The Original Steampunk – Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright
Comics

The Original Steampunk – Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright

Written between 1978 and 1989 Luther Arkwright can lay claim to being one of the very first, fully realised Steampunk novels. The retro futurist genre can be seen everywhere nowadays, in children’s books like Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines books and comic book franchises like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but Talbot rarely receives much credit … Continue reading

The Book I Read Until it Fell Apart – Tintin  Prisoners of the Sun
Children’s Books That Saved My Life / Comics

The Book I Read Until it Fell Apart – Tintin Prisoners of the Sun

Reading it again today I can see exactly what attracted me to this story. Tintin drags the increasingly eccentric Captain Haddock out of his family home on a mission down the Amazon and up the Peruvian Andes, where he hopes to to lift the Inca’s curse. Prisoners of the Sun is the perfect Tintin adventure, with a string of amazing action sequences and dramatic set pieces. Continue reading

Nancy by Ernie Bushmiller
Comics

Nancy by Ernie Bushmiller

I sometimes ask my children when they sit reading the Beano of a Saturday morning, faces as straight as if they were contemplating the FTSE 100, whether they find the venerable comic funny? ‘Oh yes,’ they reply in all seriousness, ‘very funny.’ Yet no laughs are ever forthcoming. Keen to feed their interest in this … Continue reading

Mutants, Mayhem, Mistletoe – 2000AD at Christmastime
Advent Calendar / Comics

Mutants, Mayhem, Mistletoe – 2000AD at Christmastime

Christmas and comic book sci-fi don’t always go together that well. It’s there at the kitschier ends of the genre – ‘Happy Christmas Superdog. And thank you Wonder Woman, you’ve done a neat job turning my Fortress of Solitude into a winter wonderland.’ Or ‘Holy immaculate conception Batman.’ That sort of thing. There’s one notable … Continue reading

The Black Dossier – Return of the ‘Golliwogg’
Classics / Comics

The Black Dossier – Return of the ‘Golliwogg’

In 2007 Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill published The Black Dossier, the third volume in their comic book series ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen‘. Spanning an alternative 20th Century the League are a group of government agents based on characters from Victorian genre fiction. In The Black Dossier the league square up to a very unreconstructed spy called ‘Jimmy Bond’. But they’re aided by an even more controversial figure. Continue reading

Bryan and Mary Talbot’s Dotter of her Father’s Eyes
Comics

Bryan and Mary Talbot’s Dotter of her Father’s Eyes

This graphic memoir (comic book to you and I) begins this very day, February 2nd – James Joyce’s birthday. It’s the jumping off point for a narrative that weaves the young lives of Mary Talbot and Lucia, daughter of James Joyce. The two were born generations apart, but had in common their ‘cold, mad, feery fathers’ – Mary’s dad James had been a Joycean scholar. Continue reading

Weird Batman
Comics

Weird Batman

I’m not a big fan of the Christopher Nolan Batman films, they were just way too serious for my tastes. Heath Ledger’s amazing turn as the Joker aside, they missed what for me is the main attraction of Batman – his innate freakiness. Tim Burton got the character far better – and in fact Adam … Continue reading