Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Drawing and book stuff
Got word back about Hero-Z, and it's good news. It's great news actually, with two very big Brother Lee Love style thumbs up! Yay me! I take back all my panicked doubt and vow not to do that again. Until the next time:)
Still waiting for news about my slightly earlier secret project so you'll have to wait abit longer to see anything from that - unless you asked me and I sent you a sneak peak!
In the meantime I've started a new project, it's fairly brief and I'll probably post a few images over the next few days, so keep an eye out of you're interested.
A few posts ago I mentioned I was about to start reading 'Bust' by Bruen and Starr, well, it was fun, nothing amazing, brisk enjoyable read. Not quite 'hard' crime though, and as it's published by a company called Hard Case Crime it's fair to expect that. It was harder and less farcical than Carl Hiaasen though, and followed the same principle of low life character's greed and stupidity creating trouble.
After that I moved on to a book called 'Crimson Orgy' by Austin Williams which was also a lot of fun. Set during the making of an early (just after 'Blood Feast' in fact), and lost, exploitation horror movie called, you guessed it, 'Crimson Orgy'. The making of the movie proves to be difficult, but more than the sense of strange and impending doom, I enjoyed what seemed to be a genuine feeling of a small band of wannabes, not bothereds and troubled folk united and torn apart in their quest to make a film on the cheap. The prose is simple and direct without being clunky and the characters are nicely defined. I discovered this book, a fair few others through the wonderful Groovy Age of Horror blog, if you haven't visited it then give it a look.
After finishing 'Crimson Orgy' it seemed like the perfect time to pick a book of the shelf that had been sat patiently waiting for for quite a while. I'm only about a quarter of the way through 'Flicker' (it is over 600 pages though) but I'm enjoying it immensely. It's about fabled, and fictional, director Max Castle who started out working on The Cabinet of Dr Caligari and progressed to classic gothic horror of his own and then got eaten up by Hollywood producing B movies after suffering disgrace at the hands of those who didn't understand his work. His reputation initially seems to be nonexistent and his films lost, some never even released, but after a few quirks of fate one his films is discovered leading to a reappraisal. That's where I'm up to at the moment, and the back cover promises a lot more oddness.
Very nice dense, but easy to follow, prose and some serious research, and obvious love, raise Flicker much higher than the cheap tagline 'Sunset Boulevard meets the Da Vinci Code'. The mere mention of the Da Vinci Code's enough to put me off, but it does seem that it's mentioned only in an atempt to entice the millions who bothered with the poorly written item - although content wise there is a parallel of a secret religious order and a conspiracy, but still, cheap marketing is cheap marketing. Rosak has been involved writing about counterculture before, and this history obviously comes in handy for the time and setting of Flicker.
Can't remember when I first heard about Flicker, I know it was before I saw the intitially similar John Carpenter short 'Cigarette Burn' (not his best work, but well worth seeing), but what did make me want to read it was Murray Ewing's review here. Murray also writes about Cigarette Burns here, and adds to the 'fictional film with a dark past' genre with his review of Ramsey Campbell's 'The Grin of the Dark' here. I'm sure I've got a copy of Campbell's other entry into this genre, 'Ancient Images', kicking around somewhere too. 2000ad had a stab at the genre recently with 'Chiaroscuro' by Si Spurrier and 'Smudge' (a pen name for Cam Smith judging by the artwork), and although it was fun and reasonably enjoyable, it seemed a little uninspired to me. Also worth a mention is The Faceless: A Terry Sharpe Story by Robert Tinnell and Adrian Salmon. It doesn't really fall into the genre, but it does involve fictional films of a very Hammer-esque nature, and is damn good with some wonderful artwork - and that's all the excuse I need to mention it:)
Enough of this ramble, for those who haven't heard already, Garen (yes, related to Murray) Ewing's superb strip 'Rainbow Orchid' has been picked up by large UK kid's publisher Egmont, as they also publish Tintin over here I can't think of a more perfect fit for Garen's perfect book. Garen has pursued his own vision to produce a story of outstanding quality, which is laudable enough, that he'll now be able to reach an even bigger audience is richly deserved , there's more info on this excellent news here.