Morrison wants to write Dr Who

According to geek-bible IO9.com, global media comic icon and all round purveyor of weird and cool, Grant Morrison says he would ‘really love to write Doctor Who.’ Clearly something that is likely to be filed too cool to actually happen; those same things could be said of Robert Downey Jr playing Tony Stark, the Guardians of the Galaxy being green lit and an episode being written by Neil Gaiman (already done). Before you dismiss this as mere throwaway gossip – you should know that Morrison has even had mutual friends reach out to Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. The liklihood is that this’ll never get passed the idle chit chat stage but as Comic Resources said ‘Morrison writing for Matt Smith’s Doctor might just break the universe.’

I’d anticipate a few drafts before one that doesn’t mentally scar children is completed. Can Morrison actually write Doctor Who while still maintaining his psycho sexual, media chic? Love to see him try. If I was Moffat though I’d be worried about an intellectual take-over.

Advertisements

Moon: Build Up to a Comic Book Cover: Part 3

The cover moves closer (however may be a poster instead). The argument continues to thrive – at least in my head that the cover for Moon 2 has to be awesome, indicative of what’s going on inside – without actually giving too much of the plot away. It’s never going to live up to Issue 1 and we can’t cheat and do what I did with Fallen Heroes 1 and 2 and just completely recreate the image from the first onto the second.

Seems to me that the second issue is a tough one – possibly the toughest. The initial introduction for any character is exciting and action packed and carries with it a large am amount of momentum. This takes a bit of load off – which had previously been weighing me down a bit about issue 2. Namely that it doesn’t matter that it’s more bombastic, exciting, well drawn, more tragic and funny than the first – issue 2 never compares to Issue 1.

That first sweet nectar of meeting the exciting central character – the anticipation as to where it goes next – frankly both bubbles are burst in Issue 2. This is inevitable – and frankly, don’t take this as a put down of the meaty goodness of Issue 2 of Moon – far from it. All I’m doing is mentally preparing you dear fan for what is a beautifully written and effortlessly coloured second issue. I’ll let you make your own minds up about the art. Like that reviewer from Major Spoilers did (grrrr). I promise you though that if you see Moon 2 on a table at MCM (perhaps) or Thought Bubble (definitely) – grab it, remember it’s issue 2, adjust your anticipation accordingly and get ready to be blown away yet again by the world of Moon. Much, much, much more on it’s way!!

Terrifying Justin Bieber ‘Fan’ Video best thing on web today / this week / this year..

In a fit of unlikely manipulation of enamoured floppy hair lovers, the media biscuit du jour, Mr Justin Bieber (or the vilalinous puppet masters that manipulate the bewildered living child ThunderBird) have come up with another worryingly deviant way of reducing teenage girls self esteem – coming up with a fabaroo contest that furthers Bieber’s nauseating influence while getting fans to do all the work! All the entrants have to do is sing along to Mr Beiber’s song ‘Boyfriend’ and the winning entries will be featured in Bieber’s upcoming NBC Special.

Harmless enough stuff – until this unnamed entrant offered this terrifyingly intimidating version in a brilliantly media savvy and entertainingly alarming way. Rather than warble along earnestly in the hope that the hopeless Bieber might see it and ask them out in the way that so many other entrants have – this entrant has made it clear exactly what sort of girlfriend Beiber really needs. Humorously, not a million miles from the psychology of the music industry execs that spawned the gormless child beast on us all.

The best part is it’ll get twice as many hits as Bieber’s no doubt vacuous NBC Special but will never appear in it – causing pop culture driven execs heads to potentially spontaneously explode with the screaming sound of potential demographics not just missed but actively pointing and laughing.

I will continue to rant unless I stop there!! More of this Iconoclastic genius. If Chris Brown attempts the same thing might I suggest Tyson does his own ‘fan’ film about how to treat a lady beater instead of letting Bieber appear in a video with him….

… okay I’ll stop…. Enjoy the video!!

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s most astounding fact adapted as a comic

We’ve already seen a video interpretation of physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s most astounding fact about the universe in Dan’s weekly Dropping Science post. Cartoonist Gavin Aung Than offers his graphic version of the famous quote, illustrating it in a single, beautiful webcomic.

Than’s comic is below, you can see the whole thing and others at his webcomic Zen Pencils. In Zen Pencils, Than takes various inspirational quotes and illustrates comics around them. This one, inspired in part by the film The Tree of Life has a similar tone to the video version of the quote we’ve seen before. But many of Than interpretations are less expected. He uses the Bene Gesserit “Litany Against Fear” from Frank Herbert’s Dune as the text for a story about escaping an abusive relationship. He also does charming turns with quotes from Ayn Rand, Carl Sagan, and Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

Dangermouse : The Movie?

I don’t tend to like introducing other artists too enthusiastically onto our own blog site unless they’re working with Dan on one of his projects – makes me look bad when they can colour and things – but this discovery on Deviantart the other day had to be shared, including as it does a Dangermouse Movie Poster!!

Before we begin – Dangermouse, (Power House) – He’s the fastest, he’s the quickest, he’s the best – DAANGERMOOOUUUSE!! Dada dada di daa!! DAAANGERMOOOOUSE!! Dada dada di daa!! DANGERMOOOUU-OOOOUU-OOOU-SE!! DA DA DA DA DADI DA DA DA DAA – some more Da das!! – DAAAAAAAAAAAH!! BOOM!!

I have a special affinity with Dangermouse given my surname (Penfold -tut to you at the back looking confused) so when I stumbled upon this set of treats by Daztibbles I was understandably excited that Dangermouse might be returning to a larger screen.

As a child I was gangly and lanky so in no way represented my namesake in any way. One accidental poke in the eye from my mum though and the application of an eye patch and it was clear to all involved (aged 6) as to what we would be playing. Unflappable, unstoppable and with a brilliantly cowardly gerbil for a sidekick DM would fight the nefarious Baron Greenback weekly. Budgets were so short at times that scenes woulds appear in every episode in which Dangermouse and Penfold would famously end up in a darkened room with only their eyes visible. This became one of the best bits of the whole show as it added a ‘dark edge’ that Bananaman and Superted never bothered to get to.

Anyway, Daztibbles, originally from England and now over in Oz, took a Lambourghini and stretched it about a bit until it resembled DM’s car (the vents very handy for the lights of the original apparently). It was a great choice though – look at that. Genius.

Anyway – I’m using this as a jump in to demand a Dangermouse movie. I think Cosgrove Hall has closed it’s doors but by Jove we’ve got to get it made while David Jason’s still got good voice!! We’ve already lost the original voice of Penfold (Terry Scott) so it has to happen soon. At least a CGI series? Failing that – just repeat Wind in the Willows. POOP POOP! WAHEY!!!

See? Awesome.

New Time jumping Mob Movie Looper looks awesome!!

The latest film from Brick director Rian Johnson is a brain-bendingly awesome take on organized crime and time travel. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis are the leads in this long-anticipated tale of what would happen if the mob had a time machine. We can’t wait. This looks pretty much unstoppably cool. Never was a set up for a chase better thought through.

Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter Trailer

It’s easy to see this as the end of real cinema but that’s an over simplification. This is, in part what cinema is for. Everyone’s had that crazy idea of this being the best thing they could imagine. Now, thanks to cinema we can see it happen. It’s the realisation of ephemeral and transient dreams made large and available to everyone. That should be what cinema is about, surely?

Plus; did you see him smash that tree with an axe?!! That was awesome. Abraham Lincoln has returned, directed by a Russian and fighting Vampires. Can’t wait!

Practitioners 47: Alan Moore (Part 3)

In an unusual third part for The Practitioners, Alan Moore furthers the boundaries of leftist and liberal ideologies through comics and marriage and promptly slides back into the thorny embrace of the mainstream…

Alan Tiberius Benedict Leoness Moore III has almost none of those names. However, in 1988 he had a hate on for all things commercial and vowed to work separately from the mainstream with the able help of his wife Phyllis and their mutual lover Deborah Delano. As you might expect the independent comics publishing run by them was known as Mad Love. Tired of the requirements and apparently double handed treatment of creatives in his chosen field Moore moved away from his mainstay subjects of Science Fiction and Superheroes, revealing clearly a wish for more literary comic work, concentrating now on social, political and current subjects for his work.

'Growing Out of It' by Mark Vicars, Jamie Delano, Shane Oakley and Tom Frame for ARGH!! (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia) (1988)

Beginning with their first publication ARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia)- an anthology of work by a number of writers (including Moore) that directly opposed the Thatcher Government’s Clause 28, a law designed to prevent councils and schools ‘promoting homosexuality’ with sales going towards the Organisation of Lesbian and Gay Action, it’s fair to say they went for the political jugular of late ’80s Britain, something Moore, a dignified and practicing leftist all his life found great satisfaction in. Moore was pleased with his involvement, stating at the time “we hadn’t prevented this bill from becoming law, but we had joined in the general uproar against it, which prevented it from ever becoming as viciously effective as its designers might have hoped.”

His title, Shadowplay: The Secret Team, illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz for Ecipse Comics and commissioned by the Christic Institute, a public service law firm founded in 1980 and based in Washington DC, with offices on other major US cities, included in the anthology ‘Brought to Light’,a description of the CIA’s covert drug smuggling and arms dealing furthered his ideological goals to great success.

Adding to this Moore’s Big Numbers, an unfinished title involving a hardly disguised Northampton known as ‘Hampton’ and dealing with the effects by big businesses on ordinary people – a story certainly prescient of the situation we have found ourselves in now – and a Small Killing, hailed as Moore’s ‘most underrated work’ about a once idealistic adveritsing executive haunted by his boyhood self for Victor Gollancz Ltd publishing, it looked as though Moore was finally getting what he wanted. A career without compromise. An opportunity to change people’s minds without speaking through a (however kindly) censored soundbox.

Following this with Warren Elis’ ‘all-time favourite graphic novel, the now notorious From Hell, in which Moore, inspired by Douglas Adam’s Dirk Gently’s holistic detective reasoned that in order to solve a crime holistically, one would need to solve the entire society it occurred in. Using a fictionalised account of the Jack the Ripper stories almost every lasting figure of the period is in some way directly or indirectly involved in the story, including ‘Elephant Man ‘John Merrick, Oscar Wilde, textile designer William Morris, artist Walter Sickert and occultist, astrologer and ceremonial magician, Aliester Crowley among others. Taking nearly ten years to complete, using sooty, scratched pen and ink style by Eddie Campbell, it was a great work, very much toiled over. Hilariously, this caused it to outlive Taboo, the small independent comic anthology created by former collborator, Stephen R. Bissette that it had originally been intended for.

With his other work, Moore wanted again to attempt something innovative in comics, and believed that creating comics pornography was a way of achieving this. This is perhaps something that only Moore could tackle and remain viable, given what he did after completing this project. He remarked that “I had a lot of different ideas as to how it might be possible to do an up-front sexual comic strip and to do it in a way that would remove a lot of what I saw were the problems with pornography in general. That it’s mostly ugly, it’s mostly boring, it’s not inventive – it has no standards.” His answer to this conundrum was Lost Girls, another title that outlasted Taboo itself, in spite of also being intended for it, a story in which three women – of different ages and classes – Alice, of Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Wendy, of Peter Pan meet in a European hotel and regale each other with stories of their sexual adventures. Illustrated by Melinda Gebbie, whom Moore, in spite of being visually part-wookee, entered into a relationship with, Lost Girls was published erratically until the work was finished and collected in 2006.

In this time, Moore wrote a prose novel, Voice of the Fire, which was published in 1996 – following linked events through the Bronze Age to Present day in Moore’s hometown of Northampton through linked stories that formed ingeniously into one coherent story. It remains available online in Hardback and Paperback versions.

It was around this time that Moore became a ceremonial magician. Ceremonial magic, also referred to as High Magic and as learned magic and developed via Hermetism which, in late antiquity, grew in parallel to ancient religions including early christianity and was “characterized by a resistance to the dominance of either pure rationality or doctrinal faith.” Moore practices his magic through long, elaborate and complex rituals of magic and is far too complicated and steeped in ancient lore and anti-religion to go into fully here.

Big Numbers by Alan Moore and Bill Bill Sienkiewicz

At the same time, Moore made a choice that took him away from the core values he had grown to be known for throughout his career and took him back to the heart of mainstream comics, joining Jim Lee at Image Comics – something that shocked a great many of his fans. Image well known at the time for it’s ‘flashy artistic style, graphic violence and scantily-clad large-breasted women,’ it seemed an odd choice for a writer like Moore. But it was the content of Image that had enticed Moore, now looking at an industry that had changed dramatically in his time away. His first work was an issue of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn, which was then followed by the creation of his own Mini-series, 1963, “a pastiche of Jack Kirby stories drawn for Marvel in the sixties, with their rather overblown style, colourful characters and cosmic style.” According to Moore, “after I’d done the 1963 stuff I’d become aware of how much the comic audience had changed while I’d been away. That all of a sudden it seemed that the bulk of the audience really wanted things that had almost no story, just lots of big, full-page pin-up sort of pieces of artwork. And I was genuinely interested to see if I could write a decent story for that market.”

Writing what he saw as “better than average stories for 13 to 15-years olds” including three mini-series based on Spawn: Violator, Violator / Badrock and Spawn: Blood Feud, it appeared that Moore had grasped the nettle on this one. Perhaps even more unlikely, Moore was given Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.S. at issue #21, which he ran with for 14 issues.The series followed two groups of superheroes, one of whom are on a spaceship heading back to their home planet, and the others who are instead remaining on Earth. Moore’s biographer Lance Parkin remarked critically of the series, feeling that it was one of Moore’s worst, and that “you feel Moore should be better than this. It’s not special.” Moore himself, who remarked that he took on the series – his only regular monthly comic series since Swamp Thing – largely because he liked Jim Lee, admitted that he was not entirely happy with the work, believing that he had catered too much to his conceptions of what the fans wanted rather than being innovative.

It was arguably a laudable gesture and to Moore’s credit, conceding a great deal of control to the hands of the artist after years of delicate and intricate control of content, though it was – as conceded by the man himself – a mistake. History would confirm that this period had little lasting creative effect on the industry but at the time writers such as Moore were sidelined and choices were made based on the industry at the time – though with hindsight it is clear that this became a missed opportunity. Moore could have potentially reignited great writing in popular works, dragging the rest of the industry with him as he had done so many times – but that would have had to be intentional and Moore has never tried to influence the industry beyond the borders of his own work.

However Moore took over Rob Liefeld’s Supreme and acknowledging the considerable similarities with DC’s Superman, took the title towards the Silver Age Superman comics of the 1960s, introducing a female superhero, Superema, a super-dog Radar, and a Kryptonite-like material known as Supremium. This ‘mythic’ reimagining of Supreme departed from the character he was templated upon, giving the title fresh air between it’s content and that of the title it had so visibly been based on and under Moore, Supreme was to prove to be a commercial and critical success. Moore announced that he was finally back in mainstream comics after several years of self-imposed exile – something that no doubt saw the older reading fraternity cheer. Moore hadn’t realised something yet. That fans were still following him and waiting for the old Moore to return, fully formed and reinvigorate an ailing art form in a thriving industry. Something Moore tried soon enough with Rob Liefeld’s branched-off Awesome Universe.

With Liefeld’s departure from Image, he hired Moore to create a new universe for the characters he had brought with him from Image. This was Moore’s chance to bring to bear his considerable powers of imagination and he took to the job enthusiastically. Moore’s “solution was breathtaking and cocky – he created a long and distinguished history for these new characters, retro-fitting a fake silver and gold age for them.” Moore began writing comics for many of these characters, such as Glory and Youngblood, as well as a three-part mini-series known as Judgement Day to provide a basis for the Awesome Universe. However Moore was dissatisfied with Liefeld, saying “I just got fed up with the unreliability of information that I get from him, that I didn’t trust him. I didn’t think that he was respecting the work and I found it hard to respect him. And also by then I was probably feeling that with the exception of Jim Lee, Jim Valentino – people like that – that a couple of the Image partners were seeming, to my eyes, to be less than gentlemen. They were seeming to be not necessarily the people I wanted to deal with.”

And so with that, dear reader, the Ceremonial Magician named Moore chose instead to take to his own universe, forming it in the kernel of his own magnificent mind. To help him form the crucible in which this magnificent new universe would sit he employed his old friend Jim Lee and set about finally realising the great aspiration of generations of writers and artists. This time; the Magician Moore decided, he would finally create America’s Best Comics…

Part 3 Coming Soon