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Pilot Era: In which we learn that I am done

And with that Pilot Era is done and dusted.

Pilot Era

I think we are done here.

I enjoyed putting the blog together, watching the shows and the conversations that came from it, but priorities change and I have had less and less time for this blog as it went along. It’s time to draw a line under it and move on. Thanks to anyone who read any of this. It was a lot of fun, but it’s time to call it a day.

Ttfn people, look after each other.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Well that was a little worrying.

Well it’s been a week internet people.

After a pretty good weekend, full of lounging around, cuddles and laughter, I started the working week. I managed to get to 9:14 before I regretted it. Tuesday wasn’t much better, with all this furlough pay business making my day more than a little problematic before I stopped being able to process reports around 2:45pm. I spent Wednesday morning sorting that out and went home for lunch. I had french toast (bread dipped in whisked egg with a little mustard and black pepper)  and despite the back pain, which is a lovely new addition to my day, made it back to the office.

Then s**t got weird.

I had some kind of allergic reaction. It started with intense indigestion, then every inch of my body was itching, my throat closed up, I couldn’t swallow. My body produced more mucus in that hour, than it had all year. I spent the best part of an hour lying fetal, spluttering. After some off the shelf anti-histamines and water, my reaction calmed down.

I don’t know why I reacted like that, I am not allergic to eggs, mustard or black pepper, so it was a mystery. It was also a terrifying moment in the midst of a terrifying time.

Still I handled it and all returned to ‘normal’ but that was something of a scare.

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Podcasts

Stuff I enjoyed: Robservations

I go to work, it’s fairly negative right now. I put on the TV, it’s fairly negative right now. I go out, oh wait no I don’t, at least not as I used to.

The point is, there’s a lot of reasons to not be cheerful, so I want to do some about positive stuff.

A big part of my online fandom has been comic-related podcasts and a big part of my collecting was the 90’s and when I look back at the era, I can reappraise the comics of the era a bit more dispassionately, but with a sprinkle of nostalgia. Knowing that the era was thought ill of for a reason, but recognise that I still liked a whole lot of it. It was my era.

One of the more divisive figures of that era was Rob Liefeld.

Getting a big break on the Hawk & Dove miniseries in the late 80’s, Rob Liefeld went on to make his name on New Mutants, pushing out writer Louise Simonson to get himself into more of the writing side and took the book from the mid-card to something of a heavy-hitter. He followed this up with the to-date 2nd best selling comic of all time, X-Force 1. He then left Marve, co-founded Image comics, then left Image comics and took part in half of the at times fairly maligned Heroes Reborn comics event. All this before he was 30. This is a man who has lived the comics experience, had ups and downs and really has an intersting story.

Now I have been on many sides of the argument with this guy, he’s been very successful and a great cheerleader for comics, but he’s also done some bad comics and his command of anatomy is as bad as his consistency in panel to panel art, which is to say bad. His stuff isn’t technically good, but it is exciting and chock-full of energy. He’s been something of a divisive figure and this makes him someone worth listening to.

I fell back into finding his podcast, which can be found here and started listening as a change to what I was listening to. You know what, it’s actually fun. Rob talks about comics with an abiding love, coupled with knowledge and the perspective of a more artist leaning fan. I don’t always agree with what he says, but it’s a perspective issue and I can hear something and disagree, no one is harmed, nothing is lessened.

He also talks about his career and who he’s met and worked with and it’s a very inside baseball look at the industry. It’s a little self-revisionist, but who’s history isn’t? Are you the badguy in your story when you tell it? It’s not high-art, but what it is, is a look at comics from a fan turned pro, who never lost his fanboy status. I don’t think any more of his art than I ever did, but I am a little more forgiving. He is a friendly and positive guy talking about comics with love and knowledge and it’s been both fun and informative. If you are a comic fan, it’s worth checking out, if you are not and know someone who is, it does give you insight into that kind of guy.

Well that’s me for a bit, take care everyone.

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Miscellaneous

Stuff I have enjoyed: The Sandman

I go to work, it’s fairly negative right now. I put on the TV, it’s fairly negative right now. I go out, oh wait no I don’t, not compared to how I used to.

The point is, there’s a lot of reasons to not be cheerful, so I want to do some about positive stuff.

Now as someone who has read this blog before may know, I am an avid listener of podcasts (a topic for another post perhaps) and when dog-walking, walking to and from work and during my lunchtime walk to and from home. But recently I branched out into audio-books. My wife, the MIGHTY Rosie and my boy SuperSam have made good use of Audible of recent months, so since I get the e-mails for the account and they kept recommending the Sandman audio-book/audio-drama.

For those who may not know, Sandman was a critically acclaimed comic written by Neil Gaiman. It was an epic work that pretty much launched Vertigo and cemented Gaiman’s name as a legend in the field of comics. I missed out on the comic originally. Sandman was a late 80’s comic and my collected days started in the early 90’s so, you can see how I missed that boat. I read it years later of course, but for me, the art never stood up to the writing. The character designs were good, but I never enjoyed the visual storytelling enough to keep up with it.

Back to the present and the audio-book idea intrigued me and the advertising for it was ubiquitous, so since I had credits to spare I downloaded it. I listened to it over the the space of a week or so and… it was good.

Some Spoilers

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The basis of the story is that Dream of the Endless, one of several beings that represent concepts such as death, desire, destiny and despair is captured on the earthly plane by a sorcerer in 1916 and for something like 70 years is trapped, cut off from the Dreaming, the plane we visit when we dream. He escapes and the story continues into his reclaiming his tools and then his kingdom. He encounters DC universe characters like The Martian Manhunter J’onn J’onnz, Mister Miracle, John Constantine, Lucifer, JLA Villain Doctor Destiny and his older sister Death. There are also other denizens of the Dreaming, creatures of the Faerie and even a nightmare or two.

The story is broken down into 20 chapters, the overall book is over 10 hours in length and this allows several arcs and stories to be told as part of the whole book’s narrative organically. The art is replaced by narration and the voices are given form by an impressive cast including James McEvoy as Morpheus/Dream, Kat Dennings as Death and the ever capable Martin Sheen as Lucifer. McEvoy is in particular excellent as Dream, offering a measured performance of someone who is beyond the regality of a king and above the confidence of a mere man. He fits the character’s voice in the way that Kevin Conroy fits Batman.

It’s an ambitious project that does it’s best to give Gaiman’s opus an adaptation with wider appeal and it sticks the landing. I have recommended it already and hope that this leads to more of these DC audible productions because this one was great.

If you have the opportunity, download the audible app, the service has the 30 day free trial thing and by the you will have listened to the whole thing.

I was unsure about this when I started listening, but by the end I wanted more.