November 9th, 2013
One of the strange blessings of the internet is its ability to serve as an external memory system. Thoughts that would once have been lost to time if they were even lucky enough to have made it out of your head are now preserved for an indefinite eternity in places over which you have little to no control.
For example, if I want to know how I felt about Brendan McCarthy’s Doctor Strange/Spider-Man comic Fever after the first issue came out in 2010, a quick google search will turn up this flouncing defense of the book, written in response to a review by Sean Collins:
Say it Vibrational Match style: Where you see “inert physicality”, I see a Spider-Man who’s all harsh angles and elbows being squashed, flattened out, and a Doc Strange who’s at home with the harsh geometrics McCarthy conjures up.
Where you read flat pastiche, I read Spider-Man as a jerk who gets shut the hell up by the story (his words like jutting elbows –> drooping limbs), and Doc Strange as a badass who can turn exposition into information with the right gestures (verbal, physical).
Also: the mystic spider dialogue is genuinely fucking creepy, for reals, when combined with the images, yes?
In lesser hands this would be mere set-up, but this issue had a whole lot of “?something else?” working for it — that creepy wee arachnid bastard, crawling up the Vulture’s back, fr’instance! Like something from Seven Soldiers, only (yes!) far more unsettling.
I saw the biggest, most bulbous-assed spider of the year last night, sitting on my windowsill. I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to these wee beasties, but last night, after having read Fever? I tell you, I wanted to kiss the wee fucker!
The “hey, I’m a black guy!” dialogue was a bit cringey though, pastiche or no.
Looking at the book this week, I find myself agreeing with every point but the last one.
It’s not that I don’t find the dialogue McCarthy gave to the African-American comedy character cringe-inducing anymore – I do! – but that Brendan McCarthy’s recent Facebook comments on race make me feel ashamed the structure supporting that final sentence.
Sure, I agreed with Sean Collins’ assessment of the embarrassing nature of McCarthy’s throwback characterisation, but I did so in a tossed off, casual way, after five paragraphs of flame flecked enthusiasm. The implicit message being that everyone should just chill out about this racist after taste and enjoy the “septic salsa” of the comic itself.
In 2010, the story of McCarthy was that he was that of the hero freshly returned from the wasteland, ready to save the kingdom from itself. His new work confirmed his status as a trinity of psych-pop ghosts, the faces of Brit comics past, present and future combined. What interest could a couple of dodgy panels hold against all that? Solo #12 remains McCarthy’s late period masterpiece, but even in lesser books like Fever there are moments of astonishing beauty. The scene in the second issue where Spider-Man steps through a portal and into a crunchy insect killing field still burns bright in the light of its own toxic logic:
May 18th, 2011
April 2nd, 2010
(I posted this over at Milk The Cat, but I thought it was pretty cool, so I’m reposting it here…)
So my friend Lee worked on the set design for the new KICK ASS! movie, adapting Mark Millar and John Romita’s hugely successful comic. He very kindly used one of my images as a poster on young Dave’s (the hapless protagonist) bedroom wall. I donated the following delightful image:
I call it ‘rotten cheesecake’ artwork. Lovely.
Keep an eye for it in the film. I know I’ll be scouring the movie with eagle eyes for a fleeting glimpse of it.
Apparently it’s in the background here – you can make it out just in the far left corner I think. My friend Lee reckons it gets a nice shot in the film itself. Can’t wait to find out for myself…
So I can say that I worked on the design for KICK ASS! can’t I…?
Maybe not. But it’s still pretty cool huh?
March 24th, 2010
April 19th, 2009
November 20th, 2008
Who would be your
The book, Dream Date by Fraser Geesin and Tim Leopard will be out on the 9th of December from Running Water Press. To pre-order copies for the knock-down price of £3 (rrp £4.99), send an Email stating your name and how many copies you want to:
August 10th, 2008
May 13th, 2008
It’s one thing for Newsarama’s boards to host racist invective, but quite another for one of it’s journalists to spout the kind of nonsense quoted in this link. Jon, over at Funnybook Babylon, suggests that Kean should be sacked, a position I have some sympathy with, but what about the editors, what the bloody hell were they doing? Ah yes, covering the whole thing up, apparently.
Okay, I can understand their desire to get Kean’s comments removed sharpish, but wasn’t some kind of apology from the editorial staff necessary? Wasn’t attempting to excise the entire thing without publicly flagging their actions very bad practice indeed?