Monday, 28 May 2012

NIA on Instagram.

Hi all. Why not catch up with NIA over at Instagram. Find us on Ez Oh Yez.

Chaos City Comics Signing event.

Creator Signing at Chaos City this Saturday!

On Saturday 2nd June 2012 Chaos City Comics are holding a very special signing event with the creators of CLiNT magazine's DEATH SENTENCE strip! 

Writer Monty Nero and artist Mike Dowling will be on hand to introduce their latest creation and to support the relaunch of CLiNT magazine!

You won't want to miss out on meeting these incredibly talented guys!

And, just to whet your appetite, you can read a recent interview with the guys here:

Us at NIA will be there in force!


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Marvel's Gay Marriage hits my commute.

The gay marriage of Northstar from Alpha Flight and The X-Men and Kyle got a double page article in London's commuter free paper The Metro today.

Hopefully this will open people's minds to the issues and how it shouldn't be a big deal if two human beings want to marry no matter their sex. People like the 'Million Mums' need to get a grip.

Hopefully it also reminds us how forward thinking and thoughtful comics can be. In an age of idiots shouting 'Ban the Burkha' and 'Against God's Will' our medium has always had those amongst it who will stand up for what's right.

Nicely done Marvel. Nicely done comics.

Who needs fucking football terraces anyway.

Buy Pile - 26/05/2012.

This was actually a pretty quiet week this week (comics buying wise so thought I would post this week's buy pile with some thoughts.  The sun is out so I have not had a chance to read them all yet.


Astonishing X-Men 50.   This has of late been one of the lesser X-Men titles but recently is really coming in to it's own.  The gay marriage subject matter could not have come at a better time (please take note all you haters out there). This issue suffers a little in the art and is at moments over written but the proposal is handled really well and this comic is finally back on it's feet.  The free postcard was a nice touch too.
(PS. The Captain Marvel advert looks too bright and too 1990s.  What is the score with that Barnet?  If this turns out to be a good book this advert will not help).

Secret Avengers 27.  As always a superb book.  I miss Gabriel Hardman on art but Renato Guedes is killing it on this book.  No spoilers but it twists and turns like a mofo.  You should be getting this book!

Captain America 12.  This comic hits a years worth of issues and the book seems in a fast decline.  Loved the Alan Davis and Steve McNiven art early on but it's all got a bit patchy.  This was one of my 'first read' books but now needs a kick in it's arse.  The return of Scourge is the only thing I am enjoying in it at the moment.

Captain America and Hawkeye 631.  Hawkeye is written badly - surely we are over the whole 'chip on his shoulder' aspect of his character by now.  He has been written this way a few times recently (see previous Secret Avengers issues.  Is there some kind on new Marvel policy on this?)  He has been an Avenger for decades.  Not sure about the art on this one either.  The team-up aspect will keep me on board (but only just).

Fantastic Four 606.  I think I am actually enjoying these one off strips more than the long run Hickman just finished.  It was OK.

Marvel Zombies: Destroy. 2 of 5.  Not got to it.  The last issue was fun.

Hulk Smash Avengers.  4 of 5.  This was OK I suppose.  Mr Fixit was an unsurprising addition. These Avengers movie tie ins have not been great but I suppose none of us expected them to be. Cool postcard again.

The Mighty Thor 14.  I genuinely was going to drop this book with the last issue but the cover by Walt Simonson sucked me back in.  Might get round to reading it but Fraction's work on this book just smells of movie pitch.

Hulk 62.  Who would have thought that the Red hulk book is the best of the Hulk books but it is by a figgin' mile.  Plus Legion of monsters.  Awesome.

DC Comics.

A quiet week for my DC purchases and only bought All Star Western 9. I have loved the Jonah Hex books over the years and this was my favourite of the New 52 but this book seems a little rushed.  The art is also not up the it's usual high standards. (Have not got round to the back up strip yet).

Boom Studios.

Elric: The Balance Lost.  Not exactly a jumping on point and it's taken a while to get to issue 10 (The zero issue was on the 2011 FCBD list) but this is fucked up awesome.  Moorcock becomes a visual reality but in a very different way from what P. Craig Russell did.  It has a more darkly twisted quality that is full of cross/reality/time/genre awesomeness.  This will read great in trade as well as single issues.


Lord of the Jungle: Annual 1 (an annual so soon?) and Warlord of Mars: Deja Thoris 12. (superb looking art).  Not got round to these yet.

Dark Horse Comics.

Resident Alien 1 of 3.  Brilliant.  The book of the week.  Why does Steve Parkhouse not do more!


Stan. Are you moonlighting in Space?

'Something you want to tell me Stan?'

'Of course not Captain.'

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Porcelain: A Gothic Fairy Tale - NIA Review.

Porcelain: A Gothic Fairy Tale. (issue 1).

Writer - Benjamin Read.
Art - Chris Wildgoose.
Lettering - Jim Campbell.
Published by Improper Books

So people. What did you think of KAPOW this year.  I have to say that we had a great time and met some very cool people.

Whilst sitting with a couple of pals I had the pleasure of being introduced to Chris Wildgoose (genuinely his name - or so he tells me).  Sitting with the comics fans and cosplayers we had a good chat and he is a very amusing and talented individual (and not the shortest man at the convention!)  I bought from him his new book Porcelain.

Porcelain is a book that straddles the line between horror and fairy tale.  It follows the adventures of a young female dirty faced street urchin who climbs the wall into a grand stately home to steal so that she and her companions can eat.  She is immediately detained by the owner and Lord of the Manor who we later come to call 'Uncle'.

Uncle is the creator of the aforementioned 'Porcelain' who are some kind of animated puppets who act as guards and servants for the rich of this world.  It would appear that Uncle has amassed his wealth through inventing and manufacturing these creatures.  He takes pity on the young thief and asks her to live with him as his ward.


Upon a tour of the grounds we see the factory where Uncle creates his creatures.  We learn some of the secret that they seem (at least partly) formed from the bones and bodies of the dead.  He warns his new ward that there is one room she must never look into.  (Some great foreshadowing here when she says 'I've got a, a acquiring mind.')  The issue ends with Uncle handing the girl a porcelain dog she names Mr. Ruffles.

The book at first glance seems to have a strong Fables feel to it but upon reading it you can easily see has it's own original and (mostly) different approach to that Vertigo book.  It's focus for starters is fixed on the two main characters.  They are both engaging and (perhaps) innocent in their own ways.  The book has a gritty harshness to it that counterpoints the beautiful artwork.

Chris has done a stand out job on this book.  His art looks great in black and white and reminds me of Jeff Smith on Bone. The world of Porcelain is surrounded by atmospheric softly falling snow.  Chris is accomplished in the architecture and the surrounding world but where he really shines for me is in the faces of the characters.  Their reactions and personalities are reflected through the moments in the story.

But let's not forget the story and dialogue.  Ben's sharp talking thief has real depth and he throws little nuggets of accent into her speech.  Let's face it, what other comic book can you hear someone say 'squidfart'?  This is no gentle fairy tale.  This is a beautiful world with sharp edges.  We hear word of a 'body market.'  We see a child crushing the bones of humans so that servants can be created for the wealthy.  It has a dangerous dystopian caste system transferred from a book like Brave New World.  The underclass in this case suffer underfoot.  The book says 'there are secrets' and 'wait until you see what we have planned.'  The cheapness of life and the suddenness of violence shown in the attack by the Constable is at sharp contrast to a fairy tale / Disney setting.

Did someone say Soylent Green?

I am more than happy with my signed copy.  Pick it up.

Links below.

Benjamin Read -
Chris Wildgoose -
Jim Campbell -
Improper Books -


More Kapow Booty.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Awwwww - KAPOW!

Cover of the Day.

Oh yes!

KAPOW Day 1 (Part 4).

Some cut price trade goodness!

KAPOW Wrestling.

What was all the weird wrestling about today at KAPOW?

Instagram wrestling.

It got a little strange (and seemed to go on for ages!)


KAPOW Day 1 (Part 3).

A little selection of some of the goodies I picked up at KAPOW today.

These were just 10 pence each!!!
Yeah, I know!  Cool huh!


KAPOW Day 1 (Part 2).

Some other great guests at the show today.

Scott Snyder.

Mr Scott Snyder was a very gracious (and well deserved) winner of the Stan Lee Award for Best Writer and Man of the Year.  (This is a shot of him at his signing table).

Dave Gibbons (always the best ambassador for UK comics - a real gent).

Barry Kitson (who to seemed to spend the whole day mobbed).

Mark Millar (of course).  Think he was glued to his signing table.


KAPOW Day 1 (part 1).

Great Day at KAPOW today.  Thought we would share a few of the memories.  Enjoy.

Got in the hall in time for the Joe Quesada 10am chat on the SFX stage. As usual he was great to listen to.  He spoke about how he tries to get the art on at least one Marvel cover done every month to keep his eye in, but literally has no time for anything else (busy man that he is at Marvel).

When asked about his ideal Marvel movie he told the audience that he would love to see a Killraven movie get made and that it had all the right ingredients to be a great film.  I have to say that I agree with him.

I didn't get to any other panels but did notice Mr Q throughout the day walking about and giving his time to the fans.

NIA (more to come).

Through the post!

Just got home from Kapow to find these beauties waiting for me!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

100 Bullets, gin and cinnamon!

Warning - May contain nuts (kind of).

I have of late been re reading the great 100 Bullets from Vertigo Comic by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso.  A superb book that is always taking you by surprise.  I am up to volume number 4 : A Forgone Tomorrow and it's as excellently twisted as I remember.

Comics are to me the sort of medium that is improved by the circumstances that you read each book.  We all as comics fans choose carefully what we are going to read on holiday, or on the train to work, etc etc.

I have made the decision to only read 100 Bullets when I have been drinking.

Does that surprise you?  It shouldn't. Some of my favourite art has been created whilst under the influence of something or other.  So why shouldn't they be consumed in a similar fashion.  My twisted mental faculties seem in this particular case to gell well with the extreme situations detailed in the pages of this trade paperback.  A train journey through urban central London whilst reading about drug dealers in central park and bandaged murderers fits like a jigsaw piece once combined with extreme alcohol consumption.

I don't recommend it to everyone.  Just kind of flows well for me.

What I one hundred percent would not recommend is the Cinnamon Challenge.  Please watch the below link before reading on.

Now I only did a tea spoon full.  And I am not quite as animated as the lady in the video.  But yes it did come out of my nose.  In fact it still feels like it is coming out of my nose this morning.

But hey it gave everyone a bit of a laugh.

The combination of however of 100 Bullets, cinnamon and gin seems to have made me think I am hilarious (I am).  And I decided to send a flurry of texts.  Some of them are below.

The challenge will continue!  Although I may not try the dare part again anytime soon.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Phew - Crime Noir.

Phew. Thought I had run out of Hard Case Crime, then these arrived.


POTA Sketch.

Here is that Marc Laming POTA sketch closer up.  Awesome stuff.


Free Comic Book Day - 2012.

Free Comic book Day 2012 - Overview.

Today was a great Free Comic Book day at Chaos City Comics in St Albans in the UK (

Myself and The Boy Wonder were there for the doors opening as were quite a few others.  Once inside there were some great comics on offer.  The shop was packed all day and people were chatting about comics and hanging out.  It was a great atmosphere.

All Free!!!!!

I picked up the two Avengers issues and TBW picked up the DC Comics 52 offering.

Avengers FCBD issue 0.1 - 'Age of Ultron'.

Let's not forget that the stores have to pay for the comics and most people came in, took a few free issues and paid for a few other issues.  What was noticeable however was that a few groups turned up and took handfuls of free issues and left without a word.  Yup, gets my goat every year.

But generally the mood was very comics centric all day.

At 1.30pm red hot artist and all round cool guy Marc Laming came in and chatted and sketched in equal measure.  He is just finishing up on Boom Comics 'Exile on the Planet of the Apes' and had some preview pages along to show for issue 3.  They look incredible.  The trade of his recent crime noir mini series 'The Rinse' is due out next month from Boom Studios and well worth a look. 

I got a great POTA sketch (fully inked) from him that is already gracing the wall of the comics room.

Marc Laming and a POTA pencil and ink.

I picked up my stack as did TBW and we are now ploughing through them.  In fact TBW could not wait to read his newly bought 'Preacher' trade.

 Once again it's a big thanks to Derek, Luke and Lupo for hosting this event at Chaos City Comics again this year.  I only hope that this helps to spread the comics word and the general population begin to see the worth in this our favourite medium.

Derek of Chaos City Comics and store mascot Lupo the dog.

We didn't have time to make it to Dead Universe but from what I can see from the web and word of mouth they had a killer time as well.

See you next year.


FCBD etiquette!

Lots of people walking in. Grabbing a big fistload of comics and just walking out! BUY SOMETHING you tight arses!!!!!! #FCBD


Age of Ultron.

So far we are loving #FCBD Avengers: Age of Ultron.

'Amazing art Dad.'

Or so The Boy Wonder tells me!


Free Comic Book Day - Badges!

And badges too!

FCBD has lifted off!

Free Comic Book Day has lifted off at Chaos City Comics in St Albans.

Pop down and don't forget that the retailers have to actually pay for the books so make sure that you buy something as well!

There are some great books out today.


Thursday, 3 May 2012