I am delighted to have finally scanned in a comic I made waaaay back when I was 10 years old. (If I remember right, I completed these early episodes at the start of the year, before my birthday.) Here begin the adventures of Nogard the Dragon!
This was, I think, the first strip comic I ever created and it actually shows some ability to work with panels and pace gags. Any semblance of technique was of course hoovered up from the comics I was reading at the time. These were Marvel’s Avengers (at this point, deep in the Roger Stern era) and IPC’s 80s revival of Eagle (firmly into its decline), of course, but of more relevance: the legendary British humour comic Oink!, whose humour I was eagerly trying to emulate, and the backmatter strips in the gamer mag Dragon Magazine: Larry Elmore’s Snarfquest and Dave Trampier’s Wormy. If you’re gonna steal, steal from the best.
Note that some skills weren’t picked up so readily: for example, I couldn’t draw or letter for tuppence. I remember some of my classmates who were just so talented on the cartoon front. Luckily this didn’t hold me back. And also, I couldn’t actually structure a story for tuppence either. That dramatically-named “Scarlet Castle” in the first panel? You’ll never hear of that again. That mid-strip fight-sequence? Complete filler. And that weird interstitial creature talking directly to the audience? Well – there is a reason for him but lord knows what I was thinking at the time.
So, here it is. The remainder of the story will turn up on Flickr in due course, and will be linked in a future post or two. Unsubscribe now!
This weekend had so much packed into it, but it all came out pretty well.
Went to Armageddon Pop Culture Expo with Eric. Every year I say I won’t go back next year, but they keep bringing over people who played the Doctor, and occasionally cool comics guests. This year, 1996 Doctor Paul McGann (Eric describes that) and comics team Mike & Laura Allred. I was wearing my only comic-book t-shirt, which features the meditative and romantic Concrete character by Paul Chadwick, and Mike & Laura complimented the shirt and we talked about what Paul was up to these days (answer: commercial work, mostly, though I see from his blog he’s started on a new Concrete piece). They signed my Wolverine of Fame, and I walked Mike over to the NZ comics table where Dylan Horrocks was lurking so they could meet.
Saw more of Dylan at my real highlight of the weekend, the NZ Comics Weekend, which was absolutely buzzing with creative energy. I think I’ll talk about that in a different post, even.
Apart from that, caught up with a bunch of people who all chose this weekend to come back to Wellington for a visit, got stuck into some packing, lined up some more work, watched the new Doctor Who, and did a few quiet things for my birthday. Really nice, overall.
Happy April Fools Holy Thursday linky. I was all keen to do an April Fools Pantheon of Plastic entry, following DavidR’s suggestion, but after far too long clicking through action figure custom galleries and flipping the pages of Tomart’s Encyclopedia & Price Guide to Action Figure Collectibles, I still hadn’t found any photos that felt like they could play. No doubt I’ll have a great idea as soon as I post this, but oh well.
Elyssa a.k.a. The Moon Whispers, late of Wgtn and now home in Italy, has released a bunch of free music, including a new track Tutto Intorno e Ombra. (You have to subscribe to her email list to get the download link.) From the site: “Elyssa writes enchanting dark ballads with evocative vocals and a storytelling slant. ”
From Rodger: Polka Face! Wunnerful.
Seen the Scarface School Play yet? As a hoax it was never gonna last more than five minutes, but as a piece of wacko guerilla pop-art, it’s something amazing.
Weird, the Weird Al biopic. Am I the only one who genuinely would love to see a Weird Al biopic? A doco would beeven better.
And a round-up of linky about Dylan, interviews at BoingBoing, newsarama and more. Tomorrow I’ll be going to the NZ Comics Weekend opening, and hopefully on Saturday too to see the Wgtn launch of the first NZ edition of Dylan’s classic work, Hicksville. Bookman Beattie writes about Hicksville here. Dylan is a lovely chap and a great creator, and is currently serializing new work free on his blog: hicksvillecomics.com
Sitting next to my computer for the last few months has been an issue of Cerebus, the long-running nearly indescribably series by Dave Sim. I picked up a stack of them in a ten-cent sale a decade ago and have finally been working through them. Sim was a champion of the comics form and provided a showcase for plenty of up-and-coming creators, and a back-up in this issue (#177) is by a woman named Nina Paley. She, I remembered instantly, had written and drawn some great funny strips for Dark Horse Presents back in the 90s (and indeed, Sim’s intro mentions Diana Schutz, editor at Dark Horse). What, I wondered, had become of her? Well, it turns out she made a movie: a full-length animated feature called Sita Sings the Blues. Roger Ebert gives it an extensive and glowing review here. Ebert:
“By this point, I’m hooked. I can’t stop now. I put on the DVD and start watching. I am enchanted. I am swept away. I am smiling from one end of the film to the other. It is astonishingly original. It brings together four entirely separate elements and combines them into a great whimsical chord. You might think my attention would flag while watching An animated version of the epic Indian tale of Ramayana set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw. Quite the opposite. It quickens.”
So that Wikileaks post yesterday was picked up by Reddit and traffic on this blog went into the stratosphere yesterday. On Weds I had 283 unique visitors, pretty typical; on Thursday that number jumped to 92,487. Whoa. What’s especially odd is that the post in question contained nothing at all new – it just copied and pasted some tweets from the Wikileaks twitter feed. Purely a right place/right time kinda deal.
Trace Hodgson’s legendary 80s political/social satire Shafts of Strife. I can remember being astonished that this weird comic strip was running in the staid old Listener! (via Stephen Judd; Shafts of Strife presented online by the lovely Roger Langridge, whose Muppets comics still aren’t available in NZ.)
Scott Pilgrim trailer!
Watch some B-movies on AMC’s site. Streamed without region-lock; I am afraid of how much of my time this could eat. Worth a look just to see the titles of all the movies.
Minuit’s Aotearoa, a great track with lots of images from NZ’s past, has become something of an expat classic. It was mentioned in the DomPost yesterday which reminded me I had it sitting in my Linky folder. Lovely, but beware if you are a NewZillinderAbroad, it may give you a case of the homesicks.
Also NZ-specific is this great post from Reading the Maps last September, looking at whether we NZers are right to feel so distant from the appalling acts of genocide that have occurred elsewhere in the world. Shoulda linky to this ages back but still a great read.