I'm going to take a break from the norm and just highlight some links and articles of interest from the past few months that I liked. I'm not feeling particularly super, nor am I feeling very sane, so this will have to do for now...
1) This is an interview done by my dear friend Brian Burchette, talking to Marian Churchland about her first graphic novel "Beast!", and what follows is a short excerpt:
Now I've read the After-word to the book, so I've gotten some of the history of the creation of this title, but let me ask you: How long was the character of Beast actually floating in your mind before you were able to put him on paper?
It's hard to pin-down, because so many of my stories (or initial ideas for stories) have a character that resembles Beast. I think that his specific design, though - the shadowy tendril thing - first showed up in a story I fiddled with briefly a couple years before I began the book, about a girl in medieval Ireland searching for her missing brother in a ruined castle. Sort of a ye-olde Resident Evil, in which the lord of the castle was an oddly polite gentleman-monster. The story never worked out, but the monster stuck around.
2) I'm a big fan of Grant Morrison, and this interview from The Onion's A.V. Club, is really cool and insightful. Morrison is one of the greatest [comic] writers of this generation, up with Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Julius Schwartz, Neil Gaiman, etc and etc.
GM: Secretly, I’ve always felt I had more in common with the modernist approach than with postmodernism, but I can see where the connection might arise—and to be honest, I’m no academic, so I tend to use these words, like in Alice In Wonderland, to mean what I want them to mean rather than what they actually do mean. I could point to “classical” influences on the style of All-Star Superman, or a “romantic” approach to Batman, but I’m sure any competent English lit professor could shoot me down in flames in an instant. I just do what I do because it feels right. Other people attach labels to that. I aspire in my work to the kind of luminous, “authorless” poetic transparency found in Alan Garner’s brilliant novels Thursbitch and Strandloper, but I’m far from reaching that goal.
3) This is one of the greatest pitches that has never seen publication. There have been many pieces of comic book brilliancy that have been written, pencilled, printed, and then pulped because of questionable content. Swamp Thing meeting Jesus? Written, I believe pencilled, and then scrapped at the last moment because people would get all uproarious. Warren Ellis' greatest issue of Hellblazer was drawn by Phil Jimenez, called "Shoot", and never put on sale. I've read it on the internet, I have it on my laptop, and I treasure the greatness of it. I'll post it up one of these days, but for now, this pitch is one of the greatest untold stories of the DC universe. Written by Alan Moore-- and if you don't know him now, then you can drop off the map of popular culture-- and influencing a legion of writers since, Twilight of the Gods is simply amazing.
...The body of Congo Bill, now over ninety years old, refuses to die. The gorilla mind that has been trapped in it unfairly refuses to let go and is hanging on with a fierce and horrible willpower. Unable to bring himself to kill it outright, Congorilla keeps the shackled and naked old man in special rooms at his apartment, feeds it garbage and hopes it will die soon, but it doesn't. It just lies in the corner and snarls weakly when he enters and fixes him with its ancient glaring eyes as he gives it its food.
4) And finally, this site is the one I turn to whenever I want to find out about the latest in horror. It's amazing, concise, and you should always have a resource when you want some weird shit funnelling into your brain. Oh, and also 5) Warren Ellis' blog, which, heh, is concentrated weird shit being funnelled into a brain.