Comic collections for your must have list- Castle Waiting, by Linda Medley. A wonderful take on fairy tales. The castle is home to a bunch of waifs and strays looking for redemption. All ages stories with strong moral, in the best possible way, undertones.
The Tale of One Bad Rat, by Brian Talbot. I’ll never stop boosting this story, one of the best things I’ve ever read. It’s about abuse, recovery and finding a family.
Akira (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) A complete change of place from the previous two. The big daddy of manga, and the first really successful anime in the West. It’s far more complex than the genre’s speed lines and violence stereotype, and more destructive than anything this side of Dragonball Z.
Now wider! My apologies to anyone running this in a minimised window, but I just wanted to have a bit more room to sprawl across the page. Next week I’m going to put up the prologue to a comic strip I hope to have online in August, and I want to put them on the front page, as wide as possible.
Friendly_Bombs: �I can see what he meant.� �Sorry?� Mike pointed down the street, filled with Saturday shoppers. �The guy who wrote that poem. �Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough.� Who was he?� �Don�t know.� Owen was trying to concentrate on driving. He still got trapped in pointless circuits of the town centre when trying to escape from Slough. �I�ll text my sister. She knows this sort of thing.� Paul had a new phone, though he had been complaining that the flip action wasn�t what he really wanted. If his head stayed down too long, he was going to get car sick from the round about route out of town. �God, I was expecting it to be y�know�. I don�t know. Better. Down here.� Mike wasn�t impressed. They were on a road which promised to take them somewhere nicer. On the left were out of town shopping boxes, to the right identikit corporate buildings. They went past The Company�s headquarters. �You�re not going to come over all Northern on me are you.� Owen averted his gaze from the office. �What, and you haven�t been trading on it for the last six months. It has to have some redeeming features, doesn�t it?� �There�s a BMX track. And I get to ride in through Windsor every day.� �That may redeem it for you. What about me? Comic shop?� �I think there�s one in Richmond.� �It�s a start, I guess.� �There. Sent it.� �What was the answer?� �Give her a chance, she won�t even have received it yet.�
They�d wound up in Staines, on the look out for Ali G, and gravitated to The Swan. Mike had found his redeeming feature. He loved rivers, and the Thames was better than most because it was alive with boats and the eponymous birds. He watched a cruiser going up stream. Maybe, one day, he could do that. The beer wasn�t so bad, either. More expensive than in Manchester, but not as bad as he had expected. Owen, as designated driver, nursed his half pint of Speckled Hen. �The car has to go back on Tuesday.� �What you got it for?� �I�ve got to go down to Southampton and have a look at one of the offices. Dull as fuck, but someone�s got to.� He turned to Paul, �So tell us about this mystery woman.� �There�s no mystery. I�m just not telling you anything.� �Nothing.� �She�s someone I know.� �I should fuckin� well hope so.� �What�s her name?� Paul�s pocket beeped. He pulled out his phone and flipped it open as nonchalantly as possible, read the TXT and nodded. �John Betjeman.� �Your girlfriend?� �The guy who wrote the poem you were on about.�
E-Bay has sucked me in. I wanted to see what the prices were like before I started putting my comics on there and only went and found a bundle of comics I wanted. I already have a few of them, but this should help me plug some gaps.
I bought the bike. It was practically half price, and still quite expensive. To be honest, it’s probably more bike than my current riding ability deserves, but I guess I’ll just have to improve.
Then this evening, I went to see a talk by Bryan Talbot at Chorlton library. Very interesting, I learnt a lot about page layout, pacing, speech ballon placement and colour. A lot of it is stuff that’s lodged in your subconcious if you’ve read enough comics, but it’s good to hear a master of the art on the subject. You absolutely must buy Tale of One Bad Rat, one of the best graphic novels ever.
I feel a little embarassed to mention Bulletproof Poets after talking about the man. But, hey, here’s page twelve.
Yesterday’s pic and today’s. State of Play I’ve got nearly a hundred photos being developed today, some of which will become pictures of the day. I started work on The Eliza Effect, my next novel, yesterday. I’m going to start publishing bits of it in February. It’s about computing and my experiences of doing IT for a corporate department that doesn’t know how to do IT (character assassination alert!). The chapters are going to be arranged in jokey little modules, like functions and subroutines. Whilst I was in France I got layouts for the first half of Ballad of the Bulletproof Poet done (now simply Bulletproof Poets). I’m going to start scanning them in and working on them, posting the pages as a work in progress to show how a page comes together, and publishing the finished item in digital and dead tree versions by Easter. Then maybe I’ll take it to the San Diego comic convention in August. And finally, for now, I’m generating a second novel from the material in Ten Years Asleep, which could be coming out at the same time as Bulletproof Poets. Busy, busy.
Holiday’s almost over. I still keep bottling out of frontside turns and put a little too much weight on the back foot, but I am way better than when I got out here.
I now own a chocolate fondue thingy, snowboarding Action Man, scale piste basher (or Preparatore Piste Bully as it says on the pack) and one of almost every comics magazine published in France this month [including the rude ones, except for ‘Bede SM’- not my style]. I reckon the fondue’ll be the hardest thing to get through customs- they have a special ‘Kitsch to declare’ line at the new Liverpool airport.
I am off alcohol until at least the 15th of February (supposed leaving date) and I have to start practising for the Bogle Roll. 75-125 miles on a bike, in a day, past Bury and Bolton. And, as it’s in March probably in the rain as well.
And I’ve got to start eating healthily as well……….
My ability with French shames me. I can get the gist of written French (well, when I’m reading comics anyway) by spotting the phrases I recognise and extrapolating. And I’m trying to think en Fracais mais, when it is time to say something I just stand there and go “Errrrrr……” until they talk to me in English.
I’ll probably be incapable of stringing an intelligible sentence together until just before I get on the plane.
I haven’t double checked, but an article appeared in the company magazine today and I think this is how it read-
Most of us could just about manage to make dinner and read the paper after work � Ian Pattinson, though, is a regular word machine. After a full day in Staines, designing databases to improve the efficiency of the sales force, he still has the energy to write novels � not just one either. In his words: �I hope to produce a novel every six to nine months, in a number of genres and experimenting with different styles every time.� Ian�s latest novel is made up of two stories � Another Education and Ruby Red � both set in fictional university towns in the north of England. They�ve been made available as print on demand from Planetree Publishing. In Another Education, a group of friends are trying to reconcile study, politics, job-hunting, romance and beer, when the community is hit by murder. Ruby Red is the story of a bereavement, a new romance�and a deaf cat with no tail. �I do my writing in the evenings and at weekends, between learning to snowboard and games on the Playstation 2,� says Ian. �I also maintain a website �www.spinneyhead.co.uk � where I show samples of my work. Already in the offing is a 7� square comic about an ill-fated musician and his band, and a workplace comedy called The Eliza Effect.
What a fucked up day. I got up this morning, dawdled a while, then went into the garage to discover my bikes had been stolen. All three of them, gone. We still haven�t figured out how anyone got into the garage- the doors were locked and there�s no evidence of them coming over the roof or garden walls. Bollocks. Anyway, if anyone in the Staines/ Egham area of Surrey should come across a Trek Bruiser 1, Specialized Hard Rock or Marin Palisades Trail going cheap, they�re probably mine. Contact me or the Police.
Then, after the Police woman had gone (which brought another bad omen- I�ve reached the age where Police officers do look younger!) my books arrived. Ten copies of my novel. It�s a very strange feeling, looking at my name on a cover- even though it is in Comic Sans, a font which looks awful outside an e-mail. I�m a published author! (Buy my book.)
I think it�s a sign. Life�s been a bit crap ever since I moved South, and now this. I need to get back to my roots. But I�m going to give it until February, because that�s how long I�ve got in the house.
A bit pissed off for the first of my new posts, but that�s how it goes.