Sunday, November 30, 2008


Cheers to Rol for the O Men mention/review on his blog :-)

goOdnight travel well...

Well just as I take a break from The O Men, I get the urge to draw a new pic. It's inspired by the penultimate track - Goodnight, Travel Well - on the Killers' new album. The song is so atmospheric, moving and chilling and dramatic - just like the future of my O-guys.

Bridgeen Valentine

Look what my chum Bridgeen Gillespie's done for me!!! Love it!!!!!
You can check out Bridgeen's gorgeous stuff here:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Batman Really IncomPrehensible

I sat down with all six Batman RIP issues and also read the previous Black Glove story...
Morrison really did lose the plot. What crappy storytelling! So confusing. And if you read Batman RIP on its own - as I did - you have no idea who those silent villains are (I only just found out they were introduced in the Black Glove story) or who that League of Batmen group is. Sloppy!!!
Must do better.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

First reaction to O Men 2.7

"You bastard, Martin"

Ha ha, perfect!

Grant Morrison, Batman RIP and Seven Soldiers. And strangeness.

Well what a palaver about Batman RIP this week, eh? Great publicity - but slightly embarrassing in that the issue isn’t very good. Spoilers for the rest of the paragraph: What a lame ‘death scene’ eh? Hardly a classic. And to be honest, I can’t say I understood the issue, but if Thomas Wayne is alive and a villain, then that’s really cool - altho Black Mask - Red Hood - where does it end? Yellow Pants? (Actually isn’t that Robin?) The art sucked too. Why does Morrison always make do with below-par artists? And why were the villains never properly introduced or names? They looked quite cool. One thing I did like though was Jezebel Jet. New female villain called Jezebel? Cool. Now give her some powers or something.
But still, full credit to DC for getting such good publicity.
Speaking of Morrison, I’ve been re-reading Seven Soldiers this week. Man, you need a degree to understand this book. And it’s so easy to miss stuff. All in all though, I think editors should get Morrison to rein himself in a bit - he does self-indulge a bit sometimes. Overall, re the series I’d say…
- The first issue is amazing - exceptional. One of the best superhero comics ever written…
- Klarion and Mister Miracle are pretty much gobbledegook
- Manhattan Guardian struggles a bit with boring art - but the final chapter is excellent, laying hints and connections throughout the series
- Zatanna - as one of my top 10 all-time favourite characters, I really wanted to like this more than I did… Amazing art, but a bit of a struggle.
- Frankenstein - a bit bizarre - one of the times when the Editor needs to stop letting him be so self-indulgent
- Shining Knight - very confusing in places. Nice art, if a bit muddy - but Bianchi definitely draws Justine as a guy for the first few issues.
- Bulleteer - possibly my favourite, if only because it’s the easiest to follow. Although having said that, the art and story often don’t match up - a bit sloppy. And what a huge tangent to go off on in the final issue - telling the origin story of a completely different character.
All of which probably makes you think I hated it - but not at all - it’s great to see some experimentation in comics - and maybe I’ll understand it all one day…

Monday, November 24, 2008

2.7 is DONE

It's done, it's out, I've finally done it...
Issue 2.7 is finished - hoorah! Took bloody ages...
This one spotlights Kelly and it's an issue I've been building up to for a long long time. Poor old Kel gets kidnapped and is stuck in a mansion full of nasty little traps... This one has two huge shocks at the end - I can't wait for everyone to read it and let me know what they think... (Copies are winging their way to subscribers as I type)
It's just a quid from the O Men website - highly recommended!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


A new chum in my Japanese evening class has been doing DVD swaps with me, and I got two interesting ones this week.
First up, The Happiness of the Katakurnas (that's wrong, but I'm too lazy to get up and see what it's really called - you prob know the one I mean) which is the most bizarre movie I've ever seen, but quite amusing in places.
Second one was the director's cut of Lady Vengeance. Hmm... The whole thing about this director's cut is that the movie slowly turns into black and white - which sounds really cool, but I've gotta say, it didn't impress me that much (love the movie though). Also, one of my favourite scenes is when the families meet together in the cake shop at the end, and the warm colours in that scene are a highlight for me, it's kind of like a rebirth for them all - but it's obviously lost with the black and white. Also I think rather than just fading out the colour, they could have used a more interesting technique, like making the picture grainy. Plus of course, having it fade to white, instead of fading to black right at the end would have been a really nice touch.
On another movies note - I rejoined recently. I was in it a while ago and found it really hard to find time to watch the DVDs they sent me. But I rejoined last week - and actually found it hard to think up movies I wanted to watch!
I'm not really sure why I rejoined actually (apart from avoiding Blockbuster's rip-off prices) because I have a ton of movies I've recorded on my BT Vision, plus I've decided to re-watch the Lord of the Rings movies in the run-up to Christmas (so that's like 20 hours).


I haven’t been to any cons for a couple of years for various reasons - but I popped along to a small press day at the Comica today. I’d planned to go all week - and then found myself busy on the day and almost didn’t go, but then my new comics chum Bridgeen ordered me to go - and I’m so glad I did!
So nice to bump into old friends and familiar faces including good old Sina Shamsavari who contributed to the O Men anthology, plus comics royalty Paul Gravett who I gave some O Men to in the hopes that he will somehow magically think I am the future of comics and will do a South Bank documentary on me.
It was quite a small venue, but it seemed quite bustle-y and nice and relatively busy. These are some of my highlights...
- I was chuffed to bump into Selina and Jay from Factor Fiction press. These guys are two of the nicest people in small press comics and they've just put together a collection of their Girly Comic in a beautiful book which I was glad to get my hands on, finally.
- Met up with Paul Rainey whose work I absolutely adore. He's just released the latest issue of his hilarious comic, There's No Time Like the Present.
- Got my hands on the fourth issue of the Whores of Mensa, which has the most gorgeous cover (see above). It's an anthology by Ellen Lindner, who I'm unfamiliar with, Jeremy Dennis who has such an amazing style (and is a lady, despite the name) and Sacha Mardou, who I met at Bristol a couple of years back and who is so cool and quirky. She was going to contribute to my first O Men anthology but was too busy (getting married, and silly things like that).
- Also nice to bump into Sean Azzopardi and Oli Smith, both who contributed to the O Men 2.5 anthology.

- Also got my hands on John Allison's 4th Scary Go Round collection, which looks really nice.
- Of course, the problem with comic cons is that you really want to have a look at people's wares, but you don't want to upset people by approaching their stall and not buying anything - so there's a lot of things I'd liked to have looked at but didn't. This looks like a cool mag - I bought it online when I got home - Last Hours.
So it was a really nice day, but cons normally are. I'd gone in with 20 quid but ended up wanting to spend more - luckily (because there no cash machines nearby) i found an extra tenner deep in my wallet.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Return

I finally caught Sarah Michelle Gellar's The Return this weekend. I dunno if you remember it - but it got universally PANNED last year lol. You know what, I actually didn't mind it at all! It's slow-moving and not the most original movie ever, but it did kinda have the air of one of those Asian horror movies - I'm surprised it's not a remake actually. Not bad at all.

Batman Cacophony

I checked out Batman Cacophony 1 last week, mainly because Kevin Smith normally provides good value for money, and I liked that onomatopeia character. It's not bad, a good read - but it kinda doesn't end properly, the art is unbelievably amateurish and I really think the scene where the Joker offers sex to Onomatopeia is reeeaaaally strange... Surprised there's no mature readers warning on this one...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gavin and Stacy

I'm in love! In love!!! (Twirls around)
No, not in love properly - but I'm in love with a TV show. In fact I devoured 2 series of it in a week.
Gavin and Stacy! I'd heard all the fuss but I loathe most BBC sitcoms (except for the classic ones) so I'd avoided it. Plus James Cordon irritated me a bit on Big Brother's Big Mouth.
But so many people can't be wrong, so I snapped a DVD up in a good old FOPP sale...
It's amazing. So simple and straight-forward, but the characters are laugh-out loud funny, especially Rob Brydon's partly gay Bryn and my Oscar goes to Ruth Jones as Stacy's friend. What a character - sheer genius. Everything she says and does is just so funny. Only slight prob is that the main couple are slightly dull, but they make up for it in sweetness

I'm Not a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here

What is a celebrity these days?? It's all changed hasn't it. I mean, in my day, the celebs that appeared on... what was that game show with des o'connor, and nine celebs in noughts and crosses boxes... well they were all celebs then.
So the new series of I'm A Celebrity starts and what do we get? An old Met police chief - not a celebrity! And two WAGS! Not celebrities by any stretch of the imagination. I don't even know these girls' names!!
But oh well, one of the WAGS made enough of an impression to get voted to do a 'Bushtucker trial' so she obviously made some impression on the viewers...

Thursday, November 13, 2008


One of my absolute favourite artists is James Jean - the illustrator who provides the stunning, beautiful covers to Fables - a series I don't like whatsoever (over-written).
So I was very excited to get my grubby little hands on a beautiful new book today, which collects the first 75 of his Fables covers (plus the equally gorgeous trade collections). It comes with sketches, details, and it looks like it has only got commentaries for the trade covers, which is a shame, as I'd love to know more. Books like this are great - I really loved the Sandman dust covers book and also the Preachers book (can you believe Glenn Fabry never uses photo reference!).
So anyway, if you love good comic cover art, I really recommend this book. You can check out the covers here:
But I've pasted a couple of my favourites here too - a lovely sexy cover, and then a beautifully designed cover - I love the way the woman is reclining - and i actually didn't even spot the image in the mirror for a while! Oh and there's also the cover to the latest issue - quite scary and grotesque, but stunning.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cast shot

Been working on this for a while. I really wanted to do it all in a weekend but it proved to be a bit trickier (especially when I accidentally saved it as a jpeg and had to recolour it all from scratch) – so on the whole it took about 3 or 4 weeks (but that’s like maybe half an hour a day). It’s actually an updated version of a really early O Men cast shot I did maybe 10 years ago. I’ve put both versions up – I think the version of Blackie is pretty much pasted from the original as I really liked it.
If I ever did the ‘Complete Volume One of O Men’ collection, this would be the cover (but I probably won’t do it as it’d be an 800-page brick).

What if

Have you noticed how the new What If comics are missing the point? It shouldn’t be ‘What If starring Captain America/Iron Man’ etc, it should be ‘What if...(insert cool alternate universe storyline idea here)’. Bloody comics.

The Sword

Is anyone reading The Sword? I love the Luna Bros, but they’re really testing my patience with this one. It seems like a step down from their previous work. I’m gonna stop buying the monthlies after issue 12 – hopefully it’ll read better that way.

Madame Xanadu

I thought the new Madame Xanadu Vertigo series might be worth checking out – she’s quite cool in the DCU. Jesus what is that?! It’s all about pixies and elves (as far as I can tell). Yet another Vertigo disappointment :-(


Finally caught Beowulf at the weekend. Not really a film I was that bothered about seeing – but it was cool! Really good – if a bit long. The ending was really gripping, what with all the scary dragon action.
Two bug-bears though – did they really not realise that a naked/fighting Beowulf would look a bit ...silly.
And at one point, Angelina Jolie’s demon character is wearing magic-created high heels! C’mon...this is 507AD!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Quantum of...

Well I just saw the new Bond...
It's all very slick, it's all quite entertaining, Daniel Craig is cool (he makes Pearce Brosnan look like Norris from Coronation Street)...
But I think they're missing a trick, really. I love Bond to bits. I mean, I've kinda seen each Bond film about 10 times over various bank holidays (I say 'kinda' because I've probably never really watched one all the way through - if you know what I mean - they're so bitty - you can just dip in and out). You see, I don't think Bond movies are about the stories - they're about the cool villains - and the even cooler sidekicks - and the set pieces. Bambi and Thumper from Diamonds are Forever... Oddjob... Jaws... Mr Wint and Mr Kidd... We haven't had anything like that for AGES.
Quantum of Solace didn't give us anything like that really, sadly. A toootally forgettable villain - possibly the weakest villain yet - and his sidekick was just a bloke in a dodgy wig. The Bond girl was lovely - really cool - but she reminded me, facially, of Maria off Coronation Street, so that kinda diminished that a bit. And the theme tunes just aren't classic any more are they. They do the job...but they're no Shirley Bassey are they.
Another thing that annoyed me - too much M and too much government stuff. The scenes between M and Bond just seem by the numbers. it's as if the writers think they're really important scenes, but they might as well but cliches down on post-it notes and pick them out randomly. And Judi Dench looked like a hunchbacked gnome in this movie.
Oh yeah, and one other thing - please - no more parkour in the next movie! I'm so bored of watching it. You could just so easily substitute the parkour thing in Casino Royale with the parkour in Italy in this one. Bond is about many things, but it sure ain't parkour.
So all in all...I do miss the Roger Moore era...