Friday, November 12, 2010

The Musical Box

Despite watching Never Mind the Buzzcocks for what seems like an eternity. This week's one was quite brilliant and all I can suggest is the guest presenter is kept on forever.

I was only thinking how, maybe, I was getting a wee bit too old for the show; so many people on it that I had no idea who they were and a mentality that appeared to pick on one specific guest every week. However, this week, even the two captains seemed spellbound by the guest presenter. Some bloke called Terry Wogan and by God was he the dog's buzzcocks! I haven't laughed so much at this show for years, but then again I've believed Wogan to be a genius since his days on Blankety Blank. (Plus the comedian Rufus Hound is like a cross between Eddie Izzard and my good pal Jay Eales...) If you can find it on the iPlayer - watch it; it's fecking brilliant!

I miss Terry's morning show on BBC Radio 2. I can't listen to Evans, despite him apparently being more popular than God...

Speaking of bonkers TV; you really need to watch Autumnwatch Unsprung every Thursday. It is, well, bonkers TV. Quite brilliantly made, thoroughly entertaining and who the hell needs Bill Oddie?

Equally entertaining is Giles and Sue do the Good Life also on BBC2. If the rest of the series is as entertaining as the first one then BBC2 are likely to be the channel discerning TV viewers will choose between now and that rather over publicised event that takes place in the week before New Year...

***

Quick health update: Today - Friday - I attempted to go through the entire day, for the first time in 5 weeks, without taking a painkiller. It is now 3 minutes to midnight and I can't really understand why I wanted to do something like that... Perhaps it was the fear that I might be building up a resistance or tolerance to them. trust me; that hasn't happened yet. One thing I did notice was that considering I haven't got arthritis, just about every joint in my body was aching today.

I've now gone 6 weeks without any nicotine or smoke entering my body - I'm a bit chuffed at myself!

***

That was last night; this is now...

Some people have a way of surprising you, while others continue along in the way you want to remember them. During all my years involved in the comics industry, there were, to be fair, very few 'cool' people. Even some of my best friends had an element of nerdism about them. I always claimed that I was the most normal person in comics, which might explain why I did so well considering I was just a half-arsed writer for a tin pot comics magazine.

Two things happened this week that directly link to the above paragraph. The first was discovering that comics inker Jimmy Palmiotti has a blog - http://jimmypalmiotti.blogspot.com/ Nothing unusual about that, I hear you cry. No, but it seems to be a straightforward mix of spotlights on comics artists and soft porn pics.

Once upon a time, I was involved in a highly amusing (I thought so) group of individuals called Spoof Central, who basically wrote comics spoof stories. There was an element of madness about them and unlike the puerile comics humour that still exists, this was a project that attempted to HIGNFY comics magazine and websites - because, let's face it, the comics industry is so far up its own arse it tickles its own epiglottis. Any of you who have any idea how the comics industry and its fan are will know this was an idea guaranteed to fail and miserably. Even in the successful days of Borderline, the World of Heros column, by the mad as a clunge Chris Spicer was constantly attacked for not being funny, or for being too invasive. Comics fans, you see, put their comics and their comics creators on pedestals so high that they look down on clouds. Have a go at these demigods and you will receive death threats or dog shit filled parcels through your door.

The Spoof Central team had a few comics creators who they targeted, all in the name of satire and comedy, and one of them was Jimmy Palmiotti, who, unlike many others, came out of it remarkably well. The reason was The Sopranos was a huge hit at the time and Jimmy was portrayed as this Mafioso styled comics guru who broke your legs (or worse) if you crossed him or his people. In fact, Jimmy was the Tony Soprano of the comics industry and it was one of the running jokes of the columns - check some of them out here: http://www.comicsbulletin.com/spoof/archive.htm but be warned, you probably won't understand any of them!

How about that for a digression? Palmiotti's blog does however seem to be worth visiting, especially if you like comics and tits.

The other comics related story that I heard this week was about the immensely untalented former editor of Comics International, one Mike Conroy. The man responsible for completely destroying a magazine that was already slowly atrophying. Conroy inherited the editorship mantle of the magazine I used to work for and managed in the space of several months to turn it from a moderately well patronised monthly magazine into a totally unpatronised magazine that appeared when there was a Z in the month. I believe he managed to produce 4 issues in 4 years, thus turning it into an annual without really trying (which, I believe was the story of his life).

Apparently, he was at a recent comics thing in London and was spotted by a dear (as in expensive) friend of mine, who reported this: [Conroy] looks like death warmed up and his new CI replacement venture is doomed before it begins - he was wandering around apologising to dealers because the first issue's delayed (thus fucking up a lot of advertisers who are already asking for their money back) due to investors pulling out. Also, the thing looks like a piece of shit.
To say this brightened up a crap week is both spiteful and bloody hilariously true!

The sad truth is that comics magazines are a thing of the past and if you have any hope of making one work you need to be several things - good at what you do, have some design acumen and not be a tortoise in a world of hares - none of the things my former colleague has. The other sad thing is he was once a pretty decent bloke - there are many out there that still believe this -but he did a series of unbelievably c*ntish things over the space of 5 years between 1997 and 2002, which I can only believe has allowed some really bad karma into his life.

Anyhow, moving on...

***

Going to pick up the wife's newish car now. I just hope it proves to be a good buy and gives us the kind of service the old Doblo did.

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