Monday, December 6, 2010

Lovely Spandex 3 review here

I almost completely missed this very cool review of Spandex 3 here, by Sir Rol Hirst, creator of Pjang and many other excellent comics: http://rolhirst.co.uk/
Rol calls issue 3, "an emotional action horror rollercoaster that deals quite wonderfully with the thorny subject of depression, and how we handle it" The review is halfway down here:
http://rolhirst.blogspot.com/2010/11/read-these-comics-now.html
My fave review so far, thanks Rol!

Sp-hand-ex 3 review

There's a lovely review of Spandex 3 here, by Kelvin Green.
http://www.comicsbulletin.com/reviews/12914878177694.htm
Kelvin has been reviewing my comics since the O Men days, and I always look forward to hearing what he says about them. I think we are on a similar wavelength, so if he 'gets it', I know I've done something right. I think Kelvin was the guy who gave me the famous 10 out of 10 for O Men 24 in Comics International, which Dez Skinn reduced to a 9.
Kelvin doesn't mince his words though, and he will criticise things where criticism is due. His latest one points out problems with my hand-drawing and perspective.
I've always known these things are problems for me (and feet!) and I hope I've improved a bit over the years, but also, for me, my 'policy' is that the story is the most important thing, and the drawing has a style, and I hope the readers just 'goes with the flow'.
But one thing that the review has made me do is actually make a conscious decision to study drawing hands (and feet!) because, for some reason, it's something I've never done - so maybe it's time to sort out where I'm going wrong.
(Incidentally, I am seethingly jealous of the way Jaime Hernandez draws hands. How does he do it?? Is there nothing the guy can't draw??)

Caped Crusaid



There's a really cool exhibition on at the moment in Orbital Comics - Caped Crusaid, which is a bunch of postcards drawn by various comic artists and celebrities. It's highly recommended and you can check out the cards here:
http://shop.ebay.co.uk/capedcrusaid/m.html
You can bid to own them!
I contributed two, although no one ever bids on mine :-(
You can see mine above!

No Love and Rockets


All I'm reading at the moment is Love and Rockets! My concentration span at the moment, doesn't seem to allow me to read novels (I've got a lot on my mind!), so I'm now just reading graphic novels - and that includes the entire run of Love and Rockets. I'm kind of reading them in a funny order - I'm reading the original Volume One books (the bigger versions), plus the various Volume Two series simultaneously (mainly because the start of the Vol 1 stories are quite hard-going in places).
However, there is a snag. I don't have all the Volume 2 stuff, and I got excited when I saw you could order them direct from the publishers, Fantagraphics. I didn't even think of just heading into town to see if Gosh/Orbital had them, I just ordered them immediately (they were doing a good deal). That was 3 October... It should have taken two to three weeks... I'm still waiting!
The thing is, I ordered them, and then a week later I got a round-robin email from them saying any comics ordered between 8 October and 20 October would be delayed because of stock management. But it's okay, cos I ordered the comics before then? No, of course not, as they explained to me when I double checked a couple of weeks later...
So then I checked mid-November to see when they were sent out - vague response - 'it went out last week'.
Checked again start of December - 'it went out last week'! So which week did it go out then??
So I'm basically regretting ordering them and I think their customer service sucks somewhat - not very helpful, slow and slightly sarky too.
And the kicker is, I was in Orbital on Saturday and saw they had a complete run of Love and Rockets Volume 2 - including the ones I'm missing. Well fuck it, I want to read it, not having them is spoiling my experience, so I bought them lol (and I managed to buy one I'd alrady got d'oh). (I was very excited that Orbital had Whoa Nellie 2, which is an issue that even Fantagraphics didn't have)
So now I'm just missing issue 1 and the final 2 issues of Luba's Comics and Stories - so who knows, maybe the package will turn up this year so I can read them??
And the final kicker is, I was reading Love and Rockets volume 2, issue 13, and there's a big printing error - 3 4-page sections are repeated, so I think I'm missing bits of the story. Darn.
Mind you, my Book Two of volume 1 has about 20 pages missing - I only discovered that when re-reading it! No wonder it never made sense...

(The funny thing is, some comic fans might actually find this interesting - wheraes I probably lost the non-comic fans at 'hello'.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Radio Spandex repeated!

If you missed me on the radio today, you can listen to the podcast if you like - I sounded dead hot.

The podcast is online now at:
http://panelborders.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/panel-borders-spandex
and
http://podcasts.resonancefm.com/archives/5030
which both point to:
http://www.archive.org/details/PanelBordersSpandex
where the podcast is actually housed.

It should turn up on iTunes - http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/id390974029 - in a day or so...

Radio Spandex!

I'm on Resonance FM at 5 today, discussing Spandex and The O Men! The interview will also be available as a longer podcast at a later date.
More details here!
http://panelborders.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/todays-show-spandex/

I did the interview on Saturday in the middle of Thought Bubble. My voice was dying, but it was great and Alex is brilliant (I think he was ill too). I hope I didn't say anything untoward lol!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Time for Something Different...

A little pic I did for someone else!
http://daventerprojects.blogspot.com/2010/11/neon-loneliness-drawing-by-martin-eden.html

Monday, November 22, 2010

Issue 3 review

Cool review of Issue 3 here, by Sir Paul Rainey
http://comicsontheration.blogspot.com/2010/11/review-spandex-3.html

Liberty by T'Sao Wei


One of the many (many!) amazing, friendly and inspirational people I met at Thought Bubble was T'Sao Wei, an artist who has a new comic out called Neon Loneliness and has created a couple of other comics too - you can check out his wares here:
http://daventer.yokaboo.com/
We had a nice chat, and it turns out he is an old reader of O Men!
I was inspired by Neon Loneliness to do a doodle for him and he also did a Liberty pic for me! I like his style a lot - it reminds me of a cross between Tomer Hanuka and Lenil Francis Yu. His art has something 'peaceful' and calming about it, and I really recommend his work. I'm glad he did a pic for me, as I was going to ask him to anyway - I was intrigued to see what he would do with my characters!
Anyway, I have posted the picture here!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stuff that's going on

There's so much going on at the moment, that I just wanted to get it all down on the Blog, and out of my head!
Spandex 3 is finally out, and seems to be going down well.
I launched it at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds and it was such a great day. How can everyone be so nice? I can't believe how lovely everyone I spoke to was, and I'm still buzzing. I sold a few copies, got a few laughs for my 'attack of the 50 foot lesbian' standee, bought some truly imaginative comics, meeting some of the contributors to Japandex and generally had a whale of a time. Every con is a learning curve, and it's funny when different things happen - such as just deciding to put my Spandex badges out (I wasn't even going to bother) and selling loads of them! (I didn't even have a price for them, I just made it up on the spot). I can't wait to make more for next year!
Apologies to anyone if i seemed a bit 'away with the pixies' - I do find cons a bit overwhelming and I try my best to remain calm but it doesn't always work lol. I was also mega tired and it was a very long day - up at 6 to get to Leeds, and I have no idea how my table buddy managed to do the same things as I did, but with the addition of driving to and from Leeds.
I also did an interview with Alex Fitch at Panel Borders - what a nice guy, and very professional - and how sweet, he'd brought along a copy of the Metro Spandex article! Unfortunately, when he was interviewing me, I could barely speak lol, and I kept seeing mates out of the corner of my eye which distracted me from the questions oops!
This week will be a busy one as I need to get Spandex 3 and my 'Spandex Packs' (issues 1 to 3) into the comic shops, and I'm also working on my Spandex publishing pitch. I also want to make a start on creating new O Men collections (proper books!) and starting Spandex 4 (it's all written, just needs to get out there).
And somehow i need to also cram in work, a date, Japanese homework and getting my boiler fixed (which I only had installed a couple of months ago...)
It's all go!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Walking Dead!!!


Wooo I was lucky enough to see the first episode of the Walking Dead last night.
I had a few initial reservations - the slowness of it, not being convinced about Andrew Lincoln, and not being able to understand a single word the Shane actor was saying - but it definitely won me over. The ending was just genius, a fantastic, cheeky, unique final five minutes.
It was actually quite a strange experience for me, having read the comic from the start. I knew a lot of what was going to happen, but there are some nice surprises along the way too - some neat additional moments.
Just a few small reservations.
First up, I sooo wish it had been in black and white. Some of the scenes don't really leap out, and making it black and white might have given it a touch of class. I wonder if it was considered by the producers at some point? Ah well, i can always adjust my colour lol.
(Minor spoiler in this paragraph) I loved the little subplot about Rick's neighbour's wife being a zombie (even though her goldfish impression was a bit weird). However, at one point, we see the zombie wife try to come home.... Nooo - that's not right! Zombies don't have any kind of memory, do they? I don't think that has been explored in the comic at all.
I'm dying to see Glenn and Andrea - they'll probably turn up in episode 2. Glenn makes a kind-of appearance in the first episode, and this is what actually concerns me. On the one hand, he sounds fun and cocky, but on the other hand, what if he becomes irritating - or what if we start to hate Lori? This is one of the things about Walking Dead, the comic - as unique as it is, it's very much all about Rick, and as likeable as some of the other characters are, they aren't very fleshed out. Everyone else in the comic seems to be a B-character. So what if the TV show fleshes them out too much, or the actors evolve them in a different direction?
On that note - how different will it become? I'm sure they'll keep certain key plotpoints, like the prison and the Governor, but I'm sure it'll evolve in different directions. And actually, that's probably for the best, because the comic has really gone off the boil since they left the prison.
All in all, I'm looking forward to seeing more, and can't wait to see what they do with it all.
And in a way, I almost wish I'd never read it, so I could buy that awesome compendium which collects the first 48 issues - amazing!

Paranormal Activity 2


Last year I watched Paranormal Activity with my good chum Marcus at his gaff, and it scared the bloody life out of me. I was hiding behind about 6 pillows. We watched a download with a different ending to the official one (the one where the police come into the house). Still, I enjoyed it and was hoping to repeat the experience this year. However, we couldn't find a decent download so we had to go to the cinema - shit!!! I was bricking myself.
Well, to be honest, it wasn't too bad. It's one of those films where you expect things will happen and they don't - so a second viewing wouldn't be scary at all. It takes an absolute age to get going, and one of the most annoying things is how they repeat most of the scares from the first film. Except they overdo it a bit, and it just gets really silly. There is one new 'scare' (spoiler: wifey sitting in the kitchen and then suddenly all the cupboard doors crash open at once), but I think it would have been so much more effective in silence.
Another problem is that this film is kind of a prequel to the first. I'm not a huge fan of prequels - I'd rather see where a story goes - but it is quite clever.
However, the film does still has a very creepy edge to it - the transformation of the wife is unsettling - and it's still fairly effective. Put it this way, I didn't sleep very well last night!!!

Spandex UPDATE!


I went to BICS (Birmingham con) last weekend, and it was cool - met some lovely people. Didn't do an amazing amount sales-wise, but maybe people are put off by the theme of the comic - let's face it, a straight guy may not think a comic about gay superheroes is for him - but I hope over time to show that it is a really accessible comic. I will not be defeated! (And also, I have some great ideas on how to make my stand more exciting - no, not involving me dressing up).
One other thing that occurred to me, was that maybe the format is putting people off. I do love my dinky little a5 comic, but maybe people just want US-size. But alas, I checked with my printer, and going US-size (36 pages, full colour) would cost me £2.80 a copy (and that's at a cheap printers - Lulu would probably cost 6 quid per copy), which makes it undoable (considering places like FP take a 50% cut, so I'd have to charge over a fiver to break even!). So sadly it's not do-able, but I definitely have some plans on how to make issue 3 look great.
In other news, I'm doing three cons in November! There's the Comiket on Sunday 7 November (although I'll have to leave early to go to my Sensei's Soprano concert), the Thought Bubble in Leeds on 20 November, and a Showmasters thingy in the last weekend of November in Olympia. I want to get Spandex 3 ready for Thought Bubble, and I found out that it's a week earlier than I thought - disaster! - so I've lost a week on my Spandex 3 deadline d'oh. Working frantically on it now.
And in final news, next Friday I'm going to the Eagle Awards winner announcement ceremony/dinner where I'll find out if Spandex has won the award for Best British Comic! I'm not holding my breath, but I'm definitely crossing my fingers!!

Loving Love and Rockets


I'm still thoroughly loving reading my old Love and Rockets books. I'm reading the classic old books, but also the volume 2 spin-offs at the same time. I'm just waiting for Fantagraphics to send the issues I'm missing and then I'm all set - I'll have everything except for Woah Nellie 2.
The vol 2 stuff just didn't work for me on original release - I completely lost track of what was going on - but it's all good now, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm looking forward to getting through the early L+R books, as they are a bit ropey, and there's some great stuff ahead. In fact, I noticed that there are about 20 pages missing from my Fantagraphics book two - no wonder it didn't make much sense to me the first time round lol.
But really, it's amazing stuff. Jaimes' art is sumptuous and Gilbert's storytelling is second to none - the pacing is addictive, like a drug!
Loving it.

The Non-Event


What do you get if you cross 24, Lost, The X-Files and pretty much every single other US sci-fi/drama show you can think of? The Event...
Did they run out of ideas or something?
And what with most US shows getting cancelled before they get a chance to hit their stride and what with the utter letdown of Lost, does anyone have faith in this new, depressingly by-the-numbers seen-it-all-before show?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Love and Rockets!!


I have a funny old history with Love and Rockets. I came to it quite late, reading old graphic novels from Titan. It takes a while until the artists/writers find their feet, but once they get there – wowsers. Some of the middle stories from the first volume are stunning and near the end it has a huge impact, really pushing the boundaries of storytelling.
Jaime has got to be one of my all-time favourite artists. Every panel looks like it’s come straight from a life-drawing class – each character just moves in a realistic way. Gilbert is a bit more cartoony, but has an appealing style and he’s a great storyteller – although a bit surreal sometimes.
After volume one of L&R, the Hernandez brothers created some spin-off series and one-shots, and occasionally it felt a bit monotonous – it was all extremely well told, but maybe due to the frequency of the comic, it was easy to lose track of what was going on. I definitely lost track of which of Luba’s young relatives was a lesbian, they seemed to all be coming out left right and centre!
Overall, I felt like the guys needed to do something new...
Then, the brothers began an annual Love and Rockets comic. It's kind of a good idea, pooling the work into one annual book - such a shame it's not in colour. The first couple of issues didn’t really wow me, to be honest. Gilbert got even more surreal, and Jaime kind-of went off in a tangent, telling tales about superhero versions of characters.
And then the latest L&R book came along, issue three. Blimey. It just shows the strength of both brothers. Gilbert’s story is kind of surreal, but clever and a great read. And Jaime. Wow. I don’t even know where to start.
Jaime goes back to telling a more normal story about Maggie, and the volume kicks off with a tale about her going on a date with old flame Ray. Then later in the book, we get Browntown, a centre-piece focusing on young Maggie and her siblings. It’s a real shocker, very strong. It shows what happens to her young brother (who has never appeared in the series before) when he comes into contact with some of the local boys. It’s a really brave story and I’ve never read anything like it. It just shows how we’ve all done weird things as kids – but this takes it to the extreme. Congrats to Jaime for having the courage to tell it.
And it doesn’t end there. There’s one final story – told in the present day – and the final-page revelation is jaw-dropping and very clever indeed.
Very rare these days to get a comic that makes you want to re-read the entire series – which is exactly what I’m doing! I think I will probably enjoy those middle spin-off comics a lot more now!
(The cover above is from issue 1 - gorgeous eh? But if you wanna check it out, try the new issue 3)

Powers...

I'm gonna talk about a really good comic in a minute...
But first, I want to mention a fairly bad one...
What the hell happened to Powers? It was so good at Image, and ever since it's been at Icon/Marvel it's been so lacklustre.
I just bought issue 6 last week, and I think it will probably be my last 'floppy'. I'll shift to trades now - if I can be bothered with Powers!!
Another bad point - jeez, the self-promotion and egotism on show in the letters section of Powers! Look at this amazing interview with me! Look at this incredible feature about my stunning new comic Scarlet! Look at how amazing I am!!! Jeez! I used to like the Powers letters section mainly for the 'No LIfe' section (fun to read Bendis' recommendations) but I think enough is enough...
It did make me laugh though, when Bendis sought sympathy and thanked all the people who'd defended his current shit work on the Avengers - tee hee! Mr BMB, it's really not good...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I finished 20th Century Boys! My review...


Some spoilers in this...
Just finished 20th Century Boys. Man that got a bit hard-going!
It's a fantastic story - more like a novel really, as there is so much to it - and it's a fantastic achievement by Naoki Urasawa, but it is slightly flawed, I think. It's like watching the best movie ever, but it's 10 hours long - it's just a bit too much. It really doesn't need to be 22 volumes long!!
It starts to go off in tangents, some good (the new schoolgirl who gets taken to Friend Land) and some a bit boring (Frog's story). One of the worst things is how it 'loses' characters - so Mariah Chan goes missing for sooo long, and (big spoiler in rest of paragraph, just in case you decided to read this) obviously, Kenji, who you know is gonna come back at some point, takes way too long to come back. And having gone in and out of some really tedious events, why don't we see what Kenji got up to - and, more importantly, how he survived the explosion?
As the book was coming to an end, I kept thinking 'how are they gonna wrap this up in just a few chapters?', and i don't really feel it was very satisfying. Having taken several chapters to tell a minor story, going round and round in circles, it was disappointing that the ending was crammed into a handful of chapters. There are some fantastic characters in the story, and I feel they got a bit lost along the way.
The other problem of it being so long is that you start to get ahead of Urasawa a bit. You knooow that certain characters are gonna come back, you start to think 'well why'd he do that that way?' and there are other things, like I was convinced Mariah is Maruo's son, and I was waiting for that revelation that never came.
But all in all, it's a fantastic read, not perfect, but really worth a look. It reminded me of Lost and I think it's actually more satisfying than Lost, in that you get a lot of revelations that make sense - how did Donkey die? what happened in the Science Room? - whereas Lost's revelations (well, the ones they bothered to answer) just come out of nowhere, really.
I give 20th Century Boys an 8 out of 10!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's not all bad though

Hmm I still do love comics. Can't forget about all the classic old ones... They'll always be there.
I've been enjoying reading an Alpha Flight forum on Comic Book Resources, where one guy reviews every issue and people then chip in with their thoughts and comments. And my gosh it's a forum with no bitchery or haters!!!
http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=222969
I'm so fond of Alpha Flight, so many good memories. And reading the forum makes it clear how ground-breaking the series was. I really do feel lucky to have been a comic fan in the 80s.
It's funny though - I was looking at a retelling of the Power Pack story - a recent Day One comic - with credits to Louise Simonson and June Brigman. That was another classic, and it's so weird to think they are retelling a story from my youth... Almost as if they've given up on coming up with anything new...?!

The sorry state of comics

Some news reports this week on how comic sales are plummeting...and some comic creators have also been speaking out on how they think comics are reeeally bad at the moment.
Well I have to agree really. I've got money to buy them, I love comics, and yet there is NOTHING out there which I am compelled to buy. Marvel and DC have made it easy for me to drop all their titles. The only comics that made me go to the comic shops were Walking Dead and Powers. Powers has been off the boil ever since it went to Marvel and Walking Dead has been dull and boring since the characters left the prison in issue 48. i might still collect them in trades, but floppies are dead to me, which is a shame.
So many bad comics out there. I read the latest New Avengers (free at work)and my god, when will Bendis give up on this interminable magic storyline? Who gives a crap? There's a spread in the issue of classic Bendis dialogue between Hellstorm, Strange and Voodoo and I almost lost the will to live...
The new X-Men title is beyond dire. It's like some generic superhero title with the X name slapped on it. And 13 year old Jubilee is now suddenly a busty woman, while Storm has decided to walk around with her tits hanging out of her suddenly slutty costume.
I was really looking forward to the new Zatanna series, but it's more zzzzzZatanna. So dull, no interesting supporting cast, no interesting villains and Zatanna's costume is terrrrible - her huge back-breaking bust jutting out of her costume - jesus.
While I'm moaning about comics, I've got the 'Wolverine and the XMen' series on in the background. It's quite good, but it irks me so much that they've sold out the XMen and titled it that way!!
aaargh!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

20th Century Boys


Am currently plowing through the epic manga 20th Century Boys and blimey it's good.
I'd tried it before and failed to get into it - partly because it's so intricate, and partly because I wasn't too keen on Naoki Urasawa's sketchy art - but after reading and thoroughly enjoying his Pluto book, I'm so glad I gave 20th CB another go.
It follows the story of a group of kids who came up with a fun bunch of end-of-the-world prophecies in the 70s and when they are in their 30s (the story jumps around in time) these prophecies start to come true. Plus there's a nasty cult of 'Friends' and it turns out that the eeevil leader has a connection to the original kids...
I've read the first 10 volumes so far...and it's unbelievably impressive stuff. You get to know some of the characters inside-out and there are some truly shocking developments.
There are a couple of downsides though. I was reeeally shocked to learn that the story lasts for 26 volumes - that's a whole lot of story! In a way it's great, because a lot of the characters are loveable, and you just don't want to leave them (although having said that, some of them do go missing for volumes at a time, which is a shame). But sometimes it feels like the story has peaked and you feel 'where can they go from here'... It's weird to think I'm only a third of the way through... I kind of wish it'd end sooner! I'm starting to feel it's being spun out a little...and getting a bit tired of some of the fake-out revelations of the Friends' leader's identity.
But now that I'm getting very disillusioned with Marvel and DC comics, it's nice to sink your teeth into this kind of manga, which is created by such a talented writer/artist. His talent is absolutely breathtaking.
Oh a couple of related points - there's been a movie of 20CB, but man it's bad!!! Unimaginative and quite badly acted, not recommended at all!
And finally, I'm really glad I haven't come across a spoiler as to the identity of the Friend's leader yet - I'm quite shocked actually! Hope I don't find out before I read it.
Anyway, if you want to check out this amazing story, you can read it online here.
http://www.manga2u.com/20th_Century_Boys/1/00/

Standards are slipping!!

I'm disturbed to notice that newspaper articles, TV news and internet news have started to quote people's comments from Twitter! What the? I mean, c'monnn, that's hardly top-notch journalism now, is it??
If you write a news-piece, you go for a statement from someone, and that person thinks it through. Twitter is just people's random bullshit ramblings!
And since things like Facebook and Twitter are still relatively new, I think we still don't know how to deal with them. Is it a bit of fun, or is it acceptable to use them as evidence in work sackings or even in police investigations??
I just don't know...
All I know is how much I loathe Twitter. I love Facebook, but Twitter? No! It's as if the whole world suddenly became superstars and we suddenly are expected to give a crap what mundane things people are doing...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Movie review - Mother


I’ve been really underwhelmed by a lot of movies this year. A-Team was awful. I needed a wee throughout Inception, which ruined it. I wanted to punch Michael Cera throughout the entirety of Scott Pilgrim... But I saw one movie last night which really did blow me away – so much so that I’m actually still reeling from it... Still thinking about it...
It’s Mother, a Korean movie by Joon Ho-Bong, the man behind the very cool Memories of Murder and the amazing The Host.
Mother follows the story of an over-protective single mother in her 50s who looks after her young adult son who has a slight mental handicap. One night, the son goes home from a bar and bumps into a young girl who runs away from him. The next day, the girl is found murdered, and the son is arrested when some circumstantial evidence is found by the body. It’s then up to the mother to find out who really murdered the girl – and this involves delving into the girl’s secret life and into the lives of the towns-people.
After a really really bizarre start (the mother dancing in a large field – which does make sense later on in the film), the movie quickly builds the characters and then becomes immersed in an utterly absorbing murder mystery. There are some truly shocking twists and turns and it turns into an incredibly emotional story. Some of the revelations the characters have to deal with are unbelievably dark and some of the plot developments cause a few ‘oh no, don’t do that’s...! And some of the final revelations – and the way they are revealed – will stay in my mind for a long time to come...
The acting in this movie is breathtaking. I want them all to win Oscars! The mother is captivating, really moving. You feel for her at every twist and turn – even when she does the wrong thing. You understand her and you understand why she's doing it. The young son is brilliant (so convincing – and actually, he’s played by a model-type actor from Korea). And the young son’s reckless friend, who becomes embroiled in the story, has such presence... A force of nature on the screen. Move over Tom Cruise.
All in all, simply brilliant. A really clever movie, and you just don’t see any of the devlopments coming! See it if you can!!!

Spandex interview

First part of an interview with Martin about Spandex Comic on the Broken Frontier comic website! Enjoy! Part 2 will have exclusive info on the next few issues of Spandex!!

http://www.brokenfrontier.com/lowdown/p/detail/martin-edens-spandex-soap-opera-part-1

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good Comic, Bad Comic



Bad comic(s)
Urgh. Since X-Men became X-Men Legacy, it has been such a dull, pointless read. And now it’s all just got worse. The latest issue, 238, wow...how the X-mighty have fallen. Boring, nameless characters inexplicably flying to India to meet the Sentinelszzzz. I don’t know who half the characters are (Loa and Indra seem to have the same tattoos – coincidence or bad planning?), and it’s all just a heap of pointless shit. And why are they even on a plane, when they’ve got the Blackbird/jetpacks/teleporters!!!??? And how did Magneto get through customs...?
The X-Men has become one big ol’ uncanny X-Mess. The comic I grew up with is now just written by people who really don’t seem to know the characters whatsoever. I look at Storm and Colossus and they’re just not the same characters I once fell in love with. And why are they all on one island together after what happened on Genosha?What is the point of Namor being an X-Man when he never does anything?
And how bad is the new ‘X-Men’ title? Seems like it’s purely there to cash in on the current vampire trend. What happens after the vampire story finishes?
And why is there gonna be a new team of mutants (‘Hope’s Generation’) when we have enough boring mutants as it is? And who cares about Hope? And is she Jean Grey or what??
Sheesh.

Good comic!

I was in FP at the weekend, and my eye was attracted to a new manga book – Bakuman, by the creators of Death Note. What a lovely cover, and what a great little read. It’s almost as if they wrote it just for me! There are no super-heroics, no fantasy, no fighting – just a beautifully crafted story about two schoolkids wanting to become manga writers (but nowhere near as dull as ‘My Drifting Life’ yawwwn). Can’t wait to read more!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crazy Jane


Look at this...
Cover to Doom Patrol 13...
This was SO crazy jane... but now it's Rita Farr. I reckon something happened... some rights thing...
I was looking forward to CJ's return to DP, but she has barely done anything! :(

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Songs that changed your world

This one just came up on my ipod shuffle...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hVYDHiInXE
Almost knocked my head off my neck... Haven't listened to it for ages. It's just one of those powerful songs in my life, everyone's got them.
I remember when I was younger and I used to love watching the Chart Show on Channel 4 - all those cool videos! I was the typical Smash Hits reader - and loved pop back in those days. But slowly their 'Indie chart' started to grab my attention. Lush, the Breeders, then Not Too Soon by the Throwing Muses. So I asked for the Throwing Muses album for Christmas.... I remember it well - I can always find where my mom hides my presents really easily lol. I remember she got me the cassette and omg the amount of times I snuck into the present room and grabbed the tape and listened to each song one by one over and over again lol... Counting Backwards blew my little mind...
I bought all the earlier Throwing Muses albums, but they were a bit dodgy in places... but after that the band really upped their game with tighter albums. I remember being in Tower Records (ah, Tower Records) in London, and they were playing a song which sounded like the coolest thing I'd ever heard... I asked what it was and it was Snake from University, the next Throwing Muses album! And that's one of my fave albums of all time.
And then things expanded into solo albums from Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly, plus Belly...
Added to that, there were massive connections between the TMs and Love and Rockets (Gilbert Hernandez provided the cover to one of the TMs later albums) which just made everything in my little life make sense for a few moments...
Funny how the massive changes in music have changed the artists' output - Kristen releases tons of stuff online and it's hard to keep track of it all, for instance. She just released a book to record shops which you buy and then download the tracks with a code! And it's actually a pretty good album.
So anyway, at that moment, it was pretty much bye-bye to pop...
What an impact... Similar to the impact discovering Shade the Changing Man had on my music tastes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Walking Deeead


Like most people who will read this, i'm a huge fan of the Walking Dead comic, and very excited about how the tv show is shaping up... (and also feeling weird that people are jumping on our bandwagon!)
I can't help thinking some of it isn't quite right... Andrew Lincoln as Rick... hmm not so sure.. He looks too weird. They guy who plays Shane seems more charismatic and I'd prob want to watch him more...
as much as i like Laurie Holden, i think she's too old to play Andrea... In fact the gal who plays Amy would make a better Andrea - would be great to watch her get all mean and warrior-y.
Bit worried that sarah wayne callies is too likeable for Lori...
can't wait to see Mihconne and Tyreese.
but oh well, i trust them, and it does look cool. reeeally wish they were doing it in black and white though!
a couple of thoughts on the comic - gosh, its' really slow at the moment. in fact the general consensus is that it's been a bit off the boil since they left the prison... it's definitely lost it's edge. i think it's time they killed off rick.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Inception


I think I’m gonna start getting annoyed!!!
I just saw Inception, and it’s a cool movie…but it’s not perfect by any means… And that’s what’s gonna annoy me, because the lazy 10 out of 10 reviews are already starting to come in…
All I can do is break it down into what I liked and disliked about it…

Likes:
- The cast. Wow… Nolan certainly has an eye for an ensemble that works. I absolutely loved this cast. Ellen Page is always good (will she ever become an adult though?), Tom Hardy is phenomenal, great to see, I want to see him in loooads more films. Nice to see Ken Watanabe in something like this - he just ‘looks’ good (altho I struggled to hear some of his lines). Dileep Rao is a fab character actor, and it’s always good to see him. Marion Cotillard was just beautiful. But my Oscar goes to Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who stole every scene he was in - he just fit this movie like a glove. Move over, Leo.
- The music - swooon, just beautiful.
- The effects, of course, although not as many as you’d think.


Dislikes:

- Okay, they try to make it all make sense and some ideas ring true and are clever - such as: you never remember the start of a dream etc. But at the end of the day, dreams are crazy! They don’t make sense! Where was that element in this movie? It was just the Matrix really…
- Too serious! Leonardo’s character was just a bit too serious - I mean, I know he had his ‘issues’, but still - what a downer! And Leo himself is a bit weird now - he’s not fat, but he’s big… I just can‘t figure him out and I found him hard to look at… And I kind of felt some moments were unintentionally funny - like when the gang are all tied up together in the hotel - it just looked silly. It was just all way too serious, and I think that worked against it.
- Exposition! Some stuff was left unexplained as if it was obvious, but sometimes things were explained maybe a bit too much - way too clunky. And I defy anyone to say they didn’t get ‘lost’ at some point in this movie, as they tried to remember which ‘layer’ they were watching, and why Ken Watanabe was suddenly okay, etc etc.

So all in all, I found it a frustrating movie, I can’t say I particularly understood it all, but Nolan really has a knack of hitting the spot in his movies and, damn him, he did make me shed a manly tear here and there (actually, to be honest, I was practically weeping in a couple of scenes featuring Marion Cotillard and Cillian Murphy).
But I really hope the movie doesn’t start getting universal ‘perfect scores’, because a movie with such clunky dialogue and crammed-in exposition and unintentionally funny moments is far from perfect, I think.
Please, reviewers, try to put aside your ‘man crushes’ on Christopher Nolan…

Thursday, July 15, 2010

THANK YOU to all the Japandexers!


Japandex is finished! And without wishing to sound like an X-Factor contestant - what a journey!!! I can't believe it's been just a month - it feels like years! I started off with only around 5 people involved, and it's incredible and very exciting how it all developed!
I love art and I love people who draw (I... think everyone in the world can draw, to be honest, everyone has a style) - so it's so cool to have so many different styles and to see the reaction to each picture. And some of the reactions have surprised the artists - and that's very exciting.
Some of the artists have been doing this for years, and some are new talents who I asked to take part. It's been so worthwhile doing this and when some of the art came in, I ended up just staring and staring at it, jaw dropped. And I've met some great people along the way too!
So basically, I'd like to thank each and every person for giving up their time to take part in this very special project. It has been so rewarding, and so much fun to see your versions of my characters. So cool, thank you thank you thank you!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Japandex final day!!!!


GAYZILLA by Steve White
Steve was the first person I invited to take part in Spandex, so it’s a bit of a full-circle thing that it is the last one I am featuring. Steve loves dinosaurs (and Jaws) so I just had to ask him to draw a pic of my Gayzilla character, who made a cameo in issue 2 of Spandex.
Steve’s been a comics professional for years, working with Marvel UK and now for Titan, and he’s been involved in tons of comics that you will have read. He’s currently editing Transformers and overseeing Clint Magazine!
Steve does a lot of drawing in his spare time, and he loves drawing dinosaurs – he often does art as gifts for people. Gorgeous stuff!!!
Right, that’s it from Japandex, thanks for checking it out!
I’ll put up one more thing later this week, so keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Under the Drone?





It's a sad world when a new STephen King book comes out and i have no interest in it whatsoever! He's just released a mini-book called Bronco Billy or something - a baseball book. Having read a couple of baseball-themed SK short stories, I think I'll steer clear...
It's funny though, I'd been thinking of re-reading Under the Drone - maybe a 2nd attempt might improve it, now i know where it's going - and to add to this excitement, I just found out they've released the paperback with four covers - and I think they are pretty stunning!!!! So I think I'll deffo get one of those. Can't decide between the li'l girl and the lady hmmm (is anyone gonna buy the old man??)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Japandex Day... Oh I've lost count, but it's almost over lol


Attack of the 50 Foot Japanese Lesbian by Bridgeen Gillespie

Bridgeen! Hooray! I first met Bridgeen after witnessing a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style email faux pas she made (I won’t embarrass her by revealing the details, but it was one of those mistaken ‘reply to all’ things) – I sent her my sympathies and we had a laugh about it and got chatting and became mates. Her work had actually caught my eye a few years ago, when she made a comic based on the Kate Bush song Rocket’s Tail, which is a great idea.
Bridgeen is one of the friendliest people in the small press, and everyone seems to know Bridgeen! She does comics about her creations Mr Maximo and Rabbit (www.koniption.blogspot.com and you can check out new stuff here http://www.derrywalls.blogspot.com/) and she’s worked on a specially commissioned project called ‘Stranger Danger’ which is a safety comic for kids. You can also see some of her creative writing here: http://www.elephantwords.co.uk/
Bridgeen only came on board Japandex on Sunday, but got this lovely pic together for me nice and quickly! So glad to have her involved!!
Okay, just one more pic to go, might take a couple of days…Plus a little something extra special… Stay tuned!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Japandex Day 24!


Japandexbot by Mark McKenzie Ray
Mark is another of my colleagues! He sits opposite me and we are both huge comic fans and Mark is an aspiring artist who is starting to draw more and more.
Mark worked on this for me and I absolutely love it - and it's the kind of thing that I could never really draw myself, as I am allergic to rulers an...d technical drawing. I think this pic sums up what I like most about Japandex - it's clever (it's fun working out which limb corresponds to which team-mate), it's good, it's cheeky - it sums up Japandex pretty well.
Thanks Mark!
Okay, I wanted to wrap up Japandex on Wednesday (last day of the month) as I don't want to become a Facebook irritant - but I had a couple of late entries worth waiting for, so it might go on for a couple more days... Stay tuned!!!

Japandex Day 23


PINK NINJA WAVE by John Riordan
Now this is something else, isn't it? When John sent it to me he said that he's happy to be able to finish drawing Pink Ninjas now - and after Spandex issue 2, I know exactly how he feels lol! But wow, this is amazing - the detail, the idea, the Spandex depictions, the colouring... it's pretty much geniu...s.
John got in touch about Japandex and we chatted about what he could do, and he suggested doing something with the Hosukai wave, and I think he pretty much nailed it!
John's current big project is a new comic with Dan Cox called Hitsville UK. It's available from the etsy shop on John's website http://www.johnriordan.co.uk/ or you can read it here http://issuu.com/johnnyfighters/docs/hitsvilleuk.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Japandex Day 23!


JAPANDEX by MARTIN EDEN
It's me again! I just wanted to get this out of my system, just a nice black and white pic of the team, with all their names written in Japanese. If you're new to my comics, you won't know that my previous series, The O Men, was all black and white, and with Spandex I'm actually getting used to doing colour comics. So this is me going back to basics! It's also a nice opportunity to show the characters' names in Japanese lettering.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Japandex Day 22!


Mushishi/Musashi by Jay Faulkner
Jay got in touch after being told about Japandex by Stephen Downey (who he is working on 'stuff' for www.talesofthe.com/). Jay mentioned he might do a Neon Musashi image, and I mentioned to him a gorgeous movie poster for the film Mushishi (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_RqFhu7CWo58/SDnQ-Hky9pI/AAAAAAAAA3I/VVE3pxr9D58/s400/MushishiDVD.jpg), which might look good with Glitter in it - and Jay did both! Although instead of the eerieness of Mushishi, Jay went for a nice calmness and cherry blossoms. Jay only wanted me to put Mushishi up, but I've surprised him and put both up - a first for Japandex, a double whammy!

This is the first time that Jay has put paint on paper in form of a water-colour in nearly ten years - as he spends most of his time either writing his own published stories or publishing other people's work in his art inspired online magazine, 'With Painted Words' (www.withpaintedwords.com) - but loved the idea of Japandex so much he dipped his toe back in the water (when that didn't work he used a brush as every sensible artist does!) and has caught the bug again.

To find out more visit www.jayfaulkner.com

I am going to finish Japandex on Wednesday (last day of June) and a couple of people have dropped out (or at least gone quiet on me lol), so I have one slot left to fill, so if you would like to do a pic and have time, I have a couple of great ideas - first come, first served!! martrpeden@yahoo.co.uk

Friday, June 25, 2010

Japandex Day 22


PAPER PINK NINJAS by PHILIPPA RICE
If you’ve been to any comic cons over the past couple of years, you may have bumped into this talented lady, Philippa Rice. She is a bundle of unbelievable creativity. She does loads of comic projects, but her current main ‘thing’ is My Cardboard Life, which is a strip about a group of paper characters and it’s all put together by hand by Philippa. It’s pretty unique and it’s absolutely adorable and hilarious.
You can check it out here:
http://mycardboardlife.com/
She does a new one every weekday.
I knew Philippa would do a knockout job with the Pink Ninjas idea, and of course what she came up with was super kawaii (cute)!
P.S. ‘Interesting’ (?) anecdote: I actually knew Philippa’s sister, Kate, before I knew Philippa. Kate joined my Japanese class in my second term and was with us for a few more terms. I was at the UK Mini Comics/Web Thing and couldn’t believe it when I bumped into Kate – I thought it’d be the last place she’d be lol! But Kate joins Philippa at loads of comic cons, which is how I discovered My Cardboard Life. Interesting eh hehe?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Japandex Day 21!


HARAJUKU GIRL AND SALARY MAN by ROGER MASON
I’ve known Roger for a while, since my first Bristol comic con a few years ago. I love his art – it’s very bold, very stylish, very clever. A lot of his work is in black and white, and one of his most well known graphic novels, The Mice, is a great example of this. Roger has also had graphic novels published in Europe (jealous!), done storyboarding for TV and advertising (jealous!!), and most importantly, he drew a lovely cover for an anthology issue of my O Men comic!
You can check out all of Roger’s work at www.looksgoodonpaper.co.uk – go on have a look, it’s awesome.
I invited Roger to do a moody drawing of two of my J-Team characters (I love those guys!) and I was pretty stunned by what he came up with. He nailed them pretty well and makes me want to do a J-Team comic even more!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Japandex Day 20!


TOKYO LIBERTY POLICE by DAVID WITHERS
David contacted me about Japandex, and suggested a couple of ideas, and I really liked his idea to do a take on Tokyo Gore Police, starring Liberty. Lovely, eh?
David’s work can be found on Deviant Art under the name Chaingunchimp. He’s currently working on projects with talesofthe.com and Berserker Comics, and has also written a strip for Zarjaz.
He is currently writing three graphic novels, two of which are horror and one is a ‘twisted superhero’ story, and he’s also working on loads of short stories. Busy guy!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Japandex Day 19!


AKIRA STARRING PROWLER by GARRY MCLAUGHLIN
Garry got in touch and we chatted a bit about what pic he could do, and he suggested this one - a take on a famous Akira poster. It's a freaky coincidence as that poster is actually above my bed!! Garry adapted the poster to feature Prowler and the Pink Ninjas - I love it! Love the colours!
Garry creates his own comics, and the best place to find out about them is here:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Laser-Age-Comics/133586496653375?ref=ts
He published a horror comic called The Abortion and is currently creating a 'Year of Fear', with a comic called Yellow coming up! Check 'em out!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Japandex Day 18!


SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND? by Dan Bell
Dan is another creator who got in touch when he saw a Japandex shout-out, and he put this together for me. Hehe very cute and fun!
Dan has done loads of books with Underfire Comics, check 'em out here: www.underfire-comic.com/online

Japandex Day 17!


BATTLE ROYALE by MARTIN EDEN
It's me again! I have a couple more pics up my sleeve too lol...
When people get in touch about contributing to Japandex, I am now struggling a bit to think of any more ideas, but there are still probably loads more obvious things out there. Battle Royale is a pretty obvious one, but I didn't think of it until last week. I invited someone to do it who I thought would be peeerfect, but he had something else in mind, so I did it myself!
If you haven't seen Battle Royale, go and watch it now, it's amazing! It's about a bunch of Japanese school-kids who get stuck in a bizarre game on an island. They are each given a weapon and basically have to kill each other until only one of them is left!!
The pic was a good opportunity to draw Diva in a Britney Spears school uniform (as Britney was partly the inspiration for the character!).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Japandex Day 16 (I got my numbers wrong lol)


BUTCH AND MR MUSCLES by JOHN WORKMAN
Did you ever read Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol? Or Walt Simonson's Thor? How about the new Turf series by Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards? Well if so, you know John Workman, cos he's one of comics' Lettering legends!!!
I worked with John in my day job. When I worked on the John Barrowman comic strip in the Torchwood Magazine a couple of years ago, the artist, Tommy Lee Edwards, wanted to work with John Workman, so we did, and I've used John on every subsequent Torchwood comic strip since!
John's great - we email a lot, and he has soooo many anecdotes about the comic industry. He was also art director of Heavy Metal magazine, and created and drew many of his own comics. After I saw his work, I invited him to do a flashback page in the Torchwood comic, which he did such a good job of, and on the back of that, I invited him to take part in Japandex.
John came up with this image, which is so nice, so striking, and I love the fact it features Butch and Mr Muscles, because they don't get as much attention as some of the other characters.
Thanks John!!!
Tomorrow: Battle Royale...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Japandex Day 14!


TOKYO STORY by ANDREW CROSKERY
Andrew was another person who got in touch when I put a Japandex shout-out...out. He suggested this take on the movie poster for the classic 1953 movie Tokyo Story (http://www.ukquad.com/tokyo%20story.jpg) and I loved the idea! He submitted a greyscale version - in keeping with the original poster - but also sent this colour version, which I think works so nicely. Thanks Andrew!
Andrew is writing a new graphic novel and you can check it out here http://kronoscity.co.uk and you can check out a showcase for Irish talent, set up by Andrew and Stephen Downey, here: www.talesofthe.com/
He's also doing some illustrations for a new culture magazine which will be launched in Ireland later this year. You can also have a nose at his work here http://andrewcroskery.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Japandex Day 13!


THE J-TEAM by GRAHAM PEARCE
Graham Pearce has written and drawn his own comic, Sgt Mike Battle, for yeeears, he's part of the backbone of the UK small press scene, and we are occasionally table-mates at comic conventions.
I invited Graham to do a Japandex pic, and thought he should take a stab at the Japanese superteam, The J-Team, who were introduced in Spandex issue 2. I love the team, and hopefully they'll come back into the comic soon. They consist of the leader Salary Man, Harajuku Girl, Mr Tokyo, Facemask, Su Mo, Geisha and Fuji. Graham put together this stunning cover, and PJ Holden did an amazing job with the colours. I'd love to see them do a J-Team comic and have it on the news-stands tomorrow!!
Anyway, you should definitely check out Sgt Mike Battle as it is a hoot, a total parody of comics and a satire on current affairs stuff - have a look here - http://www.sgtmikebattle.co.uk/

Japandex Day 12!


LIBERTY by MELISSA SELBY
Melissa was one of the first people to get in touch with me about Japandex and we had a lovely chat about manga and anime. She did a li'l Diva pic for me, so sweet, Diva in the rain, and she did this pic for Japandex too - Liberty with a manga twist. Sweet, eh? Melissa is actually doing her GCSEs at the moment, but wants to be an artist when she is older. You go, girl!!!
(Got some DOOZIES coming up this week!!! Stay tuned!)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Japandex Day 12!


INDIGO by TONY McGEE
Tony is one of us small pressers/indie guys. He's currently working on an excellent medieval sorcery witchy epic called Outcastes, which boast some of the most stunning covers I've ever seen on any comic. Beautiful! You can check out Tony's goods here: http://truestories.awardspace.com/
I invited Tony to take part in Japandex and he came back with this lovely shot of Indigo, with a li'l Japanese twist.
Enjoy!
(Still need maybe five Japandexers just to make sure I fill out the month, but no biggie if I don't! martrpeden@yahoo.co.uk)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Japandex Day 11!


'NEON V SANTA' by PAUL RAINEY
What can I say about Paul Rainey? Well, first up, he's not a colleague of mine! He's a friend I met through various comic conventions over the years, and our friendship has 'blossomed' into sharing comic con tables and being comic con travel buddies (don't ask about the 'KFC incident' and when I almost killed us both on the motorway journey to Leeds).
Paul has been doing his own comics for years and years. He did stuff like Memory Man, and more recently he published his first book, the Book of Lists, which is a laugh-a-minute look at the awkwardness of life (including tips on snubbing a colleague on the stairwell). He did a very funny strip, 'Telephone Thing', about a guy who starts dating a sexline lady, and he also did a '2000AD prog slog', where he read and reviewed every issue of 2000AD. He's currently bringing his epic series, There's No Time Like The Present, to an end, with the final issue due out soon.
If you see him at a comic con, buy stuff, cos it's so funny and you won't regret it. Alternately, you can order stuff through here: http://www.pbrainey.com/
I liked seeing Paul's version of Neon - good package, Paul!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Japandex Day 10!


MARTIN EDEN - '2046 SPANDEX'
It's me! Ha ha, well it is my party, so I'll take part if I want to!
I love the posters for the movie 2046, so I really wanted to have a go at doing a Spandex version. Look at this - swoon - http://filmandmusicfashion.com/_wizardimages/2046.jpg
I used quite muted colours for this, and it's my old scratchy O Men drawing style, and I also didn't darken the picture in Photoshop like I normally would.
Eagle-eyed readers will point out that 2046 isn't actually a Japanese movie - but the Japandex brief does stretch to Asian culture...!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Japandex Day Nine!


'PINK NINJA ASSASSIN' BY BARRY SPIERS
I first met Barry a few years ago at a Bristol con, where he was showing his portfolio around. Such a talented guy! Soon afterwards, he actually became (no prizes for guessing...) a colleague of mine! Barry is a designer at my workplace, but he does a hell of a lot of illustration work, and has provided loads of covers and artwork for Transformers. He was also one of the artists who contributed to last year's Com.X book, 45.
It gets even more complicated when I tell you that he is the boyf of the artist of Japandex Day Two, El (Li'l Japandex - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=183778&id=137375331859&saved#!/photo.php?pid=4890682&id=137375331859).
I invited Barry to do a Pink Ninja Assassin piccie, based on one of the Ninja Assassin gallery images, and, like El, he disappeared for a few weeks, and then suddenly I got this stunning piece of painted artwork! Cooool!
You can check out Barry's other artwork here: http://barryspiers.carbonmade.com/
Tomorrow: A little something from me!

Japandex Day Eight!


LIBERTY BY BETH STRAKER
Today's picture is by - yes you've guessed it - another workmate hehe (and there are more to come!).
Beth works full time as a designer and also works a lot as an artist, so I invited her to do a li'l Liberty pic. Nice eh?
You can see all of Beth's illustrations here: www.bethanystraker.com
Tomorrow: PINK NINJA ASSASSIN!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Japandex Day Seven!


ANDREW JAMES - '20TH CENTURY BOYZ'
What can I say about Andrew? Well first up, he's yet another of my workmates who's contributed to Japandex - I work with a lot of talented people, don't I!
And secondly, I don't know how he does it... He really is a talent. At work, he'll do paintings for people's birthdays or leavings...but he'll most...ly just get on with it, often without telling anyone, and we suddenly get a work of art the next day. Incredible.
Andrew wrote and drew his own web-series Dubious Tales for several years, you can read it all here: http://www.dubious-tales.com/
Like most of us, he fancied a break from that long-running series, and now he focuses a lot these days on freelance stuff and doing the aforementioned stuff for work, and relaxing (?).
We chatted briefly at work about this picture. Andrew is a massive, massive fan of the 20th Century Boys manga, and he often wears the 20CB t-shirts at work. We had a chuckle about different title possibilities (ask your nearest Japanese chum what the lettering here actually means lol).
I was so pleased with this pic. He based it on this:
http://media.photobucket.com/image/20th%20Century%20Boys/SoulBroRyu/028.jpg
I think it's stunning. Neon looks as cute and fluorescent as he always should - actually, he probably looks cuter than I've ever drawn him myself, curses!

Japandex Day Six!


MEMOIRS OF A DIVA by GARY SIMPSON
This is one of the first Japandexes I received, aaaages ago! It’s by my very good chum Gary Simpson, who lives in Newcastle. Gary’s a hugely talented writer and has had a ‘Future Shock’ published in 2000AD! Jealousss!
He currently writes horror stuff in his spare time, some of it is illustrated, like ‘Slaughterhouse’ and ‘Beast’. I reckon he could be the next Stephen King!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Japandex June Day Five!


MANGA DIVA by LANA SAOUD
Meet Lana Saoud. Lana got in touch with me really early on, and her style was the most exciting and innovative thing I’ve seen in a long time. I asked Lana to draw a version of a Diva pic I did a while ago, and she did it really quickly. I looove the hair. Love it.
Lana lives in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She tells me she got into manga first, and discovered DC and Marvel comics when she was 17, fascinated by how colourful they all were. One issue that really affected her was a Wolverine Giant Special with story and art by Tsutomu Nihei - a beautiful cross between manga and US comics. It really made her want to do her own comics.
Lana says she hasn’t seen comics sold anywhere in her area, but still manages to get them from Ebay - and she particularly loves Arkham Asylum and the Batman villains. I’d love to see her draw a Batman comic - it’d be wicked!
Lana’s currently working on a new project, but in the meantime, I highly recommend you check out her other art - it’s so unique and strong. Love it.
www.mad-arab.deviantart.com/gallery
If you’d like to contact Lana, she is at emo_rainbow_muffin@hotmail.com
NEXT: Memoirs of a Diva

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Japandex Day Four!


Japandex in June - Day Four!
'SPANDEX SWEETHEART' by Martin Stiff
Martin saw my shout-out for Japandex artists on Facebook and we started talking about it - we're colleagues at my day job, Martin is a designer there.
We were chatting away and Martin mentioned that he really liked the novels of Haruki Murakami which was such a weird coincidence as I was currently reading The Wind-up Bird Chronicles - my first taste of the author.
Martin said he'd like to do a take on the cover to Sputnik Sweetheart, and I really love that cover - although there are different versions of the cover, and I'm not sure if Martin had a different one in mind. I really wanted this one!
His pic is beautiful - reminds me a lot of David Mack.
Martin is currently working on a graphic novel called The Absence, and you can read all about it here http://absencecomic.blogspot.com/. It's great - I'd say it's Eddie Campbell meets Strangehaven. (I really don't know how Martin does all this with a very young daughter and a lovely wife - I can barely find time to draw myself, and I live alone!!)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Japandex Day Three!


STEPHEN DOWNEY - 'SEVEN SPANDEX'
Like Cosmo White, I met Stephen at the Birmingham comic con last year. My god, this man should be working at DC or Marvel NOW!!!! His artwork is amazing, very fresh, very detailed, pure genius.
I asked Stephen to have a go at this particular pic - it's a take on one of the movie posters for Seven Samurai which I had on my wall for quite a while - gorgeous colours. I love what Stephen did with it.
Stephen did a graphic novel with Insomnia, called Cancertown, and he's providing art for a Torchwood Magazine comic story - issue 23, which will be out in August. But I think the world needs to see more of his artwork, definitely.
You can see Stephen's portfolio here http://stephendowney.carbonmade.com/projects/2275828 and contact him here stephendowneyonline@hotmail.com.

(Still room to join in on Japandex if you want to! It'd be nice to fill the month of June, so I'd need about 10 more people. Go on, give it a go! Artists of any standard are most welcome!!)

Tomorrow: SPANDEX SWEETHEART...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Japandex Day Two!


EL KANAOURIS – ‘LI’L JAPANDEX’
Isn’t this amazing?
I work with El, she is a designer at my day job place, and she said she had a little idea and went away, and I didn’t hear much about it for a while… So to suddenly get this turn up in my email inbox… Wow… Cute eh? I particularly love Butch and Mr Muscles, and I love the fact that Diva has no boobs ha ha!
It’s so good that I am developing a small project called ‘Li’l Spandex’ with El, which should be a lot of fun. Stay tuned for more details!
If you would like to hire El for any artwork (do it, she’s awesome!!!), just drop her a line at ellk@02.co.uk