A trip to New Zealand and the publication of Dick Frizzell-The Painter (2009) by Random House gave me a chance to appraise the Kiwi artist’s work. Last time I was in the country, I wanted to buy his diptych of panels inspired by the original origin of Batman – a work titled (I recall) Crying Boy & Dead Parents by Frizzell, but I was too late.

More from the Vault after the jump


The sprightly and anarchic illustrative work of Quentin Blake is only one reason to seek out Uncle.

Another is foot fetishism – more on that, and other things, after the jump

Persepolis, graphic novel and movie reviewed.

Autobiography has become the life blood of mid-ground comic books. Sometimes the lives recalled are woven into the fabric of dramatic and horrific events of global historical importance, sometimes the events described are decidedly quotidian. In American Splendor (Vertigo, 2008 ) – which often immortalises lives of no particular consequence other than the fact that they are being lived by human beings – author Harvey Pekar rants, ““I’ve done a lot of stuff in my life I’m not proud of but at least…” and then lists such non-acts as “never got high and shot my wife in the head” and “never conned my country into a needless war to boost my ego”.

More after the jump


June 13th, 2008

the incredible hulk posterCritic smash stupid Hulk movie

Those of you who saw the first Hulk movie back in 2003 will no doubt recall how Marvel’s less-than-jolly green giant was developed into a sensitive family drama in which Oedipal conflicts were fought out between an irradiated Bruce Banner and his amazing absorbing Dad who climactically transformed into a large translucent green green jellyfish as if to demonstrate the diffusion of phallocentric power in the face of sensitive new age masculinity. Or something like that.

More after the jump

Iron Brew

May 8th, 2008

cover to iron man 128What could be more relevant to the pissed up youth of today’s binge Britain than an absurdly over produced reprint of ‘Demon In A Bottle, the story of one billionaire superhero’s descent into alcoholism, collectably timed to coincide with the release of Iron Man (reviewed below, with spoilers aplenty), the first of this summer’s movies to claim the title of blockbuster.

More after the jump