Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Thank you for saying what none of us were thinking

Holy effing shit I just heard a character in an American drama say that it was bad to privatise something!  I hope someone got fired for putting this, this... economic terrorism onscreen!  I need to cleanse my palate of this Marxist-Leninist propaganda so I have put on some episodes of Last Man Standing and it takes mere minutes for Tim Allen to joke that the Middle Eastern family who have cameras around their home shouldn't be watching their white neighbors, their white neighbors should be watching them, and then the audience laughs in an audibly uncomfortable way even though they know the exact kind of plutocratic conservatism Allen likes to espouse on this show (a couple of weeks back his character unironically laments that "because of Obamacare" he has to pay his employees less to keep making the same level of profit) and they came anyway - perhaps they're worried that the show just casually skirted over the fact that a Middle Eastern family needs security cameras around their home to protect themselves and the supposedly everyman lead character not only couldn't give two fucks but his go-to response is that they should not be allowed this security measure at all?

I love you, American TV, but sometimes you're work.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

I resent being dragged into your heterosexual tomfoolery

So I got a dog and she's pretty high maintenance, hence the big gap between blog posts, though that's okay as no-one seems to have missed me and I could at least stay sane by making snarky comments on the blogs of far better internet commentators via my Android tablet - because in true Internet Jerk fashion, if I cannot create I will destroy.

Still, I've been using the old Twitter a bit here and there as well over the last - blimey - two months and a bit, and it's fascinating that the algorithm used to compile up-to-date trends removes anything that's been the focus of attention for too long in order to keep the platform constantly talking about only the newest ephemera, which I noticed around the time that some anti-government hashtags seemed to disappear from the trending lists despite being tweeted several thousand times an hour more than the most popular topics that were actually appearing on the list.  Tinfoil hat theories abounded at the time (with which I gleefully joined in), but the simple truth is that Twitter is made for nonsense, not sustained conversation, and by design its character limit necessitates a linguistic shorthand that reduces a world of ideas to simple stark words, etc, and I like how we've been invited to willingly embrace this reduction of our most complex thoughts, because if it had for some reason been forced upon us we'd be pretty darn mad, wouldn't we?  Far better in the long run to make us embrace our own dumbing-down and inability to have public discourse not just willingly, but enthusiastically.
Twhole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought, rendering dissent literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. - See more at: http://www.eveningtribune.com/article/20141222/Opinion/141229932#sthash.R4fA
The whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought, rendering dissent literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. - See more at: http://www.eveningtribune.com/article/20141222/Opinion/141229932#sthash.R4fAlyJZ.dpu
I've been going on too long so you're probably not even reading this anymore - I have used literally hundreds of words in this post so far and I just keep making it worse.  I'll stop now.

Friday, 5 December 2014

After seriously considering what I can offer the world to make it a better place, I've decided to start a really expensive line of shoes

Why yes, I am watching all the Star Trek films this week in chronological order For Like The Umpteenth Time, how perceptive of you!
I'm only begrudgingly and incidentally enjoying them, though, as the rewatch has been prompted by needing to check out the quality of a blu-ray box set edition of all 10 original movies (to make sure the discs aren't borked) to evaluate its fitness as a Chrimbo prezzie, but I have to say that I liked The Motion Picture a lot more this time out, even if it still drags a bit.  The close proximity of the viewings this time around made me notice how some of Final Frontier was directed to call back to the style of The Motion Picture, and that Undiscovered Country's final line from Kirk is actually a clever allusion to the line he delivers at the end of Wrath of Khan.  The actual final shot of the Enterprise from UC is, in my humble opinion, absolutely perfect even if the actual film is well-made and played nonsense, but I never noticed before how great Yosemite National Park looks in FF, even when that final, brilliant panning matte shot is ruined by the obtrusive insertion of credits about fifteen seconds too early and what was - by then - the theme of The Next Generation, a show the producers clearly wanted to start making movies about so they could finally ditch these old geezers.
And then Generations.   Blech.  The deleted scenes include the original ending, in which Kirk goes out like a trooper fighting a physically superior opponent in hand-to-hand combat, finally getting the upper hand with the deployment of the patented Kirk Double Axe Handle Blow before buying the farm on a wisecrack when he's treacherously gunned down from behind, which is a bit of a contrast with the actual re-shot ending they went with, in which Kirk and Malcolm McDowell play tag for a few minutes before Kirk trips on a stair and breaks his neck because he is a hundred.  The official ending basically makes him look like a chump to put the new crew over with audiences, though possibly if that is the desired effect, it's ruined by the new crew losing their ship on their first adventure and constantly being taken to the cleaners by panto Klingon villains and stock footage from previous Trek movies - the stock footage thing is particularly at odds with the notion of the franchise moving forward, I would also think.  I am going to do a Fanboy Thing from this point onward and just ignore all of Generations in much the same way that the rest of Trek itself has chosen to do.  It is for the best.
Of the others, Voyage Home is very much of its time, particularly the scene where Kirk tries to hide his futuristic communication device (a mobile phone) but made relevant by the chemistry between the leads, and Search For Spock remains a functional but not very interesting addition to the series.

I briefly considered watching the two reboot flicks after the original movies, but discounted this for two reasons:
1 - the intended recipient of aforementioned Chrimbo prezzie already has the first one on blu-ray, and
2 - despite being capable of watching absolutely anything if it's sci-fi - to the extent that at one point it was lamented that Tank Girl was not yet available on blu-ray - when I took them to the cinema to watch the second one, they leaned over to me during the bit where Kirk is trying to kick a giant sparkplug to make a space engine work again and said "this is going on forever, isn't it?" and it remains the single Trek film I've seen only once.  Which was too many times.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

I like my booze two ways only: straight up, and by myself


Whoring time again!
As well as a strip in Something Wicked #10 which can be found here, I have a strip in Zarjaz #22, which can also be found here, containing work by PJ Holden and Al Ewing, who are "comics famous" - which basically means that people who are into comics like what they do or hate and resent their success, but normal folk will likely pass them in the street and toss loose change in their direction - and yet their contributions are not the most surprising thing of this issue, nor that I've got to draw Shako for the second time in print without anyone chasing me off with a pointed stick (or the third time if you count the free Christmas comic hosted by Zarjaz back in 2012 that can be seen here on the Quaequam Blog in a post that also advertises my first graphic novel Babble, which BOOM! Studios' lawyers assure me is legally distinct from James Tynion's Memetic), no, what is surprising is that Dave "Bolt 01" Evans - health service worker, father to what I am assured is a number of children to rival Screaming Jay Hawkins and editor/publisher of FutureQuake, Something Wicked, Zarjaz, and Dogbreath - somehow found the time to draw a comic strip.
Anyway, my contribution - which one reviewer has called "almost convincing" - naturally contains a bear.  It's an encounter between Bionic Man homage MACH 1 and ursine killing machine Shako set before either of their strips began proper, and has been described as "the strip you didn't know you wanted" by one podcast whose name sadly escapes me, rubbish as I am.  By all means check out this fine publication before the new Tory-approved tax rules for digital exchanges utterly destroys the British small press in the same way they've fucked everything else the fat greedy sack of cunts have got their reptilian fingers on.  Funny how they almost seem in a rush to get this stuff done like they don't expect to be around this time next year, isn't it?  They are very much robbed of even the honesty of a mugger or a ram raider, as those are just coping with the failure they already experience rather than planning for the failure they know is coming.  Say what you like about the American government, at least it actually kills its own citizens without shame, not like the Tories, starving people of money and dignity until they take their own lives - at least Darren Wilson got his own hands dirty when he went out and killed a poor person, IDS just smirks behind a tower of paper forms as his string of failures force others to do it by their own hands, the weasel.  You'd think someone who lives in his wife's house would understand about dependence on others, but that would require a capacity to give a single fuck.
Anyway, buy my comics while you can.  That would be lovely.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Just as an exercise, let's take stabbing off the table

Note to self: delete texture brushes from Manga Studio.
No witty banter to impart today - regular readers of the blog will call days such as these "weekdays" - so I'll give a shout out for this tri-month's issue of Something Wicked, in which I illustrate a story by my writing donkey Lee Robson.  Something Wicked can be purchased here in physical form, with a more Borg-friendly digital edition to follow sometime later.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Professional assassination is the highest form of public service

I must give Hibernia's Best of The Library of Death collection a quick rec for anyone looking for reading-related presents for kids.
I know that the primary audience for much of Hibernia's output is very likely adult blokes who approach this stuff through a haze of nostalgia or because they're hobbyists with a taste for vintage UK comics - I think I have established by now that I can most certainly relate there - and that kids supposedly hate black and white comics compared to stuff that's been coloured in with felt tip markers by an editorial assistant and a has a free plastic toy on the cover, but from my own experience kids actually seem to go crazy for black and white UK supernatural stuff from that whole 1970-1990 period.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

I love her, but she plays that cancer card a lot


My old GN Babble has been uploaded to the Borg mega node for macro neural redistribution... okay I don't bloody know what the hell's going on and I refuse to pretend otherwise - Lee seems to know what it means that Babble is "available on Madefire now", so I'll let him explain it to you better than I could.
Basically the book is a spin-off James Tynion's Memetic miniseries, at least that's the easiest way to explain it now the lawyers are sniffing around - so buy Babble on Madefire.  Yes, totally do that.  It's a sophomore work and thus full of the thrill of invention more than my later stuff when I just concentrated on storytelling clarity and consistency and fucked fancy layouts and playful use of colour on the head.  I'm a journeyman these days, but back then I was enjoying it more and it really shows, I reckon.