In which the author turns into a pathetic fanboy…

Anyone interested in great writing should pop along to the Steps Theatre in Dundee’s Central Library on Thursday night (May 19th), because the splendid Denise Mina is giving a talk. I will most certainly be there.

Denise Mina is primarily known for her bestselling crime novels set in Glasgow, and I’m very fond of one of her unconventional heroines, investigative journalist Paddy Meehan. But my fanboy sense is tingling because she has also penned two graphic novels featuring Hellblazer himself, the man with the trenchcoat, permanent fag-end and surly attitude – occultist John Constantine.

Since making his appearance in Alan Moore’s version of Swamp Thing in the 1970s, John Constantine has been one of the most fascinating of comics characters, a working-class former punk who looks like a degenerate Sting, makes as many mistakes as he does right moves, and spends his time in magical conflicts with demons, angels and other nefarious beings.

Denise Mina brought the London-based Constantine to Glasgow in Empathy is the Enemy and The Red Right Hand darkly puckish tales of misery-eating demons and grim apocalyptic cults. The climax in the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery is a classic. I mentioned the graphic novels in The Guide to Mysterious Glasgow and The Guide to Mysterious Iona and Staffa.

Crime and John Constantine – what more could you possibly want from an author event?

Steps Theatre, Central Library, Wellgate, Dundee, DD1 1DB. 
Thursday, 19 May 2011, 7.00pm – 8.30pm. 
Tickets are free and available from Central Library (01382 431500) and Waterstones, Dundee.