Beyond 2000AD exhibition glimpse

Beyond2000_poster Beyond2000_progs Beyond2000_records1 Beyond2000_records2 Beyond2000_TimeOutI finally got time to pop into Orbital Comics and see their small but packed exhibition of 2000AD offshoots, tie-ins, cash-ins, memorabilia, music, magazines, toys and so much more. Not having an opening party because it would clash with the comic’s own 40th celebration a couple of weekends ago they’ve decided to have a closing party on Friday March 10th where there will be a podcast recording and music by yours truly among others.
I also just guested on the Big Mouth podcast pre-record, talking about the comic’s legacy which will be available online this coming Sunday. More details as I have it.

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Daydreaming with UNKLE exhibition at the Lazarides Gallery

F2T5The James Lavelle-curated Daydreaming with UNKLE show opened last night at the Lazarides Gallery in London. Full of original Futura 2000 and 3D canvases, prints, toys and record sleeves, video rooms and virtual reality headsets. The last was heavily oversubscribed so I didn’t get a look but Doug Foster’s arched videos accompanying new UNKLE material were beautiful, enhanced by a mirrored floor which gave the work another dimension. Favourite exhibit was the robotic Pointman figure from the 2010 video to ‘Runaway’. The show is on until February 23rd, worth it just to see the many iconic Futura pieces that have graced so many MoWax sleeves.

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Star Wars Identities comes to London

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The Star Wars Identities exhibition opened last month in London at the O2 in Greenwich. Over 200 props, models, costumes, paintings and designs are collected around a 10 step trail based on building your own personal characters within the Star Wars universe. There have been a few additions and subtractions since I first saw it in Montreal four years ago but it’s essentially the same. Just check some of the pictures below and you’ll get the idea, absolutely essential for any Star Wars fan and very child-friendly. So nice to go into an exhibition that doesn’t discourage photography too. It’s on until September 2017 and you can buy tickets HERE.

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ROM Returns

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Hands up who remembers ROM: The Space Knight? The character has been tied up with rights-holders Hasbro for years to my knowledge but it looks like that’s been sorted now. He’s coming back via IDW for Free Comic Book Day this year:
“Rom the Space Knight #0 will feature an introductory 10-page story of Rom’s arrival on Earth, an incident that sets up an ongoing Rom series launching in July 2016.”  Great cover by Zach Howard and Nelson Daniel

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Metal Made Flesh 2 kickstarter


Readers might remember me featuring the first Metal Made Flesh kickstarter a couple of years back. Now the team is back for book 2, expanded with a second artist and bigger goals, two of which they’ve smashed, and they’re approaching the third with 12 days left. Taking liberally from all manner of sci-fi from the last three decades and managing to find new angles on it the book tells three different tales of a trio of characters and their place in the future cityscape of Tuaoni. You can get both books, T-shirts, original artwork or even appear as a character in the book in the new Kickstarter.
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‘Short Fuse’ – Snub23 at the Ben Oakley Gallery, London

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Currently starring in his first solo show at the Ben Oakley Gallery in Greenwich is Snub23, a Brighton artist I’ve featured a few times on here and who I’ve collaborated with before on the last Herbaliser album.
One of the most dedicated stencil artists I’ve ever come across, he’s always moving his style forward and several are on display in the show. His signature 23 piece and Mongrol character preside over the back wall with new 3D heads appearing for the first time of the robot.
His Isometric Op-Art designs multiply across distressed metal drawers and more characters grace found signage, a skate deck and circuit boards. Subtler line drawings of female faces in a number of expressions adorn one wall and delicately stenciled feathers are free to viewers.

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He also has these T-shirts for sale plus prints of the same at the gallery, the show ends on May 3rd so be quick, the gallery in a little side passage off the main market square in Greenwich.

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Metroplex by Stormjang

tumblr_ni36woXVex1r22moqo1_1280Found on a tumblr site via another tumblr site which, predictably, didn’t have any info on where it came from or who drew it because of the re-titling that goes on when you post on these sites. I despair at an information age in which the information is stripped from half the content. Google image search reveals it’s by a guy called Stormjang and comes from Deviant Art.

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uhu02 Sci-Fi paper craft from Japan

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An expert in paper craft from Japan called (I think) uhu02 has made these incredibly detailed ships, droids and weapons from classic sci-fi and fantasy films. His/her uhu02 Paper Craft site “It is a production diary of precision Paper Craft (model) with a focus on items that appeared in the movie” has detailed photos and even downloadable plans to make them. Don’t think this is an easy few hours cutting, folding and gluing though, it’ll take you that long to get through his site.

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There’s is so much to see, the detail on the Lunar Lander is just insane and what’s most impressive is the scale, most of the ships you can easily hold in one hand.
Original link from Sploid via the excellent Ian McQue

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Posted in Design, Robots. | 1 Comment | Tags: ,

Simon Stalenhag paintings

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Absolutely love these images by Simon Stalenhag – his use of light and everyday rural locations with futuristic contraptions and machines remind me of a simpler, less hi-tech Syd Mead. His vision of the future is one that I think could be a reality within the next 50 years (maybe minus the dinosaurs that occasionally pop up in some of the paintings). His site has lots more plus close up details and you can now buy a book of them too if you follow the easy to read pdf to navigate the online shop.
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Kid Koala ‘Nufonia Must Fall’ live show

Kid Koala‘s latest show is so multifaceted that it almost defies description, it certainly isn’t easy to sum up in one sentence anyway. In 2003 he released a 300 page silent graphic novel called ‘Nufonia Must Fall’ about a robot who falls in love with a girl (no spoilers there). He’s now translated it into a hour long stage performance that sees the story performed with puppets whilst being filmed live as Kid plays the soundtrack alongside The Afiara Quartet.

The puppets, or more accurately models / macquettes, came in different sizes and there must have been at least 10 different stage sets on pedestals which would be filmed before the camera moved on to the next on a tracking dolly. The puppeteers all wore black so as to be more inconspicuous and would change stage sets between filming as each scene was projected and edited live above the stage on a huge screen. All the while Kid Koala was soundtracking the performance alongside a string quartet, one minute playing keyboards then scratching, playing mandolin or affecting voices into a vocoder. At one point he was playing a keyboard figure with one hand and then needle dropping tones from the Spiritualized drone record ‘Pure Phase’ to form melodies.

The whole piece was incredible, funny and moving and the sit down setting of the Roundhouse on a rainy Monday night made it even more fantastic. It was also the antithesis of his previous ‘Short Attention Span Theatre’ shows of a few years ago, often moving as a glacial pace because of the limitations placed on the crew moving between scenes which took time to set up and assemble. Prerecorded inserts of the robot’s chest-mounted tape recorder or cut-away scenes involving hands performing acts that the models couldn’t were included where needed and bought time for the puppeteers and variety to the camera angles.

The music was an integral part of the piece and bought scenes to life, the themes repeating to form a fully realised score that built on the original soundtrack included with the book. I was close to tears at one point and realised that it was the music that had bought me there but it was also used as a sound effect with a particularly effective cello bow sound used to make the sound of the robot’s head turning in an elevator scene.

If you get the chance to see this then take it as it won’t be getting too many outings due to the size of the production. Sadly it was only on once in London before moving to a four night residency in Hamburg and then more in the Netherlands. Watching it on the web would only give you a portion of the experience, you really have to see it in all its multi-layered glory. We joked afterwards that a DVD of the performance would have more behind the scenes features than the actual main feature.

Another unexpected aspect of the show was that there was a near stage invasion as the end as people wanted to inspect the props, sets and characters that had been used, take photos and try to deduce how what they’d just seen had been done. It’s a rare show that can achieve such an effect on a crowd in this day and age, also, I forgot to mention – the whole night started out with a gain on bingo on specially drawn Kid Koala cards.

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