Saturday, March 20, 2004

Doctor Look Out!

So, Christopher Eccleston will be Doctor Number Eight. A good choice, I think.
They have a bunch of good writers on the show, and it looks like they're taking it seriously. Should be good.
I'm just hoping that (1) an American network picks it up, and (2) that they get Orbital to do, at the very least, the theme.

And if you click on the Orbital link up there, you'll see that the boys have a new album coming out this year. More good news!

I'm reading Jack Staff right now. Well, actually, right now, I'm downloading Discworld from here and typing this, but once I've finished typing this, I'll go back to Jack Staff. Discworld will continue to download happily in the background for the next, ooh, five hours, two minutes and six seconds. That's the curse of dial-up.
And of course, what I'm doing right now, depends entirely on when you're reading this. I think. Einstein would know.
I'd heard wonderful things about Jack Staff over the past couple of years, not least that it kept edging The O Men, one of my favourite comics, out of awards. I started getting it with issue four of the second volume, published by Image. I'd also downloaded the first issues of both volumes from the Image site. Of course, this left me rather confused in terms of storyline, but I liked what I had read enough to get the (expensive but well worth it) collection of the first volume as well as the first three issues of the Image series.
The titular hero is a sort of alternate universe version of Marvel's Union Jack with a bit of Gambit thrown in. He operates in a world populated by versions of classic British comic characters, most of whom are not superheroes because Brits Don't Do Superheroes. It even features Steptoe and Son (American translation: Sanford and Son) as a vampire-slaying father and son team. The art's stripped down and simplistic, but in a good way. The writing is superb, mainly because writer/artist Paul Grist really knows how to structure a story. The narrative jumps forwards and backwards in time, and multiple story threads almost always start off in disarray before coming together in an elegant finish. This is most evident in the way that each issue is presented as a mock-anthology (again because in terms of comics, Brits Only Do Anthologies) with each of the characters appearing in their own "strips" which are nonetheless all part of the same plot. It's hard to describe, but it's very impressively done. So if you read comics and aren't getting Jack Staff, then you should go out and buy it.

And Martin will kill me if I don't also say "buy The O Men too!" but I was going to say that anyway, because if you like superhero comics at all, you really should. He's one man with a bunch of pens and a photocopier, but Martin frankly puts most of the professionals to shame.

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