Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bristol Comics Expo this weekend and I'll be there. Will be participating in the 'Writing for Dummies' talk at the Mercure Saturday 11am. I mean at that time in a Saturday morning is there anything else worth watching now that Jamie has left Toonattik? If you can't make it this is what I'll be saying in a nutshell: "writing is all very well, writing for comics more so, but in the meantime get a real job sukka!" It's my first Bristol show in 4 years. I'm a-looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The latest Aku's Fairy Tale tells of a thumb-sized Jack who has, you know, issues. No creator credits on this one, an oversight, but it rarely happens and to be honest I'm not too worried. In any case everyone knows it's written by me. I mean come on who else would come up with the line: "Alas, his father was so poor he did not have two peas to put in a pod." International bankers should hang their heads in shame. Anyhoo 'Thumbling Jack' appears in Cartoon Network Action Pack #47 published by DC. Occasionally one hears talk of a Samurai Jack movie. Now wouldn't that be a good thing indeed?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Watched the first episode of the new Doctor last night. The highlight was by way of introduction having him taste various foodstuffs ('you're Scottish fry me something' - classic) before settling on fish fingers and custard. I also liked 'the corner of your eye' idea, although they could have done more with this. Doctor's new assistant seems to be a younger version of Donna, although I'm not complaining that much ;-)

Unfortunately the plot seemed to be taken from other episodes - the jumps in time as the Doctor first meets a character as a girl then a woman (Girl in the Fireplace), alien hiding from a galactic police force in a hospital (Smith and Jones), the Doctor using a phone to hack into some world network or other (did it to the Cybermen in Age of Steel, did it to Master with the Archangel Network) and I know his speech at the end where he tells an alien race that the earth is protected is a direct reference to David Tennant warning off the Sycorax in The Xmas Invasion, but it just seemed to force us to compare the new Doctor with the old one (at the moment there isn't a comparison), which hardly seemed fair to the new boy.

Incredibly ironic that one of the most repeated shows on the BBC should recycle quite so many plot lines? Anyhoo my son David enjoyed it and now they've got that always tricky first episode out of the way it's upwards and onwards (hopefully).

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Jimbos

In advance of the big night on Sunday just a little bit of fun:

Best Picture-
'The Blind Side' hasn't been released yet. Strange one that. Perhaps they are waiting for Sandy Bullock's Oscar win to propel it along. Or maybe not. Have seen the trailer though, so it does feel like I've seen the film.

Onto the ones I have seen. Let me tell you it's not been a good year. 'Avatar' - immersive but not involving. 'District 9' - great concept but derivative. 'An Education' - didn't really go anywhere. 'Precious' - surprisingly funny in places but unremittingly bleak and not in a good way. 'Up' - I rather liked it but not great. 'A Serious Man' - quirky and bizarre but didn't go anywhere. It's getting a bit of a habit with the Coens I tells ye.
Special mention goes to 'Inglourious Basterds' and 'Up in the Air'. The former's first scene demonstrates what a terrific film maker Tarantino is, film does descend into a piss-take if a highly enjoyable one. The latter is well acted, goes off the rails a little but gets back in track - good ending.

The one standout is The Hurt Locker. Doesn't say anything new about the nature of war, but it's stylish, packs a punch and my interest never wavered.

This reward seems so indistinguishable from Best Picture don't you think. Or it did when Mel Gibson won it for Braveheart. Special mention to Quentin for Inglourious, but the gong goes to Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker.

Actor in a Leading Role-
Acting was generally very good as it usually is. I haven't see Jeff Bridges who appears to be the shoo-in. Taking the remaining four Clooney, Firth, Freeman and Renner, I would look at the one character who undergoes the most change during the film and on that criterion I'm plumping for George Clooney in Up in the Air.

Actor in a Supporting Role-
Matt Damon deserves a mention for being completely convincing as the captain of the South African rugby team in 'Invictus'. The winner though lights up his movie every time he's on screen. That's Chistoph Waltz in no-friend-to-the-spellchecker Inglourious Basterds.

Actress in a Leading Role-
Showed enough subtlety to make the character's development believable. Step forward Gabourey Sidibe for Precious.

Actress in a Supporting Role-
This is a tough one. I can't really separate Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick (both Up in the Air) and Mo'Nique (Precious), but I'm going to plump for our Vera as she's part Ukranian.

Animated Feature -
'Up' will get it, but for me the award goes to 'Fantastic Mr Fox'.

Cinematography-The Hurt Locker

Writing - Original Screenplay- Inglourious Basterds

Writing - Adapted Screenplay- Up in the Air

Music (Original Song)-Almost There” - The Princess and the Frog

Music (Original Score)- The Hurt Locker

Visual Effects- District 9

Art Direction- Avatar

I know we're in the technical categories but does Sound Mixing and Sound Editing merit separate categories? How can the second Transformers film be nominated for the former and not the later? Oh hell I'll give them both to Avatar. Also I thought the sound on Star Trek wasn't very good.

Star Trek. I thought Star Trek's green people were just as good as Avatar's blue people.

Film Editing-
I'm giving it to Precious because it relied on editing, in particular seamlessly incorporating the fantasy segments, more than any of the other categories. And for the most part it worked I think!

So tallying up we have The Hurt Locker 4, Up in the Air 3, Avatar 3, Inglourious Basterds 2, Precious 2, and with 1 each Fantastic Mr Fox, Frog and the Princess, District 9 and Star Trek.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The latest Aku's Fairy Tale 'Jack and his Shadow' appears in CNAP #46. This is an offshoot of the show where Aku narrates a tale with Jack as the bad guy. In this one drawn by Philip Moy the nefarious samurai is one of four princes. Two other princes have quite familiar names if you follow the fortunes of a certain Royal family. Striking a rather wretched figure Jack tells us early on, "No one likes me…life is so unfair…this morning an acorn fell on my head and it really hurt…" What's more it looks like Jack has no chance of winning the tournament to determine the next king; no chance that is until the intervention of his own shadow. As I describe this I can't get the image of Roger Moore out of my head. So there you have it another Aku's Fairy Tale. The best ones are where the bad guy (Jack) does a reverse-Scooby Doo and gets away with it despite those meddling kids. In this story Jack does have his comeuppance I am thoroughly ashamed to say. But there is a little twist and the story's good fun throughout and it's even got a bucking bronco! There are worse things out there - like Scotland throwing away a 10 point lead against Wales in the rugby…

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reasons to be Cheerful Part 1: the cold snap seems to have given way to the great thaw, well at least in the central belt of this place we call Scotchland. This means I only need wear three layers of clothing before contemplating visiting the local shops. Reasons to be Cheerful Part 2: 'Samurai Jack: Tower of Aku' written by me with art by 'man of 2009' Ethen Beavers out now in DC's Cartoon Network Action Pack #45. The story is inspired by the Bridge on the River Kwai. And it's got a bomb disguised as a birthday cake. Ethen has done a bang up job on this one. I have celebrated the fact by eating a fruit scone.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year all! I know 2009 was tough for a lot of people. Let's hope things picks up in 2010. If they don't, I'm giving up this writing lark once and for all and take up being a chef.

This year from me should see more Samurai Jack and Aku Fairy Tales for DC, 'Cuckoo' to appear in Insomnia's 'Focal Point', and 'Food Chain' in four parts for Markosia. And who knows what other delights and challenges will fall my way all in the name of keeping me off the streets. It's called care in the community y'ken! Keep watching this space, well that is until the dots start to appear. Happy New Year all!