Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Zombies, Brickbats & Dragonflies

With real spring hitting, the black flies are finally out, along with the blessings of night moths and my first glimpse of butterflies and dragonflies yesterday by daylight. I love this time of year -- so, to commemorate the new awakening, here's some early morning dragonflies for you. Dragonflies courtesy of my daughter Maia Bissette ('Technicfarce' c 2007 Maia Rose Bissette) -- Thanks, Maia!

  • Whoa, sobering news yesterday for Chrysler's 80,000 US employees, and another major landmark in the changing times as we continue to lurch into the 21st Century.
  • Don't underestimate the import of this devastating turn for the auto manufacturer, which unmoors one of the true 20th Century corporate giants those of my generation grew up with as an economic anchor, for better or worse.

    Seismic shocks of another kind are continuing to hammer the fringes of the Bush Administration, apart from our ruinous foreign policies and wars:
  • A panel of executives at the World Bank just ruled that its President (and Bush appointee) Paul Wolfowitz broke the bank's code of conduct and violated the terms of his contract,
  • but the big news this morning is that the second highest official in the US Justice Department, Paul McNulty, is resigning -- maybe Alberto Gonzales will yet have to pay the piper for his crimes against the Constitution?
  • Time will tell... keep an eye on these ongoing situations.

    Not having enough real-life apocalyptic catastrophes in our own lives, my stepson Mike and I dashed out last night for the viral armageddon opus 28 Weeks Later. I had some fun with it; the film is an invigorating and sturdily made outing for most of its running time, but ran out of gas in its final act. Six+ screenwriters credited, and nothing new to add to its subgenre; it's 20th Century Fox's genre subsidiary Fox Atomic doing its bit for keeping derivative traditions we used to depend upon cheapjack producers to keep alive back in the '80s (and the second such Fox Atomic outing I've seen in a little over a month, on the heels of The Hills Have Eyes 2, which was nastier, meatier, more satisfying fare for this depraved horror addict). Still, nice to see a flick with Mike, and we enjoyed the time out -- more on 28 Weeks Later when I play Cine-Ketchup next week (after a long hiatus posting such comments, though I've seen tons of movies). I hope to see Paul Verhoeven's Black Book before then, too (a return to form for a one-time masterful director?)... lots to talk about in that department.

    But here's what I really want to share with you all this fine rainy Tuesday, to wind up on a cheerier note. This just in from Colin Mathieson and Dave West of Accent UK, aimed at contributors to the Zombies anthology, but worth sharing with all of you as a report of that collection's successful debut and an update:

    Dear All

    Just back from Bristol earlier today so brief update on what was probably our best ever convention!

    We’re very pleased to report that Zombies was a well received hit with record sales and an overwhelmingly positive response. Everyone commented on the quality of the strips, the design and the printing with the result that there was a real buzz about the book.

    Thankfully many of you were there and able to share in the moment and enjoy what had to be one of the busiest Bristols ever (despite the weather!). It was great catching up with you all and registering everyone’s delight with the way the book turned out and hear of your own creative projects and ideas for Robots – actually we had several ‘new’ interested writers and artists wanting to contribute to next year’s Robots so we’re expecting another strong batch of submissions.

    "An Alphabet of Zombie" (c) 2007 SR & Daniel Bissette

    We are hoping for a wide coverage and distribution with us being approached over the weekend by no less than 5 separate retailers to stock both Zombies and our other release Wolfmen, with provisional deals set up with 2 others! We also had an encouraging meeting with Diamond’s representatives (and await their USA panel review with interest) so your work is getting the best chance of a wide audience and will hopefully complement and highlight your own individual projects.

    Special congratulations must also go to Andy Winter, whose Hero Killers book deservedly won this year’s Eagle for favourite British black and white comic book. Andy’s award nicely follows last year’s success for fellow Zombies contributor Dave Hitchcock’s Spring Heeled Jack series, so well done chaps!

    A fuller report on Bristol will follow on the website in due course and we’ll keep you informed of Zombies progress but in the meantime thanks once again for all your hard work and being a successful part of our annual anthology.


    Colin M and Dave W

    Colin added, "Zombies had a tremendous reception – your cover really caught everyone’s attention and when they saw the quality of the strips inside, it was an easy sell! Several buyers mentioned your Indie Spinner interview too, so that proves the plugging works!!"

    Shameless huckster Bissette signing off, reminding you to
  • keep an eye on the Accent UK site for photos, updates, news and ordering info -- remember, Zombies does not yet have a US distributor, so you may want to order your copies now via Accent UK --

  • -- and to have a great Tuesday, one and all. Cheers!

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