June 15th, 2009
This is what last Friday afternoon looked like if you are a Mindless One (macrophageous Gary Lactus and the doughty, doughy Tymbus excepted, for some reason.) It was one of those doldrummy days, and this is how we killed the time: Email Style! I’ve caught a few of the bigger tyops, changed names, put a few links in, cut mean or downright slanderous comments, and excised one-and-a-half shitloads of Ron Smith jokes for reasons of taste and such, and the following cascade of slurry is what remains.
The Beast Must Die: Well, I had a very pleasant evening with KG last night – we got about half an interview sorted, which I’m going to pick through and write up once he sends me the mpeg. I think we’ll meet up next week for part 2 as there’s plenty of ground to cover. Very personable chap, likes to talk a lot. Should be good stuff I think. It’s very interesting talking to someone who’s just starting out in the biz.
The rest of the evening was spent in the company of some industry pros (it’s a semi-regular meet up a la Cartoon County). Met David Hine, Frazer Irving and best of all Simon Furman. He’s agreed to do an interview, so bring on the Transformers/Death’s Head/Dragon’s Claws love!
Zom: You are a fucking hero! And what a great group of contacts for you as an individual!
Can’t guarantee that I’m going to get Batman & Robin review written today as I’m feeling shite. Throat aches so much my ears are hurting and my body is one big ache. Difficult to find the motivation to do anything other than watch telly and sleep.
Was reading Ice Haven last night. Clowes does a fantastic job of lampooning the weirdly entitled criticism so common to the comic book reading community, whilst at the same time allowing his characters to construct arguments that are at the very worst specious and at best bang on the money.
The Beast Must Die: Also spent some time talking to a very funny aspiring artist who looks and sounds like he’s been around the block a few hundred times. He was well into 2000AD and gave me some inspired fantasy movie casting choices.
Dredd: Clancy Brown
Johnny Alpha – McNulty from the Wire.
Bobsy: That sounds like a top night out- is there not a trade of Dragons Claws now? We should definitely make a big fuss of that – it’s weird even that Marvel US hasn’t raked it over, they’re so keen to eat their own tails in all other respects.
Zom – best add ‘and send emails’ to that list of things you’re just about ill enough to do, my pigflu-full friend.
Zom: Come round here and drink my saliva. I dare you.
Thinking about that TCJ link, I think it highlights a strength, actually. The range of stuff we’ve produced this last week. I’m so pleased with everything everyone’s done. It’s been my favourite mindless week possibly ever.
TBMD: Indeed. It’s also reminded me how much I love Batman.
Definitely the best hero.
Amy Poodle: That’s what’s so good about Clowes, you never know if it’s him talking or his characters.
Speaking of good dialogue, I’ve just watched The Royal Tenenbaums for the first time in forever, and I was struck by how good it was. Not just funny, but subtle, gentle and loaded with motivation, personality and genuine humanity. I think I might have to take back what I said about him Wes Anderson being all surface. I love his obsession with home and family too. The set’s the *home* in Rushmore, isn’t it? Really great.
Bobsy: I’ve been reading a bit of Clowes again too recently (look ma!)… I think when the characters sound like real people, it is them talking, and when they say things that sound like digs at people who read comics, it is clowes talking. For someone spoken of so highly, and for someone who is so good at making comics (that is, very very), I think it’s a real shame that his work is about comics so much. It’s very Oedipal really – yes well done, it’s very clever and it’s not an Xmen comic… but so, what is it exactly?
I have not read any of this Wes Anderson’s comics.
I like his movies for the jokes, but there’s something about the way the Elder Male Character works that I just don’t get. At the same time as being critical of EMC’s emotional limits, the films also pour all their devotion and expectation into him, as if he was meant to be somehow better-than-human. Dad isn’t to blame for your problems for ever, at some point you have to accept that your emotions are your own, or else you’re going to be just like him, and without the nice narrative arc of a movie (life is not a move) that might bring things to an eventual resolution (and even then only after wasted years of heartache). I dunno what I mean by this – it’s just I know whining when I hear it, and Anderson’s movies have a lot of that in them. The films seem to be emotionally dependent on the bad dynamic that they describe, which is somehow inevitably false, or contingent, or something else that I can’t put my finger on but am not keen on….
I’ve not seen the one on the train. The hilarious accents in the trailer were enough to put me off.
Bots’wana Beast: Oh what
The train one is – I think it’s terrible, and probably quite patronising to Indians, whilst doing it. I really liked all the other ones, so well miffed.
Zom: True about the Indians, can’t agree that it’s terrible though.
Contingent is definitely the word, but the set of contigencies he fiddles around with do, in my opinion, resonate with many of us, even if they perhaps suffer from over-specific detailing. Most of us aren’t in love with our sisters, for example.
Bobsy: Oh and re: the blog. yes, over a hundred squillion hits a day for five days on the trot, isn’t it? gots to be a record. well done us.
Zom: Well, well done you lot. You’ve done the work!
TBMD: It’s got some great bits, but is basically a rehash of his usual tics and tropes. Nice soundtrack as ever.
Bob – have you read David Boring by Clowes? It is excellent excellence.
Bobsy: Yeah I have read that one – I think of the major Clowes works Ice Haven is the only one I’ve not got round to yet – I remember some of it being excellent, the balance between silly and scary when they convince themselves that the world is ended and hide on the island, just becasuse they all want to hide frm things, for example – but I think that DB is what I was talking about – the superhero comic as parent, and parent as superhero. I daresay I need to reread it to see what subtleties he digs out of the metaphor, but what made you mention that one?
[chops - is there a post in this? I just mean a straight copy paste, w. editing for typos, email addresses, name-naming etc., of the past dozen emails or so? call it Mindless Wittering or something, stick it up on Sunday? is that a good idea? If we think so I'll do the edit on Sat night, I should have some free time then...]
TBMD: I just thought DB was a good subtle work – didn’t seem to have too much kvetching about comics as I recall, but iI read it a while ago. I just remember enjoying its Bergmanesque vibe and strange atmosphere. Too hungover to formulate decent thinks unforch(!)
Zom: I’m happy with that but I should add that I intend to write something substantial about David Boring at some point, as it’s one of me faves.
I know what you mean about Clowes focussing too much on comics, and that it can work against suspension of disbelief, but Clowes’ thematic and topical range is pretty broad, and he is a wonderful idiosyncratic storyteller
TBMD: You always say that Zom, but if it’s not gonna happen soon then…I say do it Bob. More content, more content!
Zom:It wasn’t an objection, just a pertinent observation
Bobsy: I think we’ll decide whether it was pertinent or not*. I’m sure whatever you write abut DB eventually will go a lot further than any of the half-thoughts we’re kicking around here, don’t worry so.
I think this won’t look too out of place as a post on its own – it gives a peek behind the curtain, shows what and how we think about the blog and that. It’s nice cuddly bloggy stuff, and not as opaque as a Twitter feed.
*:) :) :) :) kissy lolly huggles get well soon omg !!! etc
TBMD: Yeah – some lazy Sunday afternoon shizzle for the blog. S’a good idea, especially cos we’re usually pretty content free at the weekends (barring Fraz-pants’ strip)
Bobsy: Did you all see this I hope
If I had more hair that would be my weekend
Bots’wana Beast: Ron Smith cleared:
I read this simultaneously:
Adam Warren, though. He is clever and a fucking good artist, trapped between two comic markets, those of the Orient and Occident.
Zom: Owls are fucked http://j.photos.cx/TEH-749.gif
You can thank my sister for that
Good shit I must have Swine Flu, I feel totally, cancel-visiting-the-family-who-haven’t-seen-us-for-ages, worried about going anywhere near my son awful. I know, soft Southern shite, but that being the case there’ll be no Batrob this evening
Bots’wana Beast: I had a look at the Target 2006 tpb at work today to try and discern if it was the handiwork of a paedo and, frankly, my conclusion (adding in the judgment of the court somewhat) was: no, it’s not, and actually, quite liked his Transformers, good ish.
Make of that what you will.
TBMD: I think you mean Robin Smith no?
And then it was hometime.