Results tagged “Dave Gibbons” from Birmingham Mail - Speech Balloon

2011BC photo special

By Neil Elkes on Aug 31, 11 11:37 AM

PM1627729@.jpgCan't add much to Paul's comprehensive account of BC2011 below, but we did have a photographer on hand and an excellent set of photographs.

There is a gallery selected by our picture editor here.

But for Speech Balloons readers we have even more snaps from the fun packed day.


An Audience with Dave Gibbons

By Neil Elkes on Sep 21, 09 09:43 AM

gibbons_edited.jpgA curtain raiser to next month's BICS, the special Watchmen IMAX screening hosted by Dave Gibbons will be hard to top.

The artist was on sparkling form and, through the question and answer session, gave a genuine and, at times, detailed insight into his creation, his work with Alan Moore and his thoughts on the big screen version.

Dave has attended previous BICS here in Birmingham, but is unavailable on October 3 and 4 and so the Watchmen event was born.

One audience member asked about the latest editions of the graphic novel in which the cover has been switched from the iconic blood splattered smiley face to an ensemble picture of the Watchmen characters.

LEGENDARY artist Dave Gibbons is guest of honour at a special screening of Watchmen at Birmingham's IMAX Cinema next month.

Thumbnail image for davegibbons.jpg

Comic fans will get to see the epic film adaptation in all its IMAX glory for the first time in Birmingham.

Dave Gibbons will not only introduce the film, but answer those buring questions from the audience about both his graphic novel and the film.

The one off special event, on September 18, is part of the build-up to the British International Comic Show taking place at Millennium Point in October.

It is Dave's first public appearance in the city since he was guest of honour at last autumn's Comic's Show. He also returns to the IMAX Cinema where he saw the Dark Knight film in summer 2008.

Dave said: "I'm really pleased to return to IMAX Cinema in Birmingham, where I first saw the trailer for Watchmen last year, and it will be great to meet the fans. IMAX really is the best way to experience the film adaptation of the Watchmen comics and I'm sure it's going to be a great night."

Millennium hosts the British International Comic Show for the third time on October 3 and 4 this year. During the Show the IMAX cinema will be screening Watchmen, Transformers 2 and Star Trek.

Tickets for the special Dave Gibbons screening event go on sale Friday 14 August 2009.
Tickets cost £18.50 per person and all visitors will receive a WATCHMEN goodie bag. Dave will also be available to sign books on the evening.

For times and to book tickets visit or call 0121 202 2222.

Speech Balloons 2008 interview with Dave Gibbons here.

Sunday Strips?

By Paul Birch on Nov 30, 08 08:34 AM

SUNDAY GRAPHIC novel reading choices...


Tom Strong's Terrific Tales
By Alan & Steve Moore plus others (ABC/WildStorm/DC).

A solid collection of the first five-issue offshoot from parent title Tom Strong, this features solo stories about the extended family.

Alan Moore's stories tend to be about Tom himself and play around with the comics storytelling medium or have a philosophical viewpoint as strong subtext to them, and feature strong traditional EC-esque art by the likes of Paul Rivoche and Jerry Ordaway. Whereas Steve Moore, that non-relation who helped the A-Man break into the British comics business, concentrates on telling the story itself first and foremost.

The S-Man has being doing it that long he knows what's required inside out: his strengths are as a short story writer, 6 pages and he's in a league where few others can match sheer plot value paced evenly for an intricate twist in the tail to deliver reader satisfaction. He develops the back-chronology of Tom when he was young, and future expositions with the babe that is Jonni Future, as desirably drawn by Art Adams - It's an updating of those old pulp derived stories that artist Matt Baker et al at the Iger Shop use to pump out for Planet Stories back in America's Golden Age of comics, although I must confess I can also see a bit of Warren's The Goblin from its 3rd issue as a starting point for the origin tale told her.

A-Man's daughter, Leah, chips in with a suitably silent visual gag tale about King Solomon for Sergio Aragones to draw and make us raise a smile, published prior to her work on Albion. Also along for the ride are artists Jason Pearson, Jaime Hernandez and stalwart Alan Weiss all doing strong work.

It's a good package throughout. It won't change your life but quality entertainment not to be missed.


Daredevil: Yellow
By Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale (Marvel Graphic Novel)

Collecting a six issue series from the Eisner award-winning team who also work on the Heroes TV show.

This is an expansive retelling of the Daredevil stories as put to the printed page by Lee, Wood and Everett all those decades ago, filtered through the nuances of Miller's run on the series, all told in diary boook form as a love letter that will never be sent to Daredevil's first love Karen Page.

It's nice in places but ultimately has little point. A more inexpensive viewpoint can be obtained via the original 60s comics collected in the Essentials series, and they probably contain more action too.


The Chronicles of Conan Volume 6: The Curse of the Golden Skull & Other Stories
By Roy Thomas, John Buscema, Neal Adams and Others (Dark Horse)

Collecting #35-42 of the original Marvel comic, apart the cover credited guys we have Rich Buckler on #40 and Ernie Chan inking most of John Buscema's pages. However, it should be noted that despite Buscema completing the bulk of the visual work within its #37's Neal Adams one-off that gives the collection its title, and cover image.

That's name value rather than stand out tale as such, but Adams' visuals do stir the loins more than Buscema, despite both offering master classes in comics visual grammar with nearly every page. You may look at the panels/angles and think haven't you seen them a thousand other places, yes, but that's because they work - a full stop or a comma means something - and across the breadth of a page designed to make a statement they - including Buckler, do it consummately.

The plot? Conan's working for empire-gathering Turan, the king unaware his son wants Conan's head (and quite likely his own!), so we get tales of gems and girls who promise the world but offer only monsters that lurk in the night all over the desert sands. Either way it's Conan's sword that always saves the day.

No great surprise story wise. But the collection works quite well gathered as one epic tale despite its disjointedness. It's a good romp, you know.

It's actually been digitally re-coloured and re-lettered - the digital lettering adding an enormous amount of typos in the process, especially in the latter half, spoiling the reading flow ands begging the question if the book collection's editor was doing his job properly.

Thomas does his Comic Book Artist/Alter-Ego style stroll down memory lane with long text features.

Ghost in the Shell: Man-Machine Interface
By Shirow Masmune (Dark Horse)

Super cyborg Motoko Aramaki investigates global net security break-ins by terrorists, downloading into several alter-egos along the way, and they're all bodacious females.

Visually ultra-impressive, regardless of the distracting uberbabe figures. There are some fantastic graphic ideas hinted at that could be developed further by other artists. It's nonetheless hard to decipher what's actually going on in the story a lot of the time, until, ironically, it moves from its post-modern science fictional overtures into to universal new age philosophy.

It's a colour digest collection, I'm told a larger size was available previously and easier to read, but the size was not a problem. Masmuune filled too many elements, captions and likewise with filler intended for affiliated games etc when he should have been concentrating on the core story.


Quimby Mouse
By Chris Ware (Fantagraphics)

An over-sized coffee table book collectting strips from the ACME Novelty Library comic, as with the award-winning Jimmy Corrigan it exudes with Ware's tasteful flair for design.

The strips themselves feature multi-panelled Quimby tales, many silent, some quirky superhero pastiches in The Hurricane, and biographical material. One way or another the whole book feels like some peculiar homage to Ware's beloved late maternal grandmother.

I admire Ware's artwork - his Quimby, although he might detest this comparison, comes on like Marshall Rogers taking off Victor Moscoso and Rick Griffin doing Krazy Kat doodles, while his Hurricane shows a love if not some distinct swipes for Golden Age comic book artists like CC Beck and more tellingly Joe Schuster. He's a literate chap but tells a tale without being over-wordy. However, as a whole, the book does not engage me.

I know the book is heartfelt and no doubt highly personal, and a little cathartic but I felt I was too aware of the multi-faceted, albeit subtle techniques he brings to bear admiring technique and style over content.


The Originals
By Dave Gibbons (Vertigo/DC)

Mr Gibbons can stand tall for the praise due for the accomplishments he has made with his first major solo work, The Originals.

Lauded as one half of the men who brought us The Watchmen, he's collaborated with the best and that's because he's always been recognised as a consummate draughtsman, defining his skills as the years have gone by.

In The Originals, Gibbons appears to take several of his personal interests and blend them together - it presumes to take a skewed look back on a brief time in British history when youth rebellion meant the clock had moved on from Teddy Boys to the division of mods and rockers. Lesley, or Lel, our hero is of the former in type.

It's a world like ours was but rather Dan Dare-ish with odd touches like hovering motor scooters, although that quaintness is offset with some violence .

It's a story of a young man's dreams coming true, getting shattered and decisions that need to be made at still a tender age (although life experience teaches us that we tend to keep similar mistakes all our life). It's fun, exhilarating, capturing a real youth feel of optimism.

The comparison to Pete Townsend and The Who's Quadrophenia is readily apparent even though you suspect Gibbons was probably more of a Small Faces fan himself. But it has the breath to stretch out and express emotion and query life as we are actually reading it - as opposed to the immediate rush a record gives us or the secondary contemplation one has after walking home after going to the movies. Gibbons writes clear and intelligibly, just like he draws. And only Dave Gibbons, only him, could have utilised all his skills to make this such a deservedly novel well-designed book: from its irregular almost square size to the art & lettering dancing beautifully with the page composition. In a way only independent mavericks have tried successfully before, ironically this very straight artist beats them at their own game. It's a book the mainstream could enjoy and not just the comics fan.


"Frank Miller is bat s**t crazy"

That was the opening gambit from Tony Lee as he constructed a sophisticated case for Miller's Batman:Year One to be considered the greatest graphic novel of all time.

The audience eventually, and perhaps not surprisingly voted The Watchmen the World's Greatest Graphic Novel from a shortlist of 16. Akira came second.

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