The Wheel That Steers Us

I regret nothing.

So King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have released another album. It’s April and they’ve only released one album? COWARDS! In 2017 they managed to release 5 albums all in. After taking a break in 2018 they’ve released their fourteenth album in 7 years which is absurd. In a world where artists release an album once every 2 to 3 years, they’re really putting everyone else to shame.

I can’t help but put this in terms of comics, probably because I think of all things in terms of comics and art. The grand plan, 52 issue epic series that shows off how much Borges you’ve read, quite often is the dominating idea. Especially in indie comics people will work on one idea for huge amounts of time ensuring that the grand scheme comes to fruition. There’s a lot to the said for just making stuff too. For just firing out an idea, for rubbing a few brain cells together and conjuring something quickly out of the blue. That huge project isn’t going anywhere.

Make a jazz album. You owe it to yourself.

At time of writing I am laying in bed, and I feel like I should be working. It’s 11.56am and I would be unconcious if it wasnt for a sleep assassin sent from the Gas company who arrived to fix the boiler. Inevitably he took one look at the boiler, announced a part was required to fix it, and he would need to come back another day to work his mechanical necromancy.

The reason for my slovenly behaviour?

Avengers: Endgame. I went to one of TEN midnight screenings of the latest mumblecore indie film from the minds of the Russo brothers. TEN MIDNIGHT SCREENINGS, Of which SIX were double bills. In one cinema. Madness. I had never done a Nerdy double bill before, and only one drunken midnight screening of the Room a million years back, and being an old man who likes to be in bed by 10.30pm I thought I wasn’t going to make it. But I was on the edge of my seat for the duration. A tour de force. A sombre contemplative movie about loss, that also happened to be the most fun I have had at the cinema in a long time. I smiled so much my face hurt, I laughed as much as I was on the brink of tears. Chief Engineer Bash wept so much towards the end that I got prune fingers on the supportive hand I had out on her shoulder.

It was brilliant.

I have tried to embed a GIF, so I hope that its worked. If it hasn’t then we are doomed. All doomed.

This is my second attempt at animation through the updated Procreate App. The last update got rid of the layer limit which really used to bug me, and allowed layers to be exported as gifs. Animation has been something that has eluded me for years. I remember the early days of NewGrounds or YouTube and thinking: I wish I had done that. Well now I have sucked. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

One day I will get the time to do a full episode of a Funk Soul Samurai Cartoon, or like an animated introduction for a fake Saturday Morning TV Show. Man, I have so little time, and so many ideas.

This was my first attempt at animation:

I am a big fan of nudity.

All in, this week has been one of lots of nothing in particular and very little to talk about. However, in the coming week I’m running three D&D games, hosting a session of the Creative Writing Society I lead, and having a few meetings about future events and things that I can’t talk about but are very exciting.

So I will leave it there for now.

Good night.

Even my Metaphors are Suspicious

So here’s a fun thing:


I found a website that extracts your most listened to songs from Spotify, and, as far as I can tell, the “Long Term” option means most listened to since you got Spotify. Its more likely that it means Spotify in it’s current form, because I’ve had it since it was in Beta and Spotify Premium meant that you could listen to the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack. Paper Planes by M.I.A. was very big back then.

I promise this is not going to be an “old man on the internet” post.

Any-who, if you wanted a proper look at a list of music I listen to, without my trying to impress you or stun you with something that you probably wouldn’t have heard of, well its up there.

The only acceptable violence against pigs

Its been a long long time since I wrote one of these. At least it feels like it. Remember the vampire-Keanu-Reeves-exploding-bus-2019-analogy that I did last time. Its only feeling more and more on the nose. Since I wrote my last blog post I completed my Wah-Wah Records zine, attended MCM Birmingham and Swansea Comic and Gaming Con, and have almost completed the inks for Funk Soul Samurai 2. The Wah-Wah zine was something I proposed to Alan Nutton, who runs the store, because he wanted to do something special for the 5th Birthday. Working on a project for someone who is passionate about what they do is infectious. I was proud of the end result, and the 100 copies are all gone now. Its the quickest I have ever had anything sell out. In 48 hours they were all gone. People kept posting pictures of theirs next to their record collections on Alan’s Facebook so I might have to harvest some and make a gallery.

The DREAM TEAM

Comic Cons are strange things. You can go to a 100 different ones, and they will all be different. Birmingham was very quiet considering the huge number of people who were attending. The Comic Village was tucked off in a corner and it was so light on the ground there were a few quiet hours where I wished I brought a book. I met a few people that were very passionate about comics, and I am thankful to everyone who stopped by and said “Hi”. I did manage to make a Funk Soul Samurai fan of Geof Darrow, who has been a hero of mine since I read Hard Boiled at TOO YOUNG TO READ THAT THING. He gave me a pull quote for issue 2, and is excited to get his copy in the mail.

Swansea on the other hand did not have the millions of fans queuing for years to get in, but it did have an endless volume of people who were really into comics. Everyone who stopped by was engaged and proud to be a massive geek, and it was one of the best conventions I have ever been to. If every comic con could have the same sort of focus and atmosphere as Swansea Comic and Gaming Con then the industry would be a much better place.

I am sad to say that at time of writing I am unlikely to be attending Thought Bubble 2019. Whilst I was very excited to be a part of it at its new home in Harrogate, I didn’t make it through the curation process and am on a wait list for a table. Considering the volume of people who applied and the sheer volume of amazing talent in the British comic community, I’m probably going to be absent this year.

When you are rejected from something, or get that email telling you that the writer has gone with another artist, or that you’re screenplay for Sharknado 12: Shark Pope has not been optioned by Syfy, its hard not to take it personally. I have to say that getting the news that I’m not going to be a part of my favorite convention hit me pretty hard. I questioned whether I was any good at comics, because I processed it as a judgement of me as an individual, as a creator. Which of course it isn’t. I know my output hasn’t been that huge recently, and I haven’t put out a new title in an age. I have plans for them, but a plan is just a plan until you make it. The advice I have is to fail upwards. To use rejection as a springboard for further success. I didn’t get in this year, however I am going to give it my all to make sure that I will do next year. I’m going to keep on making stuff as best I can because that is what I do.

The best punch

With that in mind, I am 5 pages away from finishing Funk Soul Samurai’s inks, if it doesn’t need anything additional. Writing Funk Soul Samurai is very different to traditional scripting, as I have an idea for what it is that needs to happen, and then I make it up as I draw it. The layouts and the action sequences happen as they need to in the environment that the story unfolds in. For example, in one scene the Samurai is surrounded by blokes who want to kill them. Originally I thought they would be armed with guns, and the Samurai would use the giant ray-gun I’ve been teasing since page 5 to obliterate them. But I had no idea how they would use the ray-gun. So the guns because electric staff thingies, and then a Rube Goldberg plot device came into play and everything is exploding. I make it up as I go along so I can keep it expressive. For example, here is a page of my thumb nails that is the closest I will ever get to a script:


I will go through a page or two at a time and work out the movement of it, where the panels go, where the sound effects sit and what needs to happen to facilitate the next big fight scene, and then I will go panel to panel and draw it in more detail, and then ink it. Then it gets scanned in, uploaded to the iPad, and finally coloured in. There will be more blog posts about it in the future, as we are going to Kickstart this baby in the coming weeks.

That’s me for now. MCM London is in a few weeks, but I’m going to be playing it cool for the majority of May before the ONSLAUGHT BEGINS. Check out my Events page for details.