May was a big month for me, mainly due to the long-awaited (by me, anyway) debut of my comic Midnight Widows in Belladonna magazine, a project that’s been knocking around my head in one form or another since I was a teenager reading 1970s books on horror films. Much gratitude is due to my fellow Horror Honeys for printing it, and to illustrators Rosie Wigg and Marcela Hauptvogelova for bringing my script to life.
Edith and her girls have been in their coffins for far too long: it was high time they were finally unleashed on the world. Here’s hoping that they’ll be having many adventures to come…
One task I set myself this month was assembling a space opera reading list, stretching from the days of Doc Smith and Edmond Hamilton through to our new era of Yoon Ha Lee and Ann Leckie. I decided to do a deep dive into the genre as part of my research for Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers, and the recent scuffle over the Tor blog was the perfect chance for me to collate a set of space opera recommendations from across the political spectrum. The result is a hefty list and no mistake, and I’m quite eager to get stuck into it when I have the time.
My trips to the cinema this month exposed me to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (yay!) Mindhorn (yay!) Alien: Covenant (could see what it was going for, but wasn’t entirely convinced) and Colossal (yay!) Off to see Wonder Woman tomorrow…
Articles of mine published elsewhere this month:
Article topics for June and beyond:
Over the weekend I went to a transgender talk that was taking place as part of an outdoors festival. While I was waiting for it to start, I kicked back in a deckchair and read Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Thuvia, Maid of Mars.
Halfway through a chapter I heard an excited voice: “I can’t believe you’re reading Thuvia, Maid of Mars!”
I looked up. It was a middle-aged woman, wearing a festival volunteer t-shirt. She told me how she read the Barroom novels in the 70s, and was now in the process of re-reading them (on her Kindle, she said, so other people couldn’t see what she was reading – she was apparently a little more self-conscious about having the cover on view than I was).
We had a bit of a chat about how many books we each had left to read in the series, and how there was still the Venus series afterwards. then it was time for the talk to start, so I headed into the tent.
Transgender discourse and Edgar Rice Burroughs fandom. My kind of an afternoon.
My latest Amazing Stories retrospective is available to read here.
Head back to September 1926, when bold adventurers were exploring the North Pole, the ocean depths and the surface of Venus; where astronomers had found life on the Moon; and when Earth was under attack from Martians.
As everyone in the British comics world will be all too aware, Leo Baxendale – creator of the Bash Street Kids, Minnie the Minx, Grimly Feendish, Sweeney Toddler and many other favourites – passed away last month.
I decided to pay tribute to him at WWAC wth a post about his mischievous schoolgirls: Minnie, Toots and Bad Penny. Particularly Minnie, the revered matriarch of the clan. Read the article here.
This month’s issue of Belladonna is a special bumper-sized edition to mark our anniversary at the Horror Honeys. Inside you will find interviews, reviews and lifestyle columns focused on the nooks and crannies of the horror genre. My own article contributions are a review of Stephen Murphy and Mike Hawthorne’s grsphic novel Umbra and an overview of the delicious rivalry between kids’ cartoons and religious fundamentalists.
But the big news from my corner is that, this month, Belladonna begins serialising Midnight Widows: a comic I created in collaboration with artists Rosie Wigg and Marcela Hauptvogelova.
So, pick up Belladonna at Magcloud, Magzter or our official website (with anniversary discount) and meet the Widows!
Part 5 of my ongoing series on Amazing Stories magazine is now live. Brains! Venusians! Imperialist ants! It’s all here in the latest issue of Hugo Gernsback’s finest.
The final part of my article on how British horror fiction has portrayed the far right is now available to read at WWAC. Topics this time include a TV drama by Dennis Potter, a comic by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, a short story by Kim Newman, an anthology by Nuzo Onoh, guest appearances from Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Sting, and musings over whether or not horror is an inherently reactionary genre (my conclusion tending towards the negative).