Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense) #172

Published On July 27, 2018 | By | Books, Comics, Film TV & Theatre

It’s Friday again and that means time for Richard and Joe to update you with some news and links spotted over the last few days with another Stuff (& Possibly Nonsense)!

Shazam! Trailer drops

The trailer for DC’s forthcoming Shazam movie (or simply Captain Marvel as he is to those of us of a certain age) hit the web, and it looks like it is striving to keep the delight and fun of the Big Red Cheese. So looking forward to this one, I have such a tremendous soft spot for Captain Marvel/Billy Batson, he was always one of my very favourite when I was a kid….

“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).

“Shazam!” also stars Jack Dylan Grazer (“IT”) as Billy’s best friend and ultimate superhero enthusiast, Freddy, part of the foster family that includes Mary, played by Grace Fulton (“Annabelle: Creation”); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (TV’s “This is Us”); Eugene, played by Ian Chen (TV’s “Fresh Off the Boat”); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV’s “Hawaii Five-O”). Cooper Andrews (TV’s “The Walking Dead”) and Marta Milans (TV’s “Killer Women”) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez, with Ron Cephas Jones (“This is Us”) as the Wizard.”

Shazam is expected to hit cinemas in April 2019

Aquaman Trailer

There was more DC footage over the weekend – prompted by the big San Diego Comic Com, no doubt! Aquaman’s solo movie also got a trailer hitting the web over the weekend. While the Justice League movie was so-so (it wasn’t the total trainwreck for me that some thought it was, it was enjoyable and watchable enough, but should have been more), Aquaman’s character stood out in the film, so I’m quite looking forward to seeing his solo outing come December:

“From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.

The film also stars Amber Heard (“Justice League,” “Magic Mike XXL”) as Mera, a fierce warrior and Aquaman’s ally throughout his journey; Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“Platoon,” “Spider-Man 2”) as Vulko, council to the Atlantean throne; Patrick Wilson (“The Conjuring” films, “Watchmen”) as Orm/Ocean Master, the present King of Atlantis; Dolph Lundgren (“The Expendables” films) as Nereus, King of the Atlantean tribe Xebel; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Netflix’s “The Get Down”) as the vengeful Black Manta; and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours,” “Lion”) as Arthur’s mom, Atlanna; as well as Ludi Lin (“Power Rangers”) as Captain Murk, Atlantean Commando; and Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Green Lantern”) as Arthur’s dad, Tom Curry.”

Alita: Battle Angel

Crikey, yet more new trailer material! James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez’s forthcoming Alita: Battle Angel (due in cinemas in December) adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s legendary manga gets a brand new trailer:

“From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin CIty), comes ALita: Battle Angel, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past.

As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love.”

Broken Frontier Yearbook

Excellent UK comics site Broken Frontier has their 2018 Small Press Yearbook out and it looks cracking: “Comics culture site Broken Frontier is proud to announce the publication of its 2018 Small Press Yearbook, an anthology celebration of the work of European indie talent including BF’s annual ‘Six Small Press Creators to Watch’. This year’s book includes work from rising stars Peony Gent, Josh Hicks, Olivia Sullivan, Anja Uhren and Kate-mia White, who all provide stories on the loose theme of ‘Brief Encounters’.”

“Says Broken Frontier Editor-in-Chief Andy Oliver, “Our third Yearbook reflects our continuing desire not just to cover the best new talent on the small press scene but to actively champion, promote and nurture it. We’re committed at Broken Frontier to elevating deserving new creative voices to the next level of recognition.””

Aberrant comic coming to television

It seems that every couple of weeks there is news of another comic property being adapted for television or film or game, both the big names and, pleasingly, a lot of Indy comics titles too. Changed days from my youth when we were lucky to get one or two comics or SF&F based shows a year (a very welcome change!). Also good as it means authors and artists have a chance to make some decent money from their creations, and that helps keep them in the business and making more stories for us to enjoy. Rylend Grant, Zsombor Huzska, Davi Leon, Dias, Iwan Joko Triyono, and HdE’s Aberrant from Action Lab is the latest to get picked up for TV development. From the description:

“Aberrant follows David Colbrenner, a U.S. Army Special Operations Commander, who after losing his entire unit to a superhuman attack, wages an absolutely brutal one-man war on the eccentric billionaire and former superhero, Lance Cordrey, whom he believes is ultimately responsible. That is until Nelson Little, the head of a clandestine paramilitary outfit called Article 13, provides David with evidence that Cordrey may be a patsy, and David’s men were killed as part of a vast and twisted government/military conspiracy.”

Deadly Class Trailer

Continuing both the comics to television and the trailers theme this week, the upcoming adpatation of Rick Remender, wes Craig et al’s Deadly Class gets a new trailer (via Live for Film):

Sabrina makes Booker longlist

Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina, published by top Canadian Indy Drawn & Quarterly, has become the first graphic novel to make the longlist of the prestigious Man Booker Award, one of the major literary awards in the UK. It’s all the more remarkable as this award, which has taken in some brilliant writers over the years, is still somewhat averse to genre works (no matter how well written most science fiction, for example, isn’t going to show up too often on the Booker), let alone comics works, so well done, Nick.

A few years back Mary and Bryan Talbot became the first to win the Costa book award for a graphic work, beating several prose contenders in the history and biography category for Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, so let’s hope that’s a good omen for Nick. Nice to see graphic novels making a dent in the literary establishment!

World Fantasy Award shortlist

The shortlist for the 2018 World Fantasy Award has been announced, nice to see so many Indy publishers represented (via Tor):


The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)
Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymir by John Crowley (Saga Press)
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss (Saga Press)
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory (Bond Street Books CA/Knopf US/Riverrun UK)
The Changeling by Victor LaValle (Spiegal & Grau)
Jade City by Fonda Lee (Orbit) (reviewed here by Misti)

LONG FICTION (10,000 to 40,000 words)

The Teardrop Method by Simon Avery (TTA Press)
In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon Publications)
Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones (
Passing Strange by Ellen Klages (
The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang (

SHORT FICTION (under 10,000 words)

“Old Souls” by Fonda Lee (Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy)
“Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™” by Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex Magazine, Aug. 2017)
“The Birding: A Fairy Tale” by Natalia Theodoridou (Strange Horizons, Dec. 18, 2017)
“Clearly Lettered in a Mostly Steady Hand” by Fran Wilde (Uncanny Magazine, Sept.-Oct. 2017)
“Carnival Nine” by Caroline Yoachim (Beneath Ceasless Skies, May 11, 2017)


The New Voices of Fantasy, edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman (Tachyon Publications)
Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales, edited by Ellen Datlow (Pegasus Books)
The Book of Swords, edited by Gardner Dozois (Bantam Books US/Harper Voyager UK)
The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories, edited by Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin (Solaris)
The Best of Subterranean edited by William Schafer (Subterranean Press)


Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages (Tachyon Publications)
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf Press)
Down and Out in Purgatory: The Collected Stories of Tim Powers by Tim Powers (Baen Books)
Tender by Sofia Samatar (Small Beer Press)
The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen (Tachyon Publications)


Gregory Manchess
Victo Ngai
Omar Rayyan
Rima Staines
Fiona Staples


Harry Brockway, Patrick McGrath, and Danel Olson for Writing Madness (Centipede Press)
C. C. Finlay, for F&SF editing
Irene Gallo, for Art Direction at Tor Books and
Greg Ketter, for DreamHaven Books
Leslie Klinger, for The New Annotated Frankenstein (Liveright Publishing Corp.)


Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies: Literary Adventure Fantasy
Justina Ireland and Troy L. Wiggins, for FIYAH: Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali and Jen R Albert, for PodCastle
Ray B. Russell and Rosalie Parker, for Tartarus Press
Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny Magazine


Charles de Lint
Elizabeth Wollheim

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the World Fantasy Convention, November 1-4th, 2018 in Baltimore

Comics & Medicine Conference

“The Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) is proud to announce the 9th International Comics and Medicine Conference to be held at The Center for Cartoon Studies campus and at nearby Dartmouth College. Previous conferences have been held in London, Chicago, Toronto, Brighton, Seattle, and at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Graphic Medicine explores the intersections of comics and healthcare. This year’s theme, “The Ways We Work” invites participants to share and reflect upon how Graphic Medicine is being practiced in public healthcare centers, classrooms, home studios, private clinics, libraries, and bedsides. The conference begins with an evening event held Thursday, August 16, and then consists of two days of a mix of peer-reviewed academic papers, lectures, and workshops.

Registration is filling up fast! All keynote presentations will be free and open to the public.” (art by Marek Bennett)

ES * EF Kickstarter

ES * EF is a science fiction comics anthology with Phil Elliot joined by several guest writers – David Thorpe, Paul Duncan and Darryl Cunningham. It looks pretty darned cool and is running a Kickstarter to generate funds, so give them some support if you can!

(Buck Zero by Darryl Cunningham and Phil Elliot)

Cartoon roundup

Tom Gauld muses on some alternative later stories Homer originally planned for Ulysses and the Cyclops (from the Guardian):

Allyson Shwed on a possible scientific explanation for Crazy Cat Person syndrome (not one I agree with, I think it’s more to do with cats carefully cultivating and training their humans). Here’s a snippet, you can check the full strip out on The Nib:

Joyce Rice and Sarah Mirk have a very cool Brief History of Folsom Prison in comics form on The Nib, here’s a panel, click here to read the full strip:

Israeli cartoonist Avi Katz has been fired from the Jerusalem Report magazine after creating a parody of George Orwell’s famous political satire Animal Farm, depicting the Israeli cabinet taking a selfie after passing a law which some argue gives one group more citizen’s rights than others. Katz depicted the politicians as the corrupt pigs from Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” (via the Guardian):

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