Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Me three

Once more my public asks and I repsond. I promised Danny a look at the beard and Nimiwey needs proof that my hair’s longer, so here’s some photos. They’re in order of date, so the detectives amongst you will have guessed that I’m beardless now, nearly 3 months not shaving is a personal best I think.
With a bit of luck there’ll be a much more exciting picture up tomorrow.
Windswept at Winderemere

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Old, grizzled and barely dry from the rain

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Fresh faced and little smug looking for some reason

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Crap creative

This is sort of like owning up to being male, or Northern or something equally obvious like that, but whatever; I’m a ‘crap creative’, don’t know if this label exists, but it has a suitably lame early ‘90’s feel to it so it must be genuine.
It’s been about 3 weeks since I got my complimentary (as in ‘you look nice’ not ‘here’s a mint with your bill’) rejection letter and in that time I’ve edited 600 words out of Simian Smith and I’m not even half way through the manuscript. The rough synopsis for ‘Green World’ has expanded by, oh, 50 words? A week ago I took on a short easy little script to draw and have done nothing but fiddle with the script. I’ve also been messing around with endless thumbnail layouts for a one page strip I came up with, the script isn’t finished, the characters aren’t properly designed, I’m not sure what the house that features in the 1st panel looks like, but I’m still drawing endless little boxes on scraps of paper as if it will get the work done.
So, I’m a crap creative - not with out talent but doomed to whittle away on project after project, sometimes finishing one, but most likely doing a small amount of messing about over far too long a period of time before giving up and trying something else. My ideal is the Philip Pullman route, it may be creative but it’s still a job sort of thing, and I do try and work even when my brain’s dry and chaffing the inside of my skull, but it usually amounts to work best forgotten in the cold unforgiving light of the next day (or week as is usually the case) Sadly the best I’ve been able to do is occasional bursts of work and count my blessings if I’m able to keep those bursts focussed on one project.
It’s a bit sobering thinking that I’m in my mid ‘30’s and have only completed a couple of things. I’m quite proud of them, but it’s a small part of what I’d like to do and an even smaller part could do if I could train myself to just sit down and get things done.
There it is though, that’s what I am, and the first step towards cure is to recognise there’s a problem. If anyone else wants to swap shoulder’s to weep on and stand up and be counted as a CC then please do so.... if you’ve got time that is, if there’s something on telly or you really need to get the washing up done and alphabetise your cds before you commit I totally understand.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Seeing as you asked.....

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Living with my folks after quitting a job many miles away and having nowhere else to go. It was a big mistake and led to a terrible year.

What were you doing 5 years ago?
Living in London on a street affectionately named ‘murder mile’, thinking maybe it was time to leave London, my AM was making a crap job a hateful one and we felt lonely far to much.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Moving to Lancaster. Things were looking up, nice house, nice area and the job looked like it would be interesting, which it hadn’t been for a while. I was writing more often than not and it felt like a fresh start.

5 Snacks you enjoy.
Peanut butter
You know, all the low fat stuff.

5 Songs (you think) you know by heart
‘Old Man’ - Neil Young
‘Our House’ - Madness
‘Light My Fire’ - The Doors
‘Lucy in the Sky’ - The Beatles
Picking Up After You’ - Tom Waits

5 Things you would do with a LOT of money
Stop worrying about not having enough money
Buy an old house with a lot of land in the country, preferably in the Lakes.
Open up some small book/comic/arty type shops.
Set up a grant system for people wanting to produce comics/books/art/music/etc
Light cigars with twenty pound notes and laugh at the poor..... well, no, not really, but I can’t think of anything else.

5 Things you would never wear
Baseball caps
Jumpers made of the itchy shit I was made to wear when I was little
Shell suits
T-shirts with football nonsense on them

5 Things you should never have worn
Bright orange slip on shoes
‘Blouson’ type jackets of the ‘80’s
Pastel colours
A Bon Jovi sleeveless t-shirt
Jeans that were mainly made up of stains and holes

5 Things you enjoy doing
Writing and drawing
Being with my wife
Lying in bed/lazing around
Being out walking/drink coffee/general mooching

5 Bad habits you have
Wasting time
Not achieving all I’m capable of
Doing things I don’t care about and have no love for
Not being honest with myself - or at least not acting on it

5 people you would like to do this
Well, assuming I can’t pick the same people Reece did and I have to know them
Katy - who I can't find a link for so she's probably finally given up blogging

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Let me just get this off my chest....

I’ve just recieved some very dodgy spam. No idea what it contains (although amidst the usual gobbledygook the word’porn’ appears), but what’s particularly grim about this is that it’s disguised as an unsent message. Is this spam or someone sending me a virus? Either way it makes my mad. I hate spam at the best of times but this kind of trojan horse thing is particularly vile.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Slightly less news worthy follow up

Thanks to everyone who passed on their congratulations (on and off the blog)
Bit difficult following up that last post, haven’t felt like moving it further down the screen to talk about the usual nonsense. But life goes on, so nonsense is back on the menu.
Met up with my sister and Phil yesterday, mooched around Manchester, I bought socks and comics, Rebecca bought some bigger clothes. There was food, coffee and cake and it was nice and relaxed, if a little brief due to train times. Can’t say Manchester does it for me, it’s a good city, but a good city is pretty meaningless to me as I just don’t think I’m into cities any more (Edinburgh and York are the only exceptions I can think of - in this country anyway) Huge crowds and way too many shops just get on my nerves after a while.
E4 music has the ‘Call Me’ video from Eric Pro? at the moment. I hate that video, utterly foul. On the other hand they had a song from Jack White’s new band (Racoonteers I think?)not so long ago and that was a cracking tune, I was impressed by some group called ‘Hot Chips’, sounded like Devo mixed with Daft Punk. I am so down with the kids.
Okay, the rain’s let up for a second so I’m off to get the food in.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Frightmare by Pete Walker

‘Making Mischief’ is the title of Pete walker’s biography and it’s aptly named. Walker’s supposedly best 3 films (I can’t say if they are or not having not seen all his films... yet) are all designed to create controversy, or as he put’s it ‘to rub people up the wrong way.’ Thankfully there’s a bit more to them than that. Walker’s films are bleak grubby cynical affairs with black humour and over the top concepts that brilliantly capture the 70’s, perfectly in keeping with the decade that spawned the excellent UK comic ‘Action’ (Pete Walker directing a film version of ‘Kids Rule Ok’ would be amazing. In fact he’d have been perfect for the previously mentioned ‘Psychomania’ come to think of it) and the once excellent ‘2000ad’.
So far my favourite Walker film is ‘Frightmare’ which funnily enough is the least controversy courting film of his loose trilogy and does seem to be the best (although ‘House of the Whipcord’ is a close second). Plotwise the film seems to try and play things a bit coy by not coming out and saying what it’s about, yet Walker’s exploitation pedigree and his obvious affection for liberal amounts of blood mean that the hints are less than subtle and nothing else about the film or the marketing implies that there’s meant to be some great reveal. Which is a roundabout way of saying I’m going to tell you what’s going on, so consider this a spoiler. ‘Frightmare’ is about a cannibal old lady. There, the cat’s out the bag.
When Walker first cast Sheila Keith he must have instantly realised he’d found his muse, either that or she was cheap/available/game for a laugh, either way both found the perfect match. In ‘Frightmare’ Keith adds something a little extra to her creepy old lady act (and a fine act it is too!), gusto. The literally lip smacking relish she displays when she goes in for the kill, especially the bit with the drill, is over the top genius that must make even Tom Baker turn an envious shade of green. It’s all the more effective when juxtaposed with her scenes as a slightly confused old lady.
There’s a bit more to the plot than that and it’s actually quite a good one involving teenage kicks far too loving husbands dopey psychiatrists and Peter ‘Manuel’ Sachs, but I’ve already given too much away. ‘Frightmare’ is available as part of an Anchor Bay boxset and it’s very nicely put together, 5 films, a fair amount of extras and available pretty cheap on amazon and no doubt elsewhere..... it’s also got ‘Die Marianne Die’ which has a title sequence that features Susan George wearing a very skimpy outfit and giving it some serious go go dancing.... just thought I’d mention it.