Davy Jones

March 1st, 2012

This photo is from what I think was the last ever photocall the Monkees did, on what I think was Davy Jones’ last visit to his hometown of Manchester. I was about three feet away at the time.
At the show that night, Davy Jones made a joke that he made every night of that tour – “I used to be a heartthrob, now I’m a coronary”.

So why am I talking about Davy Jones here?

Transformers: Toy Stories

July 4th, 2011

There are many, many reasons why I might be considered an idiot, but if you were going to make a list – and believe me, I’ve made a few such lists in my time – then I’ve got a fair idea of what the top three should look like.

I’ll spare you numbers one and two for now, but number three is easy. You see, I must be an idiot, because I don’t think I understood mortality until I watched Transformers: The Movie for the first time. Yeah, Transformers, “robots in disguise” that turned into planes and cars and tanks, and had their own crappy TV show. That was where my first intimation of mortality came from. Told you I was an idiot.

The realisation that all of this would one day stop had never sunk in at Sunday School, where the focus was more on old stories than on the possible absence of narrative. It hadn’t made any impression on me when various distant relatives had died – they had seemed like minor characters in my story, and their deaths didn’t truly register with me at the time. It didn’t even really occur to me in the early parts of Transformers: The Movie, despite the fact that whole planets were being destroyed and beloved characters were being gunned down like so many extras (with all weapons having been switched from tickle to mangle between TV series and movie, naturally). But OPTIMUS FUCKING PRIME, my favourite toy and childhood hero, dying on-screen, in an astonishingly drawn out manner? Yeah, I felt that, and it scared the living shit out of me.

See, here? One day your sentence will be up. Full stop. Story over. The end.

Don’t worry, we’ll get to Simon Furman in a minute!


Occasionally, certain men of a certain age will run out of things to say to each other. Conversation grinds to a dry halt, and the only course of action is to resort to a comfortable zone of the collective consciousness, and wallow in the soft haze of nostalgia, of endless Saturday mornings in pyjamas, and Robots in Disguise. Let us call this place the Transformers Room. If you crack the door open and gently peer in, you can see the Mindless Ones sitting around, comparing their first Transformers and touching their winkies with excitement. Awwwwww! Come on, let’s go and join them…

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This would be a good death

December 16th, 2009

Here in Mindlessland our habits and schedule are all over the queue-crammed shop at the moment. At this time of year half of us are likely to be so drinkfucked that, instead of being busy at our blog-desks we’re far more likely to be found sleeping underneath the pier, the night tide slurping away at our feet, kindly come to take us away from the brain-pained horror of waking up again. So with that in mind, all conventions merrily abandoned in the name of seasonal silliness, there’s no Tuesday Reviewsday nonsense tonight. What could have been a dispirited  recap of the (byrne-stolen, sorry) SWORD #2, I thought instead I’d concentrate on taking one of the characters from the issue, and nostalgically telling the world about why he is so ace, why British comic readers of a certain age are so giddily stupid when it comes to the galaxy’s deadliest freelance peace-keeping agent, Death’s Head.

What follows is an account of his finest moment. Better than when he went toe-to-toe with Galvatron even after having his arm ripped off. Better than when he took out the entire Incinerator Jones Clan. Better even than his first appearance, when he killed that barman for asking him to pay for his tab. Yes – it’s Death’s Head vs. Shockwave.


Look at Galvatron’s mental face! Calm down!

Bunyan would have blushed

August 11th, 2009

or Crisis? What Crisis? (part one)

This one:


Think of him as 2000AD’s awkward cousin. He and Tharg used to get on great for a bit, but while The Mighty One went into his teens still drunk on the heady surge of Thrill Power, Crisis was always a bit serious. Self consciously so, you could say. You know the routine: went veggie. CND badge. Amnesty membership. Morrissey lyrics sung at high volume to that face in the bedroom mirror. Didn’t make friends that easily, and sometimes seemed to try hard not to be noticed at all, but on rare occasions he’d come out with something that would really be worth paying attention to.

You’d get such a shock you’d probably jump in the ocean

If you’re the type who likes reading, among other things, spurious and ill-reasoned comparisons between 2000AD’s stable of early-mid 1990s writing stars and some of the best American rock bands of the late 1960s, this could be the blog post for you!


Don’t Go! There’s a bit about Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol at the end!

You are nine years old, and have a small amount of pocket money to spend. You are standing in a generic branch of WH Smiths in the South east of England. It is the summer holidays, and you have been dragged around the shops on a Saturday afternoon by your Mum. Finally it is your time to shine. Do you:

Buy some kind of worthy children’s book about wartime orphans or brave hamsters ? (Go to p46)

Save the money so you can buy something big and cool in a few weeks, like a Transformer? (Go to p71)

Buy yourself a Fighting Fantasy game book? (Go to the rest of this article…)

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January 23rd, 2009


A hell of day-glo plastic after the jump

BOY + pyro

Remember when you were going to be a superhero? I sure do. I was 9 years old and Amypoodle (who happens to be my brother) had decided to take up the mantle of the Spiderman. He had a spidersense that he could recharge by warming himself on our wall-mounted radiators, and he was going to marry the Black Cat, or do other stuff with her. Stuff that made him feel weird.

More after the jump