Interesting, twisty turvy week...
TV-wise, watched Phoo Action, which was pretty insipid. Terry Phoo was great and there was the very occasional little moment that worked but most of it fell flat. A shame as I think it was execution rather than script that was at fault. Decided not to bother with Reaper anymore as it's fine but lightweight and should be screened at 6.30 in the Hollyoaks/numskull slot rather than primetime as it doesn't have enough substance to hold up for a more primetime slot. Still surprised to see I'm still watching Torchwood, which is so much better than last year. I think James Marsters' appearance kicked the new show into high gear and so far it hasn't really fumbled the ball.
Finished the Art of P Craig Russell. I honestly can't remember the first work of his I saw but it was fairly recently. I was aware of his name for years and saw his inks alot during the 80s but I think maybe it was his Ring of the Nibelung work that I first saw. The Art of...is a huge coffee table retrospective book featuring loads of art and some fun anecdotes (like peeling all the lettering off his original art in the 70s and returning them to Marv Wolfman with a note saying "Here's your share of the art"--at the time, writers were entitled to some of the original art of the comics they wrote). Just as I finished, my comic parcel arrived, thankfully low on items as I still have a stack to get through. However, shall be looking foward to reading Modern Masters: Mark Schultz, another great artist whose work I love.
While not released until Feb 28th, I managed to get hold of the new animated feature, Justice League: The New Frontier this week. I've been looking forward to this for ages and wasn't disappointed. It's an adaptation of Darwyn Cooke's excellent series but the character designs sit somewhere inbetween Cooke's comic drawings and the animated Bruce Timm style. Visually, the film is great and the story is pretty true to the original. Kyle Maclachlan is not the obvious choice for Superman but works very well and David Boreanaz also surprises as Hal Jordan (as does Neil Patrick Harris as Barry Allen--there's some quality about Harris that I've always found offputting for some reason) but the real revelation is Jeremy Sisto as Batman. I've never heard of him before but bloody hell, his Batman is spot on and instantly challenges Kevin Conroy as my favourite Batman actor. Talking of the pointy eared one, one of the special features on the DVD is a preview of Batman: Gotham Knight, a new animated DVD that was originally intended as an extra on the Dark Knight DVD but has been awarded its own release. This is a series of 6 linked stories all animated by anime producers, each with a slightly different look. Could be interesting.
Anyway, the JL DVD led to a few last minute tweaks to Comics On Film and Television, the book I've been threatening for ages. It's basically ready to be formatted into a pdf now so once done, I can then print off a handful of copies (after I've done the cover too). On a similar note, I've been scanning in art this week as I want to do a one-off US comic-format gallery of artwork, a few bits people have already seen but what I consider my best stuff. Again this will need a new cover. I've even managed to complete another page and a half of Jock inks this weekend, although the crappy pens I'm using are still causing me problems. Really I should have cracked open the new pens when I needed them but I wanted to try and keep this sequence a bit consistent before I use the new ones on the next sequence. I think this was a mistake as I could have worked faster and better with the new pens. Oh, well, another learning curve...
This week I had to turn down an offer of doing an illo for a horror mag for a number of reasons but also had to edit down my Captain Britain piece for Back Issue! magazine. Editor Michael Eury liked it but at over 7000 words, it clocked in at over the maximum wordcount of 6000. He was good enough to offer me the chance to cut it before he would have to, so I easily trimmed it back to around 5800 words. The ideal wordcount is around 5000 so it may need cutting further, which will get difficult for me as I think what remains is mostly pertinent information. I could probably cut some sentences here or there but we shall see.
I swore aloud in surprise when I received an e-mail from old comrade-in-Fell, Andrew Pack. I've tried occasionally to find him online over the years with no success but it was good to hear from him again at last. Turns out he also lives in Brum now and knows our watering hole there well so may be coming to see us all---apparently he's already met Dave again, who he didn't recognise. Dunno why that would be as Dave's look is always slightly different depending on how much facial lawnage he cares to sport but essentially looks just like he did when I first met him--pissed. (Nyuk nyuk).
What has really thrown me a curveball is the offer of a flat. Even working within the housing department, I know what the waiting list for affordable housing is in this area (with local houses selling for £44000 more than the county south east average) so wasn't expecting anything for a good while. Where I've been offered is the edges of Chavtown but wherever you go, you can't avoid arseholes unfortunately. I'm viewing the property this Tuesday and could have the tenancy in my name this weekend (which is a bugger as I'm away this weekend) and I'm sure the property will be fine, it'll just mean a few adjustments to my routines. I'll be a bit removed from family (my nearest friend, Martin, lives about 10 miles away so otherwise it doesn't affect me socially) and conveniences like the cinema and affordable shopping but I can deal with that. My main problem now will be money...my outgoings will be shooting up and while I could probably get by each month, my monthly sojourn up to the borough of Brum can cost me up to £150 when you consider trains, trams, taxis (local buses are too unreliable to budget travel time) and beer. I'm lucky I don't smoke and only drink socially but that's a heft of money I need to keep an eye on as they're good weekends I don't want to lose. The other money problem will be setting up the new home as I'll need essentially everything from curtains, carpet, washing machine, tumble drier, cooker and sofas (for visitors) to simple items like light bulbs, baking trays, tea towels and a toaster.
As such, I don't expect much time for drawing over the next few weeks and not much cash, but I'm sure I can cope---although having said that, I have to make an appointment with the psychologist this week! :)