Who owns Marvelman? Part I and part II - the concluding chapters of Padraig O Mealoid's epic 16 part history of one of comic's most disputed characters. meanwhile another hole in comics history is about to be filled in as Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Zenith finally gets collected in full.
In 1977 Dial Press of New York published Robert Mayer’s first novel, Superfolks. It was, amongst other things, a story of a middle-aged man coming to terms with his life, an enormous collection of 1970s pop-culture references, some now lost to the mists of time, and a satire on certain aspects of the comic superhero, but would probably be largely unheard of these days if it wasn’t for the fact that it is regularly mentioned for its supposed influence on a young Alan Moore and his work, particularly on Watchmen, Marvelman, and his Superman story, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Alan Moore and Superfolks: Part 1: The Case for the Prosecution, Part 2: The Case for the Defence, Part 3: The Strange Case of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore.
Hellblazer, the DC/Vertigo comic starring Alan Moore created occult investigator John Constantine, is being cancelled at issue #300 to make way for a new comic set in DC's New 52 universe. Hellblazer was DC's longest running continuously numbered comic and it's cancelation marks the last of the DC Comics characters with Vertigo titles being taken back into the mainstream DC universe (previously). Vertigo was originally an imprint for mature readers occult themed titles and creator owned work, though it has changed over the years with an adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becoming the first Vertigo to receive TV advertising.
Decompressed is a podcast in which comics writer and former Rock Paper Shotgun journalist Kieron Gillen (X-Men, Thor, Phonogram) talks to artists and writers about the process involved in writing a single issue of a comic. Decompressed 6 broke format and is instead a discussion with Mark Waid and Matt Fraction about scripting comics using the "Marvel Method", or "plot first" - in which the artist draws the comic from a story outline and dialogue is added later, rather than the writer supplying a panel by panel script. For a while out of favour even at Marvel, the method is seeing a resurgance. The podcast page contains visual aids, and embedded version of the podcast, the script of DEFENDERS #9 complete with B&W art and additional links, including links to Warren Ellis’ 3-part tutorial on writing comics (1, 2, 3). Jamie McKelvie and a vultue put in guest appearances. Further example comicbook scripts are available at the Comic Book Script Archive (previously).
Four Micro-Essays on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 2009 (contains spoilers), a look at the concluding part of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's 3 part LoEG: Century series in which the league face off against a headline grabbing villain (extreme spoiler warning) and which spookily presaged some of last nights Olympic opening. Previous Moore and O'Neill. Obligatory annotations from Jess Nevins.
"iZombie will be the last time I’ll ever write for DC... I decided quite some time ago, but waited until after the cancellation of my book was announced to discuss it. The short version is, I don’t agree with the way they treat other creators and their general business practices." writer Chris Roberson ends his relationship with DC Comics, pointing at a post by David Brothers as a summation of his ethical concerns. Roberson's work at DC has included turning around Superman after J. Michael Straczynski left mid-story, iZombie and a spin-offs from Vertigo's Fables featuring Cinderella as a super spy. He is currently working on the creator owned Memorial, published by IDW.
Professor James Moriarty is a mathematician and criminal mastermind, who appears in The Final Problem, the story in which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes. Colonel Sebastian Moran is a colonial cad, who appears in the Adventure of the Empty House, the story in which Holmes returned. Together the commit crime. Kim Newman talks about Professor Moriarty: Hound of the D’Ubervilles, his novel in which they star as a reverse Holmes and Watson (review here), and lists his 10 best villains in literature. Previous team ups of the diabolical duo include the movie Silver Blaze / Murder at the Baskervilles (youtube), which features Ian Fleming as Dr. Watson, (not THE Ian Fleming), and Neil Gaiman's A study in Emerald (pdf) (Previously), as well as a brief appearance together in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Alan Moore and Ian Gibson's epic story The Ballad of Halo Jones concluded 25 years ago today (bar the odd strange one page appearance hinting at why it did not return). Despite being unpopular with readers at first due to it's female protagonist and relative lack of action it is now rightly regarded as one of 2000ads classic stories. However despite Quality Comics reprinting a color monthly version (which was anything but quality) it has remained a rarity in the US, until now. But how would the other 6 chapters of the planned 9 part chapter have gone? Moore revealed how it would have ended in a recent interview.
Cold Reading - A rationalist ghost story by Alan Moore.
The early days of british comics fanzines, by Dez Skinn, one time head of Marvel UK and founder of Warrior.
DC Comics has scraped an upcoming Swamp Thing series by acclaimed writer China Miéville (previously), apparently so that Swamp Thing and other Vertigo characters such as Black Orchid and Shade The Changing Man can be reintegrated into the DC Universe. Vertigo started out as a darker, edgier imprint of comics, largely modeled on Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing, that absorbed many of DCs supernatural characters and largely took them out of DC's more superhero orientated universe, something that this would reverse. There is no word on whether John Constantine, star of Vertigos longest running comic Hellblazer would be affected.>
Alan Moore, the Northampton Wizard, as you've never seen him before - SLYT, Spanish with subtitles.
Kevin O'Neil, classic 2000ad artist, co-creator of Marshall Law, frequent colaborator with Alan Moore and the only artist ever to be outright banned by the Comics code Authority ("there’s nothing you can change — the style is unsuitable!”) talks at length in an epic interview at the comics journal: Part one, part two, part three, part four, part five.
The complete archive of International Times, which launched a revolution in underground publishing in the UK and paved the way for Oz (of the School Kids special fame) (previously) and a whole string of british underground zines, a heritage that Alan Moores new zine Dodgem Logic very much calls upon.
Newsarama posts a massive six part interview with Alan Moore looking at The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910 - part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.
Leo Baxendale, Hunt Emerson Neil Gaiman, Melinda Gebbie, Brendan McCarthy, Pat Mills, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Posy Simmonds, Bryan Talbot - Paul Gravett's Heroes of UK Comics
Original character designs for Watchmen, including a (dropped) full body suit for Rorschach, by Dave Gibbons. (Also it looks like the movie version will have a different ending, so fears of a non-sucky Alan Moore film can be put to rest.)
Who watches The Watchmen? Kevin Smith has, Dave Gibbons has, Alan Moore won't (Gibbons hopes he'll watch the DVD), and if Fox has its way maybe YOU won't either.