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Surprisingly good list: if you’re looking for a reading list of post-80s comics. I’d lose “Preacher”, and “Invisibles”, obv.

2014-05-08 by cms in comics, links

Comic cover screensaver

I've been using a set of superman covers I scraped from Superdickery.com as a screensaver on my Mac for a couple of years. I just dropped them all in a folder, and pointed the built in "slideshow" saver at it. Set to "Shifting Tiles" with 'shuffle slide order' it makes a nice regular grid of comic books that zip in and out regularly.

Last week I had a notion. I dusted off my old Canon LiDE A4 USB scanner, fired up VUEScan and set about scanning a couple of boxes of my own comic book collection. It was a suprisingly therapeutic couple of hours mechanical work to scan a few hundred, and the result is a more pleasingly personalised slideshow, with a larger number of member images. 

After running with it for a couple of days, I'm really pleased with the results. It could do with a little more variety, because I scanned from boxes where the material was alphabetically organised by titles (what am I, some kind of nerd?). Some other observations – the 90s were really dark, both in the stupid post-Watchmen 'gritty heroism' sense, but also more literally in the colour palettes. This is really obvious contrasted against the four poster colour silliness of the classic Super titles I've switched from. Ironic that high grade reproduction technology and digital colouring options, as well as the shift to fully painted illustrations seems to have lead to a more muted spectrum of offerings. Perhaps this says a little about my youthful tastes. Also, what was I thinking sticking with that second run of 'Mage' ("The Hero Defined"). That book was pretty terrible as I recall, and I've certainly got no urge to reread and check my assumptions. I'm leaving them in the set, because it seems dishonest not to. 

I've got another dozen or so boxes to scan. I should do some sums to work out what the storage implications of that represents before I commit to bunging the rest of them on my 256GB SSD though. 

As a side thought, I realised that everpix had diligently uploaded all my scan jpgs, so I can present a public gallery of the work so far for your bemusement.

posted Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 12:00 by cms in art, comics, computers | Comments Off

IDW formally announces "The Strange Death Of Alex Raymond": That is one busy cover.

2013-07-20 by cms in comics, links

Comical Statue: Local comic shop owner notices  artist unknowingly used a copy of Avengers #1 to make a papier-mache model.

2013-07-06 by cms in comics, links

Crumb: A thorough interview with R. Crumb dating from around the the publication of Genesis

2013-05-18 by cms in comics, links

Original Sim: From Marvel Fanfare #25 (1986) – Dave Sim Marvel character portfolio. Yeah, me too.

2012-10-08 by cms in comics, history, links

A big spread

Over at Eddie Campbell's blog, there's a run of posts springing from the idea of the extended comic-book page spread, that particularly caught my eye. I always enjoy Eddie's writing, whether in it's justly celebrated comic strip form, or in his  wry, thoughtful articles critiquing the medium. This series of articles seems to be loosely orbiting Dave Sim, which is what has provoked me into comment.

One of these days, I always tell myself, I'll write a piece about the peculiar thing that is Cerebus, and how it plumbs in to my life. Or if I wait long enough, perhaps Andrew Rilstone will do a better job of it. Until that day though, finding sensible Cerebus coverage is a rare enough thing, and it's nice to read some well-formed opinions by Mr. Campbell.

posted Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 08:16 by cms in comics | 1 Comment »

Holidays over

That's 2010 all done then. 2011 said alound still sounds implausibly futuristic to my ears. One more sign that you're an old man.

The 'holiday season' was surprisingly survivable. The nut roast didn't poison anybody. I doubled up the recipe quantities, and had exactly 50% left after dinner was done. The main problem I had was getting all the vegetables evenly done. There was much shuttling trays in and out of the oven, and from shelf to shelf, but everyone went away fed and uncomplaining, so I'm going to chalk that up as a success.

It turns out that having a 1 year old daughter is an excellent diversion around this time of year. Most of my time seems to have been spent chaperoning her around various relatives' houses, where she excelled in capturing the centre of attention. She's unsurprisingly done terribly well for presents. Typically, her favourite seems to be something inessential; a tiny gift teddy bear that was part of a seasonal book bundle.

I have a nice new coffee mug with a picture of Moominpapa on, of which I am already fond. Also notable, a comic strip book that frames the life and work of Bertrand Russell as an analogy to a classical greek tragedy. Better than it sounds, it's quite a fascinating piece.

2010 has been a pretty good year I'd say. Mostly full of Ada, who has grown from being a rather sickly baby whose inability to keep food onboard, or sleep to rule frazzled nerves, to a largely reflux-free, sleep-friendly and entirely enchanting toddler. I think my Ada high-point of the last year would be when I taught her to high-five people, whenever she was being carried at shoulder height. She's currently showing signs of becoming a precocious chatterbox. Other than that, there's been the career gear-change, moving to work for last.fm, which has been almost entirely awesome. The new job brought a house move to London, which took me through the stages of ambivalence, active dislike of the place, right through to my current state of mind, which is settled back into an easy enjoyment of the appeals of city living. The fly in the ointment there is the lingering unsold Bristol house, dealing with which is going to feature heavily in the new year, I suspect.

Usually, at this time of year, I'd do some sort of summary of the year in music. 2010 has been a year where I've been kept pretty out of touch, because I've simply been too busy with other things. So most of the new discoveries I've made have been anything but current. Like everyone else, I became briefly overexcited about Janelle in the middle of the year. Standouts would be finally getting around to listening to Spirit Of Eden, and falling for it predictably, discovering The Books and Field Music, and my most unusual acquisition Sia's 'Some people have real problems' album, which I wouldn't have expected to have been my thing, but really captivated me. Luckily last.fm did a chart thing of my annual listening(a subscriber-only feature).

Having an infant at home has really curtailed the gig-going, so I had to focus on quality, not quantity. I did Primavera again, and I don't seem to be tiring of that yet, I've already bought tickets for 2011. I saw an astonishing Dirty Projectors show at the Barbican, performing 'The Getty Address' completely, accompanied by Alarm Will Sound. I finally got to see the New Pornographers with Neko, which was good enough to keep a stupid grin on my face all the way through the first hour, even though I was coming down with a stupid cold. I think I'll probably get more opportunity to see things in 201, but surprisingly I'm not really complaining.

Here's to 2011. Still sounds wrong.


Suggested listening

posted Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 08:28 by cms in Ada, comics, cooking, music | Comments Off

Events that clash

This year's Bristol Comics Expo is going to be held on the weekend of May 9th-10th. Aggravatingly this is the same weekend that I'm going to be away at ATP vs the fans.

Even more annoyingly, this makes it the second year in a row that I'll miss it. Last year I gave up, after a few attempts to survive the stupidly arranged ticket purchasing queues. Prior to that, I'd managed to go to every single one since Bristol began hosting them , back in 1999 or so.

Intriguingly, this year, the small press (usually the most interesting aspect of the festival, for me) is broken out into a separate event for some reason.

posted Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 13:18 by cms in comics | Comments Off

Jesus Christ: In the name of the gun.

jwz said this comic was surprisingly awesome. He is correct.

posted Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 09:04 by cms in comics | Comments Off