Daily archives: April 7, 2006

Department of Free Ideas

I’m not really interested in writing superhero comics (unless Marvel wants to offer me Union Jack or Excalibur), but every so often I have an idea that could be really cool. It seems a shame to keep those ideas hidden, so I’m going to present the basics of my most recent-

Father and Son- A Proposal

Tommy loves his Dad. His father can do no wrong. In fact, he’s a hero.

Robert Dornan is just another middle manager, trying to get through the day without being downsized or doing any real work. His boss is stealing all the ideas he stole from his underlings, the stock options are worth nothing and his wife’s just told him he wants a divorce.

This is entirely the wrong time to start flying. Or shooting energy beams from his fingers. And the costume he keeps finding under his work clothes is different every time, though it always looks like it was drawn by a child. If he’s dressed as a superhero then he might as well act as one. Truth be told, he can’t help himself.

Of course, it isn’t Robert who has the superpowers, but Tommy. His ability to warp reality is limited but powerful. Right now he idolises his father, a distant, powerful figure who knows everything. In the sketches he does it’s always Daddy wearing the gaudy suit and saving the day.

Robert’s superpowers depend a lot on Tommy’s opinion of him. As his son grows older, and the divorce progresses, anything could happen. What if his (ex) wife finds a new boyfriend and Tommy likes him more? What if Robert tells Tommy off just before a supervillain rolls into town?

Since the Marvel Age began, superhero comics have been as much about the heroes relationships with their families as the villains they battle. For one hero that relationship is even more important than ever.

Consider this to be under Creative Commons. Run with it if you like it, create derivative works, sell it to a comics company. But please attach “From an original idea by Ian Pattinson” on it somewhere. (And a slice of any deal would be nice too.)

Originally published as a Cycling on the Pavement article.

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MP's Green press releases

From the halls of power, our representatives speak-

Foster Backs New Campaign To Cut Carbon Pollution

Bath’s MP, Don Foster, has accused the Labour Government of lacking the political will to tackle climate change, following the publication of the Government’s Climate Change Programme Review on Tuesday 28th March.

Don has backed the Big Ask campaign calling for a new law to make the Government legally responsible for reducing UK carbon dioxide emissions.

The Government has repeatedly promised to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent of 1990 levels by 2010, including in all three of the general election manifestos that have put New Labour in Government. But emissions have risen by three per cent since Tony Blair came to power in 1997. The revised strategy was supposed to get the UK back on track – but it is clear that it has failed to do this.

Climate Change Is Huge Challenge, Says MP

West Dunbartonshire MP John McFall said this week that climate change is the greatest challenge facing the world today.

He said a new climate change programme has set out the Government’s plan for action domestically and internationally.

It includes:

• a strong focus on a stabilisation goal to frame future international action

• progress through the UN Framework on Climate Change and the G8 dialogue

• a much greater role for the European Union.


Birmingham MP Gisela Stuart has welcomed the announcement by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling of a £26.6 million plan to ease congestion and improve transport links across the West Midlands.

The cash will be used to create a new computerised Urban Traffic Control Centre to manage congested roads. The Centre, which will be based alongside the new National Traffic Control Centre in the Quinton area of Ms Stuart’s constituency, is promoted by West Midlands transport chiefs Centro and the seven local authorities that make up the West Midlands region.

Natural Health Week

Tom Brake dropped into his local Health Food Store, Noah’s Health Food Stores in Stafford Road, Wallington on Saturday 1st April to sample some of their healthy organic food options.

His visit took place during Natural Health Week which Health Food Stores around the country are taking part in.

Tom Brake said, “With concerns about the quality of our food and diet increasing, Noah’s Health Food Stores and other local health food stores are essential in giving consumers choice and information about healthier eating options.”

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Pollution costs lives

Pollution can cut up to eight months off life expectancy. This may not sound like a lot, but the causes of death are lung disease and other chronic illnesses.

Ministers warned that chemicals from car exhausts, ships and industrial sites were still having “a marked effect on health” despite efforts to cut pollution.

They insisted that air in Britain was cleaner than at any time since the 19th century but expected to miss targets to reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particles.

Nitrogen dioxide and particles, mainly produced by traffic, irritate the airways of the lungs and can exacerbate lung diseases. Ozone at ground level is produced when pollution reacts with sunlight.

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Around Spinneyhead

Adrift– Page 1 published on Monday (after a slight cock up where it fell through a wormhole and was briefly published in April 2005). Page 10 rendered and lettered. The last few pages have been quite processor intensive render wise, involving about a dozen lights and a lot of elements. There’s one more page in that location then it’s back to the simple one light, one dead guy in a space suit deep space renders.

Tiger– not a lot of progress on the layouts this week. I ahve been messing around with an arts package called ArtRage that Clare bought for me, learning how to use it by working on backgrounds for the early pages. I’m going to be away from the computer for a while this weekend and I’ll try to use that time to get some more layouts done.

Spinneyhead’s archives- I’m trying to republish them all, but, Blogger being Blogger, never get much further than 10% completed. As I remember stand out posts, ones which garnered search engine traffic, I’m republishing them.

How to Save the World for Free- as detailed below, 2 Wheels Good has gone over to the Green side. Dig and Digest will follow at some point. It just makes sense to group those blogs together. I may also start sub-directories dedicated to solar panels, bio-diesel etc. to maximise earnings from the subjects.

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