BLACK/WHITE is published + REVIEWS + COMICS + PLANET GOTH

BLACK-WHITE comic Okay, so thanks to the incredible efforts of Matt Kyme, my partner at our new baby IF? Commix, this week we published the BLACK/WHITE comic-book anthology of tales veering into the terrain of noir/crime/dystopia.

And we’ve already scored some brilliant reviews and write-ups about the 28-page collection from the supportive types at Comic Bastards, Geeks of Doom, All-Comic, Weird and Wonderful Reads, Word of the Nerd, Time Out Melbourne, Forces Of Geek and Fanboy Comics — as well as via the very cool Paul Bedford, who does The List, Eva Dolan (author of Long Way Home) and Laurence Campbell (Wolverine, 2000 AD).

I cracked-up this morning when I read Paul’s Facebook missive: “Another cracker from Andrez Bergen. I wonder if his move to Japan was for his own safety, because providing this sort of competition will get you killed. I can imagine him in a temple surrounded by ninja bodyguards.”

Yep, the ninja are pricey. And they complain a lot about my choice of muzak.

Kasa (笠) hats off to supportive types like Steven Alloway, John Kowalski, Dan Pennacchia, Shawn Michael Vogt, Max Pfeffer, plus anyone else who’s read and given feedback of all shapes and sizes.

And thumbs up for the top comment from Erik McAlister @ Comic Bastards: “If you’re one of those folks who read on the toilet, you’re in luck.”

Otherwise?

PLANET GOTH cover artWe’ve pretty much finished the copy editing of Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth, which should be published via Perfect Edge Books in mid-2014. Not sure if I previously mentioned here the insanely cool pre-publication review we got from John Rickards @ The Nameless Horror.

Since December I’ve been fairly madly scouring old, new and middle-aged comic books, become reacquainted with some and discovering others.

As always I love the mid ’60s Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott, which has dated better than The Avengers from the same period. I’m still rapt with Will Eisner‘s The Spirit and Tarpé MillsMiss Fury.

Of the latest crop of comics I think I mentioned I’ve begun to fade with All-New X-Men, and haven’t been all that enamoured with James Robinson and Leonard Kirk’s reboot of Fantastic Four (pointless new red costumes aside).

3307014-coffin_cv1_rev_823iqzml0v_What I am digging is Matt Fraction’s continuing effort with Hawkeye (especially in collaboration with David Aja), Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale, Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet, Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s Black Science, and Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge with Inaki Miranda.

Sadly… not so many capes in there, since even Hawkeye is mostly off-duty from superhero derring do. I guess Craig Bruyn’s nicely developing, Aussie-made From Above comic helps alleviate that.

And I just finished a second reading of Brubaker’s superb run in league with artist Epting on Captain America in the Winter Soldier saga from the mid 2000s, in which they basically reinvent Steve Rogers — returning him to the pathos that best defined Cap in the 1960s — and make side characters like Nick Fury and Agent 13 far more believable.

Captain America is an old favourite of mine who I felt hadn’t been dealt a decent hand since those heady days of the ’60s, when he was visually conjured up by Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko and John Buscema. Epting smartly shifts Cap into a more realist, painterly setting, while Brubaker injects espionage, human drama, noir, and a gritty earthiness that’s sublime.

This series is better still the second time round.

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