Sunday, 25 November 2007

Seriously, What the Hell?

Right, file this one under "Sorted".

Ever since I got this PC, I've noticed this intermittent fault that's been a total bugger to track down. Basically, at random intervals, the volume would lower down to mute. Sometimes it happened almost instantly, at other times it took ten seconds or more. There was no particular pattern to it, and nothing seemed to do any good. I tried every conceivable audio driver without luck and was pretty much at the end of my rope when, suddenly, it stopped happening.

That was about a month ago.

Today, the fault returned with a fury hitherto unimagined. Every time I raised the volume slider, it slid right back down to zero again. Wham - just like that. After four infuriating hours on the internet trying every possible Google query I could think of, desperation set in. It was at this moment that a chance link led to a chance link that led to what I'm provisionally calling a solution.

Long story short: something about my keyboard was interfering with something in Vista and telling it to keep lowering the volume. Swapping out the keyboard instantly solved the problem.

W, in a very real sense, TF?

Also, I read The Black Dossier today - but we'll talk about that another time.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

I... Am... Blogging!

Went to see Beowulf yesterday. Not a big Zemeckis fan, nor much of an automatic-rush-out-and-watch-any-CGI-movie guy either (no matter how good everyone I know keeps telling me Ratatouille is, I think I'd still rather shit out one of my own kidneys than sit though the damn thing). However, I loved the epic poem from my childhood and figured it'd be a diverting waste of a Saturday afternoon. Besides, it turns out that it's cheaper to go to the IMAX than almost any other cinema in London, so what the Hell?

Anyway, long story short, you don't need to make a particularly good film for it to be enjoyable on an IMAX-sized screen in full-on 3D. That said, Beowulf manages a hugely enjoyable thrash through the story - albeit in sort of a join-the-dots way. Predictably, a load of stuff has been altered, removed or crowbarred in to make the fiction suit the format, but I had a good time with it. Ray Winstone does one of the better triumphant bellows I've heard, standing up well to my last IMAX experience, 300. His non-shouty dialogue didn't work quite so well, but people got ripped apart, blood flew and a couple of the kids in the audience started crying. Couldn't ask for more than that, really.

It'll be interesting to see how well it holds up on a TV screen in 2D, but I'll certainly lay down some cash for it when the DVD comes out.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Starship Troopers: "Certified Cool"

Well, the November issue of Previews is out - and I'm in it! Here's the solicit text for AAM/Markosia's Starship Troopers #5:

Starship Troopers #5 by Cy Dethan and Paul Green. Starship Troopers returns in an explosion of Sex, Bugs and Rock 'n' Roll! An elite Pathfinder platoon storms the Arachnid-infested jungles of Farsteldt, where a savage ambush catapults them into a knife-edge First Contact situation. The Bug War just gained an unpredictable new player! Spectacular new story arc with newcomers Cy Dethan and Paul Green creating a stunning new look to the much-loved Troopers universe. (C: 0-1-2) 28pgs, FC........................$3.50

Better yet, Previews has awarded the issue a "Certified Cool" symbol. Gotta love that! According to Previews, the symbol marks out comics that "stood out to us as perfect examples of distinct comic stories that will broaden your entertainment experience and the industry."

So, um... wow! If you like the sound of that, please feel free to hassle your local comics retailer to order a copy. Apparently, someone pays me money if you do.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Long Time No Blog...

So, news is pretty slow on the comics front at the moment.

Well, slow in the sense that all the activity is going on below the waterline. I've just completed a first draft script for Starship Troopers #9, and I'm looking over a contract I've been offered by another publisher for a creator-owned story they want to put out. That's all progressing nicely.

Oh, and a new idea dropped on my head from a great height the other day and is now refusing to leave me alone until I write it up. It's the kind of thing that gets under your skin and keeps throwing up new possibilities even when you're trying to concentrate on something else (like packing the entire contents of your home into far too few cardboard boxes so the carpet guys can rip up your underlay). I'm not sure where it's all going just yet but, for now, let's just say that it's a genre that I've left pretty much alone in the past because I've never felt I had anything new to add to it. Now I reckon I have. All that remains is to see if there's enough meat on its bones to take it anywhere.

Okay, enough cryptic crap for now. I've got another episode of Extinction Protocol to plan out, an article to write for Signs & Portents and an entire flat to reassemble.

Good times!
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