Archive for the ‘From the Racks’ Category

NCP Regulars are well aware of my love for the writing of Mr Andrez Bergen so they’ll understand and forgive me for the following outburst;

Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat is being made into a Graphic Novel!!!!!

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, down to the facts. 🙂

Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, the critically-acclaimed 2011 tale of a near-future noir/dystopia gets a huge sequential art treatment — with new plot twists included!

Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat was a novel first published in 2011 that proudly wears on its sleeve the influences of writers Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Neville Shute, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, Graham Greene, and… filmmakers Satoshi Kon, Carol Reed, John Huston and Akira Kurosawa. Now the author of TSMG, Andrez Bergen (also the writer of Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? along with the Tales to Admonish and Black/White comic-book series, and an artist in his own right) is assembling a 130+ page sequential art version of Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, set to be published at the end of July 2014. He will be doing both art and text.

It is an essential yarn that rolls in together a wealth of cultural influences and pop-culture nuggets with a noir tale of love, betrayal, corporate violence and intrigue — set in near-future, last-city-on-earth Melbourne.

If that isn’t enough to get you excited then read the back-cover spiel:

“Cut to Melbourne, Australia — the most glamorous city in the world. It also happens to be the only one left standing, but nevermind that, we’re there now and I’d like you to meet your narrator, a certain Floyd Maquina, a likeable chap with one hell of a story to share. See, the powers that be are knuckling down on the Deviant menace that plagues the city, and our boy Floyd’s unknowingly got himself in the thick of it. Cue guns, intrigue, kidnappings, conspiracy and all sorts of general mayhem that make for cracking good headlines.

Does Floyd stop the bad guys? Does he get the girl? Does he make Humphrey Bogart proud? Grab some popcorn and read on.”

The comic book adaptation, while touching upon similar territory as the novel — with key characters Floyd and Laurel — will also feature brand new plot content, including material from Bergen’s other books.

Also, it will include behind-the-scene tidbits, pin-ups by other artists, and Hylax and Webley-Fosbery collectibles!

Now, to get this awesomeness head on over to the Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat Graphic Novel Kickstarter page and pledge. Not only can you get this GN, but other great goodies as well, including the chance to be immortalized in a future comic project!

Please check this out. It’s a great project and deserves all the assistance it can get.


The Artists of Milk Shadow Books

Posted by David On December 5, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Go beyond the page with Australian comic and graphic novel creators in this new short documentary series.

Tim Molloy, Ben Hutchings and Dillon Naylor are artists living and working in Melbourne, Australia. All three have rich and unique work published by Milk Shadow Books, an independent publisher, whose aim is to offer up the ‘weirdest trips, strangest journeys, and assorted stories that make you laugh, think and gag’.

We are huge fans of Milk Shadow Books here at NCP. I even had the chance to interview Ben way back on episode 22 and he was awesome.

Thanks to Madman Entertainment we are proud to present this inspiring insight into their daily lives, where they talk about creativity, inspiration and the struggle of balancing work, art & life.

YouTube / Vimeo

We also have a clip of Tim Molloy, as he talks about his comic book series ‘Mr. Unpronounceable Adventures’.

YouTube / Vimeo

And in this video, Dillon Naylor chats about his cult comic book series ‘Da ‘n’ Dill – The Showbag Years’, which for the first time, has had all seven issues of his showbag insert series rescanned from original art and collected in one volume along with cool bonuses like unpublished pages, sketches and notes.

YouTube / Vimeo

If you would like to purchase and of these, or any of the other awesome Milk Shadow Books range, please visit Madman, or the official Milk Shadow Books website!

From the Racks – Cataclysm

Posted by David On March 23, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Cataclysm is an independent graphic novel from the mind of writer/artist Armando Batista.

It currently has 2 volumes, but my review will be focusing on Vol 1.

It tells the story of an Atlantis-like island city ruled by a shadowy Council with dark secrets to protect, and a group of rebels, called the Militia, who plot against this Council. In the middle of all this are two brothers Sorrentine & Ambrose, who are going through their own issues and are destined to be major parts of the island’s future.

Right from the start you are thrown into the action, as a pair of armour clad soldiers go up against a huge robot. It is an exciting and well paced intro and a great start. Its biggest draw however is the coloring. The majority of the book is in black and white but certain select sections, including the opening sequence and the introduction of the Council, are highlighted with a powerful blue that really enhances the art, much like the splashes of red (and yellow) used by Frank Miller for Sin City.

Other colours are used in later parts of the book, but for me, none of them work quite as well as this blue.


From the Racks – Ravine

Posted by David On February 22, 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Bursting from the minds of Stjepan Šejić and Ron Marz comes the fantasy adventure tale Ravine.

The original story was created by Šejić almost 11 years ago. He now not only illustrates the title, but also co-writes it with his friend, and industry veteran, Ron Marz.

The pair have worked together on titles like Witchblade, Angelus & Artifacts for some years now and the ease at which they collaborate is obvious.

Ravine deals with the story of Nebezial Asheri, driven mad by grief at the deaths of his wife and daughters, and his quest to bring them back to life. To do this he risks unleashing the same level of magic that almost split the world in two and left a massive ravine in the land like a scar. He faces multitudes of people attempting to stop him, with the story focusing on a small group of uneasy allies.

Arranged as a series of graphic novels, Ravine is reminiscent of the European style of publishing comics, and is a bold move in the Western market. However, I believe it is a stroke of genius. The concept of ‘waiting for trade’ is firmly entrenched in the minds of modern comics buyers and having to read Ravine in the bite sized format of monthly issues just wouldn’t have conveyed the same sense of ‘epicness’ and grandeur that the graphic novel sized installment would. And this book is huge – 120+ pages of story combined with DVD style extras like a glossary, cast of characters, pinups, and a prose story equal great value for money. Of course now that I’ve read vol #1 I’m left with the same urgent need to know what happens next that I would have gotten from single issues, but you can’t have everything!

It has been compared to A Song of Fire and Ice in other reviews, (it’s back cover even mentions A Game of Thrones), but I think that is a disservice. Not every epic fantasy rides the coattails of Tolkien or Martin and that is definitely not the case here. Šejić and Marz have crafted a tale of love, betrayal, intrigue and adventure that rises above typical fantasy trappings and sets a new standard.

That is partly due to Marz’s skill with words helping bring Šejić’s original ideas to life, his skill at describing the situation means he almost doesn’t even need the art, but that would be a travesty because the real star here is Šejić’s art. Forgive my use of a parlance of our times here but O.M.G! This guy is amazingly talented. Every panel feels alive and the imagery is amazing. I confess I’m not really much of a Top Cow reader, barring an occasional nostalgic dip into the world of Cyberforce, but upon finishing this book I immediately logged onto my favourite online comic shop and ordered every Ron Marz/Stjepan Šejić trade they had! I’m kicking myself that I didn’t know about Stjepan beforehand, but now that I do I’ll be watching his career very closely.

And of course, part of that will be by collecting Ravine. This is an excellent book and its creators should be very proud of their efforts.

Rating: 5 Lukes

Nerdrage! – Amazing Spider-Man #700

Posted by David On December 27, 2012 4 COMMENTS

So, Amazing Spider-Man #700 is now out and it is time for geekdom to explode. As followers of our podcast and site will know, Spider-Man is my favourite hero (not just super-hero) and Peter Parker an inspiration for me. Obviously I’m not alone, it is the same for millions around the world, and I know I won’t be the only one outraged by the end of ASM #700.

Please Note – Spoilers Ahead – You have been Warned! (more…)