Thursday, 23 December 2010

From the WTF? Files.

Rich Johnston posted up a few of these "inspirational posters" on his excellent website, Bleeding Cool, but I thought I'd share my favourites with you here, in case you hadn't seen them. First up is a big bugbear of mine, crap "English" in comics and popular culture. I ranted about this when Frank Miller's The Spirit move came out, but below is the same sort of issue
It simply doesn't make sense! It's like that other crap phrase, "My bad." Your bad what? It's an incomplete sentence with no meaning! "Shame by you English?" You bloody should be! Grrr! —Ranty Claus.
Which leads neatly onto this one, which just made me laugh:
And finally, here's one that combines two of this blog's subject matters in one. If only he were naked, then we'd have the hat-trick!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Grant Morrison, Batman and the CBA Auction Results: £3,000 and rising!

Christmas came early to Aldrin Stoja (above) when he won the auction of a lifetime, getting to star alongside his favourite superhero, Batman, in the Dark Knight’s new comic, Batman Incorporated.
Aldrin won this incredible experience in the Comic Book Alliance’s first fundraising auction, bidding an impressive £1,127 for the honour. Aldrin said, “I totally support the work that the Comic Book Alliance does, and I am hopeful that my contribution will help make a difference in 2011.”

The story will be written by "the man who killed Batman" award-winning scribe and comics legend, Grant Morrison, and will drawn by Chris Burnham.

“When I heard about the auction, I knew I had to win!” enthused Aldrin. “The chance to be written as a character by Grant Morrison, to be rescued by Batman, and to be able to donate to a very worthy cause—the Comic Book Alliance—made it an absolute in my book. I have been in love with the heroes at DC Comics as far back as I can remember, and to be written and drawn into an issue of Batman Incorporated. is the next best thing to writing and/or drawing the book myself.”

BATMAN INCORPORATED is the new best-selling comic book from Grant Morrison (above) highlighting the new status quo in the BATMAN series, as Bruce Wayne takes the Bat-franchise global. Batman will dramatically rescue Aldrin in a story that takes Batman in a desperate race across two continents and two decades in a spectacular battle to save the world from a terrifying new threat. Aldrin Stoja will feature in BATMAN INC. #4 (below) on sale 16th February 2011.
The Comic Book Alliance (CBA) “The Voice of the British Comics Industry” also had other items in their very first fundraising auction including a personalised portrait by Frank Quitely—winner of four 2010 Eagle Awards and one of the hottest artists in comics (All Star Superman, Batman & Robin), and co-designer of Robbie William’s album, Intensive Care—which went for £370.96The money raised in the auction was an impressive total of over £3,000!

The CBA supports and promotes comic creators, publishers, retailers and distributors, both in the UK and abroad, At the heart of the Alliance, fellow founders Shane Chebsey, GM Jordan, and I, have assembled an Advisory Board made up of leading academics and professionals from a wide spectrum including chat show host, turned comic book writer, Jonathan Ross and V for Vendetta artist David Lloyd. In the last year we've helped organise and promote major exhibitions and sent thousands of free comic books to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. We also run a website that helps the general public find their local comic book retailer (www.comicshops.co.uk) and with over 1.5m visitors.

It’s been wonderfully overwhelming to see so many British comic creators and publishers generously donating their time and items to this very worthy cause—and the fans bidding so much for them. A huge thank you to everyone for coming together to support the medium they love. This money will allow us to do some very important work to secure the future of British comics. We have plans for a second auction in the New Year with some exciting donations from Mark Millar. We've only just begun.

Watch this space!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The One That Got Away (Part 6)—The Weldon Owen years (Part 2)

Here's another strip that I wrote for Weldon Owen. It was drawn by 2000 AD artist Adrian Bamforth, who I'd never worked with before, but he did a great job. The challenge here was to do a story about the infamous "Perfect Storm" that hit the North East coast of America in 1991. Lots of people were sadly killed in the storm and the incidents were recorded in the semi-factual film, The Perfect Storm starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. But whereas they had 130 minutes to tell the story, we had just two pages! I think we did a reasonable job considering the space and deadline. Click on the pages to enlarge them. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Erotic Comics Volume 1: Slight Return

Sometimes you can be too successful. Take my book, Erotic Comics: A Graphic History Vol. 1. Or rather you can't take it, because it's been out of print for the last 6 months in the UK. The book has done so well that it's impossible to get anywhere without pay silly money for it (I've seen the first printing going for £80 on Amazon.co.uk!). Which must've been very frustrating for those Brits who bought Vol 2 (still in print) but couldn't get the first book. But now the wait is over! Ilex Press are now bringing out a paperback edition in May 2011 at the very reasonably priced £16.99. The slightly revised cover is above and you can pre-order the book here for an even more reasonable £14.44. Do it now before it goes out of print again! Oh, and I just heard a Polish edition is on the cards. Still, it's strange that no Italian or Spanish publishers have picked it up yet! Come on fellas, I practically wrote the books with you hot-blooded Lantinos in mind. You've got a passionate reputation to uphold.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Grant Morrison, Batman and You!

Here's an update on the Comic Book Alliance's auction tomorrow (at 7pm GMT), more specifically about that guest appearance in Batman Inc.:


The auction will see the highest bidder guest-starring alongside The Dark Knight in his very own comic! Not only will the winner's name be included, but Chris Burnham (not Yanick Paquette as stated in DC Comics listings) will also draw their likeness into the story as well. All written by "the man who killed Batman"—no less—award-winning scribe and comics legend, Grant Morrison! 


BATMAN INCORPORATED is the new best-selling comic book from Grant Morrison highlighting the new status quo in the BATMAN series as Bruce Wayne takes the Bat-franchise global.
Morrison explains "The winner will have the choice to be brutally slain by the villain or dramatically rescued by Batman in a story that takes Batman in a desperate race across two continents and two decades in a spectacular battle to save the world from a terrifying new threat."

The winner will feature in BATMAN INC. #4 on sale 16th February 2011.

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Comic Book Alliance Auction details!

The organisation that I Chair in the UK—the Comic Book Alliance "The Voice of the British Comics Industry"—is about to hold its first fundraising auction, and boy, have we got some goodies for you!


Grant Morrison (the award-winning writer who killed Batman and resurrected him!) will write the winning bidder into an issue of Batman Inc. featuring their name and likeness, courtesy of DC Comics.

Not only that, but Frank Quitely, winner of four 2010 Eagle Awards and one of the hottest artists in comics (All Star Superman, Batman & Robin) will draw a personalised portrait of a winning bidder! Quitely said "This is ideal. Some lucky bidder gets to enjoy a cutting caricature of themselves, I get to exercise my cruel sense of humour, and the CBA gets the money it needs to help it carry on its vital work — everyone's a winner!"
Plus, there are dozens of signed books, comics and graphic novels from high profile creators like Alan Moore (Watchmen), Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys), Charles Vess (Stardust), and John Wagner (Judge Dredd).
 And there’s original comic art and signed limited prints by the cream of British artists including zombie art work by Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Bryan Talbot (Grandville), Sean Phillips (Criminal), John McCrea (Hitman), David Lloyd (V for Vendetta), Mark Buckingham (Fables), Rufus Dayglo (Tank Girl) and Garen Ewing (Rainbow Orchid).
The CBA supports and promotes comic creators, publishers, retailers and distributors, both in the UK and abroad, At the heart of the Alliance, founders Tim Pilcher, Shane Chebsey and GM Jordan have assembled an Advisory Board made up of leading academics and professionals from a wide spectrum including chat show host, turned comic book writer, Jonathan Ross and V for Vendetta artist David Lloyd. In the last year the CBA has helped organise and promote major exhibitions and sent thousands of free comic books to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The CBA also runs a website that helps the general public find their local comic book retailer (www.comicshops.co.uk) and with over 1.5m visitors and rising.
The UK has one of the most creative and extensive comic publishing industries in the world—a legacy that has produced some of the best artists and writers currently working in the medium. It’s been wonderfully overwhelming to see so many of them generously donating their time and items to this very worthy British cause and coming together to support the medium they love. Big thanks to everyone who has donated either an item or their time to make this happen.
There are no reserves, and all bids start at just 99p, so there’s the chance to pick up some real Christmas bargains for the comic fan in your life!

The auction starts at 19:00 (UK Time) on Thursday 2 December and runs until at 19:00 on Saturday 11 December on www.eBay.co.uk: search for the seller, comic_book_alliance or further details can be found at www.comicbookalliance.co.uk.

The full list of over 60 items includes:



  • An appearance in Batman Inc. written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Chris Burnham. Courtesy of DC Comics
  • Personalised caricature by Batman & Robin artist Frank Quitely 
  • Two pages of Fables original artwork by Mark Buckingham
  • Spider-Man original artwork by Andie Tong
  • The Walking Dead artwork by Charlie Adlard 
  • Criminal original artwork by Sean Philip
  • Daredevil limited edition print by Adi Granov
  • Tank Girl original artwork by Rufus Dayglo
  • Peter Pan signed limited edition book, pus original artwork by Charles Vess
  • Original Letraset Manga Artwork by Nana Li
  • Inspector Gadget original artwork by Dave Windett
  • Whiteout signed print by Steve Lieber 
  • Yesterday’s Tomorrow’s hardcover signed by Rian Hughes
  • Luther Arkwright signed limited edition print by Bryan Talbot
  • Punisher original artwork by Laurence Campbell
  • Warhammer 40K original artwork by Kev Hopgood 
  • War Machine original artwork by Kev Hopgood
  • Marvel Heroes original artwork by Kev Hopgood
  • G.I. Joe original artwork by Kev Hopgood
  • Button Man 3: Killer Killer graphic novel and Strontium Dog script signed by John Wagner
  • Wasteland hardcover graphic novel signed by Antony Johnston
  • Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman signed by Alan Moore 
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner graphic novel signed by Hunt Emerson and Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Smuggling Vacation and Day of the Deal graphic novels signed by Jason Wilson 
  • Day of the Deal exclusive “prison edition” graphic novel signed by Jason Wilson
  • The Erotic Adventures of Space Babe 113, Complete set signed by John Maybury 
  • Iron Man & Black Widow limited edition print signed by Khoi
  • Wormwood: The Last Enemy signed by Garth Ennis
  • Wormwood: The Last Battle #1-3 signed by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys Limited Anniversary Edition hardcover graphic novel set (1-5) signed by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys #39 Signed by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys #40 Signed by Garth Ennis
  • The Boys #41 Signed by Garth Ennis
  • Preacher: Books 1 & 2 Deluxe Hardcover Editions Signed by Garth Ennis
  • Preacher: Dixie Fried graphic novel Signed by Garth Ennis
  • JLA/Hitman Issues 1 & 2 (complete) signed by Garth Ennis 
  • Hitman: Ten Thousand Bullets graphic novel signed by Garth Ennis
  • Hitman: A Rage in Arkham graphic novel signed by Garth Ennis
  • Crossed graphic novel signed by Garth Ennis
  • Battlefields: Happy Valley and Tankies signed books and script by Garth Ennis
  • Territory original artwork by David Lloyd
  • Abe, Temptation, Candleman signed books and original art by Glenn Dakin
  • Horse print signed by Emily Hare
  • Strange Embrace hardcover graphic novel signed by David Hine
  • Daredevil European Tour limited edition print signed by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale
  • Signed print by Hermann
  • Hermann exhibition poster signed by the artist
  • The Rainbow Orchid original art by Garen Ewing
  • The Rainbow Orchid Book 1 & poster both signed by Garen Ewing 
  • The Rainbow Orchid Book 2 & poster both signed by Garen Ewing
  • Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #9 signed by Gary Spencer Millidge
  • Strangehaven graphic novel (Book 1), print and postcard pack signed by Gary Spencer Millidge 
  • Strangehaven graphic novel (Book 2) and print pack signed by Gary Spencer Millidge
  • Hitman original art by John McCrea
  • The Authority original artwork and signed graphic novel by Simon Cobley
  • Low Life (from 2000 AD) original art by Simon Cobley
  • Starship Troopers cover original artwork by Jimmy Reyes
  • The Red Seas graphic novel signed by the artist, Steve Yeowell
  • Burke & Hare graphic novel signed by Martin Conaghan & Will Pickering
  • Tours de Bois-Maury signed print by Hermann
  • Merry Christmas Mr Zombo (from 2000 AD) Script signed and illustrated by Al Ewing
  • Blake’s 7 replica badge by Termight Replicas

Friday, 26 November 2010

Best Thanksgiving Review, Ever.

Just saw this on the internet when someone asked if anyone was cooking with cannabis this Thanksgiving weekend: 
"i have the cannabis cookbook by tim pilcher, made the “Naughty cheese nuggets” on pg45….epic."
These reviews are better than anything an official reviewer can write, as it shows that someone actually got the book, read it, and was successful with the instructions! Brilliant.Thanks to www.lovingloathingboysandclothing.tumblr.com for the kind word.
Now, if only there was a way of getting royalties from this book... hmmm... Oh yeah! Please all borrow it from your local library and photocopy pages of it. That way I get a small percentage of every loan! Thanks everyone and stay "Epic."



Tuesday, 23 November 2010

From the WTF Dept.

You'd think that The Phantom would be thinking of more important things—like cutting down the high jungle crime rate, or feeding his dog—rather than spanking nubile young ladies. Then again, who can blame him...

Monday, 22 November 2010

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 9)

Step 9
“Hah! Don’t sweat it, Doll, I was just yanking your chain. Sure, I’ll still shack up with you. After all, you’re ‘damaged goods’ now, who else would have ya?” 
Now that the balance of power has shifted back into your favour—using passive/aggressive tactics of feigned hurt and resentment—you can finally get married. You can use this strategy to win any future argument for the next 10-15 years. Or until she stabs you in the chest with the set of steak knives bought by her sister as a wedding present.

Next Step: Marital Dysfunction Ad Infinitum.

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 8)

Step 8
“Oh, he’s never asked you to marry him? That makes it OK does it? I take you to the beach, out dancing, and this is how you repay me? Right, that’s it, I’m off.”

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 7)

Step 7
Time to go in for the kill. This is it. This is what you’ve been working towards. This— 
“Wait! Who the fuck is ‘Donald’? Have you been cheating on me? I don’t know what to say…”

Next: Step 8: Trouble in Paradise?

Sunday, 21 November 2010

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 6)

Step 6
Pretending to be homosexual may allow you to express your more sensitive side—and will endear you to the opposite sex—but it ain’t ever gonna get you laid! When the magical moment is right (or you’ve had too much to drink) it’s time to pop the question. But be honest about your financial limitations. This will save you a lot of trouble in the future, believe me! Get a good lawyer to rig up a pre-nup in your favour.
Next: Step 7: Seal the deal.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 5)

I just spent a great weekend catching up with loads of friends at the Thought Bubble comic festival in Leeds so am running behind with this series. Apologies. More on Thought Bubble soon, but I can thoroughly recommend it and thanks to Lisa and Nabil for all their hard work and hospitality.


Step 5
"What? Marrianne's changed her name to Hilda? I'm confused. Still, good thing she didn't get in the car with me last night—Yeesh, I was loaded!" Remember, those that get hammered, don't get to nail! They go to jail.
Step 6: Third Date. Make or Break Time!



Friday, 19 November 2010

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 4)

Step 4
On your first dinner date, she may bring that friend along who secretly fancies you as a chaperone. Whatever you do, do not suggest a m√©nage √† trois. This is the equivalent of "double or quits," invariably resulting in the latter. Combined with a swift kick in the knackers. Oh, and start using her name, women like that.
Next: Step 5: "I've barely had a drop, offi-slur."

Thursday, 18 November 2010

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 3)

Step 3
Suggest a date at the pool or beach. That way you get to check out the goods before you buy. After all, you wouldn't buy a peach without giving it a squeeze first, would you? Plus, you'll make her so self-conscious she'll get "mixed up" and want to start riding fairground attractions, which she usually avoids. But DON'T ask her to tell you that she loves you, you needy loser!

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 2)

Step 2
Make sure she rings you first—you don't want to appear too keen otherwise you lose the upper hand, and besides it'll save you a quarter. If you get turned down, ignore the rejection, she doesn't think you are an egotistical creep, she's just teasing.
Next: Step 3: Getting your date undressed without even trying.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

How to Woo the Ladies (Part 1)

Hello, everyone.
Over the course of the next few days I'm going to teach you the ways in which to woo the lady of your dreams via the wondrous means of comics. Here you will learn the guaranteed successful "Pilcher Way"TM and in no time at all you'll have les filles swooning at your pieds.*


Step 1
Make it obvious you are interested by making some semi-lewd/suggestive and inappropriate comment about the object of your affection in front of her friends (a sure fire winner). Particularly if you think her friends secretly are attracted to you. Oh, and get a hat.

*Irony not included

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The One That Got Away (Part 5)—The Weldon Owen years (UPDATE)

Welcome back to my intermittent look at the comics that never were—the work I'd scripted, that talented artists drew, and yet—for various reasons—never saw print. This blog—and the next few to follow—were done for Australian publisher Weldon Owen, who were lovely people to deal with. They were looking at doing a series of children's non-fiction books that included some comic strips and I put together a few ideas.
This one is Robin Hood, and was supposed to (very loosely) tie-in with the theme of "trees" (hence all the different references throughout the story) and was drawn by the highly talented Chris McLoughlin. I've known Chris since my Vertigo days and I've always enjoyed working with him as he's a consummate professional. 


UPDATE: Chris managed to dig up the (almost) finished files, so here, for the first time anywhere, is the complete story with the very nearly finished art and text . Personally, I love the last page best, and the artwork is so lovely it's a joy to share it with you. Click on the pages to enlarge them. 
Getting projects cancelled seems to happen to me with alarming regularity, but we got paid, so all's well that end's well, I guess. Huzzah!

More "One's That Got Away" soon!


Monday, 15 November 2010

Chinese Edition of Essential Guide to World Comics

Whilst trawling the Internet the other day I came across this image:
This is, apparently, the cover to the Chinese edition of my and Brad Brooks' Essential Guide to World Comics. I say "apparently" because our UK publisher, Anova Books, has seemingly licensed the rights to the Chinese yet have failed to remark upon this in any royalty statements we've received. 


In fact, I don't think I've received a royalty statement from them for almost a year now. It would be nice to at least receive a copy of the book as per my contract for my own files. So this might not be the final cover, for all I know.


In fact, I have another two books with them where the rights have reverted back to me, but I've heard nothing about this from them.


Nice to be kept in the loop. But then again, this is the publisher who went and remaindered a whole load of stock without informing us, or giving us the option to buy the stock at a discounted rate, as per the contract.


Hmmmm....


Perhaps I should have a word with them. 


UPDATE: I've discovered that I could buy the Chinese version of my own book from an online retailer here, but they have a different looking cover:
So, either this is the more recent/final version of the cover, and they are both published by Joint Publishing in Hong Kong, OR (worse still) this is another edition licensed out to another publisher (San Lian Shu Dian( Xiang Gang) You Xian Gong Si) in Taiwan! OR they are both pirate editions and Anova don't know about this (highly unlikely). Either way it's not looking good. 


Any of my Chinese-speaking friends out there can help me solve this riddle and see if there's a way of getting some money and/or books out of this for Brad and I? Anyone fancy a letter writing campaign to Anova books? Let's kick that hornet's nest! :-) 

From the WTF Dept.

I've been trawling through a lot of great 1950s' comics lately and been coming up with some real gems, such as this panel from "Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective." Dan's one of those assholes who wades in with his fists flying before knowing what's going on, and in this case mistaking a diving coach showing his protegee a manoeuvre, for a molestation attempt. But what gets me is what he calls her! Surely that meant something different back in 1951? Either that or he's even more of an asshole than I thought!
"Sorry, luv, I thought you was a fella!" 

Still, the coach does get the chance to return the slug on Dan's chin, and then everyone's pals!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Fingers crossed

Off to the Eagle Awards in a moment. Ilex have two books nominated in the Favourite Comic-Related Book category: War Comics by Mike Conroy and Comic Book Design by Gary Spencer Millidge. Both lovely books I'm very proud of. Wish us luck!



UPDATE: We didn't win. Bugger. Wouldn't have minded losing if it wasn't to the worst book in the category. The general public have no taste. X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing have proven this.


Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Forthcoming Appearances

Apologies for not having posted for a while, been busy having a life. Went to the Vintage At Goodwood Festival the other weekend, which was, without a doubt, the best festival I've been to. More on that later. In the meantime, I'm going to be at quite a few conventions over the next few months so here's a quick breakdown of where I'll be if you want to catch-up with me (further details on the shows just click on the heading):


New York Comic Con (8-10 October)
Not doing anything official at this point in time (my panel was bumped by Reed Exhibitions for some reason) but I'll be around on all three days so drop me a line here before the 6 Oct. if you want to meet up.


British International Comic Show (16-17 October)
I'm chairing a panel, Brit Pack, on the state of the British comics industry on Saturday 16 Oct. at 1pm with John Freeman (editor of the forthcoming Strip Magazine) and many others. Then, at 5pm, I'll be a team captain again on HAVE I GOT COMIC BOOK NEWS FOR YOU versus my old nemesis, Tony Lee. Making up the teams will be: Dave Gibbons, Staz Johnson, Mark Farmer and Pornsak Pichetshote, but I've no idea who's on my side, but I'm putting dibs on Dave and Staz!! Last year we won, thanks to an outstanding performance by the irrepressible Howard Chaykin. He was a star and a half! The Comic Book Alliance will also have a stand there so pop on by and buy one of our new T-Shirts. Go on, you know you want to, it's for charity, mate!


Thought Bubble (20 November)
Having been to last year's event, I was very impressed and so I'm returning this year for the one day event. The Comic Book Alliance will have a table there with lots of exciting news about our charity auction and forthcoming publications.


Of course, I'll also be at all these events with my Ilex Commissioning Editor's hat on, so if you have a hot concept for a non-fiction book or concept based on comics, art, movies, music or any aspect of pop culture or crafts, grab me for a chat!


Hope to see you there!