I was interviewed for BBC Radio Scotland this afternoon for their Radio Cafe arts and culture show’s At The Movie segment. This Friday’s coverage of new releases will include V For Vendetta, which apparently was due for the usual quick review but after seeing the previews they decided it needed a bit more coverage (a good sign, as is the fact my mate Padraig who was a preview in Dublin with Leah Moore this week and is an expert on Alan Moore’s work thought it was excellent). So I found myself being asked questions about the original graphic novel and about comic to movie adaptations in general. I deliberately chose some of the more unusual examples since the superhero, big-budget movies are a bit too obvious and kind of what people who don’t read comics (or actively disdain the entire genre, usually without knowing anything about it) expect from a comic book movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy those superhero flicks too, but I thought it was worth trying to show that comics are an incredibly diverse medium – in the last few weeks I’ve added graphic novels to the FPI sites which take in superheroics, humour, erotica and even an autobiographical comic about spousal abuse and that’s just a tiny selection from recent weeks new entries. So I used the likes of Ghost World, American Splendour and the Oscar-nominated A History of Violence as well as showing that comics and movie cross-breeding is nothing new by producing one of Checker’s lovely reproductions of Alex Raymond’s 1940s Flash Gordon strips. I don’t know how much of this will actually make the cut, of course, but it was nice to be back talking about books on the radio again instead of blogging! Much as I’ve enjoyed that I much prefer talking about books and graphic novels and films and pre last year’s events I did several radio appearances to talk about them. The show is on Radio Scotland between 1.15 and 2pm on Friday 17th – like most BBC radio programmes it can be heard via the web and will be archived for a week.
I also had a nice surprise today when a chum at Rebellion, publishers of 2000AD, emailed me a paragraph from one of the founders of that comic about the new Complete Judge Dredd Case Files – yep, British Comics God John Wagner (who wrote the aforementioned A History of Violence) who is Dredd’s co-creator. Its a new series reprinting every story in chronological order from the very beginning (which I remember reading in that then-new 2000AD comic in the late 70s) so it is a nostalgia trip for some of us and quite a surprise to see the differences in the early character compared to now (its like watching any early parts of a TV series, like early Friends or early Star Trek and finding the characters don’t seem quite right because you are now used to the evolved character).
I added John’s take on this very welcome new series of reprints to the entry on the site (a feature called What The Author Says, where the writer can give a personal insight into the work, which is something I like seeing myself) and then despite having a ton of new books to add to the site just had to use it as part of a post on the series on the FPI blog. It was only a paragraph, but it was a paragraph from John Wagner – I’ve grown up reading John’s work so I was over the moon. Any guy my age who read 2000AD in the 70s will know exactly where I am coming from here. Add in a brief recording of a spot for a comics podcast on top of a slew of new books and it was a pretty varied day!