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.

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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…

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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…

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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: http://blog.crystal-knights.co.uk/2012/01/09/the-post-formerly-known-as-wheres-your-pheonix/

–  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.

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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:

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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…

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Let’s go!

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

Dream machines

That Doctor Who Anime has been deleted from Youtube! And so have the trailers, so it’s likely that the BBC/Terry Nation estate asked for it to be taken down. Though hopefully only so they can employ the bloke themselves to turn it into a full and epic episode!

Let’s face it “Doctor Who Anime” is an idea that writes itself, so it will inevitably be done one day. However it’s likely that if it was done “normally” it would be done with un-detailed, cheap and crude animation, and probably be farmed out to some yank outfit with no knowledge/respect for the source material. The fact a fan-made movie “got in first” and is absolutely awesome will have put them on the back foot!

Anyway it is, for now, still viewable. Though I won’t say how.

Metatube. Free Music Zilla. Still works, With, Download it, On.

Ooops a random series of words appears to have been typed by my cat walking over the keyboard. Luckily they have no relevance to anything.

Aaanyway…

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It’s my old bike!!

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It’s still got a Jurassic Park sticker on it and everything!!

From the dream machine of my childhood to the one of my adulthood:

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I didn’t blur the plate, the camera is just that bad

I don’t own one of these and as I want to emigrate to Japan probably never will! The sacrifices we make for love, eh? Of course my “wanted car” often revolves around a lot. In recent times it’s been a ‘rat look’ Volvo 240 saloon (proper rat look not chav rat look, which is one rusty panel and a load of stickers). Then a ’48 Chevy Fleetline Coupe, A ’54 Cadillac, A Deuce kit car (also a rat-look rod!), A Split-Screen Morris Minor and an Austin Seven. But the Capri is always number 1!