Monday, 30 April 2012

He was four foot nine and three feet of that were drugs

Well, it's only taken a year to get an appointment for what is apparently only an outpatient procedure, but I'm finally getting my long-awaited butthole surgery (yes, that is the actual medical term for it).  "Why share this on a blog for work in progress sketches of horror and sci-fi comics?" I hear absolutely no-one ask, and honestly, it's just been a slow week.  Anyhoo, as long as I don't catch one of those super-viruses the papers keep going on about infecting hospital wards, it'll be business as usual come Thursday for the blog.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Those teenage girls you play ping-pong with are doing it ironically

Thankfully my Robocop-watching fugue seems to have passed, aided by The Future of law Enforcement, pilot episode for the tv version of the franchise, which despite my enjoying it through fresh eyes a couple of years back, I couldn't bear to watch the whole way through this time, even with a script by the writers of the first Robocop movie.  I do find the idea that Robocop couldn't ever have been a viable tv project rather strange, however, not so much because of the stuff telly makers can get away with showing these days but because there's plenty of mileage in the concepts at play in Robocops 1 through 3 to support a tv show even without the robo-rozzer at the center of things.  Instead of castrating the violence, a better approach might just have been to clumsily obscure it and make it seem like the work of tv censors trying to make Robocop's excesses palatable for tv viewers, seeing as ridicule of the media was a strong thread not just in the films but in the tv show as well, sometimes to surprisingly good effect given how naff RtS is in general, as "Up after the break - Scottish liberals resume mortar attacks on Liverpool" delivered in a deadly serious tone by a newscaster will never not be funny.  I guess nowadays Robocop would just have been a spoof reality tv show, with a camera crew following Robo around as he brutalises his way through the working and poverty-stricken classes for the amusement of - oddly - the working and poverty-stricken classes, interspersed with interviews with characters important to some ill-defined larger plot arc, but even then I think that might still be pretty entertaining, if only because it couldn't possibly be worse than Death Valley.
Back to posting Frank pages again as I didn't get near any work today - nothing Vista-related, my hands were playing up again so I just couldn't be arsed.
I really need to work on consistent line weight between my foreground and background inking, and to stop using checkered patterns to fill empty space.  Scriptwise, I think pretty much everyone says to not do huge swathes of text in balloons and to instead put it outside panels or something, and I suppose the alternative was that one balloon on top taking up the whole page if split into smaller chunks - but bollocks to that, as this story has taken forever to get nowhere as it is.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Stop using the word "awesome" - you're a grown man

Notes from Bryan's ongoing attempt to make sense of Robocop 2, a film he enjoys but is also deeply troubled by:
There's a bit after Robocop's been put back together again and in order to destroy people's faith in him the evil corporation depower him in the worst way possible - they ask the people what they want of Robocop.  Loaded down with hundreds of new directives such as "pool opinions before expressing your own" and "avoid interpersonal conflict", Robocop is of course now effectively neutralised as a force of  order, making effeminate compliments about his partner's hair and expressing to his male colleagues that he is touched by their concern for his welfare and what lovely weather they seem to be having.  After a disastrous patrol in which he fails to kill anyone, lets lawless children run wild in the streets and only flirts with being firm when confronted with someone daring to smoke in public, his maintenance crew are looking over these new directives and lamenting that such blatant new age socialist hippy feminism must surely be driving Robo insane, and that they cannot remove these directives because the only way to do so would be to shock him with so much electricity in the hope of wiping his computer that he would probably die.  Robocop hears this and marches out to the nearest electrical substation and electrocutes himself, because a choice between letting the people have a say in how they are policed or a violent, unyielding, effectively indestructible overman deciding for himself is no choice at all - the risk of death is worth it if the alternative is to let the the faceless, politically correct mobs have their say.
So, yes, I think it's safe to say Frank Miller wrote this, if only because one of the earliest sightings of Robocop is of him crossing a picket line of placard-waving, venom-spewing rabble.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

I think crystal meth may be clouding your judgment

Looks like I'm back to posting Frank to fill blog entries for days when Vista won't play ball (weekdays) or when I haven't got any work done (also weekdays), though you can whistle for coloured pages, ladies, as I've learned my lesson there.  A pity I did not learn lessons about anatomy while I was at it, or as an art scout helpfully offered: "the breasts are too small and none of those men have guns."   Then he went on to complain that he could tell what was happening, and that not enough of the corpses looked like his mum.  Not that I'm bitter.

Robocop 2.  AGAIN.  I have this crazy notion in my head that for all its nasty, brutal idiocy, Robocop 2 is a perfect sequel to what started in Robocop 1.  Robocop 1 was about corporate America, Robocop 2 is about consumer America, and Robocop 3 is about Robocop in a jetpack, which is a bit like giving a shark a machine gun: it's awesome, certainly, but why does he need that?  Or possibly Robocop 3 is about the faceless, greedy consuming and corporate rabble of the first two movies being real people with families and communities and not just the punchline in an ever-more-violent movie joke, with the quote that sums everything up arguably being "It's like the fall of Rome around here" in much the same way Robocop 2 could be summed up by "Neighborhoods are where bad things happen" and Robocop 1 with "I'd buy that for a dollar!"
Or maybe Robocop 2 is just a movie made by people with a very low opinion of America... I'm not sure - perhaps that's why I'm watching it again.  It tasks me.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ladies, let's not do this - at least not with our shirts on.

Babble has been in the bag for a few weeks and I decided to give myself a wee rest seeing as I've heard nowt from Com.X since submitting the pages (which is either a very good sign or a very bad one), only it was not to be as I had a couple of projects owing to lads and I thought it best to try resting only when I had a truly clean plate.  That and Dirk Von Dom sent me an email that partially read "where are my fucking pages you spud eating bastard?"  You can tell he writes short stories, he has a very concise way about his missives.
I also have a strip owing to Paul Scott for the always-impressive Omnivistascope, which I'm still amazed I actually get to contribute to.
But because my computer still runs on Vista and it is a weekday:

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Please tell me you're wearing that shirt so someone can spot you from space

A superhero fan reviews: Eagle and Tiger 175

Genocidal alien Doomlord has the potential to be an insane comic book, because he's like this alien with a skull for a face and wings for ears, and he has this totally metal ring that can shoot death rays, and he has Superman's powers, only instead of coming to Earth to save us he was sent to evaluate us by these guys who are kind of like the Guardians of Oa only I think they're called the Death Lords or something - I can't decide if that is awesomely insane or insanely awesome - and he sees all the wars and pollution and stuff and he thinks "these guys are lame" and sentences us all to death, only he pussies out and now he protects humanity while living with this single mom and her bratty kid.  It started out pretty awesome with this whole "what if General Zod came to Earth instead of Kal El?" Elseworlds premise, but then totaly wusses out and becomes this story about someone doing good to the best of his ability and understanding, only occasionally he gets really hardcore again and kills people because he's an alien and has a value system that's different to the one he's come to admire in humanity, and that's kind of cool and deep I guess, but he doesn't go around killing people all the time and wrecking stuff, which is really lame.

I bet if Mark Millar wrote this, the alien would be awesome all the time and like throwing trains into London Bridge and then killing the king and letting them elect their own president and he'd say stuff like "class dismissed, your majesty!", but it's that Scotch guy Allen Grant who used to do the really lame Batman stories from like 30 years ago before they kicked him out of America, so that's probably why this sucks.
Billy's Boots starts off with this great premise of this juvenile delinquent on the run from foster care who has these, like, haunted sneakers that used to belong to this really famous soccer player, and when he wears them he gets this old guy's mad skills, so I guess this old guy is actually dead and it's his ghost doing it, or he's alive all along and the kid has the power within himself, which would totally be what would happen at the end of the movie version if they made one, which I would only watch if it had a professional wrestler in it.  They could have like Superfly Jimmy Snuka playing the old soccer guy, or a latino of some sort, I guess, because soccer is really big down there - holy cow, wouldn't it be awesome if they made a movie of this and they used CGI to do the old guy so it looked like he was being played by Eddie Guerrero?

That would be off the hook!  Anyway, I don't really get soccer, or sports in general, so this story kind of sucked for me, even before it got to all this lame stuff about people being nice to each other all the time and the people of the town all going to watch the soccer match just because it was happening.  I guess they didn't have Xbox back then so they had to do stupid things like that or be bored all the time.

Star Rider is probably my favorite of all the stories, because it's about this alien who comes to Earth to ride BMX bikes, even though he's like an alien octopus so he has to take human form before he can even use a bike without his tentacles getting caught in the wheels.  I'm not really into sports, but this is like X-Games and stuff, only before there was X-games so it's more like BMX Bandits but with ALF in it, if ALF looked like Cthulu sometimes.

The alien has this spaceship in Loch Ness where the US Navy is looking for the Loch Ness monster with depth charges and then it just suddenly ends as it's getting awsome, which is just bullshit even if it goes straight into this other story called The Computer Warrior, which is about this kid who goes into his computer like Tron and plays the games for real like ReBoot, even though the computer is like this old typewriter kind of thing hooked up to an old tv on this kid's bedroom floor but it still has the power to do this whole virtual reality stuff, which is insane.

The kid goes into the computer and there's this room full of other kids who are playing the game too, so I guess the mian character - Bob, just like ReBoot - has to kill these other kids or something?  A lot actually happens in all these stories even though they're only like 2-4 pages long, and this is very amateurish because too much is happening to keep track of and nobody has time to comment about how what's happening to them is like a movie or cartoon they saw once.

Dan Dare I recognise from superhero writer Garth Ennis' comic book about English people in rockets fighting space-natives, only instead of black guys they were green so that it wasn't offensive, but it's okay for Garth Ennis to do stories about shooting green people because he's Irish.  This version of the character is super-lame, though, as he just sits at a desk doing his job, then orders some people at a computer to send instructions to other people - it's a very unrealistic portrayal of a space hero, I mean he doesn't shoot lasers at aliens at all.

Robo Machines is like Transformers, except even lamer because all they do is run away from the bad guy, who's like this one person chasing these four robots in a giant spaceship filled with lasers and they still run away from him.  These are really lame-ass robots as well as lame-ass heroes.  What do you expect from Gobots, I guess.

Death Wish is actually pretty awsome, because it's about a dude with a Manowar album for a face who does stunts for a living because he wants to crash and burn and end it all, so he only does really, really extreme stunts, and when he goes out in public he wears this creepy mask to stop kids crying and people puking or attacking him.  It's kind of cool, especially when he totally kicks this guy in the face and then breaks out of prison on a Harley and then he promises that from now on he's going to only do even more extreme stunts.  This guy is pretty awsome,actually.

The Thirteenth Floor is about this evil computer who puts people in the Holodeck and then instead of making them go sailing or listen to Data singing, he makes the grim reaper put them through this evil boot camp where climbing nets turn into snakes and stuff, which is all kinds of awsome until the writer ruins it with people helping each other rather than winning the race, which is so dated and not very mature.

The last story is Golden Boy, which is another sports strip, about a kid whose parents die in mysterious circumstances and this super-creepy dude approaches the kid saying he has proof that the kid was responsible for his parents' death and the only way he'll give it to the kid is if the kid takes part in a suicidal death-sport tv reality show and gives this guy his winnings, so it's kind of like Hunger Games only lamer, and tries to hide that it's ripping off Hunger Games by appearing in a comic from 1985.  And what is it with sports in this comic book?  Why all the outdoor activities in something which is only going to be read by asthmatic virgins living in basements?  That's probably the most insane thing about this whole comic book, and even though this story has an evil reality tv show boss who literally has fangs just so you know how evil he really is, it's still pretty lame that it has to be about exercise out in the fresh air and sunlight, which is hard to relate to.  On the plus side, there aren't any women in these stories.  So there's that.

This book kind of sucks, but it does explain why UK writers make such awesome superhero writers - they had plenty of practice making up their own superhero stories so they could avoid reading terrible comics like this.  I'm glad the UK industry is only Thundercats comics now.  They deserve it.