It was my pleasure a short time ago to pass on the news that independent Scottish publisher Planet Jimbot's 'Amongst the Stars' had made the Scottish Independent Comic Book Alliance (SICBA) shortlist for Best Graphic Novel 2015. The 64-page trade is written by Jim Alexander (Metal Hurlant, Star Trek Manga) and drawn by Mike Perkins (Stephen King's The Stand, Astonishing X-Men, Deathlok).
Alas, winning the award wasn't to be. However, instead of sulking in a corner and vowing to hold his breath until the award committee change their obviously crazy-as-a-box-of-frogs minds, Jim has asked me to pass on his thanks for the support he received. If it was me in his situation I would be seriously demanding a recount, a re-vote or at least be attempting find out the home addresses of the judges in order to send my personal selection of horse's heads to share their beds.
I know I sound as if I'm a bitter man, maybe I am. I cannot confirm the rumour that I have never really recovered from the headmaster at my primary school smirking at my idea of a reenactment of the final scene from The Wicker man (the original 1973 masterpiece, not the Nick Cage monstrosity) for that year's harvest festival school celebration. He always lacked wit, talent or imagination (the headmaster or Nick Cage, take your pick).
It seems though Jim is a better man than me as he is moves onwards and upwards as Planet Jimbot will be appearing and doing their signing thing at Forbidden Planet in Glasgow on Thurs 30th July from 6-7pm. Writer Jim Alexander and artist Will Pickering will be in attendance. Jim has also said that they'll be only be too happy to sign anything people send their way. Now as I'm still unsure about the nature of just how the legal system may view my personal interpretation of that last sentence I think it's better that we all stay on the clean and righteous side of what may be acceptable to Jim et al in what they would be prepared to sign. After all, I know from personal and painful experience that a defence of "Well they weren't very clear, were they?" is not generally acceptable in a court of law.
The team will be signing selling examples of their fine comic wares, namely:
* Casebook#1 & #2 of award winning GoodCopBadCop (True Believers/Eagle)
* Issues #1-4 of award nominated Wolf Country (True Believers/Eagle)
* And of course, the award nominated Amongst the Stars.
It was my absolute pleasure a couple of weeks ago to work my way through the delectable series that is Wolf country. I aim to do the series justice with a proper in-depth type attempt at a review (I will crack this review thing malarkey one day) of the series in the next few weeks. What I will say for now that the series is genuinely one of the most exciting and imaginative comics that I've read in a very long time.
"A vampire settlement is surrounded by hostile werewolf tribes. The settlement is there for religious reasons, following the teachings of a vampire god. The werewolves don’t want them. They consider a vampire presence on their land to be sacrilege.
It is a frontier of fang and claw, with death and vengeance the common currency. In Wolf Country, you need to watch your back and keep your loved ones close, because someone – or something – is always out to get you."
Jim Alexander first described Wolf Country to me as 'vampires v werewolves in a Wild West setting - and a whole lot more'. That particular description barely scratches the surface. Written by Jim Alexander (Metal Hurlant, GoodCopBadCop) and drawn by Will Pickering (Burke and Hare) with cover art by Luke Cooper (Hollow Girl) Wolf Country is epic both in it's scale and depiction. I'm only sad that I won't be at Forbidden Planet in Glasgow on Thurs 30th July to buy a real paper copy (the only proper thing) and get it signed by the guys themselves.
Jim will also be attending the Preston Comic Con the following Sat 1st August. Comic guests also include Kate Brown, Andy Diggle, Dave Taylor and Antony Johnston). Once again you'll be pleased to hear that I won't be in Preston that week either......... pesky restraining orders.
So if you want more information about the event in Preston than click on the link at http://www.prestoncomiccon.co.uk/
Just looking at some of the names appearing at the Comic Con, in addition to Jim and his comic goodies, is enough to make me utter something that I never ever thought I would ever say in a lifetime of lifetimes - get yourself to Preston!
You can find out more about Planet Jimbot and the comic talent that lies therein at the following links;
Twitter - @PlanetJimbot
Website shop - http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/planetjimbot/