Sunday 31 January 2010

Quick Sketch / News

My drawings not gone so great today so I did this quick sketch of Philip K Dick instead. I need to think of some new ideas for stories so I'm a bit stuck until they come.

I heard from the Food Control people at the council on Friday and I can't start my food business until my premises have been inspected, so it's going to be a couple more months until I can sell any food as they have a big backlog. Also I need to go do a food hygiene course, but thats no bother, they are only short things.

Friday 29 January 2010

New Feature - Films for Friday!

I'm bored today so I thought I would start a new and exciting feature on my blog - Films for Friday! Where I will pointlessly talk about some films for a bit. Hurrah.

First up is Takeshi Miike's classic 'The Happiness of the Katakuris'. I really like this random horror musical! It's not very horrifying but it is a lot of fun. My favourite scenes are when the actors are talking away like normal and then suddenly the walls behind them fall away and they are in a big musical number, all dancing and singing badly. There's something about that I really enjoy, don't we all sometimes feel like we are in some kind of stupid musical. It's really very funny. Also it has dancing zombies in it for a bit, but not for very long, don't be fooled.

'The East is Red'. If you are only going to watch one Maoist Chinese Opera performance this year, make it 'The East is Red'. It's really very flash! At one stage a tank rolls onto the stage, and at the end you can see Mao himself in the audience clapping away happily. The dancing and acrobatics is second to none and it has a great rendition of 'The Internationale' as a happy musical number. Maybe this should be Andrew Lloyd Webber's follow up to 'We Will Rock You'?

'Phantom of the Toilet' sounds like it would be a great film! Sadly the knocked off copy of it I bought in Hong Kong is blank. Maybe it's better to never see it and not spoil the dream...

Mat Brinkman - Multiforce

I got the great big 'Multiforce' book this week from Good Grief. It's a brilliant book! Here's a very interesting review of it by Frank Santoro that talks about it a lot better than I could. Well worth going and getting it. It's the first time in a long while I've especially gone to a comics shop to buy a comic they have just got in, before they are all gone. Must be five or six years...

Monday 25 January 2010

'The Ballad of Hatty Jack'

I've been drawing away at 'The Ballad of Hatty Jack' for the last week or so. I'm on page 10 now out of (hopefully) 11. It will be my story for 'Gin Palace' but I'll split it into two parts so it doesn't seem too long.

My certificate thing came from the council yesterday so I'm going to have to do a lot of cleaning and shopping for my food business later in the week, it's exciting! I can go buy two regulation chopping boards, one for meat and one for veg.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Naoki Urasawa - 20th Century Boys Volumes 5 &6

I've just finished reading the two next books in this great series. Book 4 ends with the 1999 New Year almost upon the heroes and the evil plans of the Friends about to come to fruition. What's going to happen? Then suddenly book 5 jumps to 2014 where Kanna (who is a little kid in the earlier books) is grown up and now becomes the main character, and apparently the last hope of the world...

It's a very brave and interesting decision by Urasawa, just when the tension to see what happens gets greatest he jumps away from the previous story. Then we find out that it seems like the Friends won and all the characters of the early books are dead, or missing. Book 5 is quite grim and depressing and I wasn't that keen while reading it but once I got to book 6 it all gets very exciting again. You can see how Urasawa was just setting things up in book 5. New mysteries start up and I really got into it again. Some new characters turn up too like an imprisoned manga artist, who's latest story seems to have been too much like the truth. It really is a great series.

Monday 18 January 2010

Comics in Shops

I dropped off some copies of 'Great Deeds Against the Dead 2' today in Travelling Man, Manchester and some 'Pasty Anthology' and 'Great Deeds Against the Dead 1' in cool new comics shop 'Good Grief' which is on the third floor of Afflecs Palace.

If you are passing why not buy some? Help keep me in the way I have become accustomed too, eating instant Korean noodles and drinking orange juice (3 for £2).

Great Deeds Against the Dead - Part Two Review

And here's another review of 'Great Deeds 2' from Richard Bruton on the Forbidden Planet blog.

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Great Deeds Against the Dead - Part Two Review

Here's a little review of 'Great Deeds Against the Dead 2' by Rob Clough at the new online Comics Journal.


I've been trying to get a lot of drawing done the last couple of weeks as I am waiting for a certificate from the council so I can start up my new food business and don't want to waste my time off. I've been drawing the first few pages of 'Marigold' (there's a bit above, not finished or cleaned up, might well change the name too) which is some long story about people living on a fort in the sea / tv chefs / drinking (it is still very up in the air at the moment). I've finally got going again on 'Hatty Jack' after being stuck for a week on where it should go next. I've also done a 2 page story for the Uk Web Thing anthology called 'Poorly Maintained Fibreglass Dinosaur Zoo', and a 2 page story for 'The Brave Brave Idiots' anthology called 'My Glittering Media Career'. That sounds a lot but I'm still being a bit lazy, it's hard to get used to being self employed and deciding what I'm doing all by myself. Today I didn't wake up till half ten, it's shocking...

Saturday 9 January 2010

Taiyo Matsumoto - Go Go Monster

I didn't like it as much as his other book I've read, 'Tekkonkinkreet', but that's one of my favourite books of all, so it would be very difficult to compare. It's very realistic compaired to that, instead of the wonderful Treasure City from Tekkonkinkreet its set in a very real highschool in Japan. It's about a kid who can see monsters everywhere. Everyone else at school (except the old friendly caretaker/ gardener) thinks he's just a weirdo and keeps away from him, except for a new kid who becomes his friend, sort of. It's very lovely drawing and I'll definately be re-reading it a bunch of times in the future to look at the art more, as the first time I read it I was trying to follow the story. I was worrying too that something horrible was going to happen as it's quite dark and there's a huge sense of foreboding hanging over the tale.

R Crumb - The Book of Genesis

I got the new Crumb book for Christmas off my brother. I enjoyed it no end, the drawing is brilliant as you would expect. Crumb really doesn't leave anything out (as it says on the cover 'All 50 Chapters') so I must admit I skipped through the many pages of thingy begot thingy, and his sons were... Crumb does a lovely job of making up the hundreds of different faces for these chapters, all individuals, but they are still just lists of names really. He doesn't do anything satirical or change much as he goes along, just kind of illustrates the stories, which are really weird when you re-read them again. I thought his notes at the end were good too, he has done lots of research and has read some interesting ideas about the stranger bits, which don't make much sense when you read them straight from the text.

Friday 8 January 2010

Poorly Maintained Fiberglass Dinosaur Zoo

My task for the weekend is to draw the rest of 'Poorly Maintained Fiberglass Dinosaur Zoo' which will be my story for the UK Comix and Web Thing anthology. It's based on a true story. The theme had to be dinosaurs which had stumped me until I thought of this idea today.

Thursday 7 January 2010

Gin Palace Anthology

Dave Hughes has done a cool 5 page story for the 'Gin Palace' anthology called 'Little Scary Monsters'. There's a drawing from it above.

Sunday 3 January 2010

Josh Cotter - Driven By Lemons

Wow, this might well have been on my books of the year list except I got it on New Years Eve and have only just read it. I'll definately be reading it over and over again in little bits. It's a copy of Josh Cotter's sketchbook I guess, or it's made to look like that anyhow. A moleskin type sketchbook with rounded corners and inside covers and that. There's several pages of dense tiny text that doesn't make much sense but it's lovely words and makes a kind of poem, and as you read the book it seems to fit with it and make some sense of what's going on.

The main character is a rabbit and he keeps appearing and then disintegrating into beautiful abstract scribbly things. This sort of stuff is really hard to do well, but this book pulls it off and you never think he's just making marks for the sake of it, there is some sort of story and purpose to the whole thing though I'm not sure what it is... it's very satisfying. Maybe it's about the rabbits mental health problems, but nothing too obvious and simple. Very highly recommended.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Happy New Year / Gin Palace

Happy New Year everyone!
I've had some great submissions in for 'Gin Palace' so far, have a look at them...

Ant Mercer has done a one page story and is finishing off another two page story.

Jarod Rosello has done a great three page story called 'The Rain'. Here's a link to his website.