Posts from 4th November 2005

4
Nov 05

“Crap” claims report (2nd consecutive PBS headline with crap in, and counting…)

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 317 views

Guardian’s article on the report about the study of electrical fields on health, which predicatably came up with “there’s nothing in it, really”, has a quote from a suitably fed up prof: “This is yet another example of the modern disease of compulsive risk assessment psychosis – otherwise known as CRAP.”

Nepotism Corner AKA The 2000AD Winter Special

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 225 views

Out this week is the 2000AD Winter Special, which has not one but two stories by Vic Fluro (in his secret identity name). 2000AD used to have a convention whereby it printed the price across the rest of solar system, and this is where most of the copies of the Winter Special seem to have gone, on Earth it is rarer than hen’s teeth, unfindable in Smiths and sold out in comics shops. I found a copy in a Tooting newsie, and I’m glad I did.

I was particularly excited by this special cos it’s Vic’s first real bash at doing a ‘proper’ (i.e. at least with potential of continuing) 2000AD story. Previously he’s done Terror Tales, contemporary horror stories with a twist. Terror Tales are not my cup of tea, the whole ‘contemporary horror’ genre seems pretty laboured and wanky to me, so while I could recognise Vic’s stuff as being good examples of the style (and he does an effective body-horror one here in addition to his other story) they never really connected with me, and seemed a poor substitute for the violent and very funny stuff he’s done for fanzines.

Well, BONES OF EDEN is very violent, though not especially funny, but for my money it’s easily the best thing he’s done for Tooth and the best thing in the Winter Special. The tense banter among the survivors is a little bit Movie Dialogue 101 but the opening scene is GRATE, genuine thrill-power there, the gun twist is blackly amusing and the much-taunted throat-ripping scene is strong too. Credit also to Russel Hobain’s clean, trad 2000 art – uncluttered, strong storytelling which you need if your story is jumping about time-wise. Best of all, I actually want to read more.

And I’m not just saying all that cos he’s my brother.

The idea of the Winter Special is to try out newer writers and artists, so Bono In Eden is just one of five new strips. The others are called Earth War, Unholy Warriors, Road Warrior and – a pattern developing – Blade Warrior. Apparently Tharg is to blame for these dire names, not the poor script droids who will get the blame for them. Earth War is Bad Company fanfic, Blade Warrior is fantasy cobblers with an awful heaven vs hell setup, Road Warrior has an audacious and pleasingly silly idea that needs a couple more pages to come alive, and my tube ended before I finished Unholy Warriors but I haven’t found myself dragged back to it since. Two Judge Dredd stories with art by competition winners, and a stock Rogue Tropper yarn round the package out, and at three quid it’s probably value for money.

Something it really brings home to me – naming no names as I’m sure all involved are good sorts – is how lucky Vic was to get good art for Bones Of Eden. No matter how striking yr ideas are, lame or confusing art is going to scupper them. Hey though, that’s comics.

Al Murray Found Alive, Well

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 370 views

Some proper real actual PUB SEXISM on show last night in the Head Of Steam, Euston. I go to the bar and order a pint of Holt, 3 assorted halves, a glass of white wine, a bottle of Leffe Blond and…an pint of LIME AND SODA.

Cue gales of laughter from the barman.

“I do hope that’s a bird’s drink.” he says.

I hadn’t been paying attention, I’d been looking at the UEFA cup results scroll by on Sky Sports News. “Hmm?”

“That drink. I do hope it’s for a bird!”

(Actually it was for me.)

“Um, no, it’s not.”

More larffter. Payment added up.

“£10.70. And eighty pence of that is for a lime and soda.”

!!! Do I get a rebate or something?

I should have pointed out, in hindsight, that the only actual manly man drink there – the pint of Holt – was for “a bird”, but I didn’t, I just shuffled off. Actually the whole thing was more funny than offensive, because it seemed like such a Head Of Steam thing to happen – which is to say, it handily reinforced my prejudices against the real ale krew after a dangerous flirtation with the world of non-lager.

I still like the Head of Steam more and more as a boozer, though, despite this bad form.

The Washing Up

Blog 72 comments • 868 views

I have volunteered to do The Washing Up in my shared house For Ever, in exchange for Never Having To Do The Bathroom Or Hoovering. What madness, you may say!

The Washing Up is a chore reknowned for wrecking marriages and accelerating the deterioration of mental function, but I am Zen-like in my commitment, sticking some Pirate Drum N Bass on the radio and donning the marigolds. Fine.

EXCEPT

  • AAARGH #1: Do Not bloody put KNIVES straight into the washing up bowl WHILST MY HANDS ARE IN THERE doing said washing up. Not only will this result in my fingers being cut to ribbons but also the Washing Up Sponge being sliced up, rendering it limp and useless for further Washing Up Activity. For knife-cleansing one must switch to the Washing up BRUSH which has much hardier bristles (but fails to remove stubborn stains).
  • AAARGH #2: My housemates have a habit of placing dirty dishes/cutlery/saucepans into the empty bowl, turning on the tap and ‘leaving it to soak’. THIS WILL NOT HELP! It does not clean the items in question but turns the bowl into a Minging Washing Up Soup (or MWUS). The MWUS must be emptied, the items re-stacked onto the formica, errant forks located and the bowl cleaned of MWUS residue before Washing Up Proper can commence. It smells rank and doubles the ETA of Washing Up Completion. If you really want to aid the process yet not actually wash anything then 1) scrape off your food before dumping it on the side and 2) rinse off saucepans as soon as you have finished cooking instead of leaving them full of MWUS.
  • AAARGH #3: The poor design of our draining board means that once clean but wet items are placed on said draining board, the water drips off the side and makes a puddle on the floor! Perilous if one wishes to conduct The Washing Up sans shoes, or wishes the kitchen floor to remain unmuddied.
  • AAARGH #4: If you are going to burn porridge you can bloody well clean the pan yourself. Burnt Porridge = most adhesive substance known to man! I wonder that it is not used in the construction industry! Mmm, Burnt Porridge House. *beckons* Come here, little children….