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Comics, in Birmingham

By Matt Kamen     August 28, 2006


Crocodile 2: Death Roll
© Hollywood DVD
Another slow, quiet week in the UK means I spend the week panicking about what to fill the column with. I finally find some notes of interest and then WHAM!; the week's DVD releases suck. Sigh...

Comics, in Birmingham

The Birmingham Comics Show mentioned in last week's column now has a MySpace page up for all your "interactive community" needs.

The organisers have also confirmed that Skottie Young has joined the ranks of star attendees for December's event. Skottie has worked on a ton of comic stuff for Marvel, Dark Horse, Devil's Due, Image and more, as well as animation work at Warner Bros. and Universal. He joins the already confirmed list of guests including Alan Davis, Mark Buckingham, John McCrea, Mark Farmer, Dave Gibbons and more besides. It's all shaping up to be a very interesting weekend...

A Plug

A very talented friend of mine by the name of Laura Howell has recently started working for classic UK comic The Beano. You should all go and buy it now and be shocked at how much more the comic costs than when you were a kid.

Comics (and more), in London

The next London Expo is set for October 28-29 this year, held again at the ExCeL at Docklands. Expect a balance of anime, manga, collectable card games, fantasy role play, merchandise dealers, comics and sci-fi related goodies, along with a multitude of guests. The Expo is well worth attending for anime fans as there tends to be a fair amount of news that comes out of each event.

Recent guest announcements include Jacqueline McKenzie, who portrays NSA Agent Diana Skouris on superior science fiction series 'The 4400' and comic book artist Adam Hughes, cover artist on 'Catwoman' and recently announced as writer and artist on DC's upcoming 'All-Star Wonder Woman'.

The Expo is also one of the better value fan events/conventions/fairs in the UK, with standard entry (11am) costing a mere 7 per adult and 3 per child and early entry (9am) only 10.

New DVD Picks for 28/08/06

Most weeks, I like to list DVDs here that have caught my attention in a positive light, or some quirky title that I think is doing something new or different and try to give it a little more attention that it may otherwise not receive.

This week is not one of those weeks. This week is, well, weak. With hardly anything of note coming out, I've instead chosen titles that fall into the 'so bad it's good' category. You may want to bring a bucket with you what's ahead isn't pretty.

Shark Attack 2

You know a B-movie is something special when synopsis on the the back of the DVD case begins with "Will those crazy scientists ever learn that it's not nice to mess with Mother Nature?" Ah! Those crazy scientists! Giant monster and freak of nature attacks are always their fault! And, see, this isn't a rip off of 'Jaws' at all, since it's about mutated sharks. There's a good shark expert trying to study the mutant great whites and return them to captivity but first he needs to fend off an evil shark hunter. I imagine there are people who get eaten by sharks at various points of the film too.

Crocodile 2: Death Roll

From Gary Jones, director of my second favorite bad movie of all time, 'Spiders' (my favourite is 'Class of 1999 Part 2', because, to quote the blurb, "they STILL haven't destroyed all the cyborg teachers") comes this tale of criminals who, having crashed their getaway plane in the swamps and proven their nastiness by killing a younger crocodile, suffer the wrath of the giant croc mama. The theives then get killed one by one in a variety of ways. OK, mainly all variations on one way, which involves large scaly jaws clamping shut around their soft fleshy parts but it's still entertaining in an "Oh my god, is that my brain dripping out of my nostrils?!" kind of way.

Fist of Golden Monkey

An entry from the bad old days of edited, English dubbed kung fu cinema, 'Fist of Golden Monkey' is a twisting tale through rivaly and revenge. I think. The problem here is that what little plot the film has is trying to be far more sophisticated than it actually is, holding the (admittedly impressive) fight scenes together, with a bunch of ill-defined rivalries and betrayals that never really make sense. It does have wonderfully cheesy dubbing though and a ton of awful mullets for the basest entertainment value. You very possibly need to be drunk to watch it though.

That's it for this week (thankfully!). Thoughts? Comments? Hatemail? Contact me at mattkamen@gmail.com

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