For the latest of our nosey looks into what comics, books, TV and movies have been catching the eye of some of our friends in the last year we have a special British writer triple-bill today, as we are joined by Leah Moore and John Reppion as well as fellow British scribe Paul Cornell; with each of them being regulars on the convention circuit here it seems only right to have them form their own little Best of Year panel. First of all we’ll see what’s been floating Leah and John’s boat in the last twelve months. Actually I’m surprised they’ve had time to read or watch anything else – since we chatted to them right back at the start of 2007 they seem to have been kept pretty busy – just a quick look at some of their recent output shows stories in the fine Nevermore collection from Self Made Hero, the very tasty looking Popgun Volume 1 which just came out from Image, the latest issue of Witchblade: Shades of Gray and a collection of their recent Raise the Dead series (which allowed John to run amok with his beloved zombie genre) is about to hit the shelves, complete with art by La Muse‘s Hugo Petrus.
John somehow also found time write articles for the Anomalist (about a bridge disaster caused by a clown) and the Fortean Times (about a Yorkshire giant) and they tell me they have not one, not two but three series lined up for Dynamite in 2008, as well as more anthology and small press work. Blimey. Still, it gives us plenty to look forward to reading and it helps keep them out of mischief. Being gentlemen naturally we have to let Leah go first:
Medium Series 2
Joe Hill – 20th Century Ghosts
I haven’t read 20th Century Ghosts yet myself, but I found Joe Hill’s debut novel, Heart Shaped Box, to be one of the most effectively creepy ghost stories I’ve read in years, so I may need to try and get myself a copy of that collection sometime. And Leah’s obviously not alone in loving Mouse Guard – it’s been picking up some great reviews, not least from our own Richard Bruton. Let’s see what John’s been into this year:
Life on Mars Series 2
It seems that I have spent most of this year reading Phillip Jose Farmer’s Tarzan Alive. It’s a great book and I’m enjoying but, for saying that it is a normal sized paperback, it never seems to end. I fear I have entered some kind of book related paradox and that I will never be able to finish it.
A first mention for Life on Mars in the Best of Year so far; I’m actually surprised no-one else has chosen that yet so far. Perhaps its an indicator of the fact we’ve had some decent quality programmes recently so even excellent programmes like Life on Mars need to fight to stand out.
Completing today’s triple bill is Paul Cornell; novelist, comics writer and script writer for a number of shows, including the current revival of Robin Hood and a certain show about a 900 year old man who travels time and space in an old Police Box (which has to be a dream true for Paul). In fact Paul has also just written a Doctor Who short story, “the Hopes and Fears of All the Years”, which will be appearing in the Telegraph on Saturday 22nd December (and should also appear on the Telegraph website), with some illustrations by Mike Collins whose work can be seen regularly in the Doctor Who Magazine.
My own mob excepted, I’m loving Samurai Champloo, Studio 60 (The West Wing about writers!) and said a fond farewell to the last series of Veronica Mars.
The Prestige, one of the best movies about men I’ve ever seen.
Lovely new volumes of Stephen Baxter and Susannah Clarke (that was this year, right?)
Interesting to note that Paul’s picks share both one of his TV and movie choices with fellow British novelist and comics writer, Mark Chadbourn, with both loving Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and the Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale-starring film The Prestige (based on Chris Priest’s brilliant novel). Paul has just started posting his Twelve Blogs of Christmas over on his very own blog and if you have a look at Sunday’s entry you can read more about the choices he shared with us here.