Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mark

Comics Britannia

Recommended Posts

So, the first part of this should have been broadcast on BBC4 this evening. Doesn't seem to be available via online sources yet (although I'm hoping it will be soon), but did anyone watch it? I know that the big attention will probably be devoted to later installments (most obviously the one with Alan Moore, and Jonathan Ross's not-part-of-this-series-but-still-being-broadcast-as-part-of-the-same-season-so-it-sort-of-counts-really Steve Ditko documentary, both of which I'm very much looking forward to), but I believe this first part features Leo Baxendale, who's of my favourite UK cartoonists (some form of collection of his gloriously crack-addled work, particularly the '50s Beano stuff and his later contributions to Whizzer & Chips in the '70s, would be great).

 

So, who tuned in (Ade's a cert, obviously)? Was it any good?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some great stuff on Baxendale and the late Ken Reid - damn if only publishers had let them get on with it in the sixties we'd have had a mainstream completely weirder than the so-called Comix Underground.

 

A tad annoying in the soundtrack department, but I could listen to Paul Gravett talk about obscure Eskimo comics, let alone DC Thomson, so that was good. Actually the narrative was rather better focussed than I anticipated which meant it was not spread as thinly as it could have been.

 

Fact: Beano and Dandy writers have to struggle to be as interesting as the artists - sadly the great artists other than Baxendale are no longer with us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed the first 20 mins, but I enjoyed the show more than I thought I would. Hadn't realised there was so much going on behind the scenes but then why would I have?

A gently enjoyable hour.

 

If any of you read it, were you a Whizz-kid or a Chip-ite?

 

 

I did read it, but for the life of me can't remember which I was (or even what basis the decision was made).

 

Looking forward to next week's edition, hopefully it'll be more 70s and 80s stuff then. Apart from the obvious 200AD, Starlord, Tornado etc I'm looking forward to seeing Roy of the Rovers (the comic as opposed to the strip) which I think was the first time I had a real sense of how each individual story related to another.

 

For example, when they had a big shake up of the title and stories suddenly merged with each other - from memory The Hard Man transferred to one of the other teams in the comic, and Hot Shot Hamish joined Mighty Mouse (I'm sure something happened with Tommy's Troubles and The Safest Hands In Soccer too) - it was the first time I had a sense of a "comic universe" where all the different stories could interact.

 

Anyway, I'll be watching next week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If any of you read it, were you a Whizz-kid or a Chip-ite?

 

I read it but I didn't take sides. I preferred Sid's Snake to Shiner, though, which would make me a Whizz-kid by default.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was good, but it just goes to show I shouldn't try to watch stuff while I'm surfing the net, because I can't remember much about it. Apparently it's repeated on Sunday on BBC4 at 8pm, so I might give it another go then.

 

Also looking forward to the Steve Ditko prog :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought it was good, but it just goes to show I shouldn't try to watch stuff while I'm surfing the net, because I can't remember much about it. Apparently it's repeated on Sunday on BBC4 at 8pm, so I might give it another go then.

 

Also looking forward to the Steve Ditko prog :D

 

Likewise - I think all the best folk were!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Caught (most of) the repeat tonight, some rather interesting stuff in that, not least of which was a look at Minnie The Minx, pre-feminist icon of sorts.

 

Saw the Ditko doc too, good stuff, didn't shy away from the awkward areas, now I want to know if his work on The Question and Mr.A. is available in any collected format?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was an excellent programme about Ditko and comics in general.

My only complaint was why give away the address where he works?

 

But then: http://www.bestofmostof.com/07may/index070502.htm

"While Ditko doesn't appear publicly, doesn't draw attention to his work like we'd expect from celebrities, famous people, and others who have their works in the public, what is also true about Ditko is that he will stand at his studio door and talk on a variety of subjects at length with an unannounced guest. Most of the human race wouldn't turn off American Idol to answer the door to a complete stranger.

 

He has a letter writing relationship with "x" amount of people. He'll answer his phone. He also writes essays for a fanzine, The Comics, that grants him complete editorial freedom, publishing his work without touching a word. "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Eagle tonight. Hopefully with some build up about the reprints of American horror and crime comics that led to a Vicar with a stick up his bum deciding that more wholesome comics were needed for the kids first...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But first:

 

In Search of Moebius: Jean GiraudSunday 23 September

10:00pm - 10:50pm

BBC4

Documentary about Frenchman Jean Giraud, one of the most influential comic strip illustrators and authors of all time and also one of the genre's best kept secrets. He achieved his greatest fame under the pseudonym/alter ego Moebius, and his artistic influence extends beyond Europe to the USA and Japan. Features interviews with Giraud himself, Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, American comic book artists Jim Lee and Mike Mignolla and many others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed the British comics doc (again) but the Moebius one was rather illuminating, especially to one such as I who isn't very familiar with the history of European comics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Downloaded and watched the Ditko documentary this evening. Very good stuff, particularly the uniquely-revealing interview with Stan Lee, which just may be the first time anyone's ever managed to get him to drop the Smilin' Stan mask on film. Only momentarily, but it's an incredibly revealing moment, and his immediate, flailing attempts to recover his poise are fascinating to watch.

 

Refreshingly few factual errors or misleading omissions, too, given how contentious some of the 'facts' of the story are. It overlooks some of Ditko's later work, which conflicts slightly with the story they're trying to tell, and Gaiman in particularly is a little too eager to pass off largely-discredited rumour as fact, but it's still impressively open and honest about the fact that some of these events will never be fully understood. Ross' enthusiasm is infectious, but doesn't stop him from presenting the story in a reasonably fair and balanced way.

 

Probably the best documentary on American comic books I've ever seen (depressingly, it's also one of the only remotely-respectable documentaries on the subject - the only vaguely-comparable film I can think of is the extended Jack Kirby documentary on the 2-disc Fantastic Four DVD, which is the only worthwhile reason to rent/buy/steal that particular set - but still, a tremendous achievement).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Downloaded and watched the Ditko documentary this evening.

Where's it available from? I wouldn't mind seeing the Viz one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found it by searching for "Ditko" on Demonoid. Dunno if the other shows are up there - I'll be looking, but haven't got round to it yet.

 

If you don't have a Demonoid account, and can't find it anywhere else, I should be able to sort you out with an invite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone listen to - and this might be a longshot here - Radio 4's Futureshock - The Story of 2000ad by Phil Jupitus yesterday morning?

 

I only saw it was on when I picked up the sunday papers (at about 9pm, thanks to the twins). Was going to listen online on the BBC website today, but forgot to bring in my headphones (office PC does not have sound).

 

So enough of my excuses, did anyone catch it? Was it any good?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It has some irksome audio of Judge Dredd in the first five minutes ...

and a clip of that annoying record that Madness did.

 

What is it with comics documentary people and music?

Why can't they all be as good as the Moebius programme last night?

 

The actual interview bits are alright though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...