Thursday, January 31, 2008

Piper at the Gates Of Decency.

Here's a cartoon of Billie Piper by the great Roger Langridge, taken totally out of context. And looking at it strictly out of context, you'd totally think, wow, there's a low level, kinda Robert Crumbesque, Devil Woman-type misogyny going on there. No offence, Roger, I'm sure you're a well adjusted guy. For a Kiwi (voices off - "Baaaa!").

You'd need to be some kind of pervert to find that attractive, eh? Y'know, a guy with a stump-f*cking fetish or something (like THE MIGHTY BOOSH's The Hitcher, perhaps). *ahem*

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ooh, that fairly pops!

McCarthy's SHAKARA cover for Toof, complete with logos, etc. To dip into racial stereotype, it's a cracker.

Ambush Buggery!

Ooh, my inner 16 year old's heart just skipped a beat - AMBUSH BUG (to be utterly pretentious, the CANDIDE of mid-eighties, Giordano's golden age, DC comic books: CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTH, Moore's SWAMP THING, Miller's DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, the lot, were first parodied there) is coming back.

Howard The Duck without Gerber - I'm curious: Ambush Bug with Giffen and Fleming - I'm sold.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Think, Think About It

I'm listening to the audiobook of the BBC radio version of THE FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS. It's brilliant, but I'm finding the name change of Rhys Darby's brilliant Murray Hewitt character, to Bryan Nesbitt, slightly disorienting in the short term. I dunno why they changed it when they crossed the Atlantic, and changed media. Maybe "Murray" is just a fundamentally funnier forename. Certainly when said in a nasally Kiwi twang.

Captain America: now with added kneecappings!

Should do wonders for its sales in Northern Ireland.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Quick quote and out.

According to the ever-entertaining io9, "the upcoming DOCTOR WHO two-parter by Steven Moffat (Blink) will feature the Doctor investigating an abandoned library, accompanied by the mysterious River Song (Alex Kingston from ER). Also guest-starring in the story: Colin Salmon from the James Bond films".

There you go, that hits 3 big B.L. bases: Doctor Who, James Bond and libraries. Job's a good 'un.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mark Millar back on Wolverine - blogger hints at vague promise. May prove overly optimistic.

Y'know, I've dropped the odd dark hint here and there that I reckon Marvel's upcoming Wolverine mini-series by BKV and Eduardo Risso is a bit of a waste of time and talent, that it looks like yet another re-write of the original Chris Claremont/Frank Miller mini-series. Material that was far from being either creator's best work anyway.

Then imagine my surprise when I read this interview with Mark Millar, and thought, hey, this sounds pretty good. It's one part Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN to one part Alan Moore's unproduced TWILIGHT OF THE SUPERHEROES pitch. Out of these two influences, Millar may actually do something new with a character I've written off as moribund since 1984. That's nearly 25 years, people! Shit!

Wolverine, jumping the shark in '84. Happy days!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Turn your iPhone into a guitar.

This guy's only problem? He clearly can't play the bugger.

Quantum Of Solace, then.

So the new Bond movie is called QUANTUM OF SOLACE, after previous rumours had it as RESICO. Both titles are taken directly from Ian Fleming short stories in the collection FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

The first thing I thought at hearing this news is that Quantum Of Solace is easily the most autobiographical, least characteristically Bond, story Fleming ever wrote (including CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, which has plenty of ultimately Bond-like features, if you hadn't noticed: ex-military men, beautiful women with silly nomenclature, arch-villainy set in a large hollowed-out geological structure, tricked-out cars, gadgets, etc). So don't bother reading it for clues of what to expect in the movie. Unless the film is a mood-piece featuring the upper middle-classes sitting around the dinner table, complaining about their love lives. Where Bond doesn't even once draw a weapon.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Flying Burrito Brothers: Sin City

Nice whistle, Gram.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hail and Farewell

It appears Heath Ledger is as dead as they say. That's awful, and kind of shocking. What won't be as shocking will be the tactless comments by comics fans on various messageboards we'll be seeing for the next couple of days. They just can't help themselves, bless 'em.

I'm sure principal photography is done on BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT, but I am left wondering about how far along his contribution to the latest film by Terry Gilliam,
THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS had came. A film that opens with a scene where Ledger attempts to hang himself. It does often seem that Gilliam is the most unlucky film maker working today.

My condolences to his friends and family, and his fans.

DC caught soliciting again.

If anyone can do a decent Eisner riff, it's Bruce Timm.

Phil "Solid Gold" Bond draws a nurse. Rrrawr!

A doll action figure based on Frank Quitely's ALL-STAR SUPERMAN. Aww! he's adorable.

Monday, January 21, 2008

yer actual Dave Gibbons

Seeing how I mentioned it last time, I thought I'd elucidate with this link: preview pages of IDW's DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS, featuring Charlie Kirchoff's colours over Dave Gibbons' artwork. It's a hard job colouring pages that previously saw life in glorious monotone: for starters, artists tend to throw a lot more black around in the quest for contrast, leaving you, the humble underpaid colourist, less room to strut your funkadelic stuff. I like to think here that Kirchoff's work lends Gibbons something of the quality of the great artists of the UK's lithoprint comics heyday, yer Bellamys, yer Embletons.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pat Mills, back on the DOCTOR WHO beat.

And speaking of old hands from 2000AD, I see Big Finish are releasing a Doctor Who audio book written by Pat Mills at the end of the month. I've never heard any of these Big Finish jobs, and every time I get curious about an audio book at work and take one home, they have a delightfully sedating effect upon me, and I'm spark out within a few minutes. But the combination of Doctor Who and Pat Mills, co-writer of all those great Who strips with John Wagner, is making me curious (while I'm on this topic - the re-colouring on IDW's DOCTOR WHO CLASSICS - sublime).

Though I also realise Mills has spent the last decade-or-so as a frustratingly hit-or-miss writer. Hmm.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More McCarthy: always a good thing.

John Kirkham's THE STRANGENESS OF BRENDAN McCARTHY site transmogrified into a blog today, and its first post includes this, an upcoming cover for 2000AD, featuring Robbie Morrison/Henry Flint's Shakara.

Planet Of The Apes On Motorbikes.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. "Gee, Mark sure is a sucker for those Ryan Sook-does-Kirby covers". I hear ya. I just don't care.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I know, it's obvious...

David Bishop makes a fair point about last night's TORCHWOOD over here at his blog. Jenny Sparks, Max Normal, now this: someone in the nu-WHO costume office is a comics fan.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hey, this might actually be good!

The live action STAR WARS spin-off will apparently be centred around Boba Fett. Y'know, if there's a character who might have an interesting character arc in the period between ATTACK OF THE CLONES and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, it's him. Bravo.

Buy a little bit of rock'n'roll history

Thanks to my impending reduced economic status, I'm forced to sell off my pride and joy, my Gibson CS-336. If you're feeling charitable, and want to rock out with your c*ck out, feel free to pop over to Ebay and bid.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Read this:

Here's a good 'un: a rare, in-depth, interview with Paul Grist.

The Garden Shears Of Space

Here's my crappy effort at using the clunky, annoying, comic maker software at the official BBC DOCTOR WHO website.
My wafer-thin effort goes nowhere, makes absolutely no attempt at educating or entertaining, and takes its title from my inability to spell non sequitur. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Chairman of the Bored

I'm bored, no-one's about, no-one's updating anything. And as usual, that means I'm casting my eye further abroad for thrills on the internet. Which has led me to this: Giorgio Comolo recreating Jack Kirby pages as paintings.

*BONUS* He does Ditko, too!

Stampin' books, fightin' monsters, etc.

Today's Sunday Interview at TCBR should be of interest to those of you with an interest in such things: Tom Spurgeon talks to James Turner, creator of REX LIBRIS, the comic book that does much to expose the daily workings of librarians, such as myself, to the public.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Webcomics 101.

Thinking of going all web 2.0 about producing your own work, and publishing a webcomic? Here's Laura Milligan's 50 tools and resources to help you get started. Now go create!

Friday, January 11, 2008

J.J. Abrams whips out his mysterious box.

Here's a rather entertaining lecture by ALIAS/LOST/CLOVERFIELD creator J.J. Abrams. He has a likeable and enthusiastic stage presence. But he doesn't tell you any spoilers for the next series of LOST.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Keith Giffen back on the Legion horsie.

Via Newsarama, here's Keith Giffen's variant for ACTION COMICS #862. It's one of three variants in this storyline by classic LSH artists, including others by Mike Grell and Steve Lightle. And they tickle my nostalgia bone.

Humberto Ramos' blog.

Just came across this, one way or another: Humberto Ramos' blog. His English is, 'ow you say, Manuel-tastic at times, but that's okay. Here's his Ringo tribute, made all the more touching by their shared history.

Ramos will be the new artist on RUNAWAYS, taking over whenever Joss Whedon hands the writing torch over to Terry Moore. I haven't been able to bring myself to read this title since its creator, Brian K Vaughan, left, but I'm sure I'll give these later creative teams a read whenever NI Libraries gets around to buying the trades.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dark Horse solicitations hit the streets running.

Been missing that ol' Mike Mignola trope of good-guy-monsters beating on gigantic bad-guy-monsters? Have one on me.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

All is right with the world!

Ron Ashton has a signature guitar!

Dental update - the dentist didn't do anything to me today -yay!
She did, however, refer me to a surgeon to whip the root out - boo!

Monday, January 07, 2008

WAR is swell.

Here's an interview with Nick "The Beast In Me" Lowe, editor of Marvel Max's new WAR IS HELL series by Garth Ennis and Howard Chaykin. Some nice preview pages: obviously, the subject matter has enthused Chaykin in a way his recent return to drawing superheroes as work-for-hire hasn't.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Ooh, interesting BATTLESTAR GALACTICA season four piece...

...over here.

Give my regards to Sgt. Fury, or, Nice NIGHT RAVEN cameo.

Psst! D'y'wanna see some preview pages for THE TWELVE by B.L. frequent offender Chris Weston? Click here, and scroll down very quickly, lest you accidentally witness some Rob Liefeld. It's bloody lovely work, and is making me regret my wait-for-the-inevitable-Trade decision.

The Shiny Show

This is cheesier than a wheel of Stilton, yet simultaneously better than any other animated project Marvel have put their name to, ever.

Who killed Bambi?

Just came across this, via Dave Taylor's blog: WHO KILLED ROUND ROBIN? A collaboration by some rather spiffing comickers, including Taylor himself, D'Israeli, and Woodrow Phoenix.

Oh aye...

...I haven't posted for a few days because I've been lying around the house feeling sorry for myself after being absolutely f*cking mugged by my dentist on Friday morning. Attempting to remove a broken molar, she swung herself around by a pair of pliers attached to the tooth, while anchoring herself with her boot on my jaw. She failed to pull it cleanly (my iron man constitution - a blessing and a curse), leaving a charming gaping hole and an exposed nerve. This has meant I'm on a course of antibiotics, which means every time I walk past the fridge, all I can do is open it and stare longingly at the beer. So this might be the longest I've gone without a drink since, I dunno, I was seventeen or something. I may cry. Roll on the root canal (Tuesday, 12.30).

Fegredo does Heinlein

Here's a piece Duncan Fegredo did for the always-worth-a-browse Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobberin' Time!!! website. It's Kip Russell, Peewee and The Mother Thing from Bob Heinlein's novel HAVE SPACESUIT, WILL TRAVEL. Which I haven't read, but sounds like a lot of fun. A bit Mark Twain-ish, even.

I was under the impression I'd written about this tremendous site before, back when Mike Wieringo died and I came across his Harry Potter images there, but it turns out I didn't (must have linked to them elsewhere). I used a Fantastic Four image instead, didn't I? Whoops! Anyway, this site falls right into my remit, being a crossover between my two fields of expertise (*cough*... I think I got away with that), comics and yer actual literature.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chris Weston to direct next BATMAN film... least he got the costumes right.

Millions of Brazilians.

Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, both bloody good cartoonists, from their Flickr site. Funnily enough, in their autobiographical comics, they don't look this alike.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

STAR WARS: a warning from history.

Via, and by Feng Zhu Design: Aren't you a little Sexy for a Stormtrooper?


"So Mark, just what would get you all excited about THE DARK KNIGHT?"

"Something like this."

Cheap gag.

I just got an email from Apple - Radiohead's IN RAINBOWS is available now from iTunes, with "a digital booklet".

Does this mean I have to pay for it now? B*llocks. Radiohead? Breadhead more like. Grasping f*ckers.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The mission statement.

I've got to wonder about that little box-off on the sidebar for the Northern Irish Bloggers web-ring. God only knows if it sends any traffic my way (I've been relegated to the second-to-last link on the second-and-last page of their list of members, where once alphabetical order had me right at the top of the first division, but I'm not bitter), and I feel little camaraderie emanating from my fellow Norn Irish bloggers. I've an innate distrust of politics, for starters, and have no interest in telling anecdotes about the day-to-day ironies of life in the bizarre little statelet I call home. I'm down with Jerry Cornelius when he said that someday, faith in political ideologies will be seen as being as backward as faith in religion. This puts me severely on the outs with my countrymen, where politics and religion go merrily skipping down the lane hand-in-hand. Also, I'm from outside Belfast, at the other end of the M1 entirely, which must be a bit confusing for some of them, poor sods, who may well think the Flat Earth ends somewhere just past Lisburn.

Anyway, when the Ringleader (who's dropped his link to here from his sidebar, I notice, but again - I'm not bitter) e-mails me with a little questionnaire, I thought, okay, this'll give me a chance to explain a few things I've never bothered to before, or took for granted that any right-thinking individual could work out on their own. So here goes, just 29 days later than I received the original e-mail.

What is the title of your blog?
It's "bad librarianship", but it also answers to "badlibrarianship" and Bad Librarianship". I don't mind.

Why did you call your blog....
As a jokey reference to BAD LIEUTENANT, and that's all. It's the distance between Harvey Keitel's character in that movie, and the public's perception of librarians. Really. I'm actually pretty good at my job. I'm always polite to nuns.

Why do you blog?
I always say it's to keep my writing muscles in some form of training, though another answer would be that I was thoroughly sick of throwing my wisdom around like pearls before swine on messageboards. Now you can get all my pearls of wisdom in one handy place, swine! Look appreciative!

What has been your best blogging experience?
Any time a childhood or longtime favourite has contacted me out of the blue, over something or other I've posted here.

What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger?
The only hangover cure that really works is heroin, but that's another kettle of fish altogether.

What are your favourite blogs?
My favourite blogs are the ones that really put the work in, but ironically enough, those bloggers tend to burn out quickly, and give up, feeling resentful and exhausted. But basically, I heartily endorse anyone with a link in my sidebar. But don't click on that one marked "Bellboy". That'll f*ck up your browser.

What is your favourite book?
I'm trying to think of one I forgot to put in my profile here at Blogger... Uh... howzabout THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING. Or THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. There's two books that sit well together.

What is your favourite film?
Again, one I've forgot to add to my profile... CRANK. It appeals to the part of me that is forever Tommy Vercetti.

What is your favourite poem?
Something nice and cheery. Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse.

Who are your 'Top 10' favourite musical artistes or bands?
I like both kinds of music - The Stooges with Ron Asheton on guitar, and The Stooges with James Williamson on guitar.

Who is your favourite comedian?
Peter fu*king Cook. But this always makes me laugh:

If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently?
I'm tempted to quote John Betjeman here. But let's just say it's not "is there anything you'd do differently", but "is there anybody you'd do differently". Heh.

What would you call your autobiography?
"Ralph Hall is a C*nt"

Who would play you in the film about your life?
If I was unavailable to do it, Muhammad Ali-style, then Mark Benton.

What are your hobbies, apart from blogging?
I'm pretty sure my blogging touches on all that crap anyway.

What is your most treasured possession?
My Gibson CS 336. Really, it is just too good for a punk-assed guitarist like me. I should be playing an SG or something.

Who are your sporting heroes?
I'm a "No More Heroes" kinda guy, but I'll say Brian Clough. And one of the few times I've ever been starstruck was bumping into Billy Hamilton at the bar at a B.B. King gig.

If you won a million on the Lotto what would you spend it on?
I've mentioned it here and hereabouts before: I'd blow it all starting my own publishing company. I'll need plenty of capital, which is why I only do the lottery on rollovers.

Farewell 2007, or, A round-up of some crap I never got around to mentioning.

Ah, 2007. I remember it well.

Like Sean, it was the year I discovered HBO's THE WIRE with a passion, after circling it tentatively for a while. After this blog post, Brendon Connelly and I formed a hazy plan to collaborate on some kind of season one marathon/binge report together, about how the media had driven up our expectations of the show (in my case, Charlie Brooker's ongoing championing of the series in THE GUARDIAN), and how our reactions compared to these expectations, but then he put his blog on hiatus, and that all fell through. But I still went ahead and dug in. And yes, it was everything everybody had promised.

I've ran past the current from-the-start repeats on FX, which is now about five sixths of the way through season two. But now I've hit a dead-end, and I'm jonesing for more: I watched the season three boxed set in three nights flat after receiving it for Christmas (that's how you know your family is paying attention to that list you left in the chimney for Santa). And I now can't pass a bottle of Bushmills without exclaiming "but that's a Protestant whiskey!". In the bars I frequent, his may cause more trouble than it's worth.

The season four box isn't released in the U.K. until March, season five isn't scheduled to start here until July. Arrgh! Addiction isn't pretty, and will eventually drive you to break the law.

It was the year I broke a tooth. Bloody annoying that. It was the year I decided to go back to University yet a-bleeding-gain.

Also, 2007 was the year I formed this band. Pinching out those false harmonics, Billy Gibbons-style! Party on!

So, 2008 is in. Here's to everyone who thought they'd never see it.