Tuesday, 30 June 2020

WHERE AM I (AND WHERE ARE THE VISIONARIES)?

Hi folks, just popping on to give you a quick update. As per my previous post I've recently moved home and had hoped to keep things on track with the blog while doing so, albeit it with less content but at least the next issue of Visionaries would be up on time. As you can see this hasn't happened. The move has been more stressful than I would've liked, in particular discovering no less than 11 slugs inside the house on one of my first nights here! Fortunately I have the most wonderful landlords (the same I've had for about nine years now) and they've done everything they can to eliminate the invasion and get me to the stage where I can finally start to unpack, just over a week and a half after I actually moved from my previous house. Slowly things are getting back to normal and the same will happen with the blog.

Apologies for the lack of content but the blog will resume shortly, starting off with #4 of Visionaries and I'll also get back to what was meant to be the monthly Oink! Scrapbook series, plus the launch of the blog's new YouTube channel! You read it here first! (Well, to be fair where else would you read it?) Now if you'll excuse me I have a lot of salt to brush up and a mountain of comics to get out of their boxes.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

EXCITING NEW COMIC SCENE BOOK SERIES!

Some really exciting news here, not just for fans of classic comics in general but also specifically for Oink!'s pig pals! Have you heard of Comic Scene? It's a superb magazine here in the UK covering the entire comics scene from the UK, the US and everywhere else in the world, large publishers and indies, new comics and a whole lot of classic content. It even includes brand new strips! It's a superb read, highly recommended and will be featured on the blog soon, but right now they've just announced a brand new book series that I just had to share with you all.


The History of Comics will eventually run to a whopping 100 volumes, each one covering a full year of comics goodness between 1930 and 2030. Yes, it's going to take a while to get all of these written and published, obviously, but they're starting right now. The first four volumes are being planned out and writing has started and initial cover designs have been produced which you can see below, with artwork by Flops Comics. It's just been launched on Kickstarter and at the time of writing this it's already nearly halfway to its goal after only being launched a few days ago.


Each volume will include the cultural backdrop to the chosen year, to put the comics and their stories in proper context and will contain an all-new selection of articles written by comics professionals, journalists, academics and comics fans, bringing a varied range of perspectives on our favourite medium's history and output. Just like the regular magazine these books will cover the best of UK and US titles but won't shy away from international series, the independent scene and fan titles.


The plan is to send out four books three times a year for a big, meaty read each time and as mentioned on the Kickstarter page there's a neat slipcase to keep each selection in. By backing the Kickstarter you also get the added bonus of being part of a special Comic Club, receiving a good old fashioned membership card and more benefits yet to be announced. This feels like the ultimate partwork collection and given the quality of the magazine I'm really looking forward to not only the years featuring some childhood favourites, but also the volumes that'll cover the very early days and comics I no doubt will never have heard of before.


The four volumes announced so far, the first batch that make up this Kickstarter, cover the years 1950, 1977, 1984 and 1986. Here's the list of contents so far:

1950: Peanuts, Charlie Brown, Eagle, Crypt of Terror, Vault of Horror, Weird Fantasy, Roy Rogers, Strange Adventures, Mickey in Denmark, Marvel Boy and Lana Lang.

1977: 2000AD, Judge Dredd, Cheeky, Plug, Heavy Metal, Ciao, Cerebus, John Byrne X-Men, Star Wars comics and Rip Off Comix.

1984: Scream!, Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, Dragon Ball, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers UK, Secret Wars, Supergirl: The Movie, Wonder Woman, Price Guide and Fandom.

Then we get to 1986. The cover is below and there's a particular headline that might just grab the attention of this blog's readers.


1986: Watchmen, Oink!, Mazing Man, Dice Man, The 'Nam, Marvel Universe, Legends, Dark Knight, Man of Steel, Howard the Duck and Metalzoic.

Now this would be exciting enough for me but Tony at Comic Scene has actually asked me if I would write the Oink! article! Wow, I am truly honoured to have been asked and have the chance to contribute to one of these books, and of course I've said yes! I can't divulge anything further just yet but needless to say I'll keep you all abreast of the course of the Kickstarter and of the books themselves.

Now what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Kickstarter page and pledge your support for what could be the absolute definitive collection on comics history, and after that nip on over to Comic Scene's own website to check out the latest news, subscribe to the magazine itself or treat yourself to a wealth of back issues.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

BLOG UPDATE

Essentials getting packed first obviously

After a good start to the year with an increase in blog posts as I began building the site I had always envisioned, it kind of all stopped didn't it? Surely being under lockdown should've resulted in a lot more writing and in theory you'd be right of course, but I was surprised how negatively the whole situation affected me. But I've always supported it in order to keep people safe and it's given me time to reflect and reassess life in general (when I haven't been addicted to Animal Crossing) and I'm very happy I'm embracing this and making changes.

The first step was admitting I didn't like my job and not being afraid to quit and go after something else. That might sound easy but when you find yourself stuck in a rut it can be difficult to climb back out. But it's something I'm doing and it'll have a knock on affect to everything else in my life, with regular hours, less stress and a more positive outlook on each day's beginning.

The next thing is represented by that photograph above. Six years ago I lived in a part of Belfast where I was near friends but then I relocated back to my old home town, lasting only six months because I missed the city life. Upon moving back I ended up in a different area of the city, where I've been happy enough all this time. However, lockdown has made me feel very alone. All of a sudden the other side of what is basically a small city seems very far away, so I got in touch with my wonderful landlords and they have a newly refurbished house back near my friends again and I'm moving next week. I can't wait!

Waiting to be turned into my new "office"

It all feels like a fresh start and alongside some news I've received recently (which I'll mention over the weekend) I'm suddenly really excited for the future. I'm even going to use my second bedroom in the new house as my writing room, full of classic comics, Oink! artwork and more. You might even get to see it... but I'll leave it at that for now until I'm ready to announce something else at a future date once I'm all moved in and ready.

So anyway, must get back to it. Watch out for another post over the weekend about something very exciting coming up which you can support, then after that the regular posts shall return. Have a good weekend every, stay home, stay safe.