Sunday, September 27, 2009


New pic!
Inspired by a current movie poster...
do u know it?

Comic Crimes!

Okay, witness these!

JLA - just so lazy! ugly! And Wonder Woman has a penis thrown at her. Look at that woman's body in the final panel!!!

Spider Woman's pose. What was Maleev thinking!!!!

Namor kills his wife! Did it not occur to him that Walter Langowski could have transformed her back to Marrina or something?!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Comics Anger!!!

Comics are starting to actually make me angry!!!!!
Just the incompetence....

Three comics I read today -

Thunderbolts - awful!!! Terrible amateurish art, unbelievably bad storytelling, who are these people on the team, i don't know them?? Why did Norman say 'fetch me Songbird's head', when she was sitting right there by him. Who drew this - a four year old?? Aaargh!!!

JLA - this comic could currently single-handedly destroy any trace of credibility comics have got. It is just AWFUL. An awful team, an awful story, vomit (sorry) -inducing artwork. You can tell a comic's struggling when:
a) Tom Denerick draws it. Who is this guy? Does he draw with his feet? It's just the laziest, ugliest, unattractive art I've ever seen.
b) The Royal Flush gang are in it. A good idea, they look okay (despite their costumes being a bit skimpy), but somehow they never do anything exciting.
What is so hard to understand - JLA should be about the big DC seven, not rubbish D-listers like Vixen, Red Tornado and Firestorm...

XMen The List - okay...
So when did Normy get an underwater office? Where is he at the start of this comic??? When did Marrina come back to life? Why is Dazzler on the cover when she's not on the inside? Why did Wolverine bother showing up in this comic? Why did Wolvy skewer his old chum Marrina without a trace of sadness? Why on Earth did Cyclops call Namor 'My Lord'?
And okay - why the hell does Namor do what he did to Marrina???? Was she that beyond hope of redemption? I mean, if they'd Shakespeare-d it up, I'd have been convinced - you know, given it an air of epic tragedy, but this was definitely not Shakespeare...
And while moaning - why are the X-titles so bad at the moment? They're all over the place. Too many characters hanging around (Magik and Pixie just aren't both needed in this issue)...XMen Legacy is completely pointless...


Friday, September 25, 2009

Spider Woman

Here's a question for you, on this fine Friday morning.
Which cover of Spider Woman 1 did you go for? The 70s porn star one where she has HUGE KNOCKERS or the one where she is looking seductive and has her legs open.
I mean, jeez, since when was Spider Woman 'cheese cake'?
oh no wait, there was that anatomically impossible New Avengers cover wasn't there - and the scene where she walks downstairs in costume and all the Avengers guy start salivating.
I mean, c'mon, I know people are generally trying to make comics more mature and write women as strong characters, but they seem to be making Spider Woman the exception.

So anyway, we finally now have the Spider Woman comic - about 2 years after it was initially mentioned (I'm guessing it got hugely delayed when Bendis decided to make her a Skrull).
I was quite excited about this. Like many people, I'd been starting to go off comics - and Walking Dead is really the only comic that makes me still go to the comic shop - but now Powers is coming back, and we've got Spider Woman too.

So is SW any good?
Well it's certainly no Alias, sadly. I'll stick with it, but SW has the most unnecessarily over-convoluted origin of any character ever (and it's still boring). I love Alex Maleev's art, but he does seem to 'cheat' by tracing everything - and there is one horrendous panel which is so 'stiff' and 'posed' that I'm amazed they actually pritned it. I might scan it later if i get the chance.

So anyway, fingers crossed it gets a lot better.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Under the Dome

Well I'm quite excited about the new Stephen King novel...
I first heard about it in the intro to Blaze - where King discusses an old abandoned manuscript called The Cannibals - which sounded so cool.
I'm not sure it'll be as good as everyone predicts - Kingy seems to have gone a little bit off the boil.. but I can't wait! I hope it's nice and epic (more epic than 'Desperation', which was called 'epic' but wasn't really).
The only problem is...the premise.
Town gets trapped under an invisible dome.
Are the Editors too polite to point out that this already happened in the Simpons Movie - and to a less famous extent, in the Girls comic?

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Just a short review, I won't witter on.
Finally saw Inglourious Basterds today.
It was ...interesting. Boy was it slow. Never boring, but slow. Yes, QT, we get it, you're a good film-maker, you've got style, but just get on with it.
It's definitely worth a look...but it's not a classic. And where Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill brought QT into completely new realms, this one seemed maybe too familiar - in little touches like the credits and the use of music that has appeared in Kill Bill. Plus a couple of slopply mistakes, such as 'the Bear Jew' pulping a Nazi's head nastily, and then in the next shot, the Nazi looks fairly untouched.
Brad Pitt didn't particularly impress, the 'Jew Hunter' guy was good, but should have got a nastier fate (considering a 'less evil' Nazi soldier shared the same fate).
Best thing for me was Melanie Laurent as Shonessa - just an amazing role, an amazing actress, an amazing character.
Too bad you had to wade through a way-too-long film to get thru to the good stuff.
I kind of left the movie a bit shocked and disturbed... images of Shonessa laughing manically... the nasty Nazi symbol-cutting... and ...was it just me who felt sorry for the Nazis/Hitler...????

Friday, September 18, 2009


oh my god, Tori has another new album out in November! She only just had one out! weeeee!
it's a Christmas album though... with a strange cover...altho i don't mind it.
So much excitement! And not long to wait, so I am going to try and 'hold back' and not listen to it before it's released.

Tori Amos Announces Midwinter Graces
(Universal Republic)

Tori’s First and Highly Anticipated Seasonal Album to be Released November 10th 2009

After nearly two decades writing and recording some of her generation’s most emotionally powerful music, Tori Amos will release her first seasonal album, Midwinter Graces, on November 10 via Universal Republic. A follow up to Tori’s critically acclaimed studio album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, Midwinter Graces will find Tori reworking and expanding on classic carols as well as developing some of her very own seasonal tracks.

Midwinter Graces is an album that has been in the making for the past 40 years. Raised in the Baltimore area under the watchful eye of her Methodist minister father, Tori grew up playing holiday carols at Sunday services and Christmas Day celebrations in her father’s church. These were the songs that gave a young Tori her first taste of music, and now almost 40 years later Tori gets her own chance to reimagine classics like “What Child, Nowell” and “Star of Wonder.” Tori will also add her own bittersweet bliss to the season with originally tracks like “Pink and Glitter” and “Our New Year.”

For Midwinter Graces, Amos has again teamed up with long time collaborators Matt Chamberlain on drums, Jon Evans on bass, and Mac Aladdin on guitars. Tori has enlisted the help of a Big Band and an Orchestra with stunning John Philip Shenale arrangements to create Tori’s new seasonal classics.

Midwinter Graces Tracklist:
1. What Child, Nowell
2. Star of Wonder
3. A Silent Night with You
4. Candle: Coventry Carol
5. Holy, Ivy, and Rose
6. Harps of Gold
7. Snow Angel
8. Jeanette, Isabella
9. Pink and Glitter
10. Emmanuel
11. Winter’s Carol
12. Our New Year

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The fates have come together and my lovely 80GB video ipod is dying, apple have released new ipod models, and my mobile contract is up soon...
Do I get an iphone?? has anyone got one? recommend them?
I always fancied an ipod touch but they never had much capacity - now they're up to 62!
And now Classic Ipod have 160 gb wow!!!!!
Hmm not sure what to do... Get all 3?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Will it ever end???

I've finished Spandex... except i haven't! I'm going thru it over and over again and I keep spotting mistakes!
A couple of friends told me to 'now let it go' last week - just be happy with it...
But you wouldn't believe the stuff I'm spotting. Disappearing side-burns, changing costumes, faded colours that need re-tuning. Are there gremlins in my Photoshop???
Tonight I spotted that Glitter's tattoos change direction (they're supposed to be diagonal, but in some pics they just go vertical), his mask changes shape, his tattoos don't finish, and there's even an arrow on his body where I was supposed to move the tattoos down!!!! How'd I miss that???? That would have been so embarrassing if it had slipped thru. I've pasted here the wrong mask shot/wrong tattoos, the unfinished tattoos, and the arrow! D'oh!
Ah well, I think I'm getting there, and I'm sure some gaffs will slip thru (hopefully no one will notice!)
I'll keep checking for a few more days, as some really silly things are happening... Mixing up people's powers...stuff like that...urrgh

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Random observations on comics

This always happens - i grab a handful of comics from work and then get loads of opinions about them which i need to 'vent', and where better to do it? So here we go...

Marvel Zombies Return
Oh just stop it.

The Marvels Project

Adventure Comics
It's issue 2, and all it is is a 'date' between Connor and Wonder Girl. Oh come on now, DC, must do better! I mean, it's all nice enough, but do you really think you're gonna 'hook' readers with stuff like this?
In general, DC just need to focus on actually telling stories, rather than going over mythology over and over again. Look at Flash... just give me a proper story, not all this alternate Flash stuff - I honestly don't give a crap.

Black Panther

Fantastic Four
It's the new creative team, and I think I'll just read work copies rather than buying it now. Absolutely loved Millar and Hitch's run, despite ending without Hitch. One major question looms over the new issue - why is Dale Eaglesham drawing everyone like they are entering a Mr Universe competition? Johnny is huge!
And one thing I love about the FF - Valeria! Such a cool character (4 year old genius). Give me Valeria over Layla ('i know stuff' bloody know-it-all) any day.

Iron Man
So Madam Masque is Miss Frost (Whitney isn't it?). That's a bit jarring seeing as Emma Frost is so huge now.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Slowly getting there....

Well... I think Spandex is done...
I've checked it several times and can't believe some of the mistakes that snuck through (I liked Glitter's disappearing sideburns the best)... And I'm sure there are plenty more mistakes...But I think I have to draw a line under it now... Maybe just one more read through.
I pretty much know what I'm doing print wise now and I'm happy with it. I need to figure out how to create a downloadable PDF too, but I'm sure I'll get there.
And also, thanks to a suggestion from my workchum Andrew, I'll be printing out a freebie sampler - it'll be an A3 sheet folded very cleverly to include lots of mini-pages and info and two posters! Take a look at these, these will be part of the free sampler.


What a week!!!
My friends all think I'm mad but... I saw Tori in concert 3 times! I'm a groupie!
But the thing just have to go and see her more than once. She varies the setlist every night, so the thought of missing out on a fave song is unbearable!!! I mean, she does around 5 songs the same each night (Cornflake Girl, Precious Thing, opener Give, closer Strong Black Vine, and stomper Big Wheel)

Concert #1 - up in Birmingham. I had to see her as she was playing the Birmingham Symphony Hall, an absolutely gorgeous venue that I'd prayed she would play one day. Very intense...very scary...not knowing quite what to expect...
Audience was a bit dull but eventually warmed up... Tori said she was sad that her daughter had to go back to school and then launched into Leaving On A Jet Plane. Playboy Mommy, Siren, Cloud on Your Tongue, Sister Janet, and Your Cloud were all amazing, and Take to the Sky - with I Feel the Earth Move inserted in the middle - was a true stomper. Strong Black Vine was funny as her ear piece fell out and she improv'd a new mini-song about it 'I can't heeear' hehe. A great show.

Concert #2 - London Hammersmith Apollo. A strange experience because I was with 2 friends, one who had never seen her before - so I was nervous and wanted him to like it! It was a great show again, but not as good as #3 (I won't tell them that!). I felt a bit she repeated a couple of songs from the Brum concert that were a bit weak live. However, there were some fab songs - Space Dog, Pancake, Icicle, Jamaica Inn, Cooling, and Lady in Blue which was just 10 out of 10. Big Wheel was hiliarous because she lost track of the countdown-handclaps so had to redo it over and over again hehe. One problem with this gig was the audience - I don't know what the hell was up with them getting up and down up and down for beers all the time.

Concert #3 - London Hammersmith Apollo again (zzz dull place!). This was amazing... Tori's not the same as she used to be. I've seen her on every tour she's done. She started off chatty and funny in the early days, and full of improvisations and innovation in her songs, but over the years, the anecdotes and chats have died down (I guess you run out of things to say?). But she seemed to connect more with us than she usually does these days, and there was a lot of energy in the concert.
Also, the setlist was totally different from the previous day (apart from the five 'standards') which was really appreciated. She looked stunning in a gold outfit.
Some great songs including Marys of the Sea (worked so well live), Welcome to England (I saw this solo at the Savoy but it was great with the band), Putting the Damage on, Hotel, Body and Soul,
Tori does a solo bit in the middle, and this one was phenomenal. Two truly classic songs from Boys for Pele, Mr Zebra and Not the Red Baron, and new song Ophelia which was so fresh, and just reinvograted my Tori stalker-fandom. Reminded me of how fantastic she really can be in concert.
Precious Things this tour was amazing - she's really played with the structure of the song to include dramatic pauses and kind of a remix-y vibe to it, where she doesn't sing all the lyrics properly.
The song that impressed me the most this tour though was Strong Black Vine - which she played each night, and which slowly crept up on me. There's a fabulous improv thing in the middle where she just sings 'She is a mother-fuckeeeer' for about 5 minutes! Amazing!
The audience behaved a bit better in the 2nd London concert. I'd actually emailed the Hammersmith Apollo to complain, and they seemed a lot more on the ball where it came to audience distractions and people filming the show - altho sadly this backfired as for most of the concert all i could see was the doddery old security guard running around. Also there seemed to be about 4 guys who were incontinent and kept going to the toilet...
Anyway, roll on the next tour!!! More!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I was asked to review Preacher Book One (hardcover) and my review is now online!

A travesty of justice!!

Ha ha not really...
Anyway, I am fine about not getting arts council funding for Spandex. I'm actually quite excited, as it will properly my 'baby' and i won't have to include things in the comic that I just said I'd include in order to get funding hehe.
It's quite funny how it's all worked out. I've pretty much finished issue one now, just as the funding decision came through.
So the plan - stick it online as a PDF, but also print up 200 or so copies. 40 pages, full colour isn't quite as exorbitant as I'd feared, and won't break the bank (which means I won't lose all my savings!).
I think my only decision is whether to keep it a5 or go crazy and go a4. a4'll be a lot more money though I think. I'll get a5 and a4 proofs printed up, so I'll see how it looks.
Also need to decide how much to charge for it. It'll prob be a quid for download. Copies will set me back £2.80 an I should really charge over 3 quid for it... But I might just charge 2 quid or 2.50. This is just an experiment to me, it's more about putting heart and soul into it, I'm not that bothered about being a millionaire (yet). I've never been a fan of expensive comics, and hey we're in a recession people!
If anyone has any thoughts, please let me know.

In the meantime, I thought I'd show you the letter i got explaining why I didn't get funding. It looks like I was a cat's whisker away from getting it - but was under-ambitious in making money apparently (I thought the idea was we couldn't make money - oh well!)

Dear Martin

Your application scored Met Strong in Artistic Quality, Management and Public Engagement, and scored Met in Finance. Grants for the Arts is very competitive and when applications reach the panel stage, decision making can come down to the overall scoring. Your overall score was 11 and as it did not score Met Strong in every part of the criteria, it lost out to stronger applications.

The reason I scored the finance part of the application Met was because although you had good financial controls in place and a well thought out distribution strategy, you did not include a fee for yourself. The Arts Council aims to support artists and wants to see artists receive a fair fee for the work they do. I recommend that you reapply and this time include a fee for yourself. Details on artists' daily and pro-rata rates can be found through Artist Newsletter (AN). Including a fee would increase your ask slightly, and although your what you requested before was reasonable, I would continue to seek partnership funding from other sources, as this can also make your application stronger. I realise that finding other funders for
With best wishes

Friday, September 4, 2009


I didn't get funding for Spandex 1!!!
'Too much competition'. aaargh!
I've been filling out forms since March!!!
Everyone I know who's applied for funding received it (three!)

Ah well...
I'll get it out there somehow :-)
Might just print up a modest amount instead of 1000... Put it online... Set up a Facebook page... Still do PR in mags...