*Well today was a regular lost day. Nothing of grand import got accomplished, even in the relative terms of my life. Just ran around on the treadmill and there’s no time to get anything else done.

*But as Warren Ellis points out, some people have quite a lot of things done, like 320 page graphic novels that aren’t set for release in the US yet. So it goes for Bryan Talbot, who cut his teeth on British ‘underground’ type comics, and later moved on to more burnished genre works like The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its sequel Heart of Empire, as well as more realist personality-driven fiction like The Tale of One Bad Rat, all of it published in collected form in the US by Dark Horse. Of those three 'major' works, I've read all but Heart of Empire, and they're lovely, flawed, ambitious works, often more interesting in their small details (the way Talbot deftly conveys the passage of time through his teen runaway protagonist's growing hair in The Tale of One Bad Rat, the way alternate timelines are constantly shifting and exploding via text outlay in The Adventures of Luther Arkwright) than the sweep of their actual plots.

Anyway, Talbot is going to be at the Bristol International Comic Expo 2006 this year, and the accordant online exhibitor preview is offering a 4-page sequence from Talbot's latest epic, Alice in Sunderland, along with an introductory text piece. Apparently, the work will be heavy on the 'history of comics' formal horseplay, media mixing all over the place, and packed with notions regarding narrative and history and the like, all of it structured as a lengthy "dream documentary" starring the author himself. Here's the work's homepage, packed with additional preview images, evidencing quite a lot of visual approaches - this book has been in the making for years and years now, though it's interesting to look at it following the release of Eddie Campbell's similarly-concerned work of narrative investigation and visual somersaulting, The Fate of the Artist. Perhaps many minds are on the same topics; could it be divine inspiration?

Anyway, I think the work is being serialized in something called Words and Pictures starting this winter, although the work's homepage also says no British or American publisher has been signed (for a collected edition, I guess?). For those itching to buy something right now, there's always the new second edition of the Heart of Empire CD-Rom, which contains the entirety of both Luther Arkwright books, plus every page of Heart of Empire in both pencils-only and colorless inked form, and 60,000 words of annotations by the author, none of which have been available in any of the work's print incarnations. It's only $18. Apparently, Talbot and friends plan to release the first Luther Arkwright book in webcomic format next, for even easier access.