This handsome gent is apparently a Tritovore from the Doctor Who Easter Special, Planet Of The Dead. Hmmm. The general consensus on the space we call cyber is that it looks too much like a reject from some 1950's B-movie. Well, yeah, but I'm ready to give it the benefit of the doubt: it does look pretty cheesy but is that such a bad thing? Nine-year olds across the country will probably love it - I'm sure mine will. Russell the T has said that there are two alien races in this Special, so maybe we'll see a spider in a trenchcoat as well.
Dinosaur Jr's Without A Sound, home to the fantastic Feel The Pain. What a great song! Sarah and I saw them supporting the Jesus And Mary Chain back in the early '90s ( with Blur and My Bloody Valentine, some line-up! ). I thought they were pretty good, she hated them. The album's typical slacker/stoner/grunge rock with a Neil Young sort of vibe thrown in.
( What's The Story ) Morning Glory? by Manc monkeys, Oasis. I'm not the greatest fan of the Gallagher Bros. but their first two albums are definite classics. I had this one on ye olde cassette tape back in the day but it got wrecked. I was at the '96 Phoenix Festival, left the tape on the car dashboard in the blistering sunlight: when I returned it had warped into a distinctly un-playable banana shape. ( Still, it was a great gig. Glenn and I went up to Long Marston airfield to see The Sex Pistols - awesome! - The Specials, Echobelly, The Chemical Brothers, Vic Reeves doing high kicks with Ian Astbury, Dreadzone, loads more bands, and free orange juice from the Hare Krishnas. )
Both CDs were £1 each. You can't go wrong.
Two Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 3 VHS boxsets. Yep, I said VHS. Again £1 each, so what the hell, it's cheap entertainment while it lasts. I never really watched Buffy when it was on TV until the end of this third season, so it's good to go back to the days when the Slayer was still a high school student, Willow wasn't yet a witch and Xander still had two eyes. Even though the episodes seem surprisingly cheap, the characters and dialogue shine through. ( Must be getting tired: I've just made 3 attempts at spelling the word "carachtyers" - that's right isn't it? )
The Contract With God Trilogy by Will Eisner. I picked up this hardbacked beast for £5. Sarah was aghast that I spent that much at a boot sale on one item, even though it was £19 new. I've had the Titan edition of A Contract With God for many years, but had never read A Life Force or Dropsie Avenue, so it was well worth the price for me. Classic Eisner material with some new illustrations completed not long before his death.
On the Friday before last ( the 13th! ) I finally watched the Watchmen. And, I have to say, I loved it! Moore and Gibbon's magnum opus has been one of my favourite comics for the last twenty-something years and I was unsure it could ever be captured properly on film. Obviously, a lot of the incredibly dense detail had to be sacrificed to make a 2 hour movie, but Zack Snyder and the scriptwriters did a great job of keeping the gist of the story and including a hell of a lot of the dialogue from the comic, as well as superbly faithful images. The b-list cast did a fine job of bringing the ageing heroes to life, with a special nod to Jackie Earle Haley who stole the film as a suitably psychotic Rorshach. I went with my mate Glenn who isn't a comics fan and had never heard of Watchmen until recently: he loved it too! I've since lent him the graphic novel and will have to report back with his opinions at a later date.
Last Friday ( 20/3 ) Sarah and I went out for a meal with our friends Kevin and Lyn. We don't catch up with our friends as often as we should, with all the demands of work, home, kids etc. so it was good to have some ( relatively ) adult conversation, a few drinks and some good food. Sod the recession!
Soundtrack: Mykonos by Fleet Foxes. Frankie's Gun by The Felice Brothers.
This morning I did a carboot sale for Comic Relief with Sophie and her friend Serena. Even though it was FREEZING cold and ended in a massive hailstorm we had a good laugh and raised over £30 for the cause. ( The girls have also done a "guess the amount of sweets in the jar" competition and raised a further £40.) The "doing something funny" part mostly consisted of the girls sitting in the boot of my car, wearing red noses and giggling whilst I did the bulk of the work. Kids, eh?
As Pete Doree from The Bronze Age Of Blogs so rightly pointed out, Will Eisner's birthday is the 6th of March, not the 3rd, as stated in my previous post. Duuh! Apologies to all Spirit/Eisner fans. Memo to self: don't rely on Wikipedia, do some bloody homework!
Today would have been the great Will Eisner's 92nd birthday, had he not taken that final journey to Wildwood Cemetery in 2005.
The above is a quintessential piece of Eisner artwork, featuring many of the elements for which The Spirit is remembered : the noir-ish shadows enveloping the masked hero, the exotic backdrop, the "Spirit" logo worked into the design of the page, the femme fatale enticing the reader into the story.
Eisner, of course, created many innovative and important works such as A Contract With God, Life On Another Planet, Fagin The Jew etc. but The Spirit remains his best-loved creation. Overflowing with humour, drama, humanity and action, it is simply one of the great comic strips.
The first series of Being Human ended tonight, with an action-packed and moving episode which rounded off this series nicely and laid some groundwork for the next.
George, Mitchell and Annie made their stand against Herrick and his vampire army but, ironically, seemed to distance themselves even further from humanity in the process. George became more accepting of his hairy alter-ego to the point of using it as a weapon against Herrick; Annie's fury at the seemingly impossible situation they found themselves in brought her poltergeist powers to the fore; Mitchell drank the blood of an old lover to heal himself and to end her suffering. All three have changed over the course of the series, but in a very organic way as part of the story: not just change for its own sake.
As ever the script and acting were spot-on. I'm still underwhelmed by the rather plasticky werewolf, but maybe the second series will bring a bigger budget and some Pedigree Chum for George.
Soundtrack: Werewolves Of London by Warren Zevon. ( Obvious, I know. )