NYC with the QoE

Spring break has mostly been work but I did manage to make another escape to spend the day with the fabulous Stephanie down in the city. Just before another collaboration escapes on Monday, Respectable Horror, which I edited and she supplied the wonderful cover art featuring cover model Poppy. She’s not just skin and bones either!

More photos in a FB album — they’d take up too much of my storage space here — but here’s a few highlights which included stops at the NYPL, Society of Illustrators and the Met as well as fine Belgian and Thai food. Click to embiggen any of the images.

Review: I Tell You It’s Love by Joe R. Lansdale & Daniele Serra

I TELL YOU IT’S LOVE

Joe R. Lansdale
Adapted and illustrated by Daniele Serra
Short Scary Tales Publications

Dark moments seem like sweetness and light to lovers who dance to the beat of a dying heart. Ugly is beauty to them, horror is their laughter, and souls, dark or bright need not apply.

This new collaboration between Lansdale and Serra is a marvel. I’ve been a fan of Lansdale’s forever: his writing mixes up horror and humour with a deceptively nonchanlant style that’s unmistakable as it is enjoyable. Serra is newer to me — I first came across his work as a cover artist for Fox Spirit Books on the BFSA-nominated Tales of Eve and the forthcoming European Monsters. His style is just as unmistakable — arresting, dark and full of atmosphere. The two together create a dark magic that delights even as it harrows.

It’s the hap-hap-happiest time of the year and all Gloria wants for Christmas is pain and more pain. And then maybe someone else’s pain. He thinks she has “no eyes, just sparkles of light where they should have been” and he’s ready to give her all the pain she wants. In a lost town where bats seem to infest every skyline and even the room where the two of them play their games. Serra’s watercolours convey a world where everyone juts out sharp edges and wisps of shadow, as if the things that linger in their wake have presence. “The dripping blood and the long sharp knives that murmured through flesh like a lover’s whisper cutting the dark.” Love is a pain but pain is a drug. And like all drugs it loses its power the more you get. How much is too much?

The words and images will haunt you, but you won’t want to look away. You could frame every page of this book and create a gallery, preferably down a stairwell to make a grim descent — but you might not be able to make it back up again.

I TELL YOU IT’S LOVE – Lansdale/Serra
Graphic Novel Series #3
Publisher: Short, Scary Tales Publications
Subject: Horror
Release Date: November 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-909640-24-5, Oversized Hardcover (8 x 11 inches), Full Colour, 94 pages, £19.95

LonCon and ShamroKon Schedules

LONCON 3 The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention 14-18 August 2014

LONCON

Tove Jansson’s Moomins: Their Legacy and Influence

Thursday 12:00 – 13:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

It’s 100 years since the birth of Finnish author/artist Tove Jansson, the award-winning creator of the beloved Moomins. Moomins appeared in novels, illustrated books, comic book strips and today are celebrated with their own theme park called Muumimaailma (Moomin World).

Why did Jansson’s Moomins capture the attention and affection of the panellists, and how do Moomins continue to fire the imagination of new generations despite being nearly seventy years old?

What is the legacy of the Moomins, and how do they continue to influence European comic books today?

K. A. Laity (M), Lynda Rucker, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson, Mary Talbot, Karrie Fransman

You can watch the BBC documentary ‘Moominland Tales: The Life Of Tove Jansson’ here: http://youtu.be/tSZKzLHI5wg. There will be a showing of this documentary at the convention in the Capital Suite 17, at Thursday at 17:00.

Medieval Influences and Representation in SF/F

Thursday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 6 (ExCeL)

Three academics each give a 15 minute presentation. These are followed by a 30 minute discussion jointly held with the audience.

Constance G. J. Wagner, “FRODO AND FARAMIR: Mirrors of Chivalry”
K. A. Laity, “The ‘Old Weird’: Recognising the Medieval Roots of the ‘New Weird’”
Julie Hofmann, “The Year of the Fruit Bat, the Middle Ages, and the Long 19th Century”
Shyamalika Heffernan (M)

Fantasy and Medievalism

Friday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)

High fantasy is almost invariably set in invented worlds inspired by medieval Europe. Can we put this down to the legacy of Tolkien and to genre works being in close conversation with each other? Or is there something about the place that medieval Europe occupies in our imagination that makes it a perfect companion for tales of epic striving and larger-than-life Good versus Evil? Either way, does this help or hinder the genre?

K. A. Laity (M), Gillian Polack, Robin Hobb, Marieke Nijkamp, Lynda Rucker

The Weird on Screen

Friday 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

In their introduction to their anthology “The Weird”, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer describe the form as “unapologetically transgressive, imaginative, and strange.” Where can we find the weird on screen? What differences are there between the written weird and the weird on screen?

K. A. Laity (M), Dominick Grace, Robyn Talbot, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson, Jaq Greenspon

Vox Populi: the new voice of comic book criticism?

Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Capital Suite 3 (ExCeL)

Anyone with a blog or social media presence can send their opinion directly to comic book creators. How is this affecting comic book criticism?

Is this the death of the old stuffy regime of taste-makers, or the rise of a new type of creative pressure? How is the closer connection between creator and audience affecting the work?

And what happens when the collective force of a fanbase focuses upon ‘punishing’ critical voices?

K. A. Laity (M), KT Davies, Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson, Marcus Gipps, Didi Chanoch

What does Ireland have to offer?

Sunday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 2 (ExCeL)

Ireland is distinctly different as a nation and its people posses a unique identity. How does this work through the creative fiction of modern times? Has the mighty weight of Irish Mythology that have permeated fantasy had an impact on modern writers in Ireland? Where is the new fiction coming from, and what issues of interest are explored?

Liz Bourke (M), Susan Connolly, K. A. Laity, Ruth Frances Long, Bob Neilson

Full programme here. If yo know Debi, you know she’ll be everywhere and she’ll cajole me into going to more things than I would on my own. I hope to see a lot of friends, but there will be thousands of people there O.O so I’m glad some folks like Maura McHugh will also be heading to Dublin —

SHAMROKON 22-24 Aug 2014

European Focus: Missing Medieval Women

Friday 15:00 – 16:00, B. Lansdowne (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road)

Women farriers, Viking Shieldmaidens, Court Poet Christine de Pizan… there were lots of women who weren’t damsels in distress or burnt at the stake. So why don’t we see them in high fantasy?

Liz Bourke (M), Susan Bartholomew, K. A. Laity, Gillian Polack

As you can see, I won’t be too busy in Dublin, so I will likely be catching up with friends (I hope including my publisher Kem from Tirgearr) and reacquainting myself with some of the finer pubs around the city. On Sunday morning (24th) I will be NY bound as classes begin on the 25th. So much for giving myself more leeway…

Full programme here.

2014-08-06 14.40.39

And I’ll be missing Dundee

Leicester Comic Con / London Rambles

I headed off to the southern lands last weekend to join the fabulous Adele for Leicester Comic Con and some Fox Spirit Books plotting and planning.

We set up at the con

We set up at the con

And then added art

And then added art

Lots of people came --

Lots of people came —

We sold lots -- even Catwoman bought one of my books!

We sold lots — even Catwoman bought one of my books!

Then we relaxed at Adele's...

Then we relaxed at Adele’s…

We went to see more comics at the British Library.

We went to see more comics at the British Library.

We had cake in the crypt, as you do.

We had cake in the crypt of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, as you do.

We thought about all the things we saw with wonder (lies! we were discussing how hard you had to swing an axe to break bone...)

On the train back to the Midlands we thought about all the things we saw with wonder…lies! We were discussing how hard you had to swing an axe to break bone. Our fellow passengers loved us!

More on the exhibit later!

Appearing Soon!

In some cases, very soon! This Saturday I’ll be at Leicester Comic Con on Saturday with the lovely Adele, supporting the Fox Spirit Books skulk and signing books and what not. Drop by and say hello. I will be the one stroking the lovely covers of my books. A weekend of fun, running down to London and plotting world domination will ensue. You can’t say we didn’t warn you.

In July I’ll be at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. A lovely spa town — P. G. Wodehouse stayed there, writing quietly, so I will try to follow in his footsteps between attending panels at the fest. Looking forward to seeing folks there.

A big thing: In August I’ll be at World Con in London AKA LonCon3 with my dear pal Debit Chowdhuri — and a whole bunch of folks and I’ll be very busy as well. Here’s my panel schedule so you’ll know where to catch up with me:

Tove Jansson’s Moomins: Their Legacy and Influence
Thursday 12:00 – 13:30

It’s 100 years since the birth of Finnish author/artist Tove Jansson, the award-winning creator of the beloved Moomins. Moomins appeared in novels, illustrated books, comic book strips and today are celebrated with their own theme park called Muumimaailma (Moomin World). Why did Jansson’s Moomins capture the attention and affection of the panelists, and how do Moomins continue to fire the imagination of new generations despite being nearly seventy years old? What is the legacy of the Moomins, and how do they continue to influence European comic books today?

K. A. Laity (M), Lynda Rucker, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson, Mary Talbot, Karrie Fransman

Medieval Influences and Representation in SF/F
Thursday 15:00 – 16:30

Three academics each give a 15 minute presentation. These are followed by a 30 minute discussion jointly held with the audience.

Constance Wagner, “FRODO AND FARAMIR: Mirrors of Chivalry”
K. A. Laity, “The ‘Old Weird’: Recognising the Medieval Roots of the ‘New Weird’”
Julie Hoffman, “The Year of the Fruit Bat, the Middle Ages, and the Long 19th Century”
Shyamalika Heffernan (M)

Fantasy and Medievalism
Friday 11:00 – 12:00

High fantasy is almost invariably set in invented worlds inspired by medieval Europe. Can we put this down to the legacy of Tolkien and to genre works being in close conversation with each other? Or is there something about the place that medieval Europe occupies in our imagination that makes it a perfect companion for tales of epic striving and larger-than-life Good versus Evil? Either way, does this help or hinder the genre?

K. A. Laity (M), Suanna Davis, Robin Hobb, Marieke Nijkamp, Lynda Rucker

The Weird on Screen
Friday 16:30 – 18:00

In their introduction to their anthology “The Weird”, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer describe the form as “unapologetically transgressive, imaginative, and strange.” Where can we find the weird on screen? What differences are there between the written weird and the weird on screen?

K. A. Laity (M), Nina Allan, K. J. (Kirsten) Bishop, Richard Calder, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson

Vox Populi: the new voice of comic book criticism?
Sunday 10:00 – 11:00

Anyone with a blog or social media presence can send their opinion directly to comic book creators. How is this affecting comic book criticism? Is this the death of the old stuffy regime of taste-makers, or the rise of a new type of creative pressure? How is the closer connection between creator and audience affecting the work? And what happens when the collective force of a fanbase focuses upon ‘punishing’ critical voices?

K. A. Laity (M), Karen Davies, Marcus Gipps, Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson

After that, I’ll be at Shamrokon, but more of that anon.

Review: Fashion Beast

Drop over to A Knife & A Quill to read my review of the Malcolm McLaren/Alan Moore film-that-never-was, now a graphic novel, Fashion Beast.

fashionbeast

Fashion Beast

Writers: Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren, Antony Johnston
Cover & Artist: Facundo Percio
MR, Color, 256 pages
ISBN 9781592912117

Blurb:

ALAN MOORE has redefined the graphic novel with his seminal works — Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, and Neonomicon are essential to any readers discovering the comic book medium. At long last, Moore’s time lost masterpiece is presented in deluxe trade paperback and hardcover collections of the complete ten issue Fashion Beast series. Doll was unfulfilled in her life as a coat checker of a trendy club. But when she is fired from the job and auditions to become a ‘mannequin’ for a reclusive designer, the life of glamour she always imagined is opened before her. She soon discovers that the house of Celestine is as dysfunctional as the clothing that define the classes of this dystopian world. This unique reimagining of Beauty and the Beast was written in 1985 alongside Alan Moore’s comics masterpiece Watchmen. Beautifully illustrated by Facundo Percio (Anna Mercury) and meticulously adapted by Antony Johnston (Yuggoth Cultures), this is another must have entry in the graphic novel masterworks library by Alan Moore…

[read the review here]

This may or may not count in Todd’s round up of Overlooked A/V, so drop by and check out the other recommendations.