Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Graphically novel - space themed steampunk genius

And so, steampunk ventures deeper into the world of comics.

I have spoken before of the joys of Freakangels, which continues its weekly update every Friday - currently, figures from the past are causing ruckus in Whitechapel as the rain pours. If you've not experienced that Friday feeling, get over to Warren Ellis's site!
Previously, Mr Ellis brought us the magnificent Ministry of Space, which envisaged a world whereby the British had taken Nazi aeronautic engineers before the Americans, and pushed the British Empire into the solar system.

Now, with artist Gianluca Pagliarani, he brings us his the space miniseries Ignition City

A major new series by Warren Ellis, the writer who reinvented science fiction in comics, in the alternate-world style of the award-winning MINISTRY OF SPACE and
AETHERIC MECHANICS—a retro-punk "future of the past" where spaceships still belched smoke and arguments were still settled with laser pistols.
Set in 1956, this new five part series is centred upon grounded space pilot Mary Raven who discovers, on the island of Ignition City, Earth's last spaceport, that her father died on the wrong end of a ray-gun....

This looks very special indeed, and should go someway to satisfying those retro-future needs!

Comics and gaphic novels are an excellent way to bring new or fringe products into the mainstream. Many of you will be familiar with Dr Grordbort's inventions from WETA's excellent infomercial:

Well, the Grordbort universe franchise is expanding, thanks to the excellent concepts of Greg Broadmore. Dr Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory was the first release in the Dark Horse / WETA series last year:

and now the wonderful Victory - Scientific Violent Adventure for Young Men and Literate Women is out.

For those who have been hiding under a rock for the past decade, WETA is a five-time Academy Award winning special effects company based in Wellington, New Zealand. They did the special effects for Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings, King Kong, James Cameron's Avatar and many other movies. However, not only are they FX experts, they also build Rayguns, collectible sculpture, handmade swords and a host of other goodies!

Designer and author Greg Broadmore first introduced us to Lord Cockswain in the Dingus Dictionary - a bluff British adventurer devoted to the study of extraterrestrial life by traveling to other planets and slaughtering it. Similar in vein to Toby Frost's excellent Captain Smith adventures, Victory carries on Broadmore's brand of satirical steampunkery. A collection of propoganda posters, ("Know Your Enemy: The Venusian Savage"), bestiaries , weaponry details and testimonials, the book imagines a universe where the sun never sets on the British Empire, because the British Empire has conquered every planet in the solar system.

For those who like their space adventure both steamy and retro, the future is looking positively marvellous!