Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Packed Karen back off home today, and then spent the rest of the early afternoon tinkering with my website. I've done a general tidy, and I've added a preliminary biography page that I'm not at all happy about.
There's also a new addition to the comics page.
The links page is still a mess though.

Roobarb and Custard online? Yes please!

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

For all those people who think that the American government only cares about money and the military, I point you to this article.

Ye gods, and this is the only world superpower...

Tony McGee's comics were rather spiffing. I read them in bed last night and thoroughly enjoyed them. I think I marginally prefer Frontiers so far to Angel Nebula, as it seems more confident both in writing and art, which seems to me to be a nice mix of the styles of Richard Corben and Hayao Miyazaki.
I thoroughly recommend ordering some of Tony's comics.

Monday, July 28, 2003

So far today, I've lounged about in my peejays, doing not much at all.
Finally, the replacement power cable for our printer arrived, in a box roughly fifteen times the size of the cable. I'm sure I could probably claim a refund on the postage and packing price as it was clearly unnecessary.
Also in the post today, a bunch of lovely comics from Tony McGee. I've heard good things about Tony's work, and it looks pretty spiffing to me, so I'm looking forward to reading them.
Right, must shower and shave, because I'm taking Karen on a jaunt to the local bookshop.

Enetation still haven't sorted out the comments >sigh<.

Meg and Karen are watching Last of the Mohicans, the heartwarming tale of an Irishman in entirely the wrong place. They pointed out the absurdity of the English soldiers (for once, not callous and effeminate) wandering around in hostile territory wearing bright red jackets with big white crosses on the front and back.
I pointed out that we didn't learn that this was a rather stupid idea until well into the 19th century, when we invented khaki, which has somewhat better camouflaging properties.
Now, the British Empire has a lot to answer for, but it occurred to me that our invention of khaki means that the British, indirectly, invented Gap.

On behalf of the British people, sorry about that.

Here, a novel completely devoid of the letter 'e'.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Back from the in-laws' place down in Rochester. Went down to have a family celebration of Meg's birthday. We ate a lot, and didn't do much else. But everything we did and didn't do was good fun.
Meg's dad bought Meg a scanner on Saturday morning, which I am particularly pleased by, as it means I can resume unleashing my art on the world. It also means that people other than us can see our wedding pictures.
Meg's sister Karen stowed away in our car on our way back home yesterday, and is with us until Wednesday. Grud knows what we're going to do until then. Suggestions on how to entertain a seventeen-year-old, hyper-intelligent, American girl (on a budget) are welcome.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Meg's birthday today, so I've been too busy to Blog.
We did go and see The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen today, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although the twonks who all went on about how Michael Keaton didn't look anything like Bruce Wayne is supposed to look back in 1989 will probably hate it. It isn't any more dumbed down than the comic, as the Moore-snobbists will try and tell you, and while there were some niggling annoyances, it was a damn good summer movie.

So there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Something to try (01):

Bourbon and Coke.

Not the alcohol/soft drink hybrid favoured by the not-quite-as-tough-as-they-want-to-be, but something else entirely.
Take a bourbon biscuit, dip it into a glass of Coke. Let it soak for just a second, then take it out, and bite off the bit that was dipped in the drink.
Like it or loathe it, it's a taste you won't soon forget.

For God's sake. A man's children are dead, and that's cause to celebrate. Can I opt out of humanity?

Currently listening to: The Turrican version of Vince DiCola's "Escape", and a host of other classic video game tunes. I truly am the King of Geek.

Late night. Faffing as usual. Found a quiz at Helen's blog:

You are Jack the Ripper. Yours were some of the
most brutal murders recorded in history--yet
your case is still to this day unsolved. You
came from out of the fog, killed violently and
quickly and disappeared without a trace. Then
for no apparent reason, you satisfy your blood
lust with ever-increasing ferocity, culminating
in the near destruction of your final victim,
and then you vanish from the scene forever. The
perfect ingredients for the perennial thriller.
You are quite the mysteriously demented?

Which Imfamous criminal are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Bappy hirthday to the Reverend William Archibald Spooner!

The official site for Spider-Man 2 is up now. Not a lot there, but there's a stonking picture of new baddie Doctor Octopus. I grew up reading Spider-Man comics, thanks to the reprints in the Spider-Man and Zoids comic, and I always thought Doc Ock was a bit...crap. Perhaps it's because of the way they drew him as a fat old man. The movie version makes me realise that he's actually a pretty decent character, if used properly.
I mean, a psychotic bloke with four metal arms is pretty scary if the bloke in question isn't Elton John in a green spandex jumpsuit.
I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, July 21, 2003

Mick Foley, the guy who always looked like Scott Bakula's redneck cannibal cousin, but who seems to be a genuinely nice guy, has written a book. And The Guardian likes it.
What's most surprising is that Mick Foley is most famous for being a professional wrestler.
Truly, you cannot judge a book by its cover.

Ha. I made a joke.

BilLy points out that the comments system is not working properly at the moment. I'd noticed this myself. Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do personally, as it's third-party code, and anyone who's using it is suffering the same problem. Just keep trying, I suppose.

Oh, and my comicartist email is down for some reason. Until it's back up, you can use this address if you want to reach me. Aren't computers great? The internet will revolutionise communication, you know. If the bloody thing ever works!

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Why is it that all these world record holders are nutters?
This is John Evans, one of Britain's finest sportsmen.
I'm sorry, I shouldn't make fun of him. He's obviously achieved a great deal, probably more than I ever will, and his record attempts also raise a lot of money for some very worthwhile charities. But he balances cars on his head!


Nice to see a proper Mini in this day and age though.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Will Spielberg make a movie of this I wonder? I find it strangely appropriate that the camp commandant's first name is Adolph. Every time I start to mellow on this whole thing, when I think "well, maybe there is a threat, and maybe what we're doing to these countries is the right thing to do", all I have to do is think about what the US is doing in Cuba to these people. Terrorists are entitled to a fair trial too, and some of these people aren't even terrorists. There's aid workers out there, for god's sake.

On a lighter note, I picked up this Avengers comic yesterday for $1-00. I got it for nostalgia's sake, mainly, as I remember reading a British reprint of the story in the mid-eighties. If anyone knows what the name of the British reprint was, do let me know. I seem to remember it being one of the Secret Wars II specials, even though this story has nothing (I think) to do with the Secret Wars storyline. A quick Google search reveals that some of the issues that tie into the annual are Secret Wars II-related, but the annual itself doesn't seem to be. It's certainly not marked as such.
I got it out of nostalgia, but it's actually quite good, as mid-eighties Marvels go. A slightly crap Avengers team (you know a crap Avengers team when you see Hercules in the roster...)battles some Skrull terrorists in deep space. It's simple, fast-moving and good-looking (although not as good looking as it could be-John Byrne only does the breakdowns). It also has a scene where the Avengers, dressed as gangsters, board a ship captained by a Skrull who likes to look like Humphrey Bogart. You just don't get comics like that anymore.

By the way, I have nothing against Hercules per se. I loved the miniseries they reprinted in the Transformers weekly, where he zips about the galaxy in a silver chariot with The Recorder at his side and shags Galactus' herald (I think it was Nova at the time, not the Silver Surfer!). When he had the drinking competition with Galactus, and got Galactus drunk (although he was faking it), at that one moment, Hercules was cooler than Thor. But whenever Herc appears in The Avengers, he's just played as a poor man's Thor.

I did a little bit of tinkering with the Avengers pages on my website. I just added a few of the more recent covers. Or rather the ones I could find in the mess that is my "office". I scanned them at the same resolution and size as the ones my friend Liam did (all the others you can see), and yet mine are blockier, and take up more space than his. Why?

Friday, July 18, 2003

Well, aren't we living in an airport spy novel today? You know, one of those ones with a title like "The Johannesburg Protocol", which was a "New York Times Bestseller", but you've never heard of it.

First, Sky News admits to faking at least one news report during the attacks on Iraq. This doesn't come as much of a surprise to Murdoch-haters like me, but it's nice to see it come to light.
(It also worries me that a Sky journalist said "This is not good news. There was a feeling here that Sky News have had a really good year; that we had a good war..." No such thing as a "good war", mate.)
However, this bit of news is rather overshadowed by the news of the suspicious death of the minister who was probably responsible for tipping off the British press that the Government had been dishonest with their dossier on Iraq.
Now, I don't think that there is a conspiracy going on (although I do concede that it's possible), but this stuff really doesn't help with the old trust issue.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Juat a quickie...

Hahahahahahaha. See what I did there? King of comedy, me.

Thanks to BiLly for that link.

And if that didn't make you laugh, this will.

What an absolutely surreal few hours.
Time is all out of joint because I slept until 3pm, stayed up until 10:30am the next (this) morning, and have just slept for two hours. It's just turned 1pm, but it feels like...I don't know what it feels like.

Still, the immigration thing went well, and I have a work permit now. Not sure about a green card though. I either have that, or it's being processed. Meg would know, but she's off getting the car fixed.

I think that'll do until I wake up a bit. I'm actually swaying in my seat here. I suspect that this is the best you'll get from me today.

Football, isn't it? Funny old game.
I'll be a Brighton fan until I die, but I've decided to enter into the spirit of things and pick a second team to support. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Minnesota Thunder Professional "Soccer" Team. They're not in the "world famous" MLS, but if that's the Premier League, they're in the First Division, or A-League as they call it over here. Alas, supporting a top-flight team evades me even here, in the Land That Football Forgot.
Actually, they're not too bad, as American teams go. They're at the top of the Central Divsion of the Western Conference, which puts them fifth in the national league. Why the Americans need such a confusing system, I don't know.
Also, if anyone can tell me what "Magic" means in terms of footie, I'd love to know, because "the Thunder" have 25 Magic points...

God bless America.

Here's a funny thing we encountered while filling in the latest round of Visa forms. There's small print, like on those "tick here to receive news of special offers" bits you get on most things nowadays. The immigration people don't mention this anywhere, but in order to apply for permanent resident status, I have to sign up for possible military service! I'm not even a bloody citizen of this country, and yet I'm expected to fight for them.
It's basically The Draft, except they don't call it that anymore. Now, Meg points out that there's unlikely to be a Draft ever again, after the problems in Vietnam, and that there are enough people in the US military, through fair means or foul, to make a Draft unnecessary. But let's face it, if anyone's going to call for a Draft, it's going to be Bush.
I'm physically ineligible for military service anyway, and I would be an Conscientious Objector if it came up, but it's the principle of the thing. It's bad enough that you're forced to sign up if you're an American male, but I'm not even a citizen.
When did the human race get so obsessed with war?

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Three in the afternoon. Great stuff. Now I have to stay up all night tonight. Still, there's always Clint to see me through the early hours.
Hello to Billy and Danny, who appear to be watching me.
I may pull my finger out and do some art today, but don't hold your breath. Not that you are, but anyway.

Happy birthday today to Corey Feldman, popular child star of the eighties, who doesn't look any different today.

Finally, take a look at this archived article from 1979 concerning Iraq's new leader, and the challenges he may face. Ironic. It's the same stuff happening now. Plus ca change and all that.

I'm under some frankly bizarre orders that I don't really understand. They involve staying up far too late, and sleeping in far too long. This is all in preparation for my Visa interview on Thursday morning.
Anyway, it allows me to spend some quiet time online, without having to do anything, or go anywhere, and without the 'phone ringing and cutting the internet connection (not one of Meg's better ideas).
As such, I've been tinkering with the website. The Comics page is largely done; the only thing left to do is put some images together for the links. The Art page isn't done, but I think I'll reuse the HTML from the Comics page, so it shouldn't take long.
I've also added some bits and pieces to the main page. It's just a case of tarting up some links, and putting a couple of images in.

Finally for tonight, I'm going to see if this comments thing works. Stand by for action!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

And today is the birthday of my good friend Tommy Edwards. I wish I had a picture or link or something, but the only thing I can think of is his email address, and I don't think that's strictly appropriate.

So, happy birthday Tom!
By the way, if anyone's coming here to find links to other wonderful virtual places, then you'll be wanting to go to my homepage, and then to the links page.
Except don't, because I haven't built that page yet.
For now, you'll just have to make do with the everyday fun links I seed throughout my blog entries.
I have been told, by a Mister Danny Black, to add a "comments" section to my blog. I wish I knew how!
I'm also frightened to my very soul that Danny and other people might leave big nasty words all over my blog page.
I shall look into it.

Many thanks to Danny for linking to this blog from his own.

Monday, July 14, 2003

A slow day today. Like most of them are, in fact. It may pick up later, as my mind needs to turn some of its overflowing contents into drawings, and we're going to the the biggest shopping mall in the world when Meg gets back from work, to post some letters.

As an Englishman used to strolling down to the local post office, the whole idea of going to a vast cathedral of capitalism just to post letters seems to me to be rather perverse.

Anyway, at the risk of turning this into a bizarre game of online-blogger-tennis, go and see Liam's entertaining and occasionally educational blogger, where he in turn says nice things about my blogger.
Also, go and read this interview with Alan Moore. Unfortunately, like most interviews nowadays, there's very little Alan Moore in there, and far too much of the article's writer. I hate this new style of interview. There's no guarantee that it wasn't just dredged off the internet and then assembled piece by piece later on. Whatever happened to interviews where the writer actually sits down to talk to their subject? Is that not the definition of "interview"?

So, Pirates of the Caribbean then. Bloody good film, I reckon. It's fun, fast and funny, basically everything a pirate movie should be. let's face it, no one wants a historically accurate pirate film. Nor do they want Cutthroat Island. But I digress.
The strongest part of a strong movie is Johnny Depp's performance. Coming across like a Cockney version of his Fear and Loathing character, Depp almost carries the film by himself. It's to the other cast members' credit that they manage to keep up with him. Keira Knightley shows that there's more to her than Britflicks and being Natalie Portman's double, although Meg rightly points out that Knightley needs to turn in a meaty dramatic performance to truly challenge Portman's strengths. Geoffrey Rush turns in an excellent performance, although I kept seeing Alan Rickman in full Sheriff of Nottingham mode. Still, not a bad performance to mimic, and if Rickman is lost to us forever, then Rush will do nicely. Orlando Bloom does a great job too, although it's inevitable that Depp overshadows him. Everyone else, even down to the bit-players (my favourites being the two bumbling English soldiers, and their piratical counterparts) turns in excellent performances.
Music from a surprisingly large group of composers was superb and the special effects were great. George Lucas must hate the fact that they actually used real ships in this movie, since I'm sure he wants everyone to join the digital revolution, even when it looks crap. When cgi is used, it's flawless. I kept on looking for the join in the pirates' transformations, but I couldn't spot it.
There's a special place in my heart for One of our Dinosaurs is Missing, but this is a worthy contender, and is >whisper< probably a better film.

By the way, the fish and chips were lovely.

Picked up, second hand, the first issue of Frank Miller's Dark Knight Strikes Again, the sequel to the universally praised Dark Knight Returns. It was much derided on its original release, mainly because it is the sequel to the universally praised Dark Knight Returns. I've only given it a quick look so far, but it seems that Miller was actually on to something here. When it came out two years ago, the politics it exposed and criticised seemed to be a quaint memory of times past, a sign that perhaps Miller was losing his edge, and was just cynically repeating his past glories. However, in hindsight, it looks like Miller saw what some of the rest of us missed, sometimes willingly. "Watch out!" he seems to be saying, "America's up to something suspicious". How right he was.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Another terrible night. Still, I had a cool dream. Meg dislikes it when I have good dreams. I was some sort of viking-esque hero, late for a battle, as the enemy were besieging our castle. I got on my armour and weaponry, then went out for a scrap. The enemy were using some over-elaborate weapon (I have to draw this thing!) to fire arrows at our men, so I jumped out onto the battlefield and leaped onto the machine. I used the very arrows it fired to jam the machinery, then leaped to safety as it exploded. However, I ended up outside the castle walls, surrounded by enemies. An undead, skeletal, warrior was on one side of me, a couple of Norman-style blokes on another side, and then some bloke on horseback made up the deadly quartet. I dodged and weaved in between the enemy troops, slicing here and stabbing there, but I knew I was just holding them off. Then a griffon swept down from another part of the battlefield and mauled the horse and its rider. So the odds were evened, and I prepared to unleash bloody slaughter.

Then Meg woke me up.

The excellent Banzai makes its US TV debut tonight, albeit on fascist superstation Fox. I wonder what the Americans will make of it?

Um...Banzai, that is, not Fox. Unfortunately, the Americans seem to like Fox.

Yesterday, I tarted up the website a bit. There's little in the way of new content, but I've expanded the site to make room for the content when/if I add it.

Right, off to an Australian restaurant in St Paul, to have fish and chips. Then it's off to see a Johnny Depp film.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Well, let's get started. I've spent most of the day knackered, expecting to fall into bed in that lovely warm half-asleep fashion, only to find, yet again, that I'm wide awake at, what? 2am.
Oh well, at least it gives me an opportunity to tidy up some loose ends. Like doing a proper first Blogger entry.
Well, a bunch of dvds from Columbia House arrived today, so the number of loose ends has grown. Added to this is the anal way I prioritise things, so I'm itching to read the first of Stephen King's Dark Tower books, but I want to watch my dvd of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly first, because it was a major influence on the book. But, the film is about three hours long and I can't watch it right now, nor can I ever find the time to watch it during the day!
And I'm the unemployed, housebound one...
[By the way, if you haven't got the Dark Tower books yourself yet (and intend to at some point-I'm not going to try to convert people here), resist the urge to get the hardback edition above. The trade paperback edition of the same book is lovely. It feels much better in the hand than its hardbacked cousin, and has the lovely design and pictures that the cheaper mass market paperback doesn't. I love the book and I haven't even read it yet! My mother-in-law would be so proud...]
Just for a laugh, I tracked this article down through Google. It's by one of my American housemates from my first year at university, Autumn Witt. I was pretty sure that Google would turn out a clue as to where she is now, but all I got were archived articles from her student newspaper. Still, at least I'm in this one, so my hubris is satisfied.

Can hubris be satisfied?

What else? The Guardian has done me proud yet again by publishing this article, which conveys and explains one of those really annoying aspects of America that is at the forefront right now. I just want to shake the entire nation by the shoulders and scream "CAN'T YOU SEE HOW STUPID YOU'RE BEING?", but this kind of talk will probably get me arrested as a potential terrorist. Sheesh. The only thing these people should be afraid of is the corrupt political system that's slowly killing them and the rest of the world.

Tomorrow, I shall overhaul the website. I'll put in some sections OTHER than the Avengers reviews I've been compiling, even though there's nothing to go in those sections. In fact, I have no idea what sections I'm going to include. Way to go, design boy. I should probably link to this Blog, so that I'm not the only person who reads it.

Sunday, we're going to see Pirates of the Caribbean. A live action Disney that's good? Well, they did it before with One Of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, so let's see. Plus it has the superb Johnny Depp acting like some perverse Fast Show character (which is appropriate, as it's his favourite TV show), as well as the excellent Keira Knightley, who is ready to step out of the shadow of the (increasingly inferior)Natalie Portman. I'll work on Meg to see if she'll let me see The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen too, but I suspect I'll have to wait for that one.

Well, stone me. That's a fair bit of Blogging. Not as quirky or nice-looking as the Blogger of my good friend Liam, but he's very middle class, and I'm scum-of-the-earth-wouldn't trust-you-with-my-faeces working class, so that's to be expected. You come here, you get whatever falls out of my brain.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Aha! So...HTML works. Not sure why I thought it might not. Right. Now I must go shower and shave.
Okay. This is an HTML/hyperlink test. If anyone's actually reading this, then sorry!

Alan Moore Speaks!

Or, why not go to

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Okay. The last one worked. Now I have to think of things to say. Joy.
Last post didn't work. Will this? I'm not enjoying this Liam!