Wednesday, October 21, 2009

SFX Reviews - Number 1: Bryan Talbot's Luther Arkwright

Just because I don't have enough to do already (yeah right), I've managed to agree to do some more reviewing. Kenny from FPI emailed me a couple of months ago with the news that FPI are sponsoring a Classic Graphic Novel review every month for 18 months in SFX magazine. Originally the reviews were going to be done in house at SFX, but Kenny pushed and pushed and eventually they agreed that we could do them all on our own.

The first was Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan by an SFX writer (which was a pity as I'd really have liked a shot at that and it may mean I can't do Ellis' Planetary later). The second was Charles Burns' Black Hole by Kenny. And this month (out today):

Oooh, look at me, in print and everything. Yes, it's silly and yes, I agree, it's not that big a deal. But still, it's nice to have my name in there.

Obviously there's a few more words to the review than that - but not that many more. When Kenny said it was 300 words per review I thought it would be a breeze. Except condensing exactly what makes something a classic graphic novel in just 300 words is a lot harder than I thought it would be. This Luther Arkwright review took a week to get right. Each time I sat and started to write 300 words I just felt so paralysed by the necessary brevity. So in the end, after a very fruitless day, I just wrote a normal review and trimmed the 700 words down to the required 300. It's a method that seems to works for me.

(And in case you were wondering what 300 words looks like - I've just written them for you - word number 300).

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