So I’ve been spelling “Gaijin” wrong all this time…

Then way I was writing it actually said “emerging person” rather than “outside person”. If I’d put that on my t-shirt people might have thought I was wandering about giving birth and just wanted to advise them. Luckily I looked it up before I made any blunder with the fabric marker.

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And with that, it was off to the MCM expo!

As I can’t sell my already-printed copies of The Red, White & Blue and The Trident, I was going to give them away for free. However it seems like I still can’t give my comics away even at a comic convention while wearing a T-shirt labelled “FREE COMICS”. Only one guy actually came up to me and asked for some, the rest of the time I had to persuade people to take them, usually bemused stall-holders.

I also forgot to take a proper camera and forgot to take pictures at the actual event so am just going to chuck up the few I have randomly.

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Canned coffee and having to hold on to my ticket to make sure I don’t lose it. It’s just like Japan!

The train journey was remarkably problem-free, hooray.  Mind you at one point I did just assume an oriental-looking guy at the Docklands Light Railway was going to MCM and started to give him directions, when he actually wanted to go to Tower Bridge or something, oops.

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A basketball court in the middle of the neighbourhood? Are they trying to be some sort of shitty pound-shop version of America? … oh yeah, it’s London.

After arriving the Qeue took TWO BLOODY HOURS. There was some interesting cosplays though. Including a guy who had dressed up as a death note, as in the actual book. He was getting people to write in it, unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to add “Chris Moyles, 2nd June 2011, 9:30. Mysterious inexplicable release of 10 alligators into the studio”.

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What? Did the builder’s union demand that an unfinished roof be put on to symbolise the plight of the homeless Nicaraguan yak-combers? Probably, this is London.

Anyway after finally getting through that (and in spite of worries that I’d be chucked out for being an “unauthorised seller” as I had a backpack full of “stock”) I finally got into the enormously-crowded convention proper and began to wander. Of course I first went to the Sweatdrop Studios table as somebody on their forums had said she wanted my free comics. But she wasn’t there at the time. I then wandered around the very narrow and overcrowded small press area. I didn’t have much money to had to pass a lot of people by 🙁

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I suppose the Kremlin jokes have already been done. Why didn’t they build some grand and imposing edifice with columns, sash windows and a statue of Britannia? Oh yeah, London.

I then looked around the “main” part of the convention, mainly looking for a Shonen Jump stand to see if I could get the latest Bakuman book. However I couldn’t find it, but then noticed the Manga Entertainment stand had a familiar shape, and lo and behold there was number 5! Also the Tokyopop stand was a sad sight, just a bunch of trestle tables with cardboard boxes on them and hand-drawn clearance sale signs. However as I don’t really like Manga and have no intention of getting into a series published by a defunct company I actually only got one book… a Star Trek manga. No, really!

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Do driverless trains need wipers?

After a lot more wandering I went back to the small pressers and encountered some I knew, mainly Jenkia Ioffreda who does Vampire Freestyle (I think I have them all now XD), Ushio who does Japanofail and some other things which he very generously gave me for free in exchange for free comics, and Yuri Kore who won a manga competition organised by the Japanese embassy. She didn’t have any new books out but is fun to talk to, she said she’d be moving back to Korea and I said I might move to Japan, which turned in to “when you visit Korea email me” XD.

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There was a building that looked like the Fukushima nuclear power plants, before explosion, but I couldn’t take a decent pic.

After that I had a “not brilliant” ham and cheese …thing. I should mention there was actually two conventions going on at the same time. The other one was the international confrence on rheumatology or some such thing. Some of the delegates came out while I was eating and had to walk through the gauntlet of people dressed up as anime/star wars/video game characters. The look on their faces…! Then I got out more money and went hall wandering again. I caught a bit of a talk by the bloke who made Simon’s Cat. He said he made it ages ago but never bothered to put it online. Then his friends took it as a movie to embed into their website just to see if such a thing world work… and it got so many hits their server crashed XD.

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The qeue as I first joined it

I later visited the rather infamous Yaoi stall over in one corner of the hall. Apparently it first appeared in around 2006 and has attracted occasional controversy, mainly from the improvised songs sung by the proprietor that contain the sort of language that The Macc Lads usually peddle.  It’s also horrendously overpriced and the comic I bought, vaguely promising to show Cloud from FF7 and Squall from FF8, has no porn at all! I’ll not get stung again… at least the “Yaoi” comic I bought last year from a different stall has a decently long story and is in a language I can read XD.

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And here’s the back corner of the room, still qeueing XD. The ticket desk is somewhere in the middle.

About 4-ish I decided it was time to go so I’d get home in time for Doctor Who (I didn’t, I’ll iplayer it later XD). I went to Kings Cross and caught a direct train to Cambridge near enough AS the doors were closing. Then waited a wee while for another one to Ely. Then had nice steak.

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The buys, minus Bakuman book 5

Here is some post so it looks like I still had something to type and so spread the pictures out better than I actually did.

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Sweatdrop studios stuff! An entry about them will eventually appear in my comic blog.

Thou shalt not speak cock-a-knee

If working as an English Teacher in Carry-the-can doesn’t work out I can always open a rub-a-dub-dub there. I’ll put this rosemary and thyme in the roger moore:

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It’s not quite the Tsukiji fish market but I saw this uncle sam on the way to the gates of rome today:

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I hope it wasn’t left standing in the currant bun, can you imagine the time in clink?

I took this dolly mixture for a round the bend but now I can’t remember who:

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I was barred & bolted at the lemon ‘n lime. Traffic was alan ladd today

Tomorrow’s World Magazine – November 1998

I stumbled upon this while I was takling crap out of my room and then moving it back recently.

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This will be fun!

 We start with several pages of short stories about scientific developments…

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Using Hydrogen Peroxide to fuel cars? Well you certainly get a lot of bang for yer buck with that stuff. In fact the Russian Navy used it to fuel torpedoes and it’s not like they suffered any severe submarine disasters in 2000.

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Is this the first news of what eventually became Blu-ray? Also that “CD and DVD combined!” thing sounds a bit Betamax to me. Apparently (according to another article) the discs and players went on sale in Japan in late 98/early 99. I wonder how many they sold?

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A radio the size of a VCR, every home should have one

Digital radio? Only £800? Sounds alright to me! (Actually come to think of it, aren’t digital radios still fairly expensive even though basic Freeview boxes are virtually nothing?)

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Night vision HUD’s in cars! May it never become acceptable. A few car manufacturers seem to be insisting we need HUD displays as they’re “safer”. Said manufacturers also seem intent on putting the instruments in the middle of the car rather than in front of the driver to save a few quid. If they put them in the correct place we wouldn’t need some distracting, stupid, showy HUD. If I’m ever forced into owning a car with one it’ll get some black tape over the projector before I’m a mile down the road.

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In those days where 56k was fast and “Dual V90” (did that actually make any difference?) was reckless extravagance, 80gb a second must have seemed like science fiction. Mind you the web was tailored to dial-up then so I don’t suppose there was much you could have downloaded with a connection that fast… maybe all of Napster?

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Haha, the phone is bigger than the pint!

I wonder what the policy in this pub is today? Oh yeah it’s probably gone bust and closed like the thousands of others that have been swept away by the blanket smoking ban “to protect staff”. Welcome to the dole qeue, protected staff!

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What could go wrong?

Did this bloke ever…

-Finish his submarine?

-Sail it down the Thames as 1999 turned into 2000?

-Find a passenger?

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Now here’s something that has taken off, powering cars with chip fat! Apparently conversions of diesels are getting more and more common and you can use 2500 litres before paying fuel duty.

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The 90’s was a very bland decade for cars and this page shows it! Mind you the S-Type proved to be a “grower”. It doesn’t help that the photo here is about the worst possible angle to see it from. Apparently there was also a waiting list for Audi TT’s! Who the hell would want one that much? That’d be like, I don’t know, lining up outside a shop for the newest iPad, who would do that?

Oh yeah, Audi TT owners.

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Almost seems hard to believe that the true Mini was still on sale then, and the BMW 0.5 series was still on the drawing board. Of course if I had my way manufacturers would be allowed to produce “limited runs” (250,000 a year) of “dangerous cars” such as proper Minis and Morris Minors “for the enthusiast market”. If they were on sale, I suspect the “enthusiast market” would be rather bigger!

Also we see that Fiat. Apparently the styling was necessary to make a 6-seater in that size. Not for long it wasn’t!

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And here’s a terrifying look at the creeping influence of “self drive” cars. Presented (as always) as a labour saving device. One day all the cars that are in use will be fitted with shit like this. And on that day I’ll bike.

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Lol fatties

An article about the oncoming obesity epidemic. As this was 1998 it was still OK to blame the fat bastards for eating too much and sitting around all the time. Of course such a position is unacceptable today, the poor little bloaters are “food addicts” and need our help.

A wise man once said that people ought to be judged “on the content of their character”. He didn’t forsee a society in which every character flaw is explained away by vague references to tragic circumstances or psychology. Psychology being, of course, based on the opinions of various dead people and thus making as much sense as entrail reading.

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Who remembers these things? Did people actually used to always use their “30 days of free internet” (NB: Apart from the call charges, which are astronomical) and then get another CD and have another 30 days? Sounds like far too much hassle even for 1998. Or maybe that’s because my memories of early internet connecting involve my dad standing over me, reading out the terms and conditions and what to type, breathing out heavily at the end of every sentence, and then telling us not to actually use the internet once we’d got it working.

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An article on shopping in the future. With surprisingly little reference made to the internet. However there is mention of “interactive digital TV services” being used to “mail order” things from an “electronic catalogue”. Just like, erm, the internet.

The article also mentions the famous vending machines of Japan and speculates that soon they will “come to Britain’s streets”. Of course street vending machines have been around in Japan for bloody ages and they couldn’t possibly “come to Britain’s streets” because the filthy, savage underclass who just see what they want and take it would have them away in five minutes.

Of course it needn’t be like that. If only we had measures to end this culture of selfish entitlement… measure such as, say, more police, punishments that are actually a deterrent and more prisons. Apparently Britain has the biggest prison population in Europe… and? It’s obviously still not enough. More cells, harsher regimes and running jails for profit ought to see us right.

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Lol

The Millenium Bug. Lol.

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“Gadgets that never caught on” have their famous fallers, such as Betamax. Then there’s the things that were so obscure nobody even remembers them , such as these web phones. Computers, even basic ones, were still very expensive back then (we got our first one about 6 months later and it was around 2 grand) but everybody wanted the internet. So they were willing to pay for these phones or “web TV” as a quick and dirty way of getting connected.

BUT more interesting than that is the name of this phone’s competitor! Even the case of the letters is the same!

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MP3 Players, “giving the record companies the jitters” apparently. Yeah I, too, remember the great music crash of 2001 where all the major music companies collapsed one after the other. It was just like the other music crash in 1991 bought on by tape recorders, and the movie crash of 1988 bought on by VCR’s… oh, wait.

Also LOL at the proud statement that MP3 players are “truly shockproof” because there’s no disk to skip. After 10+ years of MP3 player dominance it’s hard to even remember such a problem existed.

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A PLASMA TV! That’s amazing, Plasma is like stuff they have in science fiction, such as “Colony Wars”, which is more powerful than lasers. And they’re making TV’s that run on this shit! Yours for thirteen grand, my good man.

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Growing organs and limbs in the laboratory using “stem cells”! What an amazing technology! This will make our crappy, dangerous practices such as transplants a thing of the past! (Seriously, I’d rather die than have to put up with the immune-system-smashing anti rejection drugs, it’s like deliberate HIV). What could possibly go wrong?

Oh yeah, spear-chucking under-savage scum-vermin protesters trying to hold back the progress of medical science.

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That Mars Rover that was sending it’s pictures to… THE INTERNET!! was big news then.

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Lol

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A gadget review page. And what do we have here? A digital camera that takes Video and Photos! Hey, wait, you say, how much video could a digital camera record back then? 2 minutes? Well this thing apparently uses some sort of bespoke tape that’s “about the size of a printer cartridge”. Once you’ve filled it you have to connect the camera to a normal camcorder or a VCR and copy the footage over. I can’t think why this didn’t catch on!

There’s also a Minidisc player (“The replacement for CD’s!” … for about a week). My friend had this exact model at school… paying nigh-on £300 for a paperweight. Lol. That said my Rio PMP300 was about that much and could store all of 9 tracks in ‘reasonable’ quality.

There’s also some Lie detector software (apparently you have to actually phone up the company and promise not to use it for bad purposes before they will give you the install code!) and some binoculars which have a GPS unit that shows what direction you are looking in. I suppose orienteerers use things like that.

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Haha, remember the term “surfing”? It’s possibly even more cheesy than “Information Superhighway”.

Reviews of ISP’s, once again there’s some “free” internet services. Though of course with “free” service comes a lack of support for the “lightning fast” 56k. Of course most ISP’s got you to pay monthly, pay a “connection fee” and pay for the phone calls… why did people put up with this shit?

There’s also the launch of BT’s own internet service, which has the advantage of being added directly to the phone bill and, because it’s run by the phone company, a lot cheaper. Apparently other ISP’s were actually complaining about it! Maybe they shouldn’t have been charging funny money for “free”, and slow, services and cutting people off for using “too much” of their “unlimited” internet, eh?

Oh the page also includes a few free email (“one of the greatest pleasures of being online” apparently) providers. One of them being rated higher because you can choose from “some great domain names” for your email address, such as @cheerful.com and @cyberdude.com. Cyber Dude??

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Reviews of scooters. The venerable Honda C90 (are they still being made? Or have they been abandoned because of “envrionmental” (actually greenhouse emissions from comparably-sized petrol engines have barely changed in a century) and “safety” (it’s a frigging scooter!) concerns? Wouldn’t surprise me.) gets a predictably low rating. I know which one I’d have! …in fact, Dad does have one! I ought to get it out.

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Videogame reviews! Including Rainbow Six, Final Fantasy VII, Banjo Kazooie and Red Alert: Retaliation. They give the latter a bad review but I personally loved it.

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Some website reviews, including one for the Tizer Ice website. Remember that? It was supposed to “taste like it’s cold” even when it wasn’t. In fact it tasted like a mouthful of evaporating 70% ethanol without the fun effects.

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Come on, how could you NOT trust an ISP with such a well-designed advert?

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Apple was “on the brink of death”? Quick, somebody zip back in time and tell Steve Jobs to end it all. Mind you considering that Apple are basically another Microsoft these days their “hippie spirit” died in, er, 1998.

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An interview with Richard Dawkins. He confesses he doesn’t know what a Minidisc is… don’t worry, it’s not that important XD. Also the eccentric professor prefers to use “a diary on the computer” rather than a Filofax or PDA. What a crazy guy!

Wickedawesome albums

Half of which I couldn’t actually find to photograph.

Saxon – A Collection of Metal

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Unfairly regarded as “also rans” of classic British metal, Saxon are actually amazing – and received just reward with a 50 minute set on Download’s main stage in 2010. They had also been at the first Donington rock festival, Monsters of Rock 1980. This album is a greatest hits with a few live songs thrown in.

Highpoint: 747, And The Bands Played On, Rock The Nations, Broken Heroes, Denim & Leather etc etc.

Lowpoint: Rock City, a bit cheesy if you ask me.

V8 Wankers – Foxtail Testimonial

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V8 Wankers appear to be relatively obscure even in their native Germany, but have a growing fanbase. Their songs mainly revolve around hot rods, drag races and beer. How could I not like them? This is the newest album and the only one I own so far… I got it just before Download 2010 and added it to a mix CD for playing in the campsite without listening to it, because I knew it’d be amazing. I seem to remember a few people asking me who they were… but I got uber-pissed on the first night and later we kicked the CD player to bits because the batteries ran out (even though I had spares). Oops.

Highpoint: Gun Bunny’s Bug, Match Race Madness, We’re Only Here For The Beer, Never Trust A Man Who Doesn’t Drink…

Lowpoint: Go Where The Action Is, a proper belter of a ch00n but the lyrics sound very cheesy to English speakers.

Testament – The Formation Of Damnation

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Testament are the fifth member of the “big four” of thrash. I’ve seen them twice, once in 2008 playing after Saxon – a glorious combination of rock legends that was marred by being pickpocketed. I once bought an old greatest hits CD because “it looks very 80’s”, I’d never heard of them at the time. That CD was all early stuff which has that “empty room” sound of old thrash. This one is more modern and all the better for it’s production.

Highpoint: F.E.A.R, More Than Meets The Eye

Lowpoint: The Formation Of Damnation… yes I don’t like the title track XD

The Birthday Massacre – Walking With Strangers

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This band are a kind of like Sisters of Mercy crossed with The Prodigy only with a bird singing. Oh and they’re amazing. I was introduced to them by a guy I was romancing, the only good thing that came from that relationship XD. They also have some slowly-growing popularity and I beleive have played some decent sized festivals elsewhere. They remain virtually unknown in Britain though, never seen ’em in a shop.

Highpoint: Kill The Lights, Walking With Strangers – I defy anybody not to turn them up!

Lowpoint: Goodnight.

So I stumbled onto an Otaku-filled forum…

And in among the usual “whoze cosplaying???” shite there was “Would you wear a T-shirt with the word* Gaijin on it?” that was filled with the usual bunch of Guardianite Islington-dwellers saying no because it was offensive / stupid / would make Japanese people laugh at you etc.

Anyway, would I? YES! Lets look at who such a thing would actually offend:

– Debbie, the deserving victim of an international hate campaign

– Debbie’s supporters, whose opinions are laughable and irrelevant

– Islington-dwelling Guardianistas, whose opinions are irrelevant

– Intelligent Otaku who do at least know that Japan is not a utopian wonderland, whose opinions are irrelevant

– Japanese tourists / students / residents in Britain, who will probably just keep their traps shut.

I’d make my own “Gaijin” T-shirt for the convention they were talking about, if I wasn’t instead going to be wearing one saying “FREE COMICS”, that is.

Oh well, maybe down the bottom I’ll put:

PS – Gaijin. PSS – Bulldog Drummond is the greatest.

Had a bit of charity shop luck…

People learning Japanese will probably eventually be told about the books “Japanese for Busy People”. Well I’d looked at them in shops and found them far too expensive. In one shop they were $25 that had been ‘converted’ to £24.99, and in another they were ¥2500, which is about, er, £24.99.

Well anyway the other day I found the first two in Oxfam for £4.99 each.

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Pictured: Win.

Being previously owned they contain evidence of the previous owners. One of which is a new year’s card written by some upper middle class twonk in Japan, going on about how he was going to listen to Chopin and was reading some book that “really gives you an insight into Louis XIII’s France!”. That’s a funny coincidence, though. I was reading a literary classic myself, that morning.

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Suck my culture.

Oh yeah also my room was all disarranged recently as the builders building the new room(s) for granny to live in needed to put in some more sockets, taking wires from inside my floor. Most of the stuff has now been moved back, including the Commando comics.

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Pictured: More win.

Of course moving that many Commando comics takes time. You keep seeing covers and thinking “ooh, this one was good!”

RWB to be relaunched, and Slutwalk!

The other day I decided to email IPC, who own the copyright of the famous old detective character Sexton Blake, and try and get permission to use him in my own comic The Red, White & Blue. Well I have already created 4 issues of it (plus one of The Trident). Anyway, they said no!

They also said that “a certain American comic company” (not sure if I can reveal this or not)  have “exclusive print rights”. Which may possibly explain the seemingly indefinite delay to the next Snowbooks compilation. However it’s also extremely worrying as, given the type of commie shitstabbers that work in comics these days, they’ll probably start doing a comic about him where he uncovers conspiracies in the British government and fights to bring down the empire and all the usual Crisis shit.

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Any excuse to re-use this.

Having been half-expecting a rejection (and also having been considering removing Sexton Blake anyway for a while) I have decided to re-launch the Red, White & Blue (and of course The Trident and Dragonfly) in a de-blakenised version. Originally I planned to just change the names but keep the character the same, and even have him stop ageing and living in many different time periods (as Sexton Blake apparently did XD).

But instead I decided to just create different characters for each time. For instance an Agatha Christie style character for the 20’s, a “Gene Hunt” for the 70’s and a “Spooks” style secret agent for modern times. I’ll also ditch the crap logo that adorned the first two issues of the Red, White & Blue, give it an editor’s page from the start and re-do the Sexton Blake article to an overview of British adventure comics as a whole.I still want the RWB to be bi-monthly (I may even succeed now that I have 4 issues “in hand”, kinda). Issue 9 is intended to be a Christmas special, as one of the serial stories is planned to end then with a Christmas scene. So the new Issue 1 will be on sale in the July-August period this year, on the internet! Mind you my emigration is also pencilled in for around then so printing and posting might get erratic, but we can put that down to it being a new publication XD

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Issues 3 and 4 will actually look almost identical when reprinted.

With regards to the Trident, as well as un-Blakeing it I’m going to increase it’s size to A4, give the main story (now about a Bulldog Drummond type secret agent in WW1 called Norman Saxon XD) illustrations and also include a short complete story and two serials! All in 3 columns of tiny text.

What am I going to do with the stock of the old issues? Well recycle them, obviously. Of course ‘packs’ of copies may possibly find their way into the hands of unscrupulous attendees of, say, the Saturday of the next MCM convention at the Excel Centre later this month. But I trust that those people, having obtained the comics from me for nothing after asking about my T-shirt saying “ask me for free comics”, will throw them in a recycling bin.

In other news, some cop in Canada told a bunch of women to “not dress like sluts” if they don’t want to be raped. His ill-chosen words have caused a worldwide backfire in the form of protest marches called “slutwalks”, which I will of course be wholeheartedly supporting. Mainly the London one on the fourth of June.

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Pictured: An overdressed lady

It’s about time somebody stood up against the prudish elements on the right, who’s idiocy is well-documented, as well as those on the left who are always the first to post “yay dignity” and a rolleyes smiley on the Download festival forums whenever “boob cam” is mentioned. These scum, usually students, are clearly going to turn into prudish Express readers once they graduate anyway… it’s always amusing when the topic of casual sex and scanty dress is bought up. These so-called supporters of equality can’t help but let the mask slip!

Isn’t blaming the victim of a crime socialist anyway? “A bit of redistribution of wealth in the here and now” I seem to recall was a justification for mugging “rich people who move into working class areas” on some punk song back in my commie shitstabbing days.

Any Briton worthy of the name ought to be supporting the slutwalks, there are those in our society who complain that they “don’t want to see” short skirts and such attire as it “looks like an invitation”. Anybody who talks like that shouldn’t even be allowed out, as they are seemingly only just able to keep their rampant savagery in check. It reminds me of the sick scum who claim that “without religion as guidance people will do whatever they want”. Maybe you would commit random rapes and murders if you didn’t have the bible telling you not to, but please don’t project your character flaws onto the rest of us.

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Atheio-nationalists, advance!