Archive for the ‘Comics’ Category

Please sir, I want some Moore

October 24, 2010

the legendary Alan Moore

Mention Alan Moore to most people and you probably won’t get much response. Mention him to arts-savvy hipster types and you’re likely to cause some discussion about the bearded old druid who was phenomenally important in the reinvention of comics as we know them. Mention him to comic nerds and you’ll be smacked around the ears with a volley of rabid, utterly-reverential devotion. So it’s safe to say he’s carved a decent niche for himself – within a field that’s pretty niche itself – as arguably the most well-known figure in comics (with the very possible exception of Stan Lee).

Whether the cognoscenti know him from masterfully-written works such as the genre-transcending Watchmen, occasional appearances on late night arts shows or as the guy who wrote the source material for some hit’n’miss movies (a debate for another time), you’ll recognise that he’s an impressively intelligent dude. Plenty of comic writers have been praised for their scope, or the complexity of their output – Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco and Frank Miller stand out as obvious examples of realtively-modern times – but few have the same all-pervasive resonance of Moore’s writing. His reputation is well-deserved. It’s interesting, then, that his latest project should not be another comic, but an independently-produced magazine.

Dodgem Logic is not an ordinary culture magazine – there’s none of the hip-to-the-moment hackery that populates Sunday supplements, nor the excruciating Nathan Barleyness of Vice et al. Instead, Moore has gathered writers who are passionate about their subject matter and know how to string some interesting words together without a thought for fashion or other similar irrelevancies. The first issue alone features an article on attempting to live without money, some well-informed femenist polemic and Moore’s own thoroughly-researched history of underground publishing. There are also comic strips (including one by indiepop’s favourite comedian Josie Long), but it’s important to note that they’re treated with the same validity as the columns, rather than for tokenistic value. It’s immensely readable. If the magazine seems slanted towards a Northamptonshire perspective, it’s because that’s how Moore wanted it – although he also claims the DL team “are not local or global: we are lobal.” Five issues on, the magazine is still going strong.

This might seem like something of a vanity project, and perhaps it is to some degree. The vitality of the writing and the colourful, delightful artwork that binds it all together, however, make it more of a necessity project. The age of the internet presents us with almost too much choice in terms of reading material (how did you find WHTB anyway, and why are you still reading?), and underground publications like this are disappointingly rare. That it should be such a fantastic read is a testament to the excellent choice of contributors, and I urge you to seek it out and help ensure that Dodgem Logic remains a going concern.

Small Press Comics Ahoy!

March 19, 2010

Ok, this should interest the exciteable arts’n’crafts/DIY comics lovers amongst you. The 7th annual UK Web And Mini Comix Thing takes place in London on Saturday 27th March, and it promises to be a corker. Travel, ticket and event info are up on the site.

Like every year, WHTB is seriously planning to go along. Unlike every other year, WHTB is sincerely hoping to actually make it this year. Expect a full report, should the trip come off.

This seems as good a time as any to recommend a favourite small press comic. Liverpool’s Square Eyed Stories has been going fo rover a decade now, and maintained a consistent level of aceness throughout that time. Here’s some choice cuts from WHTB hero Jim McGee: