Today’s guest Best of the Year comes from one of the creators behind the quite excellent Hitsville UK, Mr John Riordan:
FPI: Can you pick three comics/webcomics/graphic novels which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
John: Bulletproof Coffin by David Hine and Shaky Kane (Image): I think the final issue came out last December, so I’m including this in 2011. Dan and I both love a bit of Shaky Kane so it’s great to have him back doing comics. He and David Hine bring just the right combo of balls-out, terrifying weirdness and slippery storytelling, with a new take on the ‘creators in their own story’ meta-thingy.
(a dodgy moment for our daring heroine in Bulletproof Coffin by and (c) David Hine and Shaky Kane, published Image)
Love & Rockets New Stories #4 (Los Broz Hernandez, published Fantagraphics): My… aching… heart…
(vampire sex as a means of getting a lift? It can only be Los Bros Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories #4, published Fantagraphics)
Nelson, editied by Woodrow Phoenix and Rob Davis, published Blank Slate Books: You’re going to get a lot of this, aren’t you? An audacious, fascinating experiment and it’s a testament to Messrs Davis and Phoenix that it hangs together far better than it has any right to! A Funny, moving, thought provoking and a great chance to discover new artists.
(Warren Pleece’s 1988 chapter from Blank Slate’s superb multi-creator tale Nelson)
FPI: Can you pick three books which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
John: Ken Campbell – The Great Caper by Michael Coveney (published Nick Hern): a fascinating biog of the manic loon of British theatre. An inspiration not just to rebel thesps but meddling artists and freethinkers of all stripes.
Post Everything by Luke Haines (published William Heinemann): …speaking of which, Luke Haines returned with ‘What I did after britpop’. Perhaps not quite as good as his first book (Bad Vibes) but hilarious all the same. And his new concept album on British wrestling is a thing of strange, strange, beauty.
Supergods by Grant Morrison (Jonathan Cape): weirdly, it didn’t persuade me that superheroes are the future of comics or anything else, but I do love him so, and I’ll take any excuse to get inside his bald, five dimensional head.
FPI: Can you pick three TV shows and/or movies which you especially enjoyed over the last twelve months and tell us why you singled them out?
John: Tyrannosaur, directed by Paddy Considine: Oh. My. God. Grim turned up to 11 but also brilliant and surprisingly life-affirming, with a devastating performance from ‘comedy actress’ Olivia Colman. The girlfriend didn’t sleep for days.
Vic & Bob on Fosters website: not technically telly, but it was nice to have them back making hilarious sketches (and each other laugh). The sweary, juvenile take on Most Haunted in the lavs was my favourite!
The Bed Sitting Room: a bit late on this one, given that this film was made in 1969. Still, I only found out about it this year, and couldn’t believe that I’d never heard of it or that it existed outside of someone’s weird fever dream. Starring most Brit actors/comedians from the 60s and 70s (Pete & Dud, Spike Milligan (NB, it actually sprang from the deranged mind of the great Milligan – Joe), Roy Kinnear) it’s one of those films that could only have been made in a strange period where it all went a bit weird (see also Casino Royale, no not that one).
FPI: How did 2011 go for you as a creator? Are you happy with the way you got your work out this year?
John: Yeah, we had a comic out, and it feels like people are starting to take notice. We had a blast meeting punters and other talented creators at Bristol, Comic Comiket and Thought Bubble and we got Hitsville UK in comic shops (not least Forbidden Planet International).
FPI: What can we look forward to from you in 2012?
John: Another comic! Hitsville UK #2 is around the corner (issue #1 reviewed here by Richard), there’ll be more stuff on our website, then it can only be a matter of time until Hitsville the album, tote bags and lunch boxes.
FPI: Anyone you think is a name we should be watching out for next year?
John: Darn, Warwick Johnson Cadwell has already been mentioned. I hereby up the ante by dubbing him ‘the comic artist’s comic artist’.
I would like to mention Josceline Fenton, who I was totally unaware of until just the other day. Her artwork on Hemlock is just stunning.