Friday, 11 November 2016

Bizarro (#1-6)

"Me have the worstest friends" - Bizarro

One of the things I enjoyed the most about the DCYou (R.I.P) was the amount of six issue miniseries we got.  I've covered a couple, mainly All Star Section Eight and Harley/Power Girl, but there were plenty more.  They were a place to experiment and have a bit of fun with quirky scripts and non traditional artwork, but without the pressure of an on-going series placed upon them.  I really hope this trend of minseries survive the DC Rebirth, and by that I mean things conceived of as miniseries not an ongoing cancelled after six issues.  The poster child for the philosophy behind the most of the minis can be found here in Bizarro.  A very silly story yoked to some utterly fantastic artwork making for a nice self contained read. The story tells the tale of Jimmy Olsen, Superman's pal and red headed photographer for The Daily Planet, teaming up with Bizarro for a wacky road trip to Canada. Bizarro is a Silver Age creation, a "backwards" Superman who means the opposite when he speaks. Jimmy Olsen has decided to accompany him both to get him out of Metropolis where he is causing chaos, and also in the hope he can get a best selling book out of the experience, but of course nothing is that simple as they bump into various opponents and have some wacky adventures along the way.  Bizarro should be the sort of twee concept that I, as a frowny faced Brit whose comicbook year zero is 1986, should be genetically pre-programmed to hate.  So why do I think this is one of the best comics I have read in a long time (and I read a lot of good comics, no slights meant there)?  Read on, and be illuminated.

We begin with Bizzaro and Jimmy's road trip underway as Bizarro fiddles with the radio, plays eye spy and makes a mess eating is burger, Jimmy remembers how he got into this mess. Clark Kent told him a road trip to Canada would make a great coffee table book mainly as a way to get Bizarro out of Metropolis.  Back in the present, two mysterious government figures follow them saying Bizzaro is an "Omega" level being that needs to be watched.
Bizzaro, Colin and Jimmy.
Unfortunately a little later somehow Jimmy crashes the car into a tree and Bizarro makes a new friend he calls "Colin the Chupacabra" which is a tiny, fanged creature that takes up residence on Bizarro's shoulder for most of the rest of the trip.  Bizarro then carries the car into the next town which turns out to be Smallville.

They are pointed in the direction of "King Tut's Slight Used Car Oasis" to sort their travel problems out.  King Tut has an Ancient Egyptian theme to his used car emporium although his daughter Regina refuses to put the Queen Tut costume on and play along. Bizarro, Jimmy and Colin arrive with the wrecked car.

Immediately King Tut almost talks Jimmy into purchasing a second hand sports car.  But Bizarro puts a stop to him "ensorcelling" Jimmy. "If worstest friend Jimmy says unfix this car, you unfix this car" he says.  Jimmy, Bizarro and Colin leave the car with them.  Jimmy takes some photos of Bizarro who asks Jimmy if he is his "worstest friend?"  When Jimmy asks him to repeat the question he goes off in a sulk. But Jimmy says he's never been on a road trip with Superman so he must be Bizarro's friend, much to Bizarro's delight.
Jimmy being tactless.
King Tut is in his office praying to Osiris to give him power when Regina comes in and says she wants to quit and set up an artisanal chocolate business.  Suddenly three Egyptian gods appear and give him a staff to "change the world".  They leave and transform into three aliens who look a lot like Colin.  They have a good laugh and them go off to find "Ch'ck" who crashed ages ago.

King Tut uses the staff to make Regina wear the Queen Tut costume.  Jimmy and Bizarro are having to share a bed in the motel and King Tut starts summoning the entire town to come and buy cars from him.  Bizarro isn't affected but Jimmy is.  Bizarro wakes up wondering where Jimmy went and goes looking for him.

He finds him along with the rest of the town at King Tut's Slightly Used Car Oasis in a hypnotic trance about to buy an expensive car.

Bizarro: "You am not let my people go, Tut".

They start battling with Tut using the staff to throw cars at Bizarro which don't damage him, Bizarro retaliates with his laser eyes setting the cars on fire, much to Tut's distress.
Bizarro to the rescue!
Bizarro gets knocked out of the sky and says to Colin, "Bizarro okay.  Me fell on brain." He sends Colin to bring Jimmy to his senses. Colin climbs onto Jimmy's head and starts biting him.  This breaks the hypnosis just before Jimmy signs an expensive contract.

While Bizarro smashes up cars and the shady government official comment off-panel about the possibilty of taking Bizarro down one day, Jimmy has Colin bite Regina's head and brings her back to normal as well, "aw no.  I'm in the costume" she groans.

Inspired by a comment from Jimmy, Bizarro uses his super-hypnosis on King Tut and makes him believe he is a chicken.  Jimmy then takes the magic staff and snaps it in half.  Everyone gathered at the car lot come back o their senses somewhat confused as to why they are there in their pajamas.

Later that day Regina awards medals to Bizarro and Jimmy made them medals saying they are "No.1".  Jimmy is embarrassed, but more pleased when Regina awards them the red convertible as thanks for saving the town.  But after they leave, Regina declares to her clucking father, "goodbye Regina Tuttle, hello Queen Tut.  And for you I will destroy Bizarro".  And she joins the magic staff back together.
A stopoff in Gotham City.
Jimmy, Bizarro and Colin stop off and collect some provisions.  Then later stop off in Gotham City to get some fast food.  The Riddler bumps into Jimmy and shakes his hand saying "always nice to meet a fan" before running off.  The pursuing Batman bounces a batarang off Bizarro's head.

The next city they stop off in is Central City, home of The Flash. They are looking for The Flash museum and get into an argument over directions.  Bizarro stretches out his arm to point and hits The Flash in the head. "Did Superman just punch me?" says a dazed Flash as Jimmy, Bizarro and Colin sidle off whistling innocently.

As they drive to their next destination, the shadowy pursuers get clearance to engage Bizarro.  Jimmy points out to Bizarro they've been followed for miles, so Bizarro blows flame breath at their car and brings them to a halt. Jimmy, Bizarro and Colin then drive on and stop off in "Ol' Gold Gulch".

It's a real live Wild Western ghost town and after dressing for the part, they meet "Chastity Hex" who is looking for a criminal called "Jeremiah Blackhearse."  It also turns out this place is a literal ghost town as night falls and all the ghosts come out to play.
Chastity Hex.
Chastiy Hex goes off looking for her mortal villain while Bizarro, Colin and Jimmy go for a wander round.  They go to a saloon for a drink when suddenly a ghost bursts in and says "he's a'coming back" and the ghosts panic.  Bizarro throws back a hand and whacks Jerimiah in the face. But Jerimiah knocks Jimmy down and escapes in the stampede of ghosts.

Several ghosts on horseback arrive, the leader is "El Papagayo" and it is him the rest of the town are afeart of.  As the ghosts start robbing the townsfolk, Bizarro says he's going to "un-stop" them. He fires his lazer eyes at him but the go straight through, El Papagayo retaliates with his guns but ghost bullets go right through Bizarro.

El Papagayo realises they are evenly matched and so him and his parrot ghost possess Bizarro and Colin.  We get a good look at Bizarro's insides.  His mind is a maze, his heart is enormous and his brains are in his fists.  Jimmy tries to snap Bizarro out his trance then he comes too, but he's being controlled by El Papagayo now.
Bizarro gets possessed.
Pleased with his new body, "I feel if I can do anything", El Papagayo starts causing havoc as Bizarro.  He finds out Chastity is a Hex and asks if she's related to Wild West era Jonah Hex.  She says they thinks she is and El Papagayo says it would be a pleasure to "crush Hex's lineage."  She shoots Bizarro, but the bullet has no effect.

He then starts clumsily flying round lasering things.  Jimmy goes for his signal watch that summons Superman.  But it's gone.  He realises the Riddler took it in Gotham City, and we get a couple of panels of the RIddler activating the watch and suddenly finding Superman behind him.

Jimmy has an idea, and goes to the saloon where there is a bugle, some ghosts advise him to blow it and he does.  It summons Jonah Hex and friend's ghosts.

Jimmy: "I figure ghosts beat ghosts".

And Jonah Hex and his hawk fly inside Bizarro and forces El Papagayo and his parrot out of Bizarro and Colin.  He ties them to his horse and then Jeremiah Blackheart runs up possessed by one of El Papagayo's gang.
Jonah Hex sorts the baddie ghosts out.
Chastity hits him with the butt of her gun and knocks the ghost out of his body and Jonah takes it from there.  Jonah and Chastity complement each other on their hats, then the ghosts depart.

Ready to leave, Bizarro is hungry and Chasity wants a lift.  If they get her to Branson she'll split the fuel costs and she dumps Jeremiah in the boot of their car.  They head off for Branson and Bizarro says, "what could go right?"  And they pass a big sign advertising Zatanna's show there.

They reach Branson and Chastity drops off Jeremiah at the Bail Bonds Office then splits.  Bizarro wants to go see Zatanna's magic show and Jimmy reluctantly agrees even though he hates magic himself.

They attend the show and for one trick Zatanna requests a volunteer and Bizarro goes up on stage to be part of the trick.  She magics a portal and he disappears through it. He pops out inside the Rock of Eternity, the wizard Shazam sends him on his way and he pops out in Gemworld where Amthyst is battling an enemy, then he's off into The House of Mystery which pushes him through the portal and he finds himself in hell where Etrigan is enjoying breakfast.  Next he arrives at the Parliament of Trees agruing about some bureaucratic stuff. He winds up in a place called Skartaris with a Tyrannosaurus Rex behind him.
I love this page so bloody much.
After the magic show, Jimmy knocks on Zatanna's dressing room door and asks if she can get Bizarro back. She realises the portal is actually something only a very advanced magic practitioner could make. Then Bizarro pops out of a rent in the fabric of space in a smart suit saying he can do magic now.

He does his spells backwards like Zatanna, and when she tries to remove his powers, he takes hers away instead.  Jimmy demands Bizarro give Zatanna her magic back:

Bizarro: "I will. Me hate magic.  Why you always construe me?"

Jimmy: "That's not a word!"

"Em Eurtsnoc".

And this turns Jimmy into "Jimzarro" and makes Bizarro a normal person. Jizarro decides he's going to rearrange the town to make for better photgraphs for his book.  As he flies off, Bizarro says to Colin "I don't talk like that do I?"
Oops, Jimzarro is created.
Bizarro can't do the backwards magic to turn Jimmy back, "harder than it looks, right?" says Zatanna. Jimzarro is picking up buildings and putting them in more aesthetically pleasing postions.  Zatanna says there may be more trouble as Branson is the location of several leylines, Jimzarro rearranging the city could "open a citywide dimensional tear that could suck us all in".

As Jimzarro causes havoc, Bizarro bumps into a young woman and they flirt with each other. Bizarro pretends not to know who Jimzarro is as he does so.  Then Jimzarro is bought down to earth, he is being possessed by Deadman, another of DC's magic characters.  Jizarro looks sad that no one understands him, is this what it's like for Bizarro all the time?  Bizarro says he pretended not to know him "just to fit in".  Is this how Jimmy feels?

They share a silent moment then Zatanna, her powers returned, puts them back in the correct bodies.  Zatanna also magically undid all the damage Jimzarro caused.  Zatanna takes her leave but says Bizarro isn't a bad sorceror she'd be happy to take him on as an apprentice. After she leaves the two shadowy figures confront Bizarro, Jimmy and Colin.  They are agents of ARGUS, and they have a job for them.  They want the three of them to break into Area 51.
Ah the USA and it's competing shadowy interests.
We then cut to Bizarro, Chastity, Colin and Jimmy standing in a police style line-up having been caught trying to break into Area 51.  Bizarro has a special collar on that restricts his powers.  They are stuck in a jail with lots of other aliens.

We then flashback to the two Argus agents - Meadows and Stuart - telling them that the army has been illegially holding captured aliens and their tech since the 1950's.

Jimmy: "I thought ARGUS was already a shadowy government agency.  Why don't you tell the other shadow government agency to back off?"

Meadow says it's more complicated than that.  Jimmy says they want them to make a mess so ARGUS can come in and clean it up and get ahold of the weaponry in the process.  Stuart says they'll get "Vegas, all expenses paid and fifty K for you and your team".  So Jimmy agrees.

They check into a luxury hotel in Las Vegas, Jimmy has invited Chastity to come along as well.  Jimmy gives Bizarro a hundred bucks to go gamble with and is astonished when Bizarro wins big at blackjack.  For this they get upgraded to the penthouse suite.  We next see all four of them in natty suits, which Bizarro spent all his winnings buying.

Colin is the prison king.
Back in the present Chastity recommends they grab the meanest alien they can and rattle it into taking them to the bossman. He challenges a pink alien that is related to the Green Lantern Kilowog who recommended earth as a great vacation spot.  He stand up to take Bizarro on and sees Colin.  Immediately he backs down and says he'll take them to "the Big Munk".

Jimmy: "Colin is the scariest thing in the universe?"

Colin shrugs and grins. Flashback to vegas.  Jimmy leaves Bizarro and Colin at the bar.  He left his phone and it rings.  Bizarro answers it doing an impersonation of Jimmy.  The voice asks "Jimmy" if the "Bizarro moron is there" and that he should hurry up so they can get the book published and "you can stop pretending to like the chalky Frankentein and come home."  Bizarro crushes the phone.

In the prison, Bizarro is acting cold towards Jimmy and says he will handle things.   The Big Munk comes out and Bizarro insults it. It jumps and holds onto his collar and scratches away at him.   The three aliens who gave the magic staff are there too and it turns out Colin is the missing Ch'ck.

The wardens declare a lockdown, but Big Munks scratching at Bizarro's collar has broken it and now he has his powers back. He gets blasted into the room holding the captured alien tech, and Jimmy gets the Thanagar Hawkman wings and club while Chastity wears a jetpack and holds dual laser pistols.
Time for a prison break.
After some fighting, General Sam Lane appears to put a stop to it.  He says he imprisoned the aliens because they showed no sign of wanting to obey the law, like a certain Bizarro he can think of. Then Jimmy, using the communication eyeglasses the ARGUS agents gave him projects Lois Lane, General Lane's daughter.

She says if he doesn't free all the aliens she'll run a story about about it, "how many "L's" in "Unlawful detainment"?" she says to him.  He reluctantly agrees and sets the aliens free.  Jimmy makes sure they all get to take their alien tech with them as well, the ARGUS agents seem pretty relaxed about their failure.

Chastity leaves with the pink alien, off to bounty hunt in the galaxy.  Colin aka Ch'ck also takes his leave and both Bizarro and Jimmy hug him.  Now Jimmy and Bizarro are alone, Bizarro agrily accuses him of only wanting to hang out with him for a book and that he doesn't even "dislike" him:

Bizarro: "You no call Bizarro ding-dong and dum-dum. You mock me for trying to do the wrong thing. You even no want to leave him in Canada!"

Jimmy says Bizarro isn't easy to be around. Bizarro smashes the car and flies off leaving Jimmy stranded in the middle of the boiling hot desert.

Abandoned Jimmy.
Jimmy wanders the desert, dictating his last will and testement into his phone.  He admits "I managed to piss off the kindest, sweetest creature on the planet.  Way to go, Olsen. Jackass".  He collapses, then a car drives up with King and Queen Tut inside.  Queen Tut commands him to get in the car as he is "the key to destroying Bizarro".

Bizarro is back in Metropolis but he is sad.  Superman comes and finds him and they sit and talk as after flying together proves somewhat destructive. Bizarro tells Superman about his fight with Jimmy, and Superman calls Jimmy an "idiot".  Jimmy the Idiot meanwhile has been tied up at the top of the Seattle Space Needle.  To tempt Bizarro more, Queen Tut uses the staff to hypnotise all of Seattle.

Back with Superman and Bizarro, Bizarro admits he misses Jimmy. Superman tells him "friendships aren't about destinations, they're about journeys".  He says Bizarro should find Jimmy and apologise like a real friend would.  Bizarro hugs Superman then says how will he find Jimmy.  Just then all the TV screens come on an Queent Tut issues her challenge to Bizarro who comments this is most "un-convenient".

Bizarro goes flying off.  We then cut to Colin on his ship who also sees the broadcast.  He tells his fellow aliens to turn around and head back for earth.  They agree because "it is technically our fault."  Bizarro arrives at the top of the Space Needle and turns King Tut back to normal.

That's not good enough for Queen Tut and she blasts Bizarro with the alien staff.   She keeps up an energy blast and Bizarro tries pushing it back.  Then suddenly Chastity and the pink alien appear, and Zatanna rises up through the ground and Deadman pops up, Meadow and Stuart drop down from a chopper and Meadow unties Jimmy and then Colin and Big Munk arrive too.
Bizarro League to Jimmy's rescue!
Everyone pounds on the energy sphere surrounding King and Queen Tut then Colin uses a remote control to switch it off.  Regina returns to normal and says she still wants to be a chocolatier.  Her dad says she can do Egyptian themed ones and they can sell them at the car lot.  Bizarro gives her some diamonds so she can start her business.

Jimmy hands the alien staff over to Stuart and Meadow.  He says there is no power left in it but their bosses won't know that.  Everyone bids Bizarro and Jimmy farewell, Zatanna takes King Tut and Regina back to Smallville.  One person hasn't gone though, Colin has decided to stay with Bizarro, "boo-ray!"

Bizarro shows Jimmy a new car he bought, when Jimmy asks how, he chews a lump of coal into a diamond.  Jimmy looks like he's about to yell at him for not doing that before, but they both laugh their heads off instead and set course for Canada.
No Canda for U!
Unfortunately Canada has been forewarned of their arrival and the mounted police meet them at the border to turn them away.  They do it very politely though and give them a gift basket of Canadian delicacies.  The final page has the caption "Metropolis.  3033 miles [and a whole other miniseries*] later..."  The star leads to an editorial note that replies, "Yeah?  Let's see how the trade sells".  I bought the trade in a shop, was that not enough DC?  *sob*  Anyway the story ends with Bizarro telling Jimmy he's now an intern at the Daily Planet so they can see each other every day. "Oh... Boo-ray" says Jimmy, the end.

What a joyously fun little miniseries this was.  I was wondering how Bizarro might work as a main character but the big lug comes over so lovable in the writing and artwork that he's a lot of fun to read about.  The story is peppered with some wonderful cameos and in-jokes and amazingly the story hangs together very well based as it is on several disparate incidents.  It's lovely seeing everyone come to the rescue at the end.  Bizarro inspires loyalty and affection it seems and it was great seeing him interact with Superman and take advice from him.  Compared to the gloomy, angst ridden Bizarro of the New 52 this is night and day in comparison. Heath Corson's script is smart and funny and really nails Bizarro's odd speech mannerism, but it's the art I love most of all.   I think if you've read enough of my blog you'll know I have a preference for exaggerated, "cartoony" art like the stuff here by the talented Gustave Duarte.  I realise of course that style isn't appropriate for every type of story of course, but here where the story is completely goofy and funny it works gloriously.  Just looking at the pictures makes me smile, and it is very much indicative of how the DCYou was all about taking risks with the look and feel of their various series and miniseries.  Ah the DCYou, how we miss you.  Well in the grand scheme of things this miniseries will probably be retconned and removed from DC continuity, but in my own version of the DCU it stands proud.  A very enjoyable read all round.


  1. Ha, I loved that. And that's one series where the cartoony artwork really suits. It's so well done too.

    I was only vaguely aware of the Bizzaro concept (square earth right?) but if this is typical he's a great character. I've always found superman a little smug at best (at least batman doesn't dress up his fascism with dudley do right homilies) but this guy is great. I also have a bit of a fondness for that 'hulk speak' dialogue. I'm really te,toed too just start using it myself. (I'll avoid diverting into a polemic in the related subject of the Tarzan dialogue trope).

    It's such a feel good story though. And it sends up the cliches nicely without being horribly snobbish about them. I love affectionate parodies where people clearly enjoy the source material too; less of a fan of the 'ha, we are above such childish things' I'm such a cool kid works.

    Me like, me no want smash things now,

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! It definitely one of the best uses of Bizarro I've seen since All Star Superman. If I get my way and establish my reich the artist who did this would get a regular series appropriate to his work.

    As you say it is an incredibly sweet and affectionate send-u, I may have mentioned how much I love the page with Etrigan ordering breakfast and the Parliament of Trees bickering. Being able to bounce him around like that and do so many one-panel throwaway gags is just brillz. And of course always great to see Zatanna in her classic outfit!

  3. Yeah, I love unashamedly sweet and good natured stuff. Where you just end up with a nice warm glow. It's a genre that can be hard to do without making you reach for the insulin but when it is done well it's one of my favourites (film examples would include galaxy quest and the dish, I can't think of any comic examples off hand so that's why this is so nice)

    Again, whilst I'm probably missing gazillions of in-jokes, I just know enough about the general vibe from the zeitgeist. I'm glad there's extra bonuses for th fans, but it's nice that it doesn't seek to exclude the casual reader. I hate all that 'shibbolethic' exclusivity stuff. Especially, when people then, oxymoronic ally, whinge about 'normie' tastes.

    "How come mainstream crap gets all the funding whilst us true artists must starve?"

    "Cause you made a product that only three people in the world can understand you muppet"

    And I too love that outfit, in fact, I've even sent you an email about it. I'd like to know more about Zatanna. She seems an interesting character and one of the few comic book people I'd hang around with in real life.

  4. Galaxy Quest is an excellent comparison. I remember going to see it at the cinema with my nerd family and being briefly worried it would be a piss-take before realising no, it was a joyous celebration of nerds and all the sci-fi tropes it had fun with. Love that film.

    I first came across Zatanna in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing run, now, I love Mr. Moore most of the time and that is my favourite comicbook run of all time, but he put Zatanna in jeans and a T-shirt and had her diss The Costume! She is an interesting character mainly because she is one of the most powerful in the DCU, sadly this tends to mean either she stays on the fringes as a guest star and/or gets disabled very quickly when a fight starts to stop her ending it with one backwards spell.

    She's actually a good example of a Legacy Character, her dad Zatara was one of the first Golden Age comicbook characters, when the Silver Age began she stepped up in his place. Zatara was still around, at least until Alan Moore killed him off in the pages of Swamp Thing and he's stayed dead ever since, because Zatanna is obviously way more interesting to write.

  5. Power disparity in superheroes is a big elephant in the room. Obviously there are work arounda but I think it's very much a matter of engaging suspension of disbelief. Especially in the DC and Marvel universes where there are in effect good guys who are to all intents and purposes functional gods.

    I love the way Mitchell & Webb addressed this with "Angel Summoner and BMX Boy" (I trust you've seen that). I'm glad zatanna is really powerful though, that just makes her all the more cool. Rather unimaginative family in the naming drapes meant though. I wonder what Mrs Zatanna thought when dad suggested that?

    "Really? That's honestly what you want to go with?"

    It is a cool name though, does sort of suit her. Shame on Mr Moore for putting her in jeans though. Although even I have to raise an eyebrow when Shanna wears her classic outfit even in New York. Heck, there's one story where she wears it in the bleeding Himalayas. At least Zatanna has a jacket.

    I could gush about galaxy quest forever. Every now and then some old friends and I get together. Despite having every film under the sun available to us we always end up watching galaxy quest or lake placid. They're the only two that no one will ever veto.

    I love the fact that the geeks save the day through their geek skills; it's such an obviously perfect ending. Were you on Gallifrey Base when Steven Moffatt used to hang around there? It was nice when he used to put little touches in for the fans, like the "it's not a real police box, the windows are the wrong size" thing. Of course now he pretty much hates the hardcore fans. Can't say I blame him. We're an ungrateful bunch.

    Ah well I'm sure Mark Gattis still loves us; we haven't had time to jade him yet.

    But anyway, back to the subject at hand. I've just been revisiting the artwork above. It's so wonderful. I just love the character designs, they're so spot on. It's a great reinterpretation of all the regulars. I think it's back to my usual rant about how people forgot that comics were, whatever collateral purpose they may have, meant to be entertaining, and that there's nothing wrong with a bit of unapologetic fun every now and then.

    *dons Guy Fawkes mask to make YouTube video railing on that point and totally fails to see irony*

  6. I'm afraid I am one of those fans who have jaded Mr. Moffat. When "The Idiot's Lantern" was broadcast he made a post defending it by saying Doctor Who was "the kids menu and all adults secretly love the kids menu". Cue massive thread saying "no, funnily enough many adults don't want to eat bland shit and want something more challenging thankyou". Ah happy days. Can't wait until he's gone and I can watch Doctor Who again.

    I haven't seen that Mitchell and Webb sketch, do recall I have been without a TV service for over a decade now, so somethings have passed me by, although I loved their radio show, so I am sure I will catch up one day.

    The DCU especially have issues with power disparity, interestingly when the JLA and Avengers teamed up, they had to "power down" a lot of the top tier of DC characters to stop them curb stomping the Marvel heroes (because obviously they had to have a fight first before uniting).

    I definitely think comics are at their best when artist and writer are in lock-step. I can see why certain writers like to work with certain artists regularly, when a writer is writing to an artist's strengths you get great comics. Nothing is more frustrating than superb art wasted on poor scripts like say the New 52 Batwoman, or a great script poorly drawn like Neil Gaiman's Miracleman.

  7. The idiots lantern was the first 'bad' episode in the new series I think. It wasn't applying , just not up to the standards the show had then set for itself. It probably also had a few weird connotations for me (Alexander Palace and Maureen Lipman triggered (in the non PTSD sense) a few thoughts about certain life decisions, not necessarily unhappy thoughts, but just meant I couldn't switch off and just enjoy it as a programme)

    But having said that, I very much do go into 8 year old mode when I watch Dr Who. That is someone I'm good at. I'm probably one of the few people who lies the thunderbirds film because I could see it through the eyes of a kid. But of course you've read all those interim 8th Doctor novels that have drugs and shagging in!

    *retires to fainting couch*

    The M&W sketches are brilliant. As the title suggests it's a crime fighting partnership. One guy has pretty good BMX skills and the other has the ability to summon and command the heavenly host. It's probably fair to say one of the chaps feels a bit redundant (I won't spoil by saying which)

    It's interesting that, to my inexperienced eyes, there always seems to have been a thing with British characters unlike US ones that they often are vulnerable. Not just because of some random handicap thrown in by the writer that week, but generally. Even Dredd got his ass handed to him a few times. On a sort of related (albeit tenuously) point that reminds me of something I read when I've been on my recent exploration abiut the classic girls comics. As you know it was the same guys who wore them as the boys comics. But I think it was Pat Mills who said the girls comics were the better written ones because you couldn't just resolve the plot by Dredd turning up and shooting everyone.

    And yes, I used to love 2000Ad when one of my fave parter its were in operation. I think that a fundamental reason you get better stories is just the trust between the writer and artist. Writers who don't give too much guidance as to the visual elements leave room for the artists to add their own take, and that can actually help the narrative. To use our common language of tvtropes, I think a lot of the best stories arise when all you say to an artist is 'Harpo does something funny'.

    (Oh, and yet more emails)

  8. The Eighth Doctor was a total slut for men and women, he even broke Alan Turings heart the git. And had a ragingly homoerotic relationship with his sixties dropout male companion Fitz too. Although drugs were more a Seventh Doctor thing.

    It's interesting re: character power levels and so forth. There is a huge on-going debate in Batman fandom as to whether he's better when written as the apex human, able even to take down those with the powers of gods with abit of foward planning, or whether he's more interesting as a fallible, vulnerable individual and more relatable for it. I have a collection which puts together all the DC/Aliens crossovers and it's ridiculous, he fist fights and wins versus a full grown Alien. So silly.

    Interestingly Alan Moore is noted for his hugely detailed scripts when it comes to what he wants the artists to draw, I covered his three part "Violator" miniseries a while back and that's a throwaway as you can get yet he even supplied little thumbnails of certain panels. Grant Morrison is the complete opposite, he is definitely of the "Harpo Does Something Funny" school, which is fine when he works with a trusted artist but has backfired in the past when artisst haven't really understood a lot of what they were supposed to be depicting, his flawed New X-Men run is probably the most notable for failing to properly tell the story.

  9. I reckon I could take an Alien. Bit of bobbing and weaving, cheeky uppercut on those big chins. Actually though I'd be inhibited if they're actually animals, same as how I couldn't fight a dog. So I'd have to get them to cut off the electricity or impersonate Sigourney Weaver (original Alien ending as I'm sure you know) to demonstrate they were intelligent first. No qualms about a Predator though.

    Phh, flighty Doctor. Still, what can you expect from a scouser? I'm very much in the:

    "You're a very attractive woman. Probably."

    school myself.

    Mind you, he seems to have changed his tune when Romana 2 came along.

    Yeah, I can imagine AM doing that, just look at the level of detail in some of the panels in V, where every item ties into the story in some way. It's an interesting dilemma. One of the screenwriting tips I was given was 'leave something for the production designer to do' (and indeed the actors) so its recommended that you just do the dialogue and leave the rest to everyone else and trust their experience and skills. After all they're not just machines to carry out all your whims; they're artists (both senses of the word) in their own right and they too have creative skills and imagination.

    Having said all that I once sketched out an idea I had for a Dresd story panel by panel. I had to in a way as there was no dialogue. It was very pretentious. It was a visual palindrome where every panel was a sort of mirror image of the corresponding one (I.e. First panel matched the last panel, second panel matched penultimate panel etc.). Wish I'd actually submitted it. Though I say it myself it was an interesting story.

  10. I'm a huge horror nerd, ties with martial arts as my favourite genre of film. So yes, I'm so into "Alien" I even defended "Prometheus" to my unimpressed sister when objectively it's well, shit. Anyway, in Alien: Resurrection, you know the one with the clone Alien hybrid Ripley and Winona Ryder as the android, several Aliens are being locked up. They seem to communicate with each other briefly, then they kill one of them so it's acid blood will burn through the floor and they can escape. I think they are pretty intelligent therefore.

    I suppose the "purest" of comics are the ones where the writer and artist are the same person. Cerebus might have gone massively off the rails by the end, but there was no denying what was on the page wasn't exactly what Dave Sim wanted us to see. It's more common with manga though, probably because less detailed (not a criticism) artwork allows for one person to take up the workload of two as it were.

    Your Dredd story reminds me of the chapter of Watchmen which was laid out to be one big palindrome, something I only realised about a year ago when someone pointed it out to me and I slapped my head not realising I had not seen something so bleedin' obvious in retrospect!

  11. Slap me round the head too. I never even realised that. Now I feel as original as someone explaining his idea for new fangled 'steam engines' whilst stood on the platform at Euston Station.

    Cool, so aliens are ok to ruck with. Sorted. Just need one to spill my pint now.

    Heh, saw a post once years ago where someone asked about how to deal with a dog attack. They were pointed in the direction of the Krav Maga forum because that's apparently where you went to find out about "inter species warfare"

    (There was a bit of a penchant for posts along the lines of "how would you deal with being attacked by (insert example from zoology textbook here)"

    Hmm, whilst I'm in pretentious knob mode I feel a thesis on "Auteur theory in comic books" brewing.

    And yeah, Prometheus was terrible. Someone once said the test of a good film was "can you remember all the characters names?". Apply that to Alien and indeed Alienseseses and see what you think. With Prometheous I just found myself identifying characters as "annoying person you hope will get squashed by spaceship", "daft bloke who tried Steve Irwin routine with triangular snakey thing" etc.

    Anyway, I'm just going to pop out for my evening perambulation on the pitch black lanes around here. Let's see, black jacket, check, camouflage trousers, check...

    If I'm not smeared over the bumper of a milk tanker I'll check in later. TTFN.

    (Oh, did you see that Dr Who email btw? No worries if if was so rubbish you're tryng to block it from your memory)

  12. Ahahaha, that story about man vs. animal makes me think of that Monty Python sketch where John Cleese is teaching a class on how to defend themselves armed with fresh fruit, which culminates with him unleashing a stuffed tiger on one of them. Heh.

    I did like Magneto the android in Prometheus, but that film is pretty much summed up by the fact they put Guy Pearce in tonnes of old age make-up instead of just hiring an old actor. Also it de-canonised Alien Vs. Predator, which is a film I shall defend to the derp.

    I didn't see a emial about Doctor Who in my inbox, although AOL is acting up tonight, crashed a couple of times while I was composing emails, hence the repetition of one I sent you.

  13. I'm glad someone else likes AvP. It's not a classic film like Alien but it is a very enjoyable movie. And Lance Henrickson is like the American equivalent of David Warner ("Well if he's in it it'll be worth a watch")

    Didn't notice he was magneto. The s that from the one with the Cuban missile crisis? That's the only one venue really managed to stick all the way through. I like that guy who plays Mr X. First saw him in a TV adaptation of children of dune and thought he was brilliant. He's very sympathetic. I think he'd have been good as anakin skywalker. Someone genuinely nice who went bad; rather than a mardy arse wanker from the start.

    Fassbender was also good in that Frank film, although as a Frank Sidebottom fan I have very mixed feelings about that film.

    The old makeup thing was weird. I can't believe they did it just so they could have that fake TED Talk promo. I do have a theory though. Remember this was planned as a trilogy. That character wanted to be rejuvenated and the engineers are good at biology and DNA manipulation. See where this could be headed?

    (or he might end up as the basis for an android, like bishop)

  14. The main reason I love AvP is what I call "The Sleigh Ride of Friendship", when the woman and the Predator team up to take down the Alien queeen then have to make a quick escape.

    I was watching Prometheus expecting Guy Pearce to appear youthfully so was confused when he didn't, but like you say, more films are planned so maybe it'll make sense then. Still prefer Lance Henrickson as Peter Weyland though, like you say he livens up even the dumbest of films and he's been in some pretty dumb ones (that I secretly love).

  15. I remember reading the original AvP Dark Horse comic. Don't know if you saw it but it had a different setting but similar theme. Human girl teams up with predator. And of course she earns respect. And an acid burn of the forehead.

    "Oww! What did you do that for you git. I thought we were friends"

    You probably know Lance was originally in the running for the Terminator role. Thats when the idea was that terminators were innocuous looking infiltration units, and Arnie was to be Kyle. And you also probably know OJ Simpson was considered as the terminator but he was considered too cuddly and nice to be believable as a killing machine.

    Speaking of Dark Horse and aliens though, I liked their continuation post aliens. But in my head I always imagined Ripley, Hicks and Newt all settled down as a family and just had a lovely uneventful life.

    Must confess though, whilst I think it was a waste to kill off hicks and newt I do think alien 3 is a great film. I would have loved them to have gone with the wooden monastery in space script, but they came pretty close. It's almost a European art house film and I wish they'd been allowed to totally run with that rather than fall back on the action film clichés. Imagine if it had just been a character study of people facing a threat and ripleys ptsd with the alien in the background but never actually killing or even actually threatening anyone?

  16. I haven't read the Dark Horse Alien comics, though if the collections drop in price I might start checking them out.

    I didn't know that about people considered for the Terminator role, all things considered I think going with Arnie first was the best idea, then pitting him against a more innocus but more powerful one in T2 was a great idea.

    I must confess having recently watched all the Alien films the utter drabness of both cuts of Alien 3 and the fact it's mainly bald people shouting at each other didn't make me rate it very highly. Still consiering the mess going on behind the scenes it's amazing they got anything watchable out of it at all.

  17. The initial DH Alien comics were very good. They sort of went down an obvious route (alien, aliens, shit-tonnes of aliens) but in a way that whilst logical wasn't clichéd. So they picked up on some previous 'hooks' such as aliens making it to earth, but explored that in some unexpected ways. Ways ironically that did seem to influence the later film ideas, such as religious cults seeing the aliens as some sort of deity/demon. They also explored some of the implications of aspects of the films. Could 'artificial persons' really get scared, how would aliens fare as weapons etc.

    Interestingly there are some visuals in alien 4 that are lifted directly from comic panels (to the extent of casting actors who look like the comic characters) so it was nice the director acknowledged the influence.

    Hey, baldy people are an underrepresented group in mainstream cinema so it's nice we get a break. Alien 3 is like our The Colour Purple!

    But actually one of the things I enjoy about that film is the the verbal sparring. Those are actors I could happily watch reading the telephone directory. Like I say I'm not that bothered about the alien itself. I understand why in that franchise it had to feature as it did, but it was more the characters reactions and interactions that drew me in. Did you ever see the Dr Who episode 'Midnight'? That's the one where you never find out what the monster is; just how people cope (or not) with it being outside. I'd have been very happy for 3 just to have been like that. (if I'd have written it you'd never have even found out if there *was* an alien, just have some people working themselves into a panic over the possibility. I think you could explore so many ideas there. Everything from Salem to Mcarthyism to early views on HIV). I think the flaws in the film arise from it falling between two stools and ending up rehashing things that had already been done as well as they could be in the previous films (both of which I love)

    I think I would have enjoyed the wooden space monastery script. Reminds me of an early Nemesis the Warlock story where some Victoriana obsessed aliens build a redbrick space station (Thinking about it, that story was very steampunk before the idea existed). Be interesting to see where the district 9 guy takes the franchise.

    If that flops then it's game over man and they should nuke the franchise from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  18. Hmm add the Alien comics to my ever growing list of recommendations.

    I did indeed the see Who episode Midnight, RTD Who is Who I love and the one-two punch of Midnight and Turn Left is I think my apex of modern Who. Truly one of the few episodes to creep me the hell out and you never saw anything. Not sure the plot could have been as effective stretched further than 45 mins though. IDK. I did like the idea of the wooden space monastry, I've got a book about films thta had a real clusterfuck of a production lead-up and filming and Alien 3 gets probably the longest chapter.

    I'm pleased the District 9 chappy is in charge now, I only saw that film very recently and it's a great little allegory and rather moving and sad too. I'm sure the franchise will survive come-what-may, it survived AvP2: Requiem which is probably the worst of the whole franchise but maybe they need to throttle back the budgets and go back to making them claustrophobic horrors rather than grand space opera.

  19. My south African friends tell me district 9 is full of little references that make it even better if you know the culture. Even the protagonist's name is some sort of in-joke. It's on my list of flawless films though anyway. There's one bit I find simultaneously funny and heartbreaking, when the 'prawn' they're about to test the weapon on just looks around in a 'hey, what's going on here?' sort of way. Ironically it's just such a human gesture.

    As go-to geek girl guru & gamer I'm sure you know D9 arose out of an aborted attempt to make a Halo film. They had all the props built and locations and CGI booked so the director said if they let him have all that he'd make a film for next to no budget. Very Ed Wood really.

    I'm one of those annoying Dr Who positivists. I refuse to see anything bad in the show. Even 'Fear Her' is to me only 'the episode with the brilliant TARDIS door joke'. One thing that contributes to that is just how pleased I was with various decisions that initially made me raise an eyebrow, especially casting. I was very wary when I heard about Billie Piper originally; but of course she turned out to be amazing. And she only got better.

    "The interface is hot!"

    "Well I try my best"

    Same with whippersnapper Matt Smith. As an aside did you spot that the only person who predicted that was loopy Lawrence (I see you link to his blog, he's so spectacularly opinionated but it works because he's so funny and insightful)

    But the nicest casting surprise was Catherine Tate. One of the best companions ever. The delivery on some of her lines, but also a really broad and deep actor. And with Wilf too; we were really spoiled with that series.

  20. Catherine Tate was brilliant, I actually am a bit of a fan of Martha even if she was shortchanged with all the awful Rose/Ten lovefest stuff. But I loved Tate and Ten's relationship as best mates and she proved to be an amazing actress too. I can't praise her in Turn Left highly enough and that episode actually used Rose correctly too. I have too many feels about the end of her storyline, I try and pretend it never happened like that RTD you MONSTER!! She's adorable on the S4 commentary tracks as well, so enthusiastic and apparently had a great time making the show and wanted to do more, at one point she says she'd have moved th Wales and RTD goes well I wish I'd know that at the time!

    I did know about the abortive Halo movie, videogames don't tend to adapt very well to film mainly because the plots are around 12-20 hours long in many cases and are hard to compress. What works better are spin-off that fill in some small bit of backstory, the animated Dead Space films are good for that as are many of the videogame related comics I've covered.

    Lawrence Miles wrote most of the highest regarded NA's and EDA's, he gets a free pass to be as loopy as he likes about Who, just for giving us "Alien Bodies" and "Dead Romance".

  21. 'best mates'

    "You're not mating with me space boy!"

    Says it all really.

    It's a theme of 'new' Who (I don't actually see a distinction between 'new' and 'classic' but I suppose it's a convenient term) that the companions act as some sort of a brake on the Doctor's otherwise megalomaniac tendencies. Donna is the only one who's ever been convincing in that role though. Moreso even than Romana she's the only person who's ever been believable as an equal rather than an appendage. Donna was the only person who was ever convincing when she called the Dr out. At all other times its either been an 'informed' thing. Like 'well the script says he's changed his mind so he must have done' but Id find it hard to believe that particular companion or argument would have been that persuasive. Or within story that the Dr was just going along with it for reasons but hadn't actually had any sort of internal epiphany.

    With Donna though it was like "Oof, that's made him think!"

    Some very mature writing and characterisation in that period. Wilf was the same. He may have been a bit overshadowed at times perhaps by Donna/Catherine. But he's also one of the best companions (went in the TARDIS so meets the criterion!). His little homily on not being ashamed to have never had to kill anyone in the army could have been cringeworthy with a lesser actor or character but it was as good as anything you'd get in a classic film like all quiet on the western front.

    Heh, we're really showing our respective gaming knowledge here. You think the issue is compressing the game into 90 minutes of plot and I see the difficulty being padding out a tale of a frog crossing a road and a river into feature length.

    Mind you, Peter Jackson could probably get *two* films out of that.

  22. I think season 4 and 1 are tied for me, I did like Nine a lot and thought Rose worked well as a way to reconnect him with the universe and also act as a new viewers audience substitute. S4 though you're right does have some pretty mature stuff and I loved Wilf too. As you might recall Davison is my favorite Doctor and I liked the way both he and Ten died not saving the universe but saving one normal human life. Lovely stuff. Tears may be cried when that happens.

    But what does make a companion? It can't just be a trip in the TARDIS, otherwise Liz Shaw wouldn't count and she is amazing, I'm not a fan of most of Pertwee's era, but love Season 7 for also being one of the more thoughtprovoking and adult runs of Who. Trivia time, "Doctor Who and The Cave Monsters" was the first Target book I bought back when I was 6 for 5p from a jumble sale. I now nearly have a full set of Targets which I need to hit up ebay to finish one day.

    I think when it comes to videogame adaptations the one generally considered the best is "Silent Hill" and is based on a horror game that can be speed run in a couple of hours. Also notable as a film co-starring Sean Bean and he doesn't die in it!

  23. "I think season 4 and 1 are tied for me"

    I can understand that; after all Patrick Troughton was a great replacement and of course Bill Hartnell set the tone for the entire programme.

    Actually it's funny just how brilliant the show *was* from the start. If we pass rapidly over the caveman stuff the first three stories are still amongst my personal top ten.

    Peter Davison is a bit like Duran Duran. Something I didn't really appreciate properly at the time but now I revisit I realise just how good they were. It seems weird now but I really held the view that only the first 4 were proper doctors and everyone after that was somehow ersatz substitution. I think that was actually a pretty common view amongst certain elements of fandom. Seems so silly now.

    But Peter did bring a humanity to the doctor that was very my children reflected with 10. I'm still trying to decide if that's a double edged sword or a best of both worlds. You know I tend towards the grumpy very alien doctor. I loved 9. Not just because he's a shaven headed northerner, but he was so 'inhuman'. Of course we've got the whole cosmic PTSD aspect as well but I did 'like' (as in found interesting) his pragmatic callousness. Of course his journey, with Rose, to *not* pushing the button was I suppose the whole point.

    Ooh, loved the Target books. They're the source of my annoying habit of referring to stories as "Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Slitheen" etc.

    Hmm Liz Shaw. Can we argue that having the TARDIS console in the room means she counts? Or does it have to go somewhere? Shame they got rid of her especially for the reasons they did. Do have a soft spot for ditzy Jo though. A true feminist icon. If you squint a bit.

    Sean Bean is my favourite good 'bad actor'. Let's be honest, half the time he sounds like someone in a village hall drama production trying to do an accent. He's so stilted. But he's eminently watchable.

    When I'm a famous Hollywood mogul though I'm going to team him up with that Mexican lass. They'll survive all sorts of impossible scrapes. Then get hit by a falling piano just as the credits start to roll.

  24. I always thought the juxtaposition of the vulnerable Five with the somewhat violent tendencies of Eric Saward gave us a really tragic story of a good man caught up in an ever escalating tragedy. I find the situations around Tegan's departure to be especially sad and I think his sacrifice to save Peri a couple of stories later felt like him making things right as it were. Funnily enough the one story that scared me when I was little was Kinda and Hindle's madness. Ironic in the light of my own mental illness now I guess.

    Although I didn't like the stated reasons for getting rid of Liz, I read an interview with her in DWB saying she would have quit anyway as she had got pregnant. Still wish she'd had a better exit.

    Sean Bean is a walking spoiler I saw someone crunch the numbers and although other actors have died more because they have had longer careers, he's died in the highest percentage. Amusingly he provides the voice of one of the main characters in the videogame "The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion". He dies of course :D

  25. Ooh I love Kinda. Still haven't got a flipping clue what was going on, but it was just so atmospheric and trippy. Such weird imagery. Like the juxtaposition (nice word, stealing it) of the pith helmet wearing colonial era Explorer and that tank thing.

    Heh, I remember how exciting it was that a star like Nerys Hughes deigned to be on the show. Now I wouldn't be surprised if George Clooney turned up (He's an actor who married a top barrister)

    There was something very unearthly about 80s TV sci-fi. I think the radiophonic workshop music had a lot to do with it, but there was also an ambience. It's hard to describe, think hitchhikers guide, but nothing since has ever captured that (solaris remake came closest). That's not just a nostalgia thing. I think it was just more 'spacey' objectively.

    But to your original point. I think you've articulated something I'd been thinking. How Peter's 'nice guy' innocence made the stories even more tragic. I wonder if that's why the era had so many 'everybody dies' episodes?

    Some other doctors could adopt a 'well that's the nature of things'* approach or be satisfied with a utilitarian 'could have been worse and at least we saved x' approach. With Peter he seems really upset and frustrated tjat he couldn't necessarily save the day. I suspect that was the foundation for 10s little timelord invictus interlude.

    * "Despite his protestations to the contrary, the doctor is fundamentally a product of isolationist 'non interference' culture as much as any time lord" - Discuss


    (not really an essay question)

  26. "There should of been another way" that line pretty much sums up Davison's era. He had an ability to deliver even the daftest dialogue with great conviction. In the Paul Cornell NA "Revelations" the Ace takes a trip through the subconcious of the seventh Doctor and finds Five nailed to a tree, he represents the innocence and conscience of the doctor that the seventh one has been repressing. Very trippy book that, also stars a sentient church called Saul and Ace suffocating after running away from a pub on the moon.

    I do love that era of music, Star Cops was another 80's sci-fi show I adore. Unfortunately I didn't pick it up on dvd before it went out of print and now it goes for silly money. Well I still have my old VHS's.

    I think some Doctors intefere a lot more than others. The Seventh did it a lot, I mean look at "The Happiness Patrol", he brings down the government in one night which feels like him "flexing his muscles" rather creepily for the kind of stuff he got up to in the books. Then the Eighth was much more of a go with the flow sort. I sometimes think Eight was written to contrast with Seven as much as Six did to Five as it were.

  27. I like Peter where he plays the mega cow in hitchhikers. Some great delivery of daft lines in that. And ironically he ends up as "a well prepared meal"

    The only Dr Who book I've read (apart from the Target ones) is The Infinity Doctors. I enjoyed that; and some great ideas in there.

    Star Cops was ace. You know it had reorientate different production teams and one lot wanted a clean bright hi tech look and the other wanted grubby and dark used future? So they'd constantly be having to clean or dirty the set whenever it was their shooting block. Some great ideas in that too and quite prescient. Remember the episode where the computer hackers kept causing accidents?

    It had a real 2001 realism (although I'm a heretic there. It's a great piece of art but I think Silent Running is a much better film)

    Speaking of Who, I'm completely out of touch with things, is there another series in the offing? I keep expecting it to pop up on iPlayer now it's autumn but haven't seen owt.

  28. THe Infinity Doctors is a really cool book yes, Lance Parkin is probably my second fave EDA author after Lawrence Miles. I rate Paul Magrs quite highly too even if it was just for giving us a Noel Coward who travelled through time using a pair of shears to cut holes in space/time and a planet of sentient poodles who strip the Doctor and his companions naked and put them in dog collars. You should have experienced the outraged pearl clutching online from fans online (I think it was pre-Outpost Gallifrey, my memory aint what it was) when that book was released.

    Yeah I have a little documentary about the making of Star Cops somewhere in a stack of homebrew dvds, I watched it at the time and was gutted when it didn't get another season. It does rather fall into the easy sterotyping of the various cultures; gooby Australian, honourable Japanese, arrogant Americans, sinister Russians, but I appreciated it was at least trying to depict a multi-cultural future. The computer hacking one was quite prescient, "the invisible worm that flies in the night".

    Oh "Silent Running", I cannot watch that film without falling into a pile of inelegant blubbering. I am of the opinion "2001" needs an altered state of consciousness to fully enjoy. I first saw it in the throws of a fever and thought it was awesome, even the giant space baby made sense at the time. Even though I now use "um something, something, something, giant space baby" as a descriptor when I am trying to explain a more esoteric film ending to my sisters.

    I have no idea what is going on with Who either. I only frequent one thread on Gallifrey Base and it's in The Inferno because we can swear in there. My friends there haven't started talking about it so I assume nothings started yet.

  29. Heh, you've just reminded me of a time when I had to take Sas somewhere where they insisted I put Sas on a lead. She was less than happy. But when I said "I know Sas it's horrible. No one likes having to wear a leash" the girl I was with just gave a little head tilt and shrugged.

    But yeah silent running is such a blub fest. Just the music sets me off. As to 2001 I'm just about to compose you an email.

  30. Our dog had to be walked on a leash. She was an afgan hounds and they LOVE to chase things and also are very dim. Incredibly sweet natured even for dogs, but totally untrainable. We lived in Buxton back then so I'd take her on some epic walks even in the generally horrible weather there. Something very peaceful about being up in the hills with just a dog for company isn't there? She used to trot next to me with her head pressed against my hip so I could scratch behind her ears as we walked. Awww, now I'm missing her all over again.

  31. I love Afghans, but yeah, they're not going to be troubling the Nobel Prize committee anytime soon are they? I rarely had Sas on a leash even in London. Got into a row at Westminster Abbey about that.

    "The sign actually says on a leash *or otherwise under control*"

    "Well that things neither"

    All creatures great and small my arse.

    I really miss our long walks together too. We used to do 20 milers on a weekend down here (in fairness there's bugger all else to do). I still do my walks but it's just not the same. My friends are pestering me to get another dog. I'm torn. There are lots that need a home but Sas was just so irreplaceable. Maybe when I get my donkey sanctuary.

    Anyway before I burst into tears I've sent you an email about a 2001 experience.

  32. I really want a dog, but I just don't think a) Biff would stand for it a b) I have the cash to maintain one. I'd ideally have a bull terrier because they are so darn smiley but alas not to be. Funny thing is Biff rules our back yard with an iron paw, but their is also a tiny little dog that gets some exercise in it that he wearily tolerates. They are like Eeyore and Tigger, it's always trying to affectionately "bounce" him i while Biff just sits and rolls his eyes. Very funny to watch. Anyway, I think it's bad to get another pet/furry companion until you have fully mourned the loss of a previous one. I left it nearly a year before I could face getting another cat after Biff's predecessor passed away.

    Anyway, 'nuff of that, it's the 13 Novemver and it's officially by birthday! Hoozah, already opened gift from mum, got The Mulitversity, Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 and Miracleman: The Golden Age. However did she know what I wanted? :D

  33. Happy Birthday 🎂!!!!

    I hope you have a wonderful day.

    Here's to gorging on cake and comic books!

  34. I'm ba-a-ck! Thanks for the best wishes :) I had a very nice birthday, big family dinner, big cake, loads of comicbooks it was v.enjoyable.

    My blog has plenty of food for it now, I can start nailing down fully what I'll be covering in the first few months of next year now. And there's still Xmas to go, yay!

  35. Is that The Shining; Poltergeist; or Independence Day "Ba-a-ck"? In whatever case it's lovely to have you. Sounds like you had a smashing time. Presumably Biff is now going "Ok human, you've had your 24 hours indulgence; now back to the real priority, me"

    I look forward to a new year of wallowing in your blog, expanding my pop culture knowledge, and stealing all your points as if they were my own so I can look a bit cooler.

  36. I think a The Shining "ba-a-ck". Great film. I got a raised eyebrow from him when I returned, very much an "oh it's you" loo. But then he forgave me and came for cuddles. Can't hold a grudge that cat.

    All pop culturally thievery is forgiven because it spread the word of comics :D

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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