The Berlin Job

I did a bit of a Spring clean recently, and came across this. On six postcards, I had done layouts for a comic idea. It dates back several years, and was going to be called The Berlin Job.

Set in an alternative fifties, where Berlin was the first city to have an atomic bomb dropped on it, it was going to be a heist story that turned into a conspiracy tale. As a team of crooks and ex-servicemen broke into the abandoned city of Berlin- looking to find the vaults full of looted treasure etc.- they would stumble across a terrible secret. Hitler was assassinated by others in German high command, and they had offered up surrender terms to the Brits and Americans, afraid of what would happen should the Russians overrun their capital. This was ignored, and the atom bomb was dropped as a show of force, taking out some of the Russians already in the city.

Now, several years later, tensions are building again, and the city is still sealed off, waiting for someone to come in and dig up its secrets.

The Berlin Job

Obviously, I never started this project properly, though I think there may be a larger, more polished version of the first page somewhere.

If it’s not obvious, the first three pages are side by side narratives from the end of the story and the point in 1946 (I had a set of backstories that would have explained why the war went on a year longer, if necessary) when the bomb was dropped. Page 6 is messy and cluttered. I’d like to think I’d have turned it into a double page spread, framed by either end of the building/block, if I’d gone ahead.

I’m always thinking about doing some comics again. Finding stuff like this just makes me ponder what story I’d like to tell that way.

Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent Of Power Needs From Renewable Energy | ThinkProgress

On Sunday, Germany’s impressive streak of renewable energy milestones continued, with renewable energy generation surging to a record portion — nearly 75 percent — of the country’s overall electricity demand by midday. With wind and solar in particular filling such a huge portion of the country’s power demand, electricity prices actually dipped into the negative for much of the afternoon, according to Renewables International.

In the first quarter of 2014, renewable energy sources met a record 27 percent of the country’s electricity demand, thanks to additional installations and favorable weather. “Renewable generators produced 40.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, up from 35.7 billion kilowatt-hours in the same period last year,” Bloomberg reported. Much of the country’s renewable energy growth has occurred in the past decade and, as a point of comparison, Germany’s 27 percent is double the approximately 13 percent of U.S. electricity supply powered by renewables as of November 2013.

Observers say the records will keep coming as Germany continues its Energiewende, or energy transformation, which aims to power the country almost entirely on renewable sources by 2050.

Germany Sets New Record, Generating 74 Percent Of Power Needs From Renewable Energy | ThinkProgress.

Germany says hundreds of unsolved killings may be linked to neo-Nazi group – Telegraph

As many as 746 murders and attempted murders, over a 21 year period, may be linked to a German neo-Nazi group.

The investigation stretches back to 1990, the year of German reunification. A surge of racist violence followed, particularly in the formerly communist east and poorer parts of the west.

It ends with cases from 2011. Late that year, the self-styled National Socialist Underground emerged as alleged suspects behind the murder of eight Turkish men, a Greek and a policewoman between 2000 and 2007. The group, whose sole surviving alleged member is currently on trial, also is suspected of carrying out two bombings in which dozens of people were injured.

Germany says hundreds of unsolved killings may be linked to neo-Nazi group – Telegraph.

Your foreskin belongs to God! 1

The Cologne district court has ruled that non-medical circumcision is a “serious and irreversible interference in the integrity of the human body”. Thus religious circumcision is illegal and German Jews and Muslims are up in arms about it.

Well done to Germany, and the Cologne court in particular, for making a decision based upon child welfare despite the inevitable chorus of claims that it’s anti-semitic. Commenters were straight in with the other obvious non-argument- bringing abortion into the mix despite the two issues being unrelated. British blogger Cranmer waffled around the subject but basically said that laws made up in the desert thousands of years ago should be more important than the ones passed in a modern courtroom, and suggested some sort of circumcision tourism.

Let’s leave decisions about the integrity of the prepuce to its owner and let them choose at the age of eighteen plus whether it stays or goes.


I am, eventually, going to Interrail around Europe. I’ve been promising myself this for the last few years. It’s already looking like this isn’t the year I’ll do it, though it should be the one where I start putting aside the money to fund it.

In the mean time, I’ll keep adding places to the list of locations to visit. Such as Bierwelt, profiled today on BoingBoing, a Bavarian beer-centric theme park. The park is 90 kilometres from Munich and can be reached by train. The fact that it involves beer automatically puts it near the top of the (as yet unstarted if I’m honest) list.

Bierwelt website.

Environmental news round up

Trees absorb less carbon dioxide as the world warms up.

The ability of forests to soak up man-made carbon dioxide is weakening, according to an analysis of two decades of data from more than 30 sites in the frozen north.

Oil price hits $100 per barrel for the first time.

German cities ban the most polluting cars.

Solar school in Trafford.

A School in Trafford is about to become one of the country’s ‘greenest’ when solar panels are installed on its roof as part of a renewable energy drive.

Sale Grammar School is being given the panels, which are worth about £20,000, by the Co-operative Group.

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