Who doesn’t like a good “possession” story?
Yep, those sorts of ghost/demon/entity tales wherein a strange force takes over the body of a living host are where it’s at. I mean, The Exorcist, written by William Peter Blatty and directed by William Friedkin, is one of my favourite films. “Wolf in the Fold”, written by acclaimed horror author, Robert Bloch, is one of my favourite episodes of the original 1960’s Star Trek series. At their essence, those types of stories remind us that we’re not always in control of our actions; that human beings can still revert to their base, most wild forms.
But what happens when the ghost/demon/entity takes over the human host and turns him into a superhero…that kills villains?
That’s the intriguing question that today’s release of Dream Thief asks.
If you’re living in the Toronto area or are thinking about visiting the city this weekend, you’re in for a treat. The 10th anniversary of The Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) is happening on Saturday and Sunday – and if you’re a fan of sequential art and storytelling in all of its forms, TCAF is the place for you to be!
If you haven’t been before, this isn’t your usual run-of-the-mill comic book convention. No, it’s much, much more interesting: truly a celebration of art, storytelling and the small-press and independent comic book industry by and for the people that love to create in unison with the people that love to read.
Love is a word that can be used often with TCAF.
The festival is indeed an international love affair and you can find out more info and some highlights after the jump!
A sly, feline hand slips into the back pocket of an unsuspecting businessman, gently pulling, in an unnoticeable fashion, at a black leather wallet.
A small pill made of unknown chemical substances is quickly and reprehensibly dropped into the hot cup of coffee of an oblivious newspaper reader.
A fry cook and a waitress antagonistically raise spatula and bagel knife against one another, the comedic scene betrayed by tempers raised amid overcooked hash.
These are the crimes, or perceived crimes, that exist on the front cover of Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes, a promise to the even stranger wrongdoings found within the inside pages, not to mention the back cover. Strange crimes, indeed.
Got your attention? Good. With crime, not all is as it seems.
Walks, Landscapes, And A Swear Down – Biff Bam Pop! Speaks With Comic Book Artist And Writer: Oliver East
Many in North America first became aware of Manchester, England based artist and writer, Oliver East, through his album cover work for the acclaimed English alt-rock musicians, Elbow. His drawings and paintings for the band’s seminal albums, The Seldom Seen Kid and Build a Rocket Boys!, perfectly captured the spirit of that music: at once puzzling and implicit, melancholy and joyous. But East had been hard at work making comics too, eventually releasing four books over the last five years through publisher, Blank Slate Books.
Renown for landscape-fuelled inspiration, his latest comic book offering, Swear Down, is also his most personal story. It debuts at the upcoming Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF), an event that East will fly over the Atlantic Ocean to attend and exhibit as well as meet and greet like-minded sequential art lovers.
JP Fallavollita got a chance to speak with Oliver East via email about his love of exploring the world and understanding life through walking, his evolution as a writer and an artist, and his affinity for American comics.
The illustrious Biff Bam Popcast panel of Andy Burns, JP Fallavollita and Glenn Walker gather to talk about the recent trailers for new movies, Iron Man 3, what we’re reading, the role continuity plays in pop culture and much more!
As well, this edition of the Biff Bam Popcast is brought to you by the new Rob Zombie album, Venoumous Rat Regeneration Vendor, in stores now and available to purchase online here.
Let me take you back for a brief moment:
It’s 1983 or 1984 and I’m into reading science fiction and fantasy stories. I start picking up Epic Illustrated, an SF&F magazine imprint of Marvel Comics. The publication often premiered burgeoning North American and European talent such as Jim Starlin, John Bolton, Kent Williams and J.G. Jones and I had no business, at such a young age, leafing through pages of mature storylines and (oh my God!) drawings of naked women!
It’s there that I first came across Dean Motter and Ken Stacy’s The Sacred & The Profane, a story about the Catholic church and its’ interstellar mission to spread the good word. No, I didn’t understand it back then, but I started paying attention to Dean Motter.
At better comic book shops, I noticed the incredibly striking imagery of his Mister X series, released by Vortex Comics. I was floored by his take on The Prisoner mini-series, published by DC Comics, a sequel to the cult-classic television show. It was absolutely brilliant. Everyone should read it. And then came Terminal City followed by a return to Mister X.
Ok. Enough of the walk down memory lane.
2013 marks the 30th year anniversary of Mister X, one of the most acclaimed and highly regarded comic book series’ to see print. Celebrate it by picking up the first issue release of a new mini-series, Mister X: Eviction #1.
Here’s why you should:
Ah, the 1980’s: a decade of consumerism, no-so-great music and bad, bad hair. Well, some of the music was quite good but teased and/or poofed up hair was a horrible mistake! A horrible one!
Still, it was a good decade for comics. Stories and art became more sophisticated forms of literature, the graphic novel format came to the fore, and the medium became legit in eyes of the mainstream press. Sure, there was a lot of negativity to be passed around too. Superheroes became too dour, for one, and comic books themselves became altogether too violent, too graphic.
In 1987, you’d think that all of that negative press was due to one little comic book mini-series: Marshall Law.