Thursday, May 31, 2007


For the second week running, the wrong person went in the Apprentice - and even worse, I am out of the office Apprentice sweepstake...
And now Big Brother has begun. I hate the all-women idea - the show needs a mix. Plus the whole idea of BB is that these people all get locked in together right from the start until the end - so introducing guys in gradually is a bit crap.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Wow, I'm back in love with this show again. I got very jaded with it in Season Two, and almost stopped watching after the dull-dull-dull Desmond and Hurley episodes this season - but I'm glad I stuck with it, as SEason Three really picked up. I finally saw the finale last night - good lord! Some random thoughts - don't read it if you don't want it spoiled...

- The length of jack's beard gave away the flash-forward twist! You could work it out - he's never had a beard like that before. It was VERY clever though and really opens up a lot of story possibilities. I'd love to have been a fly on the Lost Writers Room wall when they came up with that one.
- Charlie's death was sad! I was wondering why he shut the door and I'd forgot he HAD to die to save clare and aaron. They shoulda had a mini-flashback or sommat.
- Hurley and Sayid rocked - for once! Shows like this need to remember to keep reminding us why these characters are so awesome - not just have them sitting round saying 'dude' all the time.
- Soooo glad naomi died. She got on my nerves.
- I need a rousseau flashback - NOW!
- Those Other girls were vicious.
- Thought the radio tower might have been a bit more inventive - if you compare it to the sound barrier etc.
One of the most satisfying lost finales, definitely.

Pirates 3

I must have had a dozen or so people emailing me to tell me what they think of Pirates 3. It's weird, cos that film doesn't really register with me. I hated the first one, mainly because it was way too hot in the cinema when I saw it, and I just didn't get into the plot - plus i despise Kiera Knightley ("ooh look at me, i'm so beautiful, quick let me pout again, i'm so thin!"). So it's obviously bigger on other people's radars than mine. Hmm.


The 2nd laptop adaptor they've sent to me doesn't work. I kind of had a feeling it wouldn't. How hard can it be???? So it's looking like I've lost 2 weeks off my O Men schedule. Bah.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


A couple of other bloggers have been doing this. I don't know why I decided to do it too...
01) Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-man is the first comic book I really got into.
02) The Walking Dead is one of the comics I currently collect.
03) Zatanna is one of my all-time favourite superheroes.
04) Optic Nerve is my favourite non-superhero comic.
05) Batman is a very overrated character
06) Rob Liefield is, in my opinion, a very overrated comic artist.
07) Grant Morrison is one of my favourite comic book writers.
08) Going to Nostalgia & Comics (in Birmingham) as a kid on a Saturday, and grabbing a dozen or so new comics and sitting on my beanbag reading them while Gladiators was on is a happy comic book memory for me.
09) Jaime Hernandez is awesome at drawing female characters.
10) J H Williams III is one of my all-time favourite comic artists.
11) Glyn Dillon is an artist I'd love to see drawing a monthly series.
12) Cerebus is a comic I've meant to read, but haven't done so yet.
13) ??? is a welcome '80s comeback.
14) Strangers in Paradise is a comic I've never read or paid much attention to.
15) Superman is a popular character I've never really paid attention to.
16) Sandman/The Invisibles is a title I would recommend to my friends.
17) Titania is one of my favourite comic villains.
18) X-Men is a comic I'm glad they made into a movie/movie franchise.
19) ??? is a comic they totally ruined by making it into a movie. (it cannot be done, such is the power of the medium! ha !)
20) Adrian Tomine is someone I would really love to meet at a comic convention.
21) Frankenstein is a character I can see myself being for Halloween.
22) X-Men is a comic I used to love, but now I'm not so hot about.
23) Jill Thompson is someone I would love to work on a comic book with.
24) £4 is the most I'll spend on a 22-page (average sized) comic.
25) Crazy Jane is something/someone they should bring back.

Fave vid

This is my favourite video at the moment. Some great drag king action...

Good comics

Read some good comics at the weekend. Was very impressed by the art in Heroes for Hire – by Clay Mann. Really enjoyed Mighty Avengers 3 and the art in Newuniversal was jaw-dropping. I’ve never been a huge Salvador Larocca fan, but he’s really come into his own now. Nice to see some decent art in Shadowpact but it’s still an odd little comic – and how can they make Enchantress so boring? She used to be really intriguing.
I also bought the new Fell trade on Saturday – wow, what a great little comic, and a bargain too – 8 quid for 8 issues. A nice little read – something cool happens in each chapter, and I like the way that the storylines continue and evolve as the series progresses, rather than it all being a load of one-shots.


Set my video for all sorts at the weekend, while I was away, and came back to a blank screen. I think it was interference caused by rain (rain stopped play). So I am gagging to watch the Lost finale and really annoyed that I can’t join in on the finale conversations at work. I don’t really know what’s gonna happen – all I’ve heard is that there might be quite a few deaths and something about that guy’s eyepatch.
I can’t really think who will die. Maybe Jin. I don’t think Charlie will die. I hope Naomi dies.
Hope I can hold out and not hear spoilers over the next couple of days…

Craptop II

My new laptop adaptor has turned up today at work. I hope it’s the right one. I’m looking at it and the socket looks maybe too small again… Fingers crossed.
I was thinking how those PC World adverts look so amazing and like a fantasy world, and the reality is ‘sorry, can’t help you mate, we don’t stock what you want – next!’.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I am in Birmingham, birthplace of Martin Richard Peter Eden (me).
The plan was to get a single ticket home, then my folks were gonna take me to Oxford on Sunday so I could meet my new nephew, Harry, and then get the coach back to Landon from there.
So guess how much a single ticket cost? £27.40!!! Blimey, that's gone up a bit since the 15 quid two or three years ago (this is from Marylebone. Euston to Brum is prob 100 quid or something now, considering it used to be 40). so anyway, i asked how much a return is - just 60p more - £28. Why are singles and returns so close to each other.
I said to the guy, 'would it have been cheaper if i'd have phoned in advance' (it usually is by Euston, but not normally through Marylebone's tinpot Chiltern Railways) and he said that an 'E-ticket' (booked online) would have been £5. Blimey. Bit of a difference. Benefit of hindsight, eh?

Disco Dazzler

i was just sharing the excitement with a friend over the upcoming Essential Dazzler release, and it got me thinking about how much I loved that series. They don't make 'em like that any more do they (Martin says for the 100th time on his blog). In fact one of my favourite EVER comics was Dazzler 13, when she got thrown into Riker's Island and had to face the Grapplers (including Screaming Mimi, who was so cool and is now a bit lame as Songbird). Aaaahhhhhh.
Interesting fact: one of my Marvel submissions was a strip featuring Rogue versus Titania and Mimi (three of my favourite characters). I drew it on Bristol Board and everything. It was terrible, but I still got a nice Spider-man letterheaded rejection from Stan.

Embarrassing illnesses

Channel 4 have started showing a programme called 'Embarrassing Illnesses' on Thursdays at 8.30. It's kind of a compelling programme, but one that you really have to watch from behind the sofa. And I always end up eating my dinner while it's on. And the nudity!!! Last week there was a roomful of naked rugby players checking their testicles and this week we had lots of boobs. At 8.30.
Last night, I unfortunately caught a glimpse of a bleeding ******** (I can't actually bring myself to say it here, suffice to say, it's a male part). Funnily enough, I find it hardest to watch the foot fungi though - the bunions and the general horribly foot-y things. Yuck...

Lost and Heroes

i am going into hibernation so that I don't find out anything about the Heroes and Lost finales. I won't see Lost til next week and I am four or five eps behind on Heroes - looking forward to a li'l marathon! Anyway, I hear they are good and it's cool that there seems to be genuine excitement about these kinds of shows again!


My laptop adaptor came on Wednesday (except of course they would only send it to my billing address so I had to pick it up from the Post Office yesterday morning) and i tried it out last night - it doesn't work. Doesn't fit in the socket. aaaaaaaaargh!!!! So hopefully I have a new one coming on Tuesday or Wednesday. What a disaster for the world of O...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Omen Comic

Today sees the release of a new Omen comic...But not mine!!! Aaargh! Someone else has named their comic the Omen. At least it's the Omen whereas mine is The O Men. But still - eek. Well I wish them all the best but, er, I kinda hope they disappear quite soon...


I just heard that Grindhouse is going to be split into two separate movies over here in the UK :-o
I heard someone mentioning the movies on the radio - they were like 'and the new Tarantino movie Death Proof opens soon' and i was like 'ha ha you fool! it's Grindhouse.' But no, it's now Death Proof and Planet Terror! outrageous!!! what'll happen to the spoof trailers in the middle??? aaargh why do they have to mess things up!!!

Reality round-up

Apprentice: blimey, the wrong person went last night. Tre should have gone. Basically Jadine got fired because she got upset about missing her little daughter after two months of being away from her. Harsh. Compare her to the guy who left on the 2nd week cos he missed his kids. I didn’t like Jadine at first, but she really grew on me and did well in the task last night.
It’s weird, cos I find it hard to see who will win – they all have so many flaws. Tre -too aggressive; Naomi – a bit too sly; Simon – loves himself and the camera too much; Katie – kind of evil (but not so evil last night, and I do feel a bit sorry for her); Lohit – who?; Kristina – too scheming.
Actually, Kristina grew on me last night… I do think Jadine, apart from a minor blip at the start, would have been a strong contendor.
Deal or No Deal – wow, what a crap week. Where are they getting these contestants from? Screamy, weepy Lynne on Sunday, boring Peter on Monday, slightly annoying Jo on Tuesday, and salt-of-the-Earth/get-off-my-TV Jeff last night. Blimey. It’s enough to make someone stop watching. There isn’t even anyone sexy worth watching at the moment lol.

Spoke too soon

I spoke too soon about my trains. It’s been a disaster. All week my trains have been late and last night they shut the entire London Bridge station, so I had to pay (on top of my travelcard) to get all the way home. That’s two tube trips I’ve had to pay for this week (one on Tuesday too, for an appointment that got cancelled). Jeez, I’m not made of money. Ah well, at least I wangled a free bus journey by pretending to have a valid ticket. Yeah, I know, bad, but it’s swings and roundabouts – so many delays, cancellations and so much rudeness – it’s my own little way of claiming back!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Horrible people on the internet

ha ha check dis out (plus my response below. I win! Unless he's just replied with a wittier and more scathing viewpoint...)

Monday, May 21, 2007

No O Men

well it's official, my laptop power adaptor has 'blown'! how can something so simple and silly cause so much chaos and turmoil!!! Here i am with a huge O Men to-do list over the coming weeks and I can't physically do any work on the comic!!!
well actually it's not that bad. i did do some physical drawing rather than photoshop, and i even had an evening of just actually watching telly, instead of having a computer in front of me lol. plus i was gonna take the day off anyway, and see nephew Harry (but I had to cancel it as the midwife was there).
so my new adaptor should be with me this week - phew. plus i finally get broadband - it only took 5 months lol...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Comics International: Missing

No sign of a new issue of Comics International, which is a bit of a shame. I do like the magazine. New people took it over this year and they've managed to release the grand total of one monthly issue so far in almost six months. Apart from the fact that it's fun to be able to read about loads of comics that I don't buy, I do have a bit of a vested interest in it all I guess, as it's my main selling point for O Men.
I've heard they're working on a new issue, but surely everything's gonna be out of date and all the adverts may not be relevant now.
Sigh, if only Titan had taken it over - I really wish we had!

The tradition continues

Three-quarters of the way thru O Men 2.4 and my laptop dies again. Think it's just the power adaptor lead thing. How can such a silly little thing be so annoying!!! so I've bought a crap little replacement from Woolworths and will try it out when I get home - fingers crossed. The curse of the O Men...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Reality TV

I have ruined Project Runway for myself. I mooched around online looking for photos of someone and then i stumbled across this guy's blog - a big promo for it, so i was like 'ah sh*t he won then!" So gutted. So then, knowing the winner, I looked at more stuff - only to find that the actual winner was someone else!!! aaargh!
it happened ages ago with america's next top model. one of the contestants looked like my mate's girlfriend so i went looking for a picture for him and the first thing i found was a spoiler of who won the season!!!
and on yahoo's home-page they show pictures of the three finalists of the current cycle!!! aargh!!!
aaanyway. an okay episode of the apprentice last night. i felt sorry for Ghazal and I could just tell that she was on the defensive right from the start with her team - such a load of back-stabbing bitches all scheming away. poor girl. but she'd never have won anyway.


Pete Doherty, Kate Moss, Peaches Geldof, Sienna Miller, Jude Law, Lily Allen, etc, etc, - i do not care about you people and i am sick of reading about you and your boring lives in my newspapers!!!! seriously, does anyone give a flying shit about these people? Peaches Geldof - who is she?!!!
And the standard of journalism in these papers! Look at this guy he's got a beer belly. Look at this woman who has got wrinkly legs. Jesus, we all get beer bellies and wrinkly legs!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Good news!

I'd like to announce the arrival at 10pm last night of little Harry Edward Douglas Eden - my new nephew!!! Yay!!!!!
My brother sounded so happy and it has boosted me quite a lot! Makes you realise how insignificant a lot of the little day-to-day problems are, like trains running late etc (altho i have to say last night, i was so annoyed! i left work on the dot to get my train - i was right in the middle of something too, and had to leave it with someone else to do - and i couldn't actually fit on my train home - no room! outrageous. so i had to wait half an hour for the next one and i could have stayed at work and done my tasks! tsk.)
Oh, and good news - my Tori strip cartoons have been accepted by the Tori fanzine - yippeeee! They liked 'em. I wasn't 100% happy with them, and wish I could have come up with a stronger idea, but I think they were good enough.

Monday, May 14, 2007


My first comic was a SpiderMan one - one of the old Peter Parker comics, where he fought Gladiator, so I do have a special fondness for him. But I wouldn’t consider myself all that concerned about how good the movies are, as a lot of people seem to be. I was quite protective of the X-movies and was annoyed at the directions X3 went in. I just see Spidey as a blockbuster, just go in and enjoy the effects. I absolutely adored the first movie - it brings a little manly tear to my eye. Wasn’t too bothered about the second one - wasn’t that impressed by Alfred Molina and the directions it went in didn’t seem true to the comic.
I finally caught up with the third movie on Saturday. It was great, but, and I think everyone probably had this problem, there are a few buts. First up, waaaay too long. You think the Sandman threat is over halfway thru the movie and only then do they start the whole Venom stuff properly. It just seemed uneven.
Lots of storytelling hokiness too - Sandman’s motivations - is he a goody, a baddie? We’re supposed to like him, but then he goes and beats cops up and teams up with Venom. And what a coincidence that the Venom symbiote hooked up with Peter’s motorbike.
I’d also have preferred it if the black costume was a bit more like it is in the comics. I mean, what was it? Just a black material? In the comic it can cover Pete’s body in a flash. It just wasn’t explained very well.
And finally, the whole Peter going ‘wild’ bits - ouch. My jaw just dropped at how terrible it was. These sooo should have been deleted scenes on the DVD. It verged on Batman and Robin badness (yes, that bad).
Oh, and what was the point of Gwen? Plus she looked more like Felicia Hardy anyway. And what was the point of bringing up the whole Ben Parker stuff? And why did they choose to reveal the truth just now?
There were some really good scenes and some really good set-pieces but they shoulda cut out the crap - there’s a really great movie in there somewhere.

Lost the truth revealed

Last night I solved the mystery of Lost. They are all clones. That's why the plane was found and all their bodies were in it. It really all happened - I saw the episode...
Except it was all a dream. I dreamt a whole episode of Lost. It was so convincing too. Sayid became a weird muscular rabbit type monster - a sad, failed clone experiment.
(Good new episode by the way - a few more answers - could we be on the verge of having the whole thing explained?)


Every year we (well, some people) get excited about Eurovision, and then as soon as the voting starts we all remember 'ah, that's right, we don't stand a chance because it's all political voting'. I watched it on Saturday thinking 'what's the point'. It made me feel like 'what's the point of being European - we are outsiders. And they all speak funny!'
I'm glad the drag queen person didn't win, as he/she was expected to. It's about the song, not the act!!!


Rufus Wainwright has been doing a lot of media recently for his new album - and I'm quite surprised at how happy he is to let it be known that he is DESPERATE for his new album to be a success. He's had years of critical acclaim but not much commercial success. Apparently his new album is completely accessible and commercial.
It's surprising how blatant he is about it all - and also surprising how badly the new album cover lets him down. It's pretty dire and you can't even read his name on the cover.
I don't think I'll buy it. He's okay, he can write some cracking tunes, but his voice can be a bit of a drone sometimes...


I wrote about a couple of album reviews a while ago, and it actually got me thinking about music reviewers. I mean, how do you review an album? How long do they spend on it? Most albums I get, I don’t like them the first time I listen to them, and it’s only around the 5th, 6th or 10th time that I start to like them, when the tunes start to sink in. I can’t imagine reviewers listening to albums that much. You have to let the album really sink in and get into your head, and experience it.
A couple of years back, Tori’s Beekeeper album got some quite scathing reviews - and I even wrote to a newspaper to defend it and have a go at the reviewer. And I did like the album back then, I mean I love what Tori does, but I can look back now, and compared to the new album, the Beekeeper just really lacked bite and it didn’t really have any driving, exciting tunes on it. So even I was wrong lol...

Friday, May 11, 2007


DK FindOut Magazine's indicia question of the month this month is 'when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?'. I had no doubt what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a newsagent. I wanted all the latest Marvel and DC comics to myself. I wonder if any other little boys wanted to be newsagents when they grew up.
(I wouldn't want to be a newsagent now. They have to start work far too early.)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Apprentice week 7

You know, i really wasn't convinced Adam would go last night. Fair enough, he's been in the boardroom four or five times, but I do think that is partly down to the fact that his opponents seem threatened by him - that's why they seem to hate him so much. It's sad that Sugar fell for that really.
I honestly can't see who might win now. They all have huge faults.
And it's really shocking seeing how Katie is setting herself up as Public Enemy Number One. So shocking when intelligent people don't realise what they are doing to their image on reality TV. She's a bit of a bitch - but I actually feel a bit sorry for her - another reality TV victim...
Let's hope she doesn't get much worse.....for her sake.


oh by the way, my very good chum Tara, who posts comments and stuff sometimes - guess what? she's only interviewed Sam Raimi this week! can i post the link, tara?


There have been some stunning Deal or No Deal games in the last couple of weeks. I mean I'm not as obsessed with it as I used to be, but I've got to say, there are still 3 or 4 stunning games per week. Like the one last week where the guy dealt at 70 grand and the next offer would have been 170 grand.
Last night's game really really struck a chord with me me. The guy had been so quiet on the shows, but was so relaxed and confident on his show. And he used to be 18 stone and is now 10 and a half (I want to shift a stone or two - been trying since Christmas!). Every time I watch this show, the positiviy of the people really affects me and makes me want to change.
Anyway, if you fancy it, check out the last 10 minutes of Shahid's game from last night - really cool.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Some comics

Well Free Comic Book Day came and went - and while the freebies tend to disappear quite quickly, this year I actually managed to snag two free comics (you’re only supposed to get one, but I used my considerable charm). One of these was the first issue of Astounding Wolfman. Wow. What a load of shit. There was nothing original about this comic and nothing made me want to carry on reading it. Well done Kirkman.
Other comics:
Wow can you believe 52 has finished? That’s a whole year. They really should have re-named the final issue ‘Fifty-poo’ because that is what it was. What a load of bollocks.
Omega Flight - You know, this hasn’t been too bad, apart from the fact that I don’t give a shit about the Wrecking Crew, who seem to be in the whole series, and they had the opportunity to make Sasquatch cool and they decided to just beat him up instead. And has no one noticed that Beta Ray Bill has been on both covers so far, but hasn’t actually appeared in the issue? And how will ‘USAgent’ work out in a Canadian superteam?
Ah well, Arachne looks cool. I do like Julia Carpenter, although her character never seems to evolve beyond ‘single mother with a daughter’.

Reality TV round-up

A lot of my friends know, to their horror, that I like a spot of reality TV. Here’s a quick round-up.
Shipwrecked - where on Earth did they get these people? Half of them are so effing DULL!!! Everyone last year was a character. And what happened to the ‘playground bullying’ that was supposed to happen to lesbian Jo? Did they edit it, scared off by the early Lucy racism controversy??? Tsk. I’d like the Tigers to win, but I really can’t see that happening at this stage.
The Apprentice - an awesome year, the only problem being that I can’t see any of them getting hired!!! Katie started off well but has turned evil. Pure evil. Tre is great - kind of as annoying as Sayid from last year, but he makes more sense. I like Adam - I think everyone hates him cos they feel threatened. I’ve got Naomi in the office sweepstakes - but I seriously can’t see her winning!
Castaway - bloody hell, what a shit show. It’s like they selected a bunch of Eastenders audition rejects. They are all so moany and miserable!!! And that cretinous Jonathan! I know people who are like him - pure personality disorder all the way. This isn’t even proper Castaway. The first show was a year long and the idea was to build a community - here they just want personality clashes. They are all so dull! One feature was all about how one girl has an irritating voice and another was about this fat guy getting a haircut.
And yet I still watch it.
Project Runway - now this is more like it - I’m really gonna get into this. Even though Heidi Klum is a bit annoying.

Silly reviewers

I noticed a really weird trend in a lot of the reviews for the new Tori and Bjork albums. A lot of the reviews contained the following elements: ‘their best work in 10 years/since their debut’, ‘forget all the last bunch of albums!’, ‘a return to form’, ‘excellently commercial!’.
I actually find those comments pretty stupid! A musician tends to release a real trademark album first up, a total classic, and then they start to experiment. Tori’s done all sorts of experimenting over the years, and a lot of Bjork’s albums sound totally different to each other. How can you say that you should disregard an album like, say, Vespertine, my favourite Bjork album, because it’s not commercial enough? Do you really want album after album of straight-forward formula?
I wonder if reviewers actually listen to the whole album? A cursory listen of Volta would suggest it is very similar to Debut, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Curse those reviewers!
Another weird trend is the amount of crappy second albums some bands are putting out - the Killers, Bloc Party (well, slightly crap) etc - oh dear!

Start of an era

I’ve never been a huge downloader, but I’ve just discovered it all and I’m liking it. You can just get music straight away! It costs 8 quid per album, rather than over 12 quid in the shops!
I mean, I do like getting CD booklets and stuff, but a lot of silly bands tend to release really boring booklets these days with no lyrics and just ’arty’ shots of the band (the Killers for example).
So today I downloaded Bjork’s new one, with a nice little digital booklet and the little picture pops up on my ipod - hooray!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


So busy at the moment with O Men!!!
Plan is still to release 2.4 in June sometime and then 2.5 in August.
I'm about 20 pages into 2.4 - so it's do-able. I did so much this weekend - must have done about 12 hours yesterday (I feel like a junior doctor) and got no sleep cos i was still buzzing from it all lol.
And now I have two projects I want to get on with - the big poster suggestion that Jamie came up with - it hadn't been on my agenda until I saw a friend's poster and it really inspired me. Will be cool - kind of an updated version of the 'key chart poster' on my website, in the gallery section - all in colour. The version I really want to do has a huge spoiler for Issue 2.7 though.
And the second project is to do an updated/coloured/computer-lettered version of an old O Men issue - maybe issue 1 or 1.18. But that's a way off.
And somewhere in all this I want to work on this Tori strip idea that I've been asked to do for a Tori zine. Erk. I have ideas but all I want to do right now is O Men.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Children of Men

I saw an absolutely fantastic film this weekend - so good I literally had to watch it twice - Children of Men. It’s a deceptively simple movie, but what really grabbed me about it was its fluidity - the way some of the scenes are shot in one take - there’s a stunning car-chase thing not far from the start and the whole hospital battle at the end is breath-taking. The one frustrating thing about it was the subtlety of it at times - I totally missed a couple of important plot-points because they were hard to hear, some people and elements are very casually introduced and are almost missable (good job I watched it again lol). But there is such a real energy to this movie - almost an understated energy - and it has made a huge impression on me.

American Doll Posse - an overview

For me, Tori Amos could do an album where she sings from a phonebook and I would like it - it’s just like that. I think she’s great and I pretty much love everything she does. She strikes a chord. I think the perception of her is that she is mad and annoying and depressing - and you know, I think I can identify with that lol. Look underneath the surface and it’s all very tongue-in-cheek but with a very serious intention. There is a huge amount of fun in Tori’s music, but with a real, human edge.
But anyway, that’s not to say that I don’t recognise when she’s having a weaker moment, though. After Scarlet’s Walk, her music started to get a bit too samey, culminating in The Beekeeper album, which just seemed really middle-of-the-road. Thank god then for American Doll Posse, which sees Tori really raise her game once more.
I was a bit worried about this album. Another long album, another concept album (why can’t she just do 12 simply great, straight-forward songs?) - and maybe worse than that - it’s kind of a concept she’s sort of done before - dressing up as different characters for Strange Little Girls. Thankfully, ADP gives a fresh spin on the characters idea and I adore the fact that each Doll has its own personality and sings different songs - although I do wish there had been a song which featured all of the dolls (admittedly that would have been hard to recreate live, I guess!).
I’ve written individual reviews of the songs elsewhere. Suffice to say, that once again Tori has delivered a stunning album that works on so many levels and has a song for just about any mood. It also flows really well. I think I will find myself listening to this album quite a lot, whereas I found it hard to find time to sit and listen to the equally long Beekeeper.
A lot of the reviews are saying this album is her best since her first album, and some of the songs would have fit well on there. Well I don’t know about that - I think Tori has evolved nicely over the years. What I do like about ADP is that some of the more experimental piano songs (Smokey Joe and Dragon) hearken back to some of her early experimental b-sides - and that is definitely a good thing!
One thing that puzzles me about Tori though - is her apparent wish to be so commercial. The music biz has changed so much over the past few years - singles just don’t seem to matter any more. While other artists - like Regina Spektor and Anthony and the Johnstons - have a blast doing what they do best, stripping it all back to basics, I often wish Tori would do this - do an album of beautiful piano ballads.
Oh, and while I’m talking about being puzzled - I’m really puzzled about some of the promotional elements of this album’s release. Putting the WHOLE album on myspace? Wow. I don’t agree with giving the whole thing away like that. And then there are extra songs which you get if you pre-order with different stores - argh! Stop it, Tori!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

O Men thoughts

I am having conflicting thoughts about The O Men at the moment. I have to say, I’ve never been so excited about the series as I am right now. The stuff I’ve got coming up in the next couple of issues - I just can’t wait. I love to experiment with the series, and I am getting such a buzz out of what I am doing right now. I wish I could show you all now.
On the downside, a chum of mine who runs a comic shop in Ireland has lowered his order from me saying that ‘interest hasn’t been great in volume two’. That is a bit of a slap in the face lol, and it does set the mind racing. Is it shit? Is it worth bothering? Have I made it too complicated? Does my Photoshop suck? Hmm. Maybe the amount of issues works against me a bit - but I quite like it. There’s stuff coming up that really plays with stuff that’s current, but also refers to volume one storylines (without getting bogged down, I don’t think).
But you know, I’ve had so many ups and downs with the series, and there isn’t too long to go now with it. Let’s hope the next up or down is an ‘up’, eh?
(And even better, I just finalised what I’m gonna do with Issue 2.6, bringing a couple of plans forward - and it’s gonna be a real shocker!)


Well it’s all sorted now, after nearly all going horribly wrong (long story, suffice to say, the first day I needed to be at home - and to work at home- I’d been ill and off work anyway, so had nothing to work on - so I had to rearrange things lol). And then ‘Ben’ from Virgin Media phoned and offered a last-minute deal - money off for reduction of service (losing Sky etc), and I must say, it did cross my mind to stick with what I had, but I’m glad I didn’t. So now Virgin Media is out of my life, I have Sky, BT and will soon have broadband yey! I love Sky!!! You can set programmes a week ahead! I can watch the West Midlands news and feel like I’m back at home in Birmingham!! I have got More 4 +1, so I can watch Deal or No Deal when I get in lol!!! (The only downside is that I’ve lost the Cartoon Network, but ah well.)
So four months of trying to organise this fecking thing is obviously all worth it lol.....
(But BT are so shit. At first, I thought I wasn‘t set up for Broadband but now apparently I am. That took about 2 hours on hold to find that one out. And then I lost my old number, even though I had asked to keep it. That involved about 3 more hours on hold and a rude guy who I had to put the phone down on. He was saying that they could check the recordings to check if I asked to keep my old number. I said, ‘well if you can do that, why couldn‘t you go back and retrieve all my details from my first order which you LOST ALL RECORD OF‘, but of course they ‘can‘t do that‘ because of the Data Protection Act. Grrrrr.)


I’m really sorry for people reading my blog who couldn’t give a shit about Tori Amos - but she just had a new album out and it excites me! I will stop talking about her soon, I promise...

Song reviews

Here are my track by track thoughts on Tori’s new album, American Doll Posse, for anyone that might be interested. (Anyone? Helloooo?)
Yo George - A lot of reviews have picked this one out as one of the best tracks - even though it’s only just over a minute long (maybe they only got that far...). It’s a neat little song, just Tori on piano, which is what she does best. Not sure how this one will stand up to the tests of time - how much longer will George Bush be around in power for? It‘s unusual for Tori to do something so direct - but I like it anyway. 8
Big Wheel - awesome first single. I challenge anyone to resist shaking their butt to this. I love the bit in the middle where Tori just chants ‘I am an MILF’ (even though those silly American radio stations didn‘t love it lol) - all very groovy. 9
Bouncing Off Clouds - Wow, Tori has never done a song like this before. It’s very Kate Bush, very dancey - in fact it makes me want to hire out a nightclub and just dance to it all night. Having the lyrics in the CD booklet brings out some of the hard-to-hear lyrics, such as the background lyric ‘I’ll put on my silver’ (such a cool little clouds reference) - I love that little lyric and I’m putting it on one of my comic character’s t-shirts. 10.
Teenage Hustling - I’m not quite there with this one yet, but as is often the case with Tori, a song can suddenly leap on you a couple of months down the line. The only weird thing about this song is that it sounds like it should be towards the end of the album. 7.
Digital Ghost - Tori’s obviously put the more straight-forward songs at the start of the album, and the experimental ones towards the end. This is another one that hasn’t grabbed me yet (although it’s one of the few ones that I didn’t listen to until the album came out - whereas I think I listened to everything else about 50 times). I don’t normally pay huge attention to lyrics, to be honest, although I do find that Tori’s made a few obvious references in this song (in your ‘net’ etc, all very computer-related), which isn’t like her. (Actually, since writing all this yesterday, this song has grown on me massively!!!) 8 and a half
You Can Bring Your Dog - Blimey, I wasn’t expecting this from a Tori album lol. Like the previous songs, this hasn’t quite grabbed me just yet, but I’m sure it will. I love it when she does the jam thing at the end and goes ‘You can bring your dog/you can bring your mom’. 7.
Mr Bad Man - I heard so many bad things about this song before I actually heard it - and I was expecting something dreadful. I thought it would be like the godawful ‘Ireland’ off the last album - what the hell was that? I absolutely adore this song - again, it’s quite Kate Bushy. Just a huge amount of fun. 9.
Fat Slut - Again, this has grabbed a lot of attention, but I’m not sure why, as it barely gets into gear before it finishes. Ah well. 5.
Girl Disappearing - It’s weird having this one follow the raucous Fat Slut. It’s not my favourite Tori ballad (well, not at the moment, anyway), but it has its moments. 8.
Secret Spell - Again, I heard bad things about this one - bland etc - but I adore it. It’s got a nice, fresh sound to it. (I’m fully aware that six months down the line I’ll probably have gone off this one and Mr Bad Man, and I’ll probably be adoring Teenage, Digital and Dog). 9.
Devils and Gods - Another interlude song that barely gets going. It’s pretty, and it’s one of those rare Tori songs that doesn’t feature any piano. 7.
Body and Soul - I’m still finding the groove of this one, but I do like it. It’s a very surprising Tori song - it reminds me of a cross between Throwing Muses and PJ Harvey. I’m trying to distance myself from the fact it reminds me, in the verses, of Spirit in the Sky and that awful Rachel Stevens pop song (she only really had one, didn’t she). 8.
Father’s Son - This is a gorgeous little gem, so nice to hear so much piano. 8.
Programmable Soda - I thought I would hate this one as I‘m not a huge fan of Tori‘s eccentric, whimsical songs. I saw Tori play it on a daytime TV show (for old people) and first I thought ‘okaaaaay’ and then I thought ‘did she just say ‘genital panic’ on daytime TV?’ (yes she did). I love it though, and I love her singing on this one. 8.
Code Red - Oh my god. Now this is where the album really turns a corner - it’s pretty much all top-notch from here on. This song is fucking fantastic - it took me a few listens - it’s kind of a groovier sister of ‘iieee’ from her fourth album. Probably my favourite at the moment. 10.
Roosterspur Bridge - Swoon. I’ve been waiting for Tori to do a sad little song like this for a long, long time. Wow, takes my breath away and brings a teeny tear to my eyes. 10.
Beauty of Speed - At first I just dismissed this as another Carbon/Barons of Suburbia song, but this just about carves its very own little niche. This is pretty much a perfect, beautiful song - oh and I love the ‘temper-ature‘ lyric. 9.
Almost Rosey - This is a great song, but my only problem with it is that I heard it totally acoustic first, so it’s a shock to hear so much instrumentation on it. I do think the instrumentation adds to the song, it gives it a sense of drama, but maybe it could have been introduced a bit later on in the song (especially the guitar). It just seems maybe a bit over-produced. It’s a gorgeous song though. 9.
Velvet Revolution - One of the shorter songs on the album (and one that I’d have been happy to see go off the album) - it’s fine for what it is, but not really my cup of tea. 6.
Dark Side of the Sun - I guess this is kind of the show-piece/climax of the album and I wasn’t looking forward to this one, mainly because I don’t always like the showpiece songs on Tori albums - or at least they’re not normally my favourites (Little Earthquakes, Yes Anastasia, Scarlet’s Walk, The Beekeeper). This one blows my mind though - a real powerhouse of a song. 9.
Posse Bonus - hehe fantastic - just a whole bunch of fun. I was worried this one might irritate me a bit, but I really don’t think it will. 8.
Smokey Joe - This is another one that I am less familiar with, but I can tell it’s really going to grow on me. I absolutely adore the idea behind this song - it’s kind of an insane duet with one of the Doll Posse (Pip) - they practically sing on top of each other and you can only hear the lyrics if you check out the lyrics sheet. I love it when Tori layers her lyrics like this - she did it on Space Dog and Doughnut Song. 8.
Dragon - Again, not very familiar with this one yet, but I know it’s going to become one of my favourite ever Tori songs - I can just tell. The piano at the start just sends shivers down my spine - and I wish Tori would do more piano-based songs like this. 9.
Miracle - This is a kind of b-side thing - an extra available through i-tunes. It’s a great little pop song, I really like it - glad it’s not on the album though! 7.