July 2011

London Film and Comic Con Photos (Part 2)

There was a lot going on at the LFCC (mostly queues for autograph hunters) but there were the occassional Cos players. Never been a big Cos player myself (my costume being a T-Shirt with a Spider-man logo on it) but the showing at LFCC was great. Hercules and She-Hulk had a pull -off, three genuinely innovative ways of dressing like things out of Doctor Who, a Marvel / DC crossover and a guy who was over reliant on the Tardis being larger on the inside.

She-Hulk and Hercules

Dalek, Doctor and Tardis in a row. Genius costumes. Cute as a button. Aw.

Lady Robot

Tardis Time

One more to go later this week. Just stuff. Ghostbusters, Alien and a 90s throwback.

Holy Holy Holy Robin Compilation

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85LUuF6ZXaU&w=425&h=349]

We all know that Robin had some dumb catchphrases in the old Batman cartoon, but not until this compilation by  did we really know just how dumb. You can almost see Batman getting closer and closer to throttling the boy wonder by the end of this clip. Holy unstable sidekicks, Batman!



Comics Did A Good Thing

Those of you who are into both comics and twitter may well have seen the hashtag #comicsdidagoodthing floating around your feed as of late. This will especially be the case if you’re a follower of Gail Simone (Wonder Woman, Secret Six) and frankly if you’re not then you need to stop reading and go follow @GailSimone right this second. Essentially this hashtag is a collection of stories from individuals for whom comics have had a profound and meaningful effect on their lives.

I’ve been utterly engrossed by this topic since it first appeared a few days ago. Both by the candour of the people writing and the range of emotions encapsulated in the stories themselves. As a writer, you’re always trying to find the shortest way of expressing something important and on that front some of these tweets are staggeringly powerful. Unique, deeply personal stories of hardship and hope, encapsulated in under 140 characters and laid bare for all to see.

From the inside of comics I think it can be incredibly easy to forget just how important these books can be to the people that read them, often far more so than to the people that make them. It’s for that reason that I wanted to share a few of these stories. After all, it’s for people like this that we write.

thewolverina Wolverina
Comics kept me sane & able to cope after a motorcycle crash left me injured & unable to hold a normal book open. #comicsdidagoodthing
As a child without a good male role model in my life, I am glad I had Clark Kent and Peter Parker. #comicsdidagoodthing
theisb Chris Sims
One of my favorite things I have to remember my father by are Kirby-inspired drawings of the Silver Surfer and Odin. #ComicsDidAGoodThing
BJLG Bryan J.L. Glass
Daredevil showed me that you get back up no matter how hard or how many times you’ve been knocked down. @GailSimone#comicsdidagoodthing
hangofwednesday Brian Williams
When I spent a lot of my early years of childhood in oxygen tents in hospitals comics gave me joy when my life had none #comicsdidagoodthing
David0Monroe David Monroe
I was 9 white, privileged & isolated. O’Neil/Adams’ GL/GA run opened my eyes & set me on my path as a Social Activist. #comicsdidagoodthing
eris404 Gaia Gardner
@GailSimone Comics, specifically Sandman issue 8, helped me deal with the death of my mother. #comicsdidagoodthing
IliasKyriazis IliasKyriazis
X-men is the ONLY reason I didn’t grew up a bigot #comicsdidagoodthing
Paul_Cornell Paul_Cornell
And let’s not forget Stan Lee’s effect on children’s reading ages. @GailSimone#comicsdidagoodthing
ryanoneil ryanoneil
Thinking about Wally West pushing beyond exhaustion as he ran has kept me going on more than one training run. #comicsdidagoodthing
emcgillivray Erica McGillivray
Comics got me to go to the first @GeekGirlCon meeting & now I’m running the org #comicsdidagoodthing
Highball2814 Buck Rowlette
RT @monksp@GailSimone A buddy used my Green Lantern trades to help bridge the gap between him and his stepson. #comicsdidagoodthing
777damm Steve Damm
Gambit showed me redemption is not free, the past is not permanent and mistakes are natural. #comicsdidagoodthing
gamoid Matt W.
@GailSimone Secret Six helped me distinguish sharks from not-sharks. #comicsdidagoodthing
loveandcapes Thomas Zahler
@GailSimone Comics helped me get the $32,000 question right when I was on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”.
pcvis Pat Vis
@GailSimone They made me happy. #comicsdidagoodthing
There are literally hundreds more examples that you can find by clicking on the hashtag. I hope that by recording a few of them here we’ve helped to retain some of this fascinating topic for the future. If nothing else, it’ll give me something to look back on any time somebody says “they’re just comics”.

Dark Knight Rises official poster revealed

Christopher Nolan’s franchise rolls on under a shed load of secrecy but the folks at WB clearly know how to create a reveal. This beautiful little number may turn out to relate to nothing. An abstract representation of the collapse of Gotham perhaps, or the Dark Knight’s own grip on his city? Or…. they’re gonna do an earthquake!! No Man’s Land anybody? Nope? I feel old.

I’d love it of they did an Earthquake. They won’t. Will they? Anyway… great poster.

From the original series No Man's Land

Lost Jedi: Side Characters

Based on characters and actors from the Star Wars Exhibition in London in 2007, the Lost Jedi is an epic tale featuring unknown Jedi and Imperialist forces as well as some well known faces (Darth Sidious, Vader and Jedi Master Yoda are all featured in the collection). Collected here are the developed character designs and intended basic plot lines for the Lost Jedi. The Lost Jedi is a non-profit fan project based on Star Wars.


A Freight Runner and notorious smuggler, Sas is called upon by Sain Kaspah to help him to locate further Jedi that might be in trouble. She agrees on the proviso that he never darkens her door again – something that initially Sain is only to happy to agree to. A capable fighter and handy with a blaster, Sas has a penchant for musicians and likes to live on the wild side of the galaxy.

Harrun Bahk

A mysterious figure but one that has a vested interest in the Sas and her misadventures.

Jedi Knight Sam Kespah

Retired Jedi Knight Sain Kaspah. Sain is no longera Jedi Knight and all knowledge of him has been wiped from the records. He is however simultaneously the most famous Jedi in the Galaxy. Upon leaving the Jedi Order at the level of Knight he decided to pursue a career as a holovid star. He is reknowned galaxy wide as the star of Jedi holo vids. Tolerated by the Jedi Order because of his affable and honest nature, Sain has sworn to never reveal his affiliation. However recent events have changed the situation dramatically…

Never fear….

To all of those we met at LFCC on the weekend and all those who bought a copy of Moon rest assured that Moon 1 is not the only Moon you’ll be getting this year. A record number of folks asked us abut Moon 2 over the weekend and we’ll repeat what we said. Moon 2 is currently hot on the heels of Moon 1. You can expect to see a copy at the end of the Summer and I can confirm it’ll be loaded with Moony goodness.

If you’re bored or you don’t know much about Moon why not check out our ‘What is Moon’ section. Also, please don’t forget Fallen Heroes 1 which is also available to order from Unseen Shadows.com. More news on Moon, Fallen Heroes, Unseen Shadows and other comic projects will appear here regularly. There is also The Lost Jedi – a Star Wars epic I began in 2007 – posted every second Wednesday.

In the meantime we have Star Wars, Dark Knight and Hobbit updates as well as film trailers, daft stuff from the interweb and ongoing blogs. We try to update every day if we can with something so please keep on checking back. Unseen Shadows and Moon are typically Monday and Thursday respectively.

Photos from London Film and Comic Con (Part 1)

Not a bad weekend at the London Film and Comic Con at Earls Court 2 (there’s a second one). A long one – first time they’ve extended it over three days there were some famous Christopher’s (in the form of Doc Brown and Highlander) about the place. Christopher Lloyd refused to leave until he had signed autographs for everyone who had queued. Nice guy. £25 a signature though I’d hang about too if I was a more cynical soul. Corey Feldman was reportedly a douche. That’s not news, merely a continued state of affairs. But when you are sitting under an image of yourself from 20 years ago in order to remind people who you are you should probably show a little humility (though most likely its the last time you want to).

Fun was had. Met some great creators over the weekend and while the cosplayers were in low numbers those that did turn up were top end. More of them on Wednesday.

The View from the Pie Shop

The other View from the Pie Shop

Before Phone hacking: The Adventures of Tin Tin: Secret of the Unicorn extended trailer


Ha ha! The extended version of the original trailer – with moving lips and dialogue!! Captain Haddock and Tin Tin (along with Snowy) on an almighty journey. Loadsa set pieces visible here which suggests there might be some serious twists and turns – in the style of Herge’s original stuff. Its all just a question of whether we’ve all had enough of investigative journalism right now.

Practitioners 35: Andy Kubert

Andy Kubert was born on February 27, 1962, the third member (after father Joe and elder brother Adam) of one of the most famous comics artist families.

While Kubert started at DC Comics, drawing Adam Strange and the Batman Vs Predator crossover, he is probably best known for his work at Marvel Comics, specifically the company’s X-Men titles. With the move of Jim Lee to Image in the early nineties, Kubert (who had already been providing cover art – including Gambit’s introduction on Uncanny X-Men and a brief stint as that titles penciller) became penciller for what was the No.1 title in the world. Starting at Issue 19, Kubert caught the potential disaster of Lee’s departure and maintained the quality. Not dissimilar to Lee’s style, Kubert maintained the lightly lined, crosshatched, clear and concise style readers had enjoyed and actually clarified the panels more so than Lee himself.

Andy Kubert’s run on X-Men was a game changer as it maintained the quality of the X-Men line through the all important X-over event that captured the work of Peter David, Joe Quesada, Adam Kubert and Greg Capullo – all legends in the field. Andy Kubert was penciller on the flagship title of not just the X-line but Marvel itself and continued to push out exceptionally engaging compositions throughout the run. While his work was perhaps less accurate and realistic than his brothers (working on Wolverine at the time), Andy’s work had a subtlety and finesse that his brother didn’t. Relying on light line work and fine detail to augment the story, Kubert’s style was more illustrative and naturally drew the onlooker into the page. Kubert’s grasp of emotive splash pages and unique angles and physicality gave new life to characters such as Gambit and Beast, their natural gymnastics perhaps less impactful under another, less confident artist. His work continued to develop and found itself increasingly enhanced by new colouring techniques as the pencil and ink linework could be more easily brought out of the page; the background and foreground becoming more distinct; a minor detail that his early X-Men work suffered from at times. Far from being a Jim Lee imitator, Kubert was his own artist, developing the characters away from Lee’s original designs however slightly.

Offering it a lighter touch, the emotional impact of the events in the story found greater scope. The romance between Gambit and Rogue that encapsulated the intelligent writing that was taking place in X-Men developed naturally under Kubert’s artistry.

In 2003, Kubert worked on Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602, a beautifully rendered story dropping the most central Marvel characters into the centre of the Elizabethan England at the end of Monarch’s reign. Kubert’s linework matched perfectly the lighter ink work of the period. His representations of the characters timeless and at the same time recognisably the characters of modern day. In it enhanced pencil was used, with the image painted from Kubert’s pencil line work. The effect was staggering and made clear Kubert’s natural illustrative style. Although always precise and meticulous, Kubert’s focus is not always on the central character and he enjoys playing with compositions, not necessarily filling any panel with the characters but allowing the surroundings to impose on the action. This is undoubtedly the work of an assured artist. To be able to jump from X-Men to a project like 1602 successfully shows the range of work Kubert is capable of handling.

Both Andy and his brother signed exclusive contracts to work for DC comics in 2005. While his brother Adam has returned to Marvel comics following his 3 year deal with DC; Dan Didio has confirmed that Andy still has projects with DC. Fundamentally Bat related. Kubert provided covers for Blackest Night issues of Green Lantern and Blackest Night: Batman miniseries. Andy worked with his father Joe on the first two issues of DC Universe Legacies, a 10 issue miniseries chronicling the history of the DC Universe. On top of this Andy contributed to Batman 700, teaming up with Grant Morrison to tell more tales of Damian Wayne as Batman in the future of the over-sized anniversary issue. ‘Flashpoint’ – a Flash centric event is due to start this year (2011).

Kubert is an artist who alters the projects he touches. He has handled two of the most well known franchises for the two largest comic book companies in the world and left all concerned wanting more. The youngest Kubert, Andy had something to prove and it can certainly be argued that his work is considerably more popular and well received than his brother or father. Having also handled Millar’s Ultimate X-Men – a challenge as he effectively anchored the original designs in the mid to late 90s – it’s clear that Andy Kubert is a quietly famous and exceptional talent among equally talented artists. This cannot be ascribed to genes alone, as Kubert has handled the most well known projects in the world and made them more memorable.

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