Sunday, 26 July 2009

Battle Picture Weekly

Found this pleasant surprise in WH Smith's last week:


Quite a ropey "Souvenir Special" really, the quality of the reproduction is not great and the material does not seem to have been complied with any particular thought.

Still, for all that it's still avery entertaining read and the contributions of comics demi-gods like John Wagner, Pat Mills, Carlos Ezquerra and Jo Colquhoun (amongst others) ensure that it won't be enjoyed purely as a nostaglia hit.

Obviously Walking Wounded is in the tradition of these Battle strips such as Major Eazy and D-Day Dawson. It wasn't our only influence - Commando & Victor both featured heavily in our childhoods too - but it is probably the most important one.

I am not sure quite how today's youth would respond to unadulerated 70s war comics - a generation currently being brought up on Doctor Who Adventures - but this review I found via Google is quite encouraging in that regard.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Have You Ever Had It Blue?

Steve is a busy man. As well as being MFB's main artist, and regularly contributing artwork and scripts to FutureQuake Press, he's also been working as a colourist with 2000AD luminary P J Holden.

PJ has now blogged about this.

Here's a favourite of mine, a Rogue Trooper pinup they did together:

Rogue Trooper

Oh and if that wasn't enough, Steve starts his new day job on Monday!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Quiet Times

Not much to report on the MFB front this week.

Great news elsewhere, however, that Crusader Colourist and British comics luminary Richmond Clements is making his professional writing debut. Well done, Rich!

Oh and I was quite taken with Paul Harrison-Davies' latest Astrodog pinup. A little bit similar to the Massacre For Boys contribution to the Thing 2009 anthology. Surely, the British conquest of space must be about to begin...

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Caped Crusader

I've recently read three Batman books. This was the first and best:

Batman Year One

I'd read it before, as you might expect, but coming back to Year One after a decent interval it's pleasing how well it stands up. The writing is first rate - Miller's trademark ultra-noir but not overcooked as in his latterday work. The art is pretty special too.

Sadly the other two books both sucked big time. Batman: Jekyll and Hyde is a sort of Two-Face version of the Killing Joke, only really badly done. It completely fails to nail either Batman or Two-Face, which kills the whole thing stone dead. Shame as he's potentially one of the great villains - as The Dark Knight film amply demonstrates - but inserting bollocks about him being a multiple-personality disorder loon with an extremely predictable childhood secret is utterly the wrong way to go.

Batman: Ego & Other Tales isn't any better. Darwyn Cooke draws a good comic, but he writes a below average script. The Ego story where Batman and Bruce Wayne meet is not a bad concept, but sadly beyond Cooke's abilities to do anything with it. His Catwoman tale Selina's Big Score, also included for some reason, is an improvement but only marginally. At least it knows it's pulp.

Of the three books I think they all have lessons for Massacre For Boys, perhaps the bad ones more so than the Miller masterpiece. I am currently working on a new Crusader strip. I am trying to avoid either being one-dimensional junk but also aiming too high and missing by miles. Both Batman Jekyll & Hyde and Batman: Ego come across as wanting to be classics. Alan Moore and Frank Miller Batman comes across as wanting to tell a story.