Splish, splash, water laps at the shore of another one of these FPI islands that we bought in a job lot. And our latest island dweller is Mr Terry Wiley, the super talented, super funny creator, writer and artist on FPI favourite Verity Fair, available from Wiley here.
Terry was also the artist on the quite magnificent soap opera of student life albeit with more trans-dimensional portal stuff than you tend to see on something like Holyoaks that was Sleaze Castle. I’ve gone on at length about Sleaze Castle in the past, and haven’t room or time here, but seriously…. its Douglas Adams doing a sit com about students. That should sell you on it surely?
Essentially Wiley on his own, or with McKinnon and Kermode, creates that rarest of things – genuinely believable characters. It’s the same as watching especially good character film-making, something Mike Leigh or similar, or the best of writing from something like Corrie; building up a cast, making you believe, and he’s especially great when it comes to female character portrayals. Which makes his first pick something of a banker to be honest….
Another great 8 picks of comics await Terry on his little piece of FPI real estate, why not let him tell you all about them…..
Desert Island Comics – Episode 38 – Terry Wiley
Love & Rockets is one of the two comics that lured me back from the non-comic-reading wastes after getting bored with Mighty World of Marvel back in the 70s (and thereby completely missing out on 2000AD). Jaime Hernandez’s art and storytelling have been consistently amazing since day one; it feels like every day in Jamie’s world is Saturday!
The second title which lured me back to comics – and demonstrated that, yes, YOU can do your own comics too, if you’re determined enough. C&S is to me the pinnacle of the Cerebus series – Sim’s art reaches its maturity, Gerhard’s astounding backgrounds start to appear, and the suspense in the last stretch is hair-raising. It also came out long before the ‘controversial’ phase of Cerebus.
Bugs & Drugs
Does anyone know who the maniacs were behind Bugs & Drugs? A deeply anarchic and irreverent cut-up / satire comic from the mid-90′s, B&D was crammed from corner to corner with cryptic slogans, clip art, random CAPITALS, scathing mockery and Character Assassination Top Trumps! “Ten Pounds of Hogwash in a Five Pound Sack”, “I Am Barbarian Hear Me Mulch!”, “Must Have Gibbon Spit” – all this and more!
(Richard here – completely new to me this one – although a bit of googling around shows a couple of pdfs of B&Ds zine at the Punks Is Hippies blog. And from a post at Awesome Engine, the folks behind it went on to form the filmakers Collision Films and poster makers Jacknife)
I treat this one with fear and amazement. It probably only comes to 100 pages in total, but I think I would still be reading this one with a magnifying glass after I’d finished all the others twice. Bastian appears to have the brains of John Tenniel, William Hogarth and Patrick Woodroffe crammed into one skull, producing ultra-fine-lined woodcut-like art full of fruity 18th century-flavoured puns, monsters, skellingtons and sea-beasts. The most gob-smacking thing is it’s drawn LIFE SIZED. I could have bought an original page from his stall at Wizard World back in the day – curses!
Deadline – Nick Abadzis, Phil Bond, D’Izraeli, Brett Ewins, Jamie Hewlett, Alan Martin, et al
Powered by a lucky combination of fresh talent, half-built offices, Piss Lager, heroic deadline management and Tom Astor’s bottomless chequebook, Deadline could only have existed at one moment in history – and it’d probably have got away with it too, if it hadn’t been squashed by the leviathan marketing beast spawned by the Tank Girl film.
My regret at missing out on doing a page of Nelson is legendary. It’s another of those projects that’ll never get a sequel – a) because it would only be 1 page long, and b) because the organisers probably shudder at the thought of trying to pull it all together again!
Who says comics are lightweight fluff for kids? This book covers Bertrand Russell’s many-year struggle to work out some of the most hair-raising concepts in maths – managing to explain them successfully on the way with 300+ pages of fine colour comic art. Well worth multiple reads!
Just before all of the famous Marvel superheroes appeared (Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Thor etc.) the titles they first appeared in were crammed with Monster-of-the-Month short stories, and the sheer variety of freaky names is a joy in itself: ‘Gorgolla!’, ‘Dragoom!’, ‘Grogg!’, ‘Orrgo!’, ‘Goom!’, ‘Kraa!’ ‘Moomba!’, ‘Gruto! Bruttu! Grottu!” (apparent siblings) and of course ‘Fin Fang Foom!’ In those days every monster was spelled with an EXCLAMATION MARK!
Luxury item – a Cintiq! Who wouldn’t want a Cintiq? Even if there were no electricity or computers on the island I’d just stroke it ;)