Posts from 4th October 2003

Oct 03

Not to be a contrarian or anything

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Not to be a contrarian or anything, but when they make this big thing about how lame the youthful Hitler’s paintings were (HITLER: THE RISE OF EVIL starring Robert Carlyle, but in fact also everything else about Hitler ever), what’s the point being made, exactly? i. That Academies of Fine Arts have never turned anyone away who deserved to get in? ii. That genuine artistic sensibility of course never cohabits with that level of evil damage? or iii. That if this genocidal criminal had actually been the greatest painter of the age, this would be some kind of a silver lining? See, even if he really WAS good enough to get into Art School and got turned down for disgraceful or class-prejudiced or even art-prejudiced reasons, that doesn’t excuse how he went on to revenge it. (Maybe this is a silly point to be bothered by, given the subject, but I feel in some obscure way that laying SUCH stress on the question of his talent is ceding Adolf a point somewhere…)

SLIM WHITMAN – “Rose Marie”

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#36, 29th July 1955

A strange but very effective combination of music-hall corn and lonesome prairie ballad, with Whitman sliding vocally between a stagey archness and soft sad yodelling. The backing – clumsy piano, whistling and lovely touches of slide guitar – was what won me over first of all, then the singing, and finally the song. The love-hate dynamic here – being in erotic thrall to a woman you half dread but can?t escape – is an old blues theme, older than the blues really. “Rose Marie” sounds like it might be an old song, too, with little archaisms (“‘Twould mean my life”) and the fated fealty of the concluding lines: “Of all the queens that ever lived I’d choose you / To rule me my Rose Marie”.

Dom Reardon Interview

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EXCLUSIVE Freaky Trigger reveals FILTHY THORTS of the SICKO who’s got YOUR kids TERRIFIED to go on the Tube BECAUSE OF THE INSECT ZOMBIE FREAKS. By Al Ewing.

At gore-fest ‘comic’ magazine 2000AD he goes by the name of ‘Dom-2’ – THESE PERVS PRETEND TO BE ROBOTS but their LUST FOR BLOOD AND FILTH is all too human. And at FREAKY TRIGGER we’re proud to lift the lid on the psycho cesspit YOUR CHILD is exposed to weekly. It’s like Rupert the Bear IF HE LIVED IN A SICKO’S DREAM. Korky the Cat wouldn’t scamper down the Central Line with his head on backwards but if the terrifying ‘art’ of DOM REARDON is anything to go by then Ally Sloper must be TURNING IN HIS GRAVE – and then bursting out of it to TEAR THE FACE off an old granny and SCOFF her transversus muscle layer. YOU COULDN’T MAKE IT UP. Under the pretence of a ‘friendly interview’ we got as close as we dared to THE FOUL BRAIN WRONG of the immaculate ‘King Of Sin’ – trying to find out the UGLY truth behind the man who BEGS normal folk to PUNCH HIS FACE IN at conventions and who now POLLUTES the minds and hearts of children, aided by known enemy of mankind Gordon Rennie, with the ongoing series ‘Caballistics Inc’ – ACCLAIMED by the FEAR-PORN ADDICTS who’d like to see DEMONS POSSESSING OUR PETS in an ORGY OF BLOOD SEX RITUAL DEATH.


“Tell us about the whole face punching episode.
Well, I’m all for peace, love and the general pursuit of happiness… but sometimes what you really need is a good solid blow to the face.

How did you get started in comics in the first place?
My first proper comics based commission was a pin up poster for a 2000ad sci fi special. It was a painting of Slaine… it wasn’t very good. I’ve always loved comics, before it became a job I used to make up characters and stories and draw them just for fun.

Caballistics Inc in 2000AD is what you’re most associated with right now. Probably.
Did Gordon Rennie have you in mind from the get-go?

No, it was supposed to be Frazer Irving. I just stood behind him.

What was your input in terms of character design and the like?
Gordon sent me descriptions and I worked them up from there. I didn’t get to decide what kind of people they are, but I got to decide what they look like, what they wear, their mannerisms and stuff…

Is there a single episode you’re proudest of so far?
Not really, there are a few single pages that I like. I always try to make each episode better than the last, there are some coming up in the next series which I’m quite pleased with, but by the time they’re printed I’ll be more concerned with what comes next.

Was there a pre-2000AD for you, and if so, what did it consist of and where can people buy it?
Comic-wise nothing published. I had a couple of characters I used to draw who were ‘Reality Investigators’ – they had philosophical adventures in cafes and the whole thing was based around bad puns. I’d love to bring them back one day…

What practical advice would you give to up-and-coming artists?
Draw a lot. Sketch from life as often as possible. Work from scripts (professional scripts are best). If you want to do comics being able to draw is not enough – you have to be able to tell a story and that’s a whole different thing. Find yourself a style and make sure you can employ it consistently. Finally and most importantly, you MUST go to conventions, get outrageously drunk and make a complete idiot of yourself.

How can somebody survive and prosper in the event of nuclear war?
By injecting themselves with scorpion DNA.

Where do you see UK comics going in the future?
To be honest I don’t think about this kind of thing, I just love drawing stories and I hope that there will always be a place for that.

If you could eat the still-beating heart of any comics professional and so gain their strength, who would it be? And would you feel pleasure in the act?
Alan Moore. And no, I would gain no pleasure in doing so, it would be a terrible loss to the world… in fact, Alan can keep his heart, so long as he continues to use it wisely.

Not hungry for main course, not hungry for pudding. There’s starving kids who’d be glad of that heart. Any plans to burst onto the US scene?
None at the present. I’m happy doing Caballistics.

I’ve noticed that you’re one of the few artists working today – perhaps the only one – with any sense of sartorial elegance. The others are all scruffians. The lot of them. What gives you this clothing-related je ne sais quoi?
As Dom sits, hunched over his computer, he notices a new burn hole in his silk dressing gown… Bollocks, he thinks…

What are your influences outside the comics field?
Egon Schiele all the way.

What’s coming up in the future of Dom Reardon?
I’m just going to carry on with Caballistics until October 2004 when I’m going to get mauled by a giant squid.

Watching Jackass with two friends

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Watching Jackass with two friends (he just loves it, she’s alternately amused and appalled), the Iron Law of the Playground comes to mind: if a small boy pulls a girl’s pigtails or punches her in the face, it’s sometimes because he doesn’t know how to say how much he likes her. OK, so here’s Johnny Knoxville with his trousers round his ankles, letting himself be filmed as his buddies aim baseballs, croquet balls and paintballs at HIS balls: Xtreme Laddishness as “Ironic” Queer Tourism, Hullo? Part of you wants to say, “Talk abt denial, GET A ROOM, GUYS, sheesh!” Except how is the word “Jackass” denial at all, and not full-on Pat Califian declaration: “I filmed the WHOLE SQUAD fucking me up the butt and I didn’t feel anything: THAT’S how not-gay I am…”