Books, Comics

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Black Francis, Josh Frank & Steven Appleby - The Good Inn

17 Jun 20143 stars

Debut graphic novel from Pixies frontman feels thin and unfinished despite charms

The debut work of fiction by Pixies frontman Black Francis is an illustrated novel based on an unfinished soundtrack to an unmade film about the first ever pornographic movie to feature a narrative. Co-written with Pixies biographer Josh Frank, The Good…

Free Comic Book Day: does what it says on the tin

28 Apr 2014

The first Saturday in May is the day to get hold of some free comic books

Like a Record Store Day aimed at those who’ve never visited a comic shop, or at least haven’t been in one since their youth, this year’s Free Comic Book Day is upon us again on the first Saturday in May – and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what…

Alan Moore - Nemo: The Rose of Berlin / The Bojeffries Saga

5 Mar 20144 stars

Two new collections of the revered graphic novelist's witty, anarchic and heavily intertextual works

Nemo: The Roses of Berlin (Top Shelf/Knockabout) ●●●● is the second spin-off from the pages of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's highly literary, dazzlingly intertextual comic romp The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, once again featuring steam-punk…

Charlaine Harris & Christopher Golden - Cemetery Girl: Book One

21 Jan 20143 stars

A gothic graphic novel that trips along nicely but is unlikely to satisfy older fantasy/horror fans

A girl wakes in a cemetery without knowing her name or where she comes from. All she knows is that someone is trying to kill her. Too afraid to seek help, she makes a new home in the graveyard and discovers that she can see ghosts – but this becomes the…

Hot 100 2013: 89-80

11 Dec 2013

Anna Meredith, Neil Forsyth and Greg McHugh among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

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Hot 100 2013: 39-30

11 Dec 2013

Blythe Duff, Mark Millar and Numbers among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Jean-Yves Ferri (writer), Didier Conrad (illustrator), Matthew Fitt (Scots translator) - Asterix and the Pechts

15 Nov 20133 stars

The Scots translation of the diminutive Gaul's latest adventure has a sense of cheeky fun and energy

There is a noticeable drop in quality in the Asterix adventures released since the death of original writer Rene Goscinny, and Asterix and the Picts, at least in its English translation, is one of the most disappointing to date: a dreary, laugh-free…

Oscar Zarate - The Park

14 Oct 20134 stars

Graphic novel combining dramatic artwork, an engrossing story and a central issue worth debating

Laurel and Hardy: just a bit of old-fashioned fun, right? In The Park, Oscar Zarate contrasts the suppressed violence of slapstick with an aggressive dog incident to explore ideas of blame, rebellion and social responsibility. When newspaper…

Dr Matteo Farinella & Dr Hana Ros - Neurocomic

27 Aug 20134 stars

A Wellcome Trust-backed graphic guide to the brain

How does the brain work? And what exactly is a neurotransmitter, serotonin or a synapse? Not, perhaps, questions pondered every day but if you ever require a quick and (relatively) simple guide to what scientists have learned about the brain, this…

John Fardell, Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison among the highlights at Stripped 2013

16 Aug 2013

The Edinburgh International Book Festival's events series celebrates the medium of graphic novels

John Fardell Edinburgh cartoonist and writer John Fardell is a favourite with two very different audiences. Many know him for his work on adults only comic Viz where he draws The Modern Parents and The Critics amongst others, skewering the pomposity of…

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Metaphrog's John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs reflect on the recent rise of graphic literature

11 Aug 2013

The team are making an appearance at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013's Stripped strand

Graphic novels are enjoying something of a renaissance, as demonstrated by the Stripped strand of this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival which celebrates comics, graphic novels and the people who create them. Taking place on the last weekend…

Graphic journalist Joe Sacco appearing as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

1 Aug 2013

Sacco appears as part of the Festival's Stripped comics strand

In its championing of an entire medium within this year’s inaugural Stripped strand, there’s an implied sense that EIBF are trying to further erode the tiresome conceit that stories told with words and pictures are just for kids by placing them closer…

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell - March (Book One)

19 Jul 20134 stars

The US politician's graphic novel autobiography is a significant achievement in comics

March has made comics history. It’s the first graphic novel to be written by a US Congressman, Democrat John Lewis, and it’s the first to be endorsed by a US President, Bill Clinton. Co-written with his communications chef Andrew Aydin, March is an…

Glyn Dillon set for appearance at 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival

16 Jul 2013

The writer/artist returns to the graphic novel medium with a bang

The Nao of Brown is a gorgeous, big, chunky, stunning graphic novel. It’s also a deep and evocative portrayal of a young girl’s battle with OCD as she fights against her own fears, damping down the vicious and violent urges that bubble up within her…

Comics and graphic novel highlight at the Stripped strand of the Edinburgh Book Festival

16 Jul 2013

Hannah Berry, Stephen Collins, Posy Simmonds and Gareth Brookes among highlights

Hannah Berry. Writer/artist Berry’s first graphic novel, Britten and Brülightly, was a dark whodunit which she followed up with Adamtime, a horror tale packed with mystery. Her stark style is complemented by black and white art for a grim, noir world…

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Glasgow Comic Con 2013 celebrates films, comics and fandom

11 Jul 2013

Convention guests include Alan Davis, Alan Grant, John Higgins, Carlos Ezqurra and Rufus Dayglo

Glasgow is set to be the scene of the battle of the comic conventions. The contenders are the three-year-old Glasgow Comic Con, on this month, (CCA, Sat 13--Sun 14 Jul) and the in-no-way-affiliated inaugural MCM Expo Scotland Comic Con (SECC, Sat 7…

How the graphic novel came to be regarded as an artform in its own right

11 Jun 2013

Once the preserve of geeky boys, the graphic novel is finally taking its place beside literature

Are comic books an art form? Well, yes they are, and this fact will be recognised at the 2013 Edinburgh International Book Festival by the establishment of a major new prize: the 9th Art Award for this year’s Best English Language Graphic Novel.

Robbie Morrison & Jim Murray - Drowntown: Book One

7 Jun 20133 stars

Story set in dystopian London with enough intrigue to hook you in for next instalment

(Jonathan Cape) Scottish comics writer Robbie Morrison got his first big break, like so many great British writers before him, at 2000AD. He co-created Nikolai Dante, Shakara and Shimura (the final one also served as the mainstream debut of artist…

Top 5 superhero romances

30 Apr 2013

Iron Man 3's Tony Stark and Pepper Pots are but the latest in a long-line of superhero sweethearts

Warning: may contain spoilers!

Audrey Niffenegger - Raven Girl

17 Apr 20134 stars

Good narrative and stunning illustrations from author of The Time Traveller’s Wife

(Abrams ComicArts) Despite the dark themes in her bestseller The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger may not be readily associated with creepy fairytales and body horror. However, the off-kilter beauty (reminiscent of Beardsley and Schiele) of her…

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Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill - Nemo: Heart of Ice

19 Feb 20135 stars

Fantastic spin-off from Moore's literary comicbook series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Less than a year after the publication of the concluding episode of the epic third volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Century, writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O’Neill treat us to the first stand alone/spin-off League tale. As with the…

Cartoon College

14 Feb 20134 stars

Documentary following students at the Center for Cartoon Studies

The Center for Cartoon Studies is a small arts college for aspiring comic artists and writers offering a Master of Fine Art degree to those who pass with their final thesis (which takes the form of a completed comic book). And while there are interviews…

Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope

13 Feb 20134 stars

Documentary on the world’s biggest comic convention

Comic-Con in San Diego is the world’s biggest sci-fi, comic and cult convention and Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary is the perfect guide to geek heaven. A place where fanboys and fangirls can feel normal and revel in their passions; there’s a…

Avengers vs X-Men

22 Jan 20134 stars

Brian Michael Bendis, Jason Aaron and Ed Brubaker are among the writers on this super-crossover

Every year DC and Marvel fans have come to expect a big ‘event’, a huge crossover blockbuster that ties into nearly every title they publish. They can be convoluted and pointless (such as Bloodlines or Zero Hour) while some are great (Civil War or the…

House to Astonish

22 Jan 20133 stars

A very well-created, knowledgeable and informative podcast for comic books fanboys

With a name redolent of the Golden Age of pulpy superheroics from the 1960s, House to Astonish is a comics and comics-related podcast with no sense of deference to the non-geek or the comic book movie part-timer. That’s probably not the market they’re…