Spandex write-up on the FPI blog

Lovely Spandex write-up on the Forbidden Planet International Blog, mainly about the upcoming book collection. T hanks for the support as always, chaps! http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2012/upcoming-spandex-book-1/

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Meet Glitter… on the Spandex blog!

If you don’t already know him, check out Glitter on the Titan Books Spandex blog!

Meet Diva

I’ve written a little thing about Diva for the Titan Books website Spandex blog page – along with a nice eye-popping image!

http://titanbooks.com/blog/spandex-meet-diva/

Mini-comics mini-interviews, Part 3!

T’SAO WEI is the artist who did my Cherry Blossom Girl mini-comic. Keep an eye on this chap – he’s going places. He’s just released his new comic, Windrush, which I can’t recommend highly enough – not just because the art and story are strong, but because it’s really very special: each issue is hand-bound and sewn together by Wei! I think it’s possibly my favourite comic in a long, long time. Anyway, here is the interview…


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the comics you’ve produced?
I’ve been making small press comics for 1 year and 10 months now. My first book project was A Lonely Raven, which is my metaphorical interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, presented in a series of lino prints.
The first actual comic I produced was Through These Slanted Eyes, which is a self-indulgent autobiographical comic about racism and isolation, and it helped me work through my own personal problems I had at the time (the first version of the comic was made in 2005, and will never see the light of day!)
My second comic was in collaboration with the writer Stuart Atholl Gordon on a comic called Neon Loneliness, which features a Creature from the Black Lagoon type character who is separated from his family and finds himself the target for discrimination and prejudice.

What are your favourite comics of all time?
Lone Wolf and CubVagabondBlade of the ImmortalBlood Sword and Storm Riders are my all-time favourites and they’re the books that made the greatest impact on me as a writer/artist.
Lone Wolf and Cub, like anything created by the Koike/Kojima team, carries an air of dignity and grace. Koike can write about anything and make it interesting while Kojima’s ability to tell a visual story is breathtaking.
Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond taught me a lot about brushwork, figure work and general visual storytelling.
Hiroaki Samura’s Blade of the Immortal impressed me the first time I read it in 2001 and it continues to impress. Although the story is set in Edo Japan, the genre of the story constantly changes from action to drama and from romance to horror, which makes the story fresh every time you pick up a new volume.
Both Blood Sword and Storm Riders are creations of Ma Wing Shing and he is the biggest influence on me as an artist. At the peak of his popularity, Ma Wing Shing was one of the most experimental artists around. He would use watercolours, flat colours, oil painting, fine line-work or thick brush strokes and even simple black and white depending on the needs of the story or to highlight important moments in the comic. There are very few artists out there that can depict anything from gentle to savage, soft to hard, elegance to anger, from confidence to utter fear. I learned a lot from observing his artwork when I was only 14 years old, and even now I still learn a lot from studying his old work.

What comics are you reading at the moment?
Right now I’m slowly making my way through the Justice League International collections, which I think every aspiring creator should learn from. Humour aside, I think JLI’s best quality is how natural the characters interact with each other. Kevin Maguire’s artwork is just a bonus!
Some of the monthly comics I’m enjoying now are Rachel Rising by Terry Moore, and Fatale is Brubaker and Phillips at their very best!
As for anthologies, I’m currently reading 2000AD which features the brilliant Nikolai Dante. Great writing by Robbie Morrison, amazing art by Simon Fraser and Gary Caldwell’s colours are equally amazing! The second anthology I read is The Phoenix, which I enjoy reading week after week! It features work by the wacky Etherington Brothers, and the naturalistic and elegant line-work of Kate Brown.
For the British small press, I finished reading Spandex issue 6 a few days ago, which was the best issue so far! Just like JLI, Martin is great with the character interactions!
Another small press comic I recently read is Tozo. The sci-fi setting and the mystery made for a nice transition from The Incal!

How did you find your experience of the Spandex universe (i.e., working on the mini-comic)?
It was a rather joyful experience! The format I had to work from didn’t leave me much space to draw but it did force me to think harder about the overall page design, which was a welcome creative challenge. I’m very happy that I got to draw Cherry Blossom Girl. My first impression of the character (from what I saw in Spandex issue 5) was a sophisticated and confident young woman; I constantly kept that in mind while drawing the mini-comic.

What comics are you working on at the moment and where can we see your work?
I’m currently working on a superhero comic called Windrush, but it doesn’t necessarily follow the generic superhero model. It’s a very special project for me because this is my first ongoing series and the first time I ever enjoyed working on a comic book project. Windrush is the embodiment of everything I love about fiction, and my love letter to the Chinese Wuxia genre, but disguised as a superhero comic. Wuxia is often translated as “Chivalrous Knight” but I prefer the translation “Martial Hero”. The characters of the “Martial Hero” genre tend to have two categories, those within normal society and those who prefer to work outside of society. Outsiders are often described to be in “Jianghu” world, where the laws of normal society are generally of no concern to them. The average superhero comics have their own “Jianghu” where the likes of Superman and the Joker exist in as they attempt to affect the normal structure of society from the outside.
You can check out my work at http://daventer.com/ or http://daventerprojects.blogspot.com/. Anyone interested in Windrush can purchase the first issue here http://www.etsy.com/shop/TsaoWei.

 

Meet the Spandex #6 Mini-Comics Artists, Part 2!

Here’s a mini-interview with the man behind the Bear-Man & Twinkle mini-comic, Mr ROBERT WELLS!!


Martin: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the comics you’ve produced?
Rob: I’ve been writing and drawing comics on and off – mostly off – since the early 1990s.  My comics include Crisp Biscuit, Crisp, The Devil’s Daughter, Colin Comix, and last year – my most productive year ever – I published the first issue of a comic called Crisp Biscuit Comics.

What are your favourite comics of all time?

My favourite comic of all time is probably Love and Rockets, and I particularly love Gilbert’s stories from the 1980s, like Heartbreak Soup and Human Diastrophism. I also love the Lee/Ditko issues of Spider-Man, the Lee/Kirby issues of the Fantastic Four, Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil, Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing, Eightball, Chester Brown’s ‘The Playboy’, and I have a real soft spot for Marvel Comics from the 1970s (X-Men, Marvel Team-Up, Marvel Two-In-One, etc.), as they were what got me hooked in the first place (along with British humour comics like Buster, Monster Fun, Topper, etc.).

What comics are you reading at the moment?

All sorts of stuff but, apart from self-published comics like Spandex and Too Much Sex & Violence, I tend not to buy ‘floppies’ anymore and buy graphic novels instead. I am currently enjoying Love & Rockets: New Stories (of course), Locke & Key, Scalped, Ganges by Kevin Huizenga, and I was enjoying Jonah Hex until DC revamped it as part of their New 52 thing. I am also trying to get into Manga.

I am also buying collections of older material, and am particularly keen on picking up more collections of classic American newspaper strips. Last year I started buying Fantagraphics’ recent reprints of E.C. Segar’s Popeye strips, which are just brilliant, and I just bought a big collection of Little Orphan Annie strips, which I am really looking forward to reading.

How did you find your experience of the Spandex universe (i.e., working on the mini-comic)?
I really enjoyed it. I love Spandex, so I was thrilled to be asked, and these strips were a lot of fun to draw. I’ve drawn several things for other writers recently, after years of plodding away in isolation, and have found it quite a rewarding experience.

What comics are you working on at the moment and where can we see your work?
I am working on several things at the moment. I have drawn pages for the first three issues of Rol Hirst’s Too Much Sex & Violence and I am working on another comic written by Rol called Department of the Peculiar, which I started drawing months ago but I’m still not quite halfway through the first issue (of two) because I keep getting distracted by other things. Those other things include lots of short humour strips – I have enough now for another issue of Crisp Biscuit Comics, so #2 should be out very soon, along with a new printing of #1 – and some illustration work.

Apart from paid work, my priority at the moment is finishing Department of the Peculiar, but once that is done I have a longer story of my own I want to start work on, a humorous (I hope) comic about my health called ‘The Embarrassing Body’. My work can be found online at http://www.crispbiscuit.co.uk <http://www.crispbiscuit.co.uk/> and http://www.crispbiscuit.blogspot.com <http://www.crispbiscuit.blogspot.com/> , in the pages of Too Much Sex & Violence and Crisp Biscuit Comics, and today I found out that a strip I drew last year, written by Paul Rainey, is going to be published in #6 of Strip Magazine!

Meet the Spandex #6 Mini-Comics Artists, Part 1!

I really enjoyed working on the Spandex #6 bonus mini-comics with the three artists, and I thought it would be fun to find out more about them and their comics work! We’ll be meeting T’Sao Wei and Rob Wells next week, but kicking things off we’ve got a mini-interview with the artist who drew the Hag mini-comic, Mr GARRY MCLAUGHLIN!

Martin: Can you talk a little bit about yourself and the comics you’ve produced?
Garry: I’ve been working in indie comics for about three years, mainly working with Jamie McMorrow on the Year of Fear horror series, and with Jules Boyle on the lovely ‘Junkie Dad’ which was published in the now-defunct Wasted comic, published by Alan Grant.

What are your favourite comics of all time?
The hardest question of all I think. Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men was the moment when my mainstream and slightly leftfield tastes collided in a beautiful way. I love The Invisibles, it’s basically like my bible and I don’t understand when people tell me it’s fiction… And ‘All-Star Superman’ is the single best run of superhero comics ever. But wait – that’s all Morrison…
I also love Charles Burns’ ‘Black Hole’ and ‘X’ed Out’ – twisted paranoid Tintin is always fun – I think ‘Phonogram – The Singles Club’ is beautiful, and I just recently finished ‘The Incal’, by Jodorowsky and Moebius, which has taken pride of place as my all-time favourite comic. It’s a completely over-the-top, ridiculous masterpiece.

What comics are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading a lot of small press just now. ‘Too Much Sex and Violence’, ‘The Abnormals’, ‘The Standard’ and of course ‘Spandex’ are taking up more of my reading time than DC and Marvel these days. I’ve just ordered a bunch of comics from indie creators in Glasgow and further afield, and it’s really exciting because you never quite know what to expect, and I’m always thrilled by the quality. Mainstream-wise, I love Wolverine and the X-Men, which is a great direction for the X-Universe, but I’m already fatigued by the Avengers vs X-Men thing and it hasn’t even started yet.
And of the New 52 over at DC, Scott Synder’s Batman is incredible, Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man is also amazing, but I’m worried about the tendency towards crossovers that’s already emerging in the 52. I may be reaching mainstream saturation point. Having said that, Image Comics’ line up for the next year looks incredible.

How did you find your experience of the Spandex universe (i.e., working on the mini-comic)?
It was really hard work, Martin is a hard taskmaster, and he’s always pushing for more, make it better, I want more detail… No, I jest, it was a breeze, and an honour to get a script (even a mini-one) from Martin; he’s really easy to work with, and you can tell he just really enjoys it. I love the Spandex universe, I particularly like that the series (which ostensibly just follows the Spandex team) has already started to portray this massive, textured universe. So working on “extended universe” stuff like the Hag comic was a real thrill.

What comics are you working on at the moment and where can we see your work?
I’ve just finished two comics that are now available – ‘Good Cop Bad Cop’ by Jim Alexander is available through Black Hearted Press, an indie publisher in Glasgow (www.blackheartedpress.co.uk <http://www.blackheartedpress.co.uk> ) and ‘Taking Flight’ by Stephen Sutherland, available through our own Laser Age imprint (www.laseragecomics.co.uk <http://www.laseragecomics.co.uk> ).
Then I’m moving onto a 60 page original graphic novel with John Lees of ‘The Standard’ fame, called Black Leaf, and I’m part of a super-secret Scottish project, codenamed Project Lazarus, which I can’t talk about under fear of death 🙂 I’m also plotting a book of my own, that I intend to write and draw, but that’ll be for next year. My work is available on my portfolio: garrymac.daportfolio.com <http://garrymac.daportfolio.com> .

 

Best review everrrrrr

Another Issue 6 interview, and it’s possibly the best review I’ve ever had! Here’s an extract, ‘Like it says on the cover; this episode you’ll find out the secret of Diva, Eden’s big reveal, the big secret, and you’re not going to guess, not a chance. Anyone who says they had an inkling….. nah, they lie…’
And you can read the whole thing here!