also from Gollancz

Charles Stross returns with the latest in his Lovecraftian Urban Fantasy series The Laundry Files, THE LABYRINTH INDEX. An elder god is now in residence at No 10, our protecting secret governmental department The Laundry is disbanded, and there are supernatural troubles for Mhari Murphy to investigate in America…

How much love is there for Fink and Cranor’s Night Vale novels? Rather a lot as far as we can tell, rather a lot to say the least. Night Vale is a town in which the whole of the X-Files played out (something along those lines). In IT DEVOURS! a young scientist must desperately seek common ground with a charismatic member of a secret cult and it’s dark mysteries…

Then BLOOD COMMUNION. Noted as one of the Bookseller’s Super Thursday highlights and no real surprise, Anne Rice is back with the latest installment of the (after)life of vampire Prince Lestat…

Meanwhile MUSE OF NIGHTMARES arrives from the superb Laini Taylor, sequel to Strange the Dreamer, a  liminal fantasy for young and older adults… 

And now in paperback PERSEPOLIS RISING by James SA Corey. It’s the latest volume of The Expanse, doing great things in adapted form on Netflix – but if you’re ploughing through the books, well, here’s the latest!

Then in THE HYENA AND THE HAWK the soulless Plague People have risen to remake the world in their own dark visions. Now in paperback, the concluding part of Mr Tchaikovsky’s latest series, Echoes of the Fallen…

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Bibliographic Information (more highlights follow)

THE POPPY WAR * RF Kuang * 9780008239848 * PB * £8.99 * HarperVoyager
PRIEST OF BONES * Peter McLean * 9781787473485 * HB * £18.99 * Jo Fletcher
THE QUANTUM MAGICIAN * Derek Kunsken * 9781781085707 * PB * £8.99 * Solaris
REJOICE * Steven Erikson * 9781473223806 * HB * £18.99 * Gollancz
THIN AIR * Richard Morgan * 9780575075146 * HB * £20 * Gollancz
SWEET DREAM * Tricia Sullivan * 9781473213005 * PB * £14.99 * Gollancz
THE LABYRINTH INDEX * Charles Stross * 9780356511085 * HB * £20 * Orbit * The Laundry Files * 9
IT DEVOURS! * Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor * 9780356508672 * PB * £8.99 * Orbit * A Night Vale novel *
BLOOD COMMUNION: A TALE OF PRINCE LESTAT * Anne Rice * 9781784742058 * HB * £20 * Chatto & Windus * The Vampire Chronicles * 13
MUSE OF NIGHTMARES * Laini Taylor * 9781444789034 * HB * £16.99 * Hodder * Strange the Dreamer sequel * 2
PERSEPOLIS RISING * James S A Corey * 9780356510323 * PB * £9.99 * Orbit * The Expanse * 7
THE HYENA AND THE HAWK * Adrian Tchaikovsky * 9781509830299 * PB * £8.99 * Pan * Echoes of the Fall * 3

 

Non-Fiction

First up some ‘social minded’ non-fiction to shout about, beginning with James Miller’s CAN DEMOCRACY WORK, a major critique of democracy and the role it plays in the common good – or otherwise…

Then Afua Hirsch’s BRIT(ISH) arrives in paperback, concerning the search for identity of non-white British people in a society, many elements of which don’t understand them as citizens, native or otherwise…

Some great books on film in October and just had to include BROADSWORD CALLING DANNY BOY. Not perhaps the usual focus of Carabas, but on a personal note Where Eagles Dare is one of those much-loved classics of war / espionage movies. Now approaching its fiftieth anniversary this is a scene by scene analysis but with affection and humour…

Next up HORROR MOVIES a reissue of the work of the late James Marriott, with foreword and endorsement by one Kim Newman! A must-have read and reference by the big fans of the genre?

And on the same subject / genre in SLEEPING WITH THE LIGHTS ON: THE UNSETTLING STORY OF HORROR Darryl Jones casts a net across hundreds of years of literature, theatre, film and the internet examining our fascination with horror, its tropes and key changes in the genre…

Not moving on from what we refer to as ‘Fact Behind the Fiction’ but segueing into the superheroic GENDER AND THE SUPERHERO NARRATIVE is an essay collection on social justice and representation as relates the genre and the backlash against it. Covers comics themselves, TV adaptations, cosplay and cons and games besides. Essays by Dorian Alexander, Janine Coleman, Gabriel Gianola, Mel Gibson, Michael Goodrum, Tim Hanley, Vanessa Hemovich, Christina Knopf, Christopher McGunnigle, Samira Nadkarni, Ryan North, Lisa Perdigao, Tara Prescott, Philip Smith, and Maite Ucaregui…

And then almost definitively a work that lives in our ‘Fact Behind the Fiction’ tag, with creative benefits besides… Dan Koboldt curated a series of articles on science in sicence fiction for fans and aspiring writers on his blog, from scientists, engineers, medical professionals and more (including our pal Terry Newman!) Now in PUTTING THE SCIENCE IN FICTION: EXPERT ADVICE FOR WRITING WITH AUTHENTICITY IN SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, & OTHER GENRES Writer’s Digest have collected those articles in printed form for your enjoyment and insight…

And finally on the Music front THE FLAME. Coming from Canongate in hardback this is the last collection of writings – thoughts and poetry, illustrations also – by the great Leonard Cohen…

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CAN DEMOCRACY WORK? A SHORT HISTORY OF A RADICAL IDEA FROM ANCIENT ATHENS TO OUR WORLD * James Miller * 9781786074027 * HB * £20 * Oneworld
BRIT(ISH): ON RACE, IDENTITY AND BELONGING * Afua Hirsch * 9781784705039 * PB * £8.99 * Vintage
BROADSWORD CALING DANNY BOY: ON WHERE EAGLES DARE * Geoff Dyer * 9780141987620 * PB * £7.99 * Penguin
HORROR MOVIES * James Marriott * 9781787391390 * PB * £20 * Carlton
SLEEPING WITH THE LIGHTS ON: THE UNSETTLING STORY OF HORROR * Darryl Jones * 9780198826484 * PB * £10.99 * OUP
GENDER AND THE SUPERHERO NARRATIVE * Tara Prescott, Philip Smith, Michael Goodrum * 9781496821102 * PB * £28.95 * University Press of Mississippi
PUTTING THE SCIENCE IN FICTION: EXPERT ADVICE FOR WRITING WITH AUTHENTICITY IN SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, & OTHER GENRES * Dan Koboldt (Ed) * 9781440353383 * PB * £14.99 * Writer’s Digest
THE FLAME * Leonard Cohen * 9781786893130 * HB * £20.00 * Canongate

 

Children’s and Young Adult

Middle Grade & YA next, for kids and adults both – A month of big sequels. First up the sequel to the highly rated Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow – WUNDERSMITH. Morrigan Crow had a curse that was broken, then discovering she has a magic she’s told is evil. Now her friends are being blackmailed and turned against her, and the most evil man in the world is trying to lure her away from the society that is supposed to be protecting her…

Then SKYCIRCUS, the latest in Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart Adventures, a rip-roaring Middle Grade steampunk yarn with a fiery female lead. Still looking forward to a read of the second but the first was absolutely superb. Now Lily and Robert have been kidnapped by a sinister flying circus… (Don’t let there be clowns, don’t let there be clowns…)

Onto YA and kicking off with the much-anticipated fourth volume in Ransom Riggs series Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children with a new story arc and new American peculiarities in A MAP OF DAYS

Next the follow up to Otherworld from Oneworld, from the imaginations of How I Met Your Mother’s Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller – already, and unsurprisingly, compared to Ready Player One. In OTHEREARTH Simon, Kat and Busara are on the run having escaped the company who run Otherworld, the super-addictive virtual reality game, but know too much to be left at liberty…

And with Taran Matharu’s The Summoner series well underway, four books out already – basically Lord of the Rings meets Pokemon – it’s probably about time for a world guide. A statement of the mark the series has made… Check it out – THE SUMMONER’S HANDBOOK.

 

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WUNDERSMITH: THE CALLING OF MORRIGAN CROW * Jessica Townsend * 9781510104440 * HB * £12.99 * Orion * Morrigan Crow * 2
SKY CIRCUS * Peter Bunzl * 9781474940658 * PB * £6.99 * Usborne * The Cogheart Adventures * 3
A MAP OF DAYS * Random Riggs * 9780141385907 * HB * £14.99 * Penguin * Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children * 4
OTHEREARTH * Jason Segel, Kirsten Miller * 9781786074522 * PB * £7.99 * Oneworld / Rock the Boat * Otherworld * 2
THE SUMMONER’S HANDBOOK * Taran Matharu * 9781444947700 * HB * £14.99 * Hodder * The Summoner

 

Graphic Novels

We’re all about new creations – but there are some reissues and anniversaries we just can’t ignore. Neil Gaiman’s mythic/horror epic THE SANDMAN is one, the first volume PRELUDES & NOCTURNES arriving in October…

Created by the great Alan Moore in his legendary Swamp Thing run, magician John Constantine was then taken on by Moore’s handpicked successor Jamie Delano for his own series Hellblazer which then saw a defining era under the scripting of Garth Ennis. Three decades on Vertigo celebrate with the HELLBLAZER 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, a collection of key stories from the mature readers run (Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 and Hellblazer #11, 27, 41, 63, 120, 146, 229 and 240) with an introduction by Sting who inspired Constantine’s creation!

MEDIA TIE-IN. We’re absolutely loving the Black Lightning TV adaptation – just feels more like a proper comic superhero adventure than anything else. Check out BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS, the new comic adventures of the iconic 70s superhero. Yet to read but it does seem to be the in-universe adaptation of the TV series…

In other news – in case you weren’t aware – core writer Jason Aaron has taken the scripting reins of THE AVENGERS, with Ed McGuiness on art duties, their first volume being collected as THE AVENGERS: THE FINAL HOST. One of the interesting things about any new super-team beginning is the choice of team. Here we have the ‘big three’ – Thor, Iron Man and Captain America, long term mainstays She-Hulk and Black Panther, then core super-femme Captain Marvel, Dr Strange and – leftfield addition – Ghost Rider. Big on the film / TV ‘verse appeal aside from anything else. Anyway, come for the characters, stay for the villains – in this case the super-god Celestials, with a certain Asgardian god of mischief we gather. Mr Aaron doesn’t mess around…

MAZEWORLD is the leftfield creation from the mind of Alan Grant, rendered in the glorious art of Arthur Ranson: a fantastical story featuring an executed felon from our world waking up alive in a labyrinthine realm with it’s own dangers and machinations…

Wife and husband team Leah Moore and John Reppion serve up a little something that might just be timed with Halloween in mind, with art from Sally Jane Thompson in CONSPIRACY OF RAVENS. Teenager Anne discovers the magical nature of her family when she inherits a locket and an old mansion – and that other families with powers are not nearly so pleasant as her own…

Wanted to give an indie shout also to a little something from Seven Stories Press who’ve always got something interesting cooking. THE MENTAL LOAD is an incisive feminist commentary on women’s lives through the medium of comics, collecting the work and insights of Emma…

And then just had to include GRAFITY’S WALL from Ram V and RK Anand. Set in Mumbai, an aspiring street artist finds his canvas on single wall left standing after the demolition of the tenements outside his home and using it tell of the lives and aspirations of his friends… Really looking forward to a look at this…

   

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SANDMAN V1 PRELUDES & NOCTURNES 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION * Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth * 9781401284770 * PB * £15.99 * Vertigo / DC
HELLBLAZER 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION * Various * 9781401284794 * PB * £32.00 * Vertigo / DC
BLACK LIGHTNING: COLD DEAD HANDS * Tony Isabella, Clayton Henry * 9781401275150 * PB * £12.99 * DC
AVENGERS (BY JASON AARON V1) THE FINAL HOST * Jason Aaron, Ed McGuiness * 9781302911874 * PB * £14.99 * Marvel
MAZEWORLD * Alan Grant, Arthur Ranson * 9781781086568 * PB * £19.99 * 2000 AD
CONSPIRACY OF RAVENS * Leah Moore, John Reppion, Sally Jane Thompson * 9781506708836 * HB * £12.50 * Dark Horse
THE MENTAL LOAD: COMICS FROM THE FRONTLINES OF MOTHERHOOD AND OTHER SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES * Emma * 9781609809188 * PB * £12.99 * Seven Stories Press
GRAFITY’S WALL * Ram V, RK Anand * 9781783526840 * HB * £14.99 * Unbound

 

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@TimBayley1
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MORE GREAT BOOKS PUBLISHED IN 2018:

JANUARY * FEBRUARY * MARCH * APRIL * MAY * JUNE * JULY * AUGUST * SEPTEMBER

 

 

September 2018 Book Highlights


Carabas - New Book Recommends

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for September.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

Read the rest of this entry »

August 2018 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for August.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

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Press Release: Rogue Trooper movie with Duncan Jones writing/directing announced!

He’s a genetically engineered supersoldier with blue skin, a razor-keen Mohawk and three dead GI (Genetic Infantryman) brothers in his helmet, backpack and rifle. He was created in the far future to fight in the deadliest war, and in 1981 by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons. He’s been one of the most iconic and – despite long absences – enduring characters to violently grace the pages of ‘The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic’, Britain’s 2000 AD.

And now – (MASSIVE) news in – he’s coming to the big screen!

NB. Comes with free comics to download!!!

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STEAMPUNK (and Associated Fantastical Anachronisms) Books in 2017!

CA - Steampunk A
Ah Steampunk – and the singular allure of Victoriana with added steam, cogs and fantastical contrivances. What’s that sir / madam? You’d like an overview of the literary diversions of the very same and associated anachronistic, retro-futuristic fiction published in 2017? Well you’ve come to the right place!
CA - Steampunk B
We have many fine articles for your perusal here after, but it seems you’ve landed on the very one you’re looking for: read on!

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Recommended Reads for Halloween 2017!

n-jan-17-studying-hammer-horror G - Mar - The Walking Dead Vol 27

 

Another day of the year or time to dress up and party? Whatever your take,, Halloween can’t be far from anyone’s mind as the end of October approaches conjuring for many of us, amongst other thoughts, the notion of shutting the door on the dark outside and curling up with something appropriately… spooky? Eerie? Macabre? Chilling?

Well whether you’re a book reader or a book seller, we think we’ve got all of that covered with some of the great publishing from the latter half of the year for your at-home and in-store shelves and tables: Fiction, Graphic Novels… and Non-Fiction as well – we hope you like!

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November and December 2017 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for November, plus a couple added from the quieter (in publishing release terms only!) December.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

Read the rest of this entry »

September 2017 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for September.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

Read the rest of this entry »

July 2017 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for July.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

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Rebels and Empires: The Future of the British Comic – Panel Coverage of the London Book Fair 2017

11.30 on Day 3 of the London Book Fair 2017 and we’re at the Rebels and Empires: The Future of British Comics panel. I arrive as host Bleeding Cool’s Richard Johnston notes that in the panelists left to right we have a “history of British comics right here”.

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Graphic Novels: The Last Ten Years (and the Next) – Panel coverage at the London Book Fair 2017

Perhaps it’s no surprise that the Cross Media Theatre is so packed – this is only one of two panels ton comics / graphic novels this year. But SelfMadeHero MD Emma Hayley, writer David Hine, Nibbies Bookseller of the Year nominee Gosh!’s Steve Walsh, and host Panel Borders broadcaster Alex Fitch recline rather more comfortably and are ready to go.

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April 2017 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for April.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

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March 2017 Book Highlights

Carabas - New Book Recommends
C - Mar - The Devil's Paintbox
B - Mar - The Djinn fall in Love
NF - Mar - Sound System
B - Mar - The Erstwhile
B - Mar - Wild Chamber

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Here’s our round-up of fantastic and fantastical reading for March.

We take in Adult Fiction, fantastical and general, creative and socially minded Non-Fiction, Children’s and YA and Graphic Novels. Whether you’re a general or genre reader or a bookshop looking to make sure your customers aren’t missing out we try to balance an inclusion of the biggest titles with slipstream / crossover hits and those hidden gems for all concerned.

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The 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival!

2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival

We’re here at the Mega-City Block-esque Novotel Hotel in Hammersmith, lately arrived and soaking up the setting of the 40th Anniversary festival of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic 2000 AD!

There’s been some build up mind: do check out our February 2017 Book Highlights which includes the celebratory THE GALAXY’S GREATEST, a creator selected collection of the greatest one-off short stories, and ex-Tharg David Bishop’s THRILL POWER OVERLOAD, the forty year history of 2000 AD. On a similar note, from not so long back, there’s also ‘golden era’ Tharg Steve MacManus’s autobiography THE MIGHTY ONE from September 2016 – details here (scroll about halfway down to The Fact Behind the Fiction section). Oh and the creator of 2000 AD itself, first Tharg and writer of numerous flagship characters Pat Mills has just released with frequent collaborator Kevin O’Neill his darkly comedic crime satire about a comic editor SERIAL KILLER – and we’ve got a preview with title info and more here!

Right, back to the #2000ADFest (twitter link) itself. Looking forward to some cracking panels later and catching up with various folk but will be sharing a few things as we go – scroll down for more…

Splundig vur Thrigg people!

 

Opening Shots…

2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (1) 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (2)
Entrance guarded by a Genetic Infantryman (Rogue Trooper to the uninitiated) and a bloke with a lanyard. Strangely synchronised in their security sweeping… 😉

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Immediately drawn to this corner: the stall of the Dog House, makers of the unofficial but officially Zarjaz films of Judge Minty and now Strontium Dog! So looking forward to the screening of that later…

2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (3) 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (5)
2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (4)

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Dredd film props: freeze creep – don’t ruin your photo!

2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (7) 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (6)

 

2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (9) The main area: more artists and writers of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic than you can shake a Lawgiver or axe at!

 

The 4th Generation Panel

Great little session with comparatively newer additions to regular 2000 AD contributors in the Tir Na nOg room (Slaine reference). Hosted by CBR’s Steve Morris, there’s artists Tom Foster (Storm Warning, various Future Shocks), Eoin Coveney (The Alienist, also various shorts), Dani (Fiends of the Eastern Front) and writer Alec Worley.

2000 AD 40th Anniversary Festival (10) Steve’s first checking in on their first experiences as readers of 2000 AD. Alec was a rather late starter but was blown away (as were we all) by Pat Mills and Simon Bisley’s SLAINE: THE HORNED GOD. For Tom it was through those random issues bought by family members while he was ill as a kid. Dani very much came straight in as a creator, developing a love and knowledge of the comic since then, while Eoin started with Prog 2 after there was such a buzz about the first Prog at school the week previous.

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Of course (whatever the comic’s alien editor Tharg may or may not approve of) few people have been regular readers and not drifted away from the comic at some point. But what drew them back?

For Owen it was the ultraviolence, the art and the humour. He remembers Pat Mills being interviewed emphasising that kids are smart and that you can’t fool them. It reinforced to him that 2000 AD is a quality product with insightful thinking behind it.

For Alec in part it was that it got referenced in Spaced: that alone said to him that, yes, 2000 AD certainly was cool.

As to how to get into the comic as a creator, well they’ve all got their own quite unique stories. Eoin was an early starter but admits not giving his first outing on a John Wagner script the attention it deserved, having understandably if falsely built his self-image as a creator after getting a gig with Moebius. It’s been more recently that he’s finally got in properly as a regular contributor.

Alec notes seeing an interview with ex-editor Andy Diggle in which he says how everyone asks how to get into comics / 2000 AD – no one asks how to get better at what they do. Focusing on the latter is more likely to actually achieve the former. It’s something of having a zen-like mental attitude as Alec puts it. Both he and Eoin emphasise the importance of properly taking on feedback from rejections, and that they both ultimately got in from developing a whole campaign of submissions.

Dani had been working on her own comics and was essentially talent-spotted at a convention where she had a stall. Tom on the other hand submitted work to a competition at Thought Bubble, coming second two years running then, when the prize was actually being given a script to illustrate, coming first in its third year. He’s yet to work for one of the American publishers but feels he’ll be far better placed to work in the more expansive scheme of their strips having honed his craft in the more compressed approach of 2000 AD than the other way round. On a similar note Alec praises the scripting of Gordon Rennie and Rob Williams for being ‘so on point’ and ‘muscular writing’.

And right now? Tom’s got his first Dredd story coming up and something in a few weeks on ‘From the Drawing Boards’ on YouTube. Alec has a US one-shot of the Dredd movie version of Judge Anderson. Owen is working on the next series of The Alienist while Dani is working on her own comics with a Dirk Gently filler coming for IDW and something that can’t be mentioned for 2000 AD’s special issue for Free Comic Book Day.

Cheers all – smashing panel!

 

More to come…

 

 

 

A Chat with Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC Part 3: On Self Image, Depression, and the Good Coming from the Bad (and Michael Jackson?!!!)

DMC - In Forbidden Planet

Part 3 of my interview with Darryl McDaniels. If you haven’t already you can read Part 1 here or Part 2 here.

When I was first planning a series of casual interviews with creators I had a mind – in keeping with the thought behind this website – to covering something of the fantastical, of the musical and of the ethical-slash-charitable. In Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC I could hardly have a better person to sit down with on all scores. We’d talked music of course and his comic’s enterprise, but I was aware also of his charitable work and was keen to find out more.

A bit of context first though, and partly we’ve already covered this in Darryl’s early love of superhero comics. Much of the rest is perhaps best explained by Darryl’s autobiography which he’s promoting while over: Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide, his memoir from the 80’s to the present day.

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A Chat with Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC Part 2: On DMC the Comic, Commercialism and Creator Responsibility

DMC #1 Part 2 of this interview with Darryl McDaniels. If you haven’t already you can read Part 1 here; link to Part 3 at the end of this page.
So DMC the comic.
What I knew already was that it’s set in an alternate 1985, the difference being that superheroes and supervillains are real and, in the tradition of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City, seem to be rough analogues of those Marvel / DC characters you know and love. The difference to those universes is that while the villains are actually villainous, more than a few of the ‘good guys’ are pretty shady as well. Enter alternate Darryl McDaniels, teacher and stand-up superhero on the street.
So how did it come about? Well it’s kind of refreshing to hear, genuine comic fan as he was and is, that it really hadn’t been Darryl’s intention.

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