Wednesday, 5 November 2014

I've been doing, like, an assload of soul-searching

I really should make fun of the American mid-term election results, but... well, it's not like anyone living in the UK can really make fun of other countries that vote for rich white men who never did a day's work in their life who keep telling people living in poverty to pull their boots up, is it?  I do find some of the commentary amusing, though, especially those expressing surprise that in an election where most of the population was too busy working to vote, the winners were predominantly guys who appeal to the upper middle classes.
I am surprised that there's talk of Obama being unpopular, all the same, as the sheen faded ages ago and I'm confused why it's only a problem now when US debt has been slashed, the stock market has doubled, US troops are dying in significantly smaller numbers, and Bin Laden is burning in Hell alongside Jimmy Saville.  I've seen it suggested that Obama trying to take credit for a recovering economy has backfired because a lot of people are still struggling to make ends meet, but let's face it - that scenario would entail believing that America's poor matter.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

I don't know what I want to do with my life and every day I'm being crushed by the weight of each new failure

So, because I wasn't poor enough or a big enough catch for ladies already, I decided I would collect all 505 issues of the 1980s iteration of boys' adventure comic The Eagle, best known for being the home of Dan Dare after 2000ad got shot of him.
You can't just collect Eagle on its own if you want to follow the stories, though.  See, most comics of the 1970s and 1980s, when they finally folded from low sales or because the publishers wanted to spite the unions, were merged with another more successful title, and this happened several times over the span of 2000ad's life, as it merged with things like Starlord and Tornado after those comics came to an end, and Eagle was likewise merged with cancelled comics like Scream!, Battle, and Tiger, the latter of which I now have to collect* if I ever want to read the whole of Star Rider - and just so we are clear, Star Rider is a comic strip about a teenage alien prince who looks like Cthulu that comes to Earth to take part in BMX (it was the mid-80s) championships, SO YES I WANT TO READ THE WHOLE OF STAR RIDER - only while looking through what issues of Tiger I can get my hands on, I have found another strip I now have to track down: Johnny Cougar.
By the standards of 1980s weekly UK comics - many of which seem to have been conceived as some sort of bet among Scotsmen about what kind of nonsense they could pitch before they stopped getting paid - Johnny Cougar is kitchen-sink stuff, being about a perfectly normal human being doing perfectly normal human being things... during his travels as an international professional wrestler who fights lumberjacks and/or grizzly bears on log rafts as they're going over a waterfall.  Basically, it's like someone in 1962 got up in the morning and decided to make a comic strip just for me.  And then I find out he teamed up with Big Daddy:

And yeah, after that, work was pretty much over for the day.

* Well, more like "collect a small fraction of it", as there were over 1500 issues between 1954 and 1985.

Monday, 3 November 2014

You're a great couple - you're terrible people and you're both liars

I like to watch The Good Wife and then Madame Secretary in a double bill.  I am sure wine-tasters can come up with some fancy-pants explanation about how one subtly compliments the flavors of the other, but don't listen to those guys, as they're clearly used to downing two different bottles of wine at the one time and we have a name for that where I come from.
No, I like to watch Good Wife and Madame Secretary in a double bill because I am a bit of a snob and I enjoy the juxtaposition of elements: specifically I enjoy the juxtaposition of a good tv show with Madame Secretary.  In this week's Madame Secretary, her husband tells her isn't having an affair and that he's actually a spy and the beautiful young woman he was seen with was his handler.  Sounds legit.  Anyway, there's this other bit where someone is grounded for drinking in a bar because they're 20, and I had to stop and think about it for a minute until I remembered what a backwards third-world shithole America is, no matter what its disproportionate influence on global culture.  If you're 18 in the US, you can sign up for the military and go kill all the brown people you want, but if you want a stiff drink afterwards to wipe their dying screams, pleas for mercy and the sizzle and crackle of their children's flesh burning from your mind, you're totally out of luck.  Still, I can't really expect more from a nation that takes it for granted that they have to pay more than any other country in the world for the worst healthcare in the world - seriously, if you're American and reading this, you have no idea of the amount of contempt and pity the rest of the world has for your healthcare model.  You need another civil war or something to finish off the job you started with the last one, because those rich white Southern dudes who run everything and treat the population like cattle and that you thought you'd got rid of?  Totally still there.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Get outta bed, your son needs to be let out to take an eight foot crap


Another shamelessly recycled strip, and another shameless plug for the Something Wicked omnibus from FutureQuake Press - containing 140 pages of terrible tales of terror to terrify for two pounds - to go with it.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Hashtag the Hell out of him




I didn't want to run this bit of filler for reasons that I would hope would be plainly obvious to those with functioning eyes and a basic knowledge of how things like art and lettering are supposed to work, but I don't have anything else to run in its place so here we are.  Written by Al Ewing before he started slumming it writing Judge Dredd and Avengers comics for money so he could finally do all those things he'd dreamed of like eating each day, if I had half an ounce of sense I'd try and pass off my contribution as the result of this being done back in 1978 or something, but instead I must cop to it being a more recent 2007-ish vintage so you can at least believe I've wised up a bit.
Should you against all reason still want to see artwork by the person who committed the above, it can be found in the Something Wicked omnibus from FutureQuake Press for e-readers and tablets, and which includes much-better illustrated stories written by Al, such as personal favorite The Big If, a neat alternate history tale for anyone with a passing knowledge of the American comic book scares of the 1950s, though it also works just as well if you know Fanny Adams about such things.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Who better than an accupuncturist... TO KILL WITH ACCURATE PUNCTURES?






Another old strip - also scripted by writing machine Lee Robson - just to keep the Halloween thing going.
If you liked this, why not buy some more of its ilk from FutureQuake Press?  We promise we won't hold it against you if you do.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

If I cannot forget that, I shall not be able to sleep again




I haven't actually posted this before, so this is likely the first of many appearances it will make: presenting another spooOOooOOooky tale for Halloween, The Thing in the Window was written up by my writing mule Lee Robson when I was between drawing gigs, and is so frightening it made me never want to use Adobe Photoshop for art ever again.  Okay, admittedly that might have had just as much to do with the fact that Manga Studio has some purdy line correction options built into the pen tool for use with vector layers that practically draws things for you and makes mistakes look like part of your artwork - you can see the attraction of that from my point of view.  This is the story that killed bitmaps, I guess, but if you liked it and would like to see more from Lee and myself , check out the Something Wicked omnibus collection for e-readers like iPad and Android - though I guess it'll work on Kindle, too, as long as you don't mind contributing to the destruction of digital comics distribution, the bullying of authors, tax dodging, and the erosion of workers' rights.