Friday, November 21, 2003

Happy Holidays for me

Off on holiday for 10 days as of tomorrow.

No PCs, no emails to read, no work to do. I haven't had a break this long since just after Rosanna was born and she's more than 17 months old now

My wife and I and our two lovely daughters will be travelling down the south coast of New South Wales and staying at cheap lodgings where we can find them, having teas and biscuits in little coffee shops and generally just seeing rural coastside Australia as much as we can.
I intend to soak up some sun and do a little bit of reading and just relax and forget about life for a while.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

"We could all feel safe, just like Sharon Tate"
- John Cale

At the library where I work I sent out a book entitled Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders on interlibrary loan. It got a very good blurb on the back cover by the author of Helter Skelter. Just before sending it out I browsed through the photos in it. Some nice ones of the beautiful Sharon, some of Charles Manson and of the three girls who did the murders smiling as they go into court and a very sad one of Sharon's corpse at the scene of the crime. When I told my wife about it she said it was nice that at least they put the unborn baby's name on Sharon's tombstone.

Yesterday I bought the Hardcover book of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume II. Worth the price just for the extras alone even if you already have all 6 individual issues of the series. I especially liked this little ditty from Alan:


This is the tale of Teddy Teague
who could not wait to read his "League",
With each new month he would complain
"Where's issue six? It's late again!"

Vexed and frustrated he would write
disgruntled letters filled with spite
That called the authors work-shy fops
and threatened them with riding crops.

Grown vain on cash from Tinsel Town,
the pair won't take this lying down
And, finding out where Teddy lives,
go round and do him in with shivs.

In summary, our tale makes clear
that Patience is a virtue dear.
So, gentle reader, know your place,
and don't get on our ****ing case.

other extras include the whole of the flying carpet seen on the first page with all of the carpet visible this time on the last page, a Christmas postcard, an amusing stick your fingers through these two holes to make Mina's legs saucy postcard, Dr. Moreau looking for his lost animal chums, wall carvings or drawings from Mars, how to make Nemo's Nautilus using a single sheet of paper, a colour and save page - remember to stay within the lines, all of the covers including the two compendiums and a reprint of the Game of Extraordinary Gentleman as a fold out, also loved the front and back cover of the New Travellers Almanac made to look like a very aged hardcover leather booklet complete with inkstained thumbprints. It's sitting on my bookshelf right now alongside Volume 1 and the Absolute Edition in the slipcase.

Started reading An HP Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Up to the letter "C".

Here's a good Encyclopaedic entry for Alan Moore and another one for Promethea

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

A Half Century for the Magus from Northampton

Todas is Alan Moore's 50th birthday and his official retirement from writing mainstream comics day.

Here's my contribution to the celebration which was updated just today

Happy Birthday Alan Moore

and Ninth Art has created an Alan Moore Index which collects interviews and reviews about Alan and his works including the JH Williams III interview in which he first revealed that Promethea would end with issue #32.

I also finally just about finished the links and images that had to be added to an interview I did with John Coulthart

Finally smoky man has done a happy birthday page Buon Cumpleanno Alan Moore!!! with information about the new Italian translation of Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman

Happy Birthday Alan and may you have 50 more years of productive life with which to astound us.

Monday, November 17, 2003

"...I hope we passed the audition..."

Been meaning to post something for the past few days but just never got around to it.

Today is the official release date of Let It Be...Naked

Bought a copy and listened to it once already. Hard to listen to Across the Universe and not hear the celestial choir in the background. Going to take quite a few listens before I can shut it out of my minds ear.
Will require several listens before I can appreciate it properly.

It was a good guess about smoky man a few entries ago. One of the reasons he uses small letters is that he likes ee cummings.
Stayed up late a few nights ago to watch a documentary about Dennis Franz of NYPD Blue fame.
I can still remember him from when he still had hair back in the days when he did character roles in Brian De Palma films. I remembered him in Dressed to Kill and Blow Out but forgot he was also in The Fury probably because he wasn't playing a detective behind a desk in that one. Interesting to note that he and Joe Mantegna were in the same theatre troupe in their younger days. I never knew he'd spent 11 months in Vietnam when he was 24.

Book progresses slowly but I've promised myself to spend all my free time reading, researching and writing it from now on. Unfortunately next week I'm off on holiday for about 9 days and won't have a chance to do much work then but once I'm back it's
"Damn the torpedoes full steam ahead".

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Unusual book titles

Back Cover Blurb

Here's a great quote I plan to use for the back cover blurb of the Promethea Guide book

"a visually stunning ongoing series that's something
like Buffy meets Harry Potter at the Bodhi Tree
Boosktore for an LSD afternoon"

- Jay Babcock

It comes from the LA Weekly article entitled The Rational Shaman

Monday, November 10, 2003

The End of the Endless

Actually it's really more like the end of reading about the Endless (at least for me). Re-reading is different from reading and I'm sure I'll re-read Sandman in the future sometime.

Finished reading Sandman Vol X The Wake followed by Endless Nights both quite good even though The Wake came out in 1997 and Endless Nights just this year. A 6 year hiatus between major Sandman collections
Asked to sum up Sandman in 25 words or less Gaiman wrote

The Lord of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision

He managed it in just 15 words. Now that's a good writer for you.

When I was done with Sandman people asked if I would ever come back to those characters...
Sure I said One day.
This volume
(Endless Nights)exists because there were artists I wanted to work with and stories I wanted to tell and because sometimes you look up and realize that one day is now

The days are short, and are too soon over

The nights, for good or bad, can seem endless

Writing these stories was like coming home

Sending and receiving quite a few emails mostly to do with the Promethea Guide Book. Some suggestions from readers and some me contacting a possible distributor for the book recommended to me by one of Alan Moore's friends. I'm really happy with how the book is shaping up even though I still haven't got around to writing a lot of it yet finding the best person to do the dustjacket and (hopefully) the right distributor makes it seem like I'm a whole lot closer to achieving my dream of finally publishing something (even if I am using a pseudonym and not my real name)

Apparently Smoky Man always uses small letters for his name just like ee cummings

also learnt about a small Alan Moore item called The Great Old Ones that I haven't read yet in
The Haunter in the Dark
and a new Alan Moore comic that hasn't been finished yet

"John Coulthart will be doing a decadent, partly computer-generated occult strip called "The Soul."
The Soul is an occult investigatress who operates in or around 1910 - but it's a very strange 1910, a very beautiful, art nouveaux world."

Sounds intriguing

Friday, November 07, 2003

Metastory: or

The longest story ever told which contains the infinitude of all possible stories ever told or yet to be told within it

Once upon a time the Universe began. Eventually it will cease to exist

The End

I just contacted someone about doing a dustjacket for my Guide Book and he said yes. I won't say who right now but I can say that it is someone very special.

My mood: extremely happy
Listening to: The Highbury Working: A Beat Seance
Reading: just finished Sandman Volume IX The Kindly Ones

Want to feel small and insiginifcant
Read on
Voyager nears sounds of silence
November 7, 2003

After 26 years speeding through the void at 16 kilometres a second, the spacecraft Voyager 1 has boldly gone where no spacecraft has gone before - to the edge of the solar system.

NASA scientists said on Wednesday that the craft had buffeted into a region known as the termination shock, where the sun's wind slams into the radiation from distant stars.

Voyager 1 and its sistership Voyager 2, both launched in 1977, are heading for the far-off stars and both carry messages from Earth - a gold-plated disc carrying the calls of whales and the sound of rock'n'roll - to any extraterrestrial civilisations they might meet.

In the next few years, Voyager 1 will be the first to pass another invisible boundary called the heliopause, where the sun's influence wanes, and true interstellar space begins.

After the craft pass the heliopause, they will enter the region known as the Oort cloud. It could take them 20,000 years or more to get through this region but both will have fallen silent by 2020.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

The Man who Killed Monty Python

Bought a copy of The Pythons a Biography of the Pythons by the Pythons yesterday. I'll just keep it wrapped up and get my wife to give it to me as a Xmas present next month. Read little bits of it and looked at all the photos. Quite a lot I'd already seen in other books, magazines, etc but there are certainly a lot of candid snaps taken during filming script meetings etc. The saddes bit was the last part when you learn about all the problems they had after the Aspen reunion trying to agree with one another on whether to do another stage tour or maybe just one more movie. With Graham dead they could still get away with it. The idea being that they would play their characters from Holy Grail 30 plus years later and what they were up to mostly going on crusades and disagreeing with one another about what to do. It might have been an interesting film but John Cleese definitly did not want to do it which comes as a bit of a surprise when you see the sort of roles he accepts these days. James Bond and Charlie's Angels #2.
Anyway that idea bit the dust but I had a thought what about a film about some demented fan trying to kill them all so they could be reunited. Like that very bad taste Beatles joke after Lennon's death.

Q: What would it take to reunite the Beatles?
A: Three Bullets.

Sadly now the answer would be two bullets
Anyway what with their disrespect for death and other insititutions such as wakes ceremonies. JC became the first person to say the word f**k at Graham's memorial service they could have quite a bit of fun with a movie about someone murdering them off one by one just so that Monty Python could exist as an entity once again.
Anyway silly idea but reading all the problems they had trying to agree on something really makes you wonder how any group of 6 (now 5) people can possibly still stay together as a team even when they are tempted with vast amounts of money.

Also bought a 3 DVD collection of the Marx Bros which has 3 of their best early films:
Duck Soup, Horse Feathers and Animal Crakers.

Also the new Tom Strong #23 Moonday which is a bit reminiscent of two or three earlier Tom Strongs and has a couple of nice jokes but wasn't actually scripted by Alan. I think this is the first time someone other than Alan Moore has written a Tom Strong story (not counting the Terrific Tales ones).
Sadly even though the official publication date for Promethea #28 was yesterday there were no copies forthcoming from DC/Wildstorm/ABC and no reason given. I asked Mick Gray about it and he says the art was finished weeks ago so the problem isn't with the work not being done on time. Hopefully it will be out next week or soon after that.

Just found out that unfortunately an ISBN purchased in Australia only applies to books physically published in Australia so I'm going to have to buy some from overseas instead.
So now the search begins for the most reasonably priced Print On Deman Publisher that offers the best service. Porably the best place to start is Julie Duffy's website but ideally I want one with offices both in the US and Europe. I wonder if you need to publish separate ISBNs one for England and another for the US. Only one way to find out.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

3 Spoonerisms

Butterfly - Flutter By
Dogs Howling - Hogs Dowling
Fireworks - Wire Forks

Wrote first version of Eroom Nala interviews Eroom Nala about Eroom Nala for the book. Will try and get a slight bit of feedback from a few friends about it soon.
Gerlinde Althoff who does the German translations of Promethea for Speed Comics has agreed to do an interview about her translating tasks. Just emailed her the questions today.

Two different people have offered to host my Promethea pages to get rid of all the popup ads and bandwidth problems I've been experience using my free webpages at Bravepages and 0catch.com. Will take them up on it in the near future.

Not sure why Promethea #28 has already been recommended as a Hugo nomination by the Bay Area Weekly SF group when its only just been published tomorrow.

Although both Tom Strong #23 and Promethea are scheduled for publication tomorrow neither of them appears as a first look at milehigh comics and one of my local comic book shops sent me the list of titles that they will receive tomorrow and while Tom Strong #23 is on it Promethea #28 isn't so there might be a slight delay before the next issue arrives.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Kill Bill questions


Don't read on if you haven't seen the film
All good children go to heaven"
- The Beatles

If the bride went all the way to Japan and waited for a month to get that samurai sword made then took her revenge wouldn't the police have enough time to put out a search for Buck's Pussy Wagon? Wouldn't they be able to locate her if she keeps riding around in it?.
If you chopped someone's arm off like the Bride did with Lucy Liu's lawyer wouldn't they just bleed to death unless they managed to staunch the flow of blood?
If Bill was so upset with the Bride leaving the nest of Vipers to marry and have a child why wasn't he equally upset when Copperhead left to do the same thing 6 months later?
Also why the use of a split screen at the hospital when Daryl Hannah attempts to kill Uma Thurman. When DePalma does this sort of thing in his films there is usally a valid reason behind it but I couldn't see why it was necessary to use the split screen here. It just calls attention to itself. Ditto the change from color to b&w and then back again during the big fight scene. Why?

Interesting that Tarantino spent so much time on Lucy Liu's back story but gave us no background information on Copperhead.
A friend of mine commented that one of the main reasons why he had to use animation was the he couldn't have got away with depicting paedophilia with real actors.

It wasn't actually oceans of blood, more like rivers or torrents.
Anyway I still enjoyed the film. It was easy to see that you shouldn't take it too seriously when he starts off quoting an old Klingon proverb.
Loved the effect of the blood gushing out of the body's neck after Lucky Liu cut his head off. Reminded me a bit of Robert DeNiro bashing in someone's brains in with a baseball bat in The Untouchables at a table meeting of gangsters. Also liked the effect of the bamboo and water marking the passage of time as Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu are performing their duel. And all that music that was like something Ennio Morricone had contributed to one of those Epic Western soundtracks that he did was just the icing on the cake.

My contribution to Alan Moore's 50th Birthday can be found here

Watched a DVD about Terry Gilliam from the American Film Institute. Good interviews but unfortunately despite what it said on the label there was no footage of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and no Johnny Depp interview. Also the filmography had Good Omens as being released in 2000. Rather like an old Halliwell's Film Companion that has the last Sean Connery movie as being The Adventures of Baron Munchaussen. Shows that you should never print something until it actually happens.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

I completely forgot it was Halloween yesterday. Celebrating Halloween doesn't occur much in Australia yet although in future it might.

If I could read Spanish a bit better than I do I might consult Fabio Blanco's Blog a bit more often. His title translates as "I needed the money". Fabio is a fellow Alan Moore fan. There are plenty of them scattered all over the globe.

Reading a few good extracts from Michael Palin's Diary about filming Holy Grail and trying to prevent American TV from showing a truncated version of their 4th TV series reprinted from the new Python book in the Good Weekend of today's Sydney Morning Herald. Looks like it's published in Australia and distributed by Allen & Unwin on Monday and the price is $85 Australian

Shame that the actions of a few boorish individuals have resulted in Jess Nevins no longer doing annotations online in future.
Quoting from Jess himself

I've been getting a stream of very insulting e-mails. They suggest things to add to the Smax and 1602 annotations, but they do so in very insulting, condescending, and demeaning ways, to the point where the joy of annotating has been entirely destroyed for me. I just don't need daily suggestions that I'm not bright enough to do this or that annotation, that I'm not as smart or literate as the people e-mailing me, and that I'm not doing a very good job. Annotating comic books was a hobby for me, a pleasant diversion, and a substantial portion of online comic fandom has made it unpleasant and a black cloud for me.
I'm so disgusted with online comics fandom right now that I'm seriously considering retiring from it altogether. It's one thing to get insulting e-mail from people who feel I've insulted them directly; it's quite another to get daily e-mails from people who casually demean me.
I have a choice. I can spend time and effort on the annotations, with no physical reward and a constant stream of comments from people who think I'm not doing a very good job and am not qualified to do the job. Or I can spend time and effort writing my books, which will pay me and give me pleasant feedback. Right now I can't think of a single good reason why I should spend a second longer on the annotations.

Luckily someone has taken over the task of annotating Smax from Issue #3 onwards.

Jose Carlos Neves has just posted a good new interview with Gary Spencer Millidge although he forgot to include a link to my From Hell and Back Annotations

Off to see Kill Bill Vol. 1 tonight.
Probably not too much sex but I'm expecting plenty of ultra-violence and oceans of blood. I like the rating on the poster
"Strong bloody violence"

And they've just re-released Kinky Friedman's 1973 debut album Sold American. I'll have to see if I can find a copy somewhere.

Also I've finally gotten over 1,000 hits for the month of October on my first Promethea annotations page although it took two Octobers to do it (2002 & 2003)
Just click on the monthly link here

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