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blog of the day 29.04.2004
Webbledelook
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Archive: 05/09 | back to blog |
Three comics
Saturday 30 May 2009
Here are a few notes on some comics I've read over the past few weeks...

I'll start with Three Shadows, by ex-Disney animator Cyril Pedrosa, which I first heard about from Sarah McIntyre's blog a few months ago. It's published by First Second, and as with all of their titles comes in a package of very pleasing dimensions. I love the organic rough-edged pages as well. The art is beautiful, gracefully sketched and flowing with movement on every page - masterful. The story bubbles with fascinating characters, but I did feel it was written purely with the goal of bringing a tear to my eye upon its conclusion (which it did, well, a lump to my throat anyway), thus there's a rather honeyed melancholy throughout which I found a little suffocating. It's good though, and I can see myself keeping it around for another read.

From NBM comes Miss Don't Touch Me (originally La Vierge du Bordel and Du Sang sur les Mains) by Hubert (story and colour) and Kerascoët (drawing). I totally loved this book, from its 1930s Paris setting, to the riveting story and loose yet stylistic draughtsmanship. It's a murder mystery, largely set in a high-class brothel, and featuring a very engaging main character (Blanche). While the story is top-notch, the cartooning adds so much to the whole package, it's just delightful. Very European and very good. (And I discovered the blog of Kerascoët right here - lovely).

One of my favourite political cartoonists is 'Derf' (John Backderf), whose The City I have been following online for a good few years now. I've also been a fan of his longer works - My Friend Dahmer and Trashed, and now, a much longer work, Punk Rock and Trailer Parks. This story follows the remarkable central character, a charismatic trailer-park nerd named Otto, a.k.a 'The Baron', amidst the backdrop of the economically arid city of Akron which became a focal point for the new wave punk scene that hit America at the end of the 70s and into the early 80s. The story features several real bands and artists that did indeed play at 'The Bank' (eg. The Ramones, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Plasmatics), the music venue where much of the story takes place. If nothing else, I was introduced to the simply wonderful Klaus Nomi (an album of his coming my way soon). The only (very minor) downside is a few of the earlier pages print extremely close to the edge of the page - on one it actually sliced off a few letters of balloon text - but all in all it's a really satisfying read that had me chuckling out loud in several places.

posted 30.05.09 at 11:38 pm in Comics | permalink | |


Oooh... shiny
Saturday 23 May 2009
Books. Actual books. Click the images for a closer view.

Spot UV varnish!

posted 23.05.09 at 12:28 pm in Julius Chancer | permalink | |


Learning animals
Friday 22 May 2009
I haven't blogged much this month, things have been somewhat hickeldy-pickeldy. June will be a time of intense work and will include the 40th of June, more of which in a week or so. I've been collecting so many links to share and comics I want to write about that my head's a bit over-full, so for now, here are some recent sketches I've been doing for Rainbow Orchid volume two.
I love drawing elephants - they're like two old men in baggy trousers.

posted 22.05.09 at 11:54 pm in Sketchbook | permalink | |


Cotswold Capers
Friday 15 May 2009
This past week began on Sunday with a trip up to Watford to take part in a full day karate open course led by Shotokan legend Hirokazu Kanazawa (with his son Nobuaki), and very nicely hosted by the Watford SKKIF. Despite the large number of attendees it was a great experience and a very enjoyable day (there's some photos here).
On Monday Elyssa and I took the chance to go off to the Cotswolds for three days. Our first stop was a very windy Blenheim Palace where they also happened to be filming a new version of Gulliver's Travels. We watched as Emily Blunt filmed a scene while the other star of the film, Jack Black, looked on from the sidelines. Elyssa took this photo of the Lilliputian Guard waiting around for their next appearance.

The best part of Blenheim was a very informative guided tour through a few of the rooms, which contrasted starkly with a section of animatronics, video and 'interactivity'. I just can't get excited about these attempts to try and make history 'more exciting', when I think marvelling at the actual objects and stories behind them is a far more rewarding experience (as I've said before).

We stayed in the village of Broadway, and on Tuesday morning had a lovely 5 mile walk up to Broadway Tower and back (by a different route). The tower has strong connections with William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites, so was very interesting for that, but also we were lucky to have a fairly clear day, and from the top of the tower you're supposed to be able to see thirteen counties - it was certainly quite a view.

We went to Cheltenham in the afternoon and saw Coraline in 3D in the evening. The animation was gorgeous and not at all showy-offy, it served the story very nicely. I did think a few parts of the plot were resolved due to some rather convenient events, but that's a minor criticism of a very enjoyable film. And the trailer for Up looked fabulous.

On Wednesday we drove back through Stow-on-the-Wold (mostly closed on a Wednesday it seems, though a second-hand bookshop made it worthwhile) and Bourton-on-the-Water for a lovely lunch.

So - batteries somewhat recharged, brain reset, it's now back to work on The Rainbow Orchid with plenty to do for volume two to get it into shape for publication. I'm working on the cover right now. And I also heard that a copy of the printed volume one has being doing the rounds at the Egmont office - so I'll hopefully get to see that soon.

posted 15.05.09 at 11:55 am in Webbledegook | permalink | |


Kuniyoshi
Friday 1 May 2009
Yesterday Elyssa and I went to the Royal Academy to see the Kuniyoshi exhibition. Masterful prints of beautiful images with a bold line and generally flat colours, all very reminiscent of that lovely ligne claire style. In my early teens I used to copy and colour such images from Stephen Turnball's Book of the Samurai. Now I've added the Kuniyoshi catalogue to my bookshelf as well. Inspiring stuff, so do try and see it before it closes on 7th June.

And last week The Bookseller ran an advert for The Rainbow Orchid (see below). Huge thanks to fellow comic creator Paul Harrison-Davies for letting me know and sending a scan - you can currently see his fabulous work gracing Huzzah! and Huzzah! Noir.

posted 01.05.09 at 10:21 am in Julius Chancer | permalink | |


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