Graphic novel superstar Craig Thompson is currently over in the UK. He signed at Gosh in London yesterday, he’s talking as part of Comica in St Albans Centre in the West End on Monday 23rd and signing again at Mega City in Camden Town on Tuesday 24th January. His latest book Habibi has been garnering attention for the last couple of months and he is a very interesting subject to listen to as well as being a very talented creator. Tickets are still available for the Comica talk this Monday. Just pop along here for further information:
Here’s a couple of photos I took at his signing at Gosh on Saturday…



As seems traditional at the beginning of each year, we have a new Clint Eastwood film. He has retired from acting so he only directs these days and J Edgar, a biopic about the evil head of the FBI, has Leonardo DiCaprio in the eponymous central role. Eastwood as director has made some great films, even in the last ten years (Mystic River, Changeling). But equally, his most recent efforts helming movies (Hereafter, Invictus) have been weak and rather unimpressive. J. Edgar, which kicks off at the beginning of Hoover’s life as a young man in the bureau at the start of the 20th century, suffers despite DiCaprio’s presence. Biopics are by their very nature formulaic and convention-bound and J.Edgar is no exception. Its flaws are many: it feels like a whitewash of a figure who made himself very unpopular with people while he was heading the FBI, a man who never seemed to come to terms with who he really was but was more than happy to persecute others for their failings. DiCaprio makes a decent fist of portraying Hoover on screen but Eastwood’s attempts to paint his protagonist as misconceived and heroic in a perverse way fall on their face. The rest of the cast don’t really have anything to work with and are left feeling like cyphers. He operated during a very pivotal period of American history but watching it, you can’t help but feel that there is a genuinely interesting story to be told here but that you’re not being given it in J. Edgar. It is very tricky to make a film where the central character is unremittingly unsympathetic and so Eastwood would always have been on a hiding to nothing. J. Edgar is maudlin and ultimately unsatisfying and the prosthetic makeup on Hoover’s male companion Clyde in later life looks unconvincing. The script’s attempts at humanising Hoover fall totally flat. Perhaps it’s time for Eastwood to call it a day as he’s got nothing to prove anymore…


As is traditional this time of year (although it’s usually on New Year’s Eve), I use this blog post to take stock of how the year’s been and what will be happening in the next year. 2011 was a very mixed bag:
•We did put out another TRIPWIRE which was a very strong issue but because of the current climate, advertising was significantly down on the previous year.
•We issued two digital issues which did okay but it has made us think that we need to do a little bit of tweaking re: the digital magazine
•In terms of freelance work, I did more work for the Judge Dredd Megazine including pinning down Steve (Preacher, Punisher) Dillon for it and I also got my first feature for Big Issue In The North which has a picture credit for my Michael Moorcock photo with the feature I wrote, which was exciting
•Speaking of photography, I did take a lot of photos in 2011 and feel that my work is developing (pardon the pun) as we go into 2012
•I got my own place to live, which has felt weird but is quite liberating
•There was quite a bit of subbing and copy editing work although I had to cast my net a bit wider
•I ended 2011 having written just over a third of my detective novel, so that’s good news
So for 2012, there’s a lot to build on:
•In March, there’s my first ever photo exhibition, of my comic creator photos at Gosh now in Soho. This feels odd but very exciting
•At Bristol in May we’ll be selling a number of exclusive TRIPWIRE 20th anniversary prints. 2012 is the 20th anniversary of the magazine and there will be a few items to buy at Gosh but it’ll run from March until late summer when we hope to put out a TRIPWIRE 20th book that will top the 10th anniversary one that came out in 2002 with plans for an anniversary evening also at Gosh later in the summer
•We intend to turn TRIPWIRE into a bi-monthly app from the end of February. 2012 will be the first year in the last five years that US Editor Andy Grossberg isn’t going to be involved
•I will finish the first draft of my detective novel sometime in the first half of 2012
•On the photography front, I shall build on whatever occurs at the Gosh event and put out a few more limited run books. I shall also try to get at least one other book project locked down this year, which is hard in the current climate but I live in hope
So it’s looking like a very interesting year…