Sunday, November 08, 2009

Copulating woodland creatures

Been working my way through the new novel ‘Juvie’. I’ve about finished the second draft but still need to add in a couple of ideas I had whilst writing it and was too far on to go back. After that I’ll have a short break before printing it off and having a read through before the third rewrite.

I’ve heard that ‘The Missing’ is at the printers but still have no confirmed date for its release. I’m hoping before Christmas, but you never know with the publishers.

'the small print' has sold 900 copies and you can now buy it online. If you haven't already got a copy please get one as all the money goes to charity. You can order it from

Things to look at this week include:

Issuu is place where artists and authors publish all sorts of works from magazines to comics, to piece of art to short stories many completely free. This is something I’m interested in as I find the modern way of publishing might well be on its last legs. I don’t think we’ll stop buying printed material but the old fashioned publisher trying to sell his books to a few chain stores and then paying for advertising just can’t carry on. Publishing is coming back to the masses. Anyway have a look around and tell me if you see anything interesting.

An article about how a lot of literary authors write a novel. Some strange ideas out there but I guess you find what works best for you.

And another about how comic books are not just for geeks. As if you didn’t know already. this article refers to COMICA: The London International Comics Festival which sounds brilliant and I wish I was going to.


The new Terry Pratchett is a Discworld novel that starts as if it’s been written by someone else. All the usual tropes are present, but it feels as if its been filtered through muslin or else it’s an echo of Pratchett. The reason for this is that he dictated large chunks of the novel and an assistant wrote them up. However once ‘Unseen Academicals’ gets going the whole thing settles down and the work becomes pure Pratchett.

Like all his later works this deals with big themes and its only tokenistically about football delving as it does into a discussion of sexism and racism. The novel introduces several new characters and sets its self up for a return to below stairs at Unseen University.

‘Tales from Outer Suburbia’ is a lovely book by Shaun Tan. Like his other works these fall into books for both adults and children alike with the most wonderful strange art work. This is a book of short stories with tales about strange stick creatures, a visit to the end of the world and a visiting marine mammal things are always strange yet never sinister in this great book.

A new work by Bryan Talbot is always worth a read and ‘Grandville’ is no exception. I mean it’s steampunk with badgers - you can’t ask for better than that. Part Sherlock Holmes, part Rupert the Bear and a dash of Tarantino, Talbot introduces us to Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard. Brilliant art work, great dialogues and copulating woodland creatures. Brilliant.

Harvey Pekar can be a bit depressing. He obsesses about everything and worries too much. He’s kind of a working man’s Woody Allen however rather than films his anxiety Harvey turns them into comic art and has produced ‘American Splendor’ for about as long as I’ve been alive. The art work is by several different artist including Crumb, but the voice is always Pekar’s as complain and kvetches about life.

Finally, we have the new children’s book by John Connolly of Charlie Parker fame. ‘The Gates’ is about science and myth and religion all running into one. CERN have accidently allowed a demon to open up a portal in a small English town so that she can bring about the end of the world. Unfortunately she has aroused the suspicion of young Samuel Johnson and his dog, Boswell. Explaining the science as he goes along this is a comedy in the vain of Pratchet with many asides and explanations of scientific principles. When it’s good it’s hilarious, the best character being the put upon demon Nurd, but not all the jokes work.

Read this week:

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan

Grandville by Bryan Talbot

Best of American Splendor by Harvey Pekar

The Gates by John Connolly

1 comment:

Madame Vin said...

Are you sure that comics aren't just for geeks?