Friday, 27 November 2009

Belated Afterthoughts...

Technically, I shouldn't be doing this.

Strictly speaking, I'm on holiday this week, and writing this blog sits right on the dividing line between work stuff and not-work stuff. Anyway, I'm not being watched at the moment, so I thought I'd blitz off a quick post.

Thought Bubble was a blast again this year. It's all-too short, but it has an intensity of focus that is hard to match. I spent the whole day signing books, talking to creators and generally acting like a real-life comics professional. Particular stars of the event were Ian Cullen of SciFi Pulse website and radio show fame (probably the hardest working guy at the entire convention - seriously, he was fucking everywhere) and Dead Goats writer, Ollie Masters. Ollie's a guy who really gets it, and I'm seriously looking forward to seeing his book come out because it's precisely my kind of story and I'm going to read the living tits off that thing.

So, chalk Thought Bubble up as a win, and count me in for next year (providing my upcoming relocation doesn't balls things up travel-wise).

In other news, I got to check out my almost-built new house today. Moving from a two-bedroom flat to a three-storey house is going to be a bit of an adjustment, but I'm quietly confident I can fill the extra space with awesome junk within a few weeks of moving in.

Also, a learned colleague of mine from way back before you were born has just published his first novel on Lulu. I had the opportunity to read this some time ago, and can honestly say that it's a massively entertaining read. If my opinion means anything at all to you, then I highly recommend that you check out Peter Darby's The Gimp at your earliest convenience. Here's the cover blurb:

He despises his work, considers his co-workers to be
cattle, and only hates himself marginally less than everyone else.

Of an evening, he dresses in bondage gear and
hangs around in alleyways waiting to beat up

Because that's what his transcendental dominatrix
tells him to do.

Meet the Gimp.

"Compelling and unexpectedly uplifting" - Cy Dethan, author of Cancertown.

...and there I am: gone.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

3D Glasses: Half Empty

So, then. If last night's Channel 4 extravaganza proved nothing else, it did at least demonstrate conclusively that there's no magic trick so beautiful or spectacular that it can't be cheapened to the point of worthlessness through the addition of poorly conceived, inexpertly applied anaglyph 3D technology.

Don't get me wrong, I love 3d stuff. I even wrote a semi-glowing review of the Beowulf CGI movie back in the early days of this blog. The problem is now that I've seen what can be done in the field, both at the cinema and more recently in the jaw-flooring Avatar: The Game demo that was being run at the London MCM Expo last month, the old red/blue bullshit just seems like a total waste of time.

I also sort of semi-object to the clumsy way the anaglyph 3D was crowbarred into a magic show. Simply put, it added nothing. In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest it was deliberately set up to add nothing, as practically admitted by the increasingly entertaining Derren Brown in the intro.

Anyway, all disappointment at this essentially pointless gimmickry aside, you've got to love the latest version of Derren's "host" persona. He's flying a really strong flag for British magic these days. Also, with Pete Firman picking up the long-lost Paul Daniels stage technique and Barry and Stewart's awesome, visceral assault on the senses, I was quickly able to put the red/blue glasses down and enjoy the performances instead.

Anyway, fuck all that. Let's talk comics...

I'm heading up to Thought Bubble in Leeds at the weekend. Had a great time at this event last year, and things look similarly promising this time around.

Nic Wilkinson has announced a couple of competitions over on Insomnia's Red Eye blog. Details as follows:

1) Win a chance to visit the Buskers Film Set. Thanks to Jeymes Samuel for making this possible.

Entry to the competition is free with any purchase, or £1 per ticket.

The draw will be made on the 1st of December and the winner notified by email. Any winner under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied on the set visit by an adult.

The date and time of the visit will be arranged personally with the winner.

2) Win a PSP 3000 loaded with Insomnia Comics. This competition is in association with The Geek Syndicate. Thanks to Sony for donating this great prize.

If you will not be attending the show you can still enter the latter competition by heading over to the Geek Syndicate Website.

To be in with a chance to win, all you need to do is send an email to with the title “Going digital with Geek Syndicate, Insomnia and Sony!”

The first entry pulled out of the hat will win.

Closing date for entry is 1st December.

I entered the 2009 convention circuit without expecting to be pitching much, given the number of projects I've already got on my plate, but ended up landing several key gigs. All in all, I've had a pretty great year of it, and can't wait to see what happens in 2010.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Friday, 6 November 2009

Riding the Ragged Edge...

I was going to hold these back. I figured I should meter the previews out like the real professionals do and play things close to my chest until the first story pages started coming in (which should be soon)...

...but then I figured, fuck that - we're all friends here and, damn it, friends share.

So, on the grounds that some things are just too good to keep quiet, check out Neil Van Antwerpen's latest concepts of Ragged Man characters Consensus and the Grudge.

Moments like this make it all worthwhile...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

While I'm On The Subject...

A quick follow-up on the last post. Neil Van Antwerpen and Peter-David Douglas, the phenomenal art team on The Ragged Man, Starship Troopers: War Stories and Harker, have just been interviewed by Ian Cullen on the SciFi Pulse podcast. It's an interesting interview, exploring in some depth the kind of research and technique that goes into their work, so feel free to listen in.

While I'm plugging the team, you should also check out the written interviews with them here and here.
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