Paul Cornell's Blog, page 7

August 23, 2013

Just popping in to mention that I'm very pleased to have been interviewed by the great Laura Sneddon for her piece about politics in comics in The New Statesman.  She also talks to Stephen Collins and Grant Morrison, and the piece is well worth your time.

I also had a recent chat with the Yatterings blog, specifically about London Falling, and found myself revealing some stuff which may be new to the interested reader.

I hope to see some of you in Edinburgh tomorrow.  Until then, Cheerio!
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Published on August 23, 2013 01:25 • 40 views

August 19, 2013

Just popping in to make plain all the things I'm getting up to in Edinburgh next weekend of which you can be, allowing for geography, a part.  It's a great honour to be invited up to the Festival, and I'm very much looking forward to appearing in both the book strand and the Stripped comics festival.

First of all, on Saturday 24th August, between 8.30pm and 9.30pm, myself and Ben Aaronovitch will be onstage at Pepper's Theatre in a panel chaired by Stuart Kelly.  (Tickets £10/£8.)

Then I'll be heading over to the Guardian Spiegeltent, where, in the latter part of the Illicit Ink and Graphic Scotland: Tales from the Strip event (which ends at 11pm, so I have to get there a bit before then), I'll be speaking a short comic story for my old friend and comic artist Emma Vieceli to draw, live, there and then.  (Admission free, just pop in.)

And finally, on Sunday 25th August, from 7pm to 8pm, I'll be teaming up with John Higgins at the Scottish Power Studio Theatre, to talk about Wolverine and Razorjack, among other things.  (Tickets £10/£8.)

It'll be great to be back in Edinburgh, and to be appearing with such talented people.  I hope to see some of you there.  Until then, Cheerio!
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Published on August 19, 2013 11:41 • 37 views

August 17, 2013

I had an enjoyable Forbidden Planet signing midweek, with lots of people popping in to get both the US and UK editions of Wolverine: Hunting Season signed.  This was my only time off from a rather demanding schedule at the moment.  I'm revising the new Shadow Police novel, The Severed Streets, to my editor's (wonderful) notes, in the mornings, and looking after Tom in the afternoons.  So everything else gets done at the weekends.  This includes preparing for Worldcon.  There will be Just A Minute, but I don't have all my guests yet, so later for my schedule for that and next week for a reminder of what I'll be doing at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

The first thing I should say is that, to my surprise, I've been given an award!  The lovely Nine Worlds convention (which impressed me enormously), held their Geekfest Awards on their final evening (sadly, after I had to leave), and I was honoured with 'Best London-Based Fantasy/SF Novel' for London Falling, which is a great thing, and thank you very much.  Mention of it is included in their post-match press release. The awesome Madeleine Beresford also produced a spot-on summing-up of the event, including a mention of yours truly, for my publishers, Tor.

There's a Worldcon event that I'd like to publicise.  I'll be hosting the Masquerade on the Saturday night at San Antonio, but if I wasn't, I'd be joining in the frolics here...

With a whole bunch of my favourite people, door prizes and cheap drinks!  Hmm, I wonder if I can get there after the Masquerade...?

And finally, with our big 'Killable' arc starting in Wolverine this week (with #8), I talked to CBR about all things Logan.  I'm loving the response to this arc, and I think #9 is our best issue so far.  It all leads to something enormous in #13.

Okay, back to work I go.  Until next time, Cheerio!
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Published on August 17, 2013 02:17 • 54 views

August 12, 2013

I had an absolutely wonderful time at the Nine Worlds convention near Heathrow.  There was a great feeling about the event, with a young, diverse audience, and a sense of excitement at all the different kinds of fandom being brought together.  Old convention hands were surprised that, during timetabled events, the bar was somewhat deserted.  Everyone was in the panels!  The books and feminism tracks, among those I attended, saw their rooms regularly packed to standing room only, and seemed very well organised (though I heard that some other tracks weren't so sorted).  I very much enjoyed chairing Just A Minute (won by Gary Russell), opening the books track with a spirited session about character deaths including the wonderful Zen Cho (we gave away cake), discussing the accessibility of geek spaces with the great Laurie Penny and introducing a prose slam of eight new authors reading five minutes each of their work.  The microphone-free delivery of Snorri Kristjansson was a particular highlight.  And there were some fab bar evenings where my fandoms collided while and a xenomorph cruised the crowded disco.  For a first attempt, it was simply outstanding, and the organisers are planning to stay in the same place, with the same team, and build institutional memory.  I'll be cheering them on.

Now, this week sees three Wolverine-related events.  Firstly, the latest issue, #8, is out on Wednesday, and is the start of our big new arc, 'Killable', the end of which will see some enormous changes in Wolverine's life.  You can see a preview of the first three pages of lovely Alan Davis art, and see our two variant covers here.

Secondly, on that same day, Hunting Season, our first paperback collection, comes out.  Check it out on Amazon here.

And finally, I'll be signing both these items between 6pm and 7pm this Wednesday, 14th August, at London's Forbidden Planet.  You can see all the details here.

There's something else I'd like to mention today.  My old friend, the Doctor Who writer Jacqueline Rayner, has a new book out, Can I Tell You About ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? It's a guide for friends, family and professionals about this debilitating condition which is still not universally recognised.  Needless to say, it's well worth your time.

I hope I'll see some of you on Wednesday.  Until then, Cheerio!
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Published on August 12, 2013 12:28 • 38 views

August 8, 2013

I'm very much looking forward to the Nine Worlds convention near Heathrow, starting tomorrow.  I'm popping in and out, because we don't live very far away, and Tom needs looking after while Caroline works, but I'll be there for long stretches of fun.  You can see what panels I'm on here. Of those, 'Inclusiveness in Geek Spaces' looks like it's going to be an interesting exploration of particularly gender issues in fandom, something Nine Worlds is leading on.  My guests on Just a Minute this time will be Helen Keen, Gary Russell, Adrian Tchaikovsky and one more I haven't yet confirmed.  And the late night Slam session, where each of nine authors gets five minutes to read, looks exciting.  I'm your host, and the authors are: Catherine Banner; Zen Cho; Laure Eve; Benedict Jacka; Francis Knight; Snorri Kristjansson; Den Patrick; Tom Pollock and Tade Thompson.

The second volume of Saucer Country, 'The Reticulan Candidate' should be in your comic stores and book shops now.

And I have a date for your diary later this year: on 10th September at 7.45pm, at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London, I'll be joining a panel of experts for SF Film Night at the European Planetary Space Congress.  We'll be introducing, screening and talking about The Day the Earth Caught Fire, a British SF classic from 1961.  (And one of my favourites.)  You can find all the details here and book tickets (£5) here.

I hope to see some of you at either of the above.  Until then, Cheerio!
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Published on August 08, 2013 03:09 • 46 views

July 31, 2013

Tom's been having rather disturbed nights lately, which means a lack of sleep for us, and hence a lack of engagement with social media for me.  I really am not able to function well without my full quota of nap.  So setting off on this parenthood lark was always going to be tough.  But until now Tom has been a supernaturally 'good' baby, so I'm not about to complain.  (The speechmarks are because he doesn't yet make any moral decisions.  It's not his fault he's bellowing at midnight.)

I've just sent in my MC script for the Hugo Awards, and today is the last day on which you can vote, so please remember to do so if you're a member.  That gig is now looking rather horribly real.  I don't get stage fright when I'm up there.  I rather relax when I'm in front of a big audience.  But the run up is a different matter, and I've kind of frozen and gabbled, to my own surprise, at the BSFA Awards and on some panels at SDCC, so this is all rather stressful.

There are a few exciting things to report today, starting with...

As taken from here, hence the watermark.  And if you use that link, you'll get a complete list of contents of the special features of the DVD, which is out on September 16th.  (They forget to mention that Toby Hadoke interviewed me for the commentary.)  I'm very pleased that Shalka is finally getting a DVD release.  I think it's exactly the right time to see it in context, especially considering the ways it prefigures or influences modern Doctor Who.

Staying with Who, the latest edition of Joseph Scrimshaw's podcast Obsessed is a special about the show, recorded live at CONvergence, with me, Molly Glover and C. Robert Cargill.  It's very funny and completely Not Safe For Work.

And finally on that subject, there's a belated write-up of the IDW panel at SDCC, including a few lines about The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who, my forthcoming one-off comic that marks the end of their Who range.

I've already posted the lovely cover to the US edition of The Severed Streets, my sequel to London Falling, but SF Signal also have the synopsis, which gives you a basic idea of what the book's about.  'Jack the Ripper is back, but this time he's killing rich white men' is what I'd have said.

And I've contributed a line or two to various guests answering the question 'what excites you most about this year's Worldcon' on Missions Unknown.

Okay, back to the keyboard I go.  I hope to see some of you at Faringdon's Follyfest this weekend.  It should be a lovely summer festival of bands and beer.  And we're taking Tom, of course.  Cheerio!
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Published on July 31, 2013 00:47 • 83 views

July 26, 2013

Comic Con this year wasn't perhaps as life-changing as the last one, but it was still the greatest show on Earth, an event I find perversely relaxing.  Perhaps it's the feeling of 'we won', that geeks conquered a city.  Marching through a packed schedule of meetings, lunches, panels, charity events and parties satisfies the workaholic in me like nothing else does.  It all feels relevant.  One is getting on with business while having a good time.

One of the best things about the weekend was the Gender in Comics panel.  It was billed (thanks to some ridiculous made-up controversy beforehand) as an invitation to a fight, but turned out to be both an examination of some serious issues and a homecoming, a gathering of like-minded people, including an audience who were there to celebrate rather than argue.  The panel was led by Christina Blanch, who runs a course on gender and comics, and asked us all questions such as who did we think was the most feminine and the most masculine of the super heroes.  Mostly, it was fantastic to hear stories of how the seven female creators and editors on the panel had encountered gender issues in childhood and in the industry.  It felt like the start of a yearly event, so much more than the usual, outmoded 'women in comics' panel.  You can find write-ups about it here and here and here are most of us afterwards.

(Photo by Henry Barajas.)

Another panel of note was the X-Men gathering, written up here.  I was rather sweating at the start of this one, because Jeanine Schaefer, my Wolverine editor, and the only woman present, arrived late, and I found myself sitting on an all-male panel as introductions were made, looking like I'd broken my word never to appear on such a thing again.  But she got there, and, as always, made a big contribution.  It's not just getting women on panels, it's getting editors and colorists on panels, roles where women have a larger representation than in penciling or comics writing.  This panel turned out to be a love-in too, with an appreciative audience and joking participants.  It always amazes me to see the difference between comics fans in the flesh and online, between panels I've been on and the write-ups and comments on them.  It's like online comics fandom can't quite understand the possibility that people might sometimes have a good time.

The announcement of my one-off Doctor Who comic for IDW, The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who was pre-empted by the BBC while I was still on the plane, which took the wind out of our sails a bit.  You can see some more about the project (including a video interview with me) here.  And IDW editor Chris Ryall, on his Tumblr, has shared this original art mock-up of the cover by Jimmy Broxton.

I took part in the One Page Project, auctioning off a huge page of comic art made by dozens of different creators...

And, to give you a sample of the social life, well, this is from SFX Magazine fixer Adrian Hill's brithday party...

It was all a bit of a blur.  I can't wait to do it all again next year.

Wolverine #7 came out last Wednesday, and contains 'Mortal', the prelude to our 'Killable' arc, which starts next issue.  I'm very proud of this examination of Logan facing his new mortality, and it includes a guest appearance by another Avenger which plays nicely, I think.

There now follow a few messages about stuff I think people should be paying more attention to, and which I've let fall by the wayside in recent weeks.

Andromeda One is a one-day British SF convention with a feminist point of view, at which I'm going to be a guest.  Here's their press release:

'Andromeda One is a one-day SF, fantasy and horror convention taking place on Saturday 21st September 2013 from 11am to 22:00pm with Dealer's Room open at 09:00am and early bird kaffeeklatches from 08:3am.  Taking place at the Custard Factory in Birmingham, it brings together a host of science-fiction, fantasy and horror writers and publishers for a day loaded with book launches, kaffeeklatches, panels, signings, writing and publishing workshops and much more.  There will be a stream dedicated to workshops on gender parity and multiculturalism and disabilities in the SFF/Horror community.  Single Tickets are £25 each; Group Tickets (for up to five people) are £100.  Prices held until 9th August 2013.  Prices go up 10th August 2013 to £27.00 or Group ticket £110.00.  GUESTS OF HONOUR include Paul Cornell and Jaine Fenn.  Plus sessions with an impressive range of speakers: Chris Amies; Jacey Bedford; Misa Buckley (SFR); Mike Chinn; Theresa Derwin; Jan Edwards (Alchemy Press Editor/Writer); Janet Edwards (SF Writer); Simon Marshall-Jones of Spectral Press; Adrian Middleton; Stan Nicholls & Anne Gay/Nicholls; Mark West and Ian Whates.'

It's well worth your attention.  You can learn more and book tickets here.

And I'd also like to mention the recent efforts of my old chum Simon Guerrier.  He's written a time travel comedy short, Modern Man , which is in the Virgin Media Shorts contest.  The more retweets and Facebook shares it gets, the better its chances of winning.  (Use the buttons under the film.)  His previous film, Cleaning Up , starring Mark Gatiss and Louise Jameson, is now available for £2, the cash going towards funding a full-length feature.  I commend them both unto you.

As always, I wish I had time these days to write full convention reports.  The number of friends who go unmentioned is terrible.  (Eryn won two prizes at the Masquerade!  Melinda got her work praised by Moffat!  Peter got Tom a Tigger suit!  Warren got me an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit hat!  Mark and Irma were everywhere I went!)  I very much don't want the memories to fade, but they will.  And I must go forward.  So until next time, Cheerio!
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Published on July 26, 2013 02:13 • 81 views

July 19, 2013

The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who is the name of my forthcoming one-off Doctor Who comic from IDW, drawn by an artist I've had the pleasure of working with on many previous occasions, Jimmy Broxton.  Here's his lovely cover...

It's my anniversary celebration of the series that's formed the central thread of my career, the reason I started writing, the reason I've got to where I am.  I realised a few months ago that I had one last Who tale left to tell, and this is it, my farewell to the 11th Doctor, to be released just when he leaves us, in Christmas week.  It's the story of the Doctor landing in our world, the real world, finding himself to be a well known fictional character and encountering, well, lots of things, but notably Matt Smith.

I hope it reads like an episode. It's a 40 page story, and the issue is even bigger than that, including back-up strips I'm not yet able to mention.  (I'm writing this before San Diego Comic Con, this blog post to be automatically activated after the IDW panel on which this is going to be announced.  So I, erm, hope that worked.  Otherwise you're reading this before the panel, and I'm about to get yelled at from onstage.)

Here are the first two pages, hot off the press from Jimmy... That's an Andy Warhol painting the Doctor's looking at.

Very atmospheric, I hope you'll agree.

The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who will be out in the week of Christmas, and will retail at $7.99 in the US, but will also be available digitally, in British comic shops and by mail order.  I hope you like it.  Cheerio!
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Published on July 19, 2013 17:00 • 247 views

July 16, 2013

Tomorrow I fly off to San Diego Comic Con.  Which will be nice, because, apart from anything else, then I'll be back in the time zone my body thinks it should be in.  Tom is staying put this time, which is good because he now seems to have settled back into knowing when bedtime is.

I'm making many public appearances at SDCC this year.  Here's where you can find me.


Thursday 18th July, 1pm, Marvel Booth (#2329).
Friday 19th  July, 2pm, Tor Booth (#2707).
Saturday 20th July, Noon, Marvel Booth.
Sunday 21st July, 11am, Marvel Booth.


Thursday 18th July, 1pm, Room 28DE, Gender in Comic Books, with the editor of Knight and Squire, Janelle Asselin, Boom! editor Dafna Pleban and many more, in a discussion moderated by Prof. Christina Blanch.

Saturday 20th July, 8pm, Room 9, World Building and Story Development, where a group of urban fantasy writers, including some famous names, talk about how we do the aforementioned in the pages of novels.

Sunday 21st July, 12.30pm, Room 6DE, X-Men, with my Wolverine editor Jeanine Schaefer, Brian Michael Bendis, Gerry Duggan and many more.

Special Events:

Thursday 18th July, 5pm, Vela Restaurant, behind the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, The Blank Page Project.  This is a two hour catered event, free to enter, from Comixology.  Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner will be hosting as creators fill an 8 x 12 foot blank comic page with art.  I'm one of those creators, and I'll just be writing something pithy in the corner.  You don't want to see my drawings.  The enormous page will then be auctioned off, the proceeds going to a charity close to my heart, The Hero Initiative.

Before the end of the convention, Friday, Hero Initiative Booth (#5003).  I'm taking part in a CGC Signature Series Signing Event at SDCC, again to benefit the Hero Initiative, and if you want to get a comic signed by me in that particular way at the show, your only chance now is to get to the Hero booth by the end of Friday.


I might pop along to the first hour of the iFanboy party at the Andaz...

And the same night I might make it to the Boom! Studios party late.

But, and this is huge, there's also another panel I'll be in the front row for (because it's an all-male panel and thus I won't be on it), and not saying anything at (because if I said anything it'd just be doing the panel from a slightly different geographical location and me not being on it would be a moot point), where a new project of mine will be announced.  I won't say what day that'll be, because I don't want to give away any clues, but I will say that it's a comics project, that it's a one-off issue, and that I'm very excited.  A new blog post specifically about that should spring up here as soon as the panel's finished.  Hopefully.  If I've figured out the Blogger timing feature.

I'm also, of course, doing many meetings and lunches and breakfasts and socialising to an insane degree.  'Remember to stay hydrated this time,' said Caroline.  'Don't come back like you did last year, looking like a pickled walnut.'  I hope to see some of you there.  I'll be the pickled walnut.  Until then, Cheerio!
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Published on July 16, 2013 02:26 • 147 views

July 15, 2013

Well, CONvergence was the usual incredible time, what one expects from The Best Convention in the World.  Tom seemed to benefit hugely from the atmosphere of love and creativity, visibly coming on in his development and saying his first word!  (I am now 'Dada'!)  My life doesn't give me time to write con reports these days, but suffice it to say that when faced with a vast queue length problem on the first day, this is the con that sent out food, water and comedy to the waiting attendees, and made jokes at their own expense about it in the opening ceremony.  You can be sure they'll fix that next year.  Caroline had an epic time, appearing on two panel games, and very much holding her own against pro comedians.  I appeared on seventeen panels, only one short of my personal best, all of them featuring at least one woman.  The latter feat, still beyond the power of many events, was achieved without seeming effort on the part of the convention.

Since we've got back, however, Tom's lost the idea of when bedtime is, jetlag and the heat contributing to a pretty tough couple of days.  He slept through last night, though.  So, phew.

I'm off to Comic Con on Wednesday, and intend to blog my (vast) schedule tomorrow.  But before that, there were a couple of things I wanted to mention as worthy in their own right.

First off... this!

That's the US cover for the London Falling sequel, The Severed Streets, out over there in April (the UK edition having arrived in December).  I think it's a thing of beauty.

On 20th August, the following should arrive on your book and comic shop shelves...

That's Saucer Country: The Reticulan Candidate, which collects all the remaining issues of the Vertigo run in a rather lovely package.

And, as you can see here, on Wednesday 14th August, from 6pm-7pm, I'll be signing the collected first volume of my Wolverine run at London's Forbidden Planet.  The collection, 'Hunting Season', is out on the 12th, and contains the first six issues.

Okay, back tomorrow with all my SDCC news.  And wish us luck for bedtime tonight.  Cheerio!
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Published on July 15, 2013 08:31 • 40 views