As mentioned in the previous post, I recently attended the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. As also mentioned, I summarily failed to take advantage of most of the amazing opportunities to purchase from and support the thriving small press scene, as I am relentlessly poor and only capable of making terrible decisions.
I did, however, see fit to justify delving into the 25p comic boxes and charity shops (and also received free comics in a Forbidden Planet promotional bag with an advert on it for one of those sleazy-looking ‘bad girl’ comics that made anyone carrying the bag look like everyone’s stereotypical idea of a comics reader, which was tonally at odds with the general ‘vibe’ of the festival).
This didn’t feel like spending real money. I am a monster, but here are all of my comics purchases, as a result. Spanning genres and years and quality, there’s rather a lot, and I worked my way through them all on a series of train journeys, enforced periods of toilet-sitting, and just plain ol’ hanging about in town, relaxing.
Read on? There probably is at least one comic here that’s of interest to you?
Filed under Comics, Memories
Yes! As you may surmise from the title of this post, there was a comics thingy on in Kendal in the UK last weekend, and I attended it.
Taking place over three days and a whole host of venues, the best description of it comes from one of the festival’s founders, Bryan Talbot (more on him later!), in the official programme:
“Thirty years ago I attended my first major European comics festival in Lucca in Italy and it blew my mind. Here was an entire town en fete, a public celebration of the medium we love. Ever since then I’ve had a dream of a UK equivalent and now, at last, it’s here.”
So, yeah, this was different from your normal comics convention, in that it was spread all over the town in a really excellent way. A whole host of venues contained related events, with most shops and buildings seeming to be involved with it in some way. Apart from the main venues where the bulk of the festival took place, there were charity shops putting their comics to the fore, chippies selling Spider-man prints, opticians having schoolkid-created comics in the windows, the shopping centre containing child-aimed comics workshops, empty buildings with comics-themed decals in the window, not to mention nearly every shop containing posters and flyers for the event. Plus, the event has its own rather tasty ale ‘Tall Toad’, illustrated by Gilbert Shelton!
Oh, and there’s a Batman flag flying above the town (which I sadly don’t have a photo of).
So, it finally happened. I’ve regularly reserved and borrowed and read so many comics from the local library that I am currently unable to reserve anymore, and I have to ‘see the staff for more information’. I envisage this meeting to go something along these lines:
“Please stop giving us so much work with all these reservations, when you’re clearly not enjoying yourself. You need to STOP. For us, and for you.”
So! To celebrate, here’s a quick round-up of the loads of comics I’ve read these last couple of weeks (the sheer amount of ones I don’t get around to reviewing is terrifying)! I’d list them all here, but perhaps just ‘Dive In’ like Toby Slater, and see if anything in this ‘article’ is for you?
BATMAN: THE CULT written by Jim Starlin, art by Bernie Wrightson, colours by Bill Wray
Batman: The Cult is a miniseries from 1998, in the post-Dark Knight Returns era of gritty bat-pain and No Fun. It doesn’t seem to be mentioned too often as part of the Bat-Canon, which is rather surprising given the obvious influence it’s had on Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Grant Morrison’s Batman RIP, and Scott Snyder’s Aw Naw; Owls!.
It’s a good read, as well, pulpy and earnest and shrill and ridiculous in the best possible way. It errs on the JT Krulian side of things often, clenched-teeth melodrama and debasement of the superhero ideal making for some astonishingly incongruous scenes of superhero decadence masquerading as ‘mature themes’, full of lovely, lovely subtext that’s a fanfic writer’s dream.
My brain insists that it’s terrible, but my heart insists that it’s ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC.
Well, the Edinburgh Festival I complained about in part 1 is finished. I’ll miss it, though! I like that it reeks of potential and culture! However, some of the posters are down (we’ll have to put up with most of them slowly peeling from the walls, Dan Antopolski’s face decaying for eternity), the cycle paths are clear, and we are mainly left with our memories.
And such memories! Memories of things that aren’t just Festival-related.
Look out for spoilers in this mouldering burlap sack of reviews, especially for Batman Incorporated and Pacific Rim!
Ah, it’s festival time here in Edinburgh, Scotland! In theory, this is a wonderful time of different cultures coming together to celebrate the magic of the arts. In practice, it’s a hellish time when braying Londoners come together to celebrate themselves.
If you listen carefully, wherever you are, you can maybe hear some of them murdering songs on their ukuleles, like hideous pastiches of mobile phone adverts?
Young, handsome bastards.
I’m so old.
Still, this baffling article that’s doing the rounds makes me LOVE the festival, and reminds me there is a lot happening here that’s pretty rad (some good right-on graffito-tagging over comedian’s posters, for one).
So, to celebrate, here are some pieces of writing about a thrilling grab-bag of things that have been part of my recent cultural life, some from the Festival, some not.
There will be spoilers for these things:
Dial H# 15
The World’s End