Wednesday, 1 December 2010

[408] WAW+P Radio #6: Antony Johnston

So November, despite an energetic start, was a bit of a washout. I'm dusting off the blog and getting ready for a packed December, starting with the new episode of the We Are Words + Pictures radio show, which I host over at London Fields Radio. Episode 6! Where does the time go...

Photo courtesy of Sean Azzopardi.

My guest for this episode is Antony Johnston. I first became aware of Antony's work in the Phonogram vs. the Fans zine, where he wrote a short piece about Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid' ('I was six years old, for fuck's sake. How was I supposed to deal with that? I didn't understand a bloody word of it...'). More recently, I've read the first hardcover volume of his creator-owned series Wasteland - which is mysterious and fantastic - and I've gradually become more aware of his movements as a writer, commentator and critic. For example, his talk at this year's GDC Online symposium - on the merits of comics storytelling and how they can inform writing for video games - is essential viewing. As to be expected, therefore, the conversation is quite varied.

And his playlist is particularly good. After a few episodes of gentle folk, introspective indie and nice, twee music, here we have harsh industrial noises, pounding metal and some lush synth-pop. Lovely. Show notes and details below.

For this episode of the We Are Word And Pictures comics radio show, host Michael Leader is joined by writer Antony Johnston, whose list of published works is varied and rather overwhelming - ranging from co-writing Daredevil for Marvel and co-creating his own series Wasteland, to scripting the EA video game Dead Space.

Antony picks the tunes, a mix of heavy metal and synth-pop, while talking to Michael about the role of writers in comics, how video games can expand their storytelling horizons with transmedia tie-ins, and why, despite success in other forms, he's drawn back to the medium of comics.

Links: ('From Comics To Consoles' talk, at GDC)

1) Akira Yamaoka - Until Death (Silent Hill Soundtrack)
2) Black Sabbath - Paranoid (Paranoid)
3) Paradise Lost - As Horizons End (Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us, 2009)
4) Little Boots - Symmetry, featuring Philip Oakey (Hands, 2009)
5) Sisters of Mercy - Alice (single, 1982)
6) A-ha - Minor Earth Major Sky (Minor Earth Major Sky, 2000)
7) The XX - Shelter (XX, 2009)
8) My Dying Bride - Thy Raven Wings (A Line of Deathless Kings, 2006)
9) Motorhead - Killed By Death (single, 1984)

You can download the episode here. Or listen in the embedded Mixcloud player below.

I'm thinking of recording one more show in December: a year in review episode. We'll see how that goes, but in the meantime, have a listen, and leave some feedback if you like what you hear. Enjoy!

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