Sunday, 27 May 2012

New Comics?

I've had some computer problems -nothing major but enough to annoy me - so apologies for the delay afterr promising to keep this post up. Truth to tell there hasn't been much in the line of stuff worth writing about. I've hunted in vain for some new comics that I could genuinely get excited about but have found nothing just the same old material. There's actually nothing that jumps out off a shelf at me - even the covers look pretty lacklustre. Went and saw the new Avengers movie which I thought might inspire some new stuff - the movie itself was actually one of the better superhero movies and I thought that it would invigorate something new. But I walked into Forbidden Planet a couple of weeks ago and there was nothing. The Belfast branch even seems to be cutting back on the amount of stock that it's holding and a number of the shelves were nearly empty. I bought a couple of titles just because I felt I should but they were nothing special and I'd both of them read on the way back from Belfast on the train. So no real change - I'm worried that this blog is starting to become something like a whingeing session but I'm afraid that's the way I see it. Some of you should write to me and tell me I'm wrong and point me towards new and exciting things that are happening out there - and maybe there are - as I can find them. The digital comics are just as bad and they're eminently disposable as well. Are we living in an age of disposable culture. Enough whining. I'm just getting old I think.I was approached by a Bosnian publisher to maybe do some more Father Tibor - Judgement of the Calusari but he can only afford to pay me in marka which is no good to me, even though he's increased his offer from last time. Bosnian marka are not legal tender here and getting them changed is something of a nightmare. So if anyone - even in Europe - would like the idea for the strip get in contact with me. I can work for euros. Otherwise the Calusari will slink away in the dark. Still nothing on 1949 either and we're not sure where to go with it. It seems too good an idea not to do but where to take it. I had asked the Northern Ireland Arts Council for some money to take it to the US but, as usual in Northern Ireland, there's nothing happening. You have to be in the know over here here - or a member of some former political organisation - to get funding for anything. And comics are not high up the Northern Ireland Arts Council's list. Stuff the idea that they could maybe make graphics connections with Europe - but if no need money to redo a paramilitary mural into something more inclusive, and there's nothing wrong with that, then they're your people. It's just being in the know - the last Creative Industries Award, and that title was a laugh if there ever was one - went to all the usual suspects, like the Borough Councils. As I said, in the know. This is turning out more vitrioliic than I expected but it's one of the problems of living and working in Northern Iraldn. Their idea of creativity in an HBO filming of Game of Thrones - does anyone else find it boring? Can anyone follow it? I'm becoming more grumply - must be my age - so I'll stop. The compuer seems to be running again, hopefully, so there might be another blog along soon. See you later 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Disposable Comics

Am suffering from a broken toe at the moment which is a bit painful. Don't ask, a silly argument with a chair. And I was in Belfast on Tuesday and walked round on it all day, then came home and called into the supermarket and in a queue at a checkout a woman in front of me with high-heels to an involuntary step backwards - agony! She did apologise and I told her it was all right - smiling through the pain.I was in Belfast seeing Adrian to see if there was any way forward for 1949 - still nothing. We both agree that the comics scene is more or less dead. Both D.C. and Marvel have killed it. I went into Forbidden Planet when I was in Belfast and there wasn't a thing on the shelves that I found remotely interesting. One of the other things I think which has killed the comics industry is digitalisation. It's like music. I was talking to a guy the other day who is a musician and an old friend. He's been putting together albums for about 20 years and his stuff is excellent. But te albums don't sell. This is mainly because you can get his stuff on download. So what happens is that you hear a track and say "I quite like that". Go to your computer and download it - just the track - onto your MP3 player. It'll cost you around 70 or so pence. After a while you say "I don't like that any more" or "It's not as good as I hought" and you delete it. You've only lost about 70 pence. Now my friend was saying you have no idea of his work beyond that track that you downloaded. You don't listen to his album as a whole - it's simply disposable. And it's killed music. The same thing is happening with comics. You download a comic - it's not what you thought or you read it through and tire of it and delete it. It fosters a disposable mentality. As my friend says "Nobody listens to music any more - they listen to tracks and then get rid of them" It's the way of things - it's almost a throwaway culture. And looking at the comics I've seen there's little to keep. I have collections of  comics which told stories - it's not like that any more. All about artwork. I get the impression that the folks at Marvel sit around and say "Who haven't the X-Men fought for a while?" "The Fantastic Four. Let's string that out across several comics - we don't really need a story, the artwork'll carry it." That's why none of the big comic companies want writers - except they're celebrities. And of course celebrities can't write as the comic by Jonathan Ross Turf showed so well. And yet it's picked up because it's done by a celebrity and there's the possibility of a film or television show. When I walked into Waterstones there was "the new comic by Jonathan Ross" in big vold letters. Ant the comic - a hardback - was absolute rubbish. I couldn't bring myself to even read too far into it. And it's the same with Philip Chevron of the Pogues - the comic about Irish emigration is unintelligible. Get back to really goos stories. Right I've had my rant - I'm off to get something to eat and have my toe seen to. Will write again soon, hopefully