There's no doubt it is one of the best British comics blogs, with no particular bias or prejudice against any kind of comic while exuding an upbeat view of the industry and its creators. And despite being the tool of a retail and mail order shop, you'd hardly know it, as it's not continually (or ever, really) pushing its merchandise or hurling screaming animated advertisements at you while you're trying to read (and it so easily could). It's all about the content, and the content consists of quality writing on a diverse range of subjects, genres and media.
On a personal note, FPI have been very supportive of The Rainbow Orchid and, in fact, if you look at the blog's contributors, I'm privileged with generosity from all. Joe Gordon, captain of the ship, has regularly featured RO news and tidbits; Richard Bruton positively reviewed volume one; Matthew Badham conducted something of a 'master' interview, while Pádraig Ó Méalóid did a spot-on book-focussed interview; and Wim Lockefeer made my day with the following comment on his own blog, The Ephemerist:
"As a Belgian, and therefore assuming that I have anything to say in things ligne claire (which I don't), I think this is one of the best comics to step in Tintin's footsteps, along with Dirk Stallaert's Nino and Peter Van Dongen's Rampokan..."
I've been waiting for ages to quote that somewhere! One contributor who we don't see so often (hopefully it's the success of Blank Slate Books that has kept him away), but whose rare posts are always insightful, is Kenny Penman, and I'll leave you with the Forbidden Planet International advert he commissioned from me in 2007 (click it to see a larger version).
You can see the FPI birthday post here. Thanks for all the great reading, Joe and team. Here's to the next five...
I also wanted to remind you that Dave Shelton's Good Dog, Bad Dog is out next week from David Fickling Books. It's the first of three DFC Library books to be released, with more to follow later in the year. You can even buy it through my shop if you want, and you can read a preview here.
And finally, a little mention of a superb comic I just read, A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. It's an autobiographical tale that focuses on the author's journey from manga fan to manga professional, coming of age in the 1950s golden era of Japanese comics. It's one of those books where I just had to keep reading 'one more chapter' - and ended up reading several late into the night. Highly recommended, especially if you make comics or love manga.
I closed comments here in early 2007, so it's been a while since I looked at the code I wrote. I think I've got it all working though. Please feel free to give it a try (just click on the little speech bubble below). If you're reading this on one of the syndicates (eg. Livejournal, Facebook, Google Reader etc.), then click here to visit the real home of webbledegook!
Now I'm working on volume three, which is all new work at last! Volume one was completed (sans colouring) by 2004, and all but the last 14 pages of volume two were done by the end of 2007. Volume three will see print in early 2011. Here's a little taster of some of the stuff from volume two...