Monday, March 31, 2008

Meet the new guys...

So I'm trying to raise my game a bit now - and I've had feedback from a couple of people to help me - mostly to get rid of my cross-hatching, which is good advice.
And so now you can meet two of the new team-members of Spandex!
Coming soon - it's going to be cool!

Awful programme!!!

I quite enjoyed How do they solve a problem like Maria and the Joseph show - but this new Nancy show is just one step too far. first of all, I cannot take anything where they go to 'Nancy school' etc seriously. SEcondly, is Nancy really a big role? Thirdly, the contestants are all utterly nauseating and love-y darling - get off my screen and stop crying all the time! And finally - John 'I know my craft' Barrowman. Fetch me a bucket puh-lease!
I think this show format has had its day, and it's intersting how Kevin Spacey has slagged it off and brought up the fact that the BBC are basically lining Andrew Lloyd WEbber's pockets...

Evil papers!!!

In London we get lots of free newspapers - the Metro in the morning (which is also available in other main cities) and in the evening we get the London Lite and the London Paper (I don't get the latter because the ink rubs off all over your hands - it's ridiculous).
I've noticed a bit of a disturbing trend though...
The Metro - what a scare-mongering paper!!! I've just woken up, I'm tired, I'm nervous about some stuff coming up in the day - and what do I get from this free paper - a headline stating how I'm going to die. I'm going to catch the latest new strand of MSRA, I'm going to get cancer from eating a sausage every day (honestly, that was today's headline), I'm going to die from stress, and so on. It's just so horrible!!!
And I do like the Lite, but I am sooooo FED UP of hearing about Amy bloody Winehouse, Britney bloody Spears, and all those other 'celebs' that I'm not going to waste my time writing about...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mid-life crisis?

Is it possible to have a mid-life crisis at 33? Maybe not (but I’ll be 34 on Saturday, so maybe the answer is yes lol).
Anyway, I went to a Chinese comics day yesterday, and it was very awe-inspiring, especially the young artist known as Benjamin who drew live on stage (yes I know it sounds boring, but you had to be there - it was amazing). Watch for him, he's going to be huge.
But the downside is that it left me feeling untalented in comparison. And I was showing my comic to people and not many people seemed interested and a few people even turned down free copies.
So there’s two things here - first up, the whole point of this blog is supposed be about my O Men thoughts (rather than my thoughts on the latest Lost episode lol) so I wanted to write this here, and also the other thing is that the intention of this message isn’t for everyone to write and say ‘nooo martin you’re great’ or something and rally round because I don’t really want that - because I think I'm figuring things out in my head.
Basically, when I started The O Men, I knew I wasn’t ready, but I figured that if I waited til I was ready, I’d never start. And yes, the first few issues were very rough but I think I’ve improved.
Now I’m at a stage where I am very proud of an issue when I’m doing it but when I get the final version, it sometimes doesn’t seem to be quite there. I don’t know what happens with my art, but somehow my pencils and my sketches look better than the finished version. Maybe, as a self-taught chap, I’ve missed out on some useful illustration courses/techinques. The final version often seems too simple.
But here’s the thing, I figure that I’m telling a story, this is a story I have to tell, and this is the form it’s coming in, good or bad. It could be a cave-painting, but it’s a story I want to tell. Art and story are just combining here. One thing I’ve noticed with my drawing is that I pretty much always, 98%, go with the first version of a drawing that I do. I don’t re-draw, and sometimes if I struggle with a picture, I’ll often realise that I like the first version (of many) that I’ve done. It feels like what I draw is what the story wants to be.
But maybe I shouldn’t settle for this. Maybe I should aim for more perfection. I just feel like I want to get on with it and get it done. I totally admit that there are a lot of panels that I rush just to get the story done, and sometimes it’s not what I planned.
What yesterday taught me yesterday was to analyse what I’m doing, and to really go for it - to really try to hone the artwork, to really not shy away from perspective and backgrounds, just go for it, and if it takes ages it takes ages.
I’ve got my Spandex project coming up and I am very excited about it. I have never, in all my 20 or so years of drawing, earned a single penny off drawing, and I really want Spandex to get published, and I’m really going to go for it. If this means spending years on it, then that’s the way it’s going to have to be... An if anyone wants to help me, to 'edit' me - because I can't tell if a page is good or bad - then they're welcome.
So I don’t know if this makes sense, but it’s from the heart, something that’s been on my mind since the comics day yesterday, and something I wanted to write down.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Lost - mid-season break discussion...

(discussion with myself lol)

just watched Lost again - the last episode until the new batch.

okay, so what i wanted to see and know - how did Michael get off the island? fair enough, he went off in that boat, but was it really that easy?

it was good to see the big guy back again - the one with the deep voice - Zack? i assume this was before his death on the island and that he dies afterwards. and is he gay?!

the fake plane thing seems to have been cleared up and explained now. when it was mentioned last season, i thought it might have been a parallel universe. it's kinda daft...

in michael's flashback, when he's in hospital, it's Christmas - and yet it's Christmas on the island. surely it takes michael a long time to recover from his injuries? maybe it's the time warp effect?

nice to see libby again. i heard she was coming back...somehow...

i'm not a huge fan of Alex, the girl. she hasn't done much yet... The writers seem to like her...

is it just me that just thinks of the island being Hawaii - because that is where it is filmed...

the shooting at the end was intriguing... I wonder who did it... I reckon Ben ordered the shootings, he didn't seem happy about Alex being with Carl...
and check these out...

still, it's been a great start to season 4. kinda hit and miss, but a vast improvement. they need to be careful though, cos i figure they have two kinds of fans - the sci-fi people and the drama fan people - i'd class myself as the latter as i enjoyed the Juliet, Kate and Sun eps. didn't enjoy the Des ep so much - altho it did have a romantic side to it, i guess. Also - they've gotta serve the whole cast a bit more. Where have sun and jin been for most of the season? no Jack or Kate or Juliet in this mini-finale either (although I guess you don't notice until you think about it)

and good to see Miles finally got the grenade out of his mouth.
And Sayid rocks.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I love Madonna, but why does she have to make it so difficult to like her new records? I miss the old poppy Madonna. I mean, Like A Prayer is definitely in my top 10 albums ever. But recently, I just feel like she's trying too hard to be trendy. Heard the new song this week and it was just very meh. I guess I will somehow force myself to like it...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lost - Ji Yeon

I think that was what it was called. Season 3, ep 7 anyway.
I enjoyed this one, it was very very moving - and it's nice to see Sun and Jin do something for a change.
One slight problem - and maybe I am utterly thick, but I didn't realise it was a flash-forward/back episode until I read something about it afterwards. The Sun/Jin stuff is so all over the place - is she a nasty ho, is she nice, does she love that bald guy? (no not Locke) - that I really struggle to keep up with him. I thought, when Jin got to the hospital, he'd just gone there as part of his job and he had remarried since leaving the island... And then Hurley turns up and I assumed he's the new hubby ha ha...
So I can't work out if I'm totally stupid or if the writing could have been tightened up a little.
But a good ep, and nice stuff on the freighter - bye bye Zoe Bell, very short, but sweet.
Has Michael really got amnesia? I hope not - yawn.
Has Miles still got that grenade in his mouth?
And so who are the Oceanic 6 - we've got Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun - how do Aaron and Ben fit into it?

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Brave One

Just watching The Brave One.
I think we're supposed to be shocked that Jodie bought an illegal gun - but I'm more shocked that she SMOKED A CIGARETTE in the scene just after! Smoking just seems so out-dated...
And she had sex with a man!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lost - The Other Woman

You see, whereas I didn't like last week's ep - and I seem to be in the minority - I quite enjoyed tonight's. Maybe because it brought it back more to a human level. I like Juliet a lot, and this was a neat little romance short story, cleverly using the whole Goodwin thing.
Also still loving the new guys, and Charlotte is one vicious little lady - nice!
I think the identity of the guy on the freighter is probably one of the worst kept secrets ever lol...
I have noticed something about Lost and whether you like an episode or not. You see, it's a cracking drama show, but it also has a lot of questions to answer - and sometimes even when the drama is well done, you feel a little cheated that you don't get any answers. I would so love to be a fly on the writers' wall and see how much they are making up on the spot and how much is actually planned.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Just a quickie to say the website has been updated...
And can anyone tell me how to list links to other people's blogs on my blog page please? thanks.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A bit of culture

Just got in from the opening night of a new Chinese comics exhibition - well worth a look if you're in London and it's completely free. It's in Elephant and Castle (which is like walking around a maze - we got completely lost). It's on until 11 April and you can find out more details at They're doing special events on 19th and 25th March I think - I might pop along.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Did I spell that right?
Er, anyway. I am absolutely obsessed with manga!!! It's such an awesome artform. I love reading things back to front! I love the fact that you start reading the story not knowing what the hell is going on, but before you know it, you're hooked! The only thing I don't like is that they never give you any indication how long the story is going to go on for - how many books. And the art is just always so amazing!
So having finished Death Note, I have picked up Lone Wolf and Cub, Lady Snowblood, Oldboy and am trying to get into Eden (based on my life). Also am reading Paul Gravett's book on manga.
If anyone has any manga recommendations please let me know.
As some of you know, my project after the next O men issue is a self-contained story, which I am tempted to print in manga form - faster-paced, less panels per page. We'll see.
Also tempted to release small digest collections of O men - although I'm not sure the lettering will be readable.
I'm obsessed!!!

Lost - the Constant

I seem to be in the minority, but I didn't really like last night's Lost ep. I just find the Desmond eps a bit meh, a bit pointless. I mean what did it achieve? Yeah, we get that time is screwy already. I told my friend that I didn't like it and didn't think it really did much and he said that it explained the whole of Lost!?? I'm not quite sure it did that.
So yeah, meh, the first one I haven't enjoyed this year...
And I missed Kate, Miles and the others...

Virus warning

A couple of times now, I've had a mystery 'comment' posted, which you click on and it makes my computer explode with tons of virus warnings. So I don't know what all that's about but it's a pain in the neck. Has anyone got any idea how to stop it? In the meantime, if you look at the comments section and it just has a link there, don't click on it!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Two good, but not great, films

Sometimes I go and see a film and either it inspires me completely, or just washes over me. I saw two films this week that had a bit of a different effect. I thought they were average, but they did keep my interest and had some really stand-out moments.
Daywatch - the trailer for this was phenomenal, but I knew it wouldn't live up to it, especially since everyone I knew who saw it said they hated the movie. It's actually, a really good film - sort of. There's something in every minute that is new to look at or different, and you can tell the creators are having fun. I've still got a lingering memory of a woman being attacked at a party of 'dark ones', her lying on the floor, and suddenly people's dancing legs turn into black hooves...Weird and wonderful.
It's very innovative - but sadly, it's kind of a mess. Luckily I had watched Nightwatch again recently, so I wasn't too lost - although having said that, it was only halfway thru the movie that I recognised one of the main characters from the first one (and she was a really big character lol). And when a movie's resolution hinges on a character from the first 10 minutes of the first film - well, you're pretty screwed if your memory isn't good.
Jumper is the other film. It's a highly enjoyable film, but weak on characterisation and motive. I hear they've got sequels in mind, which would probably flesh things out. I can't really imagine a sequel though - as good as the effects were, they can get a bit repetitive. I thought Hayden was okay - he's had a lot of criticism for being wooden - I think Jamie Bell was a just a bit too much, and he kind of made me glad for Hayden's boring-ness lol (and Jamie Bell hasn't really 'blossomed' has he...). Jumper would actually make for a great TV show, I think.

Good Old Fopp

Had a great day of shopping yesterday. Got my hands on the League of Ext Gentlemen Black Dossier, plus success with friends' birthday stuff (I won't bore you - although don't buy ipods from the Apple Store, they're cheaper at John Lewis). And then it all went wrong when I went to Fopp. Blimey, I love that shop. So cheap. But somehow it's always surprising that when you've bought 2 Cat Powers albums, 2 Linkin Parks, and Tell No One, Battle Royale, and DAncer in the Dark on DVD - all for under a tenner each - that it all adds up to almost 50 quid. Oops.