Friday, February 27, 2004

Where Do You Go, My Lovely?

The mystery is solved. It seems the song is actually called "Where DO You Go?" and was by No Mercy. Thanks to perfectlyidiot for putting me on the correct trail. Also, since I found out the answer myself, no prizes will be given!

Where Did You Go, My Lovely?

Best laid plans and all that. I've been holding off making a blog entry for the past few days because 1 I've not been doing anything particularly interesting, and 2 I've got some comic pages due up at Spooky's Dungeon soon, and I was waiting to make a blog entry until they were up. They were due up on Tuesday, and aren't up yet.
So I've been drawing, and I'm halfway through the first of the Gormenghast books, and I added a couple of extra issues' worth of comic reviews to my Avengers guide, but apart from that, there's little to report. I did toy with a "David Blunkett is a Nazi" post a couple of days ago, but it looks like the Blind Bastard isn't going to get anywhere with his "we don't like foreigners" legislation, which is a good sign.
There should be a new issue of Chuck Austen's Avengers at my comic shop tomorrow, so look out for what will undoubtedly be an overwhelmingly positive review of that at some point this weekend.
Finally, there's a special prize for anyone who can identify the group who sang "Where Did You Go, My Lovely?" back in the mid-nineties. Google was of absolutely no help...

Saturday, February 21, 2004

"I would have waited an eternity for this..."

We went out to visit Amanda (meg's sister, my sister-in-law) and Ben (Meg's brother-in-law, my brother-in-law-in-law?). They were in good spirits, and treated us to dinner, which was very nice of them, and a good time was had by all. Their youngster Jack was in a good mood too, but I get the feeling he likes to show off when he has visitors, so that's not too surprising. He's a very well-behaved sprog, but I do reckon he's got a bit of the devil in him...
Anyway, on the way back home, we popped into Target to pick up a few essentials. I zipped through the music section and picked up Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, which is fantastic and is on right now. I always like to have a look in the toy section there, as you can usually find some fun stuff at cheap prices. Last time we were there, we bought this, and this time...

I think I'm going to have to sell a kidney...or two...

Monday, February 16, 2004

That Was The Week(end) That Was

Well, the weekend was a to We'd had a good week, after the previous week was ruined by some dismal behaviour among our circle of friends. I even got a fair amount of drawing done, and am feeling enthused and energised as far as my art goes.
For Valentine's Day, Meg and I "celebrated" in a very low-key way. There were cards given and flowers delivered, the latter of which provided an unexpected, yet accurate, comment on the state of the US economy (don't ask. Or do, I care not.). There was lounging about, eating, and videos. It was all good.
Yesterday, we got up and faffed about for a while, then we went into St Paul to see Neil Gaiman doing an interview about his book Coraline. It turned out to a recording for a programme you can hear here (I think). It's the first time I've been to a recording of anything, and I found the whole thing to be a bit surreal, as the audience was there in a sort of dual capacity, both to enjoy themselves and to provide applause and laughter and so on for the recording. I'd also never been to a "writer in conversation" event before, and it was quite interesting, although Gaiman tended to repeat a lot of information he's given in other recent interviews. I suppose, though, that that's largely due to the familiar questions more than unoriginality on his part. He was a witty and erudite interviewee, and Meg surprised me afterwards by claiming that he reminded her of me. Not sure how to take that really.

Not much else to report right now, it would seem. I just thought it would be a good idea to get something up about the weekend. Oh, I've seen O Brother, Where Art Thou? twice in the past week, and I'm beginning to think that it might be my favourite Coen Brothers film, outstripping my previous favourite, Raising Arizona. It even has a blatant, yet easily missed Evil Dead reference, and you can't go far wrong with that.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Brainsplurge's Comic Reviews!
(Part 1 of an interminably dull series)

I've liked The Avengers ever since I was a child and read this comic reprinted in some British comic or another. They're much more appealing to me than the X-Men, or the JLA or any of the other big superhero teams. I don't know why. It's probably just because they were the first superteam I read about.
In recent months, the comic has been...well, awful is the word. Kurt Busiek's last big storyline was uninspired and confused, and Geoff Johns had no idea what he was doing. Since last month, Chuck Austen has been the regular Avengers scribe. Unfortunately, Chuck Austen has a reputation for being utterly talentless in the field of comics writing. Last issue was a typically scrappy outing for Austen, and I prepared myself for another long term of shoddy Avengers comics.
This month's issue (#78, or #493 if you're counting from the very beginning) is something of an improvement, which was a pleasant surprise, as nowadays I tend to gingerly read the comics at arm's length with one eye closed. I didn't have to do that this month. A lot of this has to do with Olivier Coipel's art. It's not to many people's tastes, but I like it a lot, and while the all-black backgrounds and extreme clse-ups of this issue suggest that he rushed it a little, it's still attractive work. In terms of writing, there's a great deal of clumsiness here, but the story rises above it and there's little of the self-contradictory plotting of last issue. Perhaps the four editors this comic employs have finally done something to earn their wages. The "battle of poetry" that opens the comic is out of place, the attempts at portraying the British setting are laughable (I doubt many six-year olds know what shillings are, let alone use them in slang phrases), and the Avengers are shown as rather incompetent for the "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" that they are. But aside from that, it's not too bad. She-Hulk's in it, too, and she improves any comic she's in. If I did such things, I'd give it a three out of five.

On the off chance that to you this is as dull as a very dull thing, don't worry. While I'm thinking about making this a regular feature of Brainsplurge, it won't be a frequent one!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Hakuna Mutata

It's pretty well-known that The Lion King is a version of Hamlet. Hamlet with less murder and incest, and a happy ending, but Hamlet nonetheless. So it should come as no surprise that the semi-sequel, imaginitively titled The Lion King ½, would also have literary roots. What is surprising is what the source material actually appears to be. I could be wrong, as I've not seen it, but all the ads make it look like, of all things, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Appropriate, given the Hamlet connection, but surprising all the same.

The Guardian today runs a wonderful article on the controversy surrounding foreigners in the world of sumo wrestling. Not the type of article I thought I'd ever see on the "front page", but it's one of the most interesting features they've run in days.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Evil gangmasters who rule the cockle slave trade by fear

Look, I know it's a terrible story that highlights the perpetration of great injustices and great evils at work, but how can you take that headline seriously?
And furthermore, how come America has gangsters who make their money from the exciting and dangerous activities of drug-running, extortion, and so on, and we have gangsters who deal in the illegal trade of... cockles? I suppose it's a good thing really, but it's hardly The Sopranos, is it?

Friday, February 06, 2004

A Two-way Street

The truth about British television revealed! One perennial controversy in British television is the amount of US imports. There is a general impression (on both sides of the Atlantic) that British televison is the best in the world, and that too many American imports will dilute that somehow.
Well, that impression is about to go out the window.

My Hero has crossed the Atlantic.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

They're bloody mad...

It's Superbowl day today. Silly game. Even sillier organisers. There's a twelve mile no-fly zone operating at the event, patrolled by military jets with orders to shoot down any trespassers. It is only a game, people...

Beyoncé Knowles had been picked by the producers of the new Superman film to play Lois Lane. After considerable outcry, she's been dropped. Now, admittedly she's an untested actor and Lois Lane would be a big role for a relative newcomer, but I wonder if the outcry was more to do with the colour of her skin?

Finally, this has been all over the net by now, but if you haven't seen it yet, go and look. Whatever the origins of this "dragon", it's a fascinating story.