Thursday, 30 September 2010


First tiny whiny glimpse of the Doctor Who Christmas Special in the preview for BBC drama this season (nearly at the end!)-

ht: Bleeders

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


First World War that is.

Yup, the last £59.5 million of reparations by the Germans were paid on Sunday, 92 years after the Armistice.


Whilst I am on the subject of comics, the American Library Association has released its annual banned list - a celebration of free speech.

The list gives the reasons why people thought the graphic novels should be banned. My comments in bold

On the Graphic Novels section we have:

Absolute Sandman: Reasons: Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group. Erm 75 chapters challenging our perceptions of reality, story telling and life.

Blankets: Reasons: Sexually Explicit content, Other (unspecified. Mea Culpa haven't read

Bone: Reasons: Sexually Explicit content, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs. Huh? I presume the drugs bit is about the Red Dragon smoking and all the beer people drink

Fun Home: Reasons: Sexually Explicit Content. haven't read

Maus: Reason: Anti Ethnic. WTF???????? A book about the Holocaust based on the author's father and told in a simple form of cats, dogs, mice, and pigs.

Pride of Bagdad: Reasons: Sexually Explicit Content. Sex with lions

Tank Girl: Reasons: Sexually Explicit Content. And Kanga sex, don't forget Kanga sex

The Dark Knight Strikes Again: Reasons: Sexually Explicit Content. Superman and Wonderwoman banging at 10,000 ft. Seriously ban it for the horrendous artwork

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit Content and Unsuited to Age Group. Invisble man rape, yeah OK

Watchmen: Reasons: Unsuited to Age Group. Right, how? Too challenging for the little dears?


Rich is reporting that Pornsak Pichetshote, Jonathan Vankin And Joan Hilty are to be made redundant by Vertigo.

I've written in the past (here and here) about my fears for Vertigo and this seems to confirm it.

Vankin and Hilty were responsible for the critically acclaimed original Graphic Novel division while Pichetshote has had a string of hits including the award-winning Unwritten, We3 and Losers among others (the latter two as deputy).

Well what's next?

I presume Karen Berger will be gone next and Vertigo folded up. That seems the most logical root.

Although others have said this could mean that Wildstorm editors could be shifted over to Vertigo leading to a revitalised line, I doubt it. Vertigo does seem to sit uncomfortably with the current DC headhonchos.

DC is becoming worse by the month, day even. It is like watching an old man playing 77s to remind him of his childhood. The shift to the Silver age characters is almost complete in the DC universe and there appears to be no room for modern, adult comic books in this world of Dan Didio and Geoff Johns (dead cats aside).

So I suspect no room for Vertigo - you know the publishing arm that released Neil Gaiman's Sandman, DMZ, Losers, Y:The Last Man, etc etc etc.

I'll quote myself I think:

Vertigo stands alone among mainstream publishing companies for its sheer variety and nerve...someone in Warner Bros should really start looking at the management of DC as a whole because there appears to be some serious retro, backwards-looking, sales-dropping, movements happening at the moment without the kudos that the likes of Vertigo gives the company.

Monday, 27 September 2010


Vanilla - default option. When you can't decide what you want, you default to that which is comfortable.

And the same with Labour.

Back to the left, bye bye Blairism.

One winner is Ed Balls who has finally defeated Mili-Senior and will be looking for a higher profile in the next few days.

The Unions will be pleased as punch that they swung it.

And of course Mili-Junior.

However, the weird thing is...I was in the bank today and it had Mili-Senior giving a speech on the conference platform.

Because the sound was off, I couldn't hear what was being said so had to look at the body language alone.

Mili-senior strode about the platform as if he had won.

Mili-junior sat there with bambi eyes, staring at the headlights, frozen with one thought in his head: "Oh shi...."

UPDATE: Actually thinking about it - the post title refers to Milli Vanilli, the band that was done for mouthing other singers' voices. Quite an appropriate metaphor come to think about it.



ht: geeks


Funny that I was talking to friends the other day about how uneasy Americans seem to be with the human body.

Ignore the fact that it is home to the largest porn industry in the world, boobs are bad!

When Sex and the City first arrived on the screens here in the UK there was a big fuss about the sensation it was cuasing in the States with graphic sexual scenes and chat.

Then I saw it and thought: "Meh"

It was nothing that hadn't been broadcasted on Play for the Day in the 70s.

Now the latest scandal is Katy Perry's cleavage making an appearance on Sesame Street with Elmo.

It has been withdrawn because of complaints from parents.

Shish - the same parents who are happy for extreme violence to be shown on prime time I spose!

Anyway, here it is:

And here's a quite amusing report on it:

Sunday, 26 September 2010


Mark Millar, comic writer, publicist, creator of Kick-Ass... and in his spare time - Aquaman!!



Pic hts: All About George, Ramascreen


Remember Michael Moorcock writing Doctor Who?

Well here's an extract!

..The pirates, drawn from a hundred worlds and a dozen space-time continua, have come at last. Only a few, watching them from their decks and towpaths, refuse to acknowledge their power. Some even drop to their knees, bowing in respect to the inevitable, as peasants paying homage to a feudal lord.

By evening Cornelius is among them, broadcasting his formal greeting to all the rival factions on the planet, telling them, canal by canal, how much they must give and in what form, be it an ingot of newtonium, platinum bullion, provisions or crew. (Always he requests that ingot. Surely he knows there is not that much newtonium in existence?) His price is high, but the price of defiance would be higher.

When the barges are filled and brought to the great central basin called Grande Bayou, inventories are carefully made and receipts supplied. Then the recruiting begins to replace any skilled complement killed in battle or retired.

Peet Aniv, nick-named ‘the Locust’, stand high on her elegant prosthetics, making notes, quietly relaying orders, while Cornelius, his features engulfed within the plain, etched mask he always adopts in public, sits to one side of her desk, his glowing melancholy eyes fixed on the distance, looking towards Saint Marx’s islet, where once, it is said, he courted a novice and lost her to the only enemy whose superiority he has ever acknowledged and whom he calls God.

One burgher, in a hasty attempt to demonstrate his compliance, offers to show off a marvel to the captain alone. He leaves a wealthy man, but perhaps a marked man, too. Captain Cornelius frowns and puts what could be a string of beads into his pocket, rattling them while brooding on another matter.

At last, after a week, the peaceful tension is dispelled and the pirates prepare to leave, their tolls all gathered, while Saint Marx’s bells sound the end of tax-taking. In return for this price, Venice will know protection for another decade. Captain Cornelius nods to Peet Aviv. The ledgers are signed off by pirates and canal captains in a flurry of silken pomp and brilliant armour. Then the skiffs rise skyward and are gone amongst the broad ribbons of cloud. And those whose eyes strain at their scopes see the Paine standing for a moment to catch the solar winds, her wide sails filling, her instruments glowing and winking in the shrouded, perpetual twilight of her decks. Then she’s gone, too, a vast and fleeting glow against the black glare of space, no doubt making for her home base in the dwarf galaxy of Canis.

A memory of loss and glory. As if the multiverse had allowed Venice and audience with her own proud, cold soul.

Captain Cornelius inspects certain items of treasure, searching for that fabulously valuable ingot of newtonium, puzzles over his data and his charts, confers with Peet Aniv and begins to understand that fear he has always exploited but never until now known. For there are dark tides running through the universe; currents so powerful they drag whole galaxies with them, streaming gravities so strong they swallow light and threaten Captain Cornelius’s familiar existence; ultimately they will threaten every form of sentient existence and if unchecked will absorb the whole of Creation. But for now the photons press against his sails as he once presumed the would do for ever, and he tacks into the solar winds, continuing his long search for the one artefact which might lead him to something and guarantee his life, his ship’s life and the life of the universe he loves. He sails in from the Rim, daring the drag of the galactic Hub, still searching. Searching for the only being he acknowledges as his peer, who might join him or at least help him; who is known simply as ‘the Doctor’...

Get the book here

Ht: Life, Doctor Who and Combom

Thursday, 23 September 2010


I should get a job on the EU gravy train if these figures from Ellwood & Atfield are anything to go by:


Gross monthly: €7,665.31
Net monthly €5,963.33
Net annual: €71,559.96
Staffing: €17,540/month
General expenditure: €4,202/month
Additional Subsistence: €298/day attandence at official meetings
Subsistence for external office meetings: €149/day

Comb pay (including annual travel allowance) est; €126,131.96pa

Commission and Council
26,000 employed by European Commission. 3,500 permanent posts in the Council
President: €24,874/month
Vice President: €22,531/month
High Representative: €23,432/month
Commissioner: €20,278/month
Residence allowance: 15% of salary

Civil Service
Highest grade: €16,600pm - €18,025pm
Lowest admin: €4,267 - €4,828pm
Unit head/managament: €10,129 - €11,461pm
Allowances: Varied: Expat - 16% of sallary, household & cild allowance if working outside their home country
Pension 8.25% of basic


In the six months to June there were 1343 requests from the British government for information on Google users while there were 48 requests for data removal.

1343 user requests? I wonder on who? Should Old Holborn start getting worried?!?!

Here's the top five:

Country Data Removal

United States 4287 128
Brazil 2435 398
India 1430 30
United Kingdom 1343 48
France 1017 25

ht: Geeks


what a perfect marriage - Star Trek pizza slicer

available here

ht: Geeks


An interesting article on soundblab about the rise of the geek which ends with a warning:

The geeks have already made it, let's hope they haven't got too light-headed by their sudden rise to the top.

Now I've always been a geek. Wither films - from being blown sideways by the blockade Runner and the screen being swallowed by an Imperial Star Destroyer, through the grim tech-noir of Blade Runner to the sheer lunacy from Simon Pegg and Crew; to TV - with the good Doctor, Blakes 7, Star Trek etc; or to books and comics I have embraced my geekdom.

However, as a cultural meme it has me worried. The successes of the last decade or so have dragged the Geek from their pub meets, comicons and internet into the blinking glaze of that carniverous whore that is popular culture.

At the moment Doctor Who is the most watched family programme excluding soaps, teenage girls are snapping up vampire fic and manga, and you see Green Lantern t-shirts (of all things) around the park.

But, as with all pop culture, have we hit the crest? Is the only way down?

There are a plethora of superhero films on the horizon, which will be the Heaven's Gate of the genre?

How long before we scuttle back to our darkened rooms, remembering the time when we were in the sunlight, waiting for the next time the circle turns again?


I make no apology for attacking spivs and gamblers who did more harm to the British economy than Bob Crow [the RMT union leader] could achieve in his wildest Trotskyite fantasies, while paying themselves outrageous bonuses underwritten by the taxpayer

Vince Cable has made a lot of ink spill over his comments to the Lib Dem conference yesterday and in the Fringe.

However, essentially he is playing to the audience.

Despite the re-birth of economic liberalism in the party, the Lib Dem delegate in general is still the left-wing, fox-hugging, hemp buying, community worker that sees the world like Basil Fotherington-Thomas singing "hullo clouds, hullo sky", thinking the world would be a better place if only people were nice.

You know like those teachers at school who were always on the verge of a mental breakdown as they realised that their lovely progedies were actually evil shits that will have to have civilisation beaten into them by their peers and the playing fields.

So Vince was giving them what they wanted. Bankers are nasty people. Rich people are selfish.

That sort of thing.

The problem is that without the financial world, where does that leave the UK? I really don't have a problem with companies using their own profits to pay workers. I DO have a problem with governments who are major shareholders not stopping banks from paying huge bonuses before they meet their debt obligation to the tax payer.

A distinct difference there Vince.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


ht: the bish


Marvel Cats

Samurai Star Wars

Ht: Geeks


Apparently there is a facebook group that encourages people to cough when they walk past smokers.

Just pathetic really.

I'll leve it to the (Not-so) forgotten prophet.

Ladies and gentlemen, Bill Hicks:

Tell you, the worst kind of non-smokers' the kind where you're smokin' and they just walk up to you ... [starts coughing affectedly] I always say, 'Shit, you're lucky you don't smoke. That's some cough you got there, dude. I'm smoking, you're coughing. Wow.' That's kind of cruel, man. Going up to a smoker and coughing. Shit! Do you go up to crippled people dancing too, you fucks? 'Hey, Mr. Wheelchair. What's your problem? Come on ironside, race ya!

Obnoxious , self-righteous, whining little fucks. My biggest fear is that if I quit smoking, I'll become on of you...Don't take that wrong. I have something to tell you non-smokers that I know for a fact that you don't know, and I feel it's my duty to pass on information at all times. Ready?.......Non-smokers die every day...Enjoy your evening. See, I know that you entertain this eternal life fantasy because you've chosen not to smoke, but let me be the 1st to POP that bubble and bring you hurtling back to reality....You're dead too.

Bill Hicks: December 16, 1961 – February 26, 1994


Conservative Home has written about how Jeremy Hunt could become the champion of supporters-owned football clubs.

But there is another solution. In both Liverpool and Man U's situations, the buyers borrowed heavily to get the clubs and then put that debt onto the clubs' books.

That's right, make the clubs pay for the buyout.

And it's completely legal.

And in my opinion wrong.

As much shadenfreude as could be had from seeing these two clubs fall, it cannot be right to push a club into debt because you've bought it.

Man U only made a profit because of the selling of Ronaldo otherwise the debt would have had probably the most successful club in the UK make a loss.

Get rid of that legal move first - we might see football remember a time when the fans were as important to the clubs and players as money and cups are today.

Monday, 13 September 2010


They say that in pubs you should never talk about religion or politics and it may be so in blogs but hey!

So Pope Benedict is on his way faced with the usual crap that Hawkins would never dare say to an Imam.

I'm not religious, I have belief, but I was brought up Catholic.

It's weird but I don't feel the same about Benedict that I did with JP2.

I was in Italy - to watch a rugby match - and myself and the wife inadvertently ended up in a Papal mass with a blessing with JP2. Though I am not religious I respected that man the same way I respected my old headmaster who married us.

However, religion is about politics or social order. Barrier protection was banned once it became effective - how do you create more believers if someone is wearing a sheaf?

Abortion arguments I can respect, anyone who has seen their child in a scan that is before the legal limit for abortion, must have had thoughts on the legitimacy of abortion.

But I digress. There has been huge amounts of criticism about Benedict and the priest kiddy fiddlers. However there is a major problem - doctrine

People are demanding that the Pope apologises about the sickening actions of his priests but there's a major sticking point.

Papal infallibility. The successors of Paul have infallibility - doctrine-wise they cannot apologise. It's pointless to demand it. The Pope cannot do wrong so cannot apologise.

Yes I know we all think he should, but doctrine and politics demands otherwise.

If that religion says its leader is infallible and that religion demands that stance, what makes the Pope so different from Imams and Rabbis that have also refused to condemn the evils committed in their religion?

Anyway here's XTC. Always loved the song and some of the sentiments:

BTW, don't know if Google ads will turn up but most amused by an advert for Christian Dating accompanying the vid on You Tube!

Saturday, 11 September 2010


What happens when a vampire, werewolf and ghost end up living in a shared house in Bristol?

That was the concept of Being Human, a wonderful BBC3 (yeah I know there aren't that many) programme which is filming the third series in Cardiff as I type.

But the Americans are reimagining it on ScyFy.

Yeah, I think of Life on Mars and shudder as well!

Syfy's all-new drama series Being Human, starring Sam Witwer (Smallville, Battlestar Galactica), Meaghan Rath (The Assistants), Sam Huntington (Cavemen, Superman Returns) and Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural) has commenced production in Montreal, Canada. Adam Kane (The Mentalist, Heroes) is Director and Co-Executive Producer with Executive Producer Michael Prupas (The Kennedys, Pillars of the Earth) and husband and wife Executive Producers/Writers Jeremy Carver (Supernatural) and Anna Fricke (Men in Trees, Everwood). Muse Entertainment is producing 13 1-hour episodes for Syfy.

Being Human, a re-imagining of the acclaimed UK series created by Toby Whithouse, follows three paranormal, 20-something roommates living in Boston - vampire "Aidan" (Witwer), werewolf "Josh" (Huntington) and ghost "Sally" (Rath) - as they struggle to hide their dark secrets from the world, while helping each other navigate the complexities of living double lives and trying to be human. Mark Pellegrino plays Aidan's charismatic but menacing vampire mentor "Bishop."

The producer is Irene Litinsky (Human Trafficking, The Phantom) of Muse Entertainment, the director of photography is Pierre Jodoin (The Last Templar, Secrets of the Mountain) and the production designer is Zoe Sakellaropoulo (The Last Templar, The Phantom).

HT: Blastr


Sorry bit late on this one as I don't usually read the Daily Hate, but from the Mail, pics of the Cap America stunt double and I have to say I like the costume!

ht: Bleeders


Well, more attitudes towards children's media

Here's David Mitchell

HT: Life, Doctor Who & Combom

Tuesday, 7 September 2010



ht: Geeks


If this story is right, then fantastic, that little freak circus will not be on our screens for a while.

Unfortunately for ITV, this does mean that a cash cow has gone and with its difficulties already shareholders will not be pleased.

I know this is revolutionary but maybe ITV could consider proper telly, such as it did when I was growing up, rather than cheap reality Tv that only serves to fill Cowell's pocket.

Just a thought

Monday, 6 September 2010


This news leaves me worried.

EU states have agreed to three pan-European watchdogs to oversee controls for banks and insurers.

The UK is not part of the Euro, it is not subjected to the fiscal straitjacket that Ireland finds itself in.

Yet, it has apparently agreed - or rather unelected Civil Servants have agreed - to these bodies.

The EU has graciously allowed day-to-day supervision of individual companies and markets to remain with the national regulator yet the new EU bodies will develop harmonised rules and approaches to co-ordinate their actions..

Why? I mean why should yet another layer of regs be lumped onto a system that is already struggling with the anti-markets rhetoric from the EU already?

Under the deal, the European Central Bank president will chair the ESRC for the first five years, and there will be a review of the legislation after three years.

Oh good, because the ECB has done such a great job balancing all the disparate economies under its watch.

The new watchdogs will have no direct supervisory powers, other than for credit rating agencies operating in the EU.

No complaints about that.

And here's the carrot:

MEPs have also dropped their demand that the new watchdogs are all based in Frankfurt: instead they will be split between London, Paris and the German city.

Hah, one of the big three markets in the World was going to be ignored? Pathetic.

And here's the stick:

The watchdogs will have some additional powers in “emergency situations”, however, and may temporarily ban or restrict certain financial activities if these threaten the stability of the EU’s financial system. But “emergencies” will be called by the member states, rather than the European Commission or parliament.

Ah, additional powers and what would they be exactly and what constitutes an emergency and how do member states call it? Majority vote? France kicking its toys out of its pram?

The watchdogs have no power except in emergency situations - so what is the point of them? As always politicans look to further layers of powers and regulations rather than looking at what went wrong.

Was there a need for greater co-ordination two years ago? No, not in my opinion.

Greater communication yes but we are not in the Euro, or the Dollar, our cycle is at a different point to many in the Euro zone and we are meant to be sovereign in issues of tax, regulation and UK markets. It is up to the Bank of England and the Government to decide what actions, where and when, should be taken in the UK, not Brussels.

My major concern is that this could be used as the basis of sucking us in fully to the Euro-state. Eventually the watchdogs will get some proper teeth then our supervisory bodies will become subsumed into a greater Euro-regulator.

Once that's done, where goes the markets?

Once that's done, where goes fiscal responsibility?

Once that's done, who's accountable to the British voter?

Once that's done, where's your lines in the sand Dave?

Saturday, 4 September 2010


Nope, not really but here is a Facebook meme, courtesy of David Bishop, where you combine random searches on Wikipedia and Flickr to create a mock-up of your mythical band's first album cover.

These are the instructions: Click here to be transported to a random Wikipedia article. The first random article you get is the name of your band. Next, click here to visit a random quotations page. Use the last quote on the page as the title for your album. [If the quote's too long, just use the last four or five words.]

Now click here and you'll be taken to a Flickr page will full of interesting photos uploaded in the last seven days. The third picture - no matter what it is - is your album cover art. Use iPhoto or Photoshop or similar to edit the picture as required. Then put all the elements together in Pages or inDesign or another desktop design piece of software.


When I was 14 I read this DC Presents which presented the Superboy of our Earth.

Before DC decided to turn Superboy-Prime into a fanboy psycho, this story touched me about the dreams that one could have and how incredible if those dreams could come true.

24 years later I still look up to the sky wondering if I could just reach out...

BTW the whole original story is here

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


...shoot me now!

Ed Milliband?!?!?

Ed Balls?!?!?!

I would have even preferred Abbott

ht; Dizzy


It was pretty damn wonderful actually, according to the Lord of Stories:

...all I'll say is that the table read was pretty amazing, the guest star or stars will be fabulous, Matt's great, Arthur's wonderful and I never got to say hullo to Karen (who was amazing).