Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wizards Keep Blog comes of age…

Wow Blogging for over 12 Months...

Hi Guys,

Well, with all that has been happening since the start of the New Year, it crept up on me and sneaked past without nary a word. It doesn’t seem like two minutes ago since I was testing the waters and writing my first Blog, after becoming convinced they could be very positive things, even when looking occasionally at negative and emotionally charged subject matter by my mate in the comics industry Lew Stringer and the late and great Mike Wieringo’s Blogs.

Although this last two months has seen scant input in my Blogs for obvious reasons I will be getting back on track and sorting out more Blogs ASAP.

Over the coming months I, amongst other things, will be Blogging about:

  • Graphic Storytelling and its links to Literacy
  • The first showing of some of the "Markosia Project" pencilled pages
  • The first look at the sketches for the “Worlds End” figurines rang
  • The first of the “Worlds End” digitally painted colour pages for the graphic novel
  • A Review of the last of the "Jack Kirby Fourth World Omnibus" Books, Volume Four
  • A Review of the Jack Kirby “Kirby - King of Comics” book written by Mark Evanier
  • The latest on-going "Hot Wheels" cars from within the pages of the Hot Wheels comics
  • A Review of the Classical Comics graphic novel adaptation of "Macbeth" drawn by Jon Haward
  • More then a few surprises

In the meantime take a look at some of the additions to my Favourite Fellow Bloggers, which you will find by scrolling down the left hand side column…I am sure you’ll have a great time there too. I know I do.

Thanks to everyone that reads the Blog and also for those that take out time to comment an/or send emails to tell me what you think, it means a lot…

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 24th 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Steve Whitaker Sad News…

UK Comic Artist and Colourist...

Hi Guys,

I have just heard yet more sad news from the UK Comics Fraternity this morning.

Steve Whitaker has died suddenly and unexpectedly. Reports say that he had been feeling unwell and was placed in a taxi to go to the doctors, by his father. He collapsed whilst in the taxi, was resuscitated by his doctor outside the surgery, and was rushed to hospital but then died later either on route or at the hospital. It is suspected he may have had a stroke. He was only 52.

I first remember seeing Steve’s work when he was producing artwork for Harrier Comics on their "Swiftsure" comic in the mid eighties. I remember Steve being a large guy and remember that his size always gave him a presence at any of the venues frequented by the London comics scene in the 80's and early 90's and that at 6ft 4in, he was very hard to miss in his “trademark” long dark overcoat.

He was a world-class colourist and worked on diverse projects like children’s books for Lady Bird Books, DC Comics’ coloured edition of V for Vendetta to name but two in long and varied career.

He was involved on a regular basis with Oxford's annual alternative comics convention CAPTION here in the UK, where he taught workshops.

Steve is the latest comic artist, taken long before their time in recent years.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…

February 23rd 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hot Wheels Comic Issue 44…

A look at the latest two cars in the Toontastic Comic.

Hi Guys,

Here is a sneak peak at the cars you’ll see in issue 44 of the Hot Wheels comic, to whet your appetite.

I have been going around quite a lot of schools lately, in my role as both one half of the curriculum support team representing the Arts, here for the local borough and as a visiting artist and I am really pleased to say that there ARE kids actually buying the comic in the schools I have visited. They are amazed to hear that the guy up at the front of the class is the artist on the comic book they buy every month. This backs up some comments I made in some of my earlier Blogs when I spoke of kids in the UK beginning to read comics again…at long last!!!

Anyhow the latest comic I have just finished and sent off to Toontastic has two get cars. I especially love the little yellow one, which looks very much like my own actual car…

The two cars are respectively:

Split Decision – From the story: “Track Attack!”

Rocket Box – From the story: “The Rocket takes off!”

Both stories are produced by the same gang as always:

Written by – Ian Rimmer
Pencilled, Inked and Computer Coloured by – me
Edited by – James Hill
With Production Design by – Rob Sharp

I am looking forward, as always, to hearing what you think of this latest artwork. The comic will be on sale soon, so don’t forget to order a copy!!!

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
February 15th 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Steve Gerber…

Howard the Duck Creator dies…

Hi Guys,

I have just found out the very sad news that Steve Gerber, comics writer and satirist died the other day on Sunday 10th of February, whilst in Mountain View Hospital in Las Vegas from complications stemming from an on-going illness. In 2007, Steve was diagnosed with an early stage of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and was on a waiting list for a lung transplant. Even while in Hospital he continued to work on his latest series for DC, turning his room there into a study, full of books, magazines, and his laptop.

He was perhaps best known as the creator and writer of Howard the Duck, Man-Thing, The Sub-Mariner and Daredevil. Other titles included: Omega the Unknown, The Phantom Zone, Void Indigo, Shanna the She-Devil, Tales of the Zombie, Marvel Spotlight: Son of Satan, Defenders, Marvel Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy, Foolkiller, The Legion of Night, Marvel Comics Super Special featuring KISS, Nevada, Sludge, A. Bizarro, and Hard Time, and many, many more.

It was during the 1970s one amongst a wave of writers including Steve Englehart, Don McGregor and Doug Moench who would take on the task of writing minor characters and helped to create a revitalisation for comics writing. At the time of his death, he was writing for DC Comics on their Countdown to Mystery series: featuring, Doctor Fate, having already briefly worked with a version of the character back in 1983.

One of his fortes was including lengthy text pages in the middle of a comic book story, examples of which can be found amongst the pages of comics such as: Man-Thing, Howard the Duck, Son of Satan, Defenders, and his graphic novel, Stewart the Rat.

As a writer, he had a voice, unlike most others and created stories that mixed the standard adventure fare with social satire and crazy-styled humour. When he was writing The Defenders for marvel Comics, he took a group of Supervillains that were tired of always being beaten by the good guys, and had them go to a self-help guru for motivation…Priceless!!!

Although I never met him, the personal voice in his writing, which spoke volumes about life and its absurdities, showed me, as a young teenager that here was someone different, with something else to say. He showed just how insane the world can be and how sometimes the only way to deal with world affecting situations, totally out of our hands to control, is to laugh in its face and laugh at it loudly, so the guys that can affect the changes, maybe, just maybe hear the voices crying out to be heard. Right from the word go his work stood out to me.

Anyone wishing to read a different kind of Comicbook, one, which makes you think about life changing situations or stories concerned with larger problem, handled with a huge dose of humanity, whether it be from the viewpoint of the good guys or the bad, check out his work…It is always a great and in depth read.

Quite a few years ago now, my brother Chris got rid of his American comics collection – He gave them to me – But he kept one series, Howard the Duck, because of three guy’s work: Steve Gerber, the writer and Frank Brunner and Gene Colan, the artists.
Later in his career he wrote and story-edited for animation, on such projects as: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, The Puppy's New Adventures, The Transformers, Thundarr the Barbarian, and the pilot episode of Mister T.

My thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time, but like so many of my heroes that have unfortunately passed on from this plane of existence, his work makes him immortal and he lives on through it.

Like I say, get hold of a copy of his work and you’ll want more.

Rest in Peace Steve and thanks for the ride.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…

February 14th 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back in the Fray at Last…

Or looking forwards again...

Hi Guys,

Well it took a long time to get here, but the guys at BT finally sorted out the speed and access issues for us here at the Keep, so look for some more new Blogs again at long last.

I would just like to say a heartfelt thanks to two guys in particular, Richard H. the guy in tech support that initiated the recovery of our BT Business Broadband Internet connection after everyone else failed to do so and also to Saj the engineer that came on-site twice to check out our systems and line and sorted the problem by sourcing it to faulty equipment at the BT exchange. I can’t praise these two guys enough. It took these two guys a week to sort out what has, in total, been an otherwise, unacceptable 35 days of little or no access to the Internet.

Anyone that has kept in touch via telephone knows that the saga has put us miles behind here, but rest assured the work schedule has been stepped up to try to continue to meet the deadline for everything including the launch of the “Worlds End” Figurines at Bristol International Comics Expo, although the “Worlds End” graphic novel will probably be launching later. We will, however have a sneak preview for folks to check out there at the show in the form of a full colour Ashcan, so you can check out how things are going to look inside the finished graphic novel.

There are also some more surprises before then, which we aren’t quite ready to disclose yet.

The hassle with the Internet has affected our plans for the launch of the Hall of Fame, as we were unable to continue to build the section throughout this last month, or communicate with the artists who we are waiting for with approval on their respective biographies. We will let you guys know ASAP when the completed biographies are loaded and ready for launch.

In the meantime it’s all guns to the fore, all hands to the deck here as I try to play catch-up with the schedule and try to maintain the momentum for the ongoing projects already in the works.

I must admit with all that has happened in the studio since New Year it seems like we are just beginning the year, whereas in real terms we are over one twelfth way through it.

Sorry I can’t stop to chat, but I’ll be back soon.

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…

February 13th 2008