As you can probably tell from my use here of the great Jack Kirby‘s work (nicked from a panel in The Eternals #14 (Aug. 1977), inked by Mike Royer, I’ve had my head pretty much buried in comics over the past few weeks.
Aside from catching up on Cassanova by writer Matt Fraction and artists Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, and a re-reading of writer Mark Millar and artist Sean Murphy‘s Chrononauts, I also finished off the last issue in Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips‘ superb The Fade In, then went back four decades to a 500-page collected edition of Savage Sword of Conan by writer Roy Thomas – with artists including Barry (Windsor) Smith and John Buscema.
At the same time, I’ve been tweaking scripts for the Magpie series I’m doing with artist Frantz Kantor (now scripting episode 4, with episode 2 art in the bag), and collaborating closely with artist/co-writer Graeme Jackson on #1 of our upcoming Crash Soirée.
Next cab off the rank is finishing up Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat #2, while I’m talking with artist Drezz Rodriguez, who I worked with on Black/White, about doing a yarn together.
Trista & Holt #13 comes out in March, and we’ll be doing a tweaked/developed run of that title via Project-Nerd Publishing in the U.S. from summer over there.
Meanwhile, the books keeping me going on the side have been George MacDonald Fraser‘s Flashman run, a re-read of The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain, the shorts in Killer in the Rain by Raymond Chandler, and George McAlpine‘s Woman with a Blue Pencil.
No news yet on my own next novel, but stay tuned.
Otherwise, Magpie episode #1 is now out in Australia, inside the pages of Oi Oi Oi! #7, and can be found at most newsagents round the country. The feedback thus far has been fantastic; hats off to all the people who purchased the baptismal issue and let us know how they felt.
As a tease, I wrote this silly piece – 5 Dos and Don’ts for Budding Superheroes, for Scenestr mag in Queensland.
And Frantz did this incredible teaser video clip.
Meanwhile, my solo effort Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat #1 scored this luv’ly review yesterday from Josh McCullough @ We the Nerdy:
“Revisiting Bergen’s earliest work in retrospective also makes for a fun experience. There’s little teases to stuff that will go on to be central to his later works, however they never distract from the main story. Being the inception for Bergen’s insane spiralling world, this is one of his more simplistic tales, however that is not in any regard a criticism. There’s still that highly creative sci-fi edge to the story, it is probably the most accessible entry point into Bergen’s work though, which makes it very easy to recommend. If there’s ever been a time to jump into this world it’s now, an interesting premise and fascinating world are laid out and I can’t wait to see where it goes.”
Zeb Larson‘s verdict @ Flickering Myth was, “Melbourne is its own character in these stories: a once-charming and eccentric hipster city now turned into a hellhole that’s part Asphalt Jungle and part Midgar from Final Fantasy VII. The film-noir vibe in Bergen’s work should jump out at you pretty clearly, with a misanthropic narrator, crime-ridden city, and dark, rainy atmosphere. It’s a perfect kind of place to find a mystery.”
Last week, Jason Bennett @ Popculthq said:
“The entire time while reading, flashes of Blade Runner and Sin City popped in my end. It felt like an exciting mash-up told through a flowing and intriguing story. If while reading a book or a comic book and you feel yourself heavily immersed within the pages and story, then you know you’ve created something extraordinary… The art found in these pages are reminiscent of his work in Trista & Holt, which garnered him great accolades — Andrez Bergen has outdone himself with his creation, his writing, and his artwork. 4.5 out of 5.”
And, finally, Chris Galvin over at ComicsVerse put it that, “Bergen uses a collage/digitally-manipulated photomontage style that challenges your perception of how comics should read on every page.”
…which is sensational stuff to read, not only because it grants a minor-league swelled-head (I picked the best parts, above!) but thanks to some inspired constructive criticism of the issue as a whole – which helps me as I plan out the next one.
Anyway, I said I’d keep this brief, and I’m going to be true to my word. Likely I’m the only one reading my nonsense anyway, but there you go.