Saturday 30 March 2013

"Whaat?" indeed...

One of the big events in the art world at the moment is the Roy Lichtenstein retrospective currently showing at London's Tate Modern. I'm personally ambivalent about Lichtenstein's Pop-Art: while I can appreciate the eye-popping effect of his appropriation of comic art on large canvases, I dislike the art "elite"'s snobbery towards the original source material... and mostly, the late Mr. L's refusal to name and respect the original artists. It all strikes me as very cynical and dishonest. The above painting by the wonderful Dave Gibbons is an ironic take on Lichtenstein's abilities and intentions.

If you're interested in this subject you should check out this fascinating article called The Principality Of Lichtenstein: From "WHAAM!" To "WHAAT?" by renowned comics archivist Paul Gravett.

Personally, I find there's more heart, soul and talent in the original works by artists such as John Romita, Irv Novick and Tony Abruzzo than there is in Lichtenstein's "recontextualisations".
Check out this site for some revealing comparisons...

Soundtrack: Here Comes The Sun / In My Life by the Fab Four

Friday 29 March 2013

Richard Griffiths

 "It is the most shattering experience of a young man's life when one morning he awakes and quite reasonably says to himself 'I will never play the Dane.' When that moment comes, one's ambition ceases."

Very sad to hear today of the untimely death of the great character actor, Richard Griffiths. Known to millions as Harry Potter's Uncle Vernon Dudley, Griffiths also appeared in many films as well as being the star of the ITV crime series, Pie In The Sky. A consummate actor and a much-loved man, he will be well missed.

And, of course, he is extraordinary as the eccentric, if lascivious, Uncle Monty alongside Paul McGann and Richard E Grant in the wonderful Withnail And I...

Monday 25 March 2013

Captain America by Steranko

Number two in an unintended series :-)

Following yesterday's Nick Fury sketch by Jim Steranko, here's another dynamic B&W image from the Jaunty One, this time of the star-spangled Avenger, Captain America. The combination of Steranko's pencils and the great Joe Sinnott's inks make for a slick pic...

Sunday 24 March 2013

Nick Fury sketch by Steranko

I discovered this fab, gear and groovy Nick Fury sketch by Jaunty Jim Steranko over at the Facebook page for Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. As any long-term friend of The Glass Walking-Stick would know, I'm a sucker for Mr. Steranko's take on Marvel's super-spy, so couldn't resist posting it here. For further Fury action check out this post from the late, lamented Steranko Saturdays. ( Remember them? )

Soundtrack: Don't Stop / Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Above all, don't lose hope

 Just finished my radiotherapy treatment today! Phew!

Time now to rest, recover and look ahead...

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Reasons to be cheerful...

Part One:

The Ice Warriors are back! Yay! It was confirmed a little while ago that everyone's favourite Martian marauders would appear in Season 7b of Doctor Who and now, courtesy of the ever-wonderful SFX magazine, we've had our first glimpse of their updated look. As with the Daleks and the Cybermen, the production team have realised what an iconic design the original monster had, and have only slightly tweaked it, making it more modern and convincingly real. Well, as real as Martian lizard-warriors get, anyway. Please click on the picture to see larger-scale scales :-)
I wonder what Madam Vastra would think of them...?

Part Two:

I know I keep dribbling on about Bowie's return, but I am getting pretty excited about his forthcoming new album. New single The Stars ( Are Out Tonight ) is a cracking rocker, of the sort I never would have thought The Dame would produce again. OK, it may be a whinge about celebrity stalkers and paparazzi but who's more qualified to sing about such things than Bowie? A man whose every move is scrutinised and obsessed over? Just like I'm doing now? Oh, and the video stars Tilda Swinton, which is cool.

Part Three:

Spring has sprung! It's been a beautiful day here in the Shire and has certainly been a tonic for this ol' blogger who has been feeling a bit down just lately. Being the stereotypical suburbanite that I am, at the first hint of sunshine I sprinted outside to mow the lawn. ( Well, maybe not "sprinted " ) That was about as much as I could manage in my present "delicate" condition ( I sound like a Jane Austen heroine... ) so, the next thing I knew, I was falling asleep in the sunshine, listening to a robin singing. Perfect :-)

I'm cheating slightly here  -  this pic of Hero ( with Sarah gardening in the background and Jasper looking on from the sidelines ) is from last Spring. But you get the general idea...

Soundtrack: Dance Yrself Clean by LCD Soundsystem
                   The Stars ( Are Out Tonight ) by that Bowie bloke

Saturday 2 March 2013

The man in the ( iron ) mask

Masks seem to be everywhere at the moment... for me, anyway. I'm currently half way through my four-week radiotherapy treatment, which goes some way to explaining the serious lack of blogging here in the last couple of weeks.

During these last two weeks I've been driving over to Cheltenham Oncology every weekday for my treatment. This involves lying on a not-all-that-comfortable table, underneath a Linac ( linear particle accelerator ) machine, with a mask strapped to my head.

The mask has been fitted exactly to the contours of my face and has markers placed on it which, with the aid of lasers, ensure that my head is in the exact same position every time I receive a dose of radiation, and only the specific area is targeted. It's a very strange and claustrophobic experience, not painful, but certainly stressful. Another patient I've been talking to has said he gets so claustrophobic he has to be sedated for every session. Luckily, I don't feel that bad... but trying to juggle this schedule and trying to work as well has proved to be too much for me. I've given up work for the next three weeks at least, so fortunately that added stress has gone. For now.

Yesterday morning, after my treatment, I called in to a nearby Asda to get some breakfast, only to be confronted by the latest installment in David Bowie's Lazarus-like comeback... namely, the above NME cover. It did make me chuckle. ( I actually just typed the word "maske" then, instead of "make"  -  this is getting a bit obsessive now... )

I've been very lucky all through this process that I've had wonderful support from my friends and family, without whom etc. etc. Sarah and the kids have naturally been worried by all of this, and things have been quite stressful on occasion, but their love and support is what keeps me going. And a big shout out for my very good mates, Glenn and Kevin ( neither of whom will probably read this... ) who have been, and continue to be, the most loyal and understanding friends anyone could possibly have. Cheers, guys!

Hopefully, with all this free time I'm going to have now, I might even get back to regular blogging. I've still got all those movies from 2012 that I never got round to reviewing, and the second part of my
Death Planet Commandos origin story to post here. But then, dear reader, you've heard all this before :-)


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