Visit St Petersberg? I’d rather go to Peterborough


Did you hear the one about the Russian politician who wouldn’t take a bribe?

Me neither.


Did you hear the one about the Russian who got a fair trial?

Me neither.


Did you hear the one about the Russian cop who turned up to work sober?

Me neither.


Why do Ladas have the engine in the back?

More room at the front for the bodies.


Did you hear the one about freedom of speech in Russia?



Did you hear the one about the 20,000 murdered Chechens?

No, I only get Russian TV.


Did you hear the one about how much Russia has changed since 1916?

Me neither.


What did the Russian sailor say when he saw unarmed British fishing boats?

“Battle stations”


Did you hear the one the Russian sailor told when he saw the Japanese navy?

The punchline was a washout.





What did the Russian soldier say when he saw the Japanese army?

They don’t have eyes in the back of their heads.


Did you hear the one about the Tchaikovsky performance in his hometown?

They used canister.


In America you march on gay pride. In Russia gay pride gets marched on!

My phone can take decent pictures…

 …when it feels like it anyway. We’ve had some spectacular sunrises and sets lately, but I keep forgetting my proper camera. The phone camera is crap at capturing them unless you get in exactly the right position. Even then these looked a lot more beautiful in real life.

 nice01.jpg – nice02.jpg

The second one is actually now my background. The first doesn’t look as good on the small screen. My old phone’s camera was better in some ways, though the pictures it took were more grainy they captured colours better. Still the up button on that phone broke so I couldn’t scroll as easily through my girlfriend’s cute texts and the photos of her. Also my new phone can receive Hiragana so she could send me Japanese passages for me to translate. So getting it was a bit pointless really wasn’t it? Also it’s big and flat and feels awkward in my pockets so I have to take it out when I sit down for break times at work. Still it’s having it’s own keyboard problems, namely over-sensitive buttons that make menu navigation about as predictable as a roulette wheel.

Still I did use it when I discovered an IRL texture misalignment.



Recently I read a deranged article about a guy who was deported from Japan. This is not a link to the original article, but to another site containing a copy of the first draft. The article is a “work in progress”, meaning it keeps changing every time awkward questions get asked. 


Picture related

(skim) Reading the article made me more and more angry at the country that begat my coldly-dumping girlfriend. I went to bed vowing to give up learning the language and never set foot there again. However I’d fallen into the same trap that and the red-top gutter press set – that blend of unsubstantiated claims and out-of-proportion-blowing with little bigoted snipes slipped in that makes you start thinking “yeah, these people are capable of that”. With a clearer head and the filter of, a much more amusing picture emerges: 

There’s plenty of rather glaring holes in the story and questions the guy refuses to ask. If you ask me the picture is more like…

– He had a work visa for Japan that had either expired, or was for a specific type of work (which was almost certainly teaching English in some chain school). His constant reiteration that he’s “been legal” in Japan for years and “paid taxes” are but poor excuses for illegal immigration. If your visa has expired you ain’t getting in. Countries aren’t in the business of selling citizenship.

–  If he did have a work visa for English teaching and had instead been working as a ‘journalist’ or ‘public speaker’ (he implies that some anti-nuclear speeches he gave are “the real reason” why he was deported. In the same way that the anti-whaling protesters and dolphin-protecting “Cove Watchers” keep getting deported for “anti-Japanese activities” eh?) then he was violating the terms of his visa. And that means it’s time to say bye bye.

– Somebody on Tepido also did a number-crunch and worked out that his claim that 20,000 people were being randomly plucked from immigration at the airport and thrown back out of the country was actually a rather big fact-twist. Actually 20,000 people in total were deported in that time period. A lot of them for committing real crimes!

Oh also while on a vaguely Japanese thread… Yo Sushi opened in Cambridge in 2011 (on Armistice day… to an utterly pathetic spectacle of protest by old codgers who know nothing about history claiming that “the young people” know “nothing about history”. No, nothing about the Wakamiya, or the Dogger Bank Incident in my memory. Of course Cornelius T. Soundbite, erm, I mean Julian Huppert, had to chime in with some cod-patriotic bollocks. Fuck off, the Lib Dems are even worse than New Labour.) and is fairly decent, if monumentally expensive. Then last year a tiny establishment called U Sushi appeared. It was just as monumentally expensive and didn’t have conveyor belts, so I didn’t bother trying it as I couldn’t be bothered to work out what I fancied in advance. However more recently they bought out a series of set menus, the cheapest of which is £8.80. Today I thought I may as well trot in…

MY GOD. I’m never going back to Yo Sushi! U Sushi is so much better it’s like it’s from another planet! Or maybe just the opposite side of the same planet.


It’s located here.

The new year

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Last sunset of 2011

I was magnificently lazy over the Christmas holidays, I just sat about eating chocolate and writing short half-arsed reviews of a bunch of small press comics for a magazine. Oh wait, that’s bad! I meant to do a heap of comic drawing, including finishing off my ill-fated manga for a competition the Japanese embassy was running. I’d failed to get it even near finished before that closed, but I hoped to get it finished by tomorrow for inclusion in the next “issue of” (it’s no longer a ‘regular’ comic) Non Repro. But won’t finish it in time for that either now.

The reason? Sherlock! Yes the BBC finally got off their arses and made another three (three! When are we getting a proper series?) episodes of this. And BY GOD are they awesome. The first one was shown on New Year’s day and the second last night. The second was based on the Hound of the Baskervilles… except now “Baskerville” is a secret bio-weapons research facility. You can see where this is going… except it doesn’t go there, actually XD.

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes the latest Hollywood film is incredible too. It’s 2 and a half hours long mind you. But actually there’s only 8 minutes of story and the rest is filled up by slow motion (troof). Still it’s incredible, even if some anachronisms annoyed me… no, his car is not one of them! But the fact there’s nobody walking in front of it with a red flag is. Mind you though, Sir Conan Doyle never liked Sherlock Holmes using motor vehicles, and still had his hero riding around in horse-drawn cabs even after he’d bought a motorcycle. Of course Sexton Blake’s writers had no such qualms, and a motor-car featured in those stories as early as 1898. Later he was thundering around in a Mors car at thirty miles in the hour!

An even more annoying anachronism (to me), though, is the fact that they got the German flag wrong! Germany wasn’t using that flag in 1891 (though had used it earlier), they were using a Black-White-Red tricolour up to 1918. Mind you though, “The First World War in Colour” managed to get it wrong too. As did an old docudrama about the early days of Albert Einstein.


My 2011 Calendar, from Sweatdrop Studios. It kind of sums up the person I was in 2011, very interested in Japan to the point of considering moving there and even becoming a naturalised citizen (eventually). I was working diligently on learning the language and spending hours reading blogs by foreigners who had gone to live there.

I was also giving vague thought to converting myself to drawing manga style, in the vague hopes of “doing a Bakuman” once I was naturalised. But then my girlfriend dumped me in November, and in December I found myself constantly saying “Nanaji” for Seven O Clock, when it ought to be “Shichiji”. Also I read a load of Debito (though a lot of it “through the filter” of Tepido). I still think he’s bonkers and his followers a bunch of commie shitstabbers. But you can’t argue with clear cases of shitty policing, insane working hours with no recognition and GIANT FUCKIN’ INSECTS. If I never set foot in neon hell again, it’ll be too soon!

On to the 2012 Calendar, then…


Yep, that sums up the kind of person I want to be in 2012, the same person I was in 2006! I’m getting the Mini on the road no matter what and waking the echoes of a July afternoon out in the fens (without going over 50 XD). I’m also doing Download and as many local rock/metal/blues/ska gigs as I can cram in. Oh I’ll be collecting more antique comics rather than horror movies though. (Bring back Silverscreen! Those shops were great). Starting with this…

 eleb05.jpg – eleb06.jpg – eleb07.jpg

It’s 6 months worth of The Boys’ Friend (aka the best British comic ever) from mid 1904. I got lucky on this one, nobody else bid and It went for £50! I was expecting to pay over £100. Maybe the low price was because it’s January. Anybody else out there wanting to sell bound volumes of the Boys’ Friend/Realm/Herald, Union Jack, (Halfpenny) Marvel or Skipper please do it right now or wait until Jan ’13 eh?

Boys Friend Price fluctuations…

Complete year 1903 – 04 – £49.99 (Was “pickup only” and BIN, I cheekily offered to pay extra postage and the seller agreed, bargain!)

Complete year 1902 – 03 – £170 (! And I had to drive down to Enfield to get it. Well worth it though! they look great on the shelf)

Half year Jan-Jun 1910 – £110 (great condition)

Half year May – Nov 1904 – £49.99 (woohoo)

Plus loads of individual issues at about a fiver each. Anybody out there got any they want to unload?


Other crap I can’t be bothered to write at length about…

– Helicopter crash! I saw it fly over my work, it seemed to be ‘skidding’ in the air and the wind was really strong that day. It exploded near Ely and crashed into a field

– The strong wind! Part of our fence blew down. A panel of fence at work somehow not only blew down but ‘jumped over’ a big wheelie bin.

– The Pheonix, and it’s dire distribution:

–  Despite the lazy last days of 2011 work is going ‘decently’ on comic for 2012. I hope to do at least 6 issues of the Red, White & Blue, 3 of the The Trident, 2 of The Sentinel (a ‘red top’ for comic collectors) and 1 of the Small Press Digest (encouragement-filled magazine with yellow covers). I’ve got a table at Camcon in May, seemingly the first nerdy convention in Cambridge for many a year (possibly since the Old Boys’ Book Club met there!). Gonna be great! Also got a ‘premeet’ in April.


Yasukuni Shrine

I’ve wasted two weekends worth of comic making time reading this huge blog somebody’s written about Japan. Anyway near the end (or the start, as it was furthest back) he did the usual waffle about the Yasukuni shrine and enshrined war criminals.


It actually looks different to most big shrines which all kind of blur into one after a while

There seems to be plenty of nonsense talked about how they have enshrined war criminals, as if they’re proud of what those criminals did and now “worship” them. Well actually Yasukuni is a place where all dead Japanese soldiers are enshrined, stretching right back to the time when “Japan” first existed. Plus in Japan they enshrine fuckin’ everything. In fact some famous characters of Japanese history or legend are enshrined in more than one place!

Then there’s the regular controversy about Japanese politicians paying their respects at the shrine. But why is it controversial exactly? Shouldn’t they remember their country’s dead? “Bcoz Japan did war crimez OMG” goes the cry. Well actually every country has “done war crimes” and other such atrocities. There’s places in Britain where the heroes of the empire such as General Gordon are “enshrined”, and the empire did some horrific things. And beleive me, coming from a pro-empire jingoist such as myself that admission means something!

Another complaint is that a nearby museum presents Pearl Harbour as a “pre-emptive attack against percieved US imperialism”. Er, well…. wasn’t it? People also complain about the museum presenting the Japanese view of the “Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere” (apparently “Japanese Empire” was too short) as a “uniting” of asian countries under one government. Various atrocities and massacres took place in the creation of this… but did not various massacres and atrocities take place in the creation of the United States? Was not modern Scotland created by throwing out most of the people who lived in the nice looking bits? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. And being “a long time ago” doesn’t make atrocities “better”.

But murders, bloodshed and inhumanity go hand in hand with war and empire building, and they always will. “Celebration” of such things comes in with the remembering of the individual soldiers involved, who went to do their duty and had to suffer terrifying conditions – with many making the ultimate sacrifice for the cause they believed in.  That is what the Yasukuni Shrine is really about, and that is also the call made in this issue of my favourite comic:


Apparently still on sale at the museum!

The museum in question is the National Army Museum in London – one of Britain’s own “Yasukuni Shrines”. It’s also currently running an exhibition of original Commando artwork called “Draw Your Weapons”. I have the day off work tomorrow, and really ought to be saving money and drawing my own comics (currently working on a futuristic war story, actually). But what the hell…


Let’s go!

Also anybody who opposes the sex shop in Sawtry is a cowardly traitor.


Oh yeah there was some rioting “recently” and there’s been a huge amount of bullshit spouted about it. Most by some twat who has written a book called (I jest not) “Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class”. What a fucking commie piece of shit. Talk about twisting facts to suit theories. There’s a vast amount of working class people who are not “chav” in the slightest. No doubt this cunt is some 40-something tit who thinks he “understands the youth”. His book title makes about as much sense as “Mods: The Demonisation of the Working Class” would have done in 1961!

Of course the real cause of the rioting was the fact that there’s an underclass of illiterate savages who expect something for nothing and think society owes them a living. They have been taught by red teachers who are always going on about how tough the poor had it and how “if you’d lived back then you would have been a factory slave” (“but never mind, our kind, er, I mean ‘the system’ shut down all the factories in the 80’s!”). They have been bought up with a false sense of entitlement, reminders to “look out for number one” and to believe they are special snowflakes whose feelings are the most important thing in the world. They have had it endlessly drummed into them that they have “no chance” because they are at the bottom of society – especially because of the high student loans!

The fact is university is accessible to just about everybody. The fact is in today’s Britain with literacy and effort anybody can get into Oxbridge for nothing, providing they pass the exams for a scholarship. But the underscum aren’t satisfied with this. They want success and riches without the effort. Some people blame “instant fame” shows like X factor, but I don’t buy it. Even shows like that feature crap singers being laughed at, rejections and endless shots of the people who show promise spending hours working hard at the “boot camp” improving their skills. Even the winners of these “instant fame” shows have spent many weeks in intense training before they get that record deal. The real cause of the expectation of success without the effort goes back to the “you are special” attitude that’s constantly spouted at school and home. Teachers really need to be told to put a dose of reality into their lessons – but of course the cowardly red NUT holds sway over Britain’s schools, this is the organisation that branded “3 R’s” education as “elitist”, remember? How out of touch can you get?

The solution is of course to educate children from birth on their civic responsibilities, how they “owe” society rather than society “owing” them. Of course that harks back to “coughs and sneezes spread diseases”-type public information films of the 1930’s, and so of course any attempt to implement policies like that will be shot down by a parade of red vermin making “hilarious” satirical videos in RP accents.

And yet what solutions have the reds got? Scratch the surface of any one of thier policies and you have the foundation for the eradication of national borders (and with them seperate cultures and languages) and the “getting rid of” “outdated” ideas. At least the Nazis are open about book burning.

Oh while we’re here I ♥ Mercator Projection

Who remembers these?


They were a band and a half weren’t they?


Oh yeah I also got a cable to connect my new phone to the computer. So now I can present the new and correctly spelled (well actually I might have got the second character of Lord Haw Haw’s name wrong) sign that I’d put up if I ever end up running a pub in Japan:


One who has a door behind him and is shown out of it.

Though of course I’m actually going to be a McEnglish McTeacher and then end up as a bland Salaryman. I’m under no illusions as to the spartan and difficult existence I’ll lead in a completely different country many thousands of miles away. But we can’t help who we fall in love with. And I’ll never ever have any truck with commie shitstabbers like Mr Potato Head and the day I do is the day I lose a game of chicken with the Yamanote Line.

Oh and of course I’ll still have a subscription to DC Thomson’s Commando comic, draw jingoistic British Adventure comics, drive elderly, noisy and unsafe cars and bring any children we may have up on a diet of Sexton Blake, Billy Bunter and Sapper. AND listen to Saxon because they’re wicked.


The cable also means I can spam a whole 3 pictures of my cat.

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Not amused.


I’ve got a busy weekend ahead. On Saturday it’s either Classic VW’s or Retro Drag Racing at Santa Pod. Either way there will be wicked pictures. On Sunday I’m going to be VIP guest of the Honda team at the British Superbikes. Like ya do.


Oh and I’m thinking of writing a 2011 version of “Glad to be gay” that laments the current state of Broken Britain , a land full of quotas and history months, that will contain the line “I can’t help but think that it’s… kind of our fault”.

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:


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


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:


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

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.